The old man whom Ichigo acknowledges as Zangetsu is the manifested spirit of Ichigo Kurosaki's Quincy Powers that can be found inside Ichigo's inner world.
The spirit of Zangetsu resembles a tall, 30- to 40-year-old man with unkempt facial hair and long, ragged, brown hair. He dresses in tattered, all-black garbs with narrow sunglasses and a long, flowing overcoat that flares out into ragged ends. Because of the spirit's appearance, Ichigo calls him "Old-man Zangetsu". Zangetsu has also been called the "black-clothed man".
In Bankai form, he resembles a teenage version of himself and appears to be closer to Ichigo's age. He has long ragged black hair. He is dressed in a tattered, black hooded cloak that flares out into ragged ends and no longer wears the sunglasses that he wore in Shikai.
Zangetsu is a calm, level-headed individual, in stark contrast to his hot-tempered master. He often acts as a mentor to Ichigo and always tries to push his master to become stronger.
Powers and Abilities
- Master Swordsman Specialist - During his short battle against Ichigo and his inner hollow, Zangetsu demonstrated highly proficient skill in swordsmanship, enough to fight most of the battles with only a single hand. With well-timed manuevers, Zangetsu was repeatedly able to land critical hits on Hollow Ichigo (although they were quickly healed).
- Enhanced Strength
- Enhanced Speed - During his battles, Zangetsu is shown to be highly fast, able to outmaneuver a number of relentless assasults from Ichigo's Inner Hollow;
- Blut Activation - As the manifestation of Ichigo's Quincy powers, Zangetsu can activate Ichigo's Blut in order to aid him in combat.
- Blut Vene
- Shikai - Zangetsu can summon a sword that takes the form of his constant Shikai release state: An oversized, elegant cleaver, which curves inward towards the backside of the blade's tip, causing it to resemble a trench knife. It doens't have a tsuba, but has a long silver hilt, wrapped in black cloth wrappings. The blade is as tall as Zangetsu and has a black blade with a silver edge. A small chain is attached to the base of the hilt. As noted by Yoruichi, Zangetsu is a constant release Zanpakuto, meaning that it never returns to its sealed state, almost always remaining in Shikai, due to the wielder's immense spiritual power.
Shikai Special Ability
- Getsuga Tensho (Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer) - At the instant of the slash, Zangetsu's blade absorbs his spiritual energy and releases highly condensed spiritual energy at the tip of the blade. Magnifying the slash attack and then flies forward. This slash takes the form of a crescent moon or in the shape of a wave. 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. Getsuga Tensho is a powerful technique with great force, capable of causing large scale damage.
- Meigetsu (Harvest Moon)
- Bankai: Tensa Zangetsu (Heaven-Chain Slaying Moon) - Zangetsu's Bankai is consitered completley out of the ordinary for any Zanpakuto. Unlike most Bankai forms, which usually create some sort of massive creature or effect, Zangetsu's Bankai actually shrinks his sword down to a nodachi (Field Sword) with a black blade, crossguard, and hilt instead. The blade curves at the tip with three protrusions coming near the end of the blade on the blunt side. The crossguard has four jagged, protruding prongs that take the shape of a manji. It also has a long black chain which attaches from the base of the hilt that connects to Zangetsu's left arm, forming a wide loop. The blade itself is durable enough to withstand even the strongest of attacks, making it quite effective in blocking and deflecting incoming attacks, and can even withstand getting crushed by force.
Bankai Special Ability - Much like his Shikai, Zangetsu's Bankai is mostly used for meele combat, but has a certain special ability:
- Physical Enhancement - This small Bankai is a compression of his remarkable power, rather than a vast expansion as other Bankai are. This vastly compressed power enables to reach levels of physical and spiritual prowess most Shinigami would have their bodies give out at and cannot handle. It allows Zangetsu to move at very high speeds exceeding those of Shunpo, allowing him to be undetectable to unfocused eyes. This Bankai also allows Zangetsu to use his natural strength to its limits. His new speed is so great, that it also allows him to create dozens of tangible clones to confuse his opponent. In addition, his already immense spiritual energy has grandly and explosively increased, and now has a deep black spiritual energy with a crimson outline.
- Enhanced Getsuga Tensho - While using Tensa Zangetsu, Zangetsu's Getsuga Tensho can be used in the same manners, but can be used in an enhanced form. When used with Zangetsu's bankai, these potent blasts can become black with a crimson red outline and their path and shape can be controlled, in addition to their explosively augmented power and speed.
- Enhanced Meigetsu
- Ichigo Kurosaki (Shinigami owner)