The ‘bankai-ype’ is now more real than ever for Bleach fans, thanks to a new trailer for the series’ upcoming Thousand-Year Blood War arc unveiling both a few familiar faces and an official premiere date.
Released on September 11th, the trailer for the official continuation of the series’ 2017 anime kicks off with Gotei 12th Division Captain watching a series of monitors, intently taking note of the fact that a staggering number of Hollows are rapidly – and quite brutally – disappearing across Japan.
Worried that these slayings will weaken the barrier between the spirit and material worlds to the point of collapse, Mayuri’s terrified Third seat asks his CO if he has any idea what’s going on, to which the captain simply gravely replies, “To be capable of erasing the very existence of Hollows… They are the only ones!”
“They”, as the trailer soon reveals, are the Quincy Army – enslaved Arrancars in tow – as lead by the Quincy King himself, Yhwach. (CV: Takayuki Sugo – Iwao Hazuki, Shenmue the Animation).
Shown next is poor Yuki Ryuunosuke (CV: Daiki Yamashita – Tart, Tokyo Mew Mew New), a new Shinigami recruit who happens to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when he is soon beset by a number of crazed (and decently CG-animated) Hollows.
Yet, just as all hope seems lost for the rookie, our heroes our heroes Ichigo Kurisaki (CV: Masakazu Morita – Whis, Dragon Ball series), Orihime Inoue (CV: Yuki Matsuoka – Kagura, Senran Kagura), Yastuora Sado (CV: Hiroki Yasumoto – Guile, Street Fighter), and Uryuu Ishida (CV: Noriaki Sugiyama – Shirou Emiya, Fate/Stay Night) arrive to save the day.
(Excitingly, this horde match between the Soul Society and the Hollows has not only been confirmed to appear in the first episode, but the first of the many extended and never-before-seen fight scenes that series creator Tite Kubo promised for the series back at Anime Expo.)
The trailer then moves to present a montage of the series’ cast members, which most notably includes flashes of Rangiku Matsumoto (presumably voiced by her regular CV, Kaya Matsuntani – Yoshie Matsuda, Digimon Tamers), Ivan Azgiaro (CV: Wataru Komada – Chris Koron, The [email protected]), and Sternritter Member Q, Quilge Opie (CV: Koichi Yamadera – Beerus, Dragon Ball series).
Eventually, the trailer finds Uryu attempting to pry from his father, the Echt Quincy Ryuken Ishida, information regarding the Quincy’s plans.
Chastised by his son for acting like he knows everything – though he likely does considering his status – Ryuken claims to Uryu that the Quincys are abducting Hollows.
However, he concludes by telling Uryu that the situation has nothing to do with him, in doing so both protecting him from Ywhach whilst simultaneously foreshadowing his betrayal of the Quincy.
(Hopefully this extra scene is a sign that we’ll get to see extended interactions between Ryuken and Ichigo’s father, Isshin Kurosaki.)
Building itself to its climax, the trailer then finds Yamamoto Genryusai (CV: Binbin Takaoka – Hanhui Liu, Shenmue the Animation) holding a meeting with the rest of the Captains of the Gotei 13 and telling them of the new Ywhach threat.
With his most loyal soldiers at the ready, Genryusai then gives the word and declares war upon the enemy. At the same time, the Ywhach himself is seen hovering over the Soul Society’s center as his forces begin to launch their attack on the afterlife.
Following a quick look at the aforementioned “Heroes vs. Hollows” battle, the trailer comes to an end on a shot of Ichigo launching his signature Zanpakuto, Getsuga Tenshou
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War will run across four “cours”, an airing schedule which sees 12-13 episodes of a respective series released in batches alongside the year’s regular seasonal anime schedules, beginning on October 10th.
In addition, a synopsis for the first episode released through Bleach‘s official website  explains of the story, “It is observed that emptiness is disappearing one after another in this world, and the Soul Society and Technology Development Bureau are in an uproar.”
“Meanwhile, in Karakura Town, the newly appointed Shinigami, Ryunosuke Yumiki and Shino Madarame, encounter the imaginary as soon as they arrive,” it continues. “It was Ichigo Kurosaki and his companions who helped the two who were helpless in a sudden attack.”
“Two days later, a man wearing a mask appears in front of Ichigo and the others who are interacting with Ryunosuke, who has regained consciousness,” the synopsis concludes. On the other hand, strange things are happening in Soul Society…”
In regards to a simulcast, Viz Media – after a period of terse speculation  – has confirmed via their official Twitter that they will indeed provide one for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War.
Though the publisher did not provide any further details regarding this release schedule, it’s likely that further information will be revealed at the upcoming Aniplex Online Fesitval on September 24th or alongside the series’ New York Comic Con premiere on October 6th.