But we still have 17 episodes before we even get to Ichigo just getting his Shinigami powers back in chapter 460. By the time we reach that point (assuming they don't start airing more than one new episode a week) the chapters should still be significantly ahead. Of course, that assumes Tite Kubo doesn't just stop for some random reason (which I think is the same reason it took so long for the anime to finish off Aizen).
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Assuming that to cover up to 460, it would take 17 episodes, then it would take, let's say, 4 more episodes to catch up to where the manga is now.
After those 21 episodes are aired, 21 more chapters would have been made. Those 21 chapters would be covered in about 10 episodes, meaning 10 more chapters are made. Those 10 chapters would be covered in about 5 episodes, meaning 5 more chapters are made. Those 5 chapters would be covered in 2 episodes, meaning 2 more chapters are made. Those two chapters would be covered in 1 episode. That's a total of 39 episodes before the Bleach anime would fully catch up to the manga, assuming the same pace and no filler arcs.
Also keep in mind that episode production is started several months before the actual airing (around 5 or 6 months) and the anime production companies rarely have anything to go on other than what has already been published--the manga-ka rarely pays any special attention to the anime, because they have their own work to do. So really, the anime would be considered "caught up to the manga" if they were just around 20 chapters behind, due to the lag between production and release.
And before you ask, they have several teams working on different episodes at the same time.
"Has this man's lust rocked the alien's world?!" - one of Gantz's few good moments
I wonder if they'll make a filler arc with Ichigo using Full Bring powers? That seems like the only alternative at this point unless they randomly jump back to pre-timeskip, which would show a complete lack of planning...
I honestly wouldn't mind a Filler Arc exclusively for Ichigo with his Fullbring powers and Xcution since every other filler we've had centered around his over-used Soul Reaper powers and the over-used Soul Society characters.
Might as well have one for Ichigo's new powers and the new group he's affiliated with. It'd also make the *SPOILERS* big face heel turn Xcution pulls even more meaningful as a twist.
We never did get one with Ichigo and the Visoreds unfortunately.
I thought this topic was about how short Naruto was, not about which type of whale Hinata is. --VinCon01