The Final BLEACH Arc!


A little after ten years and BLEACH is nearing the end of its story.

According to Kubo Tite–creator of the much beloved manga series–the next arc, presumably dubbed the “Ice Palace Arc” is the last arc in the bleach manga series.

Fans are pretty miffed about it.  After all, BLEACH is one of the “Big Three” manga series featured in Shounen Jump.  Rumors are already flying abound in the world wide web concerning this final arc.  Some are saying that the arc is going to last ten years (after all, the Arrancar Arc lasted a total of four years), some are saying it would be around four years as well.  If it does last that long, you can bet that we are all going to be in one hell of a ride.

Then again, Kubo has pretty much confirmed that this arc will be the last and was meant to tie up loose ends (one of them being the relationship between Ichigo and Kaien’s appearance).

Here are some things about this final leg in the wonderful series that is BLEACH, translated from the special interview chapters:

Bleach Pre-Publication Journal

Kurosaki Ichigo and Kuchiki Rukia before publication!!

Before publication, Kubo-sensei drew Ichigo and Rukia in his journal.  Looking back, Sensei says Ichigo with glasses looked like a “young intellectual”.  Along with a scythe-wielding Rukia, they are truly different from the characters as they are today!!

Secret Theme – Agent of the Shinigami and Soul Society Arcs (the volume on Rukia)

With the status of a Substitute Shinigami, stepping into battles to protect the living world!! In order to protect his family, friends, and Karakura Town, Ichigo became a Shinigami.  In Rukia’s place, he fought and confronted the hollow responsible for his mother’s death.  one day, emissaries from another world appeared.

Tite Kubo’s Comment: Each arc has its own theme.  The Soul Society arc was about saving Rukia.  The Arrancar arc was about saving Orihime.  The Lost Agent arc was connected to Chad.  The new arc will be about…

Title is…”Snipe”.

Tite Kubo’s Comment: The original advertisement was titled “Snipe”.  But I decided that it didn’t feel right, so I changed it.

Tite Kubo’s Idea Note: Sensei’s secret notes contain sketches of some familiar characters.  This is one portion.  They all look different from how they are now.  We can guess that during the planning stages, Sensei had already drawn out his main characters.

Rescue Rukia from execution!!

Because she gave Shinigami powers to Ichigo, Rukia was sentenced to death.  In order to save his own savior, Ichigo and friends went to Soul Society.  Ichigo fought several deadly battles with the Shinigami protecting Seireitei, and succeeded in saving Rukia.  At this time, Aizen’s deception was revealed…

Secret Theme – Arrancar Arc (the volume on Orihime)

A new power enters the stage, Shinigami enter full-on battle!!

After returning to the living world from Soul Society, Ichigo took up the duties of Substitute Shinigami again.  At this time, before him appeared two new powers, the Vizards and the Arrancar.  The Shinigami begin battling against the Arrancar under Aizen’s leadership…

Both current and previous members of the Gotei 13 fight against the traitor Shinigami and the hollows under their command!!!

The Idea Note: Hirako, whose character was planned out pre-publication, finally enters the scene!!  Hirako was drawn on the very first color spread in the first chapter.

Tite Kubo’s Comment: I originally wanted to draw stories about Ichigo’s classmates, so I drew Hirako as one.  Gradually disappearing, Rukia’s existence…

Secret Theme – The Lost Agent Arc (the volume on Chad)

Time passess, although 17 months later all is well…

Aizen created disorder never seen before.  In order to defeat him, Ichigo lost his Shinigami powers.  He got the normal student life that he’d hoped for, but also became restless as he couldn’t protect his friends.  At this time, a group of people with mysterious powers appeared.  The fullbringers began a battle against Ichigo and the other Shinigami at Karakura Town.

Receiving new powers, Ichigo continues his development…

Ichigo’s new look from “The Lost Agent Arc!!”

Before the Lost Agent Arc began, Kubo-sensei sent this sketch of Ichigo 17 months later to his editor.  The armor around his arms and neck represented the mixture of his Shinigami and fullbring powers.  How will he continue to change in the new arc!?

Tagline: The two people hidden by the tear revealed for the first time!!  To find their true identity!!

The Gotei 13 Reborn: What happened during those missing 17 months!!?

  • Captain of the First Division – Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni: A softer Captain Commander Yamamoto.  Commander of the entire Gotei 13, lost his arm due to the sacrificial kido…but did he also change inside!?
Tite Interview:
Q: What about Genryuusai’s left arm?
 He only has his right arm now.
Q: Is that all that’s changed?
 I think Genryuusai wouldn’t change much from his current state if he trained.  Wouldn’t it be strange for someone who’s lived for over two thousand years to change over a period of 17 months?  However, he does have unseen, inner changes.
  • Captain of the Second Division – Soi Fon: Following the deadly battles with Aizen and the Espadas, Soi Fon changed her hair during the 17 month period.  Perhaps because the Second Division prizes quickness, her hair is now shorter.  Losing her left hand during the battle with Barragan.  The Second Division Captain, whose duty is assassination, lost her left hand during the battles at Karakura Town.  Thanks to the top healing skills of the Gotei, it has now been restored.

Tite Interview:

Q: What happened to the hand lost to “aging”?
Soi Fon’s left hand has been healed.

Q: What about her change in appearance?
 Her hair has changed a little.  Speaking of changes, I also wanted to change Yoruichi, but her current look really suits her, so it’s difficult for me.

  • Captain of the Third Division – Otoribashi Rojuro: Rojuro has returned to his same position from a hundred years ago.  Same as TBTP, his look is modeled on that of a western gentleman.  His hair has also become more refined.  Kira remains the lieutenant of the Third Division.  How well does he compliment his new captain!!?

Tite Interview:

Q: Rojuro has rejoined the Gotei 13:
 Rojuro and Izuro suit each other very well, so I decided to put Rojuro into the Third Division.  I should add that Shinji returned to the Fifth Division, and Kensei returned to the ninth.

  • Captain of the Fourth Division – Unohana Retsu: Unohana, who will finally turn her zanpakuto against the enemy and enter the battle.  The Captain of the Fourth Division, who has the special duty of healing and is the most senior captain next to Captain Commander, will finally enter battle, and release her reiatsu and zanpakuto in the new arc.

Tite Interview:

Q: Unohana will finally fight?
In the next arc, I’ve decided that Unohana will enter the battlefield.  Her zanpakuto’s true form will be revealed.  I can also add that when Unohana fights, she unravels her large braid.

  • Captain of the Fifth Division – Hirako Shinji: The changes in Hirako, who has returned to the Fifth Division.  Hirako has changed his bangs during the 17 months after battling with Aizen and returning to Fifth Division.  Also, same as when he was part of the Vizards in the living world, and perhaps because he likes to pay attention to his appearance, he also wears a tie.

Tite Interview:

Q: What happened to Hirako’s hair?
Since his hair can’t grow all that much over 17 months, only his bangs changed a little bit.  And one day, I’d like to draw how Hinamori, who was heartbroken after losing Aizen, developed a good trusting relationship with Hirako.

  • Captain of the Sixth Division – Kuchiki Byakuya: Expensive personal ornaments.  Byakuya, who previously declared that the Captain’s haori is cheap, has changed his appearance somewhat.  Details of what Kubo-sensei has noted is not kenseikan, as well as the finely crafted Captain’s haori.
  • Lieutenant of the Sixth Division – Abarai Renji: Becoming even more wild and rough over the 17 months.  With a towel wrapped around his wrist, and a “specially made, not store bought” ornament in his hair.

Tite Interview:

Q: Renji trained hard to become stronger?
Q: Other people trained as well?
Q: So they wouldn’t be troubled by even Aizen-level opponents?
Kubo: They’re not quite at that level.  What can I say, they’ve become stronger.  But even so, they haven’t gotten to the point where they’re not worried about Aizen-level opponents.
Q: Will they display new abilities of techniques in this new arc?
Kubo: That will be revealed.  Renji’s bankai has already changed.

  • Captain of the Seventh Division – Komamura Sajin: Armor-like shoulder adornments extended to his neck, forearm and feet.  Komamura who lost his close friend, Tousen, a distressing moment.  17 months after the battle, his clothing has changed.  Inside where it usually covers by shihakuhou, wore an armor-like adornment.
  • Captain of the Eight Division – Shunsui Kyoraku: The origin of the colorful haori: Shunsui, who releases shikai during the battle against Stark, the colorful haori that he wore hides a “history”, the truth will be revealed in the next arc!!?

Tite Interview:

Q: The senior captains doesn’t change their appearance much, so Kyouraku did not change either?
Kubo: Yes. Captains who hold the position for a very long period will not change a lot.  That’s because they’ve undergone numerous pitched battles in the past.  However, we will witness the difference and new sides in the future battles.  I guess Shinsui will go bankai.  Also the haori that he wore contains some “history/background”.

  •  Captain of the Ninth Division – Murguruma Kensei: The reunion of fate of 9th Division: Hisagi’s savior, Kensei is back to the 9th Division, the division where Hisagi became a vice captain to take on the captain spot.  They’re also responsible for business editing for the 9th division’s task.
  • Lieutenant of the Ninth Division – Hisagi Shuuhei: Hisagi still wears sleaveless haori to inherit Kensei from hundred years ago.  With Murguruma “6”, Kensei leading the ninth (9) division.  Hisagi who inherits the number “69” became his savior’s subordinate.

The places that have seen innumerable battles:

Naruki City – The place where Ichigo’s friend Keigo lives.  The battlefield for the Lost Agent arc.  The base for Xcution.

Seireitei – In the center of the Soul Society, where the shinigami live.  Soul Society itself already has 1 million years of history.

Rukongai – Located outside of Seireitei, separated into 320 districts.

Karakura Town – A town located near central Tokyo.  Also a center of spiritual activity.

Hueco Mundo – A place that is largely desert.  Barragan’s “city” is also located here.

Tite Kubo’s Comment: The new arc is located neither in Karakura Town or Soul Society.  Although it is a new location, but it’s also “underneath somewhere” and “unexpectedly close”.

The Location of the New Arc Is Here!!

  • Partial Sketch: Two pillars immediately catch the eye in this rough sketch of the new arc’s battlefield.  Behind them, there is a “palace of ice”.  Perhaps the new enemies are hiding in there.
  • Partial Sketch: Like tall cliffs and precipices.  Everything is covered with ice, and what is that at the very end resembling a large waterfall…The palace is on top of all this?

Tite Kubo’s Comment: In the new arc, I want to draw a place like a “palace of ice”.  It will be colored white, with blues and silvers as well.

Tite Kubo Confesses!  The Arrancar are also in his plans!!

Tite Interview:

Q: In the new arc, the Shinigami will of course be represented, but will other characters from the past also appear?
Kubo: Yes.  If the Arrancar appear, I think they will stand with the Shinigami.
Q: Will there be characters that appear in the role of a friend?
Kubo: Ulquiorra has already turned into ash.  Grimmjow might become a friend.  Also, what about Harribel, who is still alive?  But, I wonder how I’d bring them out of Hueco Mundo.  I think Harribel would not leave Hueco Mundo.
Q: Was the idea of Arrancars becoming friends in your plans before this break? Or was it just a feeling that they might return?
Kubo: “They might appear”.  Or it could be that “they might not appear”.  Even if they did appear, it wouldn’t be individually, but as a group.
Q: What about Nel?
Kubo: I think I will let Nel appear.
Q: I’d really like to see her interactions with Kon.
Kubo: Kon did not appear in the Lost Agent arc.  But to tell the truth, he has rarely appeared since the end of the Soul Society arc, roughly five years ago.  People who only recently started reading might not know that he exists.
Q: It can’t be that you’ve forgotten him?
Kubo: *laughs*

Will the Espada return in the new arc?  The editor makes a courageous prediction!!

  • 0. Yami – X
  • 1. Stark – Extremely unlikely
  • 2. Barragan – X
  • 3. Harribel – Unlikely
  • 4.  Ulquiorra – X
  • 5. Nnoitora – Extremely unlikely
  • 6. Grimmjow – Very likely
  • 7. Zommari – Extremely unlikely
  • 8. Syazel – X
  • 9. Aaroniero – X
  • Previous No. 3. Nel – Very likely


There is nothing more that I enjoy doing than reading books and writing. I'm kind of a nerd like that, XD. I have been writing for 7 years and am the author of the YA novel "Winged: The Awakening" and "Winged: The Unraveling". Also, a YouTuber dealing with video games and gaming.

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61 comments on “The Final BLEACH Arc!
  1. Never been this excited since the releases of Harry Potter 7 and Inheritance 4 were announced. Will Tite-san give us a glimpse of the Soul King in this Arc???

  2. KakushiMiko says:

    Damn I really want to Ulquiorra to apper with Grimm a Nell. I still that Ulquiorra may come back as a shinigami, Kubo never say what happene to the spirits that died by the hand of quinsy or in some other way………

  3. Skeptical says:

    I’m very iffy on the validity of this. Kubo confirmed in the latest databook that Grimmjow was indeed dead. This completely contradicts that statement.

    I suggest anyone reading this “interview” to take it with a grain of salt.

    • This interview was taken from a magazine and translated.  The translation may have been lost somewhere or Kubo was merely stating what he WANTS to do but not necessarily something he WILL do.  The list of ESPADA and their likelihood of appearing in the final arc was something the editor thought of.  Also, the likelihood that Kubo was merely trolling with the Grimmjow idea is plausible considering that he stated this would be the final arc but followed with the statement that said it would take 10 years to complete.

  4. Arrancarulquiorra says:

    i want ulquiorra to appear at least from hell or something like that

    • TheChick says:

      I thin it would be easy to bring back some of the Espada that died. When killed by Zanpaktou the soul is cleansed, if they committed no crimes as a human their soul can go to the Soul Society, the only reason they may have been hollow in the first place is because they never crossed over in peace…Therefore they can end up as Shinigami in the long run 🙂

      • Anon says:

        A vastolorde class hollow is actually the amalgamation of thousands of souls, with one personality on top. The dominant part of Ulquiorra’s consciousness is, like any hollow’s, a normal human soul. So on going to Soul society he might not have spiritual power.

        • Leon Mour says:

          when hollows become arrancar the “devoured” souls of other hollows are being released and then become what is called fracsion (e.a Ggio Vega is part of Barragan’s fracion)

  5. FaithfulAizen says:

    I love this info

  6. FaithfulAizen says:

    I just noticed this what about the 10th thru 13th captains you dont mention them

  7. MERP says:

    COME ON KUBO!!!! u no ulquiorra will come back from the dead and steal orihime >:D

  8. Tenrai says:

    kubo sensei say, Soi fong’s left arm is healed complete yet Captain commander is left with just his right arm? Why? Can’t it be healed? I mean when Soi Fong’s death infested arm can be regrown, can’t Captain commander’s arm be regrown?

    In my opinion, Unohana taichou and Kuchiki taichou might end up getting married. Since Unohana taichou has always had a soft spot for kuchiki taichou. She is a exceptional healer. He has been hurting for so long, she may be the only one capable of healing him. Giving him peace, helping him cull his inner demons.

  9. Sheluhalen says:

    WHy would you want Ulquiorra back?

    Grimmjow makes a lot of sense.

  10. SHAKEZ92 says:

    im an action man, but i gotta say part of the series appeal to me is ichigo and rukia, is nothin gonna happen there ?

  11. Kurohane says:

    Upon reading the latest chapter, I thought the Empire King looked like Zangetsu so I have had a theory that the enemies would be actually their zanpakutou but then I checked again and noticed that the Empire King is different.

  12. BLEACHFAN says:

    Yay Grimmjow might come back!!! He is my favorite espada.

  13. Jman_X says:

    Whatever happened to those characters that came from hell???  It was a ton of episodes ago and they didn’t get a lot of airtime or anything but they seemed real strong and were up to something, I don’t remember too well but I believe that they appeared killed someone that was pretty strong like nothing, said that they escaped from hell and then ran away…what;s up with that? Will they ever come back to perform some shannanigans and give ichigo a run for his money at some point?

    To clarify I haven’t read the manga only watch the anime.


    i recon he should make the espada remove there masks and become substitute shigami or just normal human with abilitys >:D


    i recon he should make the espada remove there masks and become substitute shigami or just normal human with abilitys >:D

  16. superstar5662 says:

    can’t ulquiorra rise from the dead or something like that? i want him to appear!

  17. Mr.curiosity says:

    Does ichigo and rukia have a thing going on between them? Also what happened to ichigos mask are you going to change it up a little

  18. Abhay says:

    I want Kenpachi to reveal his bankai

  19. katjanskising says:


  20. 3. Harribel – Unlikely

  21. Boopy says:

    What means “X” on that list? Does Ulquiorra re appear or not?

  22. writer786 says:

    I still say Ulquiorra has so much more potential, being the character that brings attention to our humanity, he’d barely begun to develop. And so what he turned to ash, didn’t he say that his superior regenerative abilities would heal everything but his organs rapidly? That’s not saying they wouldn’t heal AT ALL, given enough time maybe. It could happen. Also, why do I feel like Toshiro should have been mentioned, especially with this whole ICE PALACE business? He has too much untapped potential too, with the strongest ice zanpakutou in existence and all.

  23. Mary says:

    Kubo!! Please, bring back Ulquiorra!! It would be awesome and it would be unfair know that he finally new what a heart is. And also, please restart the bleach anime series again!!

  24. MERRP says:


  25. K Le Blanc says:

    Well we know how it all ends, both Harribel and Nel do come back. Looks like there will at least be tolerance between Heucho Mundo and the Sereitei, though the enemy is a great surprise both for who they are as well their strength in battle. Great way to end the series, to bad he wouldn’t or couldn’t pass the torch on to another writer.

  26. YourEnemy says:

    What the fuck is wrong with all of you? No one cares about Orihimes genuine love for Ichigo? “Let’s just go ahead and ship Orihime with someone else” because Fanfic/Fan service bull shit. That’s like telling the the Protagonist and heroine of Clannad they should go have kids with someone else and not suffer because they love each other. Are you guys fuckin’ sick? “Tomoya and Nagisa don’t belong together, even if they love each other to DEATH.” Just thinking about Orihime not ending up with the man she loves makes me sick. She deserves whatever makes her happy, she’s suffered enough, she deserves Ichigo.

    • First of all, please do not use such a language in the comments section. It is rude.
      Second, there’s nothing wrong with anyone liking or disliking a pairing. It’s called having a difference of opinion.

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