Old-man Zangetsu
Race Soul (Manifestation)[1]
Gender Male
Height 6'6"[1]
Weight 185 lbs[1]
Professional Status
Affiliation Ichigo Kurosaki
Personal Status
Relatives Ichigo Kurosaki (wielder)
Yhwach (counterpart)
Primary Skills
Spirit Weapon Reishi Sword
First Appearance
Manga Volume 8, Chapter 63
Quote1 When you're sad, it rains. I can't stand it. I wonder if you can grasp...the terror of being rained on in this lonely world. To be able to hold back the rain, I'll give you everything I have. Should you place your trust in me...I won't let any rain fall on this world. Believe aren't acting alone...Ichigo! Quote2
— Old-man Zangetsu to Ichigo Kurosaki[2]

The man in black (黒衣の男, Kokui no otoko; Literally meaning "man in black clothing"),[1] mistakenly[3] identified by Ichigo Kurosaki as Zangetsu (斬月, Slaying Moon),[4] and commonly referred to by Ichigo as simply Old-man Zangetsu (斬月のオッサン, Zangetsu no ossan), is a Soul and the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers. He resembles Yhwach a thousand years ago.[5]

Previously, the man masqueraded as the spirit of Ichigo's Zanpakutō in order to limit his Shinigami powers. However, he later came to care for Ichigo and submitted to him, allowing him to achieve his full potential.[3] However, even after this revelation, Ichigo continues to acknowledge the man as part of Zangetsu.[6]



The man in black uncloaked.

As stated by Ōetsu Nimaiya, the man in black resembles Yhwach as he appeared 1,000 years. He resembles that of a middle-aged, lean-built man of considerable height. He possesses pale skin, with light facial hair, blue eyes, and long, disheveled black hair. His entire ensemble consists of a black cloak ending in tatters, worn over a white dress shirt with a tattered collar, black pants, and dark boots.[7] His most frequent accessories are a set of visors.


The man in black has been shown, in contrast to the true Zangetsu, to be one of a calm, collected character, possessing a sensible and quiet disposition opposed to both Zangetsu and his wielder. It is difficult to truly understand what the man in black is thinking, due to his stoic expression worn at all times. He has made it plain, however, that within Ichigo's solitary inner world, he feels not only loneliness, but terror at the idea of rain falling on him in such a desolate place; it is to avoid this rain, the symbol of despair in Ichigo's heart, that he lends the boy his power. [2]

Like Zangetsu himself, the man in black cares for Ichigo, and it is to this end that he masqueraded as the true spirit of Ichigo's Zanpakutō. He did not wish for Ichigo to become a Shinigami, out of fear that the boy would be hurt, and originally intended to kill him if he strayed too far. In the end, the man in black admitted to having grown proud of Ichigo as the latter grew in strength, his conviction to kill the boy wavered, and he willingly relinquished his hold over Ichigo's powers.[7]


Shinigami Agent Arc

Soul Society Arc

Arrancar Arc

Fake Karakura Town Arc

Thousand Year Blood War Arc

Powers & Abilities

Spiritual Power: The man in black, as the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy abilities and the second half of Ichigo's power, possesses a significant degree of Spiritual Power.

Strength: Using his bare hands, the man in black could shatter the swords he conjured when Ichigo would try to use them.[8]

Zanjutsu Practioner: The man in black has displayed staggering proficiency with a sword, wielding multiple incomplete incarnations of himself during Ichigo's three-day period training for Bankai, and easily handling his own wielder.[8][9] In their later battle during Ichigo's Jinzen training, the man in black was able to overwhelm Ichigo with ease, even parrying and fending off Ichigo using Tensa Zangetsu in a single hand.[10]

Blut Vene: As the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy abilities, Blut Vene is a power that the man in black possesses.[11] According to Ichigo, it was how he sealed Ichigo's wounds during his fight with Kenpachi Zaraki. Ichigo's unconscious use of the Blut Vene against Yhwach was also due to the man in black.[12] Despite it being able to seal a fatal wound effectively, the man in black claims there is a limit to how long he can use this technique.[13]

Clones: The man in black has demonstrated the ability to create at least eleven separate clones of himself, during his three-day Bankai training period with Ichigo.[9]



The man in black using Bankai.

Zangetsu (斬月, Slaying Moon): In order to sell his deception, the man in black frequently enlists the help of Ichigo's true Zanpakutō, Zangetsu.

  • Bankai: Tensa Zangetsu (天鎖斬月, Heaven Chain Slaying Moon): Whenever Ichigo uses Bankai, the man in black adopts a new form and masquerades as the manifestation of Tensa Zangetsu.[14] While continuing this charade, the man in black's appearance in Bankai becomes that of a young man, resembling Yhwach as Yhwach was when he was a child. His face becomes smooth, and he dons a different cloak, with a hood that can cover his face. In Bankai, he wields the same sword as Ichigo; a black ōdachi with a distinctive guard that is shaped like a manji.[15]
  • Enhanced Strength: In Bankai, the man in black was easily able to throw Ichigo into nearby buildings, and with a single hand could parry a strike from the boy.[10]


Ichigo Kurosaki


Zangetsu and the Man

Zangetsu and the man in black.

Despite the man in black's attempt to weaken Ichigo by deceiving him into believing that he is Zangetsu, the man and Zangetsu appear to be on good terms. Zangetsu even appears to be in on the old man's deception. Zangetsu relies on the man in black to train Ichigo and make him stronger.[2] Likewise, the man relies on Zangetsu to teach Ichigo abilities related to his Zanpakutō.[3] Both are also capable of working closely together when they need to teach Ichigo new skills, such as when they merged together into a new being in order to teach him the Final Getsuga Tenshō.[16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bleach: Official Character Book of SOULs, page 84.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bleach chapter 112
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bleach chapter 541
  4. Bleach chapter 75
  5. Bleach chapter 540
  6. Bleach chapter 542
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bleach chapter 541
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bleach chapter 128
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bleach chapter 137
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bleach chapter 410
  11. Bleach chapter 112
  12. Bleach chapter 542
  13. Bleach chapter 113
  14. Bleach chapter 409
  15. Bleach chapter 409
  16. Bleach chapter 411
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