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This page is about the representation of Ichigo's Quincy powers and the Zangetsu known in the anime. If you are looking for his true Shinigami powers, see Zangetsu (Zanpakutō spirit).

The old man whom Ichigo Kurosaki acknowledges as Zangetsu (斬月) is the manifested spirit of Ichigo Kurosaki's Quincy powers that can be found inside Ichigo's inner world.


The spirit of Zangetsu appears as a tall (slightly taller than Kenpachi Zaraki),[1] lean-built, and stoic middle-aged man. He has pale skin, high cheekbones, stubble, and long ragged black hair with brown highlights. His attire consists of a tattered white dress shirt with an upturned collar and cuffs, black pants, low-heeled boots, and a long, amorphous black overcoat with a burgundy highlight that flares out into ragged ends. He wears brown-tinted, semi-transparent wraparound sunglasses. Because of the spirit's appearance, Ichigo tends to call 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).

When Ichigo assumes Bankai form, Tensa Zangetsu transforms into a teenage version of himself, closer to Ichigo in height and age, with a noticeably slimmer build and slightly shorter hair. His attire is a more defined, robe-like version of his Shikai form's overcoat, minus the undershirt and sunglasses and with the addition of white lining and a hood.[2]

As noted by Ōetsu Nimaiya, Zangetsu heavily resembles Yhwach's appearance from 1,000 years ago;[3] similarly, Tensa Zangetsu[4] looks like Yhwach when he was in his teenage years.[5]


Zangetsu is a calm, level-headed individual, in stark contrast to his hot-tempered master. He often acts as a mentor to Ichigo and always tries to push his master to become stronger.

While Ichigo's inner world is one of tall glassy skyscrapers, Zangetsu claims to prefer more lush, natural surroundings, like bright, sunny skies, green forests and animals. Oddly, Ichigo's inner Hollow professes to demand the same things as well.[6][7] When Muramasa frees him of Ichigo's control, his reason for turning on Ichigo is very unique compared to the other rogue Zanpakutō Spirits; while their reasons are all self-serving, Zangetsu does not wish to leave Ichigo; he merely wishes to see Ichigo achieve his true potential and find out who is the stronger of the two.[8]

In his Bankai form, Zangetsu has the same cool and calm collected disposition as he would when not in Bankai; however, he is far more aggressive.[9] While fused with Ichigo's Zanpakutō spirit, Zangetsu is the dominant personality, though he is prone to occasional outbursts like the Hollow once had.[10] During Ichigo's Dangai training, Zangetsu explains that what Ichigo wants to protect is not what he wants to protect. He later reveals that what he wanted to protect was Ichigo himself.[11]

After revealing himself as the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers, Zangetsu states that he originally did not wish for Ichigo to become a Shinigami, and did everything within his power to suppress his true potential. Believing that allowing Ichigo to become a Shinigami would mean risking life and limb, exposing to various perils, experiencing pain, and eventually would force Zangetsu to kill Ichigo. However, after having went through many trials, Zangetsu comes to terms with Ichigo's perseverance and growth as a Shinigami, and starts to help him instead of hindering him, and eventually willingly relinquishes his hold on Ichigo.[12]

Despite the Manifestation having suppressed Zangetsu for most of Ichigo's life to prevent Ichigo from being a Shinigami, the two seem to have a casual relationship.[13][14]


Agent of the Shinigami arc

Zangetsu greets Ichigo for the first time.

While Ichigo underwent training to gain his own Shinigami powers, Kisuke Urahara put Ichigo's soul through a process called Encroachment in which if Ichigo did not gain the power on his own, he would become a Hollow. Tessai Tsukabishi then severs Ichigo's Chain of Fate. Tessai uses a high-level Bakudō to prevent Ichigo from using his arms to scale the sides of the shaft. After three days in the shaft, Ichigo begins to transform into a Hollow.[15] Ichigo asks Urahara and his associates to stop it, but a hole opens in his chest and a mask begins to form over his face. As Jinta leaves the shaft, Urahara explains that the mask forming before his body reforms is a sign that Ichigo is resisting the transformation. Hearing a voice calling him, Ichigo awakens inside his consciousness on the side of a tall building and sees a man standing on a flagpole.[16]

Zangetsu falls with Ichigo.

Ichigo asks the man who he is. Surprised at this, the man says his name, but Ichigo cannot hear it. He remarks that it is sad, and asks how many times he has to tell him his name before he is able to hear it, as he thought that nobody in this world knew him better than Ichigo. Ichigo denies knowing anyone as "gloomy" as this man, but is stunned to see him stand on the side of the flagpole. As the man asks how he can sit like he is doing, Ichigo falls from the building and screams. The man follows him and tells him that it is good that he can yell and that Shinigami control death, so he should not worry. As the two fall towards the ground, Ichigo tells him that he is not currently a Shinigami.[17]

Zangetsu instructs Ichigo to find his powers.

The man tells him that he can control the Reishi around him and that he should focus them underneath his feet to stand on. The man urges Ichigo to try to remember a time when he was a Shinigami when he stopped in mid-air. He tells Ichigo that Byakuya only destroyed the powers given to him by Rukia, but he failed to realize that Ichigo has his own Shinigami powers. Saying that his powers were hidden deep inside his soul and awakened by Rukia's power, he instructs Ichigo to find it as the world is crumbling around him. With the buildings of his inner world dissolving into countless boxes, the man tells Ichigo that his powers are hidden inside just one of them and that if he cannot find it before the world disappears completely, then he will become a Hollow. Ichigo falls through a fissure into water where he wonders if he should do it. He thinks to himself that he has never been any good at sensing Reiatsu, as Uryū had previously told him.[18]

Zangetsu commends Ichigo for finding his blade.

He then remembers that Uryū had an easy way of sensing Reiatsu and soon figures out what it was. Ichigo finds the red Reiraku of his Shinigami powers and opens the box it is coming from, surprised to find a Zanpakutō's hilt inside. The man tells him that this time he ought to hear his name, and urges him to take the hilt.[19] Ichigo struggles to pull out the Zanpakutō as the world crumbles around him.[20] In the Shattered Shaft, the Kidō restraining Ichigo's arms begins to break apart. Tessai tells Urahara that he can no longer simply hold him and activates the next stage of the Kidō, Bankin, restraining his entire body. However, a burst of energy from the hole in Ichigo's chest ruptures the Kidō and there is an explosion. As the smoke clears, Ichigo, wearing a Hollow mask and Shinigami clothes, emerges. As Jinta and Ururu prepare to fight him, Ichigo draws his still broken Zanpakutō and uses it to smash the Hollow mask. Urahara congratulates him on his success, saying that he is now a complete Shinigami.

Zangetsu confronts Ichigo for running away from Urahara.

Later, as Ichigo trains with Urahara, the latter asks him if he can still win with just a hilt remaining, saying that he will kill him if he continues to fight with just a hilt. Ichigo runs away again, thinking that he is going to die. As Urahara continues to attack him, Ichigo thinks that it is embarrassing and questions why he ran. As he is knocked to the ground, Ichigo sees the man from his inner world again. The man asks why Ichigo ran when he has not yet called him. He says that Ichigo should be able to hear him now and tells him to cast off his fear. He reveals that his name is Zangetsu[21] and Ichigo stops in his tracks, turns towards Urahara and calls out Zangetsu, activating his Shikai. Ichigo looks at the new form of his Zanpakutō as Urahara tells him it is time to start lesson three for real.

Soul Society arc

Zangetsu intervenes on Ichigo's battle with Kenpachi.

During Ichigo's fight with 11th Division captain, Kenpachi Zaraki, he is stabbed in his chest by the far superior combatant. Seemingly dying Ichigo is pulled into his inner world by Zangetsu, while there he meets his inner Hollow for the first time. Zangetsu explains that now is the time for the test to see if Ichigo is worthy of using him. He then tells Ichigo if he wants to wield him again then he must take him back with his hands, as his opponent will be himself.[22] Ichigo is forced into a fight with inner Hollow with a nameless katana while his other being has Zangetsu, the latter gaining an advantage as he releases his spiritual power and begins to spin Zangetsu by its cloth, similar to a flail. As the two fight, the Hollow asks Ichigo whether he thought it would be so simple to fully control his Zanpakutō. He then makes note that Ichigo only thinks about himself and never considered drawing out Zangetsu's power. Ichigo's inner Hollow further explains that there's more to Zangetsu's power and if he can open up and lend it his power, it will become even stronger. He laments that Ichigo won't do this because he won't rely on his Zanpakutō and only worries about making himself stronger. Tired of playing around Hollow Ichigo decides to show Ichigo how to use Zangetsu the right way and moves to attack. As they cross swords, the inner Hollow is surprised that he is now holding the nameless katana and Ichigo is now holding Zangetsu. Ichigo then awakens back in the Real World.[23]

Zangetsu summoning swords to test Ichigo.

After Ichigo fails to rescue Rukia from Byakuya, and is instead rescued himself by Yoruichi Shihōin, he is taken by the latter to complete Bankai training in order to give him the power to defeat Byakuya. Yoruichi presents Ichigo with a strange looking doll. The doll's name is Tenshintai, an instrument developed by the Shinigami R&D Institute, which is used to force a Zanpakutō Spirit to materialize. All Ichigo needs to do is stab the Tenshintai with his Zanpakutō and the spirit will materialize, after which Yoruichi will keep it materialized with her power. She warns Ichigo that he only has one chance with it and that three days is the final deadline to force Zangetsu into submission. Yoruichi intends to warn Ichigo further, but he stabs the instrument before she can continue, telling her he doesn't want to know. There is only one way to finish this and that is giving it all he's got, to the end. Seconds later, the Zanpakutō disappears from Ichigo's hand and the materialized Zangetsu stands behind him. He tells Ichigo that he'd healed up fast. Yoruichi asks Zangetsu if he had heard her conversation with Ichigo, he replies the he has. Yoruichi tells Zangetsu he will decide the nature of the training method, she then asks if he can start right away, Zangetsu agrees and crouches to the ground, touching it with one hand. This causes hundreds of swords, each resembling Zangetsu, but none exactly identical, to rise to the surface. Zangetsu says only one of the swords is the real Zangetsu, which is the only one that can defeat him. If Ichigo wants him to submit, he must find the real sword before Zangetsu kills him and then use it to defeat Zangetsu. Zangetsu and Ichigo each pick up a sword and attack.[24]

Zangetsu vs. Ichigo

As the time of the execution draws near, Ichigo finds himself exhausted and kneeling with another one of his swords broken. Zangetsu asks him if he is still able to stand up and Ichigo replies that he can, because he's sworn to save Rukia. Zangetsu asks to whom he has sworn. Ichigo replies that he swore an oath to his own soul.[25] Using his newly acquired Bankai, Ichigo makes it to the execution in time to stop it. Later, he consciously releases the Bankai for the first time during his fight with Byakuya Kuchiki.

Fake Karakura Town arc

Ichigo initiating Jinzen.

After the battle in the Fake Karakura Town, after Aizen leaves for the Real Karakura Town in Soul Society, Isshin Kurosaki takes Ichigo into the Dangai to learn the "Final" Getsuga Tenshō. Isshin tells him about Jinzen and notes that all the techniques he has obtained thus far were probably obtained by forcing them with sheer power.[26] Sometime later, Ichigo receives a slash in his shoulder, indicating to Isshin he "did it". Isshin then warns him to be careful as this time around Zangetsu is going to be on a rampage.[27]

Ichigo meets Tensa Zangetsu.

Ichigo awakens in his inner world, but quickly notices that it is submerged underwater. Ichigo struggles to breathe and upon seeing the surface, he swims toward it, but is pulled back down by an unseen figure that throws him into a nearby building. The figure tells him to calm down. Ichigo stares at a hooded cloaked figure, who tells him that it is painful to watch, but he should be able to breathe. Ichigo calms down and realizes the mysterious stranger is correct as he can breathe. He then asks the person who he is, as only old man Zangetsu is supposed to be there. The stranger criticizes Ichigo for talking to the one who taught him to breathe like that.

Tensa Zangetsu reveals himself.

He then pulls out Tensa Zangetsu, much to Ichigo's surprise, and pulls off his hood, revealing himself to be a young man. He tells Ichigo he is not surprised that he does not recognize this form, as this is the first time Ichigo has ever come to his inner world in Bankai. He then moves to attack Ichigo, who blocks the attack. Ichigo asks the stranger if he is Zangetsu. The stranger denies it and asks him what his Bankai is called, identifying himself as Tensa Zangetsu as he continues his assault.[28] As they continue to fight, Ichigo puts some distance between them and tells Tensa Zangetsu to wait as he did not come there to fight this time. Ichigo explains that he just wants to ask him a question.

Tensa Zangetsu grabs Ichigo's arm.

Tensa Zangetsu reveals that he already knows that Ichigo wishes to ask him about the Final Getsuga Tenshō. Ichigo is surprised that he knows what he was going to ask and wonders if he heard the conversation he and his father had outside. Tensa Zangetsu moves to attack again, prompting Ichigo to yell at him and ask what is he doing. Tensa Zangetsu tells him that he cannot teach him such a thing. Ichigo simply states that without it he cannot protect Karakura Town. Tensa Zangetsu quickly moves in front of Ichigo and grabs his arm and asks why he should care about what happens to what Ichigo wants to protect, surprising Ichigo. He then throws Ichigo into the buildings below. Tensa Zangetsu then states that Ichigo shouldn't misunderstand, and that what he wants to protect and what Ichigo wants to protect are not the same.[29]

Tensa Zangetsu rips out the root of Ichigo's despair.

While fighting Tensa Zangetsu, Ichigo asks what he means, stating that he believed that Zangetsu would lend his strength to Ichigo. As Ichigo demands to know what his motives are, Tensa Zangetsu tells him to look at the inner world they are in. He states that Ichigo's inner world has changed from the hope-filled skyscrapers into a replica of the small Karakura Town, and that although the constant raining has stopped, everything has been submerged underwater. Tensa Zangetsu explains that this all occurred because Ichigo ceased to walk forward and fell into despair. Tensa Zangetsu appears in front of Ichigo suddenly and pierces his arm into Ichigo's chest. He tells him that he will not let Ichigo stay the way he is, and that he is going to pull out the source of his despair. Tensa Zangetsu proceeds to rip out the "source of despair" and tosses it behind him.

Hollow Ichigo appears behind Tensa Zangetsu.

When Ichigo looks at it, he sees his inner Hollow, with his Bankai activated. However, his inner Hollow also has long hair, and a black mask with horns and white lines vertically stretching across his eyes. He greets Ichigo, who stares at him speechlessly. His inner Hollow proceeds to remove his mask, asking Ichigo if he recognizes him.[30] Ichigo is shocked upon seeing his face, believing that he already defeated him in their last battle. Ichigo says that he should have disappeared, but his inner Hollow reiterates that if he wants to control his Hollow powers then he must stay alive.

Tensa Zangetsu merged with Hollow Ichigo.

Tensa Zangetsu also states that Ichigo defeated Ulquiorra Cifer in that form, and tells him that it is the form he fears where his sanity is overwhelmed by its power and Ichigo cannot Hollowfy properly. Ichigo asks Zangetsu if he must fight again against his Hollow self, but Zangetsu answers no and the two speak synchronously that they will fight Ichigo one-on-one, and they begin to fuse while Ichigo stares in confusion. The fused form of Zangetsu and Ichigo's inner Hollow emerges and tells Ichigo that they are two parts of the same being and they are his power and proceeds to attack Ichigo.[31]

Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu reveals his sadness over the battle.

They continue to battle resulting in Ichigo breaking his blade in half. The Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu asks him if he is still on his feet to which Ichigo responds that he has already stated that he will not go down until he gets him to tell him about the Final Getsuga Tenshō. Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu states that he already told him he has no intention of telling him about it, he then moves to attack. Ichigo becomes confused noting that if he really wanted to beat him then he should have been able to from the start as there was that much difference in their power from the start. He then notes that if he really didn't want to tell him he could have stopped fighting and hide. Most of all he just doesn't understand why there is nothing, but loneliness flowing from his sword into him. As they continue to fight Ichigo realizes something and discards his broken sword allowing Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu to run him through with his blade.

The Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu impales Ichigo.

Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu then congratulates Ichigo on finally noticing that only by accepting his blade was the only way to acquire the Final Getsuga Tenshō. Ichigo notes that the blade doesn't hurt at all to which the Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu states that of course it doesn't as the Tensa Zangetsu he wields was originally Ichigo himself. If he accepts it then he should not feel any pain from being pierced by it. Ichigo then notices that Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu is crying and asks him why; he asks Ichigo to recall when they first met about them stating what they wanted to protect and how Tensa Zangetsu had stated he didn't want to protect what Ichigo wanted to protect. He admits what he wanted to protect was Ichigo. Ichigo is confused and questions what he means by this to which Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu states that its meaning along with the essence of the technique, should be conveyed to him directly from the blade. He then begins to tell Ichigo the consequences of using this technique.[32] Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu tells him that if Ichigo uses the Final Getsuga Tenshō, he will lose his Shinigami powers. He then bids Ichigo farewell.[33]

Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc (anime only)

Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.

Click "show" to read the arc plot. 

"Liberated" Zangetsu fights Ichigo one-on-one.

While fighting Ichigo, Muramasa releases Zangetsu from within Ichigo to fight his former partner. Without access to his sword's former powers, Ichigo is quickly defeated by Zangetsu. Immediately afterwards, Ichigo's inner Hollow takes advantage of his weakened state and lack of Zangetsu's influence to take over Ichigo, possessing his body. This overwhelmed and proved too much for Zangetsu.[34]

After recovering from Hollow Ichigo's assault, Zangetsu once again faced off against Ichigo, revealing that his greatest desire was to see just how strong Ichigo could get and see if it was great enough to defeat him. Zangetsu then unleashed his Bankai power and forced Ichigo completely on the defensive. With the power of Ichigo's inner hollow, Ichigo was able to finally defeat Zangetsu, restoring him to his normal self. Zangetsu then explained that Muramasa's power is indeed to draw out a being's truest desires, but he warps them to make the target care only about fulfilling that desire regardless of the cost. Zangetsu didn't truly wish to leave Ichigo and explains that his desire is to see who is stronger between Ichigo and himself, saying he has nothing left to teach Ichigo. Having his greatest desire achieved and now familiar to Muramasa's power, Zangetsu assures Ichigo that he is now immune to Muramasa's influence.[8]

Later inside Muramasa's inner world, Ichigo falls victim to Muramasa's hypnotic powers distorting his senses and pushing Ichigo back. Zangetsu, still immune to Muramasa's powers, offers his eyes and the two combine their efforts to defeat Muramasa.[35]

Beast Swords arc (anime only)

Note: Events occurring in this arc are only in the anime and do not constitute canon material.

Click "show" to read the arc plot. 

When Ichigo faces a Tōjū that has transformed after fusing with a Hollow, Zangetsu notes that it is the same Tōjū that Ichigo had earlier fought.[36]

The Thousand-Year Blood War arc

Ichigo confronts Zangetsu.

After being told by Ōetsu Nimaiya Zangetsu is not his real Zanpakutō and has the appearance of Yhwach from 1000 years ago,[37] Ichigo enters his inner world to confront him. When Ichigo tells him to explain himself, Zangetsu, stating what Ichigo was told is true, reveals his name is not Zangetsu. As Ichigo's inner world begins to crumble, Ichigo asks if he is Yhwach, prompting Zangetsu to state he is the manifestation of the Quincy powers within Ichigo, and he both is and is not Yhwach. When Ichigo asks if everything he has told him up until this point was a lie, Zangetsu states he is neither an enemy nor an ally, but his wisdom and fortitude has never led Ichigo astray, and his only lie has been telling Ichigo his name.[38]

Zangetsu summons a sword.

Asking if Ichigo has never noticed it all this time, Zangetsu details how every time Ichigo learned more about his Zanpakutō, he had used the power of his inner Hollow to do it, and whenever Ichigo's life was in danger and he was unable to use his Zanpakutō, he had been saved by his inner Hollow, not by Zangetsu. Stating he never wanted Ichigo to become a Shinigami, he reveals he did everything he could to suppress his latent potential, including becoming his primary source of power. When Ichigo asks why he did this, Zangetsu explains how Ichigo becoming a Shinigami would mean he would risk life and limb, expose himself to numerous perils, experience pain, and eventually die by his hand.[39]

Zangetsu begins to fade away.

Summoning a sword, Zangetsu states he could not allow Ichigo to become a Shinigami because he would have to kill him, or at least he thought he would. Recalling how Ichigo struggled and persevered on his path as a Shinigami, Zangetsu states it made his heart waver, and eventually he started helping Ichigo instead of trying to impede him. Stating he is happy to relinquish his hold on him, Zangetsu, beginning to fade, states he is incredibly proud of how strong Ichigo has become. Stating he is finally at peace, Zangetsu, shedding a single tear, fades away entirely.[40]

Powers & Abilities

Master Swordsman: During his short battle against Ichigo and his inner hollow, Zangetsu demonstrated highly proficient skill in swordsmanship, enough to fight most of the battles with only a single hand. With well-timed maneuvers, Zangetsu was repeatedly able to land critical hits on Ichigo's inner Hollow.[41]

Enhanced Strength: Zangetsu possesses a large degree of physical strength. During Ichigo's Bankai Training, he sent Ichigo flying away and into a boulder with a single strike to the face.[42]

Enhanced Speed: During his battles, Zangetsu is very fast, able to outmaneuver a number of relentless assaults from Ichigo's inner Hollow. He is able to move faster than the eye can follow, such as when he successfully avoided Hollow Ichigo's Shunpo.[34]

Blut Activation: As the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers, Zangetsu can activate Ichigo's Blut in order to aid him in combat.

Clones: In battle, Zangetsu is able to produce multiple solid clones of himself, allowing him to outnumber his enemy and attack from multiple directions simultaneously. However, doing so appears to reduce his sheer attack strength.[46][47]

Shadow:[44] Zangetsu can travel between dimensions through the shadows by extending his overcoat to obscure himself and whomever he wishes to teleport. During Ichigo's fight with Kenpachi Zaraki, Zangetsu transported Ichigo and himself into Ichigo's inner world.[48]

Broadsword: Zangetsu can manifest a broadsword with a cross-guard shaped like wings. The sword is completely engulfed in Reishi flames.[49]

Shinigami Powers

Zangetsu has access to the Shinigami powers that inherently belong to Ichigo due to being one with Ichigo's true Zanpakutō spirit/Inner Hollow. As a result, he can access Ichigo's Shinigami powers and even act as a substitute during his Bankai training.[50]


Note: Zangetsu only displayed using Getsuga Tenshō in the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc. The other abilities, including manifesting the blades Zangetsu and Tensa Zangetsu he has displayed in the manga are all canon.

  • Shikai: Zangetsu can summon a sword that takes the form of his constant Shikai release state: an oversized, black khyber knife almost as tall as himself with a cloth-wrapped tang instead of a proper hilt and tsuba.[34][51]

Zangetsu fires a Getsuga Tenshō.

Shikai Special Ability: Getsuga Tenshō (月牙天衝, Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer; "Piercer of Heaven" in the English anime): Zangetsu fires concentrated energy blasts from the tip of his blade in the shape of a crescent moon or in a shape of a wave.

Zangetsu's 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, The Bankai actually shrinks his sword down to a daitō with a black blade, hilt, and tsuba. The crossguard has four prongs bent out to form the shape of the manji. 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.

Zangetsu's enhanced Getsuga Tenshō.

Bankai Special Ability: Zangetsu's special attack remains Getsuga Tenshō and can be used in the same manners, but can be used in an enhanced form. When used with Zangetsu's Bankai, these potent blasts can become black with a red outline and their path and shape can be controlled, in addition to their explosively augmented power and speed.
  • Physical Enhancement: This Bankai is a compression of his remarkable power, rather than a vast expansion as other Bankai are. This vastly compressed power enables to reach levels of physical and spiritual prowess most Shinigami would have their bodies give out at and cannot handle. It allows Zangetsu to move at very high speeds exceeding those of flash steps, allowing him to be undetectable to unfocused eyes. This Bankai also allows Zangetsu to use his natural strength to its limits. His new speed is so great, that it also allows him to create dozens of tangible clones to confuse his opponent. In addition, his already immense spiritual energy has grandly and explosively increased, and now has a deep black spiritual energy with a crimson outline.


See also: Zangetsu (Zanpakutō spirit)

Because Ichigo developed his Zanpakutō as his inner Hollow (as a result from nearly becoming one while having his Shinigami powers restored), both beings are considered the source of Ichigo's power and thus share the same spirit body in Ichigo's inner world, the stronger presence retaining more control (and overall appearance) of their body. In this case, the spirit of Zangetsu takes the form of an all-white (clothes and being), somewhat deranged version of Ichigo's Shinigami form with a strong desire to take control of Ichigo's body and power for himself.[52] The two entities can also fuse themselves into one body, revealing a body with Zangetsu's hair along with some features of the Hollow's new form.[53]

Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu

Hollow Fusion Form: After Tensa Zangetsu pulled Hollow Ichigo out of Ichigo during the latter's Dangai training, the two spirits proceeded to merge into one form, one that combined aspects from both spirit's appearances; Hollow Ichigo's white Bankai coat, black horn mask remnant, white-colored hair, and left Hollowfied eye, along Tensa Zangetsu's appearance, right blue eye, and black Bankai sword; though the sword's tsuba is white, like Hollow Ichigo's.[54][55] In this form, Tensa Zangetsu explains that he and Hollow Ichigo were technically two parts of the same being with both of them together representing all of his spiritual powers.[56] Ichigo claims that if the Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu really wanted to, he could have defeated him from the start of their battle, further saying they were that far apart in power.[57]

  • Enhanced Strength: While in this form, the Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu is strong enough to break Ichigo's Bankai sword completely in two.[58]

Appearances in Other Media

Video Game Appearances
Blade Battlers
Blade Battlers 2nd
The Blade of Fate
Dark Souls
The 3rd Phantom
Flame Bringer
Tasogare ni Mamieru Shinigami
Shattered Blade
Versus Crusade
Heat the Soul
Heat the Soul 2
Heat the Soul 3
Heat the Soul 4
Heat the Soul 5
Heat the Soul 6
Heat the Soul 7
Soul Carnival
Soul Carnival 2
Hanatareshi Yabou
Bleach Advance: Kurenai ni Somaru Soul Society
Erabareshi Tamashii
Soul Resurrección
J-Stars Victory Vs
Brave Souls
Paradise Lost
Jump Force
Movie Appearances
Memories of Nobody
The DiamondDust Rebellion
Fade to Black
The Hell Verse
Live-Action Film

Promotional artwork of Zangetsu from Bleach: Brave Souls.

  • Zangetsu is playable in several forms in Bleach: Brave Souls, including the base form that he takes within Ichigo's inner world. In this form, Zangetsu is a ranged character with the "Shinigami Killer" ability; as a Senkaimon Quest reward character, he is available in five different versions, each with a different Attribute. His unlockable skills are "Berserker +40%", "Bruiser +60%", "Devastation +30%", "Sprinter +1", and "Weaken Defense", while his Soul Traits are "Normal Attack Damage +25%" and "Damage Taken -16%". Zangetsu's special is Endless Battle (果てしなき戦い, Hateshinaki Tatakai), where he performs a series of high-speed strikes that inflict immense damage.

Zangetsu after being manifested by Muramasa.

  • Zangetsu is also playable in the form he took upon being manifested into the real world by Muramasa, using Tensa Zangetsu to fight. In this form, Zangetsu is a melee strong attack character with the "Heart" Attribute and the "Arrancar Killer" ability who has a chance to inflict Weaken with every attack and three Innate Abilities built in at ★5: "Read Arrancar Dodges", "Freeze Resistance", and "Fire Resistance". His unlockable skills are "Party Heart Attribute Soul Reaper Strong Attack Damage +20%", "Berserker +20%", "Bruiser +20%", "Damage to Weakened Enemies +20%", "Debilitator +5 secs.", "Devastation +40%", "Frenzy", and "Sprinter +2", while his Soul Trait is "Strong Attack Recharge Time -12%". Zangetsu's special is Test of Bonds (結びの試煉, Musubi no Shiren), where he unleashes agiant slashing attack that inflicts immense damage and Weaken.

Zangetsu and Ichigo on the cover of Bleach Breathless Collection.

  • Zangetsu shares a Bleach Beat Collection with Ichigo Kurosaki in the first volume of the second session. Takayuki Sugo performs two of the three tracks as Zangetsu: "Rain" and "Zan," the latter of which is a trio with the seiyu of Ichigo and both halves of Zangetsu.
  • Zangetsu again shares a volume with Ichigo in Bleach Breathless Collection Volume 1, performing the track "VERSUS." The volume also includes a talk session.
  • Volume 5 of Bleach "B" Station features Zangetsu performing track four.


  • After the Zangetsu backhanded him, Ichigo's lip wasn't bleeding in the anime, as it was in the manga.[59][60]


  • Muramasa's ritual citation while releasing Zangetsu was the same quotation Zangetsu once said to Ichigo.[61] Muramasa said, "Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate."[34]
  • Zangetsu's appearance changes drastically upon becoming Tensa Zangetsu, becoming a young man. However, during the Zanpakutō Unknown Tales Arc, before this form was revealed, Zangetsu simply did not change when he released his Bankai.
  • In the manga, the hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu has a normal skin tone.[62] In the anime, it was changed to pure white, matching the inner Hollow's new form.[63]


  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Abandon your fear. Look forward. Move forward and never stop. You'll age if you pull back. You'll die if you hesitate."[64]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "I hate rain. It rains in here, too. When you are moody, it becomes cloudy. When you are sad, the rain comes down... I can't stand it. Can you understand? How horrible it is to get rained on when you are all alone in an empty world? In order to prevent that from happening... I'll lend you whatever power you need! If you can trust me... I won't let one drop of rain fall from that sky! Trust me... you are not alone in battle... Ichigo!"[65]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Do you hear his blade mourning? He has never listened to that voice. If they do not trust each other when fighting side-by-side they will diminish each other's strength. For someone who believes in his own strength, it is impossible to understand. Do you trust me, Ichigo?"[66]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "My only goal is to make you more powerful. You have surpassed my expectations. There is nothing left for me to teach. Whether or not you have the strength to defeat me in combat is up to you, and the cold truth is, even if you were to fall to my blade, I would be content with the outcome."[67]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki as Tensa Zangetsu) "Look at this world! Your world! Littered with hope-filled skyscrapers that pierced the sky! It's now been degraded to a copy of that tiny town you grew up in! The constant raining in this world has stopped, but in return, everything has sunk into this sea!! It's all, Ichigo, because you despaired and ceased to walk forward. Ichigo. I won't let you remain this way. Right here and now, I will pull out the source of your despair."[68]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki as Tensa Zangetsu) "As if I care about what becomes of the things you want to protect. Make no mistake, Ichigo. The things that you wish to protect are not the things that I want to protect!"[69]
  • (To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Ichigo. You have become strong. I have had the pleasure of standing by your side all this time, watching you grow. What greater happiness can there be? I am satisfied."[70]


  1. Bleach manga; Chapter 110, page 6
  2. Bleach manga; Chapter 409
  3. Bleach manga; Chapter 540, pages 15-17
  4. Bleach manga; Chapter 409
  5. Bleach manga; Chapter 565, page 4
  6. Bleach anime; Episode 233, next episode's preview
  7. Bleach anime; Episode 236, next episode's preview
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bleach anime; Episode 235
  9. Bleach manga; Chapter 408, page 19
  10. Bleach manga; Chapter 411, page 11
  11. Bleach manga; Chapter 420, pages 9-10
  12. Bleach manga; Chapter 541, pages 5-17
  13. Bleach manga; Chapter 112, page 2
  14. Bleach manga; Chapter 218, page 16
  15. Bleach manga; Chapter 62, pages 14-21
  16. Bleach manga; Chapter 63, pages 1-5
  17. Bleach manga; Chapter 63, pages 5-8
  18. Bleach manga; Chapter 63, pages 9-13
  19. Bleach manga; Chapter 63, pages 13-18
  20. Bleach manga; Chapter 64, page 1
  21. Bleach manga; Chapter 66, pages 1-19
  22. Bleach manga; Chapter 109-110
  23. Bleach manga; Chapter 111, page 1-15
  24. Bleach manga; Chapter 127, pages 4-13
  25. Bleach manga; Chapter 143, pages 14-19
  26. Bleach manga; Chapter 408, pages 1-10
  27. Bleach manga; Chapter 408, pages 18-19
  28. Bleach manga; Chapter 409, page 5-12
  29. Bleach manga; Chapter 409, page 15-19
  30. Bleach manga; Chapter 410, pages 3-10
  31. Bleach manga; Chapter 411, pages 1-12
  32. Bleach manga; Chapter 420, page 7-14
  33. Bleach manga; Chapter 421, page 3
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Bleach anime; Episode 233
  35. Bleach anime; Episode 255
  36. Bleach anime; Episode 257
  37. Bleach manga; Chapter 540, pages 16-18
  38. Bleach manga; Chapter 541, pages 1-8
  39. Bleach manga; Chapter 541, pages 8-11
  40. Bleach manga; Chapter 541, pages 11-17
  41. Bleach anime; Episode 233
  42. Bleach manga; Chapter 129, page 14
  43. Bleach manga; Chapter 113, page 12
  44. 44.0 44.1 Bleach manga; Chapter 542, page 1
  45. Bleach manga; Chapter 513, page 16
  46. Bleach manga; Chapter 137, pages 17
  47. Bleach anime; episode 51
  48. Bleach manga; Chapter 110, pages 10-11
  49. "Bleach" manga; Chapter 541, pages 11-17
  50. Bleach manga, chapter 127 page 4
  51. Bleach anime; Episode 236
  52. Bleach manga; Chapter 218, page 23
  53. Bleach manga; Chapter 411, page 8-11
  54. Bleach manga; Chapter 411, pages 2-12
  55. Bleach manga; Chapter 421, page 2
  56. Bleach manga; Chapter 411, page 10
  57. Bleach manga; Chapter 411, page 5
  58. Bleach manga; Chapter 420, page 3
  59. Bleach anime; Episode 47
  60. Bleach manga; Chapter 129, page 14
  61. Bleach manga; Chapter 66, page 18
  62. Bleach manga; Chapter 411, page 9-11
  63. Bleach anime; Episode 306
  64. Bleach manga; Chapter 66, pages 1-19
  65. Bleach manga; Chapter 112, pages 2-4
  66. Bleach manga; Chapter 113, pages 8-9
  67. Bleach anime; Episode 236
  68. Bleach manga; Chapter 410, pages 4-5
  69. Bleach manga; Chapter 409, pages 18-19
  70. Bleach manga; Chapter 541, page 14