Ichigo Kurosaki is a human turned Shinigami and the main protagonist of Bleach.
Childhood and Tragedy
Ichigo was born to Isshin Shiba who is is the former captain of the 10th Division and Shinigami and Masaki Kurosaki who is Qunicy who is last member of Kurosaki family who fights with hollows. Isshin and Masaki first meet when Isshin was asassigned to investigating murders committed by Hollows in Naruki City unknown to Soul Sociity it was actually Aizen Sosuke who created hollows and while Masaki who is high school girl who lived with Ishida family who took her after death of her family and she was engaged with Ryūken Ishida. one night Masaki saved Isshin from Hollow which allowed herself let hollow bite her and killed it.
Becoming a ShinigamiOne afternoon, Ichigo intimidated a group of skateboarders after they knocked over a vase and flower left in memory of a dead girl. He apologized to the spirit of the girl and promised to get her some new flowers, before telling her to move on to the afterlife. After getting home, Ichigo noticed Rukia Kuchiki, who he mistook for a burglar and attacked her. Isshin told him to stop making a racket, but Ichigo pointed Rukia out only for Isshin to say nobody was there. Ichigo decided that Rukia was some sort of ghost, but when she explained that she was a Shinigami, he didn’t believe her. Rukia eventually just bound Ichigo with a kido spell and a Hollow attacked the Kurosaki clinic. Hearing his sisters’ call out for help, Ichigo managed to actually break out of the kido and tried to stop the Hollow. However he could do nothing against the creature and Rukia manage to injure it, making it drop Yuzu, who it was holding. She told Ichigo that it was likely after him, making him think it was his fault that his family was in danger. He tried to stop the Hollow again, forcing Rukia to shield him and severely injure herself in the process. Rukia then offered to temporarily give Ichigo some of her Shinigami powers and Ichigo agreed, but accidentally took most of her powers. Ichigo transformed into a Shinigami and managed to destroy the Hollow, collapsing afterwards. The next day, Ichigo woke up to find his family had no memory of the Hollow attack and upon arriving at school, found Rukia had joined his class, much to his horror. Rukia pulled Ichigo away for a private conversation and told him not to make a scene, explaining she was wearing a Gigai while she was waiting to get her powers back. Rukia then told Ichigo he had to perform her Shinigami duties in the meanwhile. Ichigo refused to do so and said he only fought the Hollow to protect his family, but Rukia responded by pulling his Shinigami form out of his body. She brought Ichigo to a park where the soul of a young boy was being attacked by a Hollow and manipulated the situation so that Ichigo did her job. He began training with Rukia and later that night, Rukia burst out of Ichigo’s closet to warn him about a Hollow. At that moment, the Hollow attacked Ichigo and Rukia pulled him out of his body, allowing him to fight back. He succeeded in slashing off part of the Hollow’s mask, revealing it to be Sora Inoue. After the Hollow retreated, Rukia explained how a Hollow was born and realized that Orihime was in danger since Hollows often went after those that were close to them in life. Ichigo and Rukia rushed over to Orihime’s apartment, where the Hollow, known as Acidwire, had succeeded in removing Orihime’s soul from her body. Ichigo stopped Acidwire before he could devour Orihime and began fighting the Hollow. At first, Acidwire managed to take on Ichigo, but Rukia reminded him that Orihime’s soul would be devoured if he lost. He regained his stride and managed to cut off Acidwire’s hand, prompting the Hollow to demand to know why he was interfering. He declared that would not give Orihime up to anyone else, but Ichigo replied that Orihime didn’t belong to anyone. Acidwire attacked, but Orihime intervened, taking the strike instead. As Rukia healed her, Ichigo pointed out that Orihime hadn’t forgotten Sora like he claimed, since she still wore the hairpins he gave her, and declared that he wasn’t the only one who was sad. Sora, repentant for his actions, took up Ichigo’s Zanpakuto and stabbed himself with it, purifying himself. Rukia explained that a Zanpakuto didn’t kill the soul of a Hollow, it purified them and sending them to the Soul Society. Soon after this, Ichigo and Rukia were with Mizuiro and Keigo at school when Chad showed up with a parakeet. Ichigo realized that there was a human spirit inside the bird, which Rukia confirmed and said that they had better send it to the Soul Society. After getting home, Ichigo found his sisters tending to people injured in a car accident, one of which was Chad, who had a wound on his back that Ichigo recognized as the work of a Hollow. The next morning, Ichigo found that Chad was gone and rushed to school to find him. Rukia caught up with him and said he couldn’t find Chad nor had she received information about any Hollows. Ichigo managed to track down the soul in the parakeet using its Reiraku, impressing Rukia. They found Chad, who ran from them despite Ichigo trying to tell him it was dangerous for him to go off on his own. However an ill Karin showed up and Ichigo carried her home, but as he was running home with her, Karin revealed she had seen the soul of the boy inside the parakeet. He’d seen his mother get murdered and Karin begged Ichigo to free him. Ichigo managed to get Karin home and put her in bed, before going to save Chad from the Hollow. Noting that it’d been so long since Karin had actually cried, Ichigo swore to himself to help the soul move on. Ichigo came across Rukia, cornered by the Hollow, Shrieker, and she pulled him out of his body so he could fight. Eventually the Hollow used his leech bombs, which Ichigo managed to deal with and he asked Shrieker if he was the one who killed the boy’s mother. The Hollow confirmed this and Ichigo grabbed some of his leech bombs, punching them into Shrieker’s mouth and grabbing his tongue, which he used to detonate the bombs. Ichigo then ripped his tongue out and stabbed him in the leg, asking him what it felt like to be unable to move or fight. Shrieker tried to escape, but Ichigo managed to strike the final blow, causing the gates of Hell to emerge and drag Shrieker inside. Later on, Rukia was trying to convince the boy’s soul to move on to the Soul Society and Ichigo sealed the deal when he told him that he might be able to see his mother there. The next day, Ichigo was pulled out of class by Rukia, who gave him a Gikongan, which dispensed artificial soul candies that could replace Ichigo’s soul in his body when he had to be a Shinigami. After trying one, Ichigo was reluctant to leave the soul alone in his body, but a report of a Hollow came in. He went to deal with it and hurried back, worried about how the artificial soul was doing. Upon arriving, Ichigo saw the soul in his body jump out of a window and ran off at incredible speed. Ichigo and Rukia set off in hot pursuit as Rukia explained it was a Mod-soul, an artificial soul developed to aid in fighting Hollows. However Mod-souls were declared unethical and were destroyed. Angered, Ichigo asked Rukia if she though it was right to create the Mod-souls, then just destroy them. She just replied that it was irrelevant since the laws of the Soul Society were there to protect humans. Ichigo wondered how the Mod-soul felt about after coming so close to destruction and finally gaining a body. However as they were searching, they received a report of a Hollow and went to deal with it. But upon arriving, they found the Mod-soul fighting it and Ichigo helped him. The Mod-Soul asked why he helped him, but Ichigo just reminded him he was using his body. As they defeated the Hollow, the two continued arguing and eventually Kisuke Urahara arrived to take the Mod-soul back. He removed it from Ichigo’s body and Ichigo asked Urahara what he was going to do with it, before realizing Urahara could see him. Ichigo asked who he was and Rukia interfered, refusing to give back the Mod-soul. She gave it to Ichigo, who thanked her for not just getting rid of it and put it into a stuffed animal toy, deciding to name the Mod-soul Kon.
Dealing with Grand FisherSoon after this, Ichigo was woken by Kon, but he just threw him at a wall. Rukia complained about the noise they were making, but Ichigo scrambled to hide her and Kon when Yuzu came into the room. She told him Mizuiro was waiting for him and as Rukia left for school, Ichigo complained that Isshin didn’t wake him up when he noticed the date. After school, the Kurosaki family held a meeting to discuss their trip to Masaki’s grave. Ichigo asked Rukia if he could have the day off from his Shingami duties, explaining tomorrow was the day his mother died. As he lay in bed, memories of his mother’s death flashed through his head. The next day, Ichigo was walking with his family to his mother’s grave when Yuzu and Karin noticed Rukia up ahead. Panicking, Ichigo told them he knew her from school and pulled her away, asking what she was doing there. She said she was there just in case of a Hollow attack and Ichigo angrily told her she should be more subtle. Rukia then asked him if Masaki was killed by a Hollow, much to his anger. However Ichigo noticed the girl he saw on the day his mother died and ran after her, but couldn’t find her. Later Ichigo was with the rest of his family at Masaki’s grave, thinking about how she died and the impact it had on his family. Later on, Isshin told Ichigo to go find Yuzu and Karin, but he told him to go himself, but Isshin grabbed Ichigo, asking him if his sister weren’t precious to him. Isshin told him to go search in one direction while he went looking in the other to which Ichigo responded by kicking him. However he then sensed the spirit energy of a Hollow, and realized Yuzu and Karin were easy prey. Ichigo ran into Rukia again, asking if she was going to keep questioning him about his mother’s death, but she said it was his problem and she’d wait until he was ready to talk about it. The Hollow, which was Grand Fisher, attacked Yuzu, but Ichigo arrived and saved her and Karin. However he noticed the girl from before was there. Ichigo asked her if she was the Hollow’s partner or was being controlled by it. However she was revealed to be part of the Hollow, a shape-shifting lure, and Rukia identified it as Grand Fisher, a Hollow known for using its lure to draw in humans who had spiritual power. Ichigo realized that Grand Fisher was responsible for the death of his mother and threw himself enraged at Grand Fisher. Ichigo told Rukia to let him fight the Hollow alone and take care of his sisters as he engaged Grand Fisher. Ichigo struggled against the Hollow, especially when Grand Fisher turned his lure into a version of Masaki to stop him from attacking. He managed to impale Ichigo in the chest, but the Shinigami found the strength to fight back and badly wounded Grand Fisher, bringing him down. Rukia arrived on the scene and Ichigo told her she was late, but she reminded him he told her not to interfere. However Grand Fisher stirred and Rukia warned Ichigo in time for him to avoid another attack from the Hollow. He transferred himself into the lure and escaped. Rukia tried to convinced Ichigo that he couldn’t fight anymore, but he insisted he could keep going and the Hollow wasn’t dead yet, only to collapse. He woke up in his own body, feeling pain, and complained to Rukia that she didn’t fully heal him. She said she’d used most of her energy to heal the wound in his stomach, Ichigo asked Rukia if he lost, but she said no, since the Hollow retreated and no one died. However Ichigo was focused on the fact that Grand Fisher was still alive and walked away, ending up at Masaki’s grave. He apologized to her for failing to avenge her, when Isshin showed up and offer him an umbrella. Ichigo didn’t want it, but Isshin kept poking him in the head until Ichigo hit him. Isshin noted that ten years had gone by since Masaki’s death, but Ichigo corrected him and Isshin replied he was close. Ichigo loudly complained about this and Isshin said Masaki could rest easy if she saw him so lively. Isshin started smoking a cigarette and Ichigo said he thought he quit smoking, but Isshin explained that Masaki said he looked cool with a cigarette, thus he smoked once on this one day each year. Ichigo asked why no one blamed him for Masaki dying, but Isshin asked why anyone should. He went on to say that Masaki would be mad if he did, since she would have gladly died to protect her child. Isshin then told Ichigo to live a good life before walking away. Ichigo asked Rukia to let him be a Shinigami a little longer, saying he wanted to become stronger so he could defeat Hollows, protect others, and slay Grand Fisher or he’d never be able to face Masaki again.
Encounter with Don KanonjiAs Isshin and Yuzu were watching Don Kanonji’s TV show, Ichigo asked why they were posing. He asked a distracted Yuzu what she was looking at, but she said it was nothing and Ichigo told her she was acting weird. She said she was uninterested in the Don Kanonji show since she could see spirits as clearly as Ichigo could. Ichigo remembered she could see the Hollow that attacked the house and she might be able to see Shinigami. Suddenly Yuzu interrupted his thoughts when she shouted about the announcer revealing Don Kanonji would be coming to Karakura Town. The next day, Ichigo was at school where he found out all his friends were into Don Kanonji and excited about the broadcast in Karakura Town. Ichigo told Keigo he wasn’t going to the show and Keigo tried to convince him to go, but Ichigo pointed out that Keigo wasn’t even from Karakura. On Wednesday, Ichigo went most reluctantly with his family to the abandoned hospital that the show was being filmed at. Orihime apologized for trying to get him to do Don Kanonji’s pose the other day, but he replied it was okay, saying Keigo and Mizuiro knew he hated it but did it anyway. Orihime asked Ichigo why he was there and he explained that Isshin and Yuzu were huge fans of Don Kanonjji and it’d look pitiful if it was only the two of them. Rukia told Ichigo to take the time to relax from his Shinigami duties and he was surprised that she was concerned about his well-being. However Ichigo became annoyed with Rukia when she said she didn’t know what the “festival” was about. He explained what was going on and asked if there really was a spirit in the hospital, pointing out a Shinigami would’ve gotten rid of it already. Rukia explained it was likely a Jibakurei, a soul that could not leave the human world, because there was something they wouldn’t leave behind. These spirits were bound to that thing and didn’t appear unless someone stepped into their territory. The Jibakurei appeared and Ichigo noted that its scream was like that of a Hollow and Rukia said it was in the process of becoming one. As the show began filming and Don Kanonji came on the scene, Ichigo asked Rukia if they should perform Konso to stop the soul from becoming a Hollow and hurting the people. Rukia told him it took months for soul to become Hollows, so they could just do it when everyone was gone. However Don Kanonji drove his staff into the Hollow hole forming on the Jibakurei’s chest. This speed up the transformation process and Ichigo tried to stop Kanonji, but security restrained him. However Urahara showed up on the scene and released Ichigo from his body, allowing him to try and stop Kanonji, shoving him away from the Jibakurei. But it was too late, the Jibakurei vanished and Kanonji promised to help Ichigo move on to the afterlife as well. Rukia shouted at Ichigo to look up and they saw the spirit forming into a Hollow on the roof of the hospital. Kanonji asked what it was and a surprised Ichigo told him it was a Hollow, which proceeded to attack. Ichigo fended it off, making its head get stuck in a wall and pulled Kanonji into the hospital with him to keep the Hollow away from the people. Kanonji told Ichigo he couldn’t run since he was a hero to his fans, but Ichigo stopped him from returning, saying that the people could caught in the crossfire. He explained that the Hollow would come after them first since they had high spiritual power. The Hollow attacked them, but as Ichigo tried to fend it off, his Zanpakuto got stuck in the ceiling and he realized the corridors were too confined. The Hollow managed to stick his hands together with its spit, but Kanonji used his staff to jam its jaw and used his Kanon Ball technique to free Ichigo’s sword. Ichigo succeeded in driving his Zanpakuto into the Hollow’s shoulder, but it smashed through a wall and climbed onto the roof, dragging Ichigo along. He freed himself and used the open space to slay the Hollow. Kanonji congratulated him, but Ichigo told him to stop, explaining that the Hollow was born from the soul the medium thought he freed. However Ichigo told Kanonji not to let it bother him since he hadn’t known and regretting his actions wouldn’t do anything. The Shinigami then pointed out that the crowd was waving and he should answer them, since it was his duty as a hero. Kanonji complimented Ichigo for his courage and abilities and asked if they could work together again in the future. Ichigo agreed, but was annoyed when Kanonji called him his #1 pupil.
Meeting a QuincyThe next day, Ichigo and his friends were brought into the principal’s office about the events at the filming of Don Kanonji’s show. The school coach, Kagine, complained that Ichigo’s actions were broadcast all over Japan and they were all to blame for not stopping him. While Rukia went into a whole routine of blaming herself, Ichigo and the others slipped out the window while Kagine was distracted. As they walked away, Keigo thanked Rukia for getting them out scot-free, Ichigo told him not to since she would’ve just sold them out, they were just lucky they managed to get away. That afternoon, Ichigo answered the door, he found Don Kanonji there, and he slammed the door shut, locking it. Ichigo demanded to know how he found his house and Kanonji revealed that Rukia was with them. Yuzu saw Kanonji and knocked Ichigo aside to open the door, but Rukia received a Hollow alert. She and Ichigo rushed off to deal with it, but when they found there was no Hollow, just a soul cowering in a corner. Ichigo noted that this had happened a number of times in the past week and asked the soul who had saved him from the Hollow. However the soul had his eyes closed and didn’t know, so Ichigo just performed Konso on him. Later at school, exam results came in and Ichigo told a nervous Keigo that tests didn’t have much impact on life, but Mizuiro pointed out that Ichigo had the 18th score out of 322 students. Ichigo said his hair color caused everyone to look at him the wrong way, so he studied hard so the school couldn’t complain about him. Rukia then dragged Ichigo off and told him there was another Hollow to which Ichigo replied that he’d never forgive her if it was another false alarm. They failed to find a Hollow yet again, much to Ichigo’s anger and Rukia told him to stop complaining and return to his body. He did so, but Uryū Ishida appeared in a Quincy outfit and Ichigo asked if he was supposed to be a priest. Uryū asked Ichigo if he could see spirits, but Ichigo said that was impossible. A new Hollow appeared, but Uryū easily destroyed it and introduced himself, saying he hated Shinigami. The next day at school, Ichigo wondering why Uryū would say those things to a stranger and why he hated Shinigami. Orihime overheard Ichigo wondering to himself about Uryū and informed him that the Quincy was in her class. She brought Ichigo to the handicrafts club where Uryū was and they saw him sew a damaged teddy bear for Michiru Ogawa. Orihime asked Ichigo what his connection with Uryū was, but he told her it was nothing. After school, Ichigo tried following the Quincy, but Uryū asked him if he intended to follow him all the way home and informed the Shinigami that he had known he was spying on him since Ichigo was watching him from the doorway of the classroom. Ichigo at first congratulated Uryū on noticing him, but the Quincy replied that it had been because Ichigo lacked the ability to control his spiritual energy or to sense the energy of others. Uryū explained that he’d always been aware of Ichigo’s high level of spiritual energy and noticed when he’d acquired Shinigami powers. The Quincy then challenged Ichigo to fight him, but Ichigo wasn’t interested, saying Uryū’s anger towards Shinigami didn’t involve him. However Uryū managed to make Ichigo accept his challenge and the Shinigami freed himself from his body using Kon, before asking the Quincy what his rules were. Uryū pulled out some Hollow bait and said that it would draw out a great number of Hollows. Whichever one of them defeated the most Hollows in 24 hours was the winner. Ichigo angrily demanded to know why Uryū would be willing to endanger the residents of Karakura Town, but he just told Ichigo not to worry since he’d destroy all the Hollows. Uryū set off the bait, causing a multitude of Hollows to descend on Karakura Town. Ichigo demanded that he undo it, but Uryū said he couldn’t at that point and if Ichigo wanted to protect people, he should get moving. Realizing that Karin was the most likely target for the Hollows, Ichigo raced through town, slaying Hollows as he tried to think of where Karin would be. He sent Kon back to the Kurosaki clinic to get Rukia’s Dereishinki, which she used to get Hollow reports, so he could better react to the Hollows. Ichigo proceeded to kill all the Hollows between the Kuroskai Clinic and the last place he saw Karin, deciding that should keep her safe for the time being. Ichigo then found Uryū, but when Kon arrived, started bickering with him until Uryū fired an arrow at Ichigo. Ichigo said that this should just be a battle between himself and Uryū and Kon pointed out a large crack forming the sky, which the Hollows were gathering around. As Uryū began attacking the Hollows, Ichigo told him there were too many and they needed a strategy. Uryū asked him if he was scared and charged the Hollows, declaring that they would be fighting the last Quincy. Ichigo asked what he meant and Uryū told him about the fall of the Quincy due to the Shinigami. As they continued to battle, Ichigo said he didn’t know or care if the Shinigami or the Quincy were right, but he didn’t approve Uryū’s methods. Uryū revealed that he had actually believed the Shinigami were right, like his mentor, Sōken Ishida did. His mentor had even tried to convince the Shinigami to work with the remaining Quinxy, but died fighting a group of Hollows, despite the fact that a group of Shingami were watching him and could’ve helped him. Uryū declared that he had to prove the Quincy’s strength to the Shinigami, but Ichigo pointed out that his mentor wanted the two groups to work together. He then asked Uryū to work with him now and only together could they deal with the Hollows. As the two fought together, Ichigo told Uryū he wouldn’t forgive him for endangering people, but now wasn’t the time to talk about that and they agreed to beat each other up later. However a Menos Grande Hollow appeared and the two argued about how to deal with it and the other Hollows at the same time. But Urahara showed up with Ururu Tsumugiya, Jinta Hanakari, and Tessai Tsukabishi to deal with the lesser Hollows and told Ichigo to concentrate on the Menos. Ichigo, stunned by the size of the creature, wondered if it even was a Hollow and was even more shocked when it started devouring other Hollows. Deciding to the only way to win was to injure it repeatedly, Ichigo charged at the Menos. He attacked its legs, but to no avail as the creature just knocked him away. However when Ichigo touched Uryū’s bow, the Quincy noticed his power flowed into it, increasing its size. Uryū had Ichigo strap his Zanpakuto to his head to give him the energy to fire a powered up arrow at the Menos, telling him to release all his energy. Ichigo pointed out he never controlled how much energy he released, so it always was at its max. The Menos started to charge a Cero and Ichigo took back his Zanpakuto, before charging at the Hollow. He managed to block the Cero and even force it back, injuring the Menos and making it retreat. Ichigo collapsed, causing a great deal of his energy to be released, which entered Uryū’s bow. To avoid it blowing up, Uryū fired arrows into the sky to release the excess power, injuring himself. Ichigo told him not to overdo it or he’d lose his arm to which Uryū replied by telling him to stay alive so he could beat him later. The next day at school, Uryū arrived late with his arms in bandages and Rukia told him not to pay attention to it, but Ichigo denied being concerned. Later, Ichigo invited Uryū to join them for lunch and when the Quincy asked why he did, Ichigo told him he ought to be grateful. Uryū said he preferred to eat alone and Ichigo said he was the same way, so he could just eat facing the other way.
Losing RukiaThat night, Ichigo found Rukia wasn’t in his room and even at 2:00 am she was still gone. However he found a tied and gagged Kon in the bathroom and freed him, before spraying him with deodorant, causing the two to start arguing. Ichigo asked Kon why he was there and the Mod-Soul said Rukia was in trouble, showing him a note she’d left. They managed to find a code in the message that said she had to leave and they should go into hiding, not look for her. Instead Ichigo was determined to find Rukia and tried to use Kon to do so, but Urahara appeared at his window and transformed him. Ichigo found Rukia just as she was confronted by Renji Abarai and Byakuya Kuchiki, attacking Renji. Renji noted how large Ichigo’s Zanpakuto was and Ichigo said he thought it was large compared to Rukia’s, but he didn’t have anyone else to compare it to. As Renji and Ichigo fought, Byakuya warned Renji that their forces saw Ichigo injure a Menos Grande and Ichigo asked if he meant the “big-nosed guy” he fought with Uryū. Renji asked Ichigo what his Zanpakuto’s name is and he replied that he hadn’t named his sword, asking if Shinigami all gave them names. However Renji released his Zanpakuto’s Shikai form, much to Ichigo’s surprise, and slashed his shoulder. Renji explained how a Zanpakuto’s Shikai worked and attacked Ichigo again. Rukia tried to intervene, but Ichigo grabbed the sword as his spiritual energy spiked. He managed to wound Renji and almost overwhelmed him, but Byakuya cut part of his sword off. Byakuya managed to repeatedly wound Ichigo, bringing him down. As Byakuya and Rukia were talking about Ichigo, Ichigo grabbed Byakuya’s leg and told him not to talk like he was dead. Byakuya told him to let go, but Ichigo told him to look at him when he was talking, but Rukia kicked his hand away, telling him to know his place. She told Byakuya she was ready to go back to the Soul Society and Ichigo tried to protest this, but Renji told him to stop aggravating things. Rukia told Byakuya there was no point in kill Ichigo, since he’d soon die himself. Ichigo asked if that was a joke, but Rukia told him not to follow her and conserve what energy he had left. Byakuya told Ichigo that even if he didn’t die, he’d have no Shinigami powers left. As Ichigo lay, thinking on his injuries and Rukia protecting him instead, when Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin came to his rescue, bringing him to Urahara Shop to be healed. Ichigo woke up to see Tessai lying on top of him and pushed him away, injuring his shoulder. Urahara entered the room and told Ichigo to take it easy, since his wounds weren’t fully healed. Ichigo asked him if Uryū’s injuries were treated and Urahara explained that they had. He’d also been worried about Ichigo, saying he was the only one could defeat the Shinigami and rescue Rukia. Ichigo said he couldn’t do anything, since he couldn’t reach the Soul Society. Urahara revealed he could get Ichigo there, but he had to train for 10 days with Urahara. Ichigo protested, saying they should go as soon as possible, but the Soul Society allowed a month before executions. Anyways, if he went in his current state, he would just get himself killed. Urahara revealed that he’d let Ichigo fight Renji and Byakuya so he could see this. Urahara said it would take a week to open the gate to the Soul Society and then Ichigo would have 13 days to rescue Rukia. Despite being doubtful that he could become strong enough in 10 days, Ichigo agreed. Urahara gave him some pills, telling him to take one an hour and he’d recover from his injuries that night, before sending him to school. At school, Ichigo noted that no one seemed to remember Rukia and that Uryū wasn’t there either. Ichigo thought it was odd that the world just went on completely normal without Rukia. He ran into Orihime, who asked him about Rukia, saying everyone else seemed to have forgotten about her. Ichigo explained the situation, surprised she could see him in Shinigami form. Orihime noted that he was determined to save Rukia and encouraged him to do so since she didn’t want Rukia to die either. Ichigo thanked her and headed to the Urahara Shop, asking Urahara to teach him well. In a training area beneath the shop, Ichigo’s soul was removed from his body and found it difficult to move. Urahara noted it was his first time he had to move around in soul form and explained that Byakuya destroyed the source of his Shinigami powers and he had to get them back. Urahara explained about spiritual energy and the more one had, the better one could move in spiritual form. When Ichigo could move better in his spiritual body than his normal body, he’d have all of his spiritual energy back. Urahara’s first training lesson for Ichigo was having him fight Ururu and it’d be over when one of them couldn’t move. Ichigo didn’t want to fight a little girl, but Ururu told him to put on gloves and headgear or die. She unleashed a surprisingly powerful attack, which Ichigo barely avoided, realizing he would have died instantly if he’d been hit. Ichigo put the headgear on and kept running from Ururu, deciding that he could dodge her attacks directly and allow her to attack him. Ichigo managed to hit her lightly in the headgear, relying on their weight difference, but accidentally cut her face. Ururu kicked him away, but Tessai caught Ichigo to protect him from the impact. Ichigo asked to try again, but Urahara told him he’d completed the lesson, pointing out he didn’t tell him to beat Ururu. He asked Ichigo if he was having trouble breathing or moving and Ichigo said no. Urahara declared that he’d recovered his spirit energy and souls regained their energy when in danger. Tessai then cut Ichigo’s Chain of Fate and pinned him to the ground. Ichigo angrily yelled that he was going to die since he couldn’t get back to his body and Urahara told him he only had death left. The chain was already starting to corrode and once it reached his chest, he’d turn into a Hollow, but he could avoid this by turning into a Shinigami. Ichigo was then dropped to the bottom of a pit where his arms were bound with a kido spell. Urahara told him that there was a gas at the bottom of the shaft, which sped up the process of the chain’s corrosion to 72 hours at most. He told Ichigo that he had to become a Shinigami and climb out before that or become a Hollow and be destroyed. After the fifth link of the chain decayed, Ichigo noted that there were a few minutes of painful corrosion between hours of dormancy. During those times of dormancy, he attempted to run up the sides of the pit but to no avail. After 70 hours, Jinta ran down the walls of the pit with a platter of fruit for him, but Ichigo denied being hungry, which was a sign of becoming a Hollow, pointing out that there was still plenty of chain. Jinta revealed how long he’d been in the pit and the final corrosion phase was more extreme than the last few ones. The last of the chain devoured itself and a hole formed in Ichigo’s chest as a Hollow mask formed, but Urahara noted that since the mask was forming before Ichigo’s body did, it was a sign that Ichigo was resisting. Ichigo could hear a voice calling to him, waking up inside his own mind and saw a man standing on a building across from him. The man was surprised Ichigo didn’t recognize him and the man said his name, but Ichigo couldn’t hear what he said. The man asked how many times he had to tell Ichigo his name before he heard, since he thought no one knew him better than Ichigo. Ichigo fell off of the building and the man leapt after him, saying he shouldn’t worry since Shinigami controlled death. Ichigo said he wasn’t a Shinigami, but the man told him to concentrate the spirit energy around him under his feet so as to stand. He told Ichigo Byakuya only took away the powers granted to him by Rukia, but he still had his own, hidden deep within him, that were awakened by Rukia’s. The man told Ichigo to find his powers as his inner world crumbled around them, dissolving into boxes, Ichigo fell through a water fissure where he wondered how he could find his powers. Ichigo remembered that Shinigami had a red Reiraku, which he used to find a box containing the hilt of a Zanpakuto. The man told him he should hear his name and urged him to take the hilt. As the inner world continued to crumble, Ichigo struggled to pull the sword out. Meanwhile in the real world, the spell restraining Ichigo broke as he continued to transform and Tessai activated the next level of the spell. But the restraints holding Ichigo exploded off of him and he leapt out of the pit, clad in a Shinigami outfit, but with a Hollow Mask on his face. He drew his still broken Zanpakuto and shattered the mask. Urahara congratulated him on becoming a complete Shinigami, but Ichigo hit in the face with the sword hilt, saying he’d sworn to kill Urahara when got out. Urahara then began the third test, which was to just knock Urahara’s hat off, as he drew a sword from within his cane. At first, Urahara overwhelmed Ichigo, but Ichigo remembered that he couldn’t be hurt by normal swords and relaxed. However Urahara managed to cut off a last piece of Ichigo’s Hollow mask and released his Zanpakuto’s Shikai. Urahara explained that every Zanpakuto had its own name and continued to attack, cutting away what remained of Ichigo’s Zanpakuto’s blade until there was nothing but a hilt. Urahara said he’d kill Ichigo if he continued to fight with only a hilt, forcing Ichigo to run away, though he found it embarrassing and questioned why he was running. However Ichigo saw the man from his inner world, who asked why he ran away without calling on him. The man revealed that his name was Zangetsu and Ichigo stopped running, calling out the name, Zangetsu. His Zanpakuto entered Shikai form and Urahara told him it was time to really start the last lesson. Ichigo warned him he might not be able to hold back and swung his Zanpakuto at Urahara, who tried to counter with the Chikasumi no Tate technique of his own Zanpakuto. Zangetsu unleashed a blast that knocked Urahara’s hat off and when the dust settled, Urahara noted that only his Chikasumi no Tate prevented him from losing an arm. Ichigo spent his time waiting for the gate to the Soul Society to open fairly normally and later attended a festival with his family and friends. While Ichigo was talking with his friends, his family ran up in kimonos and knocked him down into a bank. Ichigo asked if they were drunk and Isshin explained that a juice salesman had been using wine to dilute his juice instead of water. Isshin told the group the saved a spot across the river for watching the fireworks and Ichigo’s family and most of his friends headed away. Ichigo decided to go with them and apologized to Tatsuki for bothering her, saying it was fine if she didn’t want to come. However she just told him to hurry up and she’d be there later. Later, when Ichigo was walking home with his family, he told Isshin that he’d have to leave soon and he might not be back until the end of summer. Ichigo was finally summoned to the Urahara shop and said goodbye to his sisters. Outside the Kurosaki clinic, Isshin gave Ichigo an amulet that he said Masaki gave him and it would bring him luck. As he was heading to Urahara Shop, he ran into Orihime and asked her if she was sure she wanted to come. Orihime insisted she was and they found Chad waiting for them at the shop. Ichigo asked where Uryū was, just as the Quincy showed up in a new Quincy outfit, promising to show Ichigo how strong he’d become. Ichigo said he had to be very brave to walk there wearing that outfit, but Urahara interrupted them, inviting them all inside. In the underground training area, Urahra showed them the Senkaimon, the gateway they’d use to reach the Soul Society, and freed Ichigo of his body, changing him to Shinigami form. As the others examined Ichigo’s body, he complained about them toughing it so much and Kon showed up, agreeing with him. Ichigo asked him why he was there and Kon insisted on going along. Urahara explained that they had four minutes to get through the Senkaimon or they’d be trapped in the Dangai, the precipice between the Soul Society and Human World. Yourichi told them that only those truly ready for the task ahead could go and Ichigo said each of them had decided to go. Yoruichi told them that if they lost, they would never come back, but Ichigo replied that they just had to win. The Senkaimon opened and Ichigo told Kon, who he had tied up, to take care of his family, before entering the gateway. They managed to get through the Dangai, despite Uryū’s cape getting stuck on the Koryu, an air current in the Dangai meant to keep out enemies, and being chased by the Kototsu, a sort of “street sweeper” that destroyed everything inside the Dangai, and arrived in the Soul Society.
Battle with the SeireiteiThe group arrived at one of the entrances to the Seireitei, where Ichigo faced off against the gate’s guardian, Jidanbō Ikkanzaka. Ichigo fought him alone and managed to defeat him easily, prompting Jidanbō to open the gate for him and his friends. However 3rd Division captain Gin Ichimaru appeared, easily driving Ichigo and his friends back. Needing a new way to enter the Seireitei, Ichigo and the others spent some time in the Rukongai where Ichigo had a brief fight with Ganju Shiba. They went to see Kūkaku Shiba to find a new method of getting into the Seireitei. Ichigo was trained to operate spheres powered by spirit energy so he and his friends could be launched out of Kūkaku’s fireworks cannon. He learned to do so and the group, now joined by Ganju, were launched from the cannon, through the barrier around the Seireitei, but were separated. Ganju grabbed onto Ichigo, letting them, land safely, but they were confronted by Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Ayasegawa of the 11th Division. While Ganju ran off with Yumichika pursuing him, Ichigo fought with Ikkaku. He managed to win, but let him live and Ikkau told him that since he was the strongest of the intruders, he would be the target of the 11th Division captain, Kenpachi Zaraki. Ichigo eventually found himself being pursued by other Shinigami and ran into Ganju again. Soon, they were surrounded and took a 4th Division Shinigami named Hanatarō Yamada as they tried to escape. They managed to get away and Hanatarō agreed to show them a shortcut through the sewers to get to Rukia’s cells. After getting out of the sewers, Ichigo was confronted by Renji, who wanted a rematch for being defeated earlier. Though Renji managed to badly wound Ichigo during their fight, Ichigo managed to draw on more of his strength and used his Getsuga Tensho to win. Renji begged Ichigo to rescue Rukia and as Ichigo was being healed by Hanatarō, he found a Hollow mask, the same one Ichigo had been wearing after he completed his second lesson, under his clothes, which had protected him from what would’ve been fatal hits. After being healed, Ichigo headed out again, only to be confronted by Kenpachi Zaraki, who he struggled to fight and couldn’t even cut him. However Zaraki’s words helped Ichigo get his drive back and managed to finally wound the captain. Impressed, Kenpachi unleashed his full power and Ichigo and Zangetsu did the same, causing the fight to end with both of them lying on the ground defeated. However Yoruichi came to Ichigo’s rescue and healed him, showing him her true form at the same time. Ichigo rushed out to save Hanatarō and Ganju, who were facing Byakuya, but Yoruichi, knowing that Ichigo still wasn’t ready for an opponent like Byakuya, incapacitated him and took him to a hidden cave. There, she planned to have Ichigo undergo training to achieve the Bankai release form of his Zanpakuto. He managed to complete it and went to Sokyoku hill where he prevented Rukia’s execution. After captains Shunsui Kyōraku and Jūshirō Ukitake destroyed the Sokyoku, the blade that would’ve been used to kill Rukia, Ichigo freed her and gave her to Renji, telling him to keep her safe. Ichigo then stopped a trio of lieutenants from pursuing the two, before facing off against Byakuya again. As they battled, Ichigo managed to make Byakuya use his Bankai, which forced him to use his own Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu. With his new speed, Ichigo was able to outmaneuver Byakuya’s Bankai and finally wound him. Byakuya responded with his Senkai technique and Ichigo began to slow down and weaken. Byakuya eventually came close to striking Ichigo down, but Ichigo’s inner Hollow reared his head. He possessed Ichigo and managed to wound Byakuya, but Ichigo took control back. They prepared for one final clash as Ichigo demanded to know why Byakuya wouldn’t save his own sister. Byakuya replied that he would answer if Ichigo won and they clashed, badly wounding both of them. Byakuya then explained his actions, but a Kido message relayed by Isane Koetsu revealed that all that had happened had been a plot by captain Sosuke Aizen. Aizen wounded Renji when he refused to hand Rukia over and Ichigo came to help. However Aizen was easily able to defeat the two of them, slashing Ichigo through his torso. Aizen grabbed Rukia by the collar, telling Ichigo how he’d planned out everything that had happened so as to obtain the Hogyoku. After Aizen easily struck down 7th Division captain Sajin Komamura, Ichigo was shocked by the difference in power. Aizen continued to explain his reasons, that the Hogyoku had been planted in Rukia’s soul by Kisuke Urahara to keep it safe, then he gave her a Gigai, which reduced her to a normal human. Ichigo watched helplessly as Aizen extracted the Hogyoku and left for Hueco Mundo. After Orihime healed him, Ichigo and his friends spent a week in the Soul Society, training with the 11th Division. Rukia told him she was going to stay in the Soul Society and they prepared to leave, Ukitake gave Ichigo a Substitute Shinigami Badge, which also served as a license that let him hunt Hollows officially.
Conflict with the BountsIchigo, not knowing he couldn’t perform Bankai outside of the Soul Society, and his friends had to deal with a trio of Mod-Souls in a series of games that involved kidnapping Ichigo’s friends. However these souls were commanded by Urahara who then had Ichigo train with the three Mod-Souls, Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba. Ichigo then found out about the Bounts, humans with spiritual powers who fed on human souls. He faced off against Yoshino Sōma and couldn’t beat her and her Doll, Goethe, despite receiving help from Rukia, but was unintentionally rescued by the appearance of another Bount, Ryō Utagawa. Utagawa later turned up to try and take Uryū’s soul, prompting a battle between him and Ichigo and the others. During the fight, Yoshino took Uryū away, but he turned up in the hospital and Ichigo and the others went to visit him. However two other Bounts, Ho and Ban showed up and Ichigo found it hard to battle their water Dolls. He managed to figure out that their ability to control their Dolls was weakened when they were separated and with help from Ganju, Ichigo and his friends destroyed the weakened Dolls with fireworks, killing Ho and Ban as well. Ichigo and the others then infiltrated the Bounts’ mansion to rescue Uryū, who’d been captured. Eventually Ichigo took Utagawa on again and their battle greatly damaged the mansion with the Shinigami’s power impressing Utagawa and Maki Ichinose, a Shinigami serving the Bount’s leader, Jin Kariya. After Utagawa attempted to take leadership form Kariya, Ichinose killed him and fought Ichigo instead. Eventually Kariya took over and easily beat Ichigo, but Urahara and his staff came to help, allowing Ichigo and his friends to retreat. Later on, Ichigo took on another Bount, Go Koga and his metallic Doll, Dalk, to protect Keigo from the Bounts’ Bitto, a subspecies of Doll that concentrated human souls. Ichigo was unable to fight Dalk and his inner Hollow took control again, but he managed to force him back down, only to fall because of his injuries. However Izuru Kira, lieutenant of the 3rd Division, came to his aid and brought Dalk down with the power of his Zanpakuto. Later on, Ichigo with Chad, Orihime, Rukia, Renji, Ririn, Kurōdo, and Noba, entered the caves the Bounts were using as their new hideout. Inside they had to deal with the Doll of a Bount named Ugaki, Gesell which could attack form the shadows. As they fought their way though the caves, they were aided by Izuru, Yumichika, Shūhei Hisagi, and Rangiku Matsumoto, who’d gone in earlier. Eventually they came to the area of the cave where Ugaki was and Renji battled Gesell alone with his Bankai so Ichigo had the strength to fight the other Bounts. He managed to defeat Gesell and the cave began crumbling around them. Yumichika convinced Ichigo to go on without them and he found the other Bounts, who opened a portal to the Soul Society. Ichigo engaged Kariya, who managed to easily deal with him and eventually threatened to kill him with his own Zanpakuto. However this gave back Ichigo’s determination to fight, as well as the ability to use Bankai. With the playing field evened, Ichigo continued to fight Kariya, but Uryū appeared and completed the Bounts’ gateway, believing he could fight the Bounts better in the Soul Society. Ichigo and his friends followed the Bounts to the soul Society and used Kūkaku Shiba’s house as a base, while they searched for the Bounts. Ichigo asked Byakuya to help, but the captain refused, telling Ichigo that his duty was to be in the Human World. However Ichigo later showed up in the middle of a fight between Byakuya and Kariya and teamed up with Byakuya to fight the Bount. But Kariya was able to fight both of them and eventually Ran’Tao, the Shinigami responsible for the Bounts’ creation, intervened. She brought Ichigo to her home, along with Uryū, and explained to the two that because she created the Bounts, her powers were sealed and she was banished. Ichigo and Uryū left and came across Tōshirō Hitsugaya, Rangiku, and Renji who were fighting with Maki Ichinose. However Kenpachi Zaraki arrived to fight Ichinose and Ichigo and the others went after the Bounts, who’d invaded the Seireitei. Ichigo and Chad managed to track down Kariya in the Technological Institute of the Seireitei, but as they fought, they accidentally unearthed the Jokaisho, a Bount crest of incredible power that Kariya had been looking for. The Bout absorbed its energies and threatened to use it to destroy the Soul Society so as to make Ichigo back off. Kariya then retreated so as to give the Soul Society a day to think about its destruction. Rangiku gave Ichigo permission to use the 10th Divisions barracks as a base. The following day, Ichigo showed up as Ran’Tao and Uryū were facing Kariya and battled the Bount. Eventually Maki Ichinose showed up and at first fought Ichigo, but then turned his blade on Kariya. However he was easily slain by the Bount, who then attacked Ichigo. As they continued to fight, Ichigo revealed to Kariya that Ran’Tao had sealed his absorption ability, making him unable to absorb spirit particles to heal himself. Kariya tried to detonate a Jokaisho, but the other Shinigami managed to stop him and Ichigo struck him down. However before dying, Kariy asked Ichigo what he would become in the future and Ichigo, Rneji, and Rukia returned to the Kuchiki manor. They talked about Kariya and Ichigo noted that his life was changed when Rukia gave him her powers, before returning to the Human World.
Meeting with the ArrancarAfter Ichigo came back from the Soul Society, he gave Isshin back his protective charm, saying he didn’t want it. However Isshin just sewed it to Ichigo’s school uniform and Ichigo wondered if his father lied about Masaki giving it to him. After Ichigo returned from school, Isshin elbowed him the face and he was surprised when he successfully hit Ichigo. Isshin said Ichigo must be depressed and, deciding he must have done poorly on a test, began lecturing him, but Ichigo said he was going to stay in his room until dinner. Yuzu blamed Ichigo’s depression on Isshin for not apologizing. Later after Ichigo killed a Hollow, he was approached by Shinji Hirako, one of the Visored, who tried to get Ichigo to join the other Visored, warning him that eventually his inner Hollow would take him over and destroy everything around him, but Ichigo refused. Soon after this, Ulquiorra Cifer and Yammy Llargo, two of the Arrancar, appeared in Karkaura Town, seeking to evaluate Ichigo’s power. When Ichigo found the two, he saw Chad was badly wounded by Yammy and took the Arrancar on with his Bankai, successfully slicing of Yammy’s arm. However Ichigo’s inner Hollow started to try and take control again and when Ichigo resisted, it prevented him from moving, making it easy for Yammy to repeatedly pound on him and badly hurt Orihime. Urahara and Yoruichi came to the rescue and managed to make the two Arrancar withdraw. But his failure to fight the two made Ichigo depressed, thinking he couldn’t protect his friends. However an expeditionary Shingiami force sent from the Seiretei arrived under the command of Tōshirō Hitsugaya and including Rukia. She forced Ichigo to fight a Hollow, while chastising him for his depression, getting him back to normal. Later on, Ichigo talked about the threat of Aizen and the Arrancar with Hitsugaya’s team, who explained what Arrancar were. Eventually, Ichigo told the group when they were leaving and Renji told him they couldn’t return to the Soul Society until the Arrancar were dealt with. Ichigo insisted they couldn’t all stay at his house and they all left, except for Rukia, who used a cover story to let Isshin let her stay in the girls’ room. However that night, an Espada, one of the 10 most powerful Arrancar, Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, lead a group of Arrancar to Karakura Town to take out anyone with spiritual power. Rukia, having detected them, realized one of the Arrancar, Di Roy Rinker, was at Chad’s house. Ichigo managed to arrive in time to stop Di Roy from killing Chad and told him to let him handle the Arrancar. Chad left and as Rukia arrived, she asked him what he said to Chad. Ichigo told her that he just told Chad to step aside so he could fight, but Rukia told him to stand down, since he went beyond his strength after he fought Yammy. She swallowed an artificial soul candy to change into her Shinigami form, while the artificial soul in Rukia’s Gigai leapt on Ichigo and held it down. Rukai explained that it was a type of artificial soul called Chappy and she’d been trying to get it when she got Kon, prompting Ichigo to say he was actually glad they got Kon. Rukia fought and killed Di Roy as Chappy told Ichigo about her Zanpakuto, Sode no Shirayuki. However Grimmjow showed up, asking which of the two Shinigami was stronger. Rukia yelled at Ichigo to retreat, but the 6th Espada impaled her with his arm and Ichigo angrily charged at him. However Ichigo could do nothing to Grimmjow and eventually released his Bankai, only for the Arrancar to continue to easily deal with him. However Ichigo used his black Getsuga Tensho, causing his inner Hollow to start rearing its head, but Grimmjow only received a few scars from the attack. Kaname Tosen appeared on the scene and commanded the 6th Espada to return with him to Hueco Mundo. Ichigo demanded that Grimmjow finish what he started, but Grimmjow replied that Tosen making him leave was the only reason Ichigo was still alive. As Tosen and Grimmjow disappeared into the Garganta, a portal to Hueco Mundo, Ichigo thought about what just happened. Renji soon arrived and asked him if he’d won, but Ichigo said he lost. Renji said that if he was alive, he’d won, but Ichigo told him not to patronize him, since he wouldn’t be saying the same thing if Renji was in Ichigo’s position. Ichigo went on to say that he couldn’t protect anyone or help the wounded.
Becoming a VisoredWorried about his inner Hollow getting out of control, Ichigo sought out the Visored, determined to learn how to control his inner Hollow as they did. He tracked them down to a warehouse, where he was forced to fight Hiyori Sarugaki. However Ichigo’s inner Hollow again took over his body and almost strangled Hiyori to death, before the other Visored restrained him. Shinji then explained to Ichigo that he couldn’t control his inner Hollow with his mind or body and he had to force it into the core of his soul. After some brief physical training, Ichigo was sent into his inner world to fight his inner Hollow. While the Visored were forced to fight his physical body, which had been transformed into a monstrous Hollow form, Ichigo found he could nothing against his inner Hollow, who managed to stab him in the chest. However his inner Hollow’s words and dialogue with a manifestation of Kenpachi caused Ichigo to regain his pure fighting spirit, while he’d been looking for reasons to battle. Ichigo succeeded in subduing his inner Hollow and regained control of his body, shedding his Hollow form with a Hollow mask on his face. Ichigo began training with Hiyori so as to increase the amount of time he could maintain his Hollow mask, which allowed him to call on his inner Hollow’s power while still controlling his body. After a month of training, Ichigo sensed another Arrancar incursion and went out to fight, despite only being able to maintain his Hollow mask for 11 seconds. He faced off against Grimmjow again and with his Hollow mask, was able to overwhelm the 6th Espada. However Ichigo’s mask crumbled away before he could win and Grimmjow managed to eventually pin him to the ground and charged a Cero to finish him with. Rukia arrived and froze the Arrancar’s arm, but he prepared to kill her as well, when Shinji intervened. He managed to easily fight Grimmjow until Ulquiorra order the Arrancar to withdraw. Rukia brought Ichigo home to recover after Hachigen Ushōda, another Visored, tended to his wounds. While he was sleeping, Ichigo was visited by Orihime, who was going to surrender herself to the Arrancar, and tried to kiss him, but couldn’t, though she did admit that she loved him.
Heading into Hueco MundoWhen Ichigo woke up, he found his wrist had been healed by Orihime and Tōshirō brought him to Orihime’s apartment for an emergency talk with the Seireitei. Ukitake revealed that Orihime was taken by an Arrancar and may have been dead. Ichigo told them she visited him and healed him the previous night and Captain-Commander Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto concluded that Orihime betrayed them. Ichigo tried to protest this, but Renji silenced him and asked to be allowed to go to Hueco Mundo to save her. Yamamoto rejected the request and Ichigo demanded to go alone, but Yamamoto refused again, saying he was a valuable aid to the Soul Society. Renji and Rukia received an order to come back to the Soul Society to fortify their defenses. At school the following day, Tatsuki confronted Ichigo about Orihime’s disappearance and revealed she could see him in Shinigami form. Ichigo tried to make a distance between himself and his friends, before heading to Urahara Shop, where Uryū and Chad met him. Urahara opened a Garganta to Hueco Mundo and the trio headed in, ending up in one of the entrance points used by Aizen’s army. They were confronted by the two Arrancar guards, Demoura Zodd, and Aisslinger Warnarr, and Chad and Uryū told Ichigo to say back while they dealt with the two. They defeated the Arrancar, causing the passageways to collapse around them, but Ichigo, Uryū, and Chad managed to get outside, seeing Las Noches in the distance. They saw a little girl being chased by three Hollows and intervened, but to their surprise, the girl was an Arrancar named Nel Tu and her pursuers were her companions, Pesche Guatiche, Dondochakka Birstanne, and their pet Bawabawa. With these four accompanying them, Ichigo, Uryū, and Chad headed for Las Noches, but they were attacked by Runuganga, the Hollow guardian made of sand. The Hollow’s ability to regenerate made it immune to all of their attacks, but Renji and Rukia came to their rescue, defeating the Hollow. Ichigo and the others managed to finally enter Las Noches and split up with Nel Tu following Ichigo, who caught up just as he was facing off against Dordoni Alessandro Del Socaccio. Ichigo tried to defeat him with just his Shikai, wanting to save his Bankai for the Espada, but couldn’t win. After Dordoni tried to use a Cero against Ichigo, Nel swallowed it and fired it back. Dordoni tried to kill her, finally making Ichigo use his Bankai to protect her and the Arrancar tried to convince him to use his Hollow Mask instead. Finally, Ichigo used his mask, defeating Dordoni in a second, and Nel partially healed him. However the Arrancar attacked Ichigo again, but he blocked it and ran away with Nel. Later on, the Visored sensed Rukia’s defeat at the hands of Aaroniero Arruruerie and Ulquiorra showed up. The 4th Espada told him Rukia was killed, but Ichigo didn’t believe him and tried to leave to save her. The Visored said he had no reason to fight with Ulquiorra, but the Arrancar revealed he was the one who made Orihime come to Hueco Mundo. Enraged, Ichigo attacked the 4th Espada and unleashed everything he had against him, but it barely left a scratch. Eventually Ulquiorra impaled Ichigo through the chest with his hand and left him for dead, telling him to leave Hueco Mundo if he survived. However Grimmjow brought Orihime to heal Ichigo, since he wanted to fight Ichigo with his full strength. Ulquiorra returned to take Orihime away, but Grimmjow used a Caja Negación to seal him away for some time. After being healed, Ichigo and Grimmjow faced off again with the advantage shifting between each of them and eventually Ichigo used his Hollow mask to shield Orihime and Nel from a Gran Rey Cero from Grimmjow. The 6th Espada saw Ichigo was at his full strength and entered his Resurrección form, before they fought each other at full force. They hit each other hard and as Grimmjow prepared to bring Ichigo down, but Orihime begged him to not get hurt anymore. Ichigo caught Grimmjow’s hand and slashed him, prompting the Arrancar to angrily impale Ichigo in the stomach. He then unleashed his most powerful attack, Desgarrón, but Ichigo overcame the attack and managed to bring down Grimmjow, who changed back to his unreleased form.
Rise of the BakkotoIchigo and Rukia received an alert that an unusual amount of Hollows were showing up. As they were dealing with them, Ichigo spotted Rurichiyo Kasumiōji being attacked by Hollows. Her bodyguards, Kenryū and Enryū, took her away while Ichigo defeated the Hollows with his Bankai. The next day, the trio moved into the house next to Ichigo’s and became students at his school. He found out who they were and Kenryū explained that Rurichiyo was the head of the Kasumioji Clan due to her parents’ death. They came to Karakura Town to protect Rurichiyo after several apparent assassination attempts, most likely by Gyokaku Kumoi, who wanted to become clan leader. Kenryū asked for Ichigo’s help to protect Rurichiyo, but that night, an assassin wielding a Bakkoto attacked her. Ichigo had trouble dealing with the Bakkoto’s ability to blind him with his mirror, but managed to defeat the assassin. Later on, Ichigo, Rukia, Kenryū, and Enryū went to the Soul Society to find Rurichiyo. Ichigo managed to locate her and fended off another assassin. But upon their return to the human world, they had to deal with more assassins, lead by Hanza Nukui, head of Kumoi’s assassins. Hanza fought with Ichigo using the same mirrored Bakkoto he faced before, Saiga, and explained that Bakkoto became stronger by feeding on the spiritual energy of the user. Hanza created illusions using Saiga, but Yoruichi helped drive him off and revealed that the other assassins were defeated. Hanza retreated, but returned with three specially selected assassins and Ichigo and Rukia stayed with Rurichiyo while the others went out to fight. Hanza fought Ichigo, who managed to break Saiga’s mirror, but the assassin responded by creating an illusionary world with his Bakkoto, where Ichigo was forced to relive his mother’s death. The illusion of Masaki tried to strangle him, but Ichigo broke free by reconciling with her. He summoned his Hollow mask and easily fought Hanza, who allowed his Bakkoto to absorb more of his energy. Ichigo begged him to atop, but Hanza didn’t listen and was consumed by it. Rurichiyo returned to the Soul Society again and Ichigo and his friends managed to infiltrate the clan’s compound to get her back, but she ignored Ichigo. Captain Suì-Fēng and the Omnitsukido showed up to deal with them, but Enryū used his Zanpakuto’s Shikai to level the building they were in. The confusion let Ichigo get to Rurichiyo and told her husband to be, Shū Kannogi of Kumoi’s plans, but Rurichiyo, who was actually an imposter, attacked him. Suì-Fēng attacked Ichigo, but he and Rukia managed to escape with help from Shū, who let them pretend he was their hostage. However the forces of the Seireitei began searching for them and Ichigo, Rukia, and Shū set out to rescue Rurichiyo. However the new 3rd Division captain, Shusuke Amagai, confronted them and battled Ichigo, but Shū stopped the fight by revealing what Kumoi was planning. Amagai agreed to help and together they avoided the patrols and met up with the other 3rd Division members. They headed to the 3rd Division training grounds, the last place Rurichiyo was seen, and Ichigo and Amagai went after a pair of assassins apparently carrying Rurichiyo, but they found it was a fake. Rukia, Amagai, and Shū headed to the Kasumioji compound, guarded by Tōshirō Hitsugaya. While the others kept the Seireitei’s forces busy, Ichigo and Shū slipped inside. Meanwhile, Makoto Kibune, one of Amagai’s men, was revealed to be Kumoi’s henchman and possessor of a Bakkoto, clearing Ichigo and his friends. Ichigo and Rukia managed to finally catch up to Kumoi and Rurichiyo, but Amagai killed Kumoi, teleporting away with Rurichiyo. A dying Kumoi revealed that Amagai had been behind the whole plot and Ichigo went to Yamamoto’s office, where Amagai was facing Yamamoto, wanting to kill him for apparently murdering his father. Amagai revealed his own Bakkoto, which could negate any Shinigami powers besides his own and fought Ichigo with his Bankai. Despite hearing Amagai’s reasons for wanting to kill Yamamoto, Ichigo was determined to stop Amagai, since he caused innocent people to suffer. Ichigo released his Bankai and summoned his Hollow mask, his Hollow powers protecting him safe from Amagai’s Bakkoto. Amagai began attacking his mask, but Ichigo managed to hit him with a Getsuga Tensho. Wounded, but far from finished, Amagai decalred he would die to have his revenge and drew on more power from his Bakkoto. Ichigo was eventually able to damage the Bakkoto, taking away its ability to negate Shinigami powers and finally defeat Amagai. Yoruichi arrived on the scene and told Amagai the truth, Yamamoto had killed Amagai’s father out of mercy due to him being possessed by a Bakoto. Out of repentance, Amagai prepared to kill himself and Ichigo tried to stop him, but Byakuya stopped him, helping Ichigo realize he needed to let Amagai repent whatever way he felt was best. Ichigo stood back as Amagai then destroyed himself with the fire of his Zanpakuto. Later Ichigo offered to help Rurichiyo get things back on track, but she said that as head of her clan, she wanted to handle it herself.
Further Fights in Hueco MundoGrimmjow tried to attack again, but Ichigo told him to stop when Nnoitra Gilga, the 5th Espada, showed up, striking Grimmjow down. He engaged Ichigo and as they battled, Nnoitra recognized Nel as the former 3rd Espada, Neliel Tu Odelschwanck, which she denied. As Nnoitra injured Ichigo, Nel transformed into her adult form and battled the 5th Espada. But before she could strike him down, Nel turned back into her child form, allowing Nnoitra to kick her around. Ichigo angrily tried to stop him, but the 5th Espada easily slammed him into the ground. He then made his Fracción, Tesra Lindocruz, beat up Ichigo, but before he could kill the Visored, Kenpachi Zaraki showed up and struck down Tesra. Kenpachi fought Nnoitra while Orihime healed Ichigo and Nel and kept Yachiru Kusajishi, the 11th Division lieutenant, safe. Kenpachi managed to slay Nnoitra, but the 1st Espada, Coyote Starrk, appeared and took Orihime away before anyone could intervene. Aizen then announced that Orihime was in the fifth tower of Las Noches and he was going to go destroy Karakura Town. Ichigo told Kenpachi his duty was to keep his friends safe and hurried to Orihime’s rescue. He was confronted by the Exequias, but Renji, Chad, and Rukia arrived to deal with them while Ichigo moved on. Ichigo eventually found his way to the top of the tower, where Ulquiorra was guarding Orihime. They engaged each other and as they were fighting, Menoly Mallia and Loly Aivirrne attacked Orihme. Ichigo tried to intervene, but Ulquiorra stopped him, though Uryū showed up and Ichigo ordered him to keep Orihime safe. He summoned his Hollow mask and actually started to beat Ulquiorra, but the 4th Espada headed to the top of Las Noches. There he released his Zanpakuto and demonstrated greater strength and speed, overwhelming Ichigo, asking the Visored why he wouldn’t give up. Ichigo said he knew Ulquiorrra was stronger, but he could never stop fighting and the 4th Espada, determined to make Ichigo despair, changed into a second Resurrección form. However Ichigo still refused to stop fighting, but Ulquiorra fired a Cero Oscuras through Ichigo’s chest, apparently killing him as Orihime climbed on top of Las Noches. Orihime desperately tried to heal Ichigo as Uryū tried to fight Ulquiorra and eventually cried out for Ichigo to help. Hearing this, Ichigo was taken over by his inner Hollow as he transformed into a new full Hollow form. He managed to easily fight Ulquiorra and badly hurt him, but when Ichigo tried to savagely kill the Arrancar, Uryū intervened. He started attacking the Quincy, but Ulquiorra managed to slice off one of his horns, setting off a Cero Ichigo was charging in his face. This restored Ichigo to normal, healed of all his injuries and when he regained consciousness, he was shocked by the destruction he caused and watched Ulquiorra die. After recovering somewhat, Ichigo headed out to save Rukia, who was fighting Yammy Llargo. Ichigo lured the Espada away from her and summoned his Hollow mask, which he noticed felt different. After fighting Yammy for awhile, Ichigo’s mask was destroyed by an attack by the Arrancar, allowing him to catch the Visored. However Byakuya and Kenpachi came to his rescue and Byakuya reminded Ichigo he had to protect Karakura Town. Captain Mayuri Kurotsuchi opened a Garganta and Ichigo and captain Retsu Unohana used it to get back to Karakura Town.
Facing AizenOn the way, Unohana explained the power of Aizen’s Shikai and said Ichigo was the only one who could defeat him, since he’d never seen the Shikai and he had to hold onto the advantage. Unohana also noted that Ichigo’s skill was unpolished, realizing his potential power, and offered to replenish his energy. Upon arriving, Ichigo tried to strike Aizen down instantly, but a barrier blocked him and Ichigo thought he’d have to use his Hollow Mask. However Aizen figured out his intentions and invited him to try using Hollowfication. He began unnerving Ichigo, but captain Sajin Komamura showed up and told Ichigo not to listen to Aizen. He said that the Shinigami and Visored would not let him see Aizen’s Shikai and they all gathered around him. Ichigo was reluctant to accept the help, but their words made Ichigo willing to trust his comrades and watch for the time being. Ichigo watched, waiting for an opening, but Aizen kept defeating anyone who tried to fight him. Eventually Yamamoto was the last captain left and as he fought Aizen, he said the Gotei 13 would lay down their lives to stop Aizen, but Ichigo should retreat. However when Yamamoto used his Itto Kaso technique, Ichigo tried to sneak attack Aizen with a Getsuga Tensho. Ichigo kept up his assault, but Aizen blocked and told him that was his only chance to finish him as his wounds healed. Aizen revealed that the Hogyoku was protect its master and he’d implanted in his chest. Aizen noted that Ichigo’s spiritual energy had grown, just as he’d planned and told Ichigo all of his battles had been part of his plan. Ichigo started to get angry and Aizen explained that he thought of Ichigo as the perfect study subject. Ichigo replied that what he said didn’t match with the ones he made back when he revealed himself as a traitor. Aizen said he’d known about Ichigo since his birth, when Isshin arrived on the scene. He took his son away, saying he’d answer any questions later, but Ichigo said he had none and accepted the Isshin had a reason for secrecy. He went back to Aizen, where he faced off against Gin Ichimaru, who asked him if he remembered their last confrontation. Ichigo just explained his philosophy concerning battle and said he hadn’t felt Gin’s heart in his blade. The former captain replied that he was starting to understand Aizen’s interest in Ichigo and released his Bankai. As the two battled, Ichigo worried about the speed of Gin’s sword, eventually getting his shoulder wounded. Ichigo noted that the speed of Gin’s Bankai was its true strength and Gin said its length was just a distraction. Ichigo was finally knocked into a building and Gin said Ichigo stopping his attack was a fluke, but Ichigo said it wasn’t. As the Hogyoku began enveloping Aizen, Ichigo asked Isshin what was going on to which he replied he didn’t know. Ichigo then watched as Urahara, Yoruichi, and Isshin fought Aizen until Gin noted he was wide open, telling Ichigo to relax. The two talked about Aizen and Ichigo’s comrades, before fighting again and Gin unleashed his Buto, then his Buto Renjin techniques, making Ichigo summon his Hollow mask. Eventually Ichigo began running short on breath and Gin moved in to finish him, but Aizen stopped him. Ichigo saw Urahara, Yoruichi, and Isshin laying on the ground defeated and Aizen ordered Gin to open a Senkaimon. Ichigo told him to stop, but Aizen said he’d devour him after Karakura Town was in ruins and left for the Soul Society. Isshin told Ichigo to go after Aizen, but Ichigo said they couldn’t defeat Aizen with the incredible amount of spiritual power he had gained. Isshin managed to talk Ichigo ito coming with him and as they ran through the Dangai, Isshin decided to use the fact that the Kototsu was destroyed to let Ichigo to learn the final Getsuga Tensho. Isshin explained that the Dangai distorted time and he suppressed the restrictive current. Ichigo had 3 months to find out from Zangetsu about the nature of the final Getsuga Tensho. Isshin told him about Jinzen, a state where a Shinigami becomes one with the mind of the spirit of their Zanpakuto and can actually talk to them. Ichigo tried it, but after some time a wound showed up on his shoulder and Isshin warned him that Zangetsu was going to be rampaging. Ichigo awoke in his inner world and found himself underwater, unable to breath, and swam for the surface. However the spirit of his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu pulled him back down and calmed him down, helping him figure out how to breath. Ichigo at first didn’t recognize the spirit, who didn’t find it surprising, since he’d never seen Zangetsu in Bankai form before. Tensa Zangetsu attacked and Ichigo tried to stop the fight, but the spirit said he couldn’t teach him a technique like the final Getsuga Tensho. Ichigo said he needed to know it to protect Karakura Town, but Tensa Zangetsu said he and Ichigo wanted to protect different things. Ichigo was surprised that the spirit wouldn’t give him this power and Tensa Zangetsu showed him that his inner world had become a version of Karakura Town, which was now submerged in constant rain from Ichigo’s despair. Tensa Zangetsu then drove his hand into Ichigo’s chest and pulled out the cause of his despair, his inner Hollow. Ichigo was shocked to see him, since he though he’d completely forced it down. Tensa Zangetsu said Ichigo would fight them as one as they merged together, saying that they were the two halves of his power. Ichigo refused to surrender and noticed something strage about the merged being’s actions. He then cast away his broken sword and let himself be impaled by the spirit. He congratulated Ichigo on figured out what to do and Ichigo noted the blade didn’t hurt him. As the merged sprit began to shed tears, he revealed he only wanted to protect Ichigo and the meaning of this and the essence of the technique would become clear directly from the blade. The spirit then told Ichigo if he used the Final Getsuga Tensho, he would lose his Shinigami powers and wished Ichigo goodbye. Ichigo arrived with his unconscious father in Karakura Town, now sporting a slightly changed Bankai, and Aizen turned his attention on him. Ichigo placed Isshin on the ground and thanked him for his help, before scanning for his sister’s spiritual energy. Deciding they were safe, Ichigo turned to his friends and told them not to move, before grabbing Aizen by the face and rocketing away with him. Ichigo brought him to an open area and threw a shocked Aizen to the ground, saying he’d finish the fight in an instant. The two battled, generating a great deal of destruction throughout the surrounding area. Aizen noted how similar they looked, but Ichigo eventually caught Aizen’s sword with his hand, asking Aizen if his transformation was so unbelievable. He then asked him if he was scared of what was in front of him because he couldn’t understand it. Aizen tried using a full power Kurohitsugi Kido spell, but Ichigo destroyed it, saying Aizen didn’t realize that he was stronger than him at the moment. Ichigo moved to attack again, slashing his torso, and repeated some of Aizen’s previous taunts. An enraged Aizen transformed again and fired an incredibly powerful energy blast at Ichigo, which he managed to block, but it destroyed some of his clothing and singed his arm. Aizen attacked, eventually grabbing him, and said Ichigo had lost his power and would now die. But Ichigo asked Aizen if something like that was going to stop him and slashed Aizen across the chest, making him release him. Ichigo declared he was going to show Aizen his “Final Getsuga Tensho” and used his Saigo no Getsuga Tensho to transform, becoming the Getsuga itself. Ichigo then unleashed his Mugetsu, spreading darkness all over the area and sending a weakened Aizen falling to the ground. As Ichigo changed back to normal, he watched Aizen start to heal, and fell to the ground as his Shinigami powers left him. Ichigo watched as Aizen was bound by a Kido spell Urahara hid inside him and Urahara appeared on the scene to explain what happened. Aizen was finally sealed as Ichigo and Urahara talked and eventually Ichigo asked Urahra where everyone was and if their memories were gone. When he learned that weren’t, Ichigo was relieved and Urahara told Ichigo Aizen’s sealing would be handled by Central 46. Ichigo then asked him if Aizen was really rejected by the Hogyoku, wondering if Aizen wanted to lose the power, and explained that he though Aizen may have just wanted to be a Shinigami. Orihime, Uryū, Rukia, Chad, and Renji showed up, but after greeting them, Ichigo began crying out in pain, before falling unconscious. He woke up at home, surrounded by his friends, who explained he’d been out for about a month. Rukia explained that Urahara had told them he’d lost his Shinigami powers and the first stage was full of intense pain, loss of consciousness and a reverse flow of time, taking away the experience he had in the Dangai. Rukia explained that by that time, he’d lost all his powers, and in the second stage, his spiritual energy stabilized, and soon he’d lose any of his spiritual powers left. Ichigo said he expected that and asked if he could go outside and noted he no longer sensed spiritual presences and he was having trouble seeing Rukia. As she faded away, Ichigo asked Rukia to give everyone his best regards and wished her goodbye and thanks.
Zanpakuto RebellionWhile talking with Zangetsu in his inner world, Ichigo was asked if he could hear anything other than his voice. He couldn’t and asked what was going on, but Zangetsu said everything was fine. Later on, Ichigo came across a badly wounded Rukia and a women showed up, demanding that he surrender Rukia. Ichigo refused and sent her retreating, before Rukia revealed that the woman was the spirit of her Zanpakuto, Sode no Shirayuki. She explained that a man known as Muramasa had broken the ties between major Shinigami and their Zanpakuto spirits and the spirits were running amok in the Soul Society. Ichigo followed Rukia back to the Soul Society, where he briefly fought Sode no Shirayuki to keep Rukia safe. The fight ended when Muramarasa arrived, telling Ichigo that Zanapakuto were more than just sources of power for Shinigami and he sought to free them of their servitude. He then freed Zangetsu, who proceeded to fight Ichigo, quickly overpowering him. However Ichigo’s inner Hollow took over, transforming Ichigo into a full Hollow form again, and defeated Zangetsu. Ichigo managed to get control again but fell unconscious, and woke up in his inner world, where he saw Muramasa facing off against his inner Hollow. Muramasa used his powers to bind Hollow Ichigo, but Ichigo saved him and used a surge of spiritual energy to force Muramasa out. Ichigo then battled Zangetsu, who was using Bankai, again and Hollow Ichigo agreed to lend Ichigo his power, but only if he didn’t use his Hollow mask. As they battled, Zangetsu revealed that he wanted to see how strong Ichigo could be on his own and if he could defeat him. Ichigo managed to win with his inner Hollow’s help and Muaramasa disappeared, showing signs of become weaker. Zangetsu assured Ichigo he was back to normal and explained that Muramasa could unleash a spirit’s deepest instincts, making them care only about those instincts. Ichigo told the captains what he’d learned and went with Ikkaku to find and fight Ikkaku’s Zanpakuto spirit. They managed to track down Hōzukimaru and Gegetsuburi and capture the latter, but Hōzukimaru escaped. Ichigo tried to pursue him, but was stopped by Byakuya, who disappered, much to Ichigo’s surprise. He tried to track down Byakuya, but was attacked by Haineko and Tobiume. However Rangiku and Momo Hinamori took over, allowing Ichigo to move on. Later, he was sneak attacked by Hyōrinmaru, but when he released his Bankai, the Zanpakuto spirit started to withdraw as he revealed that he was trying to find his master and didn’t remember his master or even his own name. However Tōshirō arrived on the scene and fought Hyōrinmaru, while Ichigo could only watch, having been immobilized by ice from Hyōrinmaru. Tōshiro managed to win and Ichigo brought him to the 4th Division to rest, while he kept looking for Byakuya. He came across Muramasa and fought him, managing to start to beat him. However Senbonzakura interfered, taking Ichigo on with his Bankai, but since he’d fought Senbonzakura’s Bankai before, Ichigo managed to hold his ground and defeat him. Senbonzakura tried to attack again, but Byakuya stopped him with a Kido spell. Ichigo asked Byakuya about his behavior and Byakuya was following his inner desire to protect his pride, before withdrawing with Muramasa and Senbonzakura. Ichigo told the others about Byakuya turning on them, earning him Renji’s anger, and that night, Ichigp sensed that Renji and Rukia were in trouble. He rallied Suì-Fēng and some other Shinigami and went to their rescue, finding the two surrounded by Zanpakuto spirits. Ichigo fought Senbonzakura again, but when Izuru was about to be finished by Wabisuke, he tried desperately to help him. However Kenpachi saved Izuru and after Ichigo defeated Senbonzakura, he headed to where Byakuya and Kenpachi were fighting. He faced off against Byakuya, but Senbonzakura took advantage of this to knock Ichigo into the poison mist Ashisogi Jizō was generating, poisoning him and making him lose consciousness. Yachiru managed to drive Ashisogi Jizō away and the 4th Divison treated Ichigo. After this, Yoruichi revealed she’d found out where Yamamoto was and lead everyone to a series of caves. They split into groups with Ichigo going with Yoruichi and as they explored, he told her about his concerns towards Byakuya. However Haineko and Tobiume attacked them, but Yoruichi easily handled them, telling Ichigo to keep going. As he kept going, he came across Minazuki, who dodged all his attacks and retreated, leading Ichigo to a cave where he was attacked by Kazeshini. He managed to defeat the spirit, apologizing to Shūhei, and found Yamamoto, sealed behind a barrier. Muramasa attacked him and as the two fought, Muramasa kept telling him to fight with all of his strength. Finally Ichigo summoned his Hollow Mask and launched a powerful Getsuga Tensho at Murmasa, but he added some of his own power to it, before redirecting at the barrier around Yamamoto, breaking it. Yamamoto, awoke, saying he dreaded that this would happen, and Ichigo found out that the barrier was Yamamoto’s doing so as to keep Muramasa from unleashing Ryujin Jakka. Muramasa did so and the spirit kept Ichigo and the other Shinigami busy, while he escaped. Ichigo learned that Muramasa wanted to free Koga Kuchiki, his former master, who was sealed away in Karakura Town. Feeling like he’d put his home town in danger, Ichigo tried to escape Rujin Jakka, but failed until Tōshirō and Hyōrinmaru arrived and froze the spirit. He reached the Human World and found Mruamasa just as he released Koga, whose power Ichigo found impressive considering how long he was sealed. Ichigo watched in shock as Koga stabbed Muramasa, accusing the spirit of abandoning him, and prepared to strike him down. However Byakuya intervened as Senbonzakura revealed to Ichigo that Byakuya had only pretended to be on Muramasa’s side so as to get the opportunity to destroy Koga. After Koga destroyed Muramasa’s sword form, the spirit’s powers went out of control, releasing all the Hollows he absorbed to sustain himself. Finally understanding that Byakuya wanted to restore the honor of his family, Ichigo told him to deal with Koga while he fought the Hollows. As the number of Hollows kept increasing, Muramasa suddenly absorbed them all into himself, taking on a Hollow form. Ichigo managed to fight Muramasa in this form, but he transformed again, into a huge dome-like entity that engulfed Ichigo. Inside, he found himself in a version of Koga’s inner world and fought Muramasa for the last time as the world collapsed around them. Ichigo was at first immobilized by Muramasa’s powers, but rubble falling into water and Zangetsu lending him his eyes allowed Ichigo overcome his powers. He defeated Muramasa and helped him overcome his despair, escaping the structure as it collapsed. Ichigo wished Muramasa goodbye as he faded away and Byakuya thanked Ichigo for his efforts.
Rise of the TojuWhile in the Human World, Ichigo came across a Toju, a Zanpakuto spirit who lost its master, which managed to escape him. Tōshirō and Rangiku, along with their Zanpakuto spirits, Hyōrinmaru and Haineko, arrived, pursuing the Toju. Tōshirō explained to Ichigo and Urahara about what was going on in the Soul Society. However the Toju fused with a Hollow and attacked Haineko, but Ichigo saved her and battled it. Zangetsu explained to his master that the creature was the same Toju as before and Ichigo was knocked back by a Cero, but Tōshirō destroyed it with the Shikai power of his Zanpakuto. Later on, Ichigo came across Renji and Zabimaru and noticed that Hebi, one of the two spirits that was Zabimaru was gone. He asked what was going on and later found Hebi at his house. When Ichigo brought up Renji, Hebi started arguing with him, getting Karin’s attention and sending Hebi running off. Later on, Hebi brought Karin back to Ichigo and left after telling him not to let her know what happened. After Karin woke up and asked Ichigo where Hebi was, he led her to believe it was just a dream.
Reigai UprisingA month after Aizen’s defeat, Ichigo continued his job as a Substitute Shinigami with Rukia. After stopping a Hollow, Ichiho and Rukia found that Kon brought an unconscious naked girl home, much to Ichigo’s anger. Kon explained his actions and Rukai noted she couldn’t sense the girl an that she’d noticed a Senakaimn earlier where Ichigo found the girl. Rukia sent a report to the Soul Society and received a request tor her and Ichigo to come before the SRDI, but she couldn’t get into contact with the Soul Society again. They went to talk to Urahara, who revealed that Yoruichi went to the Soul Society 3 days earlier and he hadn’t heard anything from her since, even though she planned to return immediately. Urahara told Ichigo not go to the Soul Society, since though his powers were stabilized, they’d eventually fade and exerting himself would just speed up loss of his powers. Ichigo and Rukia headed to the Soul Society anyway and as they journeyed through the Dangai, they were caught off guard by the restored Kototsu. Ichigo dropped his Susbtitute Shinigami badge as they ran, using his Bankai to escape the Kototsu with Rukia. After arriving, Ichigo started to feel faint and fell to the ground but was arrested by Tōshirō and a number of other Shinigami as a material witness. Later, when Ichigo was sitting in his cell, wondering why he was arrested, Rukia broke him out and they headed for the Sireitei’s Hakuto gate. Ichigo told Rukia if he explained everything, he could work things out and Rukia explained the current situation. However they encountered Renji and Ikkaku, who battled them, but Yoruichi arrived, sealing Renji and Ikkaku with a Kido spell. She, Ichigo, and Rukia escaped to her hideout, where Ichigo noted that Renji and Ikkaku were acting strange. Yoruichi explained that those weren’t the real Renji and Ikkaku, they were actually Reigai, a variant of the Gigai used in the Soul Society. She explained that she had no idea how many Reigai infiltrated the Seiretei, but she believed that the Research and Development Institute may be involved. Ichigo and Rukia headed to the 12th Division barracks, finding information on Nozomi Kujō, who was in the Dngai. Yoruichi decided the should get to the Senkaimon, despite Ichigo and Rukia. They found the Senkaimon guarded by Reigai versions of numerous powerful Shinigami and charged in, using one of Urahara’s portable Gigai’s as a distraction. Ichigo broke into the Senkaimon using a Getsuga Tensho, but as he and Rukia headed through, Yoruichi was pulled back by an attack from Byakuya and she made a stand against the Reigai to give the two time to get away. When they arrived in the Human World, Ichigo rescued Orihime from Kageroza Inaba, who revealed he was responsible for what was happening. Ichigo engaged him, only for him to be able to fight on equal terms and was eventually goaded into using all of his power, summoning his Hollow Mask. Though his spiritual energy fluctuated again, Ichigo started to win, but Inaba eventually deflected a Getsuga Tensho and smashed Ichigo into the ground. However the real members of the Gotei 13 came to Ichigo’s aid and Inaba retreated, but not before warning Ichigo he’d come back to take over the Human World. The Gotei 13 members, trapped in the Human World, gathered in Ichigo’s room and Mayuri Kurotsuchi explained who Inaba was and what Nozomi’s role might be. Later on, Nozomi and Kon were attacked by a Reigai of Rangiku, but Ichigo came to the rescue. Soon after this, he found out Nozomi ran away and joined the efforts to find her, but couldn’t fight since he didn’t have his Substitute Shinigami Badge or Kon. After splitting off from the group, Ichigo found Nozomi trying to seal herself permanently in the Dangai, but a number of Reigai intervened. Ichigo managed to transform and despite being outnumbered and losing his powers, Ichigo manage to fight them off. He told her why she was helping her and convinced her not to run away. Later on, Ichigo went with Kon and Nozomi to Urahara Shop where they ran into Orihime. He asked her how the injured Shinigami were doing and Tessai told them they were being treated in the shop and Ichigo asked him to look at Nozomi too. When Nozomi kicked Kon for toughing her leg, Ichigo asked her what she was doing and she replied that all guys were perverts. He angrily grabbed Kon, telling her not to group him and the Mod-Soul together. Kon kicked Ichigo in the face, saying the same went for him and the two started fighting, but Ichigo suddenly weakened and started to fall. Orihime caught him and he said it was nothing, but Kenpachi appeared, kicking Ichigo and proving it wasn’t nothing. Ichigo angrily argued that it was a sneak attack and anyone would have been knocked flying, before saying he thought Kenpachi left for the Soul Society. The captain said he just about to leave and told Ichigo to stay, to which he replied by telling Kenpachi not to die. Kenpachi and Yachiru reassured Ichigo that the captain wouldn’t get killed until he got to fight Ichigo again. Urahara eventually reported that the captains managed to get back to the Soul Society and Ichigo begged to be sent as well, saying he couldn’t just stand by. Kon told him to leave it to the others and pointed out someone needed to keep Nozomi safe if Inaba returned. Orihime revealed that Ichigo’s power was starting to fade and he needed to avoid taxing himself. Nozomi asked why everyone was so determined to protect her and Ichigo said he didn’t really know. At first it was just his principle of protecting his friends, but he couldn’t let her try to take everything on herself. Ichigo told her if she didn’t want to tell them about herself that was fine, but it was clear they couldn’t let Inaba catch her. Nozomi then healed Ichigo, restoring some of his power, and collapsed, but Ichigo helped her get up. He asked again to go the Soul Society, saying he wanted to bring the fight to the Reigai before his powers faded completely. Kon, knowing there was no way to stop Ichigo, told him to stop Inaba and come back or he’d never forgive him. Urahara agreed to send Ichigo get to the Soul Society, but warned him it would be much riskier this time, and brought him to the Senkaimon. Ichigo reassured Nozomi that everyone would protect her and told Kon to look after her. Upon arriving, Ichigo noticed he wasn’t where he was supposed to be and Inaba appeared, saying he summoned Ichigo there by meddling with the Dangai. Ichigo asked why, but Inaba just laughed and refused to answer the Visored’s questions as Ichigo attacked. Inaba finally revealed that he summoned him to erase his existence and used the Shikai power of his Zanpakuto to appear behind Ichigo and trap him in a portal. Inaba said the Visored shouldn’t exist, because he wasn’t a human, Shinigami, or Hollow, rather he was an anomaly. Thus he couldn’t create a reigai of Ichigo and so he was getting rid of a variable. The portal trapped Ichigo in the Dangai, where he was overrun by the Kototsu. When he woke up, he found himself in a strange place surrounded by purple light and a bright light appeared above him as a mysterious figure reached out to him. Ichigo reached up to take his hand, but couldn’t reach. Later, Urahara and Renji found Ichigo, who woke up in Urahara shop, screaming out to know who the figure was. He found his friends sitting around him and Nozomi became angry at him for not stopping Inaba and said she shouldn’t be so tough, since he made it back alright. Ichigo asked Renji if he rescued him from the Dangai, but Renji said it wasn’t and the Visored wondered who it was. When Ichigo revealed that he was swallowed by the Kototsu, Urahara said what Ichigo did was impossible and said he’d found out about what happened. Urahara revealed that Inaba was after information about Mod Souls and Rukia explained what was going on using her drawings, causing Ichigo to say it’d been awhile since he saw her ruin things like that. Ichigo introduced Nozomi to his family, saying Rukia was her only relative. Isshin agreed to let her stay, but at that moment, Rukia received an order about a Hollow and Ichigo told Nozomi to stay there. He used Kon to transform into Shinigami form and defeated the Hollow, when Ikkaku and Yumichika showed up. They asked how Nozomi was doing and Ichigo told them she seemed a bit tired, then returned home to find Kon wasn’t there. He impatiently waited for Kon and when he showed up, Ichigo demanded that they get back to their normal bodies, but Kon walked away, dejected. However Ichigo eventually changed was out shopping when he came across a Hollow. With no Rukia or Kon to change him into Shinigami form, Ichigo could only run form the Hollow until Uryū showed up and destroyed it. Ichigo invited him to dinner, saying that Kon needed to get cheered up, and later on, spoke with Renj, Ikkaku, and Yumichika, who wanted to question Nozomi. Ichigo asked them if his protecting her wasn’t enough and the three Shinigami told him that the captains were defeated by Inaba’s forces, who were coming to Karakura Town. Ichigo told Renji, Ikkaku, and Yumichika that anyone born in the world had a right to exist. In a meeting in Ichigo’s room, Ichigo and the others were briefed on the situation. The subject moved onto Nozomi’s abilities and Ichigo suggested the idea that her Zanpakuto was dormant, so they should awaken. Ichigo, along with Rukia, Chad, and Uryū, sparred with Nozomi and as he did so, he remembered his training with Urahara and told himself they were doing the right thing. As they continued sparring, they noticed a high spiritual power and Renji showed up, telling them an enemy was attacking. Nozomi had Ichigo continue training with her and her Zanpakuto began absorbing Ichigo’s spiritual energy. Yumichika suggested that he try using a much stronger amount of spiritual energy, one with killing intent, and pointed out that they were both holding back. Nozomi agreed and Ichigo ignored Kon as he protested this, asking her if she was sure she wanted to do this. She said she was and the group unleashed more attacks. Ichigo released his Bankai, but found he had trouble seeing, and launched a Getsuga Tensho ar Nozomi. She managed to release her Zanpakuto’s Shikai as she blocked it. Deciding she could help the others, Nozomi rushed off and Ichigo ran after her. He found her as she apparently defeated the Reigai of Kenpachi and she explained her Zanpakuto’s ability to absorb spiritual energy. However the Kenpachi Reigai appeared unaffected and Yumichika distracted him so Ichigo and Nozomi could get the wounded Ikkaku to safety. However Nozomi ran off, determined to help the others in their battle, and Ichigo brought Ikkaku to Orihime, before going to find Nozomi. He managed to get her to withdraw, but they encountered several Reigai. Ichigo fought the Kenpachi Reigai, but his unstable spiritual energy started to lessen and he found it difficult to deal with the Reigai. Needing another way to win, Ichigo and his allies directed their attacks on Nozomi, who absorbed the power into her Zanpakuto and unleashed a powerful blast the took down all the reigai except the Reigai of Byakuya. He fired a Kido spell at them that knocked out everyone except Ichigo and Nozomi, before Yamamoto brought him down. Ichigo and Rukia introduced him to Nozomi and tried to convince him that she was their ally. However the Reigais of captains Shunsui and Ukitake showed up and Yamamoto told everyone to stay back, but Nozomi attacked. Ichigo leapt in, knowing she couldn’t fight two powerful captains, but his powers continued to weaken. Eventually he used his Bankai and as the fight continued, Inaba appeared and ordered his Reigai to stand back while he took care of things. Ichigo warned Yamamoto that Inaba could use his Zanpakuto to copy attacks, but Nozomi attacked him while Ichigo and Yamamoto unleashed attacks on him from different sides. However Inaba countered each attack and Ichigo reached his limit, fell to the ground, but was caught by Renji. He woke up to find Yamamoto unconscious and aided Rukia and Renji to defend him. Inaba asked Ichigo why he chose to keep interfering and he replied that it was because Nozomi didn’t want to go with him. Inaba said he knew her better than anyone else since they were created form the spiritual energy of the same Shinigami. Ichigo refused to believe this and attacked Inaba, only to get struck aside. Nozomi retreated with Inaba pursuing her and Ichigo followed, eventually catching up with the two. He gathered all the power he had left and unleashed it in one last Getsuga Tensho against Inaba, but only succeeded in destroying a double of him. The real Inaba knocked him unconscious, draining what remained of Ichigo’s spiritual energy, before taking Nozomi away. Some time later, Ichigo woke up in Urahara Shop and went for a walk to clear his mind. After returning, Ichigo and the others talked about what course of action to take and Ichigo remembered that Inaba repeatedly used the Kototsu against him. However Urahara got the idea to restore his powers using the energy the Kototsu swallowed and explained that Ichigo could move freely in the Dangai since his powers were gone. Ichigo agreed to try the idea and entered the Dangai with an energy collection device, where he let Kototsu swallow him. It tried to force him out, but Ichigo found and collected his energy, but before he left, he found an unconscious version of himself that he grabbed as he escaped. However the other Ichigo disappeared and Ichigo returned to the Human world, where he told the others about what happened. Urahara concluded that was Ichigo’s past self and it was Ichigo from the present that saved him when he was enveloped by the Kototsu previously. Ichigo asked to move on to the next step of getting his powers back and Urahara went with him and Kon to the natural Senkaimon Nozomi had tried to use before. After using it to get to the Soul Society, they infiltrated the SRDI where they found Inaba’s lab. Urahara used the technology inside to form Ichigo’s spiritual energy into the form of a Mod Soul pill. As he did so, he warned Ichigo it would provide a serious strain on his soul. But as the process was almost completed, a trap that had been put in the system went off, making it self-destruct. However Ichigo managed to swallow the pill, getting his powers back, but his spiritual energy was very weak due to the process being incomplete and he started to lose control of his inner Hollow. Thus they started to search for another of Inaba’s lab so as to find a way to stabilize Ichigo. As they left the SRDI, they were confronted by a number of Reigai captains, but Yoruichi and the real captains came to help them. Ichigo, Urahara, and Kon were able to escape but Ichigo started to lose control of his inner Hollow. Urahara and Kon insisted he stay behind as a safety precaution, which he half-heartedly agreed to, and Urahara also bound Ichigo with a Kin spell. But eventually, Ichigo transformed into a Hollow form and broke the spell, going on a rampage. A number of Shinigami tried to stop him, but Ichigo easily dealt with them and had turned his attention on the Reigai of Nanao Ise, when he noticed a mysterious Shinigami (Oko Yushima) behind him. Ichigo managed to regain some self-control, noticing that he greatly resembled Nozomi and Inaba. However his inner Hollow took over again and he attacked Yushima, who withdrew. Ichigo found and attacked Yushima, but Yushima bound him with a Kido spell and prepared to kill him, though he hesitated for a second. Rukia showed up and forced him away from Ichigo as the rest of Ichigo’s friends showed up. Yushima managed to easily defeat them all, freeing Ichigo from the spell restraining him, and prepared to kill Rukia. Ichigo shielded Rukia and in that moment, gained enough of his consciousness back to realize Nozomi was still alive in Yushima. Ichigo changed back to normal, but without his spiritual energy, and Yushima moved to kill him, but Ichigo and the others protected him. Yushima managed to use a blast to knock them all away, but before it hit Ichigo, Nozomi dissipated it and immobilized Yushima. She then asked Ichigo to kill Yushima, but he refused since it would kill her as well. Yushima managed to get control and he and Ichigo taunted each other, but when Kon, pretending to be the Reigai of Nemu Kurotsuchi bringing Inaba medicine, kicked him away. Kon gave Ichigo a completed Mod Soul of his spiritual energy, which gave him back his powers. Ichigo released his Bankai and began fighting Yushima on an even level. His friends joined in, but they were struck down again, and Ichigo summoned his Hollow mask, catching Yushima off guard. Yushima couldn’t absorb Hollow-based spiritual energy and was completely overwhelmed by Ichigo, who explained that while he didn’t have all of his powers back, his attacks were much stronger since he wasn’t fighting with regret out of fear of losing his powers. Ichcigo managed to badly wound Yushima and Nozomi emerged, telling Ichigo to finish Yushima, but he still had trouble bringing himself to do so. Kon told Ichigo to break Nozomi’s Soul Chain to free her and Ichigo attacked, but Yushima took control back and blocked the attack. Yushima tried to his Renzan Hajokuri technique to annihilate the Soul Society and Ichigo couldn’t overcome it, but the Reigai came to his aid, since they wanted to protect the Soul Society in their own way. The Reigai were destroyed in stopping the technique, but Ichigo’s spritual energy began weakening, forcing him to deactivate his Bankai. Yushima resumed his assault on Ichigo, though Ichigo finally managed to defeat him, breaking the fusion and restoring Nozomi and Inaba. Inaba died and Nozomi began vanishing as well, due to having earlier stabbed Yushima with a blade of spiritual energy. Later on, Ichigo was given back his Shinigami badge, before he went back home with his friends. Soon after this, Ichigo’s powers began weakening and eventually he struggled to fight low-level Hollows and couldn’t perform Shunpo. Ichigo continued his duties despite knowing his powers were at their limit. One day, he was fighting a large Hollow and struggled to win, realizing his powers were beyond their limit. Ichigo summoned whatever energy he had left to unleash a Getsuga Tensho to destroy the Hollow. The effort made him faint and he woke up the next day with his friends around him and revealed that he knew Rukia was supposed to stop him from fighting. Ichigo then realized he couldn’t feel anyone’s presence anymore and Rukia tried to cheer him up by reminding him she’ll still see him. Rukia began to fade from his sight and Ichigo thanked her and told her to give everyone his regards, before she disappeared.
Meeting XcutionAbout a year and a half after Ichigo’s defeat of Aizen, Ichigo was starting his junior year of high school. Ichigo reflected on the fact that Chad and Orihime told everyone about him losing his powers. He also noted that after his powers disappeared, Karin had been getting stronger and seemed to be dealing with it fine. While at school, Ichigo was looking through his bad for a video game that belonged to Tatsuki, when he found his Substitute Shinigami badge, which had also lost its abilities. He noticed Uryū running form the classroom, reflecting on the fact that the Quincy had taken over the job of dealing with Hollows and noted it was probably better for him to do it than Zennosuke Kurumadani. During lunch, Keigo asked Ichigo what he was thinking of doing as a job after high school. Ichigo wondered if it was to early to think about that and Keigo pointed out that his grades had been good in the beginning of high school, but had slipped slightly in the second half of the year. Ichigo noted that he still did well in school despite his Shinigami duties and Keigo asked about Rukia. Ichigo questioned why he brought her up and revealed she wasn’t assigned to Karakura Town anymore, before insisting he was fine with his life as it was. Later on, as he was walking home with Mizuiro and Keigo, Ichigo stopped an armed thief, thinking that he still had the body and reflexes of a trained fighter. He returned the stolen bag to its owner, Kugo Ginjo, who thanked him and offered to treat him to ramen, but Ichigo turned him down, asking that he not tell anyone what he did. The following day, Ichigo had a dream, where he saw silhouettes of Renji and Rukia telling him to wake up. He was woken up by Isshin who pounced on him and Ichigo, sending his father flying through a window. Ichigo blamed his father for his recent weird dreams and demanded an apology. At school, Ichigo negotiated with a number of clubs for their renting his membership and agreed to join the soccer club. As he got ready for practice, he talked with Tatsuki, saying he was glad he stopped going to the karate dojo since he would’ve hated to call her sensei. After Orihime came down a pipe to greet them, Tatsuki hit her for being reckless and Ichigo criticized her for her method of disciplining Orihime. Tatsuki reminded Ichigo to call his boss, Ikumi Unagiya, or she’d scold him again, insisting she wouldn’t help him get out of it this time. Ichigo rushed out to call Ikumi and when he did, he told her he’d be off for a week. Ikumi replied by telling him he’d better show up immediately or he’d be fired and Ichigo just said then he’d get fired. He said he wasn’t going back and apologized to Ikumi, but as he hung up the phone, a gang of thugs arrived at the school looking for him. Ichigo saw the thief he beat up earlier and the gang leader called for Ichigo to come out, but Uryū came out to face them instead. Ichigo ran out to keep the situation from getting worse and the two beat up the gang, scolding each other all the while. The conversation moved on to Uryū’s job killing Hollows and eventually another thug, Yokochini, showed up and asked Ichigo if he remembered him. Ichigo couldn’t remember him and said he didn’t want to remember and didn’t care about his past. However Yokochini and his gang were beaten up by Ikumi, who dragged a scared Ichigo away and brought her to her office. Inside her store, Ichigo demanded that Ikumi untie him, but she refused and show him a pile of documents related to his job, noting he rarely did them. Her son, Kaoru, taunted Ichigo and as he left, Ikumi apologized for his behavior, telling him to deal with it. Ichigo replied that he wasn’t interested in an old lady, prompting her to hit him and she yelled at him to go to work as she untied him. Kugo entered the store, who Ichigo recognized as the man he saved from being mugged and Kugo offered him some ramen, but Ichigo turned him down again. As Kugo ate ramen, Ichigo criticized him for not eating at his own house and asked what he wanted from him. Kugo showed him a picture of Isshin and asked about him. Ichigo told him Isshin was his father and he could tell him anything he wanted to know. Kugo questioned if Ichigo knew enough to provide the answers and said he shouldn’t know about his family yet. Ichigo tried to find out what he meant, but Ikumi interrupted, saying she was closing for the day and consider the job. Kugo told Ichigo to go to Urahara Shop and he did so, seeing Karin leaving. He wondered why she was there and Kugo approached him, saying Urahara was a shady character. Ichigo tried to defend him, but Kugo questioned how much he actually knew about Urahara and warned him to act if he wanted to defend his family. Ichigo told Kugo he didn’t trust him and Kugo gave Ichigo a card that said “Welcome to our Xcution”. Ichigo went home and Yuzu greeted him, showing him she’d excelled at her exam. Ichigo congratulated her, telling her to show it to Isshin, and she told him she was not there. Ichigo went up to his room, noting that he could find Isshin if he had his Shinigami powers. Orihime came by and asked Ichigo if something happened recently or if he was being followed. Ichigo said he wasn’t and was examining the card he got from Kugo, when he heard nearby sirens. Yuzu offered him dinner, but Ichigo decided to eat later and rushed out of the house. He arrived at Karakura Hsopital looking for Uryū and found Orihime already arrived, Ichigo asked where Chad was, but Orihime told him he didn’t answer his phone. Ryūken Ishida revealed the cause of Uryū’s wounds and Ichigo asked what happened, but Uryū replied that it wasn’t his business. Ichigo offered to walk Orihime home, but Ryūken said he’d drive her instead and told Ichigo to get home. Ichigo left, frustrated he couldn’t do anything, and dialed the phone number on the Xcution card, saying his name. The person the line told him they already knew about him and welcomed him to “Xcution”. They then gave Ichigo a complicated dialing sequence, which connected him to Kugo. They talked with Ichigo complaining of the complexity of the phone call and arranged for a meeting at 8:00 tomorrow night at Chouhara, Naruki City, Block 7-1. The next day, Orihime asked Ichigo if he knew where Chad was and he said he didn’t. She then told him she wanted to tell him what happened to Uryū, but he wasn’t at school. Ichigo then turned down Orihime’s offer to go over to Chad’ house and walked away, remembering his talk with Kugo. He arrived at the meeting place where he found Kugo, who noted he was 5 minutes early, but Ichigo replied he was only 3 minutes early. He told Kugo his friend was attacked and he wanted help. Kugo asked Ichigo if he trusted him, but Ichigo just said he probably wasn’t a normal human. Kugo just vaguely answered, pointing out that Ichigo had no else to turn to, and lead him into the building thy met in front of. Inside Kugo joked about his apparently investigating Isshin and told Ichigo it was only to get his interest. They arrived in Xcution’s headquarters, where Ichigo met the other members of the group. Kugo told him that they wanted to restore his Shinigami powers.
Training his FullbringIchigo demanded to know how they planned to do this and why they would, but Kugo said they had to take their time. He explained that the members of Xcution were Humans born with an ability called Fullbring. Kugo explained that all matter had a soul and he could pull it out, then make it do whatever he willed, and demonstrated this by transforming his necklace into a sword. A complaining Riruka Dokugamine entered the room and Kugo introduced her to Ichigo, but she was followed by Chad, much to Ichigo’s surprise. Ichigo asked Chad why he was there and why he’d been cutting school. Kugo told Ichigo to calm down so he could explain things and as Ichigo glared, Kugo explained that a Hollow’s hole was where their hearts once were. These hearts became their masks, outward appearance, and individual powers and Kugo explained that a Fullbringer was someone whose parent was attacked by a Hollow when they were pregnant. Traces of the Hollow’s power remain in the parent and are passed on to the child when they are born. Kugo then explained that Fullbringers didn’t like having their powers similar to how Ichigo had hated his Hollow powers. Kugo said they wanted to erase their powers and they discovered that they could pass their powers on to anyone who possessed the abilities of a human and a Shinigami. Kugo told Ichigo that he wasn’t the first person born of a Shinigami and a Human. Kugo said that they had old allies who’d been changed back to normal Humans and Xcution wanted to give Ichigo his powers back so he could help them become normal. Kugo also explained that Chad had offered to help and Ichigo asked him if this was true. Chad explained to him that he saw the pain Ichigo felt at being unable to protect the people around him. He told Ichigo he didn’t have to hide that pain, that was just who he was. Kugo said Xcution would get Ichigo his Shinigami powers back and grant him their own powers as well, an offer he accepted. The other Fullbringers were happy to work with Ichigo, except Riruka, who hadn’t actually seen Ichigo, and didn’t believe they should trust him so easily. She took out a flashlight and shined it on Ichigo, who she actually found attractive. Ichigo asked if she was alright, but she just blushed and said she wasn’t. Later on, Ichigo returned late to the Kurosaki Clinic, having come home late for the last 2 nights. He was greeted by Karin and Yuzu, telling them to go to bed since it was late. Ichigo was eventually called back to Xcution’s base, where he asked if he was going to be training in a more spacious area. Riruka came in with a doll house and said they would be, telling him that he was going to train in her doll house. She explained that her Fullbring powers let her place people in anything she thought was cute and she did so. Inside, a smaller and disorientated Ichigo was told to defeat Riruka’s doll using Fullbring. He kept dodging the doll’s attacks as he ignored Riruka’s complaints, pointing out that he didn’t understand the situation yet. Riruka repeated her explanation of Fullbring and told him to win using his Fullbring. However Ichigo just questioned how that’d help him get his Shinigami powers back, saying he couldn’t just use a power that he never used before. The doll, Mr. Pork, started to talk, much to Ichigo’s surprise and Riruka explained that she trapped an old yakuza member in the doll. The yakuza said if he didn’t kill Ichigo in 15 minutes, he’d be permanently trapped. Riruka left and Ichigo reflected on what she told him, thinking about Kugo transforming his necklace into a sword. Ichigo decided that he had to focus on something he had with him all the time. Chad told Ichigo to use his Substitute Shinigami badge if he wanted to form a Fullbring and Ichigo said he just thought of that as well. As Ichigo pulled out his badge, the 15 minutes ended and Mr. Pork changed into Mad Beast Mode, changing into a larger and more hulking form. Chad revealed to Ichigo that he called on his Fullbring with his pride and Ichigo thought of all the times he felt proud to be a Shinigami. His badge transformed into an energy version of Tensa Zangetsu’s tsuba and Kugo explained that it recorded every badge recorded every battle he ever fought. Ichigo began testing ways to use his newfound powers and eventually defeated Mr. Pork by unleashing wheel-shaped energy attacks at him. Ichigo wondered if his new abilities would really help him get his Shinigami powers back and Riruka then let him back out by sneezing on him. Restored to normal, Ichigo was annoyed to be covered in saliva and mucus and Kugo gave him a towel. As he dried off, he realized that his Fullbring had deactivated and suddenly heard a voice coming from the badge, which he recognized as Rukia’s. Ichigo asked if he was to stay for further training, but Riruka and Kugo told him to leave, saying that Fullbring put on more of a strain than one realizes. Kugo told Ichigo not push himself or his body would fall apart and he could wait a few more days to get his powers back and promised to call him after he got a chance to rest. As Chad and Ichigo walked back towards Chad’s home, the conversation turned to Orihime. Ichigo told Chad she was worried about him and he should call her. However he then noticed something was wrong with Orihime’s spiritual energy and tried to call her, but Chad stopped him, saying it could distracte her and cause her death. They managed to track Orihime to her apartment, where they found her kneeling in front of her door, clutching her shoulder. Ichigo and Chad asked if she was alright and Orihime asked them why they were there. They explained and Orihime told them nothing happened. As they left, Ichigo asked Chad about what happened and Chad said he was probably just sensing things wrong and he shouldn’t be worried. Ichigo realized that Chad and Orihime weren’t going to tell him anything and called Xcution, asking Kugo to let him in. Upon arriving, Ichigo explained what was going on to Kugo and Jackie Tristan and told them he believed Orihime and Uryū were attacked by the same person. Kugo and Jackie suspected that it was Shukuro Tsukishima and Ichigo asked who that was. Kugo explained that Tsukishima was another Fullbringer and Xcution’s former leader, as well as the one who thought of the idea to give their powers to a Substitute Shinigami. But when they tried it, Tsukishima killed the Shinigami and the Fullbringers who gave him their power, before disappearing. Kugo showed Ichio a Substitute Shinigami badge and told him he believed that Tsukishima wanted to keep Ichigo away from Xcution and was trying to get his attention by attacking his friends. Kugo told Ichigo to go home until they were ready for the next part of the training and as he walked home, he noticed Isshin in an alley. Ichigo hid and watched as Isshin met with Urahara. When the two left, Ichigo wondered if he should listen to Kugo’s warnings about Urahara, but decided against it. Later, Ichigo went back to Xcution’s base where Riruka placed him in a fish tank to face off against Jackie Tristan. As they fought, Jackie told Ichigo he was too relaxed and he couldn’t take his time getting into the fight. Jackie rubbed her boots in mud, increasing her attacking power, and as she resumed her assault, she explained how her Fullbring worked. She warned Ichigo that if he kept getting hit, he’d die since he was in a living body. Ichigo fired an energy blast at Jackie, but she easily shattered it and Ichigo explained that he knew the weakness of his attack. He then used his Fullbring to increase his speed and resumed the fight. Eventually Jackie asked Ichigo where he learned to fight and he said he first learned from Urahara, but everything else, he learned as time went by. Ichigo said that despite his short time as a Shinigami, he probably had more fighting experience than Xcution. Energy began pouring out of Ichigo’s badge, covering his right arm, and Ichgio found himself getting tired. Jackie decided to stop the training since Ichigo’s Fullbring was going berserk in a way she had never seen. However Ichigo refused to stop and Jackie called for Kugo to go get Riruka and end the training. But Ichigo pinned her to the ground, saying his Fullbring wasn’t going berserk, it’d always been that way. He believed that his badge was telling him to hurry up and get his Shinigami powers back. Jackie believed it was too dangerous to keep going and decided she had to end this by force. However when Tsukishima showed up at Xcution’s base, he cut into the fish tank and Ichigo appeared from it, his spiritual energy covering his body in a similar manner to his Shinigami outfit. Ichigo asked Tsukishima who he was, before engaging him to test his newfound power. However Chad intervened to protect Ichigo’s powers and Ichigo realized everyone was trying to protect him, which was why they weren’t telling him everything. Ichigo managed to catch Tsukishima off guard, but Tsukishima overwhelmed him thanks to his greater experience with Fullbring. As he moved in to finish Ichigo, Kugo blocked his attack, saying he couldn’t let them battle yet. Ichigo told Kugo to move aside, saying he was fine but Kugo elbowed him in the neck and told him he wasn’t fine, having just been dropped in his real body. Ichigo tried to attack again, but Chad stopped him, saying Tsukishima was far ahead of him and in his current state, he couldn’t win. However Ichigo refused to listen and attacked Tsukishima, lightly burning his sword-wielding arm. Tsukishima asked how Ichigo could evolve so well so fast and noted he was much closer to reaching the level of his previous power. Yukio Hans Vorarlberna used his Fullbring to seal Ichigo so as to keep him away from Tsukishima. Ichigo angrily tried to get out and eventually, Yukio released him in Xcution’s backup headquarters. Ichigo asked what happened and Kugo said Tsukishima withdrew for the time being. Ichigo asked Kugo what he was worried about and he replied that if Tsukishima wanted to take down Xcution, he wouldn’t have retreated, but his object seemed to be Ichigo. Kugo then told Yukio to aid Ichigo’s training and Ichigo asked if this stage would be an actually fight. Kugo noted that seemed to work best with him and decided to fight Ichigo personally. Yukio transferred Ichigo and Kugo into the console he used as his Fullbring medium. Ichigo remembered this was what happened to him earlier and Kugo explained how Yukio’s Fullbring worked. Kugo activated his own Fullbring and said they would have rules like a video game. Ichigo asked what the rules were and Kugo had Yukio give them each six HP, causing six crosses to appear above their heads. Kugo asked Ichigo if he needed a tutorial, but Ichigo said he understood and Yukio said he’d kill Ichigo when he lost, Ichigo just told Yukio to bite him. Ichigo activated his Fullbring and engaged Kugo, but was badly beaten. Orihime eventually arrived in the game world and found Ichigo lying wounded on the floor. Orihime began healing him and he correctly guessed that Chad called her. Chad arrived and said he knew Ichigo didn’t want Orihime involved, but they needed her. Impatient, Kugo asked Ichigo if he was ready to fight and he said he was, ignoring Orihime’s protests. When Kugo attacked, Orihime blocked it with her Shiten Koshun, much to Ichigo’s surprise. She explained that in the time Ichigo was powerless, she and Chad, knowing he’d get his powers back, had sworn that they would be with him when it happened and not fall behind. Orhime told him not to wrroy about them and Ichigo thanked her as he got to his feet, his Fullbring restored, telling Kugo to come at him. As they continued fighting, Ichigo began moving better and he went at Kogu up close to deal with his sword’s greater range, but Kugo fended him off, injuring his leg. As the fight went on, Ichigo noted that he couldn’t feel anything from Kugo’s sword, comparing it to his fight with Gin Ichimaru. He noted that even though Tsukishima didn’t look at him, he felt his intent to kill and wondered if he couldn’t feel anything because they weren’t using Zanpakuto or because he didn’t fully trust Kugo. Kugo then slashed Ichigo across the eyes and noted that Ichigo lost his resolve along with his powers. Blind and disorientated, Ichigo demanded to know what Kugo was playing at and said he didn’t trust Kugo because he wasn’t helping the way he promised. Kugo reminded him the deal was to get Ichigo his Shinigami powers back and if he didn’t trust him, he shouldn’t have agreed to the training. When Yukio stopped Orihime from interfering, Ichigo angrily attacked, only to be driven back. Ichigo then tried dodging Kugo by sensing Kugo’s presence and sound, but still couldn’t fight back and ended up impale don the ground. Kugo walked away, telling Ichigo he was going to kill Chad and Orihime. He struggled to get up, but suddenly sensed a white shape in the darkness and realized he was seeing Kugo’s energy. Ichigo roared as he manifested a new Fullbring form and Kugo contained the explosion of power, risking his own life in the process. As Ichigo emerged in his completed Fullbring form, Kugo declared his pride in Ichigo having finally succeeded and admitted that his villain act wasn’t the best, before welcoming Ichigo to Xcution.
BetrayalKugo had Ichigo perform a new training regime to increase his stamina to deal with the demand Fullbring put on him, consisting of over 12 sets of 100 push-ups. Kugo told Ichigo aim for 15 sets to match his name and Ichigo, annoyed, told him he hated when people tried to match things with his name. Kugo pointed out that he regularly wore shirts with a 15 pattern on them, but Ichigo just called him a stalker. Kugo asked Ichigo if he saw something as he completed his Fullbring, much to Ichigo’s surprise. Kugo said Ichigo saw his form covered in spiritual energy and he cut Ichigo’s because the fact that he saw that was proof Ichigo was getting his Shinigami powers back. Kugo explined that when Ichigo lost his powers, a small portion accumulated over time in one area inside him, which was why they used the energy of his Shinigami badge to give it a jolt. Kugo said all that was left to do was strengthen Ichigo’s body and powers, which would let his Fullbring and Shinigami powers fuse together and grant him a power beyond that of normal Shinigami. Ichigo took up his badge, then tried his new Fullbring and Kugo said he needed to give it a name. Ichigo then left Yukio’s Fullbring and went home, where Yuzu greeted him at the door, saying they had a guest. She brought him inside where Tsukishima was sitting on the couch and introduced him as cousin Shu. Karin and Yuzu explained how he arrived and Ysukishima apologized for annoying them. Ichigo grabbed Tsukishima and demanded to know why he was there, prompting Karin and Yuzu to try and pull him off. The doorbell rang and Tsukishima asked Yuzu to answer it, since it was most likely Keigo and the rest of Ichigo’s friends. He revealed that he’d called all of them and started calling Chad and Orihime. However Ichigo attacked them and Tatsuki berated him for attacking a relative. Ichigo whispered that she was wrong and everyone asked him the reason for his actions. Ichigo ran from the house, wondering if Tsukishima was using his Fullbring powers to do this. He encountered Ikumi Unagiya, who brought him to her store so he could calm down and told him he could talk about it with her if he wanted. Ichigo decided not to tell Ikumi about Shinigami and Hollows, since it would just maker her uncomfortable as she went to answer the door. However she told him Tsukishima came to pick him up and Ichigo ran from the store, saying he needed to talk with someone that had clear minds. However Kugo found him and explained that everyone else in Xcution had fallen into Tsukishima’s trap. Kugo brought Ichigo to a location he said no one else in Xcution knew about to talk about what was going on. Ichigo asked why everyone was acting strange and Kugo told Ichigo they had used what information they had to deduce that Tsukishima’s ability was to cut into people’s pasts. This made sense since his Fullbring medium was a bookmark and it let him place himself in people’s pasts as anything he chose. Ichigo asked if this could be undone if Tsukishima were killed and Kugo told him he didn’t know, but he asked if he could kill Tsukishima anyways. However Yukio found them and brought them to a house in the middle of a forest, where Tsukishima greeted them. He said he only wanted to talk, but Ichigo wouldn’t go inside, fearing traps though Tsukishima pointed out he would’ve put traps in the forest. Inside, a shocked Ichigo was greeted by his family and friends, who told him that he should apologize to Tsukishima. Kugo told Ichigo not to be concerned, because they were still his friends and they wouldn’t attack him. However Ichigo couldn’t handle it and ran from the room, wanting to slay Tsukishima, but not wanting to endanger those he cared about. He headed upstairs where he found the other members of Xcution and Tsukishima appeared behind him. After destroying the stairway to prevent Ichigo’s family and friends from getting involved, Kugo showed up as well and told Ichigo to fight without restraint. Ichigo formed his Fullbring and, before Tsukishima formed his, cut off his left arm. Tsukishima was surprised at Ichigo’s quick mastery of Fullbring and Ichigo said he came there to kill Tsukishima. But Chad and Orihime burst in and protected Tsukishima with Orihime healing his arm, much to Ichigo’s disbelief. Orihime and Chad asked him why he was attacking Tsukishima, claiming he helped Ichigo to save Rukia and defeat Aizen. Ichigo angrily attacked Tsukishima, who explained the powers of his Fullbring, and said to those it affected, Ichigo was the one who had the wrong past. Ichigo tried to strike him, but Orihime protected Tsukishima with her Santen Kesshun. Chad tried to attack Ichigo, eventually sending him flying out of the house. He wondered why things turned out the way they had when he only wanted to keep his friends safe and questioned why he’d even gotten his powers back. Tsukishima appeared above Ichigo, who charged at him, but couldn’t hit him and Tsukishima constantly mocked him. Ichigo fired a Getsuga Tensho at him, but he easily redirected it and Chad intervened again, blocking his attacks. Ichigo yelled out for Tsukishima to stop hiding behind his friends and face him himself. Tsukishima managed to get behind Ichigo, but Kugo shielded him, taking the attack himself. Ichigo quickly went to see if Kugo was okay and he replied that Ichigo was still one of his comrades. Uryū arrived on the scene and Ichigo asked him whose side he was on, not wanting to fall for a trap. However the Quincy revealed that Kugo was the one who attacked him and fired an arrow at him. Kugo blocked them and attacked Ichigo, who asked if he’d been under Tsukishima’s influence. However Kugo said Tsukishima had changed him back to normal after cutting him for a second time. Kugo then fused the Susbtitute Shinigami badge in his possession with his sword and told Ichigo it was time to relieve him of his Fullbring powers. Kugo stabbed him in the chest and explained that he attacked Uryū, who was the key to it all. Ichigo would need to discern him from the others and changing him would make the fight too easy. Then Kugo had Tsukishima cut him to make Ichigo believed they were enemies and Tsukihsima explained he could negate his Fullbring’s power by striking a second time. Kugo explained that he had Tsukishima use his power on him to keep Ichigo from suspecting him and Tsukishima pointed out that Kugo had started addressing Ichigo as Kurosaki. Kugo pulled his blade out of Ichigo’s chest, making his Fullbring vanish as he dropped his Substitue Shinigami badge. Ichigo thought to himself that it’d been so hard to go for all that time without any power and he’d been so happy to find a way to get it back so he could keep his friends safe. Ichigo cried out in despair at his Fullbring leaving him and Tsukishima noticed Ichigo was crying, saying that it made him feel horrible. Kugo didn’t care and said they’d most likely never meet again. Ichigo demanded that Kugo give him his powers back, but Kugo replied that he gave Ichigo that power and it belonged to him, then said he’d spare Ichigo’s life and he should be thankful for that.
Shinigami Once MoreIchigo was suddenly stabbed in the back and turned around to see Urahra and Isshin. He began crying more and asked Isshin if he was in on what happened too, but Isshin called him an idiot, telling him he should be able to see the one who did stab him. Ichigo saw it was Rukia and suddenly was engulfed in an explosion, emerging in Shinigami clothing and with Zangetsu. Rukia greeted him, taking a moment to scold him for being a crybaby, and explained to him that Urahara told her about Tsukishima’s Fullbring power. But she said that no matter how much of the past he changed, he couldn’t affect the future, and he could get his friend sand family back. Ichigo said that Tsukishima didn’t change his own past and asked Rukia about the strange sword she had. She explained that Urahara developed it to give Ichigo the energy to reawaken his Shinigami powers. Kugo interrupted, saying that was impossible since only one person couldn’t return Ichigo’s powers. However Renji, Byakuya, Kenpachi, Tōshirō, and Ikkaku came out of a Senkaimon, revealing that they'd all placed their energy in the sword to help Ichigo get his power back. Rukia told Kugo he only stole a small part of Ichigo’s power, the portion that had his Fullbring powers, and his Shinigami powers came from deep within, so Kugo could never take them. Rukia then told Ichigo to show Kugo and Tsukihsima that despair couldn’t stop him and he attacked Kugo, swinging his Zanpakuto at him. Kugo blocked, thinking that he was using a Getsuga Tensho, but Ichigo appeared behind him, saying that was just a practice swing and really unleashed a Getsuga Tensho. It missed and Kugo tried to retreat, but Ichigo refused to let him get away and fire another Getsuga Tensho. As he did so, he realized Shinji, Rangiku, Unohana, Hanatarō, Isshin, Urahara, Yoruichi, and even Yamamoto contributed their energies. Ichigo asked if it was a crime to transfer Shinigami powers to a human, but Renji said Yamamoto had ordered all the captains and lieutenants to contribute. Tōshirō said that he did this because Ichigo saved the Soul Society and to stop Kugo, the original Substitute Shinigami. Ichigo was confused and Tōshirō reminded him of when Ukitake gave him his Substitute Shinigami badge. He explained that the laws about Susbtitute Shinigami were created solely because of Kugo, but Byakuya interrupted and Tōshirō said he’d bring up the details later, right now Ichigo needed to focus on Kugo. Kugo thanked Ichigo, since he would’ve died without his powers and granted part of it to the rest of Xcution. Giriko told Ichigo to prepare, saying he’d now experience his Fullbring himself. He attacked them all, blaming himself for their increased strength, but Yukio used his Fullbring to trick Ichigo, leaving Xcution unscathed. Yukio revealed that Ichigo’s Fullbring supplementing his power made his own Fullbring able to manipulate the world outside his game console. Ikkaku told Ichigo to not hold back and kill Xcution right, but Yukio used his Fullbring to split everyone into individual rooms. Ichigo found himself fighting Kugo in a version of Karakura Town and Kugo said he picked the environment so Ichigo could fight more easily. Uryū appeared, saying it’d be a two on one fight and Ichigo asked if he was injured, but the Quincy said Rukia healed him. Uryū then apologized to Ichigo and said that when he saw the Substitute Shinigami badge, he thought there were other Substitute Shinigami before Ichigo, but he assumed if the last one were alive, the Gotei 13 would have informed Ichigo and if he was dead, they would’ve told him why, so Uryū believed the Soul Society didn’t know. Ichigo just kicked the Quincy, saying it didn’t matter since they couldn’t have done anything and he would have quickly forgotten, before telling Uryū to stop worrying all the time. The two starting insulting each other, but eventually Ichigo told the Quincy to clean his glasses as they faced off against Kugo. After fighting him for awhile, they eventually started hiding and Ichigo asked Uryū if he thought of a plan. The Quincy replied that he wasn’t trying to come up with one; he was observing Kugo’s spiritual energy. Ichigo then launched a Getsuga Tensho at Kugo, who also though they were trying to come up with a plan, but he easily dealt with it and fired his own Getsuga Tensho, much to Ichigo’s surprise. Uryū concluded that Kogu took Ichigo’s abilities as well and Kogu and Ichigo continued fighting. The Fullbringer noted that Ichigo was fighting wlel, but it appeared that he didn’t care what happened to him. The Shinigami disagreed and Kugo asked him what he was fighting for, much to Ichigo’s confusion. Kugo explained that Tsukishima was dying and if a Fullbringer died, all traces of their power disappeared, thus if he died, the pasts he modified would go back to normal. Kugo again asked Ichigo what he was fighting for, but the Shinigami didn’t answer and Kugo told him of an enemy he should be fighting. Ichigo just dismissed his words as an attempt to weaken his resolve and Kugo began talking about the Substitute Shinigami Badge, saying that the badge was awarded even if the person wasn’t of help to the Soul Society. The badge carried no authority, causing Ichigo to remember when he showed it to Zennosuke, who had no idea was it was, and Kugo explained that badge’s purpose was to observe Ichigo and restrict his abilities as a Shinigami. Kugo pointed out that Ichigo’s energy was always going berserk in his Shinigami form, but was completely subdued in his human form. Kugo pointed out that when Ichigo activated his Fullbring for the first time, his spiritual energy came pouring from the badge and Ichigo could hear his friend’s voices though it. Kugo said that the whole scheme was Ukitake’s plan to control the Substitute Shinigami and everyone in the Soul Society was in on it. However Ichigo angrily told Kugo to shut up and released his Bankai. shattering the pocket dimension they were in. Ichigo dismissed Kugo’s claim and said he knew Ukitakte was not trying to mislead him, watching as Kugo released a Bankai himself. Ichigo noted that he’d forgotten Kugo was a Substitute Shinigami and he reminded Ichigo that he had the powers of a Hollow in him as well. They threw themselves at one another and Ichigo managed to block an energy blast Kugo fired, before slashing him across the chest. They clashed for a final time and Ichigo broke Kugo’s sword. The Fullbringer slumped to the ground, badly wounded, and Tsukishima tried to attack Ichigo. However Rukia stepped between them and Riruka emerged from her chest, taking the attack herself. Ichigo caught Rukia as she fell over and they watched as Riruka and Tsukishima talked. After the fighting ended, Ichigo went to Urahara’s shop, waiting for Riruka to wake up so he could make sure she was all right. When she did, Ichigo told Riruka none of the other Fullbringers were found and looked on as Orihima and Riruka talked. Ichigo then went to the Soul Society, so he could ask to bury Kugo’s body in the human world. When he arrived at the First Division barracks, he found the captains waiting for him and he was told to go inside by Kensei Muguruma. Ichigo made his request to Captain Yamamoto and Shinji asked him if that was the right decision and if Ichigo could forgive Kugo. Ichigo dismissed the question, saying his friends and family were back to normal and that Kugo was a just “a mere Substitute Shinigami”. Yamamoto said Ichigo must have thought carefully about his reasons before making his resquest. Later, Ukitake asked Ichigo about his Substititue Shinigami badge, but he said he trusted the Gotei 13 and kept it.
Thousand Year Blood WarAfter Hollows started showing up in Karakura Town, Ichigo came to the aid of Ryūnosuke Kyuki, one of the Shinigami who replaced Zennosuke. He killed one of the Hollows and Ryūnosuke asked him for his name, prompting Ichigo to introduce himself. After destroying the Hollows, Ichigo brought Ryūnosuke and his friend, Shino, to his home to recover from the fight. Ryūnosuke woke up two days later and Ichigo asked him who he was, but a strange man with a mask on his left eye showed up. He acted as if Ichigo was talking to him and introduced himself as Ivan Azgiaro, but while Ichigo was shocked by his sudden appeareance, he told him to get off of his bed.
Memories of NobodyIchigo and Rukia had just slain a Hollow and helped a young girl move on to the Soul Society when they came across a huge group of strange unidentifiable spirits. As they tried to deal with them, a mysterious Shinigami named Senna appeared and wiped the spirits out. She refused to answer their questions and Ichigo was forced to follow her, while Rukia went to look for answers. Eventually Ichigo met up with Tōshirō and Rangiku at Urahara Shop, who’d been sent in to investigate a strange anomaly, the human world had appeared in a hole in the sky of the Soul Society. After discussing things, Urahara explained that a dimension between the Human World and the Soul Society called the Valley of Screams had expanded to connect the two. The souls Ichigo saw were called Blanks, souls that became lost in the place between the human world and the Soul Society and lost all their memories. The Valley of Screams was the Blanks’ home, but they alone couldn’t be the ones responsible for the growth. Urahara also explained the lost memories of the Blanks formed into a being known as the “Memory Rosary” or “Shinenju”. Ichigo eventually found out that Senna was the Shinenju and the forces of the Gotei 13 came to deal with things. However a group of exiled Shinigami known as the Dark Ones appeared to capture her and succeeded, despite Ichigo’s efforts to stop them. Refusing to give up on Senna, he headed to the Valley of Screams, but he was overwhelmed by the Dark Ones and the Blanks they controlled. However reinforcements from the Gotei 13 came to Ichigo’s aid and they brought down most of the Dark Ones, while he went to confront their leader, Ganryu. Ichigo managed to defeat him, but the Valley of Screams kept collapsing, which would cause the Soul Society and human world to collide, destroying both. However Senna sacrificed herself to push the worlds apart, not wanting Ichigo to die. Weak and on the verge of death, Senna asked Ichigo to bring her back to the graveyard in Karakura Town, wanting to see her name on her gravestone. Ichigo did so and thought there was no name, he told Senna there was one so she could die content that she had her own separate existence. Afterwards, Rukia told Ichigo that they would forget Senna with the disappearance of the Blanks’ power. However Ichigo did seem to vaguely remember her since later he was walking when a red ribbon he bought her floated to him down from the sky and a girl that resembled Senna ran past him.
DiamondDust RebellionIchigo came across an unconscious Tōshirō, who knew that the Soul Society was looking for him and refused to explain what was going on. Before Ichigo could force his questioning, a pair of Arrancar attacked him, but he drove them off, though Tōshirō slipped away. Later Rukia met up with Ichigo and talked with him about what was going on, revealing some deep knowledge of Tōshirō’s personality and accurate guesses on what he might do next. Ichigo and Rukia were then told by Renji that Tōshirō was to be executed as a traitor and about Sojiro Kusaka, Tōshirō’s former classmate at the Shinigmai academy. However Kusaka, along with the two Arrancar girls from before, attacked the Kurosaki house and Ichigo and Rukia took them on. Eventually Kusaka used his Zanpakuto, Hyorinmaru, which was the same as Tōshirō’s, to freeze Ichigo and left to find Tōshirō. Ichigo talked with Zangetsu in his inner world and realized why might be troubling Tōshirō, before releasing his Bankai and breaking out of the ice. Uryū, Chad, and Orihime arrived on the scene, telling Ichigo to go to the Soul Society to help Tōshirō and he left with Rukia while the three fought the two Arrancar. Ichigo and Rukia arrived in the Soul Society to find Tōshirō and Kusaka surrounded by the forces of the Gotei 13. After Tōshirō attacked Kusaka, Ichigo explained that the 10th Division captain blamed himself for Kusaka’s current state. He wanted to settle things and had left the Gotei 13 temporarily to do so, shutting himself off from his comrades since he didn’t think he needed help or didn’t want to endanger anyone in the process. The Gotei 13 moved in to help Tōshirō, but he continued to refuse help, prompting Ichigo to hit him and berate him for being stubborn. Kusaka took the opportunity to cut open the King’s Seal, an artifact he stole earlier, and began transforming with its great power. Ichigo explained that Tōshirō’s feelings towards Kusaka was similar to his feelings towards his mother. Realizing Ichigo was right, Tōshirō finally accepted his comrade’s help as Kusaka became a huge ice dragon and engaged the Gotei 13. Eventually he formed an enormous castle-like form, generating an expanding hemisphere that caused numerous Hollows to appear with the ability to regenerate. While the rest of the Gotei 13 dealt with the Hollows, Ichigo and Tōshirō went up to face Kusaka and working together, destroyed his dragon-like form, returning him to his human form. Ichigo watched as Tōshirō and Kusaka charged each other for the last time and Toshiro finally put his friend to rest.
Fade to BlackIchigo was reading a note from Rukia, but didn’t remember her or the code she left him in the note. Dismissing the note, he went to sleep but sensed Rukia was in danger and woke up, now remembering her. Ichigo quickly decoded the note, which told him Rukia left for the Soul Society some time ago. He went to visit Urahra, but found that he didn’t remember Rukia either. Urahara told her that the Seireitei was in chaos and that there might be a connection, prompting Ichigo to demand that Urahara get him to the Soul Society. Upon arriving, Ichigo and Kon found that the Seireitei was a mess and a third of it was covered in a strange cocoon like substance. He ran into Shūhei and asked what was going on when the substance enveloping the Seireitei surged up, forming into a huge snake-like creature made of strange spiritual energy. Ichigo released his Bankai and summoned his Hollow Mask, slashing the snake in half, but it instead reformed into a new form and smashed open one of the Seireitei’s gates. Ichigo suddenly found himself surrounded by Hisagi and other Shinigmai, who demanded to know who he was. Ichigo was forced to run after finding that no one remembered him, even Renji who didn’t remember Rukia either. He ended up the in the sewers beneath the Seireitei and awoke to find he had been healed by Hanatarō. He noted that he felt as if he had healed Ichigo before, but dismissed this. Ichigo then headed to the Kuchiki mansion where he found Byakuya, who was disturbed by signs that someone else had been there. Ichigo attempted to remind him of Rukia, but failed to as more Shinigami arrived. He faced off against Renji again, managing to stir some of his memories, and Byakuya was about to intervene, but decided against it. He told Ichigo that his wife, Hisana Kuchiki (who was Rukia’s older sister), was from the 8th district of Rukongai and Ichigo thanked him, before heading there with Kon to try and find Rukia. They found her on a cliff, but to their shock, she didn’t remember them either and was instead hostile. The two siblings that brought Rukia there appeared and Ichigo told her his name, causing her head to start hurting as she saw some of her lost memories. The male sibling attacked Ichigo and Kon, demonstrating the power to teleport and make his scythe blade pass through Zangetsu. Eventually the siblings decided to withdraw, taking Rukia with them, and Ichigo was saddened that even Rukia didn’t remember who he was. However an angered Kon reminded him that he’d sensed Rukia and left to find her himself, but eventually returned where Ichigo thanked him, his will to keep going restored. At that moment, Ikkaku, Yumichika, and Tōshirō arrived to take Ichigo down and he surprised them by knowing all their names. Ikkaku attacked him, but Ichigo, being familiar with his fighting style after fighting Ikkaku before, was able to defend himself easily. However Tōshirō used a binding spell on Ichigo, but Renji stopped him from attacking Ichigo, freeing him of the binding spell. Renji said that his head told him Ichigo was an enemy, but his soul told him otherwise and he’d decided to listen to his soul. He asked Tōshirō to let Ichigo leave, but Yamamoto showed up with the other captains and ordered that Ichigo be captured. However Yoruichi and Urahara arrived and Urahara told Ichigo to rescue Rukia, before explaining what was going on as Ichigo and Renji went to find her. After reaching Rukongai, Renji asked Ichigo why he was so determined to help Rukia and he said that she completely changed his life and she was the reason he was there. Renji suddenly started to remember Rukia again, much to Ichigo’s delight. They managed to track her to the 12th Division barracks and as they headed there, the younger sibling’s powers began to cause havoc in the Soul Society. To get through the chaos, Renji released his Bankai, using it to bring himself and Ichigo to Rukia’s location. They found her with the two siblings from before and Ichigo demanded that she remember who she was, saying a person like Rukia would never just give up her life as a Shinigami, even by force. After hearing Ichigo’s name again, she finally remembered her experiences with him. However the two siblings fused with Rukia to turn into a twisted, Hollow-like version of herself known as Dark Rukia. She used a vial to release more spiritual energy particles into the Seireitei to completely destroy it. Dark Rukia then attacked Ichigo, holding the advantage since he didn’t want to fight her and would only block her attacks and try to talk to her. She eventually came close to decapitating Ichigo, but Byakuya arrived and used a Kido spell to restrain her. Byakuya decided that if what Ichigo said was true, he had to be the one to bring down Rukia. Ichigo protested, saying that Rukia was still alive in there and they had a bond that couldn’t be broken. Rukia began to Hollowfy more, breaking the spell holding her and Renji said she was beyond help, but Ichigo, reminded of his first encounter with her, refused to give up. After Kon begged him to save Rukia, he decided it was time to give her the power of a Shinigami. Dark Rukia declared that she was going to butcher Ichigo and they attacked each other. Ichigo impaled her with his Zanpakuto, separating her from the siblings and destroying the Hollow inside them. Ichigo watched Rukia have her final words with the two siblings, whom she named Homura and Shizuku, and later went to talk with her on the cliff from before. He told her that if death was never the end as she told Homura and Shizuku, then maybe she and Ichigo met even before their deaths. Ichigo also told Rukia that she might one day meet Homura and Shizuku again, before wishing her goodbye.
Hell ChapterIchigo picked a fight with three guys who purposely knocked over a vase of flowers left for the spirit of a young boy. When he came to replace them, he ran into Rukia and Renji who revealed they were on a mission. Ichigo offered to help but Rukia refused, saying Byakuya hadn’t wanted him to get in their way. Ichigo went to school where he met up with Chad and Orihime, but as they were talking, a metal scaffolding suddenly gave way, almost killing a girl, but Chad saved her. Ichigo, Chad, Orihime, and Uryū examined it later, finding faint traces of spiritual energy and Uryū said that it seemed to have come from something they’d never seen before. An explosion of spiritual energy went off in the school and Ichigo and the others went to investigate. They were engaged by strange masked figures wearing cloaks who were able to easily take Ichigo and his friends on. Renji came to their aid and confirmed to Ichigo that he knew who the figures were, as well as that another energy signature like the one the figures had was at the Kurosaki Clinic. Ichigo realized Yuzu and Karin were in danger and raced off to the clinic while his friends fought the figures. He arrived to find Rukia fighting more of the figures, one of which had Yuzu and Karin in his tentacles. Ichigo demanded that he let his sister’s go and that they tell him what they wanted with Yuzu and Karin. The figure who seemed to be in charge told Ichigo to come with them, since they needed him to do something for them. Ichigo refused to and demanded that the tentacled one, Gunjo, give back his sisters. The leader, Shuren, attacked him with his fire powers as Gunjo disappeared into a rift, but a figure wearing bandages on his headappeared, slashing off one of Gunjo’s arms and freeing Karin. Ichigo and Rukia wondered who the newcomer was. He managed to fight Gunjo and Shuren off, but Gunjo got away with Yuzu. Shuren disappeared and called out to Ichigo, saying he and his comrades were the Togabito and if Ichigo wanted his sister back, he had to free them from Hell. Ichigo managed to locate Shuren, but he blocked the Visored’s attack and told him to destroy the Hell Gate if he wanted Yuzu returned. Ichigo began demanding answers from the bandaged man, but he told him to calm down only for the Visored to demand explanations now. Rukia calmed Ichigo and said they had to deal with their injuries. Later while Orihime was healing Chad, who’d been injured protecting Rukia and Karin, Ichigo and Rukia questioned the bandaged man. He revealed his name was Kokuto and that he was a Togabito as well. Ichigo demanded that Kokuto bring him to Hell, asking if Yuzu might die there, and he confirmed this, explaining that the air in Hell was unbreathable to humans and described Hell. Ichigo still said he had to go save Yuzu and Kokuto agreed to helping him, saying he didn’t like Shuren and his comrades. He opened a Hell Gate and Ichigo went through with Renji, Rukia, and Uryū. They arrived in the first level of Hell where they were attacked by the Kushanada, the guardians of Hell. Ichigo and the others ran from it, only to be surrounded by more and Ichigo released his Bankai, trying to use a Getsuga Tensho to fend them off. However his Hollow mask formed on his face, making Ichigo falter, but he managed to destroy them all. Rukia scolded him for using his Hollow Mask without warning them and Ichigo apologized, looking at his hand in confusion. Kokuto explained the nature of Hell was probably affecting his Hollow powers and could possibly make them go out of control. They moved on and eventually arrived in the second level of Hell, an endless sea with numerous stones floating in it. However Shuren’s minions arrived to fight them and during the battle, Ichigo’s Hollow Mask manifested on its own again as he unleashed a Getsuga Tensho against them. Renji eventually told Ichigo to move on and he and Kokuto descended to the next level, while Renji, Rukia, and Uryū fought the Togabito. Ichigo and Kokuto arrived on the next level, a wasteland covered in pools of yellow liquid. Upon arriving, Ichigo asked Kokuto if he was hurt and he grunted in pain at a wound. He told Ichigo to leave him, since such pain wasn’t unusual in Hell and he should focus on finding his sister. Ichigo then asked Kokuto why he was helping him and the Togabito revealed that he had a sister, but he blamed himself for her death and told Ichigo not to let Yuzu suffer like his did. Kokuto told Ichigo they should hurry on or he’d let his friends down. Upon arriving at the next level, Ichigo looked at the black sand all around them and noted that he could sense spiritual energy in it. Kokuto explained the sand was full of spiritual energy from the bones of Togabito and this was the resting place of the Togabito that gave up. Kokuto said that freedom didn’t exist in Hell and Ichigo questioned that statement, pointing out that the Togabito made it to Karakura Town, but Kokuto replied that the Kushanada’s gaze extended even there. He then asked Ichigo to release him form Hell after they saved Yuzu and the Visored was surprised by the request, but agreed to help Kokuto if he could. The two arrived where Yuzu was being held in a cage and Ichigo rushed toward her, barely dodging a sneak attack by Shuren. Shuren told him if he wanted his sister back, he had to listen and Kokuto asked him if he planned to fight him and Ichigo alone. However Shuren brought back Gunjo, Taikon, and Garogai and the trio fought Kokuto while Shuren engaged Ichigo. As they fought, Shuren told Ichigo it was time he started listening, but he just told the Togabito to shut up and slashed at him. Eventually Kokuto managed to destroy Garogai, Taikon, and Gunjo again, the last by pulling him into lava with him. Ichigo could do nothing to help with Shuren relentlessly attacking him and eventually launched a Getsuga Tensho as his Hollow Mask briefly appeared again. Shuren dodged and the attack penetrated up through the levels of Hell, even making the top-level quake. Shuren laughed, calling Ichigo’s power wonderful, it was the power he needed to destroy the gates of Hell. However Ichgio just snarled at him to shut up and summoned his Hollow Mask, allowing him to finally defeat Shuren. But as he went to free Yuzu, he was impaled through the back by Kokuto and after he fell to the ground, he asked the Togabito why. Kokuto replied that he did it for the same reason Shuren and his comrades did. Ichigo asked him if even his sister was a lie, but Kokuto said that was true and explained that he’d killed her murderer, which was why he was in Hell. Kokuto revealed that he’d seen a discarded memory of Ichigo’s fight with Ulquiorra, realizing it was the power he needed to free himself, and passed the information to Shuren and the others. The Togabito then declared that he had to escape Hell no matter what and Ichigo heard Rukia coming. She asked Ichigo if he was alright, but Kokuto attacked her, Renji, and Uryū, defeating them all as Ichigo watched helplessly. He finally got to his feet and attacked Kokuto enraged, his spiritual energy flaring wildly, but the Togabito said it still wasn’t enough. He showed Ichigo that Yuzu had a Hell Chain growing from her chest and the Visored stood speechless, unable to accept that he failed, but his spiritual energy flared up as he released all of his anger. Ichigo transformed into the Hollow form he turned into when he fought Ulquiorra and began firing Ceros at Kokuto, who used them to destroy his Hell Chains. But before Ichigo could destroy them all, Renji shattered one of his horns as he charged a Cero, setting it off in his face and shattering his mask. Renji then used a special Kido spell to pull Ichigo and Yuzu out of Hell. Ichigo awoke in the human world with Yuzu, where the forces of the Gotei 13 were monitoring the destroyed Hell Gate, which he destroyed with a Cero earlier. Ichigo had Orihime try and heal Yuzu, but it did nothing and Captain Yamamoto told him she was a Togabito and there was nothing they could do now. Ichigo tried to deny that Yuzu was dead, but eventually accepted that she was and it was his fault, screaming out in rage. At the Gotei 13’s base, Yamamoto explained that because he’d irresponsibly charged into Hell and destroyed the Hell Gate, the human world was fusing with Hell. Ichigo was overcome with remorse at the impact of his actions, when Byakuya came in and when the Visored looked away, he asked why. Ichigo explained that he left Rukia, Renji, and Uryū behind and add that to the fact that he failed to save Yuzu, he’d let everyone down. Byakuya just asked what his point was, but Ichigo just grabbed his haori and yelled that Rukia was in Hell, despite the fact that she and his other friends did everything to get him out. Byakuya replied that Rukia was an honorable Shinigami and she knew what she was doing. As Ichigo released him, Byakuya told him that if his friends decided that he should be the one to make it back, he should think about why. Suddenly Yuzu’s Hell Chain disappeared and she awoke. Later that day, Ichigo was thinking about what Byakuya said, eventually deciding to act on his friends intentions. He told Orihime, saying that there had to be hope for Rukia, Renji, and Uryū since he’d managed to bring Yuzu back. Orihime pointed out that Ichigo might lose control again and he agreed that if he did, the world could come to an end, but he declared that he wouldn’t lose control. Ichigo went on to say that he wasn’t sure if he could beat Kokuto, but he had to win or he’d never be able to face his friends again. He headed through the Hell Gate, taking advantage of a Kushanada appearing to get past the Gotei 13, and plunged down into the depths of Hell. Ichigo found Kokuto, who noted that he didn’t expect the Visored to come to him and asked if he’d come to avenge Yuzu. Ichigo replied that she was alive and well, much to the Togabito’s surprise and said he came to save his friends. Kokuto just scoffed at him and showed Ichigo that Renji and Uryū were bound and rotting a tree of bones. The Togabito said Rukia was already ready to be resurrected and she emerged from lava in white clothing and bound by a Hell Chain, wondering why Ichigo was there. Ichigo declared that he would break his friends’ chains and attacked Kokuto who managed to easily fight him. But as the fight went on, Ichigo began struggling with his inner Hollow again and managed to subdue it, but it took a great deal of effort. Kokuto began beating Ichigo, saying that his Hollow form was the only reason he saved Yuzu and he couldn’t do a thing without it. Eventually Kokuto asked Ichigo if he wanted his sisters dragged into Hell again and thinking about this began changing him into his Hollow form again. Kokuto pulled Rukia away as he heard the noise of the Kushanada, asking Ichigo if he heard it. The Togabito told Ichigo that the Kushanada were coming to devour him and asked him what he would do. But Ichigo asked who would want to be a monster and tore off his mask, causing his Hollow form to dissipate. Ichigo told Kokuto that revenge was the only path the Togabito took to escape his suffering as the Kushanada began climbing towards him. Ichigo declared that while he wanted to rescue his friends, he would never sacrifice an innocent life to do so. Rukia frantically told Ichigo to run as the Kushanada closed in on him, but he declared that he’d sworn to fight as his Hollow form disappeared. As one of the Kushanada brought its hand down on Ichigo, a golden light suddenly shone from its hand on him as the others backed away. Skeletal armor appeared on his body and he freed his friends of their Hell Chains. Kokuto demanded to know what was going on and Ichigo asked him if the Togabito’s sister wanted him to avenge her. Ichigo went on to say that his friends didn’t him to avenge them, they wanted him to stop Kokuto and Hell agreed. Kokuto screamed that Hell would never help a human and their predicaments were the same. Ichigo said they were both humans and older brothers as he raised his sword with his body glowing with energy. He slashed his sword, unleashing a wave of energy at Kokuto. The Togabito emerged, his Hell Chain destroyed, but countless chains erupted from the ground, binding and impaling him. Ichigo declared this was Kokuto’s retribution and the Togabito was pulled into the ground. The Visored picked up Rukia and used Shunpo to get away from the crumbling tower they were on as sunlight poured from the sky. Renji and Uryū, now back to normal along with Rukia, asked Ichigo about the skeletal armor he was wearing and he said he wasn’t sure what it was. He did know it was the power that the Kushanada granted him and noted that it felt very strange. However when Ichigo deactivated it, the Kushanada began attacking him and his friends again, but they managed to escape back to the human world, just as the Hell Gate reformed.
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 most other Soul Reaper. He defeated a Gillian before awakening his true power with only his sealed Zanpakutō. Even at less than half 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 unclear.
- Ichigo Kurosaki is sometimes compared to Inuyasha, due to their rebellious attitudes, short tempers, and their protective natures. 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”.