|Height||174 cm (5'8½")|
|Weight||181 cm (5'11½")|
|Previous Affiliation||Sōsuke Aizen|
|Manga||Volume 13, Chapter 110|
|When two beings are exactly the same, how do they decide which of them will become the King and lead them into battle...and which will lend its strength to the other, like a Horse? What allows one to dominate the other?! The answer is simple. A killer instinct!!!|
|— Zangetsu to Ichigo Kurosaki|
Zangetsu (斬月, Slaying Moon) is a Hollow and the manifestation of Ichigo Kurosaki's Zanpakutō. Prior to being revealed as the manifestation of Ichigo's Zanpakutō, he was known as Hollow Ichigo (虚 (ホロウ) 一護, Horō Ichigo).
Zangetsu is untypical of most Zanpakutō manifestations in that he looks like a mirror image of his wielder. He is also untypical of most Hollows, in that possesses neither a mask nor a Hollow hole. Zangetsu has white hair, white skin, black sclera, and silver irises. He also wears a white shihakushō.
When seen as an Asauchi, Zangetsu continues to resemble Ichigo, possessing a similar build and hairstyle. Like before, his skin and hair are white. However, as an Asauchi, he wears no shihakushō. He also wears a plain, skull-like mask over his face and appears to have a Hollow hole in his chest.
Decades ago, when Zangetsu was a Hollow known as White, he was a tall being with a roughly humanoid, black body. Much like the second Hollow form, White possessed a white skull-like mask, red eyes, long white hair, and two black horns coming out of each side of its head. It had broad, armored shoulders, thin, insect-like legs, and its arms were in the shape of black, serrated swords rather than hands. White's Hollow hole was located in the center of its chest. However, its Hollow hole was filled with a red, explosive substance that resembled a human heart.
Zangetsu is an unusual and complex Zanpakutō manifestation, as he is the result of a Hollow merging with Ichigo's latent Shinigami powers. Like most Hollows, Zangetsu is driven almost entirely by "instinct" (本能, honnō), and, as a result, he frequently berates Ichigo for not trusting his own instincts in battle. However, like other Zanpakutō, Zangetsu refuses to submit to a master who is weaker than him, and constantly tests Ichigo whenever he thinks the latter has gone soft and become weaker than himself. Despite this, he will submit and acknowledge Ichigo as "king" (王, Ō) whenever the young Shinigami proves himself.
The Hollow is also gravely misunderstood by Ichigo, who comes to greatly fear Zangetsu, believing that the manifestation intends to possess him and devour him. However, in reality, Zangetsu has only ever wanted to help Ichigo get more powerful. Whenever he would manifest, and Ichigo would resist his control, he would plead with Ichigo to let him stay out, as he insisted that they could only win together. This is further supported by the fact that the Hollow constantly refers to Ichigo as "aibō" (相棒), a term used to denote a partner or a "pal." The man in black also points out that, whenever he needed to teach Ichigo more about his Zanpakutō, he would have to enlist the aid of the Hollow, who also was the only one to come to his aid whenever his life was threatened.
That being said, Zangetsu isn't without a darker side. In battle, he is completely merciless, even against Ichigo himself. During his battle against the Visored, whilst he and Ichigo were simultaneously training in Ichigo's inner world, he nearly choked Hiyori Sarukgaki to death and, later that same day, attempted to kill Love Aikawa with a Cero. He also showed no mercy towards Ulquiorra Cifer, prompting the Arrancar to lament how very Hollow-like he was. Zangetsu also has little regard for what Ichigo wishes to protect, as he blasts away Orihime Inoue without thought of her safety and nearly kills Uryū Ishida for attempting to stop his fight with Ulquiorra.
Zangetsu was originally an experimental Hollow, created by Sōsuke Aizen from Shinigami souls, known as White (ホワイト, Howaito). As White, he first appeared in the Present World several decades before the birth of Ichigo Kurosaki. After having killed several Shinigami, White attracted the attention of Captain Isshin Shiba, who arrived in the Naruki City on June 4th to investigate. As Isshin attempted to draw the Hollow out, White killed two of his accompanying Shinigami and appeared behind him on the rooftop of one of the city's buildings.
As the two begin to fight, Isshin is astounded that White is a Hollow who fights like a Shinigami and is pushed into Karakura Town by the Hollow's strength. Another Shinigami, having noticed this, rushes to find out why the captain has appeared in their territory, but, despite Isshin's warning to run, is killed when White fires a Cero. Isshin attempts to ask the Hollow what it is and who its working with, but the Hollow doesn't reply, prompting Isshin to release his Zanpakutō: Engetsu. But before he can do anything more, he is attacked from behind by Aizen.
The wound destabilized Isshin's Reiatsu, preventing him from using Bankai. White and the captain continue to fight, with Isshin taking off one of its arms while noting its impressive speed. The Hollow attempts to fire another Cero at point-blank range, only to be interrupted at the last minute by the arrival of the young Quincy, Masaki Kurosaki. Suddenly uninterested by Isshin, White makes a beeline for Masaki. She seemingly invites it towards her, allowing it to bite her, but this was a ruse. With the Hollow too close to dodge now, she fires a single arrow into its head, killing it.
White's last act is to transfer a portion of its Soul into Masaki before exploding. Inside her soul, it later attempts to turn her into a Hollow, which initiates soul suicide. Her soul is only stabilized once Kisuke Urahara connects it to Isshin Shiba's, allowing him to hold White's influence back. Years later, the pair has a child named Ichigo, who inherits White. White merges with the boy's latent Shinigami powers and Zangetsu is born.
Soul Society Arc
Fake Karakura Town Arc
Thousand Year Blood War Arc
After learning the truth about his mother, Ichigo returns to the Royal Palace and confronts the Asauchi once more. This time, he immediately notices Zangetsu, who kneels and takes his hand. Ōetsu Nimaiya then reforges Zangetsu into a Zanpakutō for Ichigo. Zangetsu himself resides in the larger blade of the new Zanpakutō, while the man in black resides in the smaller blade.
- White Zangetsu (白い斬月, Shiroi Zangetsu; Literally meaning "White Slaying Moon"): When needed, Zangetsu can wield his Shikai. When he first does this, he wields his ordinary cleaver. However, when Ichigo summons Zangetsu during his training with the Visoreds, the Hollow wields a white version of his Shikai. This version has black wrappings arounds the handle. Like an ordinary Zanpakutō, the sword can transform whenever Zangetsu enters his Bankai.
Powers & Abilities
Spiritual Power: According to Ichigo, Zangetsu is a monster when he releases his spiritual power. His spiritual power easily surpasses Byakuya Kuchiki's own spiritual power. His Reiatsu is red and is said to have the effect of burning up the air around him. His Reiatsu is also exactly identical to Ichigo's own.
Zanjutsu Master: Zangetsu is an extraordinary swordsman. His techniques are noted to be unorthodox, as he is a Hollow that fights like a Shinigami, allowing him to catch his opponents by surprise. He quickly defeated Ichigo during their first meeting and nearly killed him in their second. He has also bested both Byakuya and Ulquiorra in sword combat, and, as a Hollow, was able to trouble Captain Isshin Shiba with his skills.
Hollow Combat: Zangetsu fights like a Menos-class Hollow, a trait noted to be unusual by both Ulquiorra and Isshin. Traits of this fighting style include his use of Cero as a finishing move and his utter lack of mercy in combat.
When Zangetsu activates Bankai, he becomes Tensa Zangetsu (天鎖斬月, Heaven Chain Slaying Moon).[Notes 1] He achieved this advanced state, and became an "evolved Zanpakutō" (進化した斬魄刀, Shinkashita Zanpakutō) at the exact moment that Ichigo learned to perform it. When using Bankai, Zangetsu wears the same long coat as Ichigo, only his coat is white instead of black. Likewise, his sword transforms into a white ōdachi with a distinctive guard that is shaped like a manji.
However, after Ichigo masters his Hollow powers in Hueco Mundo and achieves a new Hollow form against Ulquiorra Cifer, Tensa Zangetsu's appearance in Bankai changes slightly. The white coat now has tuffs of black fur around the cuffs of its sleeves, and Tensa Zangetsu's hair grows out to the center of his back. He also wears a black, horned Hollow mask, with white stripes, over his face.
- Bankai Special Ability:
- Getsuga Tenshō (月牙天衝, Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer): Tensa Zangetsu was the first to use Getsuga Tenshō in Bankai, making it his technique. His version is white with a red outline and is vastly superior to Ichigo's own black Getsuga Tenshō.[Notes 2] Tensa Zangetsu has shown a greater understanding for using this technique in battle, as he was able to use it to fast overwhelm Byakuya Kuchiki during their brief battle in Soul Society.
- Bankai Shattering: As Tensa Zangetsu, the Hollow has some degree of control over Ichigo's ability to use Bankai. During their fight in Ichigo's inner world, he was able to rob Ichigo of the power to use Bankai and shatter Ichigo's sword for a time.
- Enhanced Strength: Like Ichigo, Tensa Zangetsu gets stronger in Bankai. His strength increases to the point that he is able to easily hurl Ichigo around his inner world with his bare hands.
- Soul Fusion: In his Bankai state, Tensa Zangetsu can merge with the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers in order to create a new, merged being.
Hollow Form: Whenever Ichigo reaches his physical limits, Zangetsu can take control of his body. The first time this happened, during Ichigo's fight with Byakuya Kuchiki, Zangetsu only materialized half of his mask onto Ichigo's face. In doing so, he could control Ichigo's body and speak through his mouth. Later, during his training with the Visoreds, Ichigo battles Zangetsu in his inner world while the manifestation controls his body. This forced him to adopt his first full Hollow transformation. In this form, Zangetsu took on the form of a reptilian Hollow with large muscles and claws, a long tail, equally long hair, pale skin, a skull-like mask with dark markings along the right side, and a Hollow hole in his chest.
Perfect Hollowfication (完全虚化, Kanzen Horōka; Literally meaning "Perfect Hollow Transformation"): Later, during Ichigo's battle against Ulquiorra Cifer, Zangetsu emerged to save Ichigo's life. In so doing, he took on a new form that resembled both Tensa Zangetsu and the Hollow White. In this new Hollow form, Zangetsu forces Ichigo's hair to grow out to the middle of his back. He also materializes a horned, skull-like mask with black lines on Ichigo's face. A Hollow hole opens up in Ichigo's chest and is surrounded by similar black markings. Ichigo's skin pales and he also gains red tuffs of fur around his wrists and ankles.
- Enhanced Durability: In his first Hollow transformation, Zangetsu makes Ichigo's body incredibly durable, as it is able to withstand beatings by both Lisa and Kensei, powerful Visoreds in their own rights.
- Enhanced Strength: In his second Hollow form, Zangetsu is so strong that he can easily rip of Ulquiorra's arm, even while the latter is in his second release state.
- Super-Fast Regeneration: Zangetsu also grants Ichigo's body the ability to rapidly heal from any injuries it is dealt. This includes normally fatal injuries, such as a hole through the chest.
- Hollow Worm: In his first Hollow transformation, Zangetsu can manifest a worm-like creature whenever he loses a limb. This worm possess a mouth to bite a target, warding them off while he regenerates.
- Cero: While in these forms, Zangetsu can also fire a Cero. While the strength of this Cero is not seen in the first Hollow form, in the second, it has enough power to cancel out Ulquiorra's Cero Oscuras and blow a significantly-sized hole into the dome of Las Noches, very nearly killing Ulquiorra at the same time. In the first Hollow form, Zangetsu's Cero blasts are red and charged on his fingertips. In the second Hollow form, Zangetsu's Cero blasts are violet and are charged between his horns.
- Sonído: In his second Hollow form, Zangetsu possesses the Arrancar ability to use Sonído. He is fast enough to slip through Ulquiorra's senses, surprising the Arrancar.
Former Powers & Abilities
Cero: As the Hollow, White, Zangetsu could fire a ovular violet-colored Cero from between his two black horns. This Cero was strong enough eviscerate low-level Shinigami and threaten a captain-level Shinigami at close range.
The following are battles that Zangetsu has participated in directly:
- White vs. Isshin Shiba (No Outcome)
- White vs. Masaki Kurosaki (Loss)
- Zangetsu vs. Ichigo Kurosaki (Loss)
- Zangetsu vs. Byakuya Kuchiki (No Outcome)
- Zangetsu vs. Hiyori Sarugaki (Victory)
- Zangetsu vs. Ichigo Kurosaki: Round 2 (Loss)
- Zangetsu vs. Lisa Yadamaru (No Outcome)
- Zangetsu vs. Kensei Muguruma (No Outcome)
- Zangetsu vs. Love Aikawa (No Outcome)
- Zangetsu vs. Ulquiorra (Victory)
Zangetsu has killed the following beings:
Zangetsu has shared a very tense relationship with the Shinigami that is supposed to be his wielder. Much of this stems from the deception by the man in black, who for years masqueraded as Ichigo's Zanpakutō. As a result, Zangetsu spends much of his early relationship with his master chastising Ichigo for not getting to know him better, though Ichigo believes he is referring to the old man. Even when Zangetsu tries to explain that he is the true Zanpakutō, Ichigo refuses to believe him. This causes Ichigo's power to be drastically limited in comparison to what it could truly be.
In comparison, Zangetsu seems to genuinely care about Ichigo, though his actions are vastly misunderstood. The man in black rightly points out that it was the Hollow, not the man himself, that would teach Ichigo how to use his Zanpakutō and was the one who truly came to Ichigo's aid whenever his life was in danger. After this revelation, Ichigo accepts the Hollow as Zangetsu.
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. Likewise, the man relies on Zangetsu to teach Ichigo abilities related to his Zanpakutō. 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 Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō.
- Zangetsu is known simply as Ichigo Kurosaki in the Bleach: Official Character Book of SOULs. He is also classified as Human. This was before his revelation as either a Hollow or the manifestation of Ichigo's Zanpakutō.
- ↑ Unlike the man in black, Zangetsu never refers to himself as Tensa Zangetsu. However, as it is the name of Ichigo's Bankai, it is safe to assume it is also Zangetsu's name in Bankai.
- ↑ In the digitally colorized manga, Tensa Zangetsu's Bankai Getsuga Tenshō has a white interior and a red outline. Ichigo's is pure black.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bleach: Official Character Book 2 MASKED
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Bleach chapter 220
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bleach chapter 536
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Bleach chapter 541
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Bleach: Official Character Book of SOULs, page 212.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Bleach chapter 218
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Bleach chapter 110
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Bleach chapter 530
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 Bleach chapter 112
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Bleach chapter 538
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Bleach chapter 190
- ↑ Bleach chapter 379
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Bleach chapter 410
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Bleach chapter 165
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 15.7 Bleach chapter 111
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Bleach chapter 540
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Bleach chapter 222
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 Bleach chapter 351
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Bleach chapter 350
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 20.2 Bleach chapter 352
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 Bleach chapter 532
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 Bleach chapter 531
- ↑ Bleach chapter 533
- ↑ Bleach chapter 534
- ↑ Bleach chapter 535
- ↑ 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 Bleach chapter 219
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Bleach chapter 166
- ↑ Bleach chapter 193
- ↑ Bleach chapter 211
- ↑ Bleach chapter 212
- ↑ Bleach chapter 214
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 32.2 Bleach chapter 216
- ↑ Bleach chapter 217
- ↑ Bleach chapter 221
- ↑ Bleach chapter 349
- ↑ 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 Bleach chapter 353
- ↑ Bleach chapter 410
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 Bleach chapter 411
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Bleach chapter 542
- ↑ Bleach chapter 609
- ↑ Bleach chapter 411
- ↑ Bleach: Official Character Book 3 UNMASKED
- ↑ Bleach: Official Character Book of SOULs, page 142.