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This article contains information from anime sources that were not written by Tite Kubo and therefore are not considered canon material by the wiki.
Anime Continuity

Zangetsu (斬月, Slaying Moon) is the manifested spirit of Ichigo Kurosaki's Zanpakutō.


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.[1][2] 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.[3]


Zanpakutō Unknown Tales arc[]

233Ichigo vs

"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.[4]

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.[3]

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.[5]

Beast Swords arc[]

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.[6]

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.[4]

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.[4]


  • 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.[4][7]

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.

236Zangetsu activates

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.
236Zangetsu fires

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.


  • Muramasa's ritual citation while releasing Zangetsu was the same quotation Zangetsu once said to Ichigo.[8] 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."[4]


  • (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."[9]


  1. Bleach anime; Episode 233, next episode's preview
  2. Bleach anime; Episode 236, next episode's preview
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bleach anime; Episode 235
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Bleach anime; Episode 233
  5. Bleach anime; Episode 255
  6. Bleach anime; Episode 257
  7. Bleach anime; Episode 236
  8. Bleach manga; Chapter 66, page 18
  9. Bleach anime; Episode 236