Fall 2022 anime season has begun and we’ve gotten a helping of almost every airing show’s first episode over the past couple of weeks. Some of the heavy-hitters this season include Chainsaw Man, Spy x Family Part 2 and Mob Psycho 100 season 3, but in a rather surprising turn of events, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War managed to attain the highest first episode ratings so far.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is animated by Studio Pierrot and adapts the final arc of Tite Kubo’s popular shounen manga. Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends are caught in the middle of a long-standing grudge war between the Soul Reapers and the Quincys, who threaten to annihilate the Soul Society and all of its inhabitants.
Over on the anime aggregate website MyAnimeList, Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War currently sits at a 9.11 rating after its first episode aired. In comparison, Chainsaw Man – which is arguably still the most hyped anime of the entire year – has a 9.00 rating after its first episode. Meanwhile, Mob Psycho 100‘s third season holds a 8.62 rating.
Of course, these ratings aren’t set in stone and it could easily fluctuate as the show continues to air, but it’s interesting that Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War managed to achieve this given that its previous anime adaptation is on the lower end of the popular shounen rating scale (at least on MyAnimeList). There are a few factors that contributed towards the first episode gaining such high scores, though.
The animation, for example, has seen a massive bump in quality from its predecessor. Even with critically acclaimed studio MAPPA’s creative hand in Chainsaw Man, Studio Pierrot’s animation for Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War manages to outshine it in certain aspects which came as a big surprise for many. We also have to take into account that fans have been anticipating Bleach‘s return to anime for a decade now, so excitement is still very high.
However, it’s also just a solid first episode that quickly reintroduces fan-favourite characters, establishes the key villains and offers some of the best visuals and music of the seasonal anime so far. Those caught up with the manga might be concerned about the directions that the anime will take with its impending plot revelations, but Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War made a terrific first impression.
Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War is now available to stream on Disney+.