Ichigo Kurosaki is arguably one of the sweetest shōnen protagonists — at least compared to Naruto and Luffy (who are kooky, to say the least.) Over 15 years of Bleach, and countless plots and sub-plots, 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.
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Not exactly shocking, considering the genetic cocktail he is composed of. At the end of the series, Ichigo is a blend of four distinct races: Human, Hollow, Quincy, and Shinigami. Here is a list that details each of his unique identities that developed with every metamorphosis he had to go through.
Ichigo is a student at Karakura High, where he meets Sado, Asano, and Kojima, forming a little clique. He also befriends Orihime, but is shot down by Uryuu. Ichigo is generally shy, preferring to stay below the radar — a shocked Asano discovers that he is actually one of the top students in his class.
As expected, he 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 shrine, which is how he meets Rukia.
Ichigo obtains his Shinigami powers when Rukia stabs him with Sode no Shirayuki, transferring half her reiatsu into his body. His zankpakuto manifests as an enormous blade that shoots out arcs of reiatsu known as Getsuga Tenshou.
With this, he is able to take down the Hollows (who are about to kill them.) as well as characters like Ikakku and Renji, both of whom were incredibly strong from the start. His greatest achievement in this form is defeating the 11th squad Captain, Zaraki Kenpachi, (without his eyepatch limiter) breaking the latter"s centuries-old record.
Yoruichi utilizes a special technique to speed up Ichigo"s bankai training, claiming that he will be able to achieve it in three days. He manages to finish it in two and a half, instead. Tensa Zangetsu is revealed when he fights Kuchiki Byakyu on the Soukyoku Hill. His gigantic shikai is now condensed into a small black blade, and his Shinigami robes have been replaced by a black-and-red shihakusho.
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Byakuya mocks the pathetic size of his bankai, but Ichigo soon shows him its full power by scattering all of Senbonzakura Kageyoshi"s petals in a flurry of slashes.
7 Hollowified Ichigo
This dark form manifests in the same fight with Byakuya, when faced with the latter"s unbreakable Senkei. Refusing to let him die, Ichigo"s inner Hollow forces his way to the surface, which is marked by a hollow mask generating itself on Ichigo"s face. He has no control of his body or his actions anymore, but his hollow takes on Senbonzakura Kageyoshi"s full might effortlessly.
Hollow Ichigo slashes a shocked Byakuya across the chest, laughing maniacally, but his true consciousness manages to regain control before his opponent is killed. Nevertheless, this fight is won only because of the Hollow.
Ichigo, knocked unconscious by Ulquiorra"s Segunda Etapa, is woken up by Orihime"s plaintive cries. He responds by incarnating himself into a second stage of development: Vasto Lorde Ichigo, the only form in which he is completely unrecognizable.
Before Ulquiorra comprehends the situation, Ichigo is already at his throat, crushing his opponent"s Lanza del Relampago with his bare hands. After ravaging Ulquiorra"s body, he tops it off with a ridiculously overpowered Cero that shatters Las Noches" roof. This version of Ichigo has never appeared since.
5 FGT Ichigo
After three months of Jinzen inside the Dangai, Ichigo achieves a perfect union with Zangetsu, learning the only method that could utterly destroy Aizen (in his Hogyoku form.) His appearance has only slightly changed when he emerges, sporting longer hair and a chain wrapped around his arm.
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Aizen proves to be a difficult enemy, morphing into a far more powerful Hollow form with the Hogyoku. Ichigo then unleashes the FGT, or Final Getsuga Tenshou — his torso and jaw now wrapped in grey pieces of cloth, his hair pitch black and long. His Mugetsu obliterates Aizen, defeating him once and for all.
Upon losing all his powers after stopping Aizen, Ichigo finds out about a new power that only humans possess. He undergoes training under Kugo Ginjou, achieving his Fullbring form at the end. Here, he is covered in a bony armor from head to toe, obtaining a short sword with a glimmering edge.
Fullbring Ichigo can generate swirling blasts of reiatsu, comparable to Getsuga Tenshou in appearance, if not in strength. Luckily for him, Ginjou steals his Fullbring, allowing Rukia to inject him with Shinigami powers once again.
3 Shinigami Ichigo (Rebuild)
After failing to defeat Yhwach (and having his bankai sliced cleanly in half by Haschwalth), Ichigo travels to the Royal Realm, where swordmaster Oetsu Nimaiya teaches him how to really commune with Zangetsu. Here, he discovers that both his Quincy and his Hollow powers belong to him, neither of them being an unwanted side-effect as he once believed.
Nimaiya forges his new zanpakutos, and after a blinding flash of light, Ichigo is left holding two black Zangetsus, one short and solid, the other long and hollow. At this point, Ichigo can perform a double Getsuga, known as Getsuga Juujishou, with devastating effect.
With his dual zanpakutos, Ichigo merely has to combine them together to form his new bankai: the smaller zanpakuto filling the hollowed out space in the larger. The outer section of his bankai turns white, and a chain appears, connecting the hilt with the edge of the blade.
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Since Ichigo has achieved the full power of his bankai, his appearance changes as well. A horn juts out of his left temple, one of his eyes glow yellow, and two black stripes run down his face. This form mirrors that of the Tensa Zangetsu he fought during Jinzen, an obvious foreshadowing of his true nature.
1 Pure Ichigo
In the final battle, Uryuu plays his trump card, the arrowhead forged of Still Silver that halts Yhwach"s powers for a few seconds. In that moment, Ichigo rushes at him with his broken bankai, and Yhwach tries to stop it with his hands, breaking off the white rim.
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The sword revealed underneath is identical to Ichigo"s original shikai, which cuts Yhwach in half, ending his reign of terror for good. The orange-haired hero never fights again.
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