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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. In truth he is the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers, taking the form of the Quincy Emperor Yhwach, and is embodied by the smaller blade of Ichigo's true Zanpakuto.
- 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 actually 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 purported sealed form is a gigantic katana; 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation: He manifests hundreds of fake Zanpakuto to help train Ichigo to use his Bankai. It is later revealed that the "Zangetsu" Ichigo has wielded since the beginning is a product of this ability as well, and therefore not a true 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 nor 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 handsome teenager - Yhwach at a young age. 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.
- Ambiguous Situation: Yhwach stripped Ichigo of his Quincy and Hollow powers during their penultimate battle. The manga doesn't clarify the extent to which Tsukishima and Orihime's intervention reverses this, especially as Ichigo doesn't noticeably use any Quincy or Hollow powers during the final battle and the white outer layer of Ichigo's Bankai mysteriously shatters leaving only the core Shikai blade behind. The wrap-up novel Bleach Cannot Fear Your Own World confirms Ichigo's soul is still Hollowfied and there's concern Aizen may somehow exploit this. It does not explain the shattering of the outer casing of Tensa Zangetsu, or what it represents for the sword, its spirit forms, or Ichigo's powers.
- 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, Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu's right eye has a white iris and black sclera like the Inner Hollow's,note while his other eye has a white sclera and blue iris.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Inner Hollow/White Zangetsu
The other spirit inhabiting Ichigo's inner world. He appears as a monochrome doppelgänger of Ichigo with black sclera, pale skin, white hair, and a color-inverted Shihakushō, wielding a color-inverted Zangetsu; and is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Ichigo's Hollow powers. He is later revealed to be Ichigo's true Zanpakuto Spirit, which was taken over by White, a parasitic artificial Hollow created by Aizen, and is embodied by the larger blade of Ichigo's true Zanpakuto.
- 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: He is introduced as the manifestation of Ichigo's Hollow powers, and in the final arc is revealed to also be his Zanpakuto Spirit - the manifestation of his Soul Reaper powers. He also claims to be the manifestation of Ichigo's instincts and darkest personality traits.
- 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 each other in Ichigo's inner world twice, the first time in order to show Ichigo how to properly use a Zanpakuto and the second time 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. When Tensa Zangetsu summons the Inner Hollow during the Final Getsuga Tensho training arc, Ichigo mistakenly assumes he's to fight him a third time.
- The Berserker: He attacks relentlessly, and mocks Ichigo for not doing the exact 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: The Inner Hollow has black sclera and is bloodthirsty, sadistic, and vicious. Whenever he starts to take over Ichigo, the first symptom is his sclera turning black.
- 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 hear his voice taunting and threatening him and 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.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Despite his white garb and pale skin, he is a bloodthirsty entity whose reiatsu is black — with a red outline in the anime — and described as abnormally heavy and malevolent; and for the early part of the Arrancar Arc he was an antagonist seeking to take over Ichigo's body. However, his intent in doing so was to protect Ichigo, who he eventually reconciles with.
- 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 both 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 rage and 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 acted hostile and impolite, but gave Ichigo some pointers on how to properly use a Zanpakuto. After Ichigo refused his help against Byakuya and utterly lost 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 immensely 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 true Zanpakuto - the true 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.
- Family Theme Naming: Just as Isshin's Zanpakuto was named "Engetsu" (Scathing Moon), Ichigo's Zanpakuto is named "Zangetsu" (Cleaving Moon).
- For Your Own Good: During their second Battle in the Centre of the Mind, the Inner Hollow 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.
- Grand Theft Me: He is the result of White taking over and becoming Ichigo's Zanpakuto Spirit, Zangetsu.
- Hey, You!: Considering the Inner Hollow didn't really tell Ichigo his name when asked and that Ichigo didn't believe him when he later told him he was Zangetsu, there really wasn't any other way he could be addressed.
- Hidden Depths: After facing off against Ichigo for the first time the Inner Hollow complemented Ichigo's strength to the Old Man in a calm manner contrasting his earlier gleeful bloodlust; and despite his and Ichigo's antagonistic relationship, Ichigo's safety has always been his first priority: He intervened during Ichigo's battles when he was in danger of being killed,note 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: When he shows up during the Final Getsuga Tenshou training, the Inner Hollow appears as a color-inverted version of Ichigo's second Hollow form, complete with a pair of forward-facing horns.
- I Have Many Names: While Aizen's Hollowfication experiment, he was named "White" by Tousen to reflect his soul. As Ichigo's Inner Hollow, he either claims to be nameless or calls himself "Zangetsu", and alternate titles given in the UNMASKED databook include "Hollow Ichigo", "The Hollow within Ichigo", and "White Ichigo". 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.
- Insistent Terminology: During his fight with Ichigo, he continues to insist that he is Zangetsu. Turns out he was telling the truth.
- Jerkass: Personifies this side of Ichigo, along with his despair and the insanity that Hollowfication causes.
- Jerkass Has a Point: When he duels Ichigo for the first time, he bluntly and harshly points out the reasons why Ichigo lost against Zaraki.
- Laughing Mad: He is prone to fits of maniacal laughter, especially in the anime.
- 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 from his mother 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: The Inner Hollow protects Ichigo during the Soul Society arc by manifesting a Hollow mask to take the brunt of would-be fatal blows. When under control, his power manifests as a skull-like mask with red/black markings. 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 soul and reiryoku of Aizen's experimental Hollow, White, were passed on to Ichigo from Masaki in-utero and integrated into his soul by melding with his Soul Reaper powers, taking over his Zanpakuto Spirit in the process.
- Monstrous Humanoid: When "Tensa Zangetsu" rips him out of Ichigo during the Deicide arc, White Zangetsu takes the form of Ichigo's fully Hollowfied form, but with white hair and a black mask with white markings.
- Naked on Revival: When manifested into an Asauchi he is completely naked, save for a white Hollow mask.
- 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.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: The Inner Hollow's number one priority has always been helping and protecting Ichigo. However, his methods of doing so are antagonistic and initially involve trying to take over Ichigo's body, leading to Ichigo considering him to be an Enemy Within for most of the series.
- One-Winged Angel: He shows up as a monochrome version of Ichigo's second Hollow form with a color-inverted mask and fully-formed 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: He's stated himself 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, ultimate 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 Kenpachi 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 at the Final Getsuga Tensho training spot.
- 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: From the moment he's introduced, the Inner Hollow is censorious of Ichigo and constantly berates and mocks him. He's best remembered for delivering a particularly vicious speech to Ichigo during the Visored training arc, rebuking 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.
- Sarcastic Confession: He stated that 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: The Inner Hollow 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, but Ichigo kept him suppressed out of fear he'd take over his body.
- Shadow Archetype: 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:
- While they can manifest separately, the Inner Hollow was suppressed inside Old Man Zangetsu. Their positions were reversed when the Inner Hollow temporarily became the dominant source of Ichigo's power.
- Initially, Ichigo treated the Inner Hollow like a parasite living inside his soul, and the Hollow himself didn't exactly do anything to refute this, especially when stating he intended to take over Ichigo's body himself. In the end, however, Ichigo accepts him as being a part of himself.Ichigo: note He may have originally been a Hollow, but now he's a part of me.
- 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.
- The Social Darwinist: The Inner Hollow is a firm believer in "Survival of the Fittest" and "Might Makes Right", equating combat instinct and bloodlust with power in his "The Reason You Suck" Speech and calling Ichigo weak for his reliance on logic and reason.
- Split-Personality Takeover:
- His proclaimed modus operandi, as outlined during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, is to seize control of Ichigo's body, since he considers Ichigo unworthy of being the "king".note Inner Hollow: You're weak, Ichigo! I won't put up with that. Am I clear? I don't know about "Zangetsu", but I refuse to play horse to a king who's weaker than me. Someone whose uncertainty and hesitation will end up getting us both cut to pieces! If you aren't willing to assert your strength and retain the crown, then I'll destroy you. Which means... I'll be king...
- 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.
- His proclaimed modus operandi, as outlined during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech, is to seize control of Ichigo's body, since he considers Ichigo unworthy of being the "king".note
- Stealth Mentor: He gave Ichigo tips on how to wield his Zanpakuto and was the one who showed Ichigo how to use his bankai's techniques properly, albeit in a roundabout fashion.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: In the anime the Inner Hollow's irises are yellow, though they are white in the manga.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: He is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Ichigo's Hollow powers, and is an antagonistic force for the majority of the series. It's noted by Ulquiorra that Ichigo's reiatsu level went from being pathetically weak to dwarfing his own when the Inner Hollow attempted to intervene during Ichigo's fight with Yammy, and when Ichigo fully Hollowfied he was able to easily crush Ulquiorra's second Resurrección.
- Sword Beam:
- The Inner Hollow can use the Getsuga Tensho in Ichigo's inner world, 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.
- Ichigo's Bankai version of Getsuga Tensho is explicitly stated to draw upon the Inner Hollow's power, and using it initially puts him at risk of Hollowfying. Its power is exponentially magnified when used in conjunction with his Hollow mask, and Ulquiorra even compares it to his own Cero Oscuras, though Ichigo takes offense to this. With his true Zanpakuto's Shikai, Ichigo can fire the Black Getsuga Tensho from his larger sword, which embodies his Inner Hollow — though Bleach: Brave Souls colors the Getsuga Tensho from his greatsword red.
- Technicolor Blade: His Shikai, Bankai, and Asauchi forms are pure white. After being reforged by Ouetsu his shikai is jet black, but turns white when Ichigo taps into his power.
- 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.
- Trash Talk: White Zangetsu is harshly critical of Ichigo's lack of bloodlust, which he makes no secret of during their Battle in the Center of the Mind; and when he takes over Ichigo's body he also insults Byakuya in the Soul Society arc and Dalk and Koga in the anime's Bount arc.
- Unwanted Assistance: When the Inner Hollow tries to help Ichigo defeat Byakuya — and Dalk and Gō Koga in the anime's Bount arc — by taking over his body, Ichigo tells him to stop interfering and rips his half-formed mask off to regain control of his body, disregarding the Inner Hollow's protests that he's trying to help Ichigo win. The Inner Hollow's subsequent attempts to take control of Ichigo during his fights with Yammy and Grimmjow early in the Arrancar Invasion arc also only made the situation worse by distracting Ichigo.
- 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, his face was identical to White's 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 strip of exposed skin that reaches down to her hips and exposes the inside of her breasts.
- 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.
- Anthropomorphic Shift: Originally they were shown as a baboon with a snake for a tail, but in a gag panel Renji asks Mayuri to modify his sword, resulting in the manifestation becoming a humanoid. This humanoid form - a busty, furred woman chained to a young boy with a snake tail - is officially showcased in the anime's Zanpakuto Rebellion filler arc.
- Bag of Sharing: Chimpette and Snakey only have one sword between them, and they can both summon it whenever they want.
- Boobs of Steel: Chimpette is a strong fighter and has a pretty nice size chest, though it isn't quite on the same level as Rangiku.
- Chained by Fashion: 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.
- Dem Bones: Zabimaru's bankai turns Snakey into an enormous skeletal serpent. The real Bankai opts for a giant skeletal hand instead.
- Fiery Redhead: Well, where do you think they got it from?
- Gender Bender: They used to be a male baboon with a snake for a tail, but became a humanoid female chained to a snake-like boy.
- Whip Sword: Zabimaru's shikai form, which they can use in combat like all zanpakuto spirits.
- Wrecked Weapon: Byakuya destroyed several of Hihiō Zabimaru's segments during his fight with Renji, which Mayuri reveals are still missing.
- You Are Not Ready: Zabimaru withheld the true name and power of its bankai from Renji, deeming him neither worthy or ready.
- You Gotta Have Blue 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.
- Chick Magnet: Haineko, Tobiume and Suzumebachi certainly like having him around, though Chimpette and Sode no Shirayuki seem indifferent.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The X-shaped scar on his face is rather weird-looking.
- An Ice Person: He uses ice against Hitsugaya. Justified in that he's Hitsugaya's Zanpakuto.
- Identity Amnesia: Doesn't remember what he was before Muramasa came along.
- Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Then again, since the other two zanpakuto spirits in the canon are a middle-aged man and a baboon, it probably isn't too out of place.
- Our Dragons Are Different: He usually takes the shape of an ice-blue winged dragon with a limbless, serpentine body, which he transforms into in the filler arc by activating his bankai.
- Super Mode: After being temporarily Hollowfied his spirit form takes on the appearance of a European-style dragon with fangs lining his jaws.
- Quest for Identity: Couldn't care less about Muramasa, he just wants to know who he belongs to.
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 peek on him, among other things.
- Cherry Blossoms: What his power looks like (and hence his name).
- Cool Mask: He wears a mask that resembles a Japanese ogre from folklore, and never takes it off.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. She later showed a kinder, friendlier and somewhat mischievous side to Senbonzakura and Rukia.
- Youkai: She 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: Kazeshini is extremely bloodthirsty and loves to battle, to the point of attacking Hisagi even after Muramasa's control is broken.
- Badass and Child Duo: He comes across a baby while roaming Soul Society and carts it around in a similar manner to Kenpachi and Yachiru, which teaches him a measure of empathy.
- 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.
- 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:
- Action Girl: As with most female zanpakuto, she's a fast and agile fighter
- Adorkable: When she meets Narunosuke, a stark contrast to her usual demeanor. However, instead of being jarring, it ends up adorable.
- Bare Your Midriff: Shows off the curves of her back as well.
- Cat Girl: Though that isn't real fur on her, believe it or not. She removes the shorts while running on a treadmill.
- Character Development: While she retains her snarky demeanor following the end of the Zanpakuto Rebellion, it's far more playful by comparison to her Muramasa-controlled incarnation. Haineko seemed much friendlier and more outgoing in the following mini-arc, from partying with other Soul Reapers and Zanpakuto in her spare time, to hanging out with Rangiku and Orihime back at the real world. She even seems to warm up to Tobiume (less arguments; defended her when Kirikaze threw her away) and Rangiku (hung out more; playful teasing instead of outright antagonism) in her own way.
- Character Tic: The twitching of her ears.
- Cute Little Fangs: She has four fangs; two at the top and two at the bottom.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Her skin tone is slightly darker compared to everyone else.
- Establishing Character Moment: Her first two scenes quickly reveal two of her personality traits, that of a Lazy Bum and The Tease. After kicking her legs a bit, Haineko dropped to her feet, yawned and asked when the Zanpakuto would do something by then. Her second appearance has her leaning her face towards to Rangiku, close enough to make it look like she was just about to kiss her (she was even humming flirtatiously), before shoving Rangiku out of the way, looking back at her and giggling playfully.
- Fiery Redhead: Easily provoked into an argument if you jab at her enough.
- Fun Personified: The post-Muramasa mini-arc demonstrates that she can be quite the party girl when she wants.
- Gainaxing: Naturally, given her large bust size, but it only happens once.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Much like Rangiku, she's very much a fan of sake.
- Lazy Bum: When she gets bored, she opts to lay down on the floor or lean on a table and address her state of mind to anyone else who happens to be in the room. Not too different from Rangiku herself.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Dark Feminine to Tobiume, as she's both The Tease and a Lovable Sex Maniac in contrast to the more reserved Tobiume.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: She's quite the perv herself, really, and she makes no effort to hide it. Such moments include peeking at a naked Senbonzakura in the shower; not-so-subtly complimenting Ichigo's long sword; and straight-up moaning as she's leaning on Ichigo's chest. It gets to a point where her partner in crime Tobiume even addresses it by damn-near calling her a slut.Tobiume: "You jump on every guy you meet!"Haineko: "Yep. Too bad."
- Ms. Fanservice: She's a redheaded, olive-skinned catgirl, complete with fangs, ears, pink fur coat and a tail. She's The Tease to just about anyone she finds attractive, including her master Rangiku. She sports a curvy figure, having a busty chest, a big butt, and wide hips, in addition to her exposed curves, front, right leg and shoulders. She also skirts around the Zettai Ryouiki trope by wearing thigh-length sock-like stocking for her left leg.
- Pet the Dog: When an injured Kazeshini fell face-first to the ground in exhaustion, Haineko and Tobiume were the first to run towards him out of concern.
- Screw Yourself: She flirts with Rangiku at two specific moments. The first was when she turned Rangiku around, hummed mischievously and puckered her lips as she leaned her face at Rangiku, before shoving her wielder out of the way. The second happened during their fight; after ripping a piece of cloth from Rangiku's chest, Haineko can be seen licking the corner of her lips and giggling once she received an eyefull of Rangiku's cleavage.
- Sprouting Ears: Inverted. Rather than popping out at random, they're clearly seen at all times she's on-screen, almost like it's part of her. When they do twitch (sometimes even move), it's at random and could indicate anything, from mischief and affection, to surprise and irritation.
- Super-Deformed: Played for Laughs. When she first meets Narunosuke, and their eyes make contact, a Super-Deformed version of Haineko pops into the screen, who freaks out at the fact that she's developing a crush on him.
- The Tease: Towards guys and girls, no less.
- Toplessness from the Back: Gets several of these shots every now and then, especially in episode 262.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Only on her left leg, where her balloon-style shorts are partnered with a single thigh-length stocking that doubles as a shoe.
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.
- Covert Pervert: You might not know it first-glance, but she actually tried to sneak a peek 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.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Light Feminine to Haineko, as Tobiume (tries to be) more graceful and ladylike.
- Little Miss Snarker: Very prone to giving scathing remarks about Haineko and Hinamori over what she feels are their flaws.
- Pet the Dog: She comforted Momo over her emotional turmoil regarding Aizen, according to Momo herself.
- Petite Pride: She's not flat! She's slim.
- Playing with Fire: Those temple balls become engulfed in flames, used whenever she's in combat.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She's not shy about telling Momo what she (and the fandom) thinks of her thoughts on Aizen. She hates how Momo is immediately willing to see the best on everyone to the point of stupidity.
- Tsundere: To Hinamori. One after-episode short had her praising Hinamori right after their battle, which she lost.Tobiume: She isn't a hag! If you insult a wonderful lady like her again, I'll never forgive you!
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Despite their Volleying Insults, Tobiume and Haineko are nearly always seen together, which gives off the impression that they enjoy arguing.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Despite being a Tsundere, she actually refers to herself as a YN and takes pride on it. This is why she dresses the part.
The spirits of the two Zanpakutou that Shunsui Kyouraku always carries with him. They take the form of a quiet ninja girl and a mature woman with an Eyepatch of Power and a rather obvious Pirate Girl motif.
Tropes associated with Katen Kyokotsu:
- Absolute Cleavage: The Pirate Girl half, Sakuranosuke, modified her outfit so that it reveals a generous amount of her boobs, which also mirrors how Kyouraku's own chest is revealed thanks to his own garbs. The ninja girl half's outfit is also open at the front to expose her chest.
- Ascended Meme: They take the form of a ninja and female Japanese take on a Pirate Girl, in what seems to be an obvious nod to the ninjas and pirates meme. Kyoraku's "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.
- Blood Knight: Kyōkotsu treats battle as a game and enjoys toying with her prey.
- Character Development: The ninja half gets some thanks to Nanao.
- Cool vs. Awesome: We have pirates and ninjas, ladies and gentlemen.
- Eyepatch of Power: Sakuranosuke, the Pirate Girl, wears one over her right eye, though we're unsure of why.
- High-Class Call Girl: Intriguingly, Sakuranosuke 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).
- Interspecies Romance: Sakuranosuke, the Pirate Girl spirit and manifestation of Katen, refers to herself as a "katana" and states that Soul Reapers and katana (like Kyouraku and herself) are "incompatible" creatures.
- Lazy Bum: Katen Kyokotsu's older half, Sakuranosuke. Self admitted even.
- Literal Split Personality: Kyōkotsu, the ninja girl, was formed from Katen in order to hide Nanao Ise's Zanpakuto.
- Mega Twintails: When Kyouraku's zanpakutou Katen Kyoukatsu takes human form, his tachi's human form includes Mega Twintails.
- Peek-a-Bangs: The ninja girl half has long bangs that obscures one eye, but reveals the other.
- The Quiet One: The ninja half. Aside from a few muffled noises, she never says a word.
- Screw Yourself:
- Played With. Katen takes the form of a beautiful woman while Kyōkotsu is a meek young girl, and the Screw Yourself part comes from the fact Zanpakuto spirits are part of a Soul Reaper's soul. At one point in the filler arc, Matsumoto wonders if leaving her with her often-lecherous master is a good idea. But this instance is averted when Shunsui says that he views his Zanpakuto as family, at the very least considering the ninja half as something of a daughter to him.
- Played completely straight when Katen's spirit form, Sakuranosuke, appears in the manga. Their conversation invokes very romantic and sexual connotations, with Kyoraku at one point calling her his One True Love and stating that being able to lay his head in her lap (with her cleavage dangling inches from his face) is a "fringe benefit" of having such a difficult bankai.
- Sinister Scimitar: They both wield one, which they brandish during fights.
- Undying Loyalty: The theme of Sakuranosuke (the older woman) is that of a woman who is loyal to her man, no matter what and regardless of any mistreatment, infidelity or abandonment. This is reflected in both of her and her master: Kyoraku is a philandering womanizer and a samurai with responsibilities greater than she. Further, when first summoned in the manga, she remarks that it's been a long time since they've seen each other. Regardless of this, she has sworn to be by his side always and will be there with him at the moment of his death.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: When summoned during his Bankai, Kyoraku calls the spirit of his katana an Affectionate Nickname: "My Flower". She notes that if he's calling her by that nickname, he must be trying to suck up to her and should at least look her in the eye while he does so.
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:
The spirit of Suì-Fēng'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.
- Voiced by: Ayumi Tsuji (JP), Stephanie Sheh (EN)
- 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.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She tells Suì-Fēng that the reason she manifested as a hornet-like fairy was because she dislikes Suì-Fēng's "lame" style.
- 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.
- Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (JP)
- Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Has butterfly-like wings.
- Creepy Child: His yellow skin, bug-like eyes and squeaking sounds can be unnerving.
- Cute Mute: Can barely babble around and say "Bankai!"
- Killer Rabbit: Cute, makes warbling speaking sounds, somewhat curious, poisons people, stabs people with blades that come out of its chest? And then Bankai happens...
- One-Winged Angel: His bankai transforms him into a giant baby-faced caterpillar that protrudes swords from its body and exhales poison.
- Poisoned Weapons: He creates a misty fog of poison all over an area.
- Reforged Blade: Of a sort, as Mayuri continuously makes modifications to him and his abilities.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Which is shared by his master, himself a bluehead.
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.
- Bloody Murder: Its bankai's ability oozes a blood-like liquid that simultaneously corrodes and heals flesh.
- 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.
- 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.
- Voiced by: Taketora (JP), Vic Mignogna (EN)
- The Big Guy: Fills the bill as one for the Zanpakuto.
- Blade on a Stick: His shikai form.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Brown-skinned with messy, light-red hair.
- Lazy Bum: When the Zanpakuto were all first introduced, he was the only one shown sleeping.
- Oni: Looks like a tanned demon in Japanese folklore, as you'd expect from his name, which roughly means "Oni Lamp".
- Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: He willingly takes blows to gather energy and powers.
- Trust Password: Ikkaku confirmed his identity with the "Lucky Dance".
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Only wears a white loincloth.
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: Ruri'iro Kujaku hates the colour purple. Yumichika tries to hide his taboo Functional Magic abilities from his Blood Knight division by constantly insulting Ruri'iro Kujaku by giving it a purple-themed nickname (Fuji Kujaku, "Wisteria (Purple) Peacock"). As a result, it angrily refuses to unleash its power in battle, allowing him to keep his power secret.
- 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.
- 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 Whatever: In bankai, he personally takes the form of the giant samurai that Komamura always uses.
- Badass Mustache: His bankai form has one behind the veil that masks his face.
- BFS: His sword when he is in bankai.
- Breath Weapon: He roars fire at his opponents when angry.
- 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.
- Flaming Sword: He wields a flaming whip-sword.
- 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: In his Dangai Jōe form he removes his armor to become 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.
- Voiced by: Rie Nakagawa (JP), Colleen O'Shaughnessey (EN)
- Adorkable: Awkward and nervous, much like its wielder.
- Butt-Monkey: He is Hanataro's sword, so this should be expected.
- Healing Shiv: Its gauge is filled by healing wounds, and when in shikai the accumulated energy can be unleashed in a surprisingly powerful blast. Bonus points for its shikai form being a scalpel.
- Killer Rabbit: It looks like a small, cheeply-designed robot, but once the gauge has been filled by healing wounds it can unleash a blast powerful enough to one-shot Gillian-class Menos or a Touju with its Shikai.
- Tin-Can Robot: A stark contrast to the mostly-humanoid Zanpakuto seen thus far.
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.
- Voiced by: Kenji Takahashi (JP), Liam O'Brien (EN)
- Blade on a Stick: Although Goryomaru manifests as a Royal Rapier when Sasakibe uses it, the zanpakutou spirit wields a long naginata.
- Butt-Monkey: No one knew who he is or who he belongs to, and he even ends up trapping himself in a pit in order to make an ambush.
- Shock and Awe: He can electrify his spear and call forth storms.
The spirit of Marechiyo Omaeda's sword. Takes the form of a huge, ugly man similar to a toad.
- Voiced by: Shouto Kashii (JP), Kirk Thornton (EN)
- 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 that 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.
- Chained by Fashion: Wears a lot of chains and also a huge stone tablet and an iron ball.
- Gravity Master: Can double the weight of anything he hits.
- Hypocritical Humor: Calls the baby that Kazeshini ends up taking care of "gloomy."Haineko: You're really not one to talk.
- Lightning Bruiser: Despite all those heavy items on his back, he can move pretty fast.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His eyes often appear through his bangs, just as often as they obscure his eyes.
- The Quiet One: Rarely speaks, and usually communicates by shaking his chains. The other Zanpakuto spirits seems to understand him anyway.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He distinctly lacks a shirt, though he's covered in chains.
The spirit of Kenpachi Zaraki's sword.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Nozarashi's power is to cut through almost anything, which is amplified to absurd levels with its bankai, which transforms Kenpachi into a red-skinned oni.
- Nozarashi's sealed form is a chipped and jagged nodachi.
- Nozarashi's Shikai is a massive axe-like cleaver.
- Foreshadowing: Yoruichi tells Ichigo that one of the prerequisites for attaining bankai is manifesting one's Zanpakuto Spirit in the physical world. Kenpachi's Zanpakuto Spirit has been manifested all along and he never realized it.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: Nozarashi was there all along. Zaraki had just been calling her "Yachiru Kusajishi".
- Walking Spoiler: Nozarashi's spirit form was unveiled in Chapter 668.
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 Spirit 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 Soul Reaper powers 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: They have mouths instead of eyes.
- Human Resources: They are created by combining the souls of deceased Soul Reapers.
- Nightmare Face: They have drooling, toothy mouths for eyes on an otherwise blank face.
- Merger of Souls: They are created from the souls of deceased Soul Reapers, and become the physical manifestation of their master's Zanpakuto Spirit, which is a part of their soul.
- Morph Weapon: By bonding to a Soul Reaper they attain the become the manifestation of their master's Zanpakuto spirit 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.
- Soul-Cutting Blade: In their blade form, this is their only power aside from performing Soul Burials.
- 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.