Ichigo Kurosaki is a well-known protagonist in Bleach and has the power to fight Hollows and other spiritual beings. He discovered during his battles that he had shinigami power and unique abilities from the spirits around him. As he awakened each of these abilities, Ichigo went through different transformations.
In the series, Ichigo goes from a human being to someone who inherited the powers of Shinigami, Hollows, Quincys, and Fullbringers. Because of all this mixing, Ichigo has gained so many transformations it can be tough to remember all of them. To learn about each transformation, take a look at this list of all of Ichigo’s forms.
Ichigo’s Transformations In Bleach
Though Ichigo has always been a human, he wasn’t born with shinigami powers. That is until Rukia Kuchiki came along. One day, a Hollow attacked Ichigo and Rukia – but when the two met, she lent him some of her power to fight it off.
When Rukia agreed to Ichigo’s request, she pierced his chest with her zanpakutou and passed her reiatsu to him. In this way, Ichigo became a Shinigami but hadn’t yet obtained his original sword or power. His first transformation was almost identical to a regular Shinigami’s form.
Ichigo was still learning to use his Shinigami powers when he faced and defeated several Hollows that terrorized his town. After losing to Byakuya, Ichigo trained with Urahara Kisuke to awaken his true power, and then faced relatively strong opponents like Kenpachi Zaraki.
In his training, Ichigo met the spirit of his zanpakutou, which called himself Zangetsu. Once he found out that the spirit was a part of him and an ally, Ichigo could release the first form of a zanpakutou- his Shikai. Using this power, Ichigo saved Rukia from execution in Soul Society.
Bankai: Tensa Zangetsu
Zanpakuto, also called shinigami swords, have two levels of evolution, Shikai, and Bankai. Ichigo learned that his sword could also release a Bankai, which he began training to unleash during Rukia’s execution. With little time left before her execution, he could release his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu.
In Bankai, his robes change shape but gain no new powers, while his sword increases in size, and he gains a boost in strength and speed. Ichigo’s Tensa Zangetsu form is faster than Byakuya’s because of the transformation.
Hollow Mask Transformation (Hollowfication)
Initially, Ichigo’s inner Hollow would always show up in the form of a mask and try to take control of his body in the middle of a fight. Fortunately, Ichigo found a way to control his power with help from the Vizards, Shinigami, who have parts of a Hollow in them.
He met the spirit of the Hollow, which resided within him while training with Zangetsu, and then needed to face it to keep his soul in balance. As he gained control of himself, Ichigo began using his new power by releasing a Hollow mask in the same manner as a Vizard.
After controlling his Hollow power, Ichigo was strong enough to face Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, and he managed to finish him off decisively. He still had a long way to go before being able to face the more powerful Arrancars, such as Ulquiorra Cifer. Even with a Vast Lord form, Ichigo couldn’t keep up when Ulquiorra went on the all-out offensive.
After hearing Orihime’s call for help, Ichigo evolved into a Vasto Lorde. Ulquiorra pierced through Ichigo’s chest, but the new transformation saved his life and healed the wound. Although Ichigo became stronger, he lost his mind while fighting.