Among shonen anime, there are very few series as popular and beloved as Bleach. Cementing itself as one of the "Big 3", Bleach has enjoyed a level of success that most anime and manga could only ever hope to achieve. This made the series' anime adaptation premature cancelation a decade ago rather surprising and unfortunate, as there was still one last arc left, meant to bring the entire series full circle.
Thankfully, it was announced last year that the series would be returning and fans couldn't be more excited. With Bleach finally getting the ending it deserves, as well as getting an expanded and re-worked version of the manga, Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War is shaping up to be the biggest release of the fall season. Surprisingly, there are rumors circulating that Bleach's return will ultimately be exclusive to a very unlikely service.
Based off of rumored reports, it seems like Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War will be streamed exclusively on Disney+. While this would not be the first anime to be released on the platform, nor their first exclusive release, it would definitely be the streaming service's largest franchise. Currently, Disney+'s biggest exclusive anime, Summertime Rendering, is airing on the service, with its first season more than halfway through. While the service offers other series, such as Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer, if Disney+ was able to secure the exclusive streaming rights for Bleach's new and final season, then that would easily dwarf all the service's other anime offerings.
While this seems rather implausible, there is a chance that these rumors are actually true. When it comes to anime streaming, the main players tend to be Netflix, Hulu, and Crunchyroll. Normally, streaming rights would be handled by Hulu and Crunchyroll, which simulcasts subbed episodes as they air in Japan while Netflix waits for either part of or for the entire season to air and then drop the completed series with multiple language options.
While Disney+ could theoretically secure the same kind of deal as those services, it would still be rather odd given how relatively new to anime the service is. However, thanks to Disney owning a majority of Hulu, it wouldn't be impossible for that connection to have acted as an opportunity for Disney+ to acquire exclusive streaming rights to Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War. It also doesn't hurt that Disney+ actually surpasses Hulu in terms of how many markets it reaches and their aforementioned efforts to reach the anime market.
It's important to note that as of now, there has been no official word as to the validity of these rumors, but really, that's part of the reason the rumors began circulating in the first place. With October rapidly approaching, there has been little to no word as to the official release of Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War. This lack of information combined with claims from credible anime influencers is the origin of this rapidly growing rumor. All this aside, with October around the corner it's likely that streaming plans for the series will be revealed at some point this September, which also happens to be when rumors said this would be confirmed.