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Ichigo Kurosaki
Ichigo Kurosaki
Name Ichigo Kurosaki
Kanji 黒崎 一護
Romanji Kurosaki Ichigo
Characteristics
Race Human, Vizard
Birthday July 15
Age 18
Gender Male
Height 175 cm (5'9")
Weight 61 kg (134 lbs.)
Eyes Brown
Hair Orange
Blood Type A
Professional Status
Affiliation Ichigo's Group, Loosely Soul Society, unofficially Vizard, Karakura Town
Occupation High School Student, Substitute Shinigami
Team Ichigo's Group
Partner None
Base of Operations Kurosaki House, Mashiba, Karakura Town, Japan, Human World
Personal Status
Marital Status Single
Relatives Isshin Kurosaki (father)
Masaki Kurosaki (mother)
Karin Kurosaki (sister)
Yuzu Kurosaki (sister)
Education High School Level
Status Unknown
Zanpakutō
Shikai Zangetsu
Bankai Tensa Zangetsu

Ichigo Kurosaki (黒崎 一護, Kurosaki Ichigo) is a Human who has Shinigami-Hollow hybrid powers. He is the son of Isshin Kurosaki, a full-blood Shinigami, and the elder brother of Karin and Yuzu Kurosaki. He was the protagonist of the first Bleach series. When he first appears in Bleach: Akujin Saga, he is the primary antagonist, however, he slowly becomes a main supporting character.

Appearance Edit

For the most part, Ichigo appears like a normal teenage boy; the one exception to that is his spiky orange hair, a trait that he has been ridiculed about for years. He is a fairly tall and lean-built person with peach skin and brown eyes. Since becoming a Shinigami, he has become noticeably more muscular, as noted by his sister Karin. When in his spiritual form, Ichigo wears standard Shinigami attire with the addition of a strap across his chest. Initially it was a thick brown belt to hold his Zanpakutō sheathe, but it later became a red rosary-like strap. Ichigo's appearance has caused several people, to notice a similarity to Kaien Shiba, the former lieutenant of the 13th Division.

Personality Edit

When he was young, Ichigo considered his mother to be the center of his world. Ichigo always smiled whenever he was with Masaki and he was regularly at her side, holding her hand. Despite crying whenever he lost in a match at the dojo he attended, he started to smile again as soon as he saw Masaki when she came to pick him up. At a very young age, Ichigo heard his father saying that his name means "to protect one thing", which instilled in him a desire to protect his mother. When his sisters were born, he attended a dojo for the sake of protecting them, and the number of people he wished to protect continued to grow since, causing Ichigo to risk his life to protect both his family and strangers.

As a Human teenager, Ichigo's personality is much more complex. Stubborn, short-tempered, occasionally confrontational, determined, outspoken, strong-willed and impulsive, he attempts to maintain a detached and "cool" image, despite claiming to not care about what other people think about him. He generally keeps his face set in a permanent scowl with his eyebrows drawn together. Ichigo notes that he is short tempered and that if somebody picks a fight with him, he cannot help fighting back. He coldly refers to his teachers as “instructors”. He is shown to be genuinely compassionate and empathetic about others such as promising to bring a Plus flowers and a toy plane or soothing others when they become upset. Ichigo is also a capable student, ranked 23rd in his high school. He studies regularly and does not neglect his schoolwork, claiming that he has "nothing better to do at home", though he actually works as hard as he does simply to overcome the misconceptions many have about him, based on his hair color and fighting. Ichigo hates fortune telling, horoscopes, fengshui, psychics and anyone whose trade involves taking money from people for things that they cannot see. He has difficulty remembering people's faces and names. He becomes extremely shy and uncomfortable around nude or immodestly dressed women, a fact both Rangiku Matsumoto and Yoruichi Shihōin have teased him for. Ichigo has some trouble with authority and traditional respect, and is often quite rude and disrespectful when talking to those older than himself, calling Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto "gramps" and referring to several of the Shinigami captains by their given names.

When it comes to fighting, Ichigo has a complex sense of honor. He regularly seeks to exact revenge for the actions of his opponent, such as instilling the fear of being murdered in Shrieker and cutting off the right arm of Yammy Riyalgo in retaliation for him ripping off Yasutora Sado's right arm. He often taunts and belittles opponents when fighting and attacks without warning. Ichigo has a strong desire to win his fights and to win them in what he views as a legitimate manner. To this end, he has refused the aid of his inner Hollow even knowing that it would allow him to win. Similarly, after regaining control of his body, he tells Ulquiorra to cut his limbs so that they may have a fair fight and refuses to kill him when he is dying, saying that it would not the way to win.

Background Edit

Ichigo was born on July 15th, as the son of Isshin Kurosaki and Masaki Kurosaki, 15 years before he became a Shinigami. His sisters Karin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki were born a few years later. When he was four, Ichigo joined a karate dojo, where he met and befriended Tatsuki Arisawa. Tatsuki beat Ichigo in every match they had. Tatsuki would also help Ichigo if he was being picked on by bullies and cheer him up if he was upset.

He was able to see Pluses for as long as he can remember. He could see them so clearly that as a child, he could not tell the living from the dead, resulting in him appearing to other people to be looking at deserted places, talking to himself. This caused people to say that he could see ghosts, though when Tatsuki Arisawa asked him about this, he denied being able to see them.

On June 17th, when Ichigo was nine years old, he and his mother were walking home alongside one of Karakura Town's rivers, which was swollen from heavy rain. Ichigo saw a girl near the river and thought that she was about to jump into it. Unable to tell the difference between ghosts and living people, Ichigo ran towards her to stop her, unaware that the girl was the lure of the Hollow Grand Fisher. Masaki tried to stop him, but he did not listen. After failing to grab hold of the girl, Ichigo lost conciousness for a time. When he awoke, Masaki was lying on top of him, covered in blood. Starting the day after Masaki's death, Ichigo repeatedly skipped school to go to the riverbank where Masaki died. Tatsuki found him there, where he would stay there from morning until night, wandering along the bank, as if searching for his mother, squatting down if he was tired and then wandering some more.

One day when Ichigo was twelve, prior to the Clinic opening, he heard the bell ring and answered the door to find a girl with her brother on her back. He had been in a car accident and was covered in blood. The clinic did not have the equipment necessary to save him, but he died before an ambulance arrived to transfer him to Karakura Hospital. Sometime later, he learned that the girl was Orihime Inoue. Ichigo later entered Mashiba Junior High School. During this time, Ichigo had finally defeated Tatsuki in a karate match and has not had another match with her since. Ichigo regularly got into fights with thugs, due to the unusual color of his hair. During one of these fights, he protected Yasutora Sado from a group of thugs. When the thugs later abducted Chad, Ichigo finds them and knocks down their leader, Yokochini. He used Yokochini's phone to ring for an ambulance for each of the five thugs, and then beat up all of them. After Chad was freed, they made a pact to protect and fight for each other and have remained good friends since.

Shortly before Ichigo becomes a Shinigami, he and Chad began attending Karakura High School, and their reputations preceded them. During a fight with a gang led by Reiichi Ōshima, Ichigo and Chad met Keigo Asano and Mizuiro Kojima, saving the former in the process. While Keigo was initially afraid of Ichigo and Chad, both he and Mizuiro later became friends with them.

To read Ichigo's part in the first Bleach series, go to his article on Bleach Wiki.

Plot Edit

Shinigami arc Edit

Ichigo first appears when he is summoned by Kisuke Urahara to talk about urgent reports from Soul Society. At Urahara's shop, he is reunited with Izuru Kira and meets the Third Division's new captain, Seireitō Kawahiru. However, before anything could be explained, the group is interrupted by the appearance of an Arrancar reiatsu and are forced to hunt it.

Upon finding it, the Arrancar tells Ichigo that he has come to fight him, however, Seireitō steps in and tries to fight Lucio himself, asking him about Los Cinco Arrancar. Lucio tells him that he doesn't know who they are and tells Seireitō to stay out of the way. Ichigo, seeing no other way around it, prepares to fight the Arrancar. Seireitō proceeds to use Bakudō #73 Tozanshō to keep damage off of actual town of Karakura. Ichigo attacks twice and is blocked both times. Lucio retaliates with a powerful kick, harming Ichigo greatly.

Ichigo then uses his Getsuga Tenshō but Lucio dodges with his sonído. Lucio followed up with a bigger kick, causing a sizable explosion. Deciding to get serious and barely escaping unscathed, Ichigo releases his Bankai: Tensa Zangetsu. With his Bankai, Ichigo manages to land a small cut across Lucio's chest and then unleashes his Getsuga Tenshō again. Lucio reacts with his Cero which collides with Ichigo's blast wave, which cracks Seireitō's kidō. Frustrated, Ichigo prepares to don his Hollow mask, surprising Lucio. He is interrupted by Urahara, who has released his zanpakutō and attacked with his crimson blast. He tells Ichigo that hollowifing is dangerous to the entire Karakura Town and prepares to finish things himself. Lucio complains, saying that they have no reason to gang up on him. Kisuke questions his logic and Lucio explains himself. Seireitō then says that Lucio still has to be taken to Soul Society, as he is an Arrancar. Izuru quickly explains that if Lucio is cooperative, he won't be killed. Lucio agrees, begrudgingly, and Ichigo and Kisuke leave as Izuru summons the Senkaimon.

Powers & Abilities Edit

Master Swordsmanship Specialist: In terms of fighting style while in his Shinigami form, Ichigo relies mainly on swordplay, and thus would be considered a swordsmanship specialist. Aside from his initial training with Urahara, he is basically on a "learn as you go" training regimen thus his skill has developed by fighting rather than formal instruction, becoming even more capable with every fight. His overall skill has been shown capable of competing on equal grounds against sword masters of Byakuya Kuchiki and Kenpachi Zaraki's caliber. While usually performing right-handed, Ichigo appears to be ambidextrous as he has shown proficient skill wielding Zangetsu in his left.

Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Physically, Ichigo is in top form even when not in his spiritual body. Ichigo has been trained in martial arts since he was a small child both professionally and by his father. He has repeatedly shown great agility and coordination in his attacks. In addition to having powerful kicks and punches, Ichigo has also shown proficiency in counterattacks, takedowns, and bodylocks. He has repeatedly been able to catch an opponent's weapon strikes with a single hand. He also regularly defeats multiple bullies and gangsters, and is a better martial artist than Tatsuki Arisawa, the second-strongest girl in all of Japan, despite fighting with a broken arm in the last few matches of the competition. While he stopped training officially after defeating her, his constant attacks from bullies and his father help keep his skills fresh. It should be noted that he was able to effortlessly dispatch three lieutenants with Shikai released Zanpakutō in rapid succession merely bare-handed.

Flash Steps Expert: Though not particularly versed in its various techniques, Ichigo has become proficient enough of the technique itself to keep up and even surprise high-level Shinigami with his speed. Even Byakuya Kuchiki, one of the most proficient users of Flash Steps in Soul Society, complimented Ichigo's growing mastery of the technique. During his first demonstration of this skill, he was able to quickly move to knock out three lieutenants and grab his sword before any of them hit the ground.

Vast Spiritual Power: Despite his origins, Ichigo has been noted on several occasions to have tremendously vast levels of spiritual energy well beyond other Shinigami. He is capable of defeating a Gillian before awakening his true power with only his sealed Zanpakutō. Even at less than half strength, his spiritual energy is still comparable to a Captain-level fighter. His spiritual power is noted to be heavy, which surprised Renji Abarai a lieutenant ranked Shinigami. Ichigo constantly gives off reiatsu at the level of a captain. It is so overwhelming that even when worn-out in battle, he can continue fighting effectively while still capable of unleashing Getsuga Tenshō or even unleash and maintain his Bankai. Because Ichigo's spiritual energy constantly being so high even at its base level without him consciously being aware of it, he rarely becomes exhausted in battle, thereby meaning the sheer resilience and amounts of energy Ichigo has is monstrous. Ichigo's spiritual energy is still rather difficult for him to control as he has no formal training in controlling it and upon the instances of Hollowfication his reiatsu fluctuates wildly, with it being unreadable at its lowest point and at its highest point more powerful then that of the 4th Espada Ulquiorra Cifer. Due to this and that he has far more spiritual energy than his body can consciously contain, it leaks out constantly, preventing him from hiding it and effectively making stealth impossible when dealing with other spiritually-aware beings. However, he has learned how to harden his spiritual energy and enhance the strength of his attacks or act as a barrier to reduce the impact of attacks on him, if not negating them completely. He has shown some skill in channeling his spiritual power as he was capable of destroying the Arbor of the Sōkyoku, seemingly an impossible feat which surprised the Gotei 13, by channeling his spiritual power through his sword into the execution stand.

Enhanced Strength: Even without his Shinigami powers, Ichigo has shown himself to be deceptively strong, as shown from his ability to smash a man's head through a concrete floor. When he is in his Shinigami body, Ichigo's already impressive strength is greatly enhanced. His overall abilities are great enough that he was able to fend off three Shinigami lieutenants with a single punch each; one of which shattered one of their Zanpakutō at the same time. His strength is also great enough to stop repeated axe blows from Jidanbō and hurl Rukia several meters into Renji’s arms and still send them both skidding several meters more, both feats with a single-hand. He is strong enough to hold back the Sōkyoku, a halberd with the destructive force equivalent to one million Zanpakutō combined, just using his Zanpakutō.
Enhanced Speed: Even before learning Flash Step, Ichigo has repeatedly shown himself to be a very agile fighter. Ichigo has demonstrated great reflexes in battle, able to quickly dodge a strike with no wasted effort and he can instantly counterattack right after. He is able to strike quickly without warning and in rapid succession. His speed also allows him to follow the movements of faster opponents to better analyze their movements or blocking difficult and otherwise fatal strikes.
Immense Durability: While only a teenage Human, Ichigo has shown himself to be a highly resilient man, as shown from his ability to safely break free from a binding spell (albeit a low-level one) and withstand an assault from a large Hollow. When in Shinigami form Ichigo's physical durability is strengthened to the point he can continue fighting effectively even after receiving many injuries and can survive attacks that would easily kill normal Humans effortlessly. It was stated by Rukia that a Shinigami's life force is their spiritual power. As such, Ichigo is able to withstand attacks that would be fatal to most Shinigami. Uryū once stated that Ichigo was a monster in this regard.

Advanced Growth Rate: According to both Aizen and Urahara, Ichigo's most astounding ability is his growth rate: he grasps the basic control of advanced techniques in days where it would take several years for even the most gifted Shinigami. Shortly after getting Shinigami powers and with no previous training, began learning advanced spiritual energy sensing techniques by sheer instinct, as he proved he can use a spirit ribbon to find Yuichi Shibata (in bird form). Another example of his growth rate is the amount of time he took to learn the Bankai of his Zanpakutō, which he learns in two days (albeit with the assistance of a special device invented by Urahara that was originally intended for three days). He also gains considerable experience in the use of Flash Step while training with Yoruichi, which was done over the same period as his Bankai. Besides his improvements in his Shinigami abilities, Ichigo was also shown able to greatly increase the time he could maintain his hollow mask from eleven seconds to considerably longer amounts of time. During his first fight with Ulquiorra, he is instantly incapacitated by one Cero blast even with his Hollow mask (which broke within a second), but only a few hours later, he is able to withstand another Cero from Ulquiorra without undergoing Hollowfication and can analyze Ulquiorra's movements much better than before, whereas he "felt like [he] was fighting a machine or a statue", and failed to predict and counter his attacks.

High-Level Intellect: Despite his somewhat punkish attitude, Ichigo has shown himself to be analytical, perceptive, and deductive. In his high school, Ichigo's grades are almost always near the top, despite his work as a substitute Shinigami. Aside from that, Ichigo appears to be able to determine the pattern of his opponent's battle methods and correctly deduce a proper counter-strategy to defeat his opponent's attacks.

Zanpakutō Edit

Ichigo and Zangetsu
Ichigo and the spirit of Zangetsu.

Zangetsu (斬月, Slaying Moon): The spirit of Zangetsu resembles a tall (about the height of Kenpachi Zaraki) 30 to 40-year-old man with unkempt facial hair and long ragged black hair. He dresses in tattered all black garbs with narrow sunglasses and a long flowing overcoat that flares out into ragged ends. Because of the spirit's appearance, Ichigo calls him "Old-man Zangetsu" (斬月のオッサン, Zangetsu no ossan) as a result. Zangetsu has also been called the "black-clothed man" (黒衣の男, kokui no otoko). Zangetsu is portrayed as wise and calm in most matters, and fond of testing Ichigo in unusual ways, many of which have a purpose completely contrary to the stated goal. While the inner world is one of tall skyscrapers, Zangetsu has stated to prefer lusher, natural surroundings like bright sunny skies and green forests. Zangetsu has displayed the ability to temporarily close fatal wounds during combat, though whether or not this is a unique ability is unclear. Since first awakening his own Shinigami powers, Ichigo has had a strong connection to his Zanpakutō, as shown from how Zangetsu would regularly come to aid him with words of wisdom when Ichigo is in a difficult situation.

However, since Ichigo developed an Inner Hollow (as a result from nearly becoming one while having his Shinigami powers restored), Zangetsu and the Hollow are both the source of Ichigo's power and share the same spirit body in Ichigo's inner world, the stronger presence retaining more control (and overall appearance) of their body; in which case, the spirit of Zangetsu takes the form of an all-white (clothes and being), somewhat deranged version of Shinigami Ichigo with a strong desire take control of Ichigo's body and power for himself.

When Ichigo first becomes a Shinigami, his Zanpakutō is a standard looking katana, but oversized with an equally-oversized brown sheathe hung by a strap over his right shoulder. It has a rectangular bronze handguard with gently inward-curved edges, a stylized flame pattern on the long sides, and a simple decorative slit on the short ones. The handle is red with two light blue tassels on the end of the handle. The large size is due to the unfocused but immense amount of Ichigo's spiritual power, which he didn't know how to control. As a result, the sword itself was rather weak, since very little spiritual power was used to create it. Nevertheless, it was powerful enough to subdue a Gillian-class Menos and lesser Hollows, completely blocking a Cero from the former. It was even able to upturn the ground with a single strike. Because of its weak spiritual energy nature, Byakuya Kuchiki was able to easily cut off most of the blade during his first encounter with Ichigo and Kisuke Urahara subsequently slices it down to the hilt during their training, forcing Ichigo to learn the name of his Zanpakutō in order to release its true form. This sword is found to be a result of Rukia's stolen spiritual energy and not a result of his own power.

Zangetsu - Shikai
Ichigo holding Zangetsu's shikai.
  • Shikai: The Shikai form of Zangetsu looks like an oversized elegant cleaver rather than a formal "katana". He has no tsuba and no proper hilt; what Ichigo holds is the cloth-wrapped tang. The sword is as tall as Ichigo is, 1.75 meters, and has a black blade with a silver edge. The cloth wrapping on the tang seems to react to Ichigo's will, changing length at a thought or twining about the blade in an impromptu sheath. When in combat, the cloth falls away when necessary, shrinking back to a manageable size. The cloth can also be used to swing the weapon like a flail and toss it at opponents for mid-range combat, but this is rarely done. The cloth also can be done to wrap up wounds, as Ichigo does during his fight with Ikkaku Madarame, but this is also done rarely. Ichigo has also on more than one occasion used Zangetsu's wide blade as a shield from incoming attacks. Unlike most Zanpakutō, which can be sealed into their original form, Zangetsu is always in its Shikai form. Yoruichi Shihōin has stated that his Zanpakutō is a full-time released form type because of Ichigo's vast but uncontrollable spiritual energy upon generation of it, implying that it is simply a type of Zanpakutō that without proper control of his spiritual energy, once in Shikai form, it remains in its said state.
Shikai Special Ability: Zangetsu's is largely used for melee combat but possesses one known special ability.
  • Getsuga Tenshō (月牙天衝, Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer): At the instant of the slash Zangetsu absorbs his spiritual energy and releases highly condensed spiritual energy at the tip of the blade. Magnifying the slash attack and then flies forward. This slash takes the form of a crescent moon or in the shape of a wave. Ichigo uses this ability without knowing its name several times but masters the technique later on during his Bankai training. As stated by Zangetsu, knowing the name of an attack heightens its power compared to its strength when the wielder does not know its name. Getsuga Tenshō is a powerful technique with great force, capable of causing large scale damage. While it is currently the only attack Ichigo knows from Zangetsu, Ichigo has used this technique in several different manners, such as striking the ground to create an omnidirectional blast to knock away incoming attacks or slashing at the ground to upturn it and crush everything in its path.
Tensa Zangetsu - Ichigo
Ichigo in his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu.
  • Bankai: Tensa Zangetsu (天鎖斬月, Heaven Chain Slaying Moon): It is considered completely out of the ordinary for any Zanpakutō. Unlike most Bankai forms, which usually create some sort of massive creature or effect, Ichigo's Bankai actually shrinks his sword down to a daitō (Japanese long sword) with a black blade. The crossguard has four prongs bent out to form the shape of the manji (which is the kanji for "ban," meaning "full", as in "full release"). The blade itself is durable enough to withstand a strong punch from Yammy Riyalgo and even a direct hit from Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez's strongest attack, Desgarrón; in both cases, the blade did not break. Instead of the cloth his Shikai form had, a short length of chain with a broken link at the end dangles from the base of the hilt. In addition to his sword, Ichigo's robe is replaced with a long-sleeved, ankle-length black coat (or shikakusho) with red lining that is closed at his chest, then left to flare out into ragged ends, much like that of Zangetsu himself. This coat is part of Ichigo's Bankai and the damage it can take is directly proportionate to the remaining strength and level of Ichigo's Reiatsu. Also, upon releasing, it seems to allow Ichigo to break free from any attack that binds him and prevents him from moving.
Black Getsuga Tensho
Ichigo containing the Black Getsuga Tenshō in Tensa Zangetsu.
Bankai Special Ability: Tensa Zangetsu much like its Shikai form is used largely for melee combat but possess certain special ability.
  • Enhanced Getsuga Tenshō: Tensa Zangetsu retains the use of Getsuga Tenshō and can be used in the same manners, but can be used in an enhanced form. When used in Bankai, these potent blasts are black with a red outline and their path can be controlled, with explosively augmented power and speed. During Byakuya Kuchiki's fight with Ichigo, he refers to this attack as a "Kuroi Getsuga" (黒月牙, Black Moon Fang), referring to the attacks darkened color. Ichigo has stated that the Black Getsuga was originally Hollow Ichigo's technique, and has been proven as Ichigo had no knowledge of it during his fight with Byakuya Kuchiki, using the original Getsuga when in Bankai, and Hollow Ichigo stated that all Ichigo was doing when he used the technique was copying his inner Hollow. Ichigo can also keep Getsuga Tenshō within Zangetsu to augment his sword swings.
  • Hyper-Speed Combat: Ichigo takes all the power of his Bankai and compresses it into a small, condense form. Then he uses the power of the Bankai to perform hyper speed combat. His new speed is so great, that it also enhances his Flash Step prowess and allows him to create dozens of afterimages to confuse his opponent.
  • Enhanced Strength: Ichigo's Bankai also allows him to further enhance his natural great strength as shown from how effortlessly he blocked a punch from Yammy, an Espada known primarily for his immense strength. He is strong enough to cut through the Yammy's Hierro with relative ease.
  • Enhanced Spiritual Power: His reiatsu is intense and rough as well as thick and heavy that it can suffocate Humans by being the in general vicinity of his released Bankai. Ichigo's reiatsu was solid in his Bankai despite him only recently acquiring it. In addition, his already immense spiritual energy has grandly and explosively increased, and now has a deep black spiritual energy with a crimson outline. It has come to a point where the red-outlined black energy emanates off of Ichigo's body when his spiritual pressure is exerted, replacing his blue aura. Ever since Ichigo defeated his inner hollow and affirming his place as a Vizard, he produces a black aura with a red outline that surrounds him as he initiates Bankai, rather than a white aura that shoots high into the sky. Kisuke Urahara has commented that Ichigo's Bankai has increased in power by a lot since the war with Aizen.[1]
  • Enhanced Bankai Duration: Furthermore, the fact that all of his energy is "compressed" means that usage of his Bankai doesn't expel as much spiritual power as other Bankai from the point of activation; thus allowing him to use Tensa Zangetsu at a much longer duration than any other Bankai users of his level.

Hollowfication Edit

Masked Ichigo - Ulquiorra fight
Ichigo's first Hollow mask.

Hollow Mask: Ichigo's Hollow mask manifests in the appearance of what could best be described as a menacing skull. The mask is white and originally had only three dark red stripes on the left side, and has since increased in number. The stripes have changed in thickness after he subjugated his inner hollow. It eventually covers almost the entirety of the mask's left half during his third battle with Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez. While pure white on the right side, the mask possesses a total of ten red stripes (a total of ten can be seen during his last fight with Ulquiorra) spread across three spots on the left side of his mask. In the aftermath of his victory over Ulquiorra Cifer, Ichigo's mask has changed again, as seen when he faces off against a released Yammy Riyalgo. Where his mask once had a series of thick red-black stripes that covered almost the entire left half of his mask, there are now only four thick black stripes that appear to emerge outwards from the widened eye-holes of his mask and either disappear into both sides of the lower jaw or travel past the very top of the mask itself. Quite noticeably, the horns seen in his new Hollow form are not displayed on the mask.

Masked Ichigo - New Hollow mask
Ichigo's newest Hollow mask.

The Hollow mask was originally a sign of Ichigo's possession by the Hollow within him, but after his training with the Vizard it has become indication that he is merely utilizing his Hollow powers. To access Hollow Ichigo's power, Ichigo must summon the mask onto his face, which is normally done by placing one of his hands over his face and concentrating spiritual matter on it in order to manifest the mask (previously it had appeared on its own before he mastered the Hollow within him), summoning the mask in a "ripping" fashion. With the mask in place, Ichigo has access to increased physical enhancements (although most of the other Vizard have been able to shift the position of the mask while apparently still retaining the abilities of their Hollowfied state as well as using general Hollow abilities neither has Ichigo been shown capable of doing).

  • Power Augmentation: While wearing the mask, Ichigo's Hollow powers supplement his Shinigami powers, giving him a vast increase in both strength and speed. The explanation for this is that since Hollows boost their natural abilities by obtaining spirit power around them, either by absorbing it in its ambient form or devouring it directly from another living being, Ichigo attains power from two separate sources: that from himself (drawn using his Shinigami powers), and that from his immediate environment (drawn with the help of his Hollow powers), allowing him to draw power from both sides.
Augmented Getsuga Tenshō: When Ichigo wears his mask, the power, speed, blast area, force, and size of the Getsuga Tenshō becomes drastically augmented to the point of seriously harming a foe. When used with his Bankai and Hollow mask in combination, his Getsuga Tenshō is stated to be his ultimate attack. Ichigo's tremendous speed allows him to move faster than the Getsuga Tenshō itself, allowing him to fire multiple blasts from different directions. Ulquiorra Cifer believes that the Getsuga Tenshō is Ichigo's strongest attack, and has compared it to a Hollow's Cero, particularly a Cero Oscuras. The Kuroi Getsuga was first displayed by Ichigo's inner Hollow, and initially carried the risk of causing his inner Hollow to surface if used too much. With Ichigo's later control over his inner Hollow, this is no longer a problem. With the use of his new mask he was able to use Tensa Zangetsu one handed sending a Getsuga Tenshō powerful enough to send Yammy Riyalgo falling down head first while he was in his much larger and stronger Resurrección state.
Enhanced Spiritual Power: While wearing the mask, the spiritual power Ichigo possesses becomes even greater than before. During Ichigo's fight with Grimmjow the 3rd Espada, Tia Harribel, notes that the volume, concentration, and catastrophic nature of his reiatsu didn't seem like that of a human but more like she was watching a fight between two Espada. It has been noted multiple times that with the mask on his spiritual energy changes into something similar to that of a hollow.
Enhanced Strength: While using the Hollow mask, Ichigo gains a substantial increase in strength. As in his third fight with Grimmjow, he was able to block the destructive force of an Espada's strongest Cero, the Gran Rey Cero fired by Grimmjow. As evident after he unleashed his Hollowfication state in his battle with Ulquiorra, and was even able to slightly break his sword with a single slash. He is able to effortlessly block a Cero fired by Ulquiorra.
Enhanced Speed: While wearing his mask, Ichigo’s already formidable speed is greatly enhanced. During his second battle against Grimmjow, Ichigo’s speed was great enough to completely overwhelm the Espada, who was unable to follow Ichigo’s movements and was forced completely on the defensive from his barrage of attacks. His attacks also become so fast that the opponent cannot even perceive them until after they are hit. He also becomes fast enough to outrun his own energy attacks, allowing him to strike and enhance them or launch simultaneous attacks at the opponent from different angles.
Enhanced Endurance: Apparently, using the Vizard form makes him much more pain resistant, Ichigo even states at the beginning of his Vizard training that "wearing the mask feels like being in control of someone else's body".
Enhanced Durability: His durability is even more evident throughout the fight as he is thrown through various buildings and obstructions. Ichigo shielded Orihime from a barrage of Grimmjow's dart bullets which have enough destructive force to destroy a large building. Even after taking this barrage, he was still able to fight and defeat Grimmjow, even destroying one of his Desgarrón claws, which was Grimmjow's most powerful technique.
  • Mask Regeneration: Ichigo seems to have the ability to repair small amounts of damage that is inflicted upon his mask. This is seen during his 3rd fight with Grimmjow and during his most recent fight with Ulquiorra. He has also been shown to have the ability to call his mask out a second time after it shatters, but with less benefits. Also his sclera do not change, and remain Human. This was first used against his first fight with Ulquiorra, although unseen, it was used to help defend against Ulquiorra's Cero, and again with his most recent confrontation with him, after he went into his released form.
  • Hollow Combat: When Ichigo fights with his mask on his fighting style becomes more instinctive than practiced. The Hollow mask also makes Ichigo more ruthless, akin to the battle style of Hollow Ichigo. Throughout the duration of the Hollowfication, Ichigo has shown less concern for injuries to his person, even going so far as to ignore grievous wounds to continue fighting.
  • Increased Mask Duration: After training with the Vizard and subjugating his inner Hollow, Ichigo can use his Hollow mask while retaining his personality, but could originally only wear it for eleven seconds at a time. His limit and Hollow powers greatly increases during his third battle with Grimmjow. The reasons behind Ichigo now being capable of fighting entire battles with his mask, currently remains unknown. While Grimmjow speculated that Ichigo's improvements came from a subconscious need. It's also possible that his time limit increased due to him fighting with it in Hueco Mundo similar to Chad's own powers becoming stronger there. However, once Ichigo's mask changed in his battle with Yammy Riyalgo, he noticed his mask felt different as well, as if it was heavier, and he is unable to resummon it. It is unknown if the time limit has changed as well, although his new mask began deteriorating directly after he attempted a Getsuga Tenshō on Aizen with it on.

Hollow Transformations Edit

Hollow Ichigo
Ichigo's Full Hollow Form

Ichigo Kurosaki later has his body taken over by Hollow Ichigo once again this time the full transformation is very physically different in appearance and far more powerful than originally shown. In this form, Ichigo has long straight hair, reaching down to his waist, and a Hollow hole even larger than his previous one, decorated with markings stretching from the hole, across his chest and shoulders. He also has retractable claws on his fingertips and toes, small furry red tufts, two starting from his collarbone and stretching around his neck, and one each on his wrists and ankles, as well as seemingly white skin. In this new form, he has a different Hollow mask and his face is shaped the same, it covers Ichigo's entire head and its markings are different as it has four spike-shaped marks stretched, two of them stopping by the forehead, and the other two stretching past the eyes and teeth, going past his chin and joining with the marks on his chest. There are also small marks resembling a heart, but with the top and bottom open, extending from the inner corners of his eyes. The mask features two long forward-pointing horns with black strips extending from their center towards the tips.

  • Telekinesis: Quickly after transforming, Ichigo was able to call Zangetsu back to his hands with just the wave of his hand.
Hollow Ichigo's Cero
Ichigo charging his Cero in his Full Hollow Form.
  • Enhanced Cero: His Cero has become exceedingly more powerful, capable of countering Ulquiorra's Cero Oscuras and causing large scale destruction to large portion of the surroundings. It is fired from between the tips of his horns instead of his fingers as it was during Ichigo's Vizard training. Hollow Ichigo's Cero is violet in this form (crimson in the anime).
  • Immense Strength: Ichigo's strength is still unknown, but he managed to easily tear off Ulquiorra's left arm without much resistance from the Arrancar's Hierro and easily slashed Ulquiorra from his left shoulder to his lower right hip through his Hierro. He also destroyed a large portion of Las Noches's roof with the wake of a single slash of his sword and barehandedly crushed Ulquiorra's strongest attack, Lanza del Relámpago and forced it to collapse before Ulquiorra even got a chance to throw it. He is also able to effortlessly throw a large portion of rock with a single hand.
  • Immense Durability: Ichigo's durability has greatly increased, able to withstand several large explosions in his battle with Ulquiorra at close range with no visible damage. His skin and hands are also strong enough to catch and hold onto Ulquiorra's strongest attack, Lanza del Relámpago, without any damage inflicted on him.
  • Sonído: Ichigo manages to move at exceedingly incredible speeds, quick enough to appear behind Ulquiorra's back and effectively counter him before the former could even turn to face him. Ulquiorra also comments that his speed is not reached by the use of Flash Step; he actually uses Sonído instead.
  • Enhanced Spiritual Power: His spiritual power is unknown, but Ichigo's already immense spiritual power increases drastically, as it is easily able to overwhelm Ulquiorra's own second release power. Its sheer strength was great enough to horrify Rukia, Renji, and Yasutora Sado who sensed his spiritual pressure far away from the bottom of Las Noches.
  • High-Speed Regeneration: After Ulquiorra shatters his mask, the energy from his Hollow transformation went above him and came down as some sort of energy that regrew the lost flesh that made his hollow hole (as a result of Ulquiorra Cifer's Cero Oscuras) and even fully rejuvenated him of his injuries from Ulquiorra, to who commented on it to that effect.

Reference Edit

  1. Bleach 001: Contact, page 4
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