Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (2024)

Ichigo Kurosaki is arguably one of the sweetest shonen protagonists out there, at least compared to Naruto and Luffy, who can occasionally get on the audience's nerves. Throughout Bleach's 16 years and its innumerable plotlines, Ichigo has run the full gamut of physical and spiritual changes, either losing his powers and regaining them, or suddenly discovering abilities he never knew he had.

Ichigo Kurosaki's evolution isn't exactly surprising, considering the genetic legacy. At the end of Bleach, Ichigo is a blend of four distinct races — Human, Hollow, Quincy, and Shinigami — making him an overpowered co*cktail of pure potential. He goes through multiple evolutions throughout the series, each of which is almost always stronger than the previous version.

Updated on January 18, 2024, by Ajay Aravind: Ichigo Kurosaki has finally returned to the television screen after a decade-long hiatus. The Bleach fandom has been eagerly awaiting the Thousand-Year Blood War's anime adaptation ever since the announcement in 2020. With the first and second cours out of the way, fans can't wait for the third part to be released in 2024. Bleach is nothing without Ichigo Kurosaki, the young Shinigami who consistently demonstrates his devastating power throughout the series. As such, we've updated this list of all Ichigo forms, in order of appearance.

10 Human Ichigo Is Relatively Weak By Shinigami Standards

Arc Obtained: Agent Of The Shinigami

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (1)

Special Abilities

Physical strength

Fighting prowess


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Ichigo Kurosaki begins the story as a student at Karakura High, where he meets Yasutora Sado, Orihime Inoue, and Uryu Ishida. Soon, they formed a little clique that will eventually be known as Team Ichigo. He's generally shy, preferring to stay below the radar, explaining why his friend Asano Keigo is stunned to discover Ichigo's academic brilliance.

As expected from a typical Shonen protagonist, Ichigo Kurosaki tends to get into brawls now and then, mostly with the neighborhood ruffians. In one instance, he fights off a bunch of kids messing with a funeral shrine in order to calm the dead person's ghost. Human Ichigo is strong, but nothing compared to what he will soon become.

9 Ichigo Obtains His First Shikai When Rukia Stabs Him With Her Zanpakuto

Arc Obtained: Agent Of The Shinigami

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (3)

Special Abilities

Enhanced power

Getsuga Tensho

Ichigo Kurosaki first obtains his Shinigami powers when Rukia stabs him with Sode no Shirayuki, transferring half her Reiatsu into his spiritual body. His Zankpakuto manifests as an enormous blade, considerably larger than most Shikai should be at this stage of development.

Armed with Zangetsu, Ichigo Kurosaki casually cuts down a Hollow that is about to kill his sisters. He later battles and defeats Madarame Ikkaku and Renji Abarai, both formidable opponents in their own right. Ichigo's greatest accomplishment using his basic Shikai is defeating Captain Zaraki Kenpachi (without his eyepatch limiter). Unfortunately, he's no match for stronger captains like Aizen and Byakuya at this point.

8 Ichigo's First Bankai Takes Him Only 2.5 Days To Learn

Arc Obtained: Soul Society: The Rescue

Special Abilities

Remarkable speed

Black Getsuga Tensho


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Urahara formulates a special technique to speed up Ichigo Kurosaki's Bankai training, claiming that he will be able to achieve it in three days. Under Yoruichi's guidance, Ichigo manages to exceed all expectations by achieving his Bankai in 2.5 days. Tensa Zangetsu is first revealed when he fights Kuchiki Byakuya atop Sokyoku Hill.

Ichigo Kurosaki's gigantic Shikai has now been condensed into a small black blade, and his Shinigami robes are replaced with a black-and-red Shihakusho. Byakuya mocks the pathetic size of Ichigo's Bankai, but the young hero shatters the Captain's arrogance by dispersing all of Senbonzakura Kageyoshi's hundred million petals within seconds.

7 Ichigo's Hollow Form Manifests To Save Him From Byakuya

Arc Obtained: Soul Society: The Rescue

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (5)

Special Abilities

Augmented Getsuga Tensho

Hollow Combat

This dark form manifests in the same duel with Byakuya when Ichigo Kurosaki is faced with the Captain's unbreakable Senkei technique. Refusing to let him die, Ichigo's inner Hollow forces his way out, an event marked by the iconic Hollow mask manifesting on his face.

Ichigo Kurosaki has no control of his body or his actions at this point, but his Hollow version takes on Senbonzakura Kageyoshi's full might effortlessly. Hollow Ichigo slashes a stunned Byakuya across the chest, laughing in exhilaration, but his true consciousness regains control before he kills his opponent. Nevertheless, Ichigo ultimately wins this fight only because of his Hollow's intervention.

6 Vasto Lorde Ichigo Appears When Orihime Calls Out His Name

Arc Obtained: Arrancar: Downfall

Special Abilities

Extreme strength and durability

Overpowered Cero


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A long time passes before fans get to see yet another of Ichigo Kurosaki's transformations. In the Fake Karakura Town arc, the Espada Ulquiorra Cifer nonchalantly bores a hole through Ichigo's chest, which should have technically killed the Shinigami. However, Ichigo quickly awakens upon hearing Orihime's plaintive cries, unconsciously invoking the Vasto Lorde-like entity lurking beneath the surface of his soul.

Ichigo Kurosaki is unrecognizable in his Vasto Lorde form, shocking both his friends and his enemy. Before Ulquiorra comprehends the situation, Ichigo is already at his throat, crushing the Espada's Lanza del Relampago with his bare hands. After ravaging Ulquiorra's body, Vasto Lorde tops it off with a ridiculously overpowered Cero that shatters Las Noches' roof. This Ichigo form never appears again.

5 Ichigo's Mugetsu Is Strong Enough To Defeat Aizen At His Peak

Arc Obtained: Arrancar: Downfall

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (7)

Special Abilities

Incomprehensible attack power

Immeasurable Reiatsu

One of the strongest Ichigo transformations is the Mugetsu. After three months of time-dilated Jinzen inside the Dangai dimension, Ichigo Kurosaki achieves a perfect union with Zangetsu, learning the only method that can utterly destroy a Hogyoku-empowered Aizen. His appearance changes very slightly when he emerges, sporting longer hair and a chain wound around his arm.

Aizen proves to be a difficult opponent, morphing into a far more powerful Hollow form with the Hogyoku. Ichigo Kurosaki then releases the Mugetsu or Final Getsuga Tenshou — his torso and jaw now wrapped in grey pieces of cloth, his hair pitch-black and flowing in the wind. Ichigo's Mugetsu obliterates Aizen, defeating the villain once and for all.

4 Fullbring Ichigo Doesn't Last Very Long Against Kugo Ginjou

Arc Obtained: The Lost Substitute Shinigami

Special Abilities

Energy Blast

Superior Speed

Upon losing all his powers after unleashing the Mugetsu, Ichigo Kurosaki discovers a new power that only humans supposedly possess. He undergoes a rigorous training regimen under Kugo Ginjou, consequently giving rise to the latest Ichigo transformation: the Fullbring.

Ichigo Kurosaki is wrapped in bony armor from head to toe and acquires a short-bladed sword with a glimmering edge. Fullbring Ichigo can generate swirling blasts of Reiatsu, comparable to the Getsuga Tenshou in terms of aesthetic, if not in strength. Luckily for him, Ginjou steals Ichigo's Fullbring, allowing Rukia to inject him with Shinigami powers once again.

3 Ichigo's True Shikai Pays Homage To His Quincy And Hollow Aspects

Arc Obtained: The Thousand-Year Blood War

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (8)

Special Abilities

Getsuga Juujisho

Gran Rey Cero-Getsuga Tensho


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One of Ichigo Kurosaki's transformations grants him his true Shikai for the first time. After Ichigo's Bankai is sliced cleanly in half by Haschwalth, he travels to the Royal Realm. Here, swordmaster Oetsu Nimaiya teaches him how to commune properly with Zangetsu. Ichigo recognizes the inextricable relationship between his Quincy and Hollow aspects, realizing that neither of them is an unwanted side-effect, as he once believed.

Nimaiya finishes forging his new Zanpakutos, leaving Ichigo Kurosaki holding two black Zangetsus. One of his swords is short and solid, whereas the other is relatively long and hollow. Ichigo can now access a variety of new techniques, including the devastating Getsuga Juujishou.

2 Ichigo's True Bankai Makes Him One Of Bleach's Strongest Characters

Arc Obtained: The Thousand-Year Blood War

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (10)

Special Abilities

Flawless attack power

Golden Getsuga Tensho

Ichigo Kurosaki merely has to combine his dual blades to form his new Bankai: the smaller Zanpakuto fills the hollowed-out space in the larger one, creating the final Tensa Zangetsu. The outer section of Ichigo's new Bankai turns white, and a chain connects the opposite sides of the blended blade. Ichigo Kurosaki's appearance also changes along with his Bankai.

A horn juts out of his left temple, one of his eyes glows yellow, and two black stripes run down his face. This form mirrors that of the Tensa Zangetsu that Ichigo had earlier faced during Jinzen, an obvious foreshadowing of his true nature. According to Yhwach, this is the most powerful of all Ichigo forms seen in Bleach.

1 Ichigo's Final Zanpakuto Defeats Yhwach And Saves The World

Arc Obtained: The Thousand-Year Blood War

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (11)

Special Abilities


Ichigo Kurosaki's final form is not something fans saw coming. Uryu plays his trump card in the series' final battle, delivering an arrowhead of Still Silver that halts Yhwach's powers for a brief moment. Ichigo seizes the opportunity and rushes at the villain with his broken Tensa Zangetsu. Yhwach glibly attempts to stop it with his hands, claiming that Ichigo Kurosaki will never defeat him.

The hero's Bankai then disintegrates completely, revealing what looks like his original Shikai. The fandom still doesn't know what the final Zanpakuto means for Ichigo, but the scene certainly offers a nostalgic throwback to Bleach's heyday. In terms of success, however, this is easily the strongest of Ichigo's transformations.

Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (12)


Bleachrevolves around Kurosaki Ichigo, a regular always-grouchy high-schooler who for some strange reason is able to see the souls of the dead around him.

Release Date
October 5, 2004

Tite Kubo

Masakazu Morita , Fumiko Orikasa , Hiroki Yasumoto , Yuki Matsuoka , Noriaki Sugiyama , Kentarô Itô , Shinichirô Miki , Hisayoshi Suganuma
Main Genre

17 Seasons

Production Company
TV Tokyo, Dentsu, Pierrot
Bleach: The Transformations Of Ichigo Kurosaki (2024)
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