With the third cour of Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War coming in 2024, now would be a great time to stream this shonen anime series.
Unfortunately, the Bleach anime contains a lot of non-manga canon filler story arcs and episodes that you’ll probably want to avoid.
Whether you are watching for the first time, or reviewing old episodes, this filler guide can help you skip the filler, in order to get to the good parts.
In 2001, Weekly Shonen Jump published the first chapter of Tite Kubo’s supernatural shonen manga, Bleach. The series was made into an anime series in 2004. You can read JapanBound’s watch guide for the series here.
The manga reached a satisfying conclusion in 2016. However, the Bleach anime stopped short of the true ending in 2012. Until 2022, the anime ended with The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc. Although Ichigo makes a big exit at the end of episode 366, this is actually the next-to-last story arc in the manga.
The Bleach manga continues on for another 206 chapters (specifically, chapters 480 to 686) after The Lost Substitute Shinigami arc ends.
Fortunately, the anime finally restarted after 10 years. It is currently in the middle of the final story arc of the manga, the Thousand-Year Blood War.
With the addition of these “new” episodes, the anime series currently has 392 episodes. That will increase when The Conflict, the third part of Thousand-Year Blood War, starts in 2024.
Bleach starts out with a fairly simple-sounding plot. You have a grumpy teen (Ichigo) with the unusual ability to see spirits. After he meets a Soul Reaper (Rukia), Ichigo is given the chance to become a Reaper, or Shinigami, himself.
After a few Earth-based adventures, the action-comedy series takes a more serious turn. The action moves to the afterlife, or Soul Society. The Soul Society has strong medieval Japanese samurai warrior overtones (rigid, conservative society, sword fighting, etc.).
A large chunk of the series deals with stopping a treasonous plot to take over Soul Society. This plot involves corrupt spirits known as Hollows. With some effort, these Hollows can transform into powerful Arrancars.
Naturally, Ichigo trains to improve his skills and develop new abilities to fight the various villains threatening the peace.
The final story arc of the series starts with Hollows mysteriously vanishing. This seems to be caused by the Quincy, enemies to the Soul Reapers.
About Bleach Filler
Like many long-runner anime series, Bleach has a lot of filler. Combined, the two Bount story arcs represent a huge filler block, although New Captain Shusuke Amagai is also quite large.
The Thousand-Year Blood War arc contains no filler, probably because the huge time gap between the manga publication and the anime.
In the following lists of episodes and story arcs, we’ve marked filler arcs in bold font.
All Bleach Story Arcs, including Filler
- Agent of the Shinigami, a.k.a. The Substitute, 1-20
- Soul Society: Sneak Entry, 21-41
- includes filler episode 33
- Soul Society: Rescue, 42-63
- includes filler episode 50
- Bount, 64-91 — Filler
- Bount: Assault on Soul Society, 92-109 — Filler
- Arrancar: The Arrival, 110-131
- includes filler episodes 128-131
- Arrancar: Hueco Mundo Sneak Entry, 132-151
- includes filler episodes 132-137; 147-149
- Arrancar: The Fierce Fight, 152-167
- New Captain Shusuke Amagai, 168-189 — Filler
- Arrancar vs. Shinigami, 190-205
- includes filler episodes 204-205
- The Past, 206-212
- Arrancar: Decisive Battle of Karakura, 213-229
- includes filler episodes 213-214; 228-229
- Zanpakuto Unknown Tales or Zanpakuto Rebellion, 230-265 — Filler
- Arrancar: Downfall, 266-316
- includes filler episodes 266; 287; 298-299; 303-305; 311-316
- Gotei 13 Invading Army, 317-342 — Filler
- The Lost Substitute Shinigami, 343-366
- includes filler episode 355
Note: Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War sequel anime series begins here. The numbers in parenthesis represent the episode numbers for just this arc.
- The Blood Warfare, 367-379 (1-13)
- The Separation, 380-392 (14-26)
- The Conflict — Coming in 2024
Filler Episodes and Filler Arcs
- Episode 33, Miracle! The Mysterious New Hero
- An omake (extra bonus material) taken from chapter 88.5 of the manga
- Episode 50, The Reviving Lion
- Omake sequel to episode 33
- Bount, 64-91
- Bount: Assault on Soul Society, 92-109
- Episodes 128-137
- Episodes 147-149
- New Captain Shusuke Amagai, 168-189
- Episodes 204-205
- Episodes 213-214
- Episodes 228-229
- Zanpakuto Unknown Tales or Zanpakuto Rebellion, 230-265
- Episode 266, Ichigo vs. Ulquiorra, Resume (a recap episode)
- Episode 287, Side Story! Ichigo and the Magic Lamp
Note: While episode 287 is filler, it is based upon official artwork, which technically makes it omake.
- Episodes 298-299
- Episodes 303-305
- Episodes 311-316
- Gotei 13 Invading Army, 317-342
- Episode 355, Shinigami at War! New Year in Seireitei Special!
Where to Watch Bleach
In many parts of the world, Disney holds the streaming rights to Bleach — not streaming giant Netflix nor anime powerhouse Crunchyroll. This means that you can watch the series on Disney-majority owned Hulu in the United States. In the United Kingdom, or other areas where Hulu is not available, Disney+ has the series.
In some regions, Apple TV may also be an option.
Netflix has the series in Singapore and Hong Kong. (Note: Ad-supported Netflix plans can’t watch Bleach in those regions.) Netflix Japan also has the series, but with no translation.
Depending upon your location, these options may require a good VPN, such as Surfshark.
Our Watch Guide has a lot of the details about streaming options, and pricing. But here are some links which should help:
- Apple TV — Tested the app in the United States. It may be available elsewhere.
- Disney+ — Tested the website in Great Britain, and in the U.S. It will force you to the front page if you aren’t a subscriber.
- Hulu — Only available in the U.S., including military bases, and U.S. territories. Hulu Japan is a separate, independent company.
- Netflix — Tested the website in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.
How to Watch Bleach on Netflix Anywhere in the World
This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.
- Purchase (or start a free trial) of a VPN. I can confirm that Surfshark works for this purpose.
- In the settings, choose Singapore as your location.
- Fire up the VPN and wait for it to do its magic
- Once you’re connected, navigate to Netflix (browser or app)
- Search “Bleach” in the Netflix search bar and you should see the anime pop up.
Enjoy! Please note that if your Netflix library doesn’t update to reflect the country you selected in your VPN, you may have to clear the Netflix cache first and try again.
To do this on mobile, go to settings -> apps -> Netflix -> clear cache. To do this on PC, you have to clear the cache in your web browser.
I’ve had no trouble using this method and I still use VPNs to watch anime from various Netflix country libraries daily.
If you haven’t seen it yet, Bleach is worth watching. If you started it but quit, this guide can help you navigate around the filler.
Even if you have seen it, you may want to rewatch episodes before you stream the new ones.
I hope you enjoyed this Bleach filler guide.