Ichigo Kurosaki is a man who possesses Shinigami powers thanks to his Shinigami lineage. After Kūgo Ginjō, he is the second official Shinigami surrogate. He is the main character in the Bleach manga and also often appears in fan-fiction stories.

Ichigo Kurosaki


Ichigo is of average height for a teenager his age. He’s famous for his spiky orange hair, which earned him many years of teasing, especially when he was younger, and gave him the nickname “Strawberry”. He’s a rather well-built young man, probably thanks to his constant physical training and martial arts practice as a child. His musculature, as his younger sisters Karin and Yuzu have noticed, has grown considerably since he became a Shinigami. He also has fair skin and medium brown eyes. As his name can mean “fifteen”, Ichigo often wears shirts with the number fifteen in bold print.

As a Shinigami, Ichigo wears the standard attire: a black shihakushō and hakama, white tabi and a white belt. In addition, he wears a thick blood-red strap across his chest and back. This is where he wears his Zanpakutō when he’s not using it. Since his Fullbring merged with his Shinigami powers, Ichigo has four “X”-shaped tattoos on each wrist. Similar tattoos appear on his chest and ankles. In addition to these changes, his Fullbring has also caused black bands with white tips to appear around his neck.


From an early age, Ichigo’s life revolved around his mother. He depended on her for everything and was always in a good mood in her presence, manifesting himself in broad smiles. Even when he lost sparring matches at the dojo where he’d trained as a child, the mere sight of his mother picking him up was enough to lift his spirits instantly. Around the same time, his father, Isshin, revealed to him that his name meant “the one who protects”. Taking this to heart, Ichigo developed a burning desire to protect his mother at all costs. After her death, this protective desire expanded, now wishing to protect all members of his family. As he grew up and became a Shinigami, this desire then expanded to encompass the entire city of Karakura and, after Aizen’s failed invasion of Soul Society, the whole of Soul Society itself.

Ichigo is well known for his rebellious attitude. He’s an incredibly stubborn person who loses his temper easily, especially when his mother or loved ones are in danger, even just mentioned. He also has a particularly violent side, asserting that if he’s attacked, it’s his duty to defend himself. Although he may seem cold and detached from the outside world, claiming not to care what others think of him, he is in fact a deeply compassionate person, showing great interest and care even towards his enemies, such as Grimmjow, Ulquiorra, Ginjō and even Aizen after their fight. Ichigo also seems to follow a code of honor, showing his contempt for those who speak disdainfully of his opponents, even if they were once his enemies.

Perhaps as early as his teens, Ichigo becomes visibly uncomfortable and self-conscious in the presence of nude or promiscuous women, particularly Yoruichi Shihōin or Rangiku Matsumoto. At the same time, he can sometimes be disrespectful to his elders and superiors, such as Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, whom he affectionately calls “grandpa”, as well as Byakuya Kuchiki and Tōshirō Hitsugaya, whom he goes on a first-name basis rather than using their titles.

Ichigo Kurosaki

When he enters battle, Ichigo transforms into a vengeful force. Whenever someone causes harm to those or what he holds dear, Ichigo goes after that person, willing to risk everything to kill them. He has also been known to take revenge on those who surpass him in battle, as he did with Grimmjow. Perhaps the most striking example of Ichigo’s thirst for vengeance is his grudge against Grand Fisher, the Hollow who killed his mother. For decades, Ichigo nursed a vendetta against Grand Fisher, until his teenage years, when he finally defeated him and took his revenge on Masaki. Ichigo’s determination plays a major role in his attitude during battles.

Ichigo is a person who wants to protect everyone he can, which is why he constantly feels the need to maintain control. If he ever loses his sense of control in certain situations, he sinks into despair. These moments of despair can shake his resolve, making him terribly ineffective in battle. However, when he feels in control, his determination increases tenfold, as he then believes that he can protect those dear to him, whatever their connection, which strengthens his chances of success in battle.


Ichigo was born on July 15, fifteen years before the start of bleaching, to his parents Isshin and Masaki Kurosaki. At the age of four, he became the big brother of Karin and Yuzu, who were both born at the same time. At the same age, Masaki enrolled Ichigo in a local dojo where he met his best friend, Tatsuki Arisawa. No matter what level of training or tactics he tried, Ichigo was always beaten by Tatsuki in every match and competition he entered. However, because of their close bond, Tatsuki was always careful to protect Ichigo from bullies who made fun of him because of his orange hair. From an early age, Ichigo began to develop spiritual powers. As both his parents fought Hollows at some point in their lives, Ichigo was born with spiritual blood, but also thanks to Isshin’s Shinigami blood, he is also half Shinigami. Masaki’s Quincy blood was also passed on to Ichigo, although it rarely manifested itself.

Masaki’s death

Two days after Ichigo’s ninth birthday, while walking along the swollen river that runs through the town of Karakura with his mother, he spots what appears to be a young girl about to fall into the water and rushes to save her. Seeing that something is wrong, his mother, Masaki, tries to stop him, but Ichigo mysteriously loses consciousness before she can reach him. When he wakes up, he discovers his mother’s lifeless body lying on top of him. Aware that his mother had died saving him, this traumatic event profoundly marked Ichigo for years to come. Three years later, he meets his future close friend, Orihime Inoue, when his brother dies on his doorstep following a fatal car accident. In middle school, Ichigo finally manages to beat Tatsuki in a karate match, and it’s around this time that he meets and befriends Chad.

Soon after, following his admission to Karakura High School with Chad, Ichigo has a fateful encounter in his room with a Shinigami named Rukia Kuchiki. Their conversation is interrupted by an attack from a Hollow who has sensed Rukia’s presence, and Ichigo rushes to protect his sisters. However, his reckless actions severely injure Rukia, and in a moment of desperation, she thrusts her Zanpakutō into his chest, transforming him into a true Shinigami and enabling him to defeat the Hollow. Thereafter, Ichigo takes over Rukia’s Shinigami duties while his own powers recover. However, the Soul Society discovers their infraction and sends Renji Abarai and Byakuya Kuchiki to bring Rukia back. When they succeed, Byakuya also strips her of the powers she had passed on to Ichigo, returning him to a mere human.

Indignant at the loss of his friend, Ichigo organizes a rescue attempt with the help of Kisuke Urahara, who assists him in restoring his own Shinigami powers. Clearing a path through the forces of Soul Society, including Kenpachi Zaraki, Renji Abarai and Byakuya Kuchiki, Ichigo manages to save Rukia, mastering his Zanpakutō, Zangetsu, to the point of learning the sacred Bankai technique. However, his victory is short-lived as Sōsuke Aizen appears, steals the Hōgyoku from Rukia’s gigai and flees to Hueco Mundo with his accomplices, Kaname Tōsen and Gin Ichimaru. Defeated and broken, Ichigo returns to the Human World to prepare for the inevitable war against Aizen.

He has little time to prepare, but as soon as he returns, the two Arrancars, Yammy and Ulquiorra, appear to discover Ichigo’s powers. Ichigo is humiliated by Yammy before being saved by the timely arrival of Urahara and Youruichi Shihōin. Later, Ichigo meets Grimmjow for the very first time and, as in his encounter with Yammy, is violently defeated despite the use of Tensa Zangetsu, his Bankai. After his defeat, Ichigo trains with the Visored, a group of Shinigami with Hollow powers, and learns to control his Hollow mask. Despite this and a temporary advantage, he is still defeated by Grimmjow on his return. While he recovers, Ulquiorra returns and kidnaps Orihime, taking her to Hueco Mundo on Aizen’s orders. Ignoring Yamamoto’s orders to wait in the Human World, Ichigo and his friends organize another rescue, this time to save Orihime.

In Hueco Mundo, Ichigo traverses the former Espadas of Aizen’s army, encountering the infantile Arrancar Nel along the way. Arriving in the upper levels of Aizen’s fortress, Las Noches, Ichigo is confronted by Ulquiorra, but is again defeated and almost killed. However, saved by Grimmjow, Orihime arrives in time to heal him. Ichigo and Grimmjow then engage in their ultimate rematch, in which Ichigo ultimately prevails. After a near-death experience with Nnoitra, the fifth Espada, the captains arrive to support Ichigo and his comrades. Ichigo is then able to return to Las Noches, where he faces Ulquiorra in a rematch where he is almost killed, but manages to kill the fourth Espada thanks to his inner Hollow side, Hollow Ichigo.

Ichigo Kurosaki

Powers and abilities

Ichigo is undeniably one of the most powerful characters in the original series. His spiritual strength exceeds that of a captain and allows him to rival, if not surpass, some of the most formidable enemies Soul Society has ever known, such as Sōsuke Aizen and his Espada, the forces of Xcution and the reborn Vandenreich. The level of his spiritual energy often arouses astonishment among Soul Society members. Even at half his normal power, Retsu Unohana, one of the oldest captains of Gotei 13, expressed surprise that Ichigo’s spiritual pressure was stronger than that of the average Gotei 13 captain. Ulquiorra, the fourth Espada, also commented on Ichigo’s power, pointing out that it varies considerably according to his determination. At any given moment, Ichigo’s power can surpass Ulquiorra’s or be close to zero, depending on Ichigo’s level of determination. Ichigo’s vast spiritual power is such that his body has difficulty containing it, constantly releasing it into the environment around him. This makes it difficult for him to feel other spiritual energies and affects those around him.

Another well-known ability of Ichigo’s is his incredible stamina. His tenacity in battle has been demonstrated time and time again, being able to withstand normally severe injuries and keep fighting, as if he didn’t feel the pain of his wounds. After the fusion of his Fullbring powers with his recently restored Shinigami powers, Ichigo strengthened his stamina, being able to catch a sacred arrow from a captain-level Quincy with his bare hands and send it back, a feat that surprised the Quincy in question. Perhaps thanks to his Shinigami form and training, Ichigo is also an incredibly strong fighter, able to defeat three lieutenants when he rescued Rukia Kuchiki, and all without using weapons.

Ichigo’s greatest ability lies in the use of his Zanpakutō, Zangetsu. Since the day he became a Shinigami, Ichigo has demonstrated a mastery of the sword matched only by some of the captains of Gotei 13. In addition to his signature technique, Getsuga Tenshō, Ichigo makes abundant use of his Zanpakutō in battle, concentrating so much on this art that he has failed to learn a single Kidō Shinigami spell. A peculiarity of Ichigo’s sword art is that, in addition to his initial training as a Shinigami with Urahara, he learned all his sword techniques and fighting style on his own by facing fierce opponent after fierce opponent. With his Shikai alone, Ichigo has proven his ability to face and defeat the likes of Renji Abarai and Kenpachi Zaraki, as well as taking on four Quincy in Hueco Mundo. His mastery of the sword is the fruit of constant training and the experience he has accumulated through hard combat. Ichigo is a formidable fighter who constantly pushes back his limits and improves his skills as he fights. His strength, resilience and skill with his Zanpakutō make him one of Soul Society’s most powerful and formidable warriors.

Shortly after joining Soul Society to save Rukia, Ichigo acquired the skill to use his Bankai Zanpakutō, the Tensa Zangetsu. Since then, Ichigo has used his Bankai freely, employing it in every major battle he has participated in, from his clash with Byakuya Kuchiki in Soul Society onwards. His Bankai, which concentrates his power and greatly increases his speed, has enabled him to compete with opponents such as Grimmjow, the sixth Espada, Ulquiorra, the fourth Espada, Yammy, the cero Espada, Gin Ichimaru, Aizen, and even the former Shinigami substitute, Kūgo Ginjō. Since he first obtained his Bankai, it has subtly evolved, both in appearance and overall power, as Ichigo reached a new stage of power in his fight against Aizen, integrating his residual Fullbring power after regaining his Shinigami powers.

Whether in Shikai or Bankai, Ichigo expertly exploits his speed to overwhelm his opponent with residual images before bringing him down. He first used this tactic against Byakuya Kuchiki, successfully countering the latter’s Bankai. He then reused this strategy in his confrontations with Grimmjow, and employed the same method against Kūgo, a tactic that proved highly effective against the former Shinigami substitute. He was also seen using Zangetsu, in its Shikai form, as a flail, an unconventional but effective approach to fighting high-level enemies.

Ichigo Kurosaki


Although not his preferred fighting style, Ichigo demonstrated great skill in hand-to-hand combat, particularly in the Shinigami fighting style, Hakuda. From an early age, as young as four, Ichigo trained in various forms of close combat, including karate. However, after becoming a Shinigami, his skill in this area was enhanced by the increased strength of his Shinigami form, to the point where he could easily disable three Gotei 13 lieutenants using just three Hakuda techniques. However, since his rescue of Rukia Kuchiki, he hasn’t used it.

The powers of Quincy

Because of his mother, Masaki, who was both a spiritually aware human and a Quincy, Ichigo has an innate ability to use Quincy powers. However, as Masaki died when Ichigo was still very young, she had no opportunity to teach or show him these abilities, so Ichigo never learned to use them. However, memories of these powers lie deep within his spiritual power. Initially, it was thought that by being captured in Quilge Opie’s “prison”, Ichigo absorbed a huge amount of spiritual energy from the prison, which awakened these memories in his own spiritual power, allowing him to instinctively access his abilities. His abilities were also partly awakened through his interactions with Uryū Ishida.

However, a series of flashbacks later revealed that Ichigo’s Quincy powers were present from the start, explaining why, with his Shinigami powers, he was able to see spirits from an early age. Although these powers were not fully developed, probably due to a lack of training, Quincy d’Ichigo’s powers were activated without him being aware of it throughout his life as a Shinigami.

Ichigo instinctively activates this ability in its true form during his fight against Juhabach. Blut (血装 (ブルート), burūto; German for “Blood”, Japanese for “Blood Guise”) is a Quincy power that allows Ichigo to attack and defend himself with abnormally high powers. Although mortally struck by Juhabach, Ichigo unconsciously used Blut Vene, the defensive form of Blut, to protect himself from serious injury. Shortly afterwards, however, Ichigo admitted that he had already felt a sensation similar to that of defensive Blut during serious fights. For example, in his fight against Byakuya Kuchiki, his Blut Vene, albeit incomplete, activated while he held Byakuya’s Senbonzakura in his hand, protecting him from serious lacerations. He also unconsciously used Blut Visage to grab Grimmjow’s reinforced leg, even though the latter was further strengthened by Grimmjow’s Pantera release.

Ichigo also used a primitive and incomplete version of Blut Arterie, the offensive form of Blut, without realizing it in the past. This occurred when he effortlessly defeated lieutenants Isane Kotetsu, Chōjirō Sasakibe and Marechiyo Ōmaeda by combining Shinigami Hakuda with the Blut Arterie of his subconscious. He may also have used it to greatly increase his attack power, allowing him to obliterate the Sōkyoku with his spiritual power alone.

Like most Quincy, Ichigo’s use of Blut, whether Vene or Arterie, can be influenced by his emotional state at the time. Since only one type of Blut can be used at a time, when Ichigo’s emotions are heightened, he immediately switches to using the offensive Arterie Blut. Given Ichigo’s tendency to fall into deep despair when outmatched by an opponent, this explains the two instances when Ulquiorra Cifer managed to pierce his chest without the Blut Vene seeming to offer any resistance.

Ichigo Kurosaki


Although he used an unnamed Zanpakutō when borrowing Rukia’s powers, Ichigo’s personal Zanpakutō first manifests itself after his training in the Shattered Shaft with Kisuke Urahara, when he awakens his own Shinigami powers. Shortly afterwards, he manages to awaken his Shikai Zanpakutō, a state he maintains permanently from then on.


Ichigo’s Shikai bears many similarities to the sword produced by his Fullbring, but with much more imposing proportions. The weapon features a broad, elegant blade that curves back to the tip, giving it the appearance of a trench knife. It has a long silver handle, wrapped in black cloth, and a small chain is attached to the base of the handle. As Yoruichi noted, the Zangetsu is constantly in a state of release, meaning that it never returns to its sealed state and almost always remains in Shikai. This is because Ichigo’s spiritual power is so immense and constantly fluctuating that it’s difficult for him to fully control the form of his Zanpakutō. When the Zangetsu is not in use, Ichigo can manifest a cloth, probably thanks to the blade’s spiritual energy, and wrap it around the blade to use it as an improvised sheath. He can then store it by attaching it to a wide strap that crosses his back. Whenever Ichigo is ready to use the Zangetsu again, all he has to do is grasp the handle for the spiritual fabric to unravel and fall away.

Special Shikai ability

Zangetsu’s Shikai is primarily used for close combat, but he also possesses a special ability that allows him to be effective at a distance.

Getsuga Tenshō (月牙天衝, Piercing Crescent Moon Blow) : By slicing with his blade, Zangetsu absorbs Ichigo’s immense spiritual energy and projects it in the form of a powerful crescent of energy. During his initial training as a Shinigami with Urahara, Ichigo used this technique several times without knowing its name. Later, when he was trying to master his Bankai, Zangetsu revealed the name of the technique to him, enabling him to unleash its full potential. Getsuga Tenshō is an extremely versatile and powerful technique. With this technique, Ichigo can repel attacks, as he did in destroying three Quincy Heilig Pfeil arrows during his fight at Hueco Mundo. Using his Shikai, he has enough raw power to completely annihilate the upper part of the Tsukishima mansion. Kūgo also noted that, had he not used his Fullbring to defend himself, a single Getsuga Tenshō could have killed him.

Striking force

A simple movement of his blade can unleash immense concussive force, which Ichigo calls kenatsu (剣圧, sword pressure), possessing enough power to fool Kūgo, himself a former Shinigami surrogate, into mistaking him for a Getsuga Tenshō. This sword pressure seems to cause significant damage to the Fullbringer, even if it’s simply air pressure. Ichigo first demonstrated it during his training with Urahara, using it to express his “will to cut”. Although his powers weren’t fully developed at the time, he possessed enough power to nullify Urahara’s own kenatsu.

Pleine manifestation of Tensa Zangetsu Ichigo in full Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu.

Bankai : Tensa Zangetsu (天鎖斬月, Heaven Chain Slaying Moon)

By shouting “Bankai” and advancing Zangetsu in front of him, Ichigo releases an enormous amount of spiritual pressure that unfolds into a vortex of pure spiritual energy. The release of his Bankai alone is enough to shatter Yukio’s ability to use Digital Radial Invaders on chat rooms. Byakuya Kuchiki expressed surprise at seeing Ichigo’s Bankai, for unlike most Bankai, which represent a major extension of their user’s power, often through the creation of a massive effect, Ichigo’s Bankai compresses his power, reducing his sword to a pure black nōdaichi, curved at the tip with three protuberances near the blade tip on the blunt side. The cross-shaped hilt has four protruding, serrated points that form a complete manji (卍). A long black chain is attached to the base of the hilt, connecting to Ichigo’s glove to form a wide loop. Byakuya commented that it looked more like a Zanpakutō in sealed condition than a Bankai. In addition, Ichigo’s traditional Shinigami shihakushō is replaced by a long-sleeved coat that reaches down to the ankles and features a white undercoat. The ends of the coat end in three long tails. The coat is held in place by black “X’s” similar to those that appear on his body in his normal state. Similar markings appear on his forearms and the backs of his gloved hands when he is in Bankai. This cloak indicates the amount of spiritual energy Ichigo has at any given time, and will only suffer damage proportional to the spiritual energy lost.

Special Bankai ability

Like the Shikai, Ichigo’s Bankai is mainly used for Zanjutsu and close combat. The compression of his power into the Bankai makes Ichigo a formidable opponent. Byakuya and Quilge Opie have both stressed that the main threat of Ichigo’s Bankai lies in the immense speed it confers. With all his power compressed, Ichigo can move at hard-to-follow speeds, which also allows him to use afterimages, a tactic he exploited extensively in his battles against Byakuya and Kugō. As Quilge Opie noted, the speed of Ichigo’s Bankai makes it difficult for a Quincy to fight him, as only Blut Vene can effectively block a Bankai attack, but due to the speed of movement, the Quincy doesn’t have enough time to activate his Blut Arterie and counterattack, as Blut Arterie is the only way for a Quincy to successfully resist Bankai. Ichigo’s Bankai also retains the special ability of his Shikai.

The Tenshō Enhanced Getsuga

At his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu has the ability to use the Getsuga Tenshō, which is now entirely black. Unlike the Shikai, the path of the Getsuga Tenshō can be controlled with the blade, and it is much faster and more powerful than in its previous form. These attacks are also considerably larger, even surpassing the size of Ichigo himself. When Ichigo first used it against Byakuya, Captain Shinigami called it Kuroi Getsuga (黒月牙, Black Moon Fang). Black Getsuga Tenshō was originally an Inner Ichigo technique, as Ichigo had no knowledge of it before using this technique. Hollow Ichigo even went so far as to accuse Ichigo of simply imitating his use of the technique. However, Ichigo has managed to find his own way of using the technique, for example by infusing it with Tensa Zangetsu’s blade, which makes his sword strikes far more powerful than normal. He can also project the attack from the tip of his Bankai, like a firearm, for a more concentrated and precise shot. The immense power of Ichigo’s Bankai Ichigo unleashing his spiritual power through his Bankai.

Enhanced spiritual power

When he activates his Bankai, Ichigo’s spiritual power expands dramatically, to the point of affecting the environment around him. He poses a danger to humans in the vicinity of his Bankai, as he can suffocate them and cause them to lose consciousness. In addition to the black Getsuga Tenshō, the color of his spiritual pressure when in Bankai is bluish-white. It is observed to be incredibly dense and rough, and Sōsuke Aizen has even described it as “magnificent”. Its spiritual power also fluctuates according to its emotions. During his battle with Juhabach, after witnessing the devastation inflicted on Soul Society, he unleashed a shockwave of spiritual pressure that pulverized the ground beneath his feet, causing extensive damage to his surroundings. Due to its compressed nature, the spiritual power of his Bankai doesn’t deplete as quickly as that of other Bankai, allowing him to use it for much longer periods than most other Shinigami.

Increased strength

Thanks to Tensa Zangetsu, Ichigo’s strength is considerably increased. With one hand, he was able to block and then crush Kugō’s Cero, even when the latter was also in Bankai. He could also catch Aizen’s Hōgyoku-enhanced Zanpakutō, still with one hand, without feeling the enormous pressure behind the blow. Tensa Zangetsu’s blade itself possesses prodigious strength, capable of effortlessly slicing through Kugō’s Bankai blade.

Enhanced striking force

Each blow delivered by Tensa Zangetsu is accompanied by an incredible force of shock. In his final confrontation with Aizen in Soul Society, Ichigo reduced an entire mountain to dust with a single movement of his Bankai. In his fight against Ulquiorra, a single flick of Tensa Zangetsu leveled the ground behind him.

Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō (最後の月牙天衝, The Final Moon-Fang Heaven Piercer)

By activating the ultimate Tensa Zangetsu technique, Ichigo transforms himself into Getsuga (Moon Fang). When he uses it, his hair turns black and extends far beyond his waist. His torso is wrapped in gray bandages, made of a material similar to Zangetsu’s sheath. Black tattoos also cover Ichigo’s left side. The remnants of his Bankai’s cloak surround his waist, and he is enveloped in smoldering black spiritual power.

Mugetsu (無月, Moonless Sky)

Ichigo generates a blade of black spiritual energy in his hand, which he lowers, unleashing a massive torrent of black spiritual energy that rains down on the battlefield, enveloping the targeted area and causing massive damage. Shortly after its use, Ichigo is seized by intense pain and eventually loses consciousness. After a month in a coma, Ichigo wakes up and loses the rest of his Shinigami powers.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *