Ichigo Kurosaki is the protagonist of the manga bleach, which has been turned into a popular anime as well as a live-action film. Learn about the character and the sword he wields.
Ichigo (a homonym of the Japanese word for the number 15) was born on July 15, 15 years before becoming a Shinigami (Soul Reaper). At a young age, he started training at a Dojo and learning Karate. Due to his spiritual heritage, he had always been able to see the souls of dead people, but he didn’t know why and often denied having the ability.
Ichigo adored his mother. One day, when he was nine, he saw the spirit of a girl whom he thought was about to jump into a river, and, not being able to tell it was not a real girl, jumped into the river to save her. His mom tried to stop him, but he didn’t listen. Reaching the girl, but unable to grab her, he passed out. When he finally regained consciousness, he discovered his mom, dead, lying on top of him.
As he grew older, he got into many fights with bullies and thugs, both from them attacking him and him defending his friends. Through this, he gained allies. He eventually entered Karakura High School, where his real journey was about to begin.
At home one night, Ichigo sees a strange girl (Rukia Kuchiki) in his bedroom. Thinking she is a burglar, he is convinced of her claim to be a spirit only when she proves that only he can see her. She begins to explain that she is a Shinigami, but Ichigo doesn’t believe her, forcing her to bind him. Surprisingly, however, he manages to break free through force of will when he hears his sister’s cries for help. Rushing to her, he sees her being attacked by a Hollow (a spirit who has remained too long in the Human world after death). He foolishly tries to stop it with a baseball bat, forcing Rukia to shield him with her body and becoming severely wounded in the process. As a last-ditch effort to stop the Hollow, Rukia stabs Ichigo with her Zanpakutō (sword), transferring a large portion of her powers into him, allowing him to easily take out the Hollow.
The next day, Ichigo sees Rukia at school, and she tells him he must take over her duties as a Shinigami while she recovers her powers. He refuses, so she takes him to a park where a Hollow is about to attack. Finally convincing him of the need to defend others, she helps train him while residing in his closet. Later, a Hollow attacks, and when Ichigo cuts off part of its mask it is revealed to be Sora Inoue, the spirt of a man whom Ichigo had tried to help years ago but whom ultimately died. The Hollow flees, and Rukia tells him its likely target is Orihime Inoue, the spirit’s still-alive sister, as Hollows often attack those they loved most in life due to their corruption.
Ichigo manages to arrive on time and begins fighting the Hollow, but, during the fight, Orihime steps between them, and the Hollow injures her. In a moment of clarity, the Hollow realizes what it had done and stabs itself with Ichigo’s Zanpakuto, purifying it of its sins and allowing it to go to Soul Society.
Loosing it all and Getting It Back
Initially reluctant, over time, Ichigo learns more about what it means to be a Shinigami and takes his duties more seriously. So seriously in fact, that he eventually sacrifices everything to protect those he loves. A former Shinigami named Aizen raises an army of Arrancar. He wields immense power, vast amounts more than a normal Shinigami, so Icihgo is forced to increase his own in order to be sure of victory. In order to do so, Ichigo learns the Final Getsuga Tenshō and uses it to give himself unmatched power, at the cost of loosing all of it after its use. Ichigo manages to defeat Aizen but is left powerless.
Seventeen months later, Ichigo is living a normal Human life. He meets a group of people who reveal they have powers inherited from their mothers who were attacked by Hollows before their birth. They wish to give their Fullbring powers (powers that allow one to manipulate the souls of things or people, giving them very flexible abilities) to Ichigo as the powers are Hollow in nature and they do not wish to carry that legacy. A man named Kugo leads them. It is later revealed that Kugo is helping Ichigo activate his powers so Kugo can steal them . Kugo eventually does manage to steal Ichigo’s powers, but Rukia stabs Ichigo with a sword made from the Reiatsu (spiritual power) of the Gotei 13’s senior officers as well as other strong Shinigami. This infusion of Reiatsu restores all of Ichigo’s former abilities as well as giving him power exceeding that which he had before.
After many years and untold adventures, Ichigo eventually marries Orihime Inoue, the first non-family member he saved as a Shinigami. Together, they have a son named Kazui Kurosaki who has his father’s hair and his mother’s looks. His son eventually meets Ichika Abarai, the daughter of Rukia. Both children have inherited their parents’ powers and are potent Shinigami.
Powers and Abilities
Ichigo is naturally gifted in many areas. He learns skills in incredibly short time, has great reflexes, is very strong, and has above-average intelligence. Due to training at a Karate dojo from a young age, he also is very good at martial arts. Whether this is natural or due to his heritage, Ichigo has immense spiritual power, so much so that he can perceive things and do things when tired that few others could even dream of.
From his mother’s side and his Shinigami training, Ichigo has developed as a master swordsman. He is not only ambidextrous when wielding a sword, he can also wield two at once without any trouble. He can utilize Shunpo to move extremely fast while using few steps to get from point A to point B. In his Shinigami form, his already impressive strength is further enhanced, allowing him to accomplish with a single punch or kick what most people would struggle to achieve with multiple. As a Shinigami, he is also able to withstand blows that would kill a normal person, and he has superhuman endurance.
Throughout the series, Ichigo learns more about his heritage and acquires different sets of abilities from multiple sources, including Hollow, Quincy, and Fullbringer, among others.
Ichigo originally wielded a substitute Zanpakuto, with which he was able to achieve Bankai, but after it was broken he learned it was not his true Zanpakuto. His true Zanpakuto is formed from the combination of his Shinigami and Hollow powers, forming two differently sized black blades. The larger blade represents Ichigo’s Inner Hollow, while the smaller blade represents his Quincy powers.
Ichigo’s blade is called Zangetsu. As with all Zanpakuto, Zangetsu has multiple abilities. The first and most common is Getsuga Tensho, which means Piercer of Heaven. When performed, the blade stores some of Ichigo’s spiritual energy, then releases it as the blade slashes, releasing a blade of energy the flies forward, devastating everything in its path. He also had a Bankai Tensa Zengetsu, which amplified Getsuga Tensho to an untold extent. His new Bankai’s powers are unknown, but it is considered extremely potent, as it was disabled before it could be used.