With Bleach back in full swing, a new generation of fans is being introduced to, what is Ichigo’s power and character arc. As a weeb growing up in the era of the Big 3, I remember being so hyped for characters like Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto Shippuden or Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach. So, I was pretty gutted when Bleach went on an abrupt hiatus following dwindling sales. But it’s back in just time, miraculously making this the year of the Big 3 Revival.
And some fans can use the reminder, you know? Like, who is Ichigo, and what is Ichigo’s power all about? Ichigo’s main power happens to be Spiritual Awareness, which means that he was able to see spiritual beings from different planes, even as a child. I mean, we have an idea of why he’s so in tune with the paranormal, considering Ichigo’s power comes from being part Shinigami on his father’s side and part Hollow on his mother’s side. But that is not the extent of Ichigo’s power, because he has way more abilities up his sleeve.
I mean, he wouldn’t be the protagonist of a mega-popular Shonen franchise if he didn’t. While it was Bleach that got lost in the anime boom of the early 2010s, that didn’t mean its fanbase died or lessened in number. If anything, it only increased over the years, leading to the new anime adaptation, Bleach: Thousand Year Blood War. This is planned out to be the definitive end to the Bleach anime and saga in general, so it’s going to be the strongest we see Ichigo’s powers get.
So, what is Ichigo’s power? More like, what isn’t. Ichigo Kurosaki is coming back with a bang and taking no hostages, as we will finally get to see his two warring lineages collide and come together to form the bulk of Ichigo’s power. But it won’t hurt to discuss the extent of those powers beforehand, just in case we need a refresher. So, in today’s Character Analysis, let’s break down what is Ichigo’s power!
Ichigo’s Power: Isshin’s Sacrifice For Masaki That Runs Through Their Son
Part of why Ichigo Kurosaki is seen as the Chosen One™ of Bleach is simply because of who his parents are. Isshin Kurosaki was a Shinigami that ended up sacrificing his powers to save his wife, Masaki. This meant Masaki, who was a pure-blood Quincy, had the powers of both a Hollow and a Shinigami coursing through. However, this led to his dad becoming human, but then Ichigo was born.
Ichigo is a Fullbring, a term Tite Kubo uses for the children of those mothers that were attacked by a Hollow and survived. The remnants of that power, however, are passed on to the children. But the biggest ability of a Fullbring is being able to possess a shard from the Soul King himself. However, we haven’t seen him manifest this ability so far.
What we have seen, however, is that Ichigo needed no preamble to wake up his Quincy powers. I mean, part of Ichigo’s power is being a half-blooded Quincy. However, his Quincy powers were activated during a battle with Sternritter Quilge Opie, and his overpowering Reiatsu. But the bulk of his powers is simply Shinigami and Hollow based, even if they were dormant. They were brought to the surface when Rukia Kuchiki, a Shinigami from Soul Society, Ichigo were forced to cohabit when Rukia was in danger.
If it’s still confusing how do these three separate bloodlines reside and manifest as Ichigo’s power? Luckily, that’s a focal point in the Thousand Year Blood War.
Meet The Zangetsu(s): The Zanpakutō Spirit That Mimics Ichigo’s Duality
So, now that Ichigo has proven his merit as a Shinigami fighting for the good of all, Soul Society and Humanity included, we break down the fundamental thing that makes or breaks a Shinigami: Their Zanpakutō. While many in Soul Society wield a Bankai, only a few have a spirit that resides in it for the optimum power.
This is the weapon of choice between all Shinigami, Arrancar, and Visored combined. And normally, it only plays host to one spirit. But that is not the case for Ichigo, who houses two. Or so we thought. Turns out, both Zangetsus that we had been seeing all this time, happen to just be two sides of the same coin.
Much like Ichigo’s power, Zangetsu is a little complicated because his Old Man Zangetsu represents his Quincy side. Whereas White Ichigo, the one he feared was a Hollow, is an amalgamation of his Hollow-Shinigami powers!