With the long-awaited return of Bleach this fall with the fast-paced Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War saga, the fan base has reignited and gained even more fans than before. The finale is imminent and will air the day after Christmas on December 26, 2022. As a belated Christmas present for his fans, the finale will be an hour-long special containing episodes 12 and 13!
In the finale of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War “Everything But the Rain – June Truth” we will learn what happened to Ichigo’s mother and father in the past. Ichigo’s mother, Masaki Kurosaki, has become Hollowfied and there is only one way to save her. However, it’s up to shinigami Isshin Shiba to decide if he’s willing to sacrifice everything to save a girl he barely knows.
Bleach fans will be sad to see the ending of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, and fingers crossed that we get a second part to continue the story of Soul Society’s war against the Quincy Empire like him takes place in the manga.
Due to the popularity of fandom, there is a lot of amazing fan art out there, as well as Christmas themed fan art. Not too surprisingly, the top two ships in fandom have inspired much of the holiday-themed fan art. My top 10 list includes some of the cutest, sexiest, and best Bleach anime fan art of all time.
1. Ichigo and Rukia celebrate Christmas together
In this beautiful illustration by Sasuki-chan, Ichigo and Rukia celebrate Christmas together quite romantically. Ruka wears a stunning red dress and Ichigo is dressed casually and seems relaxed to you. In the upper left corner is an adorable illustration of Kon dressed as Santa Claus. Rukia X Ichigo is one of the top two ships in Bleach fandom, but don’t worry Orihime X Ichigo fans, this list has you covered too.
2. Ichigo and Orihime kiss under the mistletoe
Artist VA made a simple but very cute illustration of Ichigo and Orihime kissing under the mistletoe. Orihime X Ichigo is the second largest ship in fandom. But another surprising holiday couple ship awaits you.
3. Orihime X Ulquiorra
In an amazing illustration by Luleiya, Orihime and the arrancar Ulquiorra are seen standing under a mistletoe in a snowy forest. Orihime wears a beautiful white and red Christmas dress while Ulquiorra wears dark green pants. Ulquiorra appears to be pulling down the mistletoe for Orihime to notice and they have to kiss.
During the Arrancar Story Arc, in which the Arrancar Ulquiorra kidnaps Orihime and takes her to Hueco Mundo, certain events occur that prompted Bleach fans to begin shipping the odd couple. Before going to Hueco Mundo, Ulquiorra allows Orihime to say goodbye to one person. Orihime decides to say goodbye to Ichigo and it turns out that Orihime is in love with Ichigo as she kisses him while he is sleeping.
However, Ulquiorra kidnaps Orihime to Hueco Mundo, where she is brought before Aizen, who plans to use her Denial of Phenomenon ability. During Orihime’s stay in Hueco Mundo, many fans felt that there was a strange sexual tension between Orihime and her captor, Ulquiorra, who was trying to learn more about human feelings through her.
As Orihime cried over Chad’s supposed death, Ulquiorra was shown to seem concerned for her well-being. Even though Ulquiorra ends up “killing” Ichigo, Orihime still screamed Ulquiorra’s death, which fans found a bit strange and many of them started sending Orihime with Ulquiorra. For those still confused by the strange interaction between the two and why Orihime cried when Ulquiorra died, I believe it was simply because she could empathize with him.
4. Ichigo’s friends celebrate Christmas
In a fun illustration by Evil Kuroneko, Ichigo and his friends Orihime, Kon, Rukia, Urahara, Byakuya, Renji, Yachiru, and Yoruichi appear to be playing outside in the snow. Apparently one of her friends fell in the snow and is looking at everyone. Who could it be? Ishida maybe? Renji is holding a snowboard, so it’s possible they’re hanging out at a ski resort. Kon holds up a sprig of mistletoe for fun.
5. Ichigo and Rukia lay down in the snow together
In a cute illustration by Hyuga Sosby, Ichigo and Rukia have collapsed in the snow, apparently exhausted. Maybe they just assembled a snowman that looks like Kon. Ichigo and Rukia wear matching scarves in the illustration, making them look more like a couple.
6. Ichigo and his human friends hang out together at Christmas
In this illustration by X-Ray99, Ichigo is spending Christmas with his human friends – Ishida, Orihime and Chad. Undeniably, these are Ichigo’s closest and best friends. Given the events currently taking place in Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War, this piece is beautiful for its nostalgia, while still having Ishida on the same page as Ichigo. In Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War Episode 11, Ishida was seen meeting with Yhwachs’ second-in-command, Jugram Hashwalth, which can only mean that Ishida plans to join the Quincy Empire. This decision will put him at odds with Ichigo. Will we see Ishida and Ichigo fight? We’ll have to wait until the finale of Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War to find out!
7. Rukia and Ichigo deliver gifts
In this illustration by Dshepe, Rukia and Ichigo can be seen sneaking around at night with sacks full of presents for their friends. It is most likely that this is at Ichigo’s house, which would mean the stockings are for his father, himself, and his two sisters. This particular illustration really captures Rukia and Ichigo’s relationship as “partners in crime.”
8. Orihime admires the Christmas tree
In this beautiful illustration, Orihime can be seen admiring the ornaments on a Christmas tree at an angle that teases that someone is watching her. Who could it be? Ichigo? Ulquiorra? Isida?
9. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez hates Christmas
The arrancar Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez became one of the most popular arrancars during the Arrancar Story Arc and was an interesting rival to Ichigo. The arrancar has a somewhat punky, criminal attitude that made him oddly likeable. His easygoing demeanor is definitely evident in this illustration where he pokes fun at the Christmas spirit. Someone obviously forced him into that Christmas jumper!
For those curious about Grimmjow’s fate, in the Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World novel series by Ryougo Narita with contributions by Tite Kubo, although the story focuses on Shuuhei Hisagi, Grimmjow is later revealed to be much more powerful from the last time he faced Ichigo and eventually managed to achieve his goal of becoming a Vasto Lordo.
10. Ichigo and his friends dress up for the holidays
In this final illustration, Ichigo and his friends are wearing very Christmassy outfits. Orihime, Kon and Chad wear Santa Claus outfits. Renji wears a Rudolph-inspired outfit that he was obviously forced into by his friends. Ichigo and Rukia wear matching scarves, making them look more like a couple. Ishida somehow managed to get away with just normal winter clothes!
What winter look do you think suited the Bleach characters best? Which of these illustrations is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below!