Bleach is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary, and to celebrate 20 years of soul-reaping action, the franchise is set to return in some big ways, such as new manga chapters, a continuation of the original anime series, and much more.
Bleach, one of the ‘big three’ of its era in Shonen Jump magazine, has an incredibly interesting cast of characters with an even more interesting set of powers to utilize in intense combat scenarios.
Ichigo Kurosaki, the protagonist of Bleach also joins the ranks of these hugely popular characters with his own powers that quickly made him a force to be reckoned with in the spirit world. By the time the Bleach series came to an end in 2016, Ichigo had easily become one of the strongest Soul Reapers of all time.
However, Ichigo has had to go through some tough battles to bring him that far, and that also involved him losing his powers a few times! Ichigo famously went through the Fullbring arc with a new set of powers, lacking his soul reaper abilities, but does he get his original powers back?
How does he do it? Let’s take a much closer look!
How Does Ichigo First Lose His Powers?
First, it is important to take a look at how Ichigo first lost his powers, to gain an insight into how he was able to get them back!
Ichigo first lost the use of his soul reaper powers as a result of his intense and climactic battle with Sosuke Aizen. At this point in the series, Aizen had easily proven to be the most powerful player in the Bleach world, and, as such, Ichigo had to make some pretty considerable sacrifices.
Before he takes on Aizen in the final battle, Ichigo trains in the Dangai, which is a realm where time does not pass. This allowed him to earn years of training in a matter of seconds so that he could take on his opponent.
Most importantly, in his time in the Dangai, Ichigo learned his ultimate form: The Final Getsuga Tenshou. However, this immensely powerful ability had a significant cost: his soul-reaper powers would be sacrificed for good.
This meant that, once Aizen had been defeated, Ichigo lost the use of his powers. However, he was satisfied, as the spirit world soon became safe, for now…
How Does Ichigo Get His Powers Back Post Fullbring?
The next arc after the explosive ‘Battle of Karakura’ arc is the ‘Fullbring’ arc. This arc is relatively infamous and contentious amongst many Bleach fans, who believe that the series should have ended after Aizen’s defeat.
Within this arc, fans of the series bear witness to Ichigo’s ongoing life as he deals with returning to an ordinary living without his Shinigami powers. Over the course of this arc, Ichigo meets up with a group who refer to themselves as ‘Fullbringers’.
Fullbringers are a group of humans that have developed an acute awareness of their spirituality. This allows them to manipulate and hone the spirits that are present in all things.
It is important to mention that Fullbringers are not Soul Reapers and that they are not wielding their own spiritual energy, but instead the spiritual energy of others.
During his time with the Fullbringers Ichigo manifests his own Fullbring powers, which take a significantly different form to his soul reaper powers. Though Ichigo begins to slowly recover his spirit energy, he never quite returns to his original strength as a fullbringer.
It comes to light, at the end of the arc that the Fullbringer leader Ginjo had been manipulating Ichigo, in order to steal his powers. A group of Ichigo’s old Shinigami friends appear and witness as Ginjo becomes incredibly powerful.
This is the turning point of the arc and the point at which Ichigo obtains his powers. Similar to how he gains his powers at the beginning of the series, Ichigo is stabbed by Rukia’s sword, which has been imbued with spirit energy from many of the Gotei 13 captains.
This causes Ichigo to come back into possession of his Zangetsu and leaves him more powerful than ever before.
What Are Ichigo’s Powers?
As one of the strongest soul reapers in the spirit world by the end of the series, Ichigo Kurosaki naturally has a massive slew of abilities.
On a general level, Ichigo’s speed and power are incredible, even without spiritual powers. However, his reiatsu and his spirit powers significantly increase his combat capabilities, which allows him to stand toe-to-toe with some of the best.
Ichigo’s Zanpakuto can take on the Bankai form of Tensa Zangetsu, which further increases his speed and power. It would also be an incredible disservice to not mention Ichigo’s other power sources.
As a result of how he was given his Shinigami powers, Ichigo also has the powers of a hollow, which causes him to be able to enter a hollo form which causes his strength and speed to increase massively until he becomes animalistic and uncontrollable.
As a result, Ichigo is very wary to ever use his hollow powers, for fear that he may lose control for good.
Ichigo also has Quincy powers. His Zangetsu, the spirit form of his personal abilities, is actually a manifestation of Ichigo’s latent Quincy powers. This means that, since the beginning of the series, Ichigo has been using Quincy abilities! His Quincy powers allow him to increase his strength and defense.
Ichigo Kurosaki is clearly one of the most powerful forces in the world of Bleach. Not only does he have immense spirit energy, and very powerful shinigami abilities, but he also has the powers of a hollow, and a Quincy, making him one of the most accomplished combatants in the spirit world!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Episode Does Ichigo Get His Powers Back After Aizen?
The episode in which Ichigo gets back in touch with his soul reaper abilities is episode 362 of the anime of series.
Does Hollow Ichigo Come Back?
Although Hollow Ichigo has incredible strength, Ichigo does not use it much, as it is a dangerous and volatile ability, thus it does not get used after his fight with Ulquiorra.
Are Bleach Movies Filler?
Technically, yes. The film adaptations of Bleach are not canon to the main-line storyline, and thus could be considered filler.