The anime version of Bleach was produced by Studio Pierrot and directed by Noriyuki Abe. It began broadcasting in Japan on October 5, 2004, on TV Tokyo. It ceased broadcasting on March 27, 2012. A total of 366 episodes were aired before the anime concluded.
Episodes 1-167 were made and broadcast in 4:3, with episodes 168+ made and broadcasted in 16:9 wide screen. The anime was simulcast on Crunchyroll, and the dubbed version aired on Adult Swim. The anime is still available on Crunchyroll as part of their archived library.
The anime version of the story generally follows the manga quite closely, but diverges in some important aspects: in particular, seasons 4 and 5 (Bount arc), season 8 (The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai arc), season 12 and 13 (Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc and Beast Swords arc) and season 15 (Gotei 13 Invading Army arc) are anime-only arcs, not written by Tite Kubo. These anime-only arcs were necessitated by the anime's approximately weekly production schedule of the manga, as the manga chapters need to be published before manga-based content can be animated. Roughly, each episode of the anime covers the equivalent of two and a half to three chapters of the manga.
In addition to the regular series, the anime also comprises four movies and two OVAs.
List of episodes