Blow the dust off your swords! BLEACH may have ended, but the series still has projects in the works. There have been musings about the anime’s live-action film for a while. Now we finally have a release date! The live-action BLEACH film will premiere in Japanese theaters on July 20th, 2018, according to a report from Twitter. The popularity of the series will ensure the best minds create the adaptation. But even then, there’s some inherent risk. Compared to recent live-action anime, BLEACH will be difficult to execute. Satisfying fans is a task that even BLEACH creator Tite Kubo may be unable to do. In any case, keeping the series going with a film brings hope that it might continue!

BLEACH protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki prepares his signature attack, the Getsuga Tensho
Protagonist Ichigo Kurosaki prepares his signature attack, the Getsuga Tensho | Image courtesy of Crunchyroll

For those unfamiliar with BLEACH, it centers around sword-wielding supernatural beings called Soul Reapers. Souls that can’t pass on to the afterlife corrupt themselves with negative emotions. These souls become Hollows, powerful beasts that attack and consume human souls. The job of a Soul Reaper is to purify Hollows. In doing so, they facilitate the passage of souls from the world of the living to Soul Society.

Rukia Kuchiki saves main character Ichigo Kurosaki’s family from one of these monsters. After Ichigo acquires the powers of a Soul Reaper from her, he joins the fight against Hollows and other villains. All the while, he must balance his life as a high school student. There are tons of swords, energy blasts, and massive exchanges of power in the anime. Hopefully, all of this will make a fantastic live-action adaptation.

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The BLEACH Announcement

Thus far, we know very little about the live-action film. Last November, BLEACH creator Tite Kubo did an interview with TBS radio to express his faith in the adaptation. In addition to Kubo’s words, Warner Bros. Japan released a trailer last year. While it revealed very little about the film, it confirmed that action is sure to be a focus. Check out the trailer below:

The trailer shows actor Sota Fukushi slashing away at a Hollow as Ichigo Kurosaki. There haven’t been any extensive videos released beyond the trailer. While images of Rukia Kuchiki’s actor were released today, there is not much else. We know the live-action will have to shine a spotlight on the action-packed sword battles of the anime. If this adaptation is even close to that level, it should be an incredible cinematic experience.

Bankai!

If you’ve been following the trends of live-action anime, you’ll know that results are incredibly mixed. Fan opinions of these adaptations are often divided. Some feel complete hatred and some total adoration. Oftentimes, a fan’s favorite aspect of an anime’s plot ends up woefully absent from the film. Other times, the supernatural and fantasy visuals of the anime prove too much for real actors to emulate. As a result, adaptations need to stay true to source material. Hopefully, BLEACH can settle on a positive way to account for these deficiencies and make a live-action film just as good as the anime.

BLEACH remains one of the most popular series of all time. The story of Ichigo the Soul Reaper is one that many hope will continue. Reigniting the passions of fans and keeping BLEACH alive both make that return more likely. Personally, I’ll be going out and buying my blade and training for what’s sure to be an excellent film.

Featured image from Netflix.

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