|“||...If fate is a millstone, then we are the grist. There is nothing we can do. So I wish for strength. If I cannot protect them from the wheel, then give me a strong blade, and enough strength... to shatter fate.||„|
|~ Ichigo Kurosaki in "MALA SUERTE!"|
Ichigo Kurosaki is the main protagonist of the anime/manga series Bleach. He is a teenager with the ability to see spirits who gains the powers of a Shinigami from Rukia Kuchiki. He is a hybrid of Human, Soul, Quincy and Hollow. He is also the love interest and eventual husband of Orihime Inoue.
He is voiced by Masakazu Morita in the Japanese version of the anime and Johnny Yong Bosch in the English version, the former of whom also voices Claire Stanfield.
Ichigo is very hot-tempered and determined and usually works to maintain a very serious and detached attitude, even though he claims he doesn’t care what others think of him. Ichigo usually has a scowl and acknowledges that he is very hot-hothead and will never walk away from a fight. However he is very compassionate and empathetic towards those around him, he just doesn’t show it. Ichigo is a very good student, coming in 23rd in his entire grade, and always keeps up his studies. He does so to ensure people don’t get the wrong idea of him because of his hair color and his habit of fighting. He dislikes fortune telling, horoscopes, or likewise and has trouble remembering names and faces. Ichigo is rather disrespectful when he talks to those older than him, calling Captain Yamamoto, “gramps”, and addressing many other captains by their first names. Ichigo has a strong, though complex sense of honor, seeking revenge for cruel actions by those he fights, but often taunting his opponents and can even attack without any warning. Ichigo’s desire to win is very strong, but only if he can do so in a fair way, but his resolve can waver. This is usually caused by his losing an important fight or failing his friends and it happening greatly lessens Ichigo’s fighting capabilities. Ichigo also hates those that berate or attack their allies, even if those allies are his enemies. When he was younger, Ichigo cared very deeply about his mother, always smiling when he was with her and holding her hand. When he was very young, Ichigo heard from his father that his name meant “to protect one thing”. This made him want to protect his mother and later his sisters after they were born. Since then, Ichigo has always risked his life to protect those close to him and even strangers.
Powers & Abilities
Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant:Physically, Ichigo's Human body is in top form. Ichigo has been trained in martial arts since he was a small child, both professionally and by his father. He has repeatedly shown great agility and coordination in his attacks. In addition to having powerful kicks and punches, Ichigo is proficient in counterattacks, takedowns, and body locks. He has repeatedly caught an opponent's weapon strikes with a single hand. He effortlessly defeats multiple bullies and gangsters on a regular basis, and is a better martial artist than Tatsuki Arisawa, who is ranked the second strongest girl in all of Japan despite her fighting with a broken arm. He effortlessly knocked out three lieutenants in rapid succession, while bare-handed, with a single strike each. While he has stopped training, constant attacks from bullies and his father keep his skills fresh.
Enhanced Strength:Even while not in his Shinigami form, Ichigo is deceptively strong, smashing a man's head through a concrete road with a single kick, nd later kicking Asguiaro Ebern from his bedroom into the street without injuring his leg from the man's Hierro.
Enhanced Speed & Reflexes:Even before learning Shunpo, Ichigo is a very fast and agile fighter. Ichigo possesses great reflexes, dodging a strike with no wasted effort and immediately counterattacking. He can strike quickly, without warning, and in rapid succession. His speed allows him to follow the movements of faster opponents to better analyze their movements, and block otherwise fatal strikes. Even when struck by surprise by Tenjirō Kirinji, who is fast enough to outpace Suì-Fēng, Ichigo counterattacked and injured said attacker without anybody else noticing.
Enhanced Durability:While only a teenage Human, Ichigo is a highly resilient young man, safely breaking free from a binding spell (albeit a low-level one) and withstanding an assault from a large Hollow.
Advanced Growth Rate:According to both Aizen and Urahara, Ichigo's most astounding ability is his growth rate; he grasps the basic control of advanced techniques in days where it would take several years for even the most gifted Shinigami. Shortly after gaining Shinigami powers and with no previous training, he began learning advanced spiritual energy sensing techniques by sheer instinct. While it takes most Shinigami at least 10 years to achieve Bankai, he did so in two days (albeit with the assistance of a special device invented by Urahara which was originally intended for three days). He gains considerable experience in the use of Shunpo while training with Yoruichi, which was done over the same period as his Bankai. Besides his improvements in his Shinigami abilities, Ichigo greatly increased the time he could maintain his Hollow mask, from eleven seconds to considerably longer amounts of time. During his first fight with Ulquiorra, he is instantly incapacitated by one Cero blast, even with his Hollow mask (which broke within a second), but only a few hours later, he withstands another Cero from Ulquiorra without undergoing Hollowfication, and can analyze Ulquiorra's movements much better than before, when he had "felt like [he] was fighting a machine or a statue" and failed to predict and counter his attacks.
Keen Intellect: Despite his somewhat punkish attitude, Ichigo is analytical, perceptive, and deductive. In his high school, Ichigo's grades are almost always near the top, despite his work as a Substitute Shinigami. Aside from that, Ichigo can determine the pattern of his opponent's battle methods and form a proper counter-strategy to defeat his opponent's attacks.
Spiritual Awareness: Since he was a child, Ichigo has had an innate ability to clearly see spiritual beings and sense their presence. After becoming a Shinigami, his senses have continued to improve with time, learning various advanced sensing techniques, such as using a spirit ribbon to find Yūichi Shibata (in bird form). Even from a considerable distance, he can detect the condition of a being with spiritual power. During his intense fight against Kenpachi Zaraki, he clearly sensed and recognized Sado's energy signature even as it weakened, despite the considerable distance between them.
Soul Reaper Powers
Master Swordsman: In terms of fighting style while in his Soul Reaper form, Ichigo relies mainly on swordplay. Aside from his initial training with Urahara, he is essentially on a "learn as you go" training regimen; thusly, his skill has developed by fighting rather than formal instruction, becoming even more capable with every fight. His overall skill allows him to fight evenly against sword masters of Byakuya Kuchiki and Kenpachi Zaraki's caliber. While usually fighting right-handed, Ichigo appears to be ambidextrous, as he is proficient in wielding Zangetsu in his left hand.
Shunpo Expert: Though not particularly versed in its various techniques, Ichigo is proficient enough in the technique itself to keep up with and even surprise high-level Soul Reaper with his speed. Byakuya Kuchiki, one of the most proficient users of Shunpo in Soul Society, complimented Ichigo's growing mastery of the technique.
Vast Spiritual Power: Ichigo has been noted on several occasions to have tremendously vast levels of spiritual energy, well beyond that of most other Soul Reaper. He defeated a Gillian before awakening his true power with only his sealed Zanpakutō. Even at less than half of his strength, his spiritual energy is comparable to a Captain-level fighter. His spiritual power is noted to be heavy, which surprised Renji Abarai, a lieutenant-level Soul Reaper. Ichigo constantly gives off reiatsu at the level of a captain. Even when worn-out in battle, he can continue fighting effectively while still using Getsuga Tenshō or unleashing and maintaining his Bankai. Because Ichigo's spiritual energy level is constantly very high, even at its base level without him consciously being aware of it, he rarely becomes exhausted in battle, meaning the sheer resilience and amount of energy Ichigo has is monstrous. Ichigo's spiritual energy is rather difficult for him to control, as he has no formal training in controlling it, and upon Hollowfication, his reiatsu fluctuates wildly, with it being unreadable at its lowest point and at its highest point greater than that of the 4th Espada Ulquiorra Cifer. Due to this, and him having far more spiritual energy than his body can consciously contain, it leaks out constantly, preventing him from hiding it and effectively making stealth impossible when dealing with other spiritually-aware beings. He has learned how to harden his spiritual energy and enhance the strength of his attacks, or use it as a barrier to reduce the impact of attacks on him, if not negating them completely. His energy is strong enough to hold back the Sōkyoku, a halberd with the destructive force equivalent to one million Zanpakutō combined, using only his Zanpakutō. He possesses some skill in channeling his spiritual power, as destroyed the Arbor of the Sōkyoku, a seemingly impossible feat which surprised the 13 Court Guard Squads, by channeling his spiritual power through his sword into the execution stand. Kirio Hikifune noted he and Renji consuming her special reiatsu-infused food would greatly strengthen their spiritual power levels. His spiritual pressure is light-blue in color.
Enhanced Strength: When he is in his Soul Reaper body, Ichigo's already impressive strength is greatly enhanced. He has knocked out three Soul Reaper lieutenants with a single punch each, one of which shattered one of their Zanpakutō at the same time. His strength is great enough to easily stop repeated axe blows from Jidanbō before shattering Jidanbō's axes in a single swing, and hurl Rukia a dozen meters into Renji's arms and send them both skidding several meters more, achieving both feats with a single hand. With a single kick, he can break down and launch a large chunk of a stone wall. After regaining his Soul Reaper powers, one swing from his Zanpakutō produced a shockwave powerful enough to overwhelm Kūgo Ginjō, making the Fullbringer mistake it for a Getsuga Tenshō. When fighting Quilge Opie, Ichigo grabbed one of his Heilig Pfeil with his bare hand without sustaining any damage, despite the considerable explosion it caused when Ichigo threw it back.
Immense Endurance: When in his Soul Reaper form, Ichigo's endurance is strengthened to the point where he can continue fighting effectively after receiving many injuries, and can survive attacks which would easily kill normal Humans. It was stated by Rukia a Soul Reaper's life force is their spiritual power. As such, Ichigo can withstand attacks which would be fatal to most Soul Reaper. Uryū once stated Ichigo was a monster in this regard, and Aizen commented on his ability to continue moving despite grave injuries.
Enhanced Durability: Ichigo becomes much more durable in his Soul Reaper form. During his last fight with Kūgo Ginjō, he withstood a direct hit from the Getsuga Tenshō created by his opponent, and the damage was only done to one of his arms and part of his face. When fighting Quilge Opie, Ichigo withstood the impact of several Heilig Pfeil fired at him, unharmed, despite the powerful explosion each one caused. Tenjirō Kirinji, a member of the Royal Guard, was amazed at Ichigo's ability to endure the unique healing properties of his "White Skeleton Pond" and "Blood Hell Pond" for so long after fully healing without rotting.
Zangetsu (Slaying Moon): When Ichigo first becomes a Soul Reaper, his Zanpakutō was a standard-looking katana, but oversized, with an equally-oversized brown sheath hung by a strap across his back and over his right shoulder. It had a rectangular bronze tsuba with gently inward-curved edges, a stylized flame pattern on the long sides, and a simple decorative slit on the short sides. The hilt's handle had a red wrapping and two light blue tassels attached to the handle's base, which was decorated with a flame design on its short sides. The large size is due to the unfocused but immense amount of Ichigo's spiritual power, which he did not know how to control. As a result, the sword itself was rather weak, since very little spiritual power was used to create it. Nevertheless, it was powerful enough to subdue a Gillian-class Menos and lesser Hollows, completely blocking a Cero from the former. It could upturn the ground with a single strike. Because of the weak nature of its spiritual energy, Byakuya Kuchiki easily cut off most of the blade during his first encounter with Ichigo, and Kisuke Urahara subsequently sliced it down to the hilt during their training, forcing Ichigo to learn the name of his Zanpakutō in order to release its true form. This sword is a result of Rukia's deprived spiritual energy and not a result of Ichigo's own power.
The Shikai form of Zangetsu resembles an oversized khyber knife instead of a formal katana. It has no tsuba and no proper hilt; what Ichigo holds is the cloth-wrapped tang. The sword is about as tall as Ichigo is, and has a black blade with a silver edge. The cloth wrapping on the tang seems to react to Ichigo's will, changing length at a thought or twining about the blade in an impromptu sheath. When in combat, the cloth falls away when necessary, shrinking back to a manageable size. The cloth can be used to swing the weapon like a flail and to toss it at opponents for mid-range combat, as well as bandage wounds, but these are done rarely. Ichigo has, on more than one occasion, used Zangetsu's wide blade as a shield from incoming attacks, and for deflecting energy attacks. Unlike most Zanpakutō, which can be sealed into their original form, Zangetsu is always in its Shikai form. Yoruichi Shihōin has stated his Zanpakutō is a full-time released form type because of Ichigo's vast but uncontrollable spiritual energy upon generation of it, implying it is simply a type of Zanpakutō which, without proper control of his spiritual energy, remains in Shikai form once in said state.
After being influenced by the remaining traces of Ichigo's Fullbring, Zangetsu's appearance changes, giving the blade a silver hilt with gray wrappings, and a short length of chain at its base. The blade itself becomes slightly reshaped, curving inwards at the backside of the tip, similar to a trench knife. When stored away on Ichigo's back, the former cloth still materializes to act as an impromptu sheath.
Shikai Special Ability: Zangetsu's Shikai is largely used for melee combat, but possesses one known special ability.
- Getsuga Tenshō (Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer): At the instant of the slash, Zangetsu, absorbing Ichigo's spiritual energy, releases highly condensed spiritual energy at the tip of the blade, which, magnifying the slash attack, flies forward. This slash takes the form of a crescent moon or the shape of a wave. Ichigo uses this ability without knowing its name several times, but masters the technique later on during his Bankai training. As stated by Zangetsu, knowing the name of an attack heightens its power compared to its strength when the wielder does not know its name. The Getsuga Tenshō is a powerful technique with great force, capable of causing large-scale damage and destruction. Ichigo has used this technique in several different manners, such as striking the ground, creating an omnidirectional blast which knocks away incoming attacks, or slashing at the ground, upturning it and crushing everything in its path. After Ichigo regains his Shinigami powers for the second time, his Getsuga Tenshō is noticeably larger and stronger than it was before he lost his powers. A single strike from it cleanly cut off the top portion of Tsukishima's mansion and dispersed an entire rainstorm.
Tensa Zangetsu (Heaven Chain Slaying Moon): Ichigo points his Zanpakutō in a straight direction, using either a single hand or both of his hands, with the cloth of his Shikai surrounding his arm and tightening during the activation. His spiritual power surges, with the smoke obscuring his being. It is considered completely out of the ordinary for any Zanpakutō. Unlike most Bankai forms, which usually create some sort of massive creature or effect, Ichigo's Bankai shrinks his sword down to a daitō (Japanese long sword) with a black blade instead. The cross guard has four prongs bent out to form the shape of the manji (which is the kanji for "ban," meaning "full," as in "full release"). The blade itself can endure even the strongest of attacks, making it quite effective in blocking and deflecting incoming attacks. It can withstand getting crushed by force. The blade is strong and sharp enough to cut clean through Kūgo Ginjō's sword. Commenting on the blade's strength and durability, Gin Ichimaru claimed it felt like his was about to break from hitting it. Instead of the cloth his Shikai form had, a short length of chain with a broken link at the end dangles from the base of the hilt. In addition to his sword, Ichigo's robe is replaced with a long-sleeved, ankle-length black coat (or shihakushō) with red lining, which is closed at his chest and left to flare out into ragged ends, much like that of Zangetsu himself. This coat is part of Ichigo's Bankai, and the damage it can take is directly proportionate to the remaining strength and level of Ichigo's spiritual pressure.
After his training in the Dangai, Ichigo's Bankai takes on a slightly different appearance. While Zangetsu still takes the form of a daitō with a black blade, the four prongs on the cross guard extend out farther than they previously did. While still in the shape of the manji, the prongs become more abstract and slender in appearance. Ichigo's right hand becomes covered by a black glove, and the chain at the base of Zangetsu's hilt extends out further than it previously did, spiraling up the length of his sleeveless right arm, with the additional portion of the chain hanging down freely from his upper arm.
Bankai Special Ability: Tensa Zangetsu, much like its Shikai form, is used heavily for melee combat, but also possesses a certain special ability.
- Hyper-Speed Combat:Ichigo takes all the power of his Bankai, compresses it into a small, condensed form, and uses the power of the Bankai to perform high-speed combat. His new speed enhances his Shunpo prowess, allowing him to create dozens of afterimages to confuse his opponent.
- Enhanced Strength: Ichigo's Bankai further enhances his naturally great strength. He effortlessly blocked a punch from Yammy Llargo, an Espada known primarily for his immense strength, and cut through his Hierro with relative ease. The sudden boost in strength upon releasing allows Ichigo to break free from any attack which binds him or prevents him from moving. After his training in the Dangai, Ichigo's strength drastically increases to the point where a single swing of his sword can level a mountain. He can grab Aizen's Zanpakutō blade with his bare hand without feeling any of the exerted force, though said force could do considerable damage to the surrounding area. He can effortlessly break through Hadō 90. Kurohitsugi, with full incantation, with just his bare hand. After his Soul Reaper powers are restored, Ichigo can catch a massive blast produced by Kūgo Ginjō's Bankai one-handed and crush it. With only a swing of his sword, he can create a huge shock wave.
- Enhanced Getsuga Tenshō:Tensa Zangetsu retains the use of Getsuga Tenshō and can be used in the same ways, but in an enhanced form. When used in Bankai, these potent blasts are black with a red outline, their path can be controlled, and they possess explosively augmented power and speed. During Byakuya Kuchiki's fight with Ichigo, he refers to this attack as a "Kuroi Getsuga" (Black Moon Fang), referring to the attack's darkened color. Ichigo has stated the Black Getsuga was originally Hollow Ichigo's technique, which has been proven, as Ichigo had no knowledge of it during his fight with Byakuya Kuchiki, and Hollow Ichigo stated all Ichigo was doing when he used the technique was copying his inner Hollow. Ichigo can keep Getsuga Tenshō within Tensa Zangetsu to augment his sword swings, or fire it from the tip of the blade as if it were a bullet.
- Enhanced Spiritual Power: His already vast spiritual energy increases grandly and explosively. His spiritual pressure is so intense and rough, as well as thick and heavy, it can suffocate Humans who are in the general vicinity of his released Bankai. Ichigo's spiritual pressure is solid in his Bankai. Initially, when he activated his Bankai, he produced a white aura which shot high into the sky. Ever since Ichigo defeated his inner Hollow and affirmed his place as a Visored, he produces a deep black spiritual energy with a crimson outline, which emanates off of Ichigo's body when his spiritual pressure is exerted, replacing his white aura. After his training in the Dangai, Ichigo's ability to sense spiritual pressure has increased greatly, as he can now sense his sisters blocks away through various buildings and determine their current status. According to Sōsuke Aizen, by achieving evolution into a dimension separate from Soul Reaper, both Soul Reaper and Humans have become unable to feel his reiatsu unless he voluntarily lowers his level and allows them to interfere, in the same way a two-dimensional being is unable to interfere with a three-dimensional being. In this same way, he surmises Ichigo is standing in a dimension even higher than the one he is in. After Ichigo regains his Soul Reaper powers for the second time, his Bankai activation reverts back to the way it used to be, shooting a white aura high into the sky. The released energy can break apart Yukio's chatroom, which is said to be indestructible. While in Bankai, Ichigo's spiritual pressure turns black, with a blue outline.
- Enhanced Bankai Duration: Since all of his energy is "compressed", usage of his Bankai does not expel as much spiritual power as other Bankai from the point of activation, allowing him to use Tensa Zangetsu for a much longer duration than any other Bankai users of his level. From his final encounter with Grimmjow in Hueco Mundo until Aizen's defeat, Ichigo continuously stayed in his Bankai state for three months.
- Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō (The Final Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer): By using this technique, Ichigo becomes Getsuga (Moon Fang), itself. It is referred to as the Final Getsuga Tenshō because if Ichigo uses it, he loses all of his Soul Reaper powers. For the duration of the ability, Ichigo's hair becomes waist-length and turns black. Light bluish-gray bandages form around his body, tightly wrapped around his torso, right arm, and face, ending just beneath his eyes. Black flame-like markings spread across his chest and wrap around his left arm, and the remains of a tattered black cloak cover his lower body. In this form, Ichigo's body constantly emits smoky black reiatsu, most of which is focused around his right arm. While using this technique, Ichigo's spiritual pressure turns completely black.
- Mugetsu (Moonless Sky): Generating a blade of deep black spiritual energy in his hand, Ichigo swings it at the target. Doing so causes a massive veil of black spiritual energy to erupt upwards and approach the target, darkening the sky and heavily damaging anything caught within the blast. The energy continues to rise, dissipating into the sky.
Blut (German for "Blood," Japanese for "Blood Guise"): A Quincy ability which gives one inhuman defensive & offensive capability.
- Blut Vene (German for "Blood Vein," Japanese for "Stilled Blood Guise"): One of two Blut abilities, Blut Vene is the defensive Blut. Ichigo's imprisonment by Quilge Opie transferred some of Quilge's Spiritual Pressure to Ichigo, which awakened the memories within his Spiritual Pressure left by his mother, who was a Quincy. This has given him access to the defensive Blut. He has used it to survive an attack from Yhwach's sword, which only left a small cut. This power can also be used to aid Ichigo against critical wounds that have already been inflicted, able to stop the severe loss of blood that would be caused from said wound.
Initially, Ichigo's Fullbring powers focused on changing the form of his Substitute Shinigami Badge. By recalling the memories of his pride as a Shinigami, Ichigo causes the badge to release black spiritual pressure in the shape of the tsuba of Tensa Zangetsu. Like a tsuba, the weapon is used primarily for defense, particularly to block attacks. It can absorb most of the impact from a much larger opponent's attack. Like a real tsuba, it has no cutting power, and if Ichigo releases his hold on the badge, the spiritual pressure dissipates.
Later, his Fullbring powers evolve so they change his appearance, covering his whole body in a black reiatsu, and produce a dark blade, forming over his arm. His abilities are classified as a Clad-Type Fullbring because Ichigo is shrouded in his own power, which resembles a Shihakushō, much like his former Bankai.
After Ichigo's Fullbring is completed, it transforms into a solid outfit. It becomes a white armor covering his chest, arms, shoulders, and feet, with a stripe running across his face. Underneath this, he wears a completely black bodysuit. The badge grows a medium-sized, black, machete-like blade, with a silver edge, round hilt, simple white cloth-wrapping, and flat base. The badge itself becomes the guard, with a new black cross marking on it. It is hung across Ichigo's back in a white sheath.
Expert Swordsman:Despite only recently obtaining and completing his Fullbring, Ichigo showed considerable skill with its blade. During his test with it, Ichigo calmly and effortlessly cut down several virtual Hollows. Against Tsukishima, an opponent with much greater experience in using his Fullbring blade, Ichigo fought evenly and severed his left arm with a single strike.
Energy Blast:Using his incomplete Fullbring, Ichigo can unleash spinning, propeller-like blasts of black spiritual energy, outlined in red. Ichigo compares the feeling of using these blasts to that of using Getsuga Tenshō. By charging up this attack, the tsuba becomes bigger and more jagged, with six bars, before launching a larger blast. The attack is flawed, due to its inconsistent power. Its power is determined by the number of blades in it, six being the maximum. If fired in succession, the number of blades decrease, with the attack becoming more fragile with each one it loses. If the attack has anything less than three blades, it can be shattered with ease. Ichigo and Jackie Tristan both conclude if he fires three shots in a row, he leaves himself wide open to attack. With his completed Fullbring, Ichigo can produce the spiritual pressure tsuba from his sword's guard-badge and fire a barrage of these blades with a single swing, with each one apparently retaining full power, as none lose any blades. Similar to Getsuga Tenshō, Ichigo can keep the energy of his attacks in his sword to augment his sword swings.
- Getsuga Tenshō:In his completed Fullbring form, Ichigo can fire off a blue wave of energy from his blade. Though the attack is not as large or powerful as it is with his Soul Reaper powers, Tsukishima notes how fast it moves, and it can still cause some considerable damage.
Enhanced Speed:Through Fullbring, Ichigo can move far more quickly than usual, at one point catching Jackie Tristan off guard by vanishing and appearing behind her with a kick readied. Ichigo's feet emit a flickering Bringer Light, which indicates he is preparing for his next high-speed movement. Jackie Tristan notes the presence of Bringer Light indicates Ichigo is beginning to master Fullbring. Ichigo can draw on the souls of concrete and solid air in order to propel himself higher and at faster speeds. With his complete Fullbring unleashed, Ichigo's speed is enhanced even further, as he got behind Tsukishima and slice off his left arm before he could even attack him. Similar to his Bankai, Ichigo's speed is great enough to produce dozens of afterimages to confuse his enemy. By focusing this power into a single leg, Ichigo can launch a much faster kick with much greater impact.
Enhanced Strength:In his complete Fullbring form, Ichigo's strength is greatly enhanced. With a single hand, and from an angle with no leverage, Ichigo caught a direct punch from Sado's fully transformed Brazo Derecha de Gigante unfazed. With a single kick, he can launch his opponent several meters with considerable force.
Hollow Mask:Ichigo's Hollow mask has the appearance of what could best be described as a menacing skull. The mask is white, and originally had only three red stripes on the left side, which have since increased in number. The stripes changed in thickness after he subjugates his inner Hollow. It eventually covers almost the entirety of the mask's left half during his third battle with Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez. While pure white on the right side, the mask possesses a total of ten red stripes (a total of ten can be seen during his last fight with Ulquiorra) spread across three spots on the left side of his mask.
Because Ichigo's inner Hollow took a new form while facing Ulquiorra Cifer, Ichigo's mask has changed again. Where his mask once had a series of thick red stripes which covered almost the entire left half of his mask, there are now only two thick vertical black stripes, each on one half of the mask, which are interrupted by the widened eye-holes and the jaw.
The Hollow mask was originally a sign of Ichigo's possession by the his inner Hollow, but after his training with the Visored, it merely indicates he is utilizing his Hollow powers. To access Hollow Ichigo's power, Ichigo must summon the mask onto his face. He normally does this by placing one of his hands over his face, and concentrating spiritual matter on it in order to manifest the mask (previously, it had appeared on its own before he mastered the Hollow within him), summoning the mask in a "ripping" fashion. With the mask in place, Ichigo's eyes irises become yellow, and he has black sclera and pupils. His voice has a slight Hollow echo to it. With the mask, he gains access to increased physical enhancements. Strangely, though most of the other Visored have been able to shift the position of the mask while apparently still retaining the abilities of their Hollowfied state, as well as using general Hollow abilities, Ichigo has never done either.
Power Augmentation:While wearing the mask, Ichigo's Hollow powers supplement his Shinigami powers, giving him a vast increase in both strength and speed.
- Augmented Getsuga Tenshō:When Ichigo wears his mask, the power, speed, blast area, force, and size of the Getsuga Tenshō becomes drastically augmented, to the point of seriously harming a foe. When used with his Bankai and Hollow mask in combination, his Getsuga Tenshō is stated to be his ultimate attack. Ichigo's tremendous speed lets him to move faster than the Getsuga Tenshō itself, allowing him to fire multiple blasts from different directions. Ulquiorra Cifer believes the Getsuga Tenshō is Ichigo's strongest attack, comparing it to a Hollow's Cero, particularly a Cero Oscuras. The black Getsuga Tenshō was first displayed by Ichigo's inner Hollow, and initially carried the risk of causing his inner Hollow to surface if used too much. With Ichigo's later control over his inner Hollow, this is no longer a problem. With the use of his new mask, he can fire a Getsuga Tenshō powerful enough to send Yammy Llargo falling down head first while he was in his much larger and stronger Resurrección state, and cut a high-rise building in half.
- Enhanced Spiritual Power:While wearing the mask, Ichigo's spiritual power increases drastically. Upon witnessing his enormous Spiritual Pressure, one of the Privaron Espada, Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio, described it as amazing. The 4th Espada, Ulquiorra Cifer, stated his Spiritual Pressure was higher than his own (though he also stated it was fluctuating). During Ichigo's fight with Grimmjow, the 3rd Espada, Tier Harribel, note the volume, concentration, and catastrophic nature of his Spiritual Pressure did not seem like that of a Human, but more like that of an Espada. Even Sōsuke Aizen complimented his Spiritual Pressure, stating he had grown. It has been noted multiple times that with the mask on, his spiritual energy changes into something similar to that of a Hollow. Ichigo can use the combined Spiritual Pressure released in his Bankai activation and Hollowfication to launch himself in the air.
- Enhanced Strength:While using the Hollow mask, Ichigo gains a substantial increase in strength. In his second fight with Grimmjow, he overpowered Grimmjow's Cero. In his third fight with Grimmjow, he blocked the destructive force of an Espada's strongest Cero, the Gran Rey Cero, fired by Grimmjow. After he unleashed his Hollowfication in his battle with Ulquiorra, he slightly broke his sword with a single slash. He effortlessly blocked a Cero fired by Ulquiorra.
- Enhanced Speed:While wearing his mask, Ichigo's already formidable speed is greatly enhanced. During his second battle against Grimmjow, Ichigo's speed completely overwhelmed the Espada, who was unable to follow Ichigo’s movement, and forced him completely on the defensive with his barrage of attacks. His attacks become so fast the opponent cannot even perceive them until after they are hit. He becomes fast enough to outrun his own Getsuga Tenshō, allowing him to strike and enhance them, or launch simultaneous attacks at the opponent from different angles.
- Enhanced Durability:His durability is increased greatly. During his third fight with Grimmjow, he is thrown through various buildings and obstructions and emerges unharmed. Ichigo shielded Orihime from a barrage of Grimmjow's dart bullets, which have enough destructive force to destroy a large building.
Mask Regeneration:If Ichigo has enough spiritual power, he can repair small amounts of damage inflicted upon his mask. This is displayed during his third fight with Grimmjow, and during his most recent fight with Ulquiorra.
Hollow Combat:When Ichigo fights with his mask on, his fighting style becomes more instinctive than practiced. The Hollow mask makes Ichigo more ruthless, akin to the battle style of Hollow Ichigo. Throughout the duration of the Hollowfication, Ichigo displays less concern for injuries to his person, even ignoring grievous wounds to continue fighting. Ulquiorra Cifer stated Ichigo in this form resembles an Arrancar, and his movements are similar to theirs.
Increased Mask Duration:After subjugating his inner Hollow, Ichigo can use his Hollow mask while retaining his personality, but could originally only wear it for four seconds at a time. After training with the Visored, the limit increases to eleven seconds. His time limit and Hollow powers greatly increase during his third battle with Grimmjow. The reasons behind Ichigo now being capable of fighting entire battles with his mask currently remain unknown. Grimmjow speculated Ichigo's improvements came from a subconscious need. It is unknown if the time limit of his new mask has changed, though the mask began deteriorating immediately after he fired a Getsuga Tenshō at Sōsuke Aizen with it on. Once he gained resolve to fight Aizen, the mask was used much longer, but began dispersing again once he lost his composure.
Mask Re-Summon:He can call his mask out a second time after it shatters. When used for the first time, the mask immediately broke apart. Later, this is no longer a problem. In his first fight with Ulquiorra, though unseen, it was used to help defend against Ulquiorra's Cero, and again during his most recent confrontation with him, after he enters his released form. Once Ichigo's mask changed in his battle with Yammy Llargo, he noticed his mask felt different, as if it was heavier, and he was unable to re-summon it for a brief period of time. Tensa Zangetsu states the oddities of the new mask come from Ichigo's fear of the Hollow form he took to defeat Ulquiorra Cifer, where his sanity was overwhelmed by its power, and he cannot Hollowfy properly.
- Ichigo came in first in the first three Bleach character popularity polls, but in the fourth and most recent, he came in third. His Zanpkuto was voted 3rd in the Zanpakuto popularity poll and his Bankai came in 10th.
- Tite Kubo states that Ichigo’s theme song is “News from the Front” by Bad Religion.
- Ichigo has the number “15” on his bedroom door, which is a reference to his age and a pun on his name since “ichi” means one and “go” means five.
- Various characters in the series have noted that Ichigo is very similar to Kaien Shiba in both appearance and personality, but his siblings, Ganju and Kūkaku have yet to comment on this. It is eventually revealed that Ichigo is a member of the Shiba Clan on his father's side, though his exact relation to Kaien is revealed from novel that Isshin was second cousin .
- Ichigo Kurosaki is sometimes compared to Inuyasha, due to their rebellious attitudes, short tempers, and their protective natures as well their mixed heritage . As well as the fact that they both wield gargantuan blades. Kubo Tite has acknowledged this similarity as he admitted in an interview that he is a huge fan of Inuyasha and even based the concept of Zanpakuto from Tessaiga.
- The name of Ichigo’s Zanpakuto, Zangetsu, means “Slaying Moon” and his Bankai’s name means “Heaven Chain Slaying Moon”.
- Ichigo Kurosaki is voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch, who also played Adam Park, Shotaro Kaneda, Lelouch vi Britannia, Vash the Stampede, Kung Jin, Nero and Yu Narukami.