Ichigo Kurosaki from the Bleach manga holding Soul Reaper

Ichigo Kurosaki

“… as long as I can remember, I’ve been able to see ghosts.”


Ichigo is the main character from one of my three favourite Shōnen Manga series – Bleach (ブリーチ). It ran for 74 issues from 2001 to 2016, and was hugely successful. This led to many adaptations as anime , games, musicals and God knows what. This profile is only based on the manga .

Ichigo is a lad who can see ghosts. He is soon given powers to act as a Soul Reaper – a supernatural warrior helping the souls of the recently deceased. Part of the job is protecting ghosts and the living alike from Hollows, which are destructive and corrupted spirits.

As often in manga, ブリーチ mixes Shinto and Catholic elements to present its setting’s afterlife and monks.



  • Real Name: Ichigo Kurosaki.
  • Other Aliases: Strawberry.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Isshin Kurosaki (Father), Masaki Kurosaki (Mother, deceased), Yuzu Kurosaki (Sister), Karin Kurosaki (Sister).
  • Group Affiliation: The Vizgard.
  • Base Of Operations: Karracture Town, Japan.
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 134 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Orange

Powers and Abilities

Ichigo Kurosaki possesses massive spiritual strength (Reiki), which manifests itself in several ways. In his human body, it grants him the ability to see and interact with spiritual entities such as ghosts, Hollows and Soul Reapers.

In addition, through the use of a mystical artifact, Ichigo has the ability to release his very soul from his mortal body and become a Soul Reaper (Shinigami).

In his Shinigami form, Ichigo has supernatural physical strength (enough to shatter steel with a punch), durability, speed and reflexes, and the ability to leap several stories into the air or simply walk on it. He is also imperceptible and intangible to normal mortal beings, though his actions can still directly affect the mortal world.

While Ichigo’s spiritual body can be injured and die, it would take considerably greater injuries for him to perish than a regular mortal.


Soul Reaper

Through intense training, Ichigo has learned two advanced Soul Reaper combat techniques. The first is called “Shunpo” (Flash Steps). With this technique, he is capable of moving at blinding speed for short bursts, providing him with a devastating advantage in combat.

The second is called “Bankai”. It allows him to perform the second release of his Zanpakutō and greatly increase his already considerable powers.

Ichigo appearances in Bleach


Ichigo unintentionally awakened his inner hollow while undergoing the process of becoming a Soul Reaper. As a result he gained even greater spiritual abilities than the average Soul Reaper. By tapping into this inner demon’s power, Ichigo’s already considerable spiritual energy spikes, granting him a massive boost in strength, speed, resilience and sheer power.

Ichigo can only manifest this power for a total of about 11 seconds at a time, before it simply burns itself out.

Other abilities

Outside of his actual spiritual abilities, Ichigo’s most astounding ability is his astounding rate of growth. He is capable of grasping advanced Soul Reaper techniques in days where it should take weeks or even hundreds of years.

All of this power comes with a downside though. Because Ichigo produces more spiritual energy than his body can contain, it leaks out constantly, preventing him from hiding it and effectively making stealth impossible when dealing with other spiritually aware beings.

In addition, his powers seem to be contagious as well. Many of his friends begin to develop spiritual powers as they continue to be around him.

Finally, in his mortal form Ichigo is in great physical shape. He is an accomplished brawler, and has been trained in martial arts since he was a small child, and regularly fights with and defeats groups of bullies and gangsters.


Ichigo was born as the son of Isshin Kurosaki, and Masaki Kurosaki, 15 years before the main storyline. His sisters Karin Kurosaki and Yuzu Kurosaki were born a few years later.

Ichigo was the kind of child that most mothers dream of. He was extremely happy with a bright grin, and rarely ever complained about anything. He loved his mother with all of his heart and that love was returned two fold. All this ended on June 17th when Ichigo was 9, and his mother was murdered by the hollow named “Grand Fisher”.

Ichigo points his sword

Ichigo’s spiritual powers had not awakened within him yet. He was thus unaware of the true cause of his mother’s death.Instead, Ichigo blamed himself, believing his mother was killed due to his wandering too close to the water and causing her to put herself in harm’s way to save him.

Ichigo entire demeanor changed at that moment. He became sullen, serious and even aggressive.


Ichigo began getting into regular fights with thugs, mostly due to the fact that his hair was naturally bright orange. During one such altercation Ichigo met Yasutora “Chad” Sado, a boy from another school who helped him out of a fight.

The two formed a fast friendship and continued to get into fights. As a result, they gained the reputation of being gangsters themselves.

Ichigo and Chad eventually went to Karakura High School. There they formed close friendships with a group of students including: Tatsuki Arisawa, Orihime Inoue, Mizuiro Kojima and Keigo Asano. Ichigo didn’t realize it at the time, but every one of his friends’ lives would be forever altered simply by being in his presence.

I see dead people

At some point between his 9th and 15th year Ichigo burgeoning spiritual powers emerged. These granted him the ability to see and interact with the dead.

He became somewhat of an amateur psychic. He often put the dead to rest, mostly in order to get them to leave him alone. It was as this point when Ichigo met one of the most important people he would ever know in his short life.

One night while studying at home, Ichigo was surprised to see a particularly pushy spirit enter his room. She ignored him initially until he drew her attention by talking directly to her. Despite her initial surprise, the spirit introduced herself as Rukia Kuchiki. She explained that she was a Shinigami searching for a particularly soul in need of passing on to the Soul Society.

Ichigo scoffed at her claims and the two had a brief scuffle. Ichigo was bound by a simple kido (spell). During their brief altercation, a massive Hollow attacked Ichigo’s home, having tracked his unique spiritual energy there.

Fear filled Ichigo’s heart as he realized his family was in mortal danger. Using his emotionally charged strength, Ichigo shattered Rukia’s spell and rushed to protect his family. He quickly found himself outmatched and in danger of becoming the Hollow’s final victim.

As the lethal blow fell, Ichigo was surprised as Rukia interposed herself between the Hollow and himself. She selflessly took the wound that was meant for him while delivering one simultaneously to the Hollow. While the Hollow recovered from the stunning blow, Rukia and Ichigo took stock of her wound.

When it became clear that she would be unable to finish the fight, the two worked out a desperate plan for their survival.


Rukia performed a rarely attempted ceremony upon Ichigo. The goal was to temporarily transfer a portion of her powers into his mortal body. To their shock, the ceremony worked better than either one of them could have hoped. Instead of absorbing a portion of her spiritual energy, Ichigo absorbed it all rendering her powerless.

Ichigo found himself transformed into a Soul Reaper of great potency through the combination of Rukia’s spiritual energy and his own immense spiritual power. With confidence and rage in his heart, Ichigo easily vanquished the wounded Hollow, saving his family, while Rukia retreated.

Ichigo duels a masked spirit

The next day, Ichigo found himself returned to normal and his family had no memory of the night before. Wondering if he dreamt it all, Ichigo went to school just like any other day. He found a new student waiting for him to arrive, Rukia. She had been rendered seemingly human and was interacting with Ichigo’s classmates and teachers like anyone else.

Rukia informed Ichigo that she had acquired a Gigai. This is an artificial body used by Shinigami when they were forced to stay in the Human World for extended periods. She would be trapped in the mortal world until she found a way to recover her spiritual powers. Moreover, she felt that Ichigo was honour-bound to continue her Soul Reaper duties until she could perform them herself.

Ichigo, substitute Soul Reaper

Despite his initial misgivings, Ichigo takes over her job, battling Hollows and performing Konsō in her stead. The two become an effective team, with Rukia aiding Ichigo in separating his soul from his body (tranforming him into a Soul Reaper) using first a special glove and eventually the Mod Soul, Kon.

Ichigo’s earth bound adventures come to a head when he attracted the attention of the last Quincy, Uryū Ishida. With hatred in his heart, Ishida entered into a reckless contest with Ichigo. This resulted in massive amounts of property damage, the accidental empowering of Ichigo’s closest friends Chad and Orihime and the garnering of the attention of the Soul Society.

Though the two eventually became cautious allies, their contest had triggered a series of events that would cost both of them dearly.

Soul Society Arc, part 1

Even though his life returned to its semblance of normalcy at the completion of his contest with Ishida, Ichigo noticed a definite change in Rukia. She had become more withdrawn and started to avoid him both at school and home. Then one night, she simply didn’t come home.

With the help of Kon and Kisuke Urahara, Ichigo realized that Rukia was planning on surrendering herself to the Soul Society for her actions on the mortal plane. To his shock, Kisuke revealed to him that the empowerment of mortals was punishable by death in the Soul Society.

Ichigo strained his burgeoning senses to their limits and zeroed in on Rukia’s spiritual aura. With Kisuke Urahara’s aid, he unleashed his spiritual form and rushed to her aid. He arrived just in time to confront her two Shinigami captors.

Despite her berating, Ichigo lept into the fray to defend his friend. He initially clashed with Renji Abarai, and for a moment it looked as though he would be able to hold his own against the pair of Soul Reapers.

Unfortunately the moment passed and Ichigo found himself swiftly and brutally defeated by Byakuya Kuchiki. He was Rukia’s older brother and the captain charged with returning her to the Soul Society as a prisoner.

To make matters worse, with a single stroke of his blade Byakuya removed Rukia’s Shinigami powers from Ichigo. This transformed him back into a powerless human soul. Helpless and barely conscious, Ichigo could only watch as Rukia was taken back to the Soul Society.

As she was being taken away Rukia had a single message for Ichigo. ”Don’t come after me.” Fortunately for Rukia, before he lost consciousness Ichigo had already decided to ignore her final request.

Soul Society Arc, part 2

To his surprise, Ichigo awoke within his human body, his wounds bandaged and under the patient observation of Kisuke Urahara. Urahara then told Ichigo three facts:

  • Rukia would be executed in the Soul Society within 20 days.
  • He could transport Ichigo to the Soul Society.
  • He had the ability to awaken Ichigo’s own latent Shinigami abilities that lay buried deep within his soul.

Left with little choice and desperate to find a way to save his friend, Ichigo agreed to train with the mysterious man.

For the next 10 days, Ichigo underwent the most intense and brutal training he ever endured in his short life. This did awaken his latent Shinigami abilities. However, his powers came with a cost. Though he did not realize it yet, the process had birthed a hollow deep within his soul.

Ichigo faces a giant projection

On the eleventh day with his training complete, Ichigo travelled from the mortal world to the Soul Society. He came with Urahara’s mysterious friend Yoruichi Shihōin, Orihime, Sado, and Uryū. His battle to free Rukia began with earnest.

In a series of clashes, Ichigo and his allies stormed the Seireitei – the fortress city of the Shinigami. Despite their best intentions, the group quickly became separated during the fray.

While his friends all eventually ended up captives of the Soul Reapers, Ichigo himself battled a handful of the Soul Keeper elite. In order, he defeated Ikkaku Madarame, Renji Abarai (who he had fought to a standstill in the mortal plane), and eventually Kenpachi Zaraki (the fearsome Captain of the 11th company).

With each battle, Ichigo’s power rapidly grew while he continued to refine his techniques. Eventually, Ichigo’s wounds caught up with him and left him incapacitated. He was removed from the Seireitei by Yoruichi.

Soul Society Arc, part 3

Ichigo’s strength returned quickly under Yoruichi’s care. When he regained consciousness he immediately rushed back into the fray in order to save his friends. With his rapidly expanding senses, Ichigo honed in on the tower in which Rukia was being held. Using an ancient cloak of flight Ichigo arrived just in time to confront Byakuya Kuchiki once more.

Unlike during their first fight, this time Ichigo was fully ready for Byakuya’s strength. The two traded blows and to Byakuya’s embarrassment, Ichigo actually held his own. This enraged the Soul Reaper Captain, who decided to unleash his true strength against his young opponent.

Even as he started to released his Shikai, Yoruichi arrived and incapacitated the wounded Ichigo with a single blow. This stopped the fight and saved Ichigo’s life. As she escaped with Ichigo in tow, she swore to Byakuya that she would make Ichigo stronger than him within 3 days. Yoruichi took the once again unconscious Ichigo to a secret training ground.

Upon his recovery, Ichigo was enraged that Yoruichi forced him to leave the battle. But when confronted with the logic that Byakuya would have killed him, he finally gave over and agreed to train with Yoruichi. With Zangetsu’s aid, Yoruichi taught Ichigo Bankai, the ultimate technique of the Soul Reaper elite.

Every Captain, save one, knew Bankai and it took 100 years of training to achieve it. Ichigo learned the technique in 3 days. Upon the completion of his training, Ichigo and Yoruichi returned to the Seireitei in order to prevent Rukia’s execution.

Soul Society Arc, part 4

At the last possible second, as the executioner’s blade was about to strike Rukia, Ichigo intervened. He casually blocked the massive blade with a single arm and freed Rukia from her bondage. With the help of Renji (who had switched alliances), Yoruichi and two other Captains, Ichigo halted the execution and earned the ire of the remaining Soul Reapers.

As Renji fled with Rukia, Ichigo tore into his opponents. He casually dispatched 3 assistant Captains barehandedly before being confronted by Byakuya Kuchiki. The two battled briefly, both cautiously feeling the other out in their third confrontation.

As the battle continued and neither managed to gain a clear advantage over the other, Ichigo continuously taunted Byakuya to unleash his Bankai. Eventually, Byakuya tired of his youthful opponents words and released his ultimate technique.

Despite his best efforts, Ichigo found himself overpowered by Byakuya’s Bankai using just his Shikai. With grudging respect for his foe, Ichigo unleashed his own Bankai. The two found themselves evenly matched once more. But eventually, Byakuya’s greater experience allowed him to gain an edge and fataly wound Ichigo.

Ichigo found himself falling into blackness. As Byakuya’s blade fell towards him, Ichigo finally lost control and his inner demon took over.

Byakuya was stunned into stillness as a Hollow’s mask suddenly began to form across Ichigo’s youthful features. The hollow took immediate advantage of Byakuya’s surprise and struck a fatal blow across the Soul Reaper Captain’s chest.

As Byakuya reeled from the assault, the hollow pressed its attack, unleashing Ichigo’s full unrestrained might against him. Byakuya suddenly found himself at his opponent’s mercy and prepared for his own death. At this point, Ichigo’s personality stubbornly reasserted itself.

Tearing the mask away from his face, Ichigo apologized to Byakuya for the interference in their duel and waited for him to recover.

Soul Society Arc, part 5

The two opponents grudgingly had to admit that they barely had enough energy left for a single strike. In the end, the two faced each other and struck simultaneously (almost as if they were jousting), each channeling the remainder of their energy into the fearsome assault.

When the dust cleared, both warriors remained upon their feet, but neither had any strength left for battle. Reluctantly, Byakuya admitted defeat and left the battleground.

Ichigo thrusts with his sword

As Byakuya departed, Ichigo collapsed into the arms of his awaiting friends. They healed his wounds and reinvigorated his strength.

While his strength returned, Ichigo received a message relayed through a rare Kidō (spell). It detailed an elaborate plot masterminded by Sōsuke Aizen in order to steal a powerful artifact called the Hōgyoku which had been hidden deep within Rukia’s soul.

With the knowledge of the true villain in his heart, Ichigo impetuously rushed off to battle once more. He confronted Aizen, alongside Renji Abarai, mere moments before he was able to remove the Ho gyoku from Rukia’s body.

Soul Society Arc, part 6

Despite his rejuvenated power, neither Renji or Ichigo were able to slow Aizen down, much less defeat the vastly more powerful Soul Reaper Captain. Ichigo was forced to watch as Aizen removed the Hōgyoku from Rukia’s soul.

Fortunately for him, all of the remaining Captain’s converged on the battle grounds forcing Aizen to retreat for Heuco Mundo, the world of the hollows, before he could finish the trio off.

With the truth exposed, Rukia’s crimes were forgiven. An amnesty was declared on Ichigo and his friends. They spent a few idillic weeks in the Soul Society recovering from their battles before returning to the mortal world.

Prior to leaving Soul Society, Ichigo was given a badge by Ukitake that granted him the permission to officially hunt Hollows in his area. This effectively deputized him as a Soul Reaper. Rukia chose to remain behind in the Soul Society, as it was and had always been her true home.

As the two parted ways, Ichigo took solace in the fact that all of his friends were safe and happy.

The Vizgard, part 1

Without Rukia and the interference of the Soul Society, Ichigo’s life returned to the relatively peaceful state that he had left it. He returned to high school with his friends and kept and watchful eye on his family. Everything seemed perfect, until a new student arrived at school.

Shinji Hirako immediately cornered Ichigo. He attempted to recruit him for the Vizgard (a Soul Reaper who has undergone Hollow-fication). Ichigo refused the strange young man’s offer. He denied Shinji’s assertion that he was a Soul Reaper or that he had a Hollow restrained within his soul.

Shinji warned Ichigo, even going so far as to subtly threaten his friends. He stated that Ichigo’s inner demon would eventually take over his body and destroy everything within his sight. Despite, Shinji’s warning, Ichigo stubbornly refused his invitation. He avoided Shinji as much as possible.

Shortly after Shinji’s first appearance, two strange beings appeared in Karakura Town. The two beings were searching for something or someone, and injured or killed several bystanders. The pair, Yammy Riyalgo and Ulquiorra Cifer, had massive spiritual strength. This drew the attention of Chad, Orihime and Ichigo to their location.

Chad and Orihime arrived before Ichigo could. They engaged the two spiritual beings, who revealed themselves to be Arrancar, in a short but brutal battle. Chad was dismembered and Orihime was depowered within seconds. Ichigo arrived at the last second, even as Yammy prepared to deliver a killing blow to Orihime.

Seeing his friends helpless, Ichigo engages Yammy in battle using his Bankai. Unlike his friends, Ichigo deals a vicious blow to Yammy lopping off one of his arms.

It was at that moment that tragedy struck. Ichigo’s inner hollow, thirsty for battle, attempted to assume control of Ichigo’s body. Terrified at the repercussions of that scenario, Ichigo struggled to maintain control, effectively paralyzing himself in the middle of the battle.

The Vizgard, part 2

Yammy took full advantage of Ichigo’s temporary paralysis. He viciously beat both Ichigo and Orihime until Yoruichi Shihōin and Kisuke Urahara arrived at the battle ground, forcing the two Arracanar to retreat. The two had gotten what they wanted at any rate. They had been sent by Aizen to judge Ichigo’s rate of growth and had taken his measure.

Despite his speedy recovery, Ichigo was terrified to assume his Shinigami form. He felt the Hollow lurking in the dark corners of his soul, raging and waiting for it’s next chance to break free.

It took the return of Rukia to give him the strength and confidence that he could fight off the Hollow inside. With Rukia and five other Shinigami at his side, Ichigo awaited the eventual return of the Arrancar.

He didn’t have to wait long. A force of 6 Arrancar, led by a particularly vicious individual named Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez soon invaded Karakura Town. The 6 Arrancar intended to finish what they viewed as a failure on Ulquiorra’s part.

The 6 split up, each engaging one of the spiritually powerful foes within Karakura town. Ichigo and Rukia easily dispatched the first Arrancar who had targetted Chad at his home. Unfortunately, at the moment of the Arrancar’s defeat, the friends were ambushed by Grimmjow. He had been lying in wait for Ichigo’s arrival.

The two friend’s proved to be little challenge for the psychopathic Arrancar. Grimmjow gutted Rukia with a single barehanded blow, as if she were a pesky insect in the way of his true prey. Enraged by the casual brutality of the assault, Ichigo attacked Grimmjow, unleashing the full strength of his Bankai upon his eager foe.

The Vizgard, part 3

Despite his massive increase in power, Ichigo was still completely outmatched by Grimmjow. Rather than killing Ichigo outright, Grimmjow took his time and pummelled Ichigo into submission using only his fists.

Desperate to win and fearful of what a prolonged battle may mean, Ichigo resorted to his Getsuga Tenshō technique and unleashed a dark wave of spiritual energy at the Arrancar.

Bleach cast montage with Ichigo jumping

Even though the Getsuga Tenshō did wound Grimmjow, Ichigo immediately realized that is was a surface wound. But that wasn’t the worst consequence of his actions. By using the Getsuga Tenshō, Ichigo had weakened his own hold on his inner demon who struggled to escape once more.

While Ichigo struggled to contain his inner demon, Kaname Tōsen interrupted the non-sanctioned fight. He ordered Grimmjow back to Hueco Mundo. Reluctantly, Grimmjow retreated leaving Ichigo defeated both physically and spiritually, but strangely focused.

Ichigo, unable to control his inner Hollow, came to a sudden realization. He finally accepted the fact that he would be unable to control the Hollow within himself without help. With that, he tracked down Shinji and accepted his offer to join the Vizgard in order to gain control of his inner demon.

The Vizgard, part 4

Over the next month, Ichigo endured week after week of grueling training. During this period, Ichigo was forced to confront the demon within himself.

The two came to a fragile understanding. The Hollow would lend Ichigo its power and stop struggling with him for dominance. But only for as long as he fought to the fullest extent of his abilities, not to protect his friends, not due to fear, but simply to win.

The second Ichigo stopped fighting to win, the Hollow would resume its attempts to usurp Ichigo as their bodies main personality.

With that Ichigo emerged from the Vizgard training more powerful than ever before. He had gained the ability to manifest his Inner Hollow’s mask and strength at will. Yet, to his disappointment, he could only manifest this power for a few short seconds before lost control and the Hollow mask shattered.

He remained with the Vizgard for the rest of the summer in order to increase the amount of time he could maintain in his Hollowfied form.

As the summer came to a close, the Arrancar once again invaded Karakura. Without fear or thought, Ichigo brashly sought out the foe that had dealt him his previous defeat, Grimmjow. He found the Arrancar waiting patiently for the battle that both knew would happen.

The Vizgard, part 5

This time, Ichigo brashly challenged Grimmjow to a rematch, going so far as to offer him a chance to surrender. At Grimmjow’s casual refusal, Ichigo immediately manifested his Hollow form and brought his full power to bear upon his shocked foe.

For a full 11 seconds Ichigo had the clear upperhand. His Hollow enhanced strength actually eclipsed Grimmjow’s. But before he could deal Grimmjow a fatal blow, the 11th second passed and Ichigo’s Hollow mask crumbled. Grimmjow recovered immediately from the thrashing he endured and brutally counterattacked his suddenly weakened foe.

Despite aid delivered by Rukia, Ichigo found himself helpless and at the feet of Grimmjow once again. It was only the timely appearance of Shinji that forced Grimmjow to spare Ichigo’s life. Shinji managed to hold Grimmjow off just long enough. Ulquiorra appeared and ordered Grimmjow to retreat.

Battered and broken once more despite his months of training, Ichigo rested fitfully back at the Kurosaki Clinic. All the while he wondered what was the true purpose of the Arrancar attacks.

He awoke the next morning fully healed. Before he could figure out how this could be, Ichigo was dragged to a meeting with the Soul Reaper Captains at Orihime’s apartment.

Upon his arrival he was informed that the Arrancar attack was a simple diversion. The point had been to capture Orihime and return her to Hueco Mundo, the spiritual dimension where Hollows remain.

Ichigo immediately realized that Orihime had healed his wounds before she left. This freedom of movement on her part let many of the Soul Reapers to believe that she may have joined Aizen and his Arrancars.

The Vizgard, part 6

Ichigo stubbornly refused to believe it, and demanded access to Hueco Mundo in order to save his friend. Yamamoto, the leader of the Soul Reapers, denied Ichigo’s request believing that Ichigo’s strength would be needed in the mortal world when the Arrancar’s returned in force.

With that, the other Shinigami (including Rukia) are ordered to return to the Soul Society, leaving Ichigo angry and alone.

Unfortunately for Yamamoto, Ichigo had never been particularly good at following orders. Without pause, Ichigo sought out Urahara once more. He made preparations to single-handedly retrieve Orihime from Hueco Mundo. Once he has made sure that his absence would not be noticed at home he returns to Urahara’s shop in anticipation of his trip.

Upon his arrival, Ichigo was pleasantly surprised to find both Uryū and Chad awaiting him. They had both spent the summer intensively training, much like Ichigo had, in order to gain enough strength to fight the Arrancar by his side. Upon learning of Orihime’s fate, the two decided that they would help to retrieve her from the enemy.

Ichigo initially refused their help, but the two stood steadfast in their determination to help their mutual friend. Ichigo finally relented, secretly grateful for the help. With that Urahara opened the gate to Hueco Mundo, and the three brash youths plunged through with one thought in all of their minds: saving Orihime and returning home safely.


For the most part, Ichigo appears like a normal male Japanese teenager. The one exception to that is his spiky orange hair, a trait that he has been ridiculed about for years. He is fairly tall with long lean muscle covering the majority of his frame.

When in his Shinigami form, Ichigo wears their attire which is made up of a white shitagi, a black kosode, a black hakama, a white hakama-himo, white tabi, and waraji with an additional strap across his chest. Initially the strap was a thick brown/red belt to hold his Zanpakutō, but later became a red rosary-like strap.

In this form, Zangetsu appears as an oversized cleaver-like grey blade without a hilt. It has a makeshift handle formed by some cloth wrapped around the tang.

Upon unleashing his Bankai, Ichigo’s kosode (robe) is replaced with a long-sleeved, ankle-length black coat (or shikakusho) with red lining that is closed at his chest, then left to flare out into ragged ends.

In this form, Zangetsu transforms into a straight edged katana with an all black blade and a hilt forged into the shape of a swastika. A series of chained links hangs in the place of the normal cloth tang at the end of his hilt.

No matter what form Ichigo has assumed, he is almost always covered in bandages from his several considerable wounds.

When manifesting his Hollow abilities, a hollow mask covers his face. His eyes become a murky black with yellow irises. The Mask can be best described as a sneering skull (or a demented hockey mask) with red stripes running from forehead to chin.


Ichigo is a cocky, stubborn, short-tempered, confrontational, spontaneous, determined, outspoken, strong-willed, impulsive and empathetic young man. Essentially, he’s a teenage male.

He is also extremely protective of his friends and family. This latter trait is the driving force behind most of his actions and almost all of the story arcs have stemmed from him rushing off to save someone, usually females.

Ichigo works hard to maintain a detached and “cool” image. He generally keeps his face set in a permanent scowl in order to keep people away from him. He is often quite rude and disrespectful to authority figures and adults. However, despite this “tough guy” image he tries to maintain, he becomes extremely shy and uncomfortable around nude or immodestly dressed women.

Ichigo’s image makes him appear rather dimwitted to more composed and calculating individuals (particularly Uryū). The truth is quite the opposite, as Ichigo is a capable analyst when required. He can instinctively catch on to some things much quicker than those around him.

Moreover, Ichigo nurtures his natural intelligence constantly and studies regularly for school. He has maintained a rank of 23rd academically in his school simply to overcome the misconceptions that many of his teachers have about him.

In combat, Ichigo is quite cocky and has been known to taunt and belittle his opponents, especially the ones he considers to be bullies. Despite this, Ichigo has displayed a complex sense of honor. He regularly applies the “eye for an eye” theory, often exacting revenge for the actions of his opponent.

When fighting, Ichigo will attack without warning. He has displayed a true desire to not only survive the battle, but to fairly and decisively win them. To this end, he has often refused to draw upon his inner Hollow’s power even though he knew it would allow him to win.


“A new strategy ? I never had one in the first place.”

(While casually blocking a massive fiery phoenix with Zangetsu and a single arm, behind his back) “Yo.”

“Stop telling me to leave you here and run away… it’s so annoying ! I told you, I don’t care what you say. Heh… this is the second time now… I’ve come to save you, Rukia.”

Ichigio: “We run.”
Rukia: “That’s not possible ! We’re surrounded by Captains ! We can’t possibly outrun them.”
Ichigo: “Then I’ll beat them up before we run. I’m not just here for you though. Inoue, Ishida and Chad all came. Everyone that lent a hand before… I’m going to get them all out of here.”

“Getsuga Tenshō !”

“Ban-kai !”

Ichigo: “What happened to your arm ?”
Grimmjow: “I threw it away before I got here ’cuz I don’t need two arms to kill you !”
Ichigo: “Oh. Good, in that case, I don’t need to hold back.” (Immediately Hollowfies)

“It’s meaningless to just live, it’s meaningless to just fight. I want to win !”

DC Universe History

The World of Bleach would have little no direct contact with the rest of the DC Universe. If anything, people like John Constantine or perhaps Zauriel may have come into contact with the Japanese death gods.

With his recent resurrection, it would be interesting to see how Deadman would interact with the Shimigami.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Ichigo (一 護) Kurosaki

Dex: 10 Str: 10 Bod: 08 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 12 Min: 08 Occupation: Shinigami
Inf: 04 Aur: 06 Spi: 18 Resources: 002
Init: 022 HP: 100

Airwalking: 05, Chi Sense (See New Rules below)(ML)*: 18, Damage Capacity (Physical): 06, Dispersal: 08, Invisibility: 08, Joined: 03, Jumping: 04, Mind Over Matter: 08, Speak With Spirits (ML)*: 08, True Sight (ML)*: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Dispersal cannot be used to pass through solid objects; Partial Dispersal is allowed; Cannot be used to perform Dispersal attacks; Power is only effective against spiritually unaware mortals.
  • Invisibility: Always On, affects Sight/Hearing.
  • Speak with spirits has the same mechanisms as Speak with animals ; only with spirits.

Martial Arts (including Techniques)*: 10, Martial Arts (Mystic Arts)*: 15, Weaponry (Zangetsu)*: 10

Astounding Potential, Immortal, Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Miscellaneous (Ichigo can assume both his Bankai and Hollow Form alter egos simultaneously and enjoy all of the advantages of both forms simultaneously).

Rukia Kuchiki (High), Orihime Inoue (High), Yasutora “Chad” Sado (High), Kisuke Urahara (Low), Uryu Ishida (High), Renji Abarai (High).

Alter Ego (Mortal Form: Controllable), Alter Ego (Hollow Form: Controllable), Misc: (Reiki Geiser – see Boxed Section), Misc: (only speaks Japanese), Age (Young), Distinct Appearance (Orange hair).

See the boxed section about Ichigo’s Mystic Arts.

Zangetsu (See the boxed section about Zangetsu).

Ichigo’s Mystic Martial Arts Techniques

Ichigo’s techniques have the same mechanism as rituals but Ichigo automatically succeeds in casting them.

Shunpo (瞬 歩, Flash Step)
Effect: SuperSpeed: 10
Casting Time: 0 AP (0 seconds)
Special Restriction: OV substitution & Movement only; Fatiguing.

A movement technique that allows the user to move faster than the eye can follow from point A to point B in the least amount of physical steps. This technique is most often used to dodge attacks or to cover great distances in a blink of an eye.

Masters of this technique often use it to blindside an opponent by instantly moving to their opponents back and attacking in a single movement.

Ichigo fights a giant with a fez, because it's a Monday

Tapping the Demon Within – Hollowification

As a Vizgard, Ichigo can draw upon his inner hollow to further boost his already formidable powers. Ichigo cannot maintain this alter ego indefinitely, once it reaches its limit his hollow mask shatters and his power levels return to normal.

In game terms, when triggered the Alter Ego changes are:

  • DEX, STR and BOD all +3 APs
  • Zangetsu’s Mystic Blast is +2 APs.
  • His other powers are all +1 CS.

At the same time, this Alter Ego has the Time Limit disadvantage at 1 AP (approximately 11 seconds).

Out of Body Experience – Human form

Ichigo’s Alter Ego works very much in the same way as the Spirit Travel power. When triggered his soul is released from his body but instead of becoming a ethereal spirit, it transforms itself into superhumanly powerful flesh and blood body composed of an ectoplasm like substance.

While Ichigo’s spirit is separated, his true body is left barely alive. It cannot move and possesses no consciousness. His mortal body remains susceptible to physical damage during this time. In addition, his true body is extremely vulnerable to attacks like Control at these times.

In his human state/Alter Ego, Ichigo physical attributes are DEX 05, STR 02, BODY 04, and has no access to most of his Powers. The exceptions are: Chi Sense, Speak with Spirits and True Sight. In addition, he loses his Immortal advantage. As it stands, there is no limit to how long he can remain in his Shimigami form.


In addition, during the course of his adventures, Ichigo managed to acquire a Substitute Shinigami Badge. The badge not only alerts him to the presence of Hollows, it also allows him to free his soul from his body at will (allowing his alter ego transformation). It has the following stats.

Substitute Shinigami Badge [BODY 05, Detect (Hollow): 18, Invisibility: 08, Bonuses & Limitations: Enables Alter Ego, Invisibility is for Badge only]

Ichigo with his sword, promotional material

Zangetsu (斬 月, The Slaying Moon)

BODY 18, EV 04 (11 w/STR)

Bonuses & Limitations:

  • Rituals (see below).
  • Grants Ichigo the Stabilization advantage.
  • if ever externalized or confronted on the spiritual plane, Zangetsu has the same stats as Ichigo.

Getsuga Tenshō (月 牙 天 衝, Moon Fang Heaven-Piercer; “Piercer of Heaven”)
Effect: Mystic Blast: 14
Casting Time: 0 APs (0 seconds).
Special Restriction: Zangetsu must be wielded; Costs 5HP to cast; Requires Incantations.

Zangetsu allows Ichigo to focus his own spiritual power through the blade itself and fire intense crescent shaped blasts of snow white spiritual energy capable of sundering mountains in two. Though it is unnecessary, Ichigo often swings the blade in an arc while firing the blast.

Bankai – Tensa Zangetsu (天 鎖 斬 月, Heaven Chain Slaying Moon)
Effect: Alter Ego (see Notes below)
Casting Time: 1 AP (8 seconds).
Special Restriction: Zangetsu must be wielded; Costs 15HP to cast; Requires Incantations.

Ichigo’s Bankai has been described as a compression of his power, allowing him to use his full strength with the precision of a scalpel.

His hugely compressed power enables Ichigo to move at blinding speeds with matching agility and reflexes. In addition, it focuses the power of his Getsuga Tenshō , which he renamed “Black Getsuga Tenshō “ increasing it’s power and turning the moon shaped blast black.

When triggered, the Alter Ego changes are: DEX: 12, STR: 12, BOD: 10, he acquires Flight: 15, Superspeed: 15 and the Getsuga Tenshō Mystic Technique has an additional +2APs applied to it.

The Spirit in the Sword

Zangetsu is the name of Ichigo’s Zanpakutō (literally translated as “soul-cutting sword”). Though he appears to be a simple blade in the physical world, within Ichigo’s mind this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

When communicating with Ichigo the spirit of Zangetsu resembles a tall 30 to 40-year-old man with unkempt facial hair and long ragged black hair. He dresses in tattered all black garbs with narrow sunglasses and a long flowing overcoat that flares out into ragged ends.

When Ichigo’s raging Inner Hollow is ascendent, Zangetsu resembles a strange reflection of Ichigo. Both his clothes and his skin and snow white while his eyes are midnight black.

No matter what form the spirit takes, it is completely dedicated to one thing and one thing only: Ichigo’s survival. Unlike other Zanpakutō spirits, Zangetsu has an unusually strong connection to Ichigo. It often comes to his aid unbidden, offering everything from words of encouragement, new Techniques (Rituals), and sage advice to brutal discipline in order to force Ichigo to grow into the warrior he must.

Reiki Geiser

Ichigo is incapable of suppressing his spiritual energy, it constantly pours out from him, like a massive fountain. This has two drawbacks. The first being that any being that has Magic Sense or has any Awareness can automatically sense his presence (i.e. Ichigo cannot blindside spiritually aware oppenents).

The secondary effect is his inadvertent empowerment of bystanders. Any spiritually sensitive mortal will develop spiritual powers if they remain in his presence for an unspecific length of time (GM’s discretion). The affected individuals automatically receive the magically linked powers of Magic Sense and TrueSight.

New rules – Chi Sense or Detect Combat Strength v1

By Bryan Gittens
Mystic Power
Range: Normal
Type: Auto/Dice
Base cost: 10
Factor cost: 2

This power, which is a staple in shōnen manga, allows the wielder to get an fairly accurate sense of the relative strength of an opponent. In order to calculate the combat strength of a character, do the following:

  1. Take the highest AP value of a characters physical attributes, Powers, Occultist Skill, Martial Artist Skill or Ritual Effect.
  2. Add 1 AP for each additional combat based power the character has under 15 APs.
  3. Add 2 APs for each additional combat based power the character has over 15 APs.

Use these values on the Mystic Strength table to determine the OV/RV for Chi Sense Power. Determine RAPs as normal using power. If the any RAPs are generated, the power succeeds and the character wielding the power can tell how strong their opponent truly is.

The APs of the Obscure power can be used “hide” a targets true power level. When calculating the individuals power level, subtract the APs of the Obscure power directly from his total before calculating the OV/RV from the Mystic Strength table. Bonuses to the Chi Sense power include: Detect Motivation (+1FC).

By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Bleach Manga Volumes 1-27 (Strawberry and the Soul ReapersGoodbye, Halcyon Days.)

Helper(s): Wikipedia, Frighteners writeup by Dr. Piispanen, Sébastien Andrivet.