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Characters: Bleach Zanpakuto
Characters that appeared in Tite Kubo's Bleach
. This page is for the various Zanpakuto spirits
, including Zangetsu and Ichigo's Inner Hollow.Back to the main character index
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Old Man Zangetsu
When Ichigo briefly lost his Soul Reaper
abilities, he had to go through Urahara to regain them. In his Inner World while turning into a Hollow he ran into a stoic
middle-aged man with Cool Shades
, long hair, and a Black Cloak
that helped him find his Zanpakuto
and regain his powers. He was not able to tell Ichigo his name during their first meeting, so Ichigo got into the habit of calling him "Old Man" rather than Zangetsu even after realizing that he represented his own power.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: His Sword Beam is yellow in the manga and turns dark blue with a white tinge post-Fullbring arc, but in the anime it's pale blue-white throughout.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: He pretends to be Ichigo's Zanpakuto spirit, but it's revealed he's really the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers. In Zangetsu's true form, he is the soul of the off-hand blade of the set, representing Ichigo's defensive power.
- Archetypal Character: His words and actions resemble a combination of Jung's Wise Old Man archetype and Freud's Superego.
- Badass Baritone: Especially in the English dub, where he's voiced by Richard Epcar.
- BFS: His initial Shikai form resembles a six-foot khyber knife and, after being upgraded by Ichigo's Fullbring, resembles an equally-massive bowie knife.
- Black Cloak: He wears a very long black cloak that is usually wrapped around his body. Only once does he throw the cape back, when confronting Ichigo about his powers.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: When he's defeated early on in the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales filler arc, he suggests that all of the zanpakuto spirits are like this due to Muramasa's hypnosis.
- Cool Old Guy: He's calm, collected and a skilled fighter in contrast to the brash Ichigo.
- Cool Shades: His trademark sunglasses are tinted wrap-arounds. He never takes them off.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Old Man plays the trope straight and later partially subverts it. He always wore a black cloak, and prior to the final arc, he was thought to be a personification of Ichigo's Zanpakuto. Now it turns out that he's a personification of Ichigo's Quincy powers, taking the image of Yhwach as he appeared 1000 years prior, and had initially intended to kill Ichigo if he were to become a Shinigami. Thank goodness he changed his mind.
- Dramatic Wind: His cloak and hair always appear to be billowing in the wind.
- Energy Weapon: As he reveals himself to be Ichigo's Quincy powers, he unfurls his cloak and summons a giant crackling energy blade version of Yhwach's reishi sword.
- Evolving Weapon: After Ichigo merges his Fullbring with his Soul Reaper powers Zangetsu gets an upgrade.
- Field of Blades: The first thing he does during Ichigo's Bankai training is create an entire field of BFS's.
- Foreshadowing: Zangetsu's true power and nature is hinted at throughout the story. He first teaches Ichigo about reishi manipulation and appears before the Soul Reaper powers awakened. He gets the Inner Hollow to train Ichigo for him and reabsorbs him the way Quincies absorb reishi. His Bankai doesn't behave like Soul Reaper Bankai; it is compact, contrasting how most Bankai typically exude Reiatsu outward. He used a form of Blut to halt Ichigo's bleeding when fighting Kenpachi. Yhwach's character design is almost the same as Zangetsu's. When Ichigo first meets Yhwach, his expression is shocked and the world is drawn tipping sideways, as if Kubo was drawing Ichigo's inner world. Ichigo later confirms he was being unconsciously pulled towards Yhwach at that moment and couldn't understand why.
- Hey, You!: Except for the Zaraki fight and Vizard training, Ichigo rarely calls him Zangetsu. He generally refers to him "Old Man" ("Ossan" in Japanese).
- In-Series Nickname: "Zangetsu-ossan" (Japanese for "Old Man Zangetsu"), or just plain "Ossan", by Ichigo.
- Manly Tears: When he gives Ichigo his true Zanpakuto and fades away for good he shed a single tear before vanishing.
- Mind Meld: Filler only. After Muramasa distorts Ichigo's senses during the climax of their battle, Zangetsu (who is immune to the hypnosis) melds his mind with Ichigo's to "become his senses", allowing him to see through the illusions and push Muramasa back.
- No Name Given: While Zangetsu is being reforged, the old man tells us that "Zangetsu" is not his name. What his true name is (if he even has one) is currently unknown, though Ichigo says he will always consider him to be "Zangetsu", which is reflected in his manifestation as the smaller of Ichigo's two swords.
- Perma Stubble: Sports a light goatee and moustache which outlines the origins of Yhwach's current moustache.
- Perpetual Frowner: His most common expression is a stoic frown.
- Power Limiter: Tried to suppress Ichigo's Soul Reaper powers, which thus resulted in him only being able to wield a fraction of it.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: The Old Man's sunglasses are often shown reflecting light for dramatic effect.
- Single Tear: He sheds one before fading away, giving Ichigo his real zanpakuto.
- The Stoic: His expression rarely changes even under the most pressuring situations.
- Sword Beam: Getsuga Tensho launches a crescent-shaped blast of reiatsu from Zangetsu's blade.
- Was It All a Lie?: Ichigo asks him this once it's revealed that he's not his Zanpakuto spirit. Zangetsu tells him that the only thing he ever lied about was his name. Ichigo himself eventually concludes that were never any lies in his words or in his Inner Hollow's, coming to believe that they're both Zangetsu.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: It turns out that Ichigo's Quincy powers have been trying to slow Ichigo's potential growth as a Soul Reaper and take his Hollow/Zanpakuto's place as his core powers. Why would he do this? To protect Ichigo from the inevitable fights and dangers he would face if he became a Soul Reaper.
- Wrecked Weapon: His sword form has been severely chipped, cracked, and broken several times.
Tensa Zangetsu is the form of Zangetsu in Bankai and appears as a young, handsome teenager. He can fuse with the Inner Hollow to become a representation of Ichigo's full power, and appears calm like the old man but has a violent side to him like the Inner Hollow.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: The fusion between Tensa Zangetsu and the Inner Hollow kept the former's peach skin tone in the manga. In the anime, however, the fusion had the Inner Hollow's chalk white skin. The anime also colors his merged sword form white with a black tsuba. Furthermore, his sword beam started off as gold-yellow before being turned pitch-black by the Inner Hollow in the manga, but in the anime it was black with a blue outline before being turned black with a red outline by the Inner Hollow.
- Badass Longcoat: With elements of a Black Cloak. Its tightness is an in-series Shout-Out to Ichigo's preference for tight-fitting clothes. After fusing with the Inner Hollow, his coat turns white with thick black fur around the collar, cuffs, and hem; a remnant of the fur on the Inner Hollow's neck, wrists, and ankles during the Dangai training.
- Battle in the Centre of the Mind: When Ichigo asks Tensa Zangetsu to teach him the Final Getsuga Tensho, Tensa Zangetsu summons and merges with the Inner Hollow and then completely overwhelms him.
- BFS: His original sword form, though slimmer than its Shikai form, is still longer than most swords. After Ichigo regains his powers for a second time, his sword form is as long as his original Shikai form (roughly six feet long).
- Bishōnen: To Ichigo's surprise, Zangetsu's Bankai form is young and androgynous. Similar to his older form, Tensa Zangetsu borrows the appearance of a very young Yhwach.
- Black Swords Are Better: His sword form is a pitch black katana with a manji-shaped tsuba and a chain attached to the hilt. After merging with Hollow Ichigo, the tsuba turns white.
- Duality Motif: To highlight the Fusion Dance that occurs, Tensa Zangetsu is left with one Hollowfied eye and one normal blue eye.
- Fusion Dance: When Ichigo asks to be taught the Final Getsuga Tensho, Tensa Zangetsu summons the Inner Hollow and merges with him to become the manifestation of Ichigo's full power.
- In the Hood: When he first shows up he's wearing a hood that covers the top half of his head.
- Mismatched Eyes: His Hollowfied form's right eye has a white iris and black sclera like the Inner Hollow's.note
- Mood-Swinger: He alternates between sternly lecturing Ichigo to furiously shouting at him, and becomes worse after merging with the Inner Hollow.
- Not So Stoic: When Ichigo first enters his flooded inner world, the first thing he does is grab a panicked Ichigo by the collar and hurl him into a building before he starts ranting about his wielder's state of despair. After fusing with the Inner Hollow, he becomes even more emotional and aggressive underneath the stoic glare.
- Perpetual Frowner: From his introduction to his defeat his only facial expression when he's not shouting is a disapproving scowl.
- Put on a Bus: Tensa Zangetsu's sword form was shattered and Mayuri says there's no coming back from that for a zanpakutou's bankai, so Ichigo had to get his zanpakutou completely remade. What his new bankai will be, and the consequences for Tensa Zangetsu, have not been revealed.
- Sword Beam: Tensa Zangetsu's special ability is launching a jagged crescent of black reiatsu from its blade. In the anime it starts off with a blue outline, which is turned red by the Inner Hollow.
- Wrecked Weapon: After fusing with the Inner Hollow during Ichigo's Final Getuga Tensho training, the first thing he does is slice Ichigo's version of his sword form in half. Later, in the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, his sword form is permanently wrecked by Haschwalth.
The other spirit inhabiting Ichigo's inner world. He appears as a monochrome
"Hollow" reflection of Ichigo wielding a color-inverted Zangetsu
, and is the Anthropomorphic Personification
of Ichigo's Hollow powers.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: On the cover of volume 25, the Inner Hollow's irises are silver-white, his tongue is dark blue, his skin is pallid, and his shoulder chain is black, as opposed to the yellow irises, greenish-tongue, paper-white skin, and gray shoulder chain he has in the anime.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of Ichigo's Hollow powers, as well as his Soul Reaper abilities. He also claims to be the manifestation of Ichigo's instincts and darkest personality traits in the filler.
- Archetypal Character: His words and actions resemble a combination of Jung's Shadow Archetype and Freud's Id.
- Badass Longcoat: His Bankai form transforms his kosode into a tattered white coat that is body tight to his waist and flares out dramatically for the rest of the length.
- Battle in the Centre of the Mind: The Inner Hollow and Ichigo duel over who will be the "king" of Ichigo's body during the Visored Training arc, ending with Ichigo suppressing the Inner Hollow and returning control of his Inner World to the Old Man.
- The Berserker: Attacks relentlessly, and mocks Ichigo for not doing the same.
- BFS: He welds one that's color-inverted from Ichigo's during their second duel. It's also the sword that represents him once Ichigo reforges his Zanpakuto.
- Black Eyes of Crazy/Supernatural Gold Eyes: Provides the Trope Image for the former, though his irises are white in the manga. The black sclera in particular are classic Hollowfication symptoms.
- Blood Knight: The Inner Hollow revels in combat and bloodshed, and during their duel he calls Ichigo weak for not doing the same.
- The Corruption: As the Inner Hollow's influence grows at the beginning of the Arrancar arc, Ichigo begins to lose control of his Hollow powers to the point where he starts to Hollowfy in his human body.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When undergoing Visored training, the Inner Hollow gives Ichigo a thorough beatdown in his inner world.
- Demonic Possession: An interesting case, as it is revealed that he is the result of White's soul fusing with and taking over Ichigo's original Soul Reaper powers, thus becoming his Zanpakuto spirit and Inner Hollow.
- Duality Motif: With Ichigo, representing his unrestrained instinct and darkest personality traits. Further enforced later when we learn he is both Ichigo's Zanpakuto Spirit and his Inner Hollow.
- Emotion Eater: Ichigo's Hollowfication grows more powerful as he sinks deeper into despair. It's revealed that, like an overprotective big brother, he only gets stronger when Ichigo despairs in order to completely annihilate the source of that despair.
- Enemy Mine: He pulls one with Ichigo against Zaraki, and in the Filler against Muramasa and Zangetsu.
- Enemy Within: When first introduced, the Inner Hollow was rude and aggressive, but gave Ichigo some pointers on how to properly use a Zanpakuto. After Ichigo refused his help against Byakuya and utterly loses against Aizen, the Inner Hollow came to the conclusion that Ichigo lacked the bloodlust and fighting instinct required to keep himself alive and decided to permanently take over his body, transforming him into an insanely powerful Hollow in the process. Ichigo naturally took issue with this and repeatedly struggled to suppress the Inner Hollow throughout the early stage of the Arrancar Arc, climaxing in their Battle in the Centre of the Mind while Ichigo's Hollowfied body rampaged against the Visored.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: When he was fused with Tensa Zangetsu and finally stabbed Ichigo, teaching him the Final Getsuga Tensho, he starts to cry, knowing that they will never see each other again, and admitted that all he ever really wanted to do was protect Ichigo. This seems uncharacteristic of him, until it's revealed that he's Ichigo real zanpakuto - the real Zangetsu - and thus the manifestation of Ichigo's most fundamental traits.
- Expressive Mask: The expression on his Asauchi form's mask shifts slightly to reflect Ichigo's current feelings, often for comedic effect.
- Foreshadowing: The Inner Hollow's true nature is hinted at throughout the story: The Shattered Shaft training manifests Ichigo's Soul Reaper robes and Hollow Mask; his battle aura takes the form of his Hollow Mask when fighting Kenpachi; the Inner Hollow was the one who "trained" Ichigo how to use his power properly instead of the Old Man; he openly claimed to be Zangetsu during one of their inner battles, and he always claimed his motivation for everything he did was to help Ichigo win and keep him alive; Asguiaro Ebern was unable to steal Ichigo's bankai due to it being connected to his Inner Hollow; and his entire design is to make him look like a facet of Ichigo's character, not something separate from him.
- For Your Own Good: States that the reason why he decided to permanently usurp control of Ichigo's body was because he deemed Ichigo lacked the instinct necessary to keep himself alive.
- Fusion Dance: He combines with Tensa Zangetsu as an expression of Ichigo's full inner power.
- Hearing Voices: How Ichigo perceives him outside of the inner world, with the Inner Hollow's voice growing louder as it grows in influence.
- Hey, You!: Considering he didn't really tell Ichigo his name and that Ichigo didn't believe him when he told him he was Zangetsu, there really wasn't any other way he could be addressed.
- Hidden Depths: Despite his and Ichigo's antagonistic relationship, Ichigo's safety has always been his first priority. He intervenes during Ichigo's battles when he's in danger of being killed, grows from Ichigo's despair in order to completely eliminate the source of that despair, and when merged with Tensa Zangetsu, tearfully admits that all he ever wanted to do was protect Ichigo.
- Horned Humanoid: The mask the Inner Hollow wears when he shows up during the Final Getsuga Tenshou training sports a pair of forward-facing horns.
- I Have Many Names: While Aizen's Hollowfication subject, he was named "White" by Tousen to reflect his soul. As Ichigo's inner hollow, he either claims to have no name or calls himself "Zangetsu". When he fuses with Tensa Zangetsu, he takes on the name of Ichigo's Bankai. Post time-skip, it's confirmed that he really is Zangetsu.
- Ignored Confession: He tells Ichigo "I am Zangetsu!" way back in the Visored training arc, and it's not until the 1000 Year Blood War Arc that it's revealed he was telling the truth.
- Jerkass: Personifies this side of Ichigo, along with his despair and the insanity that Hollowfication causes.
- Laughing Mad: He is prone to fits of maniacal laughter, especially in the anime.
- Light Is Not Good: His body, hair, shihakushou, reiatsu and zanpakuto are pure white. Fitting, because the Hollow from whom he originated was called White.
- Literal Split Personality: He claims to be one to Old Man Zangetsu, but it turns out that Ichigo's Inner Hollow was the result of White's soul being passed on to Ichigo and melding with his Soul Reaper powers in the process, while Old Man "Zangetsu" is Ichigo's Quincy powers in the form of a younger Yhwach.
- Mask of Power: When under control, Ichigo's Hollow powers manifests as one in the real world. The Inner Hollow later shows up later wearing a color-inverted version of Ichigo's second Hollow form's mask, and a pure white one when manifested into an Asauchi.
- Merger of Souls: The Inner Hollow was formed when the experimental Hollow White's soul and reiryoku were passed on to Ichigo from Masaki and melded with the former's Soul Reaper powers, taking over his Zanpakuto Spirit in the process.
- Naked on Revival: When manifested into an Asauchi he is completely naked.
- No Name Given: Despite his various fan nicknames, when he first takes over Ichigo's body he tells Byakuya that he has no name. He later tells Ichigo that he is the real Zangetsu, which is confirmed to be the truth in Chapter 538.
- One-Winged Angel: Shows up as a monochrome version of Ichigo's second Hollow form with a color-inverted mask and bankai coat during Ichigo's Dangai training. As the embodiment of Ichigo's Hollow powers, he is also the source of Ichigo's metamorphosis into a Hollow.
- Passion Is Evil: Has stated multiple times to be the manifestation of Ichigo's "purest instinct".
- Power Echoes: His voice is distorted by a warbling growl, and Ichigo's voice becomes similarly distorted while using his Hollow mask.
- Power Makes Your Hair Grow: When he shows up for Ichigo's Final Getsuga Tenshou training, he has long flowing hair down to his hips.
- Power Up Let Down: Before the Deicide arc, it seemed that Ichigo was at his most powerful only when fully Hollowfied. In the Dangai, it's shown that having Zangetsu split between Soul Reaper and Hollow powers, combined with the despair his Hollow powers caused him, had actually prevented Ichigo from realizing his true potential, as shown when the divided spirit recombined into a single form to teach him the Final Getsuga Tensho. The revelation that he is Ichigo's real Zanpakuto spirit makes Old Man Zangetsu's speech about Zaraki's lack of a relationship with his blade a lot more poignant and ironic, as Ichigo had always fought against and tried to suppress his Inner Hollow until the Final Getsuga Tensho training arc.
- It's even more ironic since a Zanpakuto spirit is the Anthropomorphic Personification of its wielder's personality. Ichigo, in essence, alienated himself from Zangetsu and the side of his personality he represented, the the point that he (and by extension, the audience) saw it as an independent entity instead of a reflection of himself. It isn't until he accepts that Zangetsu is himself that he unlocks his full potential.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers one to Ichigo during the Visored training arc, berating him for lacking the bloodlust and instinct required to keep himself alive and outlining his intent to permanently usurp Ichigo's status as the "king" of his body.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Anime-only trope: Ichigo's normal bankai reiatsu is blue-lined black and his Hollowfication changed this to a red-lined black. The anime retains this colour scheme until Ichigo gains the Final Getsuga Tenshou. In the manga, Ichigo's normal bankai reiatsu is actually a yellowish-white and his Hollowfication turns it pitch black during the battle with Byakuya whereupon it remains black ever after.
- Sarcastic Confession: He pointed out he was Zangetsu during his fight with Ichigo in the Visored training arc, but he did so in such a way as to guarantee Ichigo wouldn't believe him.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: It is revealed that he was kept suppressed in the depths of Ichigo's soul by Old Man Zangetsu, who wanted to replace him as the core of Ichigo's powers; and by Uruhara's reishi strings, which had been attached to White's soul while it was inside Masaki and kept it suppressed as long as Isshin was nearby. Uruhara's Shattered Shaft training awoke him and Ichigo's difficult fights in Soul Society fully unleashed him.
- Shadow Archetype/You Are What You Hate: The Inner Hollow as a whole can be seen as personifying Ichigo's repressed/alienated personality traits, and his interactions with Ichigo strongly resemble the Jungian concept of the Shadow and the Ego, particularly the cycle of repression and projection and that one must accept their Shadow as a part of who they are in order to become whole. Ichigo understandably hated and feared everything the Inner Hollow represented about himself, to the point that he saw it as a separate entity to blame his Hollow form's actions on. It isn't until he finally comes to terms with this inner darkness that he's able to unlock his full potential.
- Sharing a Body: The fandom assumed for years that the Inner Hollow was a parasite living in Ichigo's soul, and seeing how he was formed from a Hollow fusing with Ichigo's soul in utero it's still technically true, although Ichigo has accepted him as being a part of himself.
- Slasher Smile: His default facial expression is an exaggeration of Ichigo's own unnerving smiles when he lets himself loose in the heat of a fight.
- Split Personality Merge: Does this with Tensa Zangetsu to teach Ichigo the Final Getsuga Tenshou.
- Split Personality Takeover: His proclaimed modus operandi, as outlined during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, is to seize control of Ichigo's body.note
Inner Hollow: "I'm not gonna have it, Ichigo. I don't know about Zangetsu, but I refuse to carry a king who's weaker than me and get cut to ribbons with him. If you're weaker than me, then I'll destroy you, and take your crown for myself."
- He pulls this on Old Man Zangetsu following Ichigo's fight with Byakuya at which point Uruhara's reishi strings completely broke, though Ichigo suppresses him with help from the Visored and returns control of his inner world to the Old Man.
- Stealth Mentor: He was the one who showed Ichigo how to use his bankai's techniques properly, albeit in a roundabout fashion.
- Stop Helping Me!: When he tries to help Ichigo defeat Byakuya, Ichigo tells him to stop interfering and rips his half-formed mask off to regain control of his body. The Inner Hollow's attempts to take control of Ichigo during his fights with Yammy, Ulquiorra, and Grimmjow early in the Arrancar Invasion arc also only made the situation worse by distracting Ichigo.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Ichigo's Hollow powers, and it isn't until much later that he is revealed to be the manifestation of Ichigo's Zanpakuto as well.
- Sword Beam: Can use the Getsuga Tensho, which in his bankai is pure white (with a red outline in the anime), and in shikai (again in the anime only) is black with a red outline.
- Technicolor Blade: His shikai, bankai, and Asauchi forms are pure white. After being reforged by Ouetsu, however, his shikai is jet black.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: His Deadly Darts technique involves him spinning Zangetsu by the hilt wrap and slinging it at his opponents for ranged assault. In Bankai, he can hook Tensa Zangetsu's chain on his finger to spin and fling his sword point-first at his target.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Inner Hollow only wanted to help Ichigo defeat opponents he risked death facing on his own, and even his attempts to permanently seize control of Ichigo's body were ultimately intended to protect him.
- White Mask of Doom: When manifested as an Asauchi he wears a pure white version of Ichigo's original Hollow mask.
The spirit(s) of Renji's sword. At first they take the form of a nue (a mythical creature that looks like a baboon with a snake for a tail), but in the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales filler arc they take the form of a furry woman ("Chimpette") and a snake-like boy ("Snakey") chained together.
- Absolute Cleavage: Chimpette has a pretty nice size chest... but isn't quite on the same level as Rangiku.
- Achilles in His Tent: Snakey runs off in one of the post-arc fillers, and they have to reunite to deal with a Toju. Not that it detracts from her rugged attractiveness in any way.
- Bag of Sharing: Chimpette and Snakey only have one sword between them, and they can both summon it whenever they want.
- Chained by Fashion/Chained Heat + Variable-Length Chain: Their human forms are chained together, which surprisingly is more of an advantage in battle than a disadvantage, probably because of how long it is. They also constantly bicker, but work together surprisingly well.
- Continuity Nod: Their new forms in the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales filler arc are the result of Renji letting Mayuri modify them after he broke his sword (though Renji doesn't seem to remember this at all). And this actually happened in the supposedly humorous, non-canonical omake chapters.
- Technically, he kinda does, as hinted in an episode trailer, just not the full scope of the hows and why.
- Dem Bones: Zabimaru's bankai turns Snakey into an enormous skeletal serpent. The real Bankai opts for a giant skeletal hand instead.
- Fiery Pinkheads: Well, where do you think they got it from?
- Gender Bender/Humanity Ensues: As stated above, they used to be a baboon with a snake for a tail.
- Heel-Face Turn: Switches sides of the zanpakuto/Soul Reaper conflict without being broken by Renji.
- Whip Sword: Zabimaru's shikai form, which they can use in combat like all zanpakuto spirits.
- You Gotta Have Pink Hair: Lavender-pink, in Chimpette's case.
The spirit of Hitsugaya's sword. At first he takes the form of a large ice dragon, but in the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales filler arc he is a human, the reason why being left to the viewers' imaginations. (The Zanpakuto spirits in general has a habit of blatantly lying at the face of their masters) He is the third (and so far last) spirit seen in the Bleach canon.
- An Ice Person: He uses ice against Hitsugaya. Justified in that he's Hitsugaya's Zanpakuto.
The spirit of Byakuya's sword. He takes the form of a masked samurai. He and Byakuya have a very antagonistic, mistrustful relationship throughout the arc which causes problems for both the Soul Reaper and Muramasa's group.
- Bishōnen Samurai: First fully-armored Samurai introduced in the series, looks a bit like Byakuya, based on what little we can see behind the mask.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He has no problems wearing his mask while taking a shower in the mens' bath, nor showing it all of on display for the girls that were trying to sneak a peak on him, among other things.
- Cherry Blossoms: What his power looks like (and hence his name).
- Cool Mask: One that resembles a Japanese ogre from folklore.
- Curious as a Monkey: The subsequent arc shows him to be quite childish, pushing any button he can find to see what it does. This drastic difference between him and Byakuya is lampshaded, and then it's revealed that Byakuya is just like that, but he hides it better. Subtlely lampshaded, too, as the one trying desperately to control Senbonzakura's "monkey" urges is the "monkey" - or, more accurately, the baboon half of Zabimaru, Renji's baboon/snake zanpakuto
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: He uses it on Byakuya and Ichigo, but he doesn't manage to hurt either.
- The Dragon: He was Muramasa's go-to guy during the Rebellion arc.
- Mr. Fanservice: He's like a more emotional Byakuya, his figure is above average and his face is rather bishie. He was even given a full nudity shot when Tobiume and Haineko spied on him in the men's baths to try and glimpse the face beneath the samurai mask. Well, almost full nudity: apparently, he doesn't take his mask off even when he bathes.
- Fake Defector: It's made clear at the end that he was working with Byakuya all along and Haineko alludes to the Sode no Shirayuki incident by expressing disgust at the way he pretended to mistrust Byakuya.
- Hidden Depths: He has a reputation for being wise, responsible and reliable, as well as powerful, but underneath that lies a spoiled child; he is, in fact, the manifestation of the Bratty Half-Pint that Byakuya used to be.
- Hypocritical Humor: He scolds Zabimaru for breaking into Soul Reaper Research and Development Institute through a window when trying to deliver a broken sword. Turns out he did the exactly same by leaving a huge gap through the door.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Does this to Byakuya, telling him to kill Sode no Shirayuki and hand the broken sword to Rukia.
- Multicolored Hair: His bangs are white.
- Ship Tease: With Sode no Shirayuki.
- The Faceless: His mask cracks at a few points, but his face is never completely shown.
Sode no Shirayuki
The spirit of Rukia's sword. She takes the form of a white-skinned, white-haired yuki-onna, a Japanese ghost. Holds the title of "Most Beautiful Zanpakuto
", which Rukia takes great pride in.
- An Ice Person: Her standard powers. She uses them to much greater effect than Rukia ever did, even without Bankai, as in addition to the three dances, she can also shoot shards of ice.
- Woman in White: They weren't kidding when they called her "the most beautiful zanpakuto".
- Yamato Nadeshiko: A Lady of War in a white kimono. Cold and apathetic, but polite at most points. Later showed a kinder, friendlier and somewhat mischievous side to Senbonzakura and Rukia.
- Youkai: Is pretty obviously a yuki-onna, or "snow woman".
The spirit of Hisagi's sword. Takes the form of an entirely black being with white facial features that doesn't seem to be entirely within this plane of existence. Compared to Hisagi, he's pretty damn Ax-Crazy
- Ax-Crazy: Has this in spades.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: Seems covered in an unnatural darkness at all times, but his eyes and mouth just seem to glow.
- Character Development: He mellows out a bit once he meets a random baby, finally understanding that he doesn't have to fight for fightings' sake, but he's still a temperamental, bloodthirsty bastard.
- Comedic Sociopathy: In one Omake, he apologies to Hisagi and promise to be a nice zanpakuto. However, as they hug each other Kazeshini asks how could he possibly buy that and stab Hisagi's shoulder while laughing at him.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Inverted; he gets defeated with little effort by Ichigo.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first thing we hear from the guy was his Evil Laugh, basically saying that he's eager for a fight.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Can turn himself into a veritable whirlwind of blades, in addition to his standard spinning of his scthyes when he throws them.
- Freudian Excuse: Apparently represents Hisagi's negative emotions. Hisagi apparently needs counseling. Good luck with that.
- Licked by the Dog: His interactions with the baby, in a way.
- Mr. Fanservice: There's something eerily appealing about his slender, black-red six-pack, psychotic devil or no.
- Pointy Ears: Possibly to make him more demonic.
- Psycho for Hire: By default, for everyone that employs him.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Has black skin with a red outline and eyes, and is the only Zanpakuto spirit to keep trying to kill its wielder after Muramasa's defeat.
- Real Zanpaktou Love Kids (A little baby attaches himself to Kazeshini for an episode, and despite himself, he keeps worrying about the child's well being, which is why when Hisagi finally bring him to heel, he finally understands his master better, and gains a fair appreciation for protecting others.)
- Rule of Sexy: the only reason why his clothes reveal his chest.
- Sinister Scythe: Four of them, two in each hand.
- Slasher Smile: Also has this in spades.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His clothes include swirly-looking pants and a chest-plate that reveals his abdominal muscles.
The spirit of Rangiku's sword. Being the 'ash cat', she is a Cat Girl
covered with pink furs. Like Rangiku noted, she is lazy. She considers Rangiku to be an old hag
, and is usually partnered with Tobiume, despite how much they bicker.
Tropes associated with Haineko:
The spirit of Hinamori's sword, and according to Hinamori herself, she helped her getting over her trauma towards Aizen. The real Tobiume, however, is a snarky, nasty-mouthed little girl. Like much of the fanbase, she is sick of Hinamori's obsession over Aizen. Partnered a lot with Haineko, who really irritates her, at least until later on.
Tropes associated with Tobiume:
- Action Girl: Good at fighting, bad at winning.
- Berserk Button: Do not grope her. She'll bite your hand in a heartbeat, as Haineko experienced first hand.
- Covert Pervert: You might not know it first-glance, but she actually tried to sneak a peak on Senbonzakura while he was in the mens' bathroom to see what he looked like without the mask. Although she voiced her reservations beforehand, the blush on her face was enough proof to show that she definitely enjoyed the view.
- First Name Basis: She's the only one to use Hinamori's first name.
- Hair Decorations: She's got several hairpins on her hair, enhancing yer youthful appearance.
- Hime Cut: Her sidetails are wrapped in small, golden, cylinder-shaped clips. Along with the kimono, it's supposed to giver her a very traditional miko/Yamato Nadeshiko appearance.
The twin spirits of Shunsui Kyoraku's sword. They take the form of a quiet ninja girl and a mature woman with an Eyepatch of Power
and a rather obvious Pirate Girl
Tropes associated with Katen Kyokotsu:
- Absolute Cleavage: Pirate Girl half modified her outfit so that it reveals a generous amount of her boobs, which also mirrors how his own chest is revealed thanks to his own garbs.
- Ascended Meme: They take the form of a ninja and female Japanese takeoff of a Pirate Girl, in what seems to be an obvious nod to the ninjas and pirates meme.
- Also, the Kyoraku "King of Games" nickname is given a nod by the fact Katen Kyokotsu's older half seems to be a bit of game nut, notably card like games.
- Character Development: The ninja half gets some thanks to Nanao.
- Cool Versus Awesome: We have pirates and ninjas, ladies and gentlemen.
- Deadpan Snarker: Pirate Girl half.
- Eyepatch of Power: Pirate Girl half wears one over her right eye, though we're unsure of why.
- High-Class Call Girl: Intriguingly, the Pirate Girl half has an appearance that is a mixture of pirate and tayuu (she even uses the Figure 8 Step walk real life tayuu and oiran used to use when walking).
- Lazy Bum: Katen Kyokotsu's older half. Self admitted even.
- Mega Twintails: When Kyouraku's zanpakutou Katen Kyoukatsu takes human form, his tachi's human form includes Mega Twintails.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Ninja girl half has long bangs that obscures one eye, but reveals the other.
- Screw Yourself - Averted. One half of his materialized Zanpaktou takes the form of a beautiful woman with an Eyepatch of Power, and at a party, Matsumoto wonders if leaving her with her often-lecherous master is a good idea. The Screw Yourself part comes from the fact Zanpakto are part of a Soul Reaper's soul, but as she says this, the scene cuts right back to the parties in question, and it's quite clear that Matsumoto is dead wrong. And even earlier Shunsui himself hammers a nail through that theory by implying that he views his Zanpakuto family, at the very least considering the ninja half as something of a daughter to him, if his little monologue when carrying her bridal-style after giving a One-Hit Kill on a Toju that tried to kill her is anything to indicate.
- Sinister Scimitar: They both wield one, which they brandish during fights.
- The Quiet One: The ninja half. Aside from a few muffled noises, she never says a word.
Sogyo no Kotowari
The twin spirits of Jushiro Ukitake's sword. Take the form of two young identical boys with white hair, green eyes and wearing light blue robes and big triangular hats. They also join hands a lot, reminiscent of how their shikai form is connected by a red rope. Their name translates to "Law of the Twin Fish".
Tropes associated with Sogyo no Kotowari:
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: They look directly at the screen at one point in episode 257.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: When they were killed by Ryujin Jakka under Muramasa's control, but they got better thanks to Mayuri Kurotsuchi's research.
- Keets: Very energetic and playful.
- Shock and Awe: They can shoot lightning from their fans.
The spirit of Soifon's sword. She takes the form of a small, glowing fairy with light pink eyes, light-brown hair in pigtails and a stinger that takes up her entire right arm.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Her whole right arm is a large stinger, almost as tall as she is.
- Comically Missing the Point: Tells Soifon she should get a boyfriend. Nothing we have ever seen of Soifon indicates she'd ever have use for one.
- Fragile Speedster: She's quick, but she can barely handle any sorta damage done to her.
- Stripperific: That armor of hers doesn't seem to protect her chest that much.
The spirit of Mayuri's sword. Takes the form of a yellow-faced baby boy with wide eyes. Upon going Bankai, the kid grows to huge levels and his body looks a LOT like a caterpillar... that exhales poison.
The spirit of Retsu Unohana's sword. So mysterious that we still don't know if they they have a gender.
- Ambiguous Gender: As stated above, the fact that we can't see what Minazuki looks like means that we can't tell what gender, if any, they may have.
- The Faceless: Wears this weird robe-like thing that obscures everything about Minazuki's body (if it even has one).
- Flat Character: It really doesn't have anything going for it - no dialogue, no personality, barely appeared on-screen, no known motivation to speak of, and no known gender.
- Super Speed: Performs some pretty fast Flash Step maneuvers when leading Ichigo to Kazeshini.
- The Voiceless: Not even any grunts or moans are heard from Minazuki.
The spirit of Ikkaku Madarame's sword. Appears as a near-naked ogre-resembling brute, sharing his wielders' fight-loving disposition, but is apparently as lazy as Ikkaku described him as. Unlike his owner, Hozukimaru is much more willing to use bankai and even calls Ikkaku out on not using it when he should have.
The spirit of Yumichika Ayasegawa's sword. Takes the form of a human with green peacock feathers all over his body, aside from his head and part of his chest. A very vain and condescending man, Ruri'iro Kujaku is even more of a narcissist than Yumichika himself. Unlike his owner, Ruri'iro Kujaku is actually willing to use his full power from the get-go, whereas Yumichika fears the reception he'll get from Kenpachi, Ikkaku, and his entire division should the truth become public.
- Berserk Button: Takes issue with being called Fuji Kujaku (Wisteria (purple) Peacock), instead of Ruri'iro Kujaku (Azure Peacock).
- Energy Absorption: His abilities, and the source of his frustration with Yumichika, who utterly refuses to use them in battle.
- The Fighting Narcissist: Like owner, like zanpakuto.
- Nice Hat: He wears a turban that's modified to reflect a bird's crest and therefore provide a callback to his true nature (a peacock) without losing those all-important style points.
- Those Two Guys Generation Xerox: Hozukimaru and Ruri'iro Kujaku tend to appear with each other a lot of the time, as do their owners - Ikkaku and Yumichika.
- Vampiric Draining: His abilities drain an enemy's life-force and heal him and his wielder (although not his wielder during this arc thanks to his Berserk Button being constantly pressed).
- Walking Shirtless Scene: His nicely-toned chest is the only other place that green, peacock feather-down doesn't cover, apart from his head.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: See the character picture.
The spirit of Sajin Komamura's sword. Takes the form of a giant, fire-breathing Buddhist deity with red skin.
Voiced by: Masafumi Kimura (JP), Neil Kaplan (EN)
- Attack of the 50 Foot Samurai: In bankai, he personally takes the form of the giant Samurai that Komamura always uses.
- Badass: He manages to get a couple hits on Kenpachi.
- Badass Mustache: His bankai form has one behind the veil that masks his face.
- The Big Guy/The Brute: Alternates between the two.
- BFS: His sword when he is in bankai.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Effortlessly beats his master very shortly after appearing.
- Dual Boss: Tends to fight alongside Gonryoumaru.
- Fireball Eyeballs: Is shown to have flames for eyeballs under his helmet.
- Horned Humanoid: In bankai, as revealed in the manga. The horns on his helmet are actually his and the helmet is simply formed around it.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: His mouth lacks cheeks and lips, giving it a Hollow-like appearance, although this may be due to the temporary Hollowfication.
- Playing with Fire: Shown to have fire manipulation abilities, despite Komamura never having shown this.
- Power Echoes: The only time he speaks to activate his bankai.
- The Quiet One: He speaks once in the entire arc.
- The Stoic: His expresion rarely changes, much less his demeanour.
- Super Mode: By removing his armor he becomes invincible.
The spirit of Hanataro Yamada's sword. Takes the form of a small metal robot with a gauge for one eye. Every bit as shy, nervous, and insecure as Hanataro, he is the only zanpakuto with no complaints against his master.
The spirit of Chojiro Sasakibe's sword. Appears as a grim looking ascetic carrying a sacred shrine on his back and wielding a long, double bladed pike.
The spirit of Marechiyo Omaeda's sword. Takes the form of a huge, ugly man similar to a toad.
- Acrofatic: Despite his massive bulk, he's deceptively fast.
- Butt Monkey: Like Omaeda, nobody takes him serious.
- Epic Flail: His Shikai, which is the same as Omaeda. He never gets to use it, though.
- Fat Bastard: He's more concerned about eating than anything else.
- Gonk: The facial Art Shift used to emphasise Oomaeda is someone no-one respects and who is used mostly for comic relief, are even more exaggerated in his zanpakutou, who is even worse than Oomaeda.
The spirit of Izuru Kira's sword. Takes the form of a man carrying an impressive amount of weight on his back.
The basal Zanpakuto that all Soul Reapers receive upon joining the Academy. By imprinting to their wielder's soul over time, they form a symbiotic relationship with them and attain a unique appearance and abilities.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Ichigo assumes that their humanoid forms are this to their sword forms, but Ouetsu Nimaiya later reveals it's the other way around.
- Character Development: This is more or less required for a soul reaper to achieve their fullest potential. The soul reaper must understand that their zanpakuto is a reflection of themselves, not an independent entity to rely on. By extension, this means they must learn everything there is to know about themselves and accept who they are. If you cannot see through to your true self, you cannot attain full power. As such, soul reapers who possess little understanding of themselves as people cannot achieve Bankai—the full expression of a soul reaper's power and personality.
- Empathic Weapon: More so than other types of Zanpakuto, as they can bond to anyone with sufficient power and become anything.
- Evolving Weapon: Over time and continued use, the Asauchi's wielder imprints their soul onto it as it draws out their inner Zanpakuto spirit, transforming the Asauchi into said Zanpakuto.
- Eyeless Face/Nightmare Face: They have drooling, toothy mouths for eyes on an otherwise blank face.
- Morph Weapon: By bonding to a Soul Reaper they attain the appearance of their master's Zanpakuto as well as its abilities.
- No Mouth: At least not where it should be.
- Psychopomp: The only power they naturally possess is the ability to cleanse Hollows and send Pluses to Soul Society.
- Strong as They Need to Be: Asauchi are introduced as pathetically weak swords inferior in every way to awakened Zanpakuto. Eventually it's revealed that the Asauchi are the strongest type of Zanpakuto because they have limitless potential at that stage. Once the bond with the Soul Reaper begins, they become defined and therefore limited.