Since Disney+’s launch, the service has offered a truckload of content and continued building its library. Likewise, so has Disney’s ambitions as an entertainment empire. Whilst we’ve heard of Disney wanting to make an Amazon Prime competitor as well as building their own “metaverse”, I want to take a look at one of Disney’s most ambitious moves to grow its content library and “Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War” shows us how big these ambitions.

Bleach Is One Of The Most Known Anime:

Let’s start out with a huge point, the original run of “Bleach” before the current revival helped popularise anime at the time. It was one of Shonen Jump’s “Big Three”, with the other shows being the famous “Naruto” series and the neverending “One Piece”. Now Disney has acquired the streaming rights to “Bleach: The Thousand Year Blood War”, it shows that even the biggest anime IPs are now in play for Disney to expand on to grow the content offerings of Disney+ and Hulu.

Bleach The Thousand Year Blood War is The Biggest Anime Disney Has Committed To:

Okay, this point is similar to the last point but hear me out. Compared to Disney’s other anime projects like “Star Wars Visions”, “Summer Time Rendering”, “Black Rock Shooter Dawn Fall”, “Yojohan Time Machine Blues”, and “Twisted Wonderland”, there is a clear ambition to become a significant player in anime. “Bleach The Thousand Year Blood War” is the biggest anime project Disney has committed to funding and distributing, especially as most of the other anime projects Disney has commissioned have only been released in Asia and are slowly making their way around the rest of the world. “Bleach, The Thousand Year Blood War”, has a baked-in fanbase who have been clamouring for “Bleach” to come back, and now that Disney has gained the rights, it has become Disney’s most significant anime commitment so far.

Live-Action Anime Adaptations Could Potentially Happen and Hopefully Would Be Good:

This is another big thing in Hollywood. If an anime is successful, you can bet your bottom dollar that a major media company will try to adapt the anime/manga into a live-action film. The two more notable major entertainment companies that adapted several anime/manga were Netflix and 20th Century Fox (before the Disney purchase). Netflix is currently in the process of making a live-action version of “One Piece”, among others, whilst 20th Century Fox was behind live-action adaptions of “Dragon Ball” and “Battle Angel Alita”. If Disney decides to capitalise on the popularity of any of its anime projects, then it would make sense to do a live-action adaption. Hopefully, if they do make live-action adaptions, then they’re more like “Alita Battle Angel” and less like “Dragon Ball Evolution”.

So What’s Next?:

Now let’s speculate on what could be next for Disney and its anime ambitions. Let’s consider titles like Studio Bone’s “My Hero Academia” streams on Disney+ Japan and Disney getting the rights for “Bleach The Thousand Year Blood War”. It means Disney could potentially be going all in on anime as they try to threaten the dominance of Netflix and Sony’s Funimation.

Disney has a significant revenue stream and could potentially look to either license dozens of shows and movies from important anime producers like Toei Animation, Studio Ghibli etc or Disney could look to purchase some smaller studios like Studio Bones, Studio Trigger or Kyoto Animation to offer more of an anime selection. Disney could also utilise IPs that they have the rights to, like “Princess Kilala”, “Alita Battle Angel”, or “Fireball.”

Do I think Disney will make any of the moves to get more anime on Disney+? Disney signed a deal with a major Japanese entertainment company called Nippon TV which created the “Hunter X Hunter” anime. Disney has also pitched their streaming platform to anime studios as a potential distributor for the studio’s content. In my opinion, we will likely see Disney purchase distribution rights to more anime in the future to expand its presence as a global entertainment giant.


What Do You Think? Does Bleach The Thousand Year Blood War Show Disney’s Anime Ambitions?

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Ethan Holloway

Ethan is an autistic, type one diabetic, Disney fan who grew up with properties like Iron Man, The Lion King, Aladdin and Toy Story. Ethan wants to someday get his own books/films/TV shows made to inspire those with disabilities to be themselves, but for now, Ethan covers his opinions on Disney, their content and how Disney+ can improve.

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