The past 24 hours have been very interesting for Bleach with two major stories breaking.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the current anime series of Bleach will be drawing to a conclusion on 27th March 2012. The series has been running continuously since 2004 and has had its fair share of ups and downs, the series has become notorious for it’s less than brilliant story arcs and lack of characterisation, but at the same time has done a fantastic job of portraying an extensive manga with a very large cast of characters.
Of course it is unlikely that the will be the last we will ever see of Bleach as an anime, it could just be put on hiatus and start on a new time slot, which has happened a few times before, or they may just intend to release only OVA’s or films in the future. The creator, Tite Kubo, has already confirmed that the manga is going to be starting its final story arc over the next couple of months so it does seem that the franchise will be drawing to an end over the next year or so.
Bleach is being replaced of Japanese TV with Naruto spin-off series Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden. Because the UK releases of Bleach are so far behind the Japanese episodes it is unlikely that there will be any impact of DVD releases for a couple of years yet.
The other piece Bleach news is the that rumours have started to arise about the production of a live action version of Bleach and what is even more assuring is that there are already a number of high profile people involved in the project. Warner Bros. have assigned Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans remake) as script writer and Peter Segal (Get Smart remake, Anger Management) as producer and possibly director. Other people involved in the project are Masi Oka (Heroes, Get Smart) and Jason Hoffs (The Terminal).
Already the production seems to have a very well respected team behind it, most of which are known for being anime and manga fans already. It’s not 100% clear if this production will be for a film or series but either would work well with the Bleach formula. And being produced by Warner Bros. who have already dealt with a number of anime/manga licenses in the past we can only hope this projects gets off the ground unlike the recent Akira live action film.