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Characters / Bleach: Zanpakuto

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Characters that appeared in Tite Kubo's Bleach. This page is for the various Zanpakuto spirits, including Zangetsu and Ichigo's Inner Hollow. While usually a part of their owner's soul embodying their Soul Reaper powers,note  they have their own distinct appearances, thoughts, and personalities, and are generally treated as — and in some cases consider themselves to be — distinct entities.

It should be noted that most of the Zanpakuto's humanoid designs are mostly exclusive to the anime, specifically during the Zanpakuto Rebellion and Beast Sword arcs. None of the anime's human designs appear in the manga storyline except for Ichigo's and Kyōraku's. The human form of Renji and Hisagi's Zanpakuto's appear in Bonus Material sketches that Tite Kubo published alongside the manga volumes (a Slice of Life colour sketch for Renji's and a Volume 38 chapter sketch for Hisagi's).


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Old Man Zangetsu
Hollowfied Bankai 

Species: Quincy (disguised as a Zanpakuto Spirit)
Zanpakuto: Zangetsu (Shikai); Tensa Zangetsu (Bankai)
Voiced by: Takayuki Sugo (JP), Richard Epcar (ENG) — Old Man Zangetsu; Showtaro Morikubo (JP), Keith Silverstein (EN) — Tensa 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.

When in bankai as Tensa Zangetsu, he appears as a handsome teenager - Yhwach at a young age. As Tensa Zangetsu, he can fuse with the Inner Hollow to become a representation of Ichigo's full power, and appears calm like the old man but with a violent side to him like the Inner Hollow.

  • 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.
    • 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 behind a sword resembling his original Shikai behind. The wrap-up novel Bleach: Can't Fear Your Own World reveals that this power drain was temporary and that Ichigo fully regained his Hollow and Quincy powers; though it does not explain the shattering of the outer casing of Tensa Zangetsu or what it represents. Bleach: Brave Souls and other material featuring this version of Zangetsu dub it "True Zangetsu" — indicating it's his Zanpakutō's true form.
  • 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.
  • Badass Longcoat: As Tensa Zangetsu he sports a form-fitting black coat 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 Center 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.
  • Bishōnen: To Ichigo's surprise, Tensa Zangetsu is young and androgynous. Similar to his older form, Tensa Zangetsu borrows the appearance of a very young Yhwach.
  • 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. His Fullbring-augmented Bankai form is a jagged black katana as long as his original Shikai form (roughly six feet long). However, he reveals that this fake Zanpakuto was actually manifested from the small amount of Ichigo's Soul Reaper power that he wasn't able to suppress. As an adult, Ichigo as an adult shows him wielding the version of Zangetsu that emerged after his Bankai was shattered by Yhwach, which resembles its original Shikai form.
  • 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.
  • Black Swords Are Better: As Tensa Zangetsu, 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.
  • 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.
  • Duality Motif: To highlight the Fusion Dance that occurs, Hollowfied Tensa Zangetsu's left 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.
  • 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. After this sword is broken by Haschwalth, Ichigo has Zangetsu re-forged using an Asauchi and ends up with two swords representing his Hollowfied Soul Reaper and Quincy powers. His bankai fuses these two swords together, and Yhwach shatters the outer casing to reveal a single sword resembling his original Shikai — which Ichigo is shown wielding as an adult.
  • Field of Blades: The first thing he does during Ichigo's Bankai training is create an entire field of BFS's.
  • Fountain of Youth: When Ichigo enters his bankai, Zangetsu transforms from a middle-aged man — Yhwach as he appeared 1000 years before the series began — to a teenager around Ichigo's age — Yhwach as a teenager. In the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales arc, which occurred before his youthful Tensa Zangetsu form debuted, he's shown as a middle-aged man in both Shikai and Bankai.
  • 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.
  • Fun with Homophones: "Zangetsu (残月)" is a phrase for the moon still visible in the morning. The character's name is written "斬月", the "zan" part being the word for "cleaving/slaying/decapitation", as in "zanpakuto".
  • Hey, You!: Except for the Zaraki fight and Visored 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" (Old Man), by Ichigo.
  • In the Hood: When Tensa Zangetsu first shows up, he's wearing a hood that covers the top half of his head — obscuring his identity.
  • 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.
  • Mood-Swinger: Tensa Zangetsu alternates between sternly lecturing Ichigo to furiously shouting at him, and becomes worse after merging with the Inner Hollow.
  • No Name Given: When the Old Man first meets Ichigo, he tries to introduce himself only for his speech to be blotted out, leading Ichigo to assume that the Old Man is his Zanpakuto Spirit; and the Old Man plays along with this until the Thousand-Year Blood War arc. While Zangetsu is being reforged, the Old Man tells Ichigo that "Zangetsu" is not his name, and that he is a manifestation of Yhwach embodying Ichigo's Quincy powers. 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.
  • Not So Stoic: When Ichigo first enters his flooded inner world, the first thing Tensa Zangetsu 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.
  • 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. As Tensa Zangetsu, his only facial expression when he's not shouting is a disapproving scowl.
  • 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 a single tear of pride 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:
    • Zangetsu's special ability is Getsuga Tensho, a crescent-shaped blast of Spiritual Energy from blade.
    • Tensa Zangetsu's special ability is launching a jagged crescent of black Spiritual Energy from its blade. In the anime it starts off with a blue outline, which is turned red by the Inner Hollow.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Ichigo asks him this once it's revealed that he's not his Zanpakuto Spirit, and Zangetsu tells him that it's true he's not Ichigo's Zanpakuto Spirit but that the only thing he ever lied about was his name. The revelation that the Old Man lied to him devastates Ichigo to the extent that his Inner World immediately floods with despair, though Ichigo 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. After fusing with the Inner Hollow during Ichigo's Final Getuga Tensho training, the first thing Tensa Zangetsu 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
Species: Hollowfied Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Zangetsu (Shikai); Tensa Zangetsu (Bankai)
Voiced by: Masakazu Morita (JP), Johnny Yong Bosch (ENG)

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.

Note: Tropes exclusive to White can be found here, and tropes exclusive to Ichigo's Hollow form can be found here.

  • 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.
  • Ax-Crazy: White Zangetsu is bloodthirsty and revels in combat, often sporting a vicious grin and laughing maniacally, and considers Ichigo to be weak for not embracing his bloodlust and combat instincts. Whenever he succeeds in hijacking Ichigo's body, he fights using a frenzy of slashes or spams Ceros to completely obliterate any opponents he comes across.
  • The Ace: Zangetsu displays an innate understanding of his own abilities, and uses his sword form in ways Ichigo never did such as spinning the Zanpaktou by the cloth wrap to use it as a flail.
  • 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 Center 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 going to fight him a third time.
  • The Berserker: He attacks relentlessly, and mocks Ichigo for not doing the exact same whenever he tries to hijack Ichigo's body and during their Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • BFS: He welds one that's color-inverted from Ichigo's during their second duel. The Zanpakuto that represents the Inner Hollow once Ichigo reforges his Zanpakuto is the larger sword with a gap in its blade.
  • 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.
  • Blade on a Rope: In Shikai form, Ichigo's Zanpakuto is wrapped by bandages, and when he grasps it before battle, the bandages unravel from all of it save the hilt. During Ichigo's Battle in the Center of the Mind against his Inner Hollow self, the Inner Hollow begins swinging it by the bandages and throwing it as a ranged weapon. Ichigo is surprised as this is something he never thought of doing before then.
  • Blood Knight: The Inner Hollow revels in combat and bloodshed, and during their duel he calls Ichigo weak for not doing the same.
  • Cassandra Truth: During their second encounter, Ichigo demands to know where the Old Man Zangetsu is, with the Inner Hollow responding that he is Zangetsu. Ichigo does not believe him until he learns the truth about his own origin during the Thousand-Year Blood War arc.
  • 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.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: He has black teeth in his first appearance during Ichigo’s fight with Kenpachi, but has ordinary white teeth afterward.
  • Effective Knockoff: While the circumstances of his origins are different, White Zangetsu is very similar to Ikomikidomoe, being a powerful Hollow transformed into a Zanpakuto. As Ichigo never encounters Ikomikidomoe, however, the comparison is never made.
  • 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, White Zangetsu gets stronger when Ichigo is enraged or despairs in order to completely annihilate the source of those emotions.
  • Enemy Mine: He pulls one with Ichigo against Zaraki, and in the Filler against Muramasa and Old Man 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 Center 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).
  • Foreshadowing: In many of his fights, the Inner Hollow is shown to have a more creative mastery of Zangetsu than the "proper" Zanpakuto spirit, which includes wielding the sword as a flail and using the black Getsuga Tenshou (which he claims is his technique) before Ichigo does. During their second battle, he answers Ichigo's demand to know where Old Man Zangetsu is by declaring that he is Zangetsu. This is eventually revealed to be the truth.
  • For Your Own Good: During their second Battle in the Center 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 that 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 the artificial Hollow White taking over and becoming Ichigo's Zanpakuto Spirit, Zangetsu.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Ichigo jokingly calls White this during his battle with Yhwach, saying he needed to jolt his Inner Hollow awake by putting himself in danger.
  • 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 and rage in order to completely eliminate the source of those emotions; 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, though Kazeshini refers to him by his original name — White — in Cannot Fear Your Own World.
  • 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, bloodlust, 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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his bloodthirsty nature all of his attempts to make Ichigo similar to him was to protect him and teach the latter how to defeat his enemies easily to achieve his goals.
  • Laughing Mad: He is prone to fits of maniacal laughter, especially when he takes over Ichigo 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, which greatly augments Ichigo's power when worn. 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.
  • 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 does so in a mostly color-inverted version of Ichigo's second Hollow form — complete with 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, to 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 combat instinct required to keep himself alive, and outlining his intent to permanently usurp Ichigo's status as the "king" of his body.
    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...
  • 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 Urahara'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. Urahara'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. 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.
  • Signature Move: Swinging the Zanpakutou with its wrap cloth or chain and using it as an Epic Flail is unique to the Inner Hollow or whenever he emerges as Hollow Ichigo in the real world. Even when Ichigo witnesses it, he never attempts to copy that move.
  • Slasher Smile: His default facial expression is a bloodthirsty grin, 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:
    • When Ichigo is about to be killed by Byakuya, White takes control and turns the tables on Rukia's brother until Ichigo rips his Hollow Mask off. Throughout the Arrancar Arc, White repeatedly attempts to take control of Ichigo's body — which culminates in a Battle in the Center of the Mind where White contemptuously explains that he thinks that Ichigo lacks the bloodlust and combat instinct needed to keep himself alive, and thus doesn't deserve to be the "king" of their body. Even after being defeated and suppressed, White agrees to lend Ichigo his power but adds that if Ichigo shows the slightest hint of weakness, he'll take over their body for good.note  In the anime, White takes over Ichigo four more times — once in the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales filler arc to fight Old Man Zangetsu, once in the Reigai Uprising filler arc when Ichigo's use of Mugetsu against Aizen leaves his powers destabilized; and twice in the Bleach: Hell Verse movie when Ichigo gives in to rage after Yuzu is killed and when Kokutō threatens his family during their rematch — though Ichigo barely manages to suppress the second transformation by snapping off one of his mask's horns.
    • He pulls this on Old Man Zangetsu following Ichigo's fight with Byakuya, at which point Urahara'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 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.
  • Superpowered 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 — and Ulquiorra had easily overpowered Ichigo's Bankai + Hollow Mask combination in his first Resurrección.
  • Sword Beam:
    • Ichigo's bankai version of Getsuga Tensho is a jagged blast of black (with a red outline in the anime) Spiritual Energy 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 and Jump Force color the Getsuga Tensho from his greatsword red to match his Cero.
    • White Zangetsu is capable of using 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. He also uses his Getsuga Tensho at point-blank-range, something that Ichigo would later copy from him in one way or another.
  • 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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Zabimaru (Shikai); Hihiō Zabimaru (False Bankai); Sōō Zabimaru (True Bankai)
"Chimpette" is voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (JP), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (EN)
"Snakey" is voiced by: Asami Sanada (JP), Michelle Ruff (EN)

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, much to Renji's utter confusion when they first meet.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Snakey runs off in one of the post-arc fillers, and they have to reunite to deal with a Toju.
  • 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 Nue (yokai that looks like a baboon with a snake for a tail), but became a humanoid female chained to a snake-like boy.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Chimpette has a strip of exposed skin that reaches down to her hips and exposes the inside of her breasts.
  • 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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Hyorinmaru (Shikai); Daiguren Hyōrinmaru (Bankai)
Voiced by: Kenji Hamada (JP, in the Zanpakutou Filler Arc), Daisuke Matsuoka (JP, in DiamondDust Rebellion), Travis Willingham (EN)

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: He has a strange-looking white X-shaped scar over his face.
  • An Ice Person: He uses ice against Hitsugaya. Justified in that he's Hitsugaya's Zanpakuto. His ice is so strong, it can even freeze Ryuujin Jakka's flames.
  • Identity Amnesia: Doesn't remember what he was before Muramasa came along.
  • 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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Senbonzakura (Shikai); Senbonzakura Kageyoshi (Bankai)
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa (JP), Vic Mignogna (EN)

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: He 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, even in the shower.
  • 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 (what we can see of it, anyway) 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.
  • Samurai: Befitting Byakuya's obsession with order and honor, Senbonzakura is clad in samurai armor and never takes off his mask.
  • The Faceless: His mask cracks at a few points, but his face is never completely shown.

    Sode no Shirayuki
Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Sode no Shirayuki (Shikai); Hakka no Togame (Bankai)
Voiced by: Mie Sonozaki (JP), Tara Platt (EN)

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.
  • Ethereal White Dress: Sode no Shirayuki is based on a Yuki-Onna, a ghostly 'snow-woman'. As a result, her appearance is based off one: she has very pale skin, silver hair and her kimono is white from top to bottom. She's quiet, well-mannered even when rebelling, is portrayed in a detached, mystical manner and is possessed of an otherworldly beauty, as befitting her association with the yuki-onna folklore.
  • 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.
  • 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".

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Kazeshini (Shikai); Unknown (Bankai)
Voiced by: Kissho Taniyama (JP), Dan Woren (EN)

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. In the novels he compares himself to White (the hollow half of Zangetsu) and Nozarashi (also known as Yachiru).
  • 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 fighting's 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 stabs 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.
  • 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, he has long pointed ears.
  • 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.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Can turn himself into a veritable whirlwind of blades, in addition to his standard spinning of his scthyes when he throws them.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: His clothes include swirly-looking pants and a chest-plate that reveals his abdominal muscles.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Can't Fear Your Own World reveals that Shuhei has struggled with this to some extent, with Kazeshini rarely talking to him directly, and instead often appearing in a vague, formless manner, such as that of a shadow, a tornado or a puddle. The only common feature among Kazeshini's forms being the color black. It's implied in the end his true appearance is that which is seen in the Zanpakuto rebellion arc, when he finally appears to Shuhei as a shadowy figure of a man before he achieves bankai.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Haineko (Shikai)
Voiced by: Chiaki Takahashi (JP), Julie Ann Taylor (EN)

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.
  • 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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Tobiume (Shikai)
Voiced by: Ayumi Fujimura (JP), Michelle Ruff (EN)

The spirit of Momo 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.
  • Brutal Honesty: She does not hold back when chewing out Momo over her blind loyalty to Aizen.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Katen Kyokotsu
Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Katen / Sakuranosuke, Kyokotsu (Shikai); Katen Kyōkotsu: Karamatsu Shinjū (Bankai)
Pirate half voiced by: Ayumi Fujimura (JP), Erin Fitzgerald (EN)
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:
  • 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 Versus 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.
  • Foreshadowing: In the anime, one episode centers on Nanao spending time and bonding with Kyokotsu, despite being Shunsui's zanpakuto. Fittingly, it's revealed later on in the manga Kyokotsu was born to hide Nanao's zanpakuto, Shinken Hakkyoken, with Shunsui calling Kyokotsu "[her] zanpakuto" upon reveal.
  • 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.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: The ninja spirit's outfit is open down her entire torso. Although it's held together by a wide obi, it still exposes her abdomen as well as her cleavage.
  • 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
Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Sogyo no Kotowari (Shikai)
Voiced by: Yu Shimamura (JP), Erin Fitzgerald (EN)

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.
  • Coordinated Clothes: They both wear the same outfit.
  • Creepy Twins: They have elements of this when under Muramasa's control. When freed, they're just playful kids.
  • Foreshadowing: Their clothing gives them some resemblance to that of a shrine priest. Fitting for the zanpakuto of a man whose body contains the Soul King's sentient right arm, Mimihagi, who was worshiped in the Rukongai district. Can't Fear Your Own World reveals Mimihagi's presence within Ukitake to be the reason why his zanpakuto manifests as two swords.
  • Keet: They are both very energetic and playful.
  • Shock and Awe: They can shoot lightning from their fans.
  • Single-Minded Twins: There's really no way to tell them apart.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Suzumebachi (Shikai); Jakuhō Raikōben (Bankai)
Voiced by: Ayumi Tsuji (JP), Stephanie Sheh (EN)

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.
  • 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.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Her breastplate is open at the front and only covers her shoulders and breasts, leaving the rest of her chest and abdomen exposed.
  • "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. While this implies this isn't her true form, she's never shown with any other appearance.
  • Stripperific: That armor of hers doesn't seem to protect her chest that much.

    Ashisogi Jizo

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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Ashisogi Jizo (Shikai); Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō (Bankai); Konjiki Ashisogi Jizō: Matai Fukuin Shōtai (Modified Bankai)
Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (JP)

  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: He has butterfly-like wings, and is capable of reconstituting himself if killed as a result of being modified by Mayuri.
  • Creepy Child: He may look like a child, but 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.
  • Poisonous Person: In his bankai form he can expel a purple poisonous fog derived from Mayuri's blood.
  • Poisoned Weapons: He creates a misty fog of poison all over an area. He can also stab someone to disable their limbs.
  • Reforged Blade: Of a sort, as Mayuri continuously makes modifications to him and his abilities.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Minazuki (Shikai); Minazuki (Bankai)

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.
  • In the Hood: Wears a hooded robe that conceals their face.
  • The Voiceless: Not even any grunts or moans are heard from Minazuki.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Hozukimaru (Shikai); Ryūmon Hōzukimaru (Bankai)
Voiced by: Taketora (JP), Vic Mignogna (EN)
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.

    Ruri'iro Kujaku
Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Fuji Kujaku (False Shikai); Ruri'iro Kujaku (True Shikai)
Voiced by: Takuma Terashima (JP), Sam Riegel (EN)

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.
  • Vampiric Draining: His abilities drain an enemy's life-force and heal him and his wielder, though he withholds the last bit because of his Berserk Button constantly being 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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Tenken (Shikai) Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō (Bankai); Kokujō Tengen Myō'ō: Dangai Jōe (Modified Bankai)
Voiced by: Masafumi Kimura (JP), Neil Kaplan (EN)

The spirit of Sajin Komamura's sword. Takes the form of a giant, fire-breathing Buddhist deity with red skin.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In bankai, he personally takes the form of the giant samurai that Komamura always uses.
  • BFS: His sword when he is in bankai is massive, befitting a giant samurai.
  • 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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Hisagomaru (Shikai)
Voiced by: Rie Nakagawa (JP), Colleen O'Shaughnessey (EN)

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.
  • 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.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Muramasa couldn't mind-control him like the others because he had no hidden resentment for Muramasa to work with.
  • 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.
  • Nervous Wreck: Awkward and nervous, much like its wielder.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: When he uses his Shikai special ability in manifested form, he extends a massive gun from his chest compartment.
  • Tin-Can Robot: A stark contrast to the mostly-humanoid Zanpakuto seen thus far.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Gonryomaru (Shikai); Kōkō Gonryō Rikyū (Bankai)
Voiced by: Kenji Takahashi (JP), Sam Riegel (EN)

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.
  • Blade on a Stick: Although Gonryomaru 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.
  • Out of Focus: In-Universe. He desperately wants to be in focus, but Sasakibe is in the background so often that nobody recognizes him when he fights.
  • Shock and Awe: He can electrify his spear and call forth storms. It's notably the first time we see Sasakibe's power being used, and would be the only time until the Thousand Year Blood War arc.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Gegetsuburi (Shikai)
Voiced by: Shouto Kashii (JP), Kirk Thornton (EN)

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 seriously.
  • 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.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Wabisuke (Shikai)
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (JP), Travis Willingham (EN)

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.
  • 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.

    Ryuujin Jakka 
Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Ryuujin Jakka (Shikai); Zanka no Tachi (Bankai)

The spirit of Shigekuni Yamamoto Genryuusai's Zanpakutou, and the last spirit to be enslaved by Muramasa. Unlike the other Zanpakutou spirits, Ryuujin Jakka doesn't take a humanoid form and instead manifests itself as a giant inferno.
  • Flat Character: Probably even more so than Minazuki, as Ryuujin Jakka doesn't even have a humanoid form and is just a really big fire. It's really just a MacGuffin.
  • MacGuffin: Ryuujin Jakka is one for Muramasa's plans, since it's the strongest Zanpakutou and is not given any characterization.
  • Mundane Utility: The omake of episode 249 reveals that Yamamoto Genryuusai has used Ryuujin Jakka for very mundane tasks like heating an oven, providing heat during winter and baking potatoes, which Genryuusai is very thankful for. Kyoraku thinks that Ryuujin Jakka is rebelling against his owner because of that.
  • Playing with Fire: It is the strongest fire-based Zanpakutou of Soul Society. It manifests itself in the form of giant flames and nothing more.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ryuujin Jakka isn't evil, but Yamamoto Genryuusai trapped himself in a barrier for the majority of the filler arc just to prevent Muramasa from enslaving his Zanpakutou. Once Muramasa managed to destroy the barrier with Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshou, Muramasa was able to enslave Ryuujin Jakka, the strongest Zanpakutou.

Species: Zanpakuto Spirit
Zanpakutou: Nozarashi (Shikai); Unknown (Bankai)
Voiced by: Hisayo Mochizuki (JP), Stevie Bloch (ENG), Monserrat Mendoza and Angélica Villa (Latin American Spanish)

The spirit of Kenpachi Zaraki's sword, who remained unknown through most of the series because of Kenpachi's inability to use even Shikai.
  • 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.
  • BFS:
    • Nozarashi's sealed form is a chipped and jagged nodachi.
    • Nozarashi's Shikai is a massive axe-like cleaver.
    • Subverted by Nozarashi's Bankai, which takes the form of a smaller if still decently-sized 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.
  • The Ghost: invokedWhile Yachiru is revealed as Zaraki's Zanpakuto Spirit, she is specifically the bankai form of his spirit. Kubo explained that Yachiru is similar to Tensa Zangetsu, in that her Bankai form is younger-looking than her natural form as Nozarashi, which looks more like a grown woman. Said form is never actually depicted in the main series.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Nozarashi was there all along. Zaraki had just been calling the manifestation of her bankai form "Yachiru Kusajishi".
  • No Name Given: The Bankai name/Yachiru's real name is never revealed in the main series.
  • Older Alter Ego: Nozarashi's unseen Shikai spirit form is stated by Kubo to have the appearance of an adult, as opposed to the childlike appearance of Yachiru, who is a Literal Split Personality embodying Nozarashi's bankai form.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Jokingly invoked when it was asked why Kenpachi was absent for the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales arc, with it being stated that Muramasa gaining control of his Zanpakuto would result in all the heroes dying. When manifested as Yachiru she's powerful but not overwhelmingly so; but her true might shines when she's being wielded by Zaraki.
  • Walking Spoiler: Nozarashi's Bankai 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 a manifestation of 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 forged 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.

Alternative Title(s): Bleach Zangetsu And The Inner Hollow