Why does the Ichigos mask change to Bleach

Hollow Ichigo

I refuse to wear a king weaker than me and be associated with him. If you are weaker than me then I will destroy you and take your crown for myself.
Warning, this article contains spoilers!

Hollow Ichigo


Japanese name


job status


Personal status


first appearance

Manga debut

Voice actor

Hollow Ichigo (虚 (ホ ロ ウ) 一 護, Horō Ichigo) or better titled as The hollow in Ichigo's mind first appeared when Ichigo Kurosaki regained shinigami powers. Hollow Ichigo is an adversary of Ichigo in almost every saga, and especially important in the Arrancar saga, as Ichigo seemed to be losing control and his hollow self was gaining the upper hand. However, he disappeared after Ichigo defeated him in his inner world. Hollow-Ichigo said that he will come back when Ichigo is using and controlling his powers, creating the belief that Ichigo is not yet fully in control of his hollow powers and may return at some point when Ichigo is near death. However, it was also mentioned that Hollow-Ichigo could not penetrate Ichigo's consciousness for a long time after his defeat and - as a result - also cannot protect him if he is about to be defeated. After Ichigo's Zanpakutō has been forged again, it turns out that Hollow-Ichigo is really Zangetsu.

It reappears in a filler after a long time after MuramasaZangetsu has separated from Ichigo and transforms into its complete hollow form, but this is successfully pushed back by Ichigo. He can take over Ichigo's or Kurumi's body

Appearance in Ichigo's consciousness

His entire appearance is practically the opposite of Ichigos, especially his clothes. While Ichigo wears the standard black Shinigami uniform, the Hollow wears a white uniform with a black belt, his skin and hair are completely white and his eyes, in contrast to human beings, are black with yellow irides. Its almost completely white appearance leads to the given name Shirosaki (a play on words, because shiro means white and kuro, from Kurosaki, means black). Hollow-Ichigo also has its own version of Zangetsu, which also contrasts with Ichigo's Zanpakuto in color.

His teeth were black when he first appeared in the anime, but not after that. During the fight against Koga, a few mistakes were made in his eyes in the original version of the anime. They have been corrected in the English version.

When Ichigo emerges into his inner world in the bankaist status, Hollow-Ichigo shows himself in almost the same form with which he defeated Ulquiorra Cifer.

Outward appearance

Hollow Ichigo can also take control of Ichigo's body if Ichigo loses consciousness in a fight. As soon as he does this his hollow mask forms on Ichigo's face and his eyes turn black. His appearance in perfect hollow form is that of a human-like monster with a very muscular body, a mask with four red stripes on the left side, some of Ichigo's hair, and a long, red-tipped tail.

It should be noted that the mask is not complete; there is a gap on the upper right side of the forehead. His left hand is a claw with which he can fire Cero at his opponent, he regenerates at extremely high speed and apparently has the ability to grow additional limbs. He has stings on his shoulders that can probably be used to impale opponents. The color of his cero is red. In addition, unlike other hollow masks, his entire body is covered in the same material from which the hollow masks are made. According to the Visored, it would be the end of the world if Ichigo transformed into a full hollow, and Kurumi can transform into a hollow too.

In the fight against Ulquiorra, the hollow appears in a completely new look. The shape of the mask changes; it now has two long horns and the red stripes on the left side of the mask disappear. This time the mask does not cover the entire body, but only the skull and areas of the neck. Instead, the entire skin turns white.

There is a hole on his chest that suggests he is in his hollow shape. There are four (probably red) stripes from the hole. Two of them run over his eyes, the other two towards his back. Instead of the spines in its first form, it now has fur-like hair extensions on its sternum and on its wrists and ankles. In contrast to his first form, he is less muscular and his long hair is no longer spiky, but straight. He now forms his cero between the two horns. The shape of his body, which is very similar to that of a human (in terms of size and muscles) and not that of a normal hollow, is very reminiscent of that of a vasto lord. This impression is only reinforced by its enormous strength, as it is Ulquiorras, for example Lanza del Relampago stops with your bare hand.

In Chapter 410, Hollow Ichigo appears in this form in Ichigo's consciousness. However, the colors on the mask are reversed. It should be noted that this is the first appearance of Hollow-Ichigo in Ichigo's consciousness when he wears the hollow mask.


The most prominent features of Hollow Ichigo are his insane laugh and insane grin. He is brutal and sadistic, and it seems like he only exists to take over Ichigo's body and kill any person who comes into his field of vision. Hollow Ichigo mocks Ichigo by saying that Ichigo is weak and that Ichigo is not worthy to face him. Hollow-Ichigo fights like a berserk with incredible strength and speed that puts even Ichigo's unusually high level in the shade. He can ignore even the most severe injuries and overwhelms his opponents with brute strength and violence, and despite his aversion to Ichigo, he protects his body from fatal injuries, because if Ichigo dies, he would die too and he says in the Zanpakuto - Filler that it is nothing would bring to kill his masters.

The character of the actual hollow differs from the spirit. Because since the Arrancar saga he has become much more monstrous, aggressive and above all more animal when he is about to take over Ichigo's body and only makes noises. The crazy, sadistic kind has indeed disappeared, but the beast shows itself without any reason, which wants to extinguish its opponents with brute force.

Despite everything, he seems to be wise, as he often teaches Ichigo a few lessons and can also assess his strength well, but not his willpower. He also claims that he is his true instinct.


1st saga: substitute hinigami

He does not appear directly in this saga, but he is born here. After Ichigo loses his borrowed shinigami powers from Rukia Kuchiki, he tries to get his own through Kisuke Urahara. Ichigo was almost hollowfied in the process. Because as a plus, Ichigo has to escape tied up by Bakudo # 99 within three days from a pit before his chain of fate completely disintegrates and he then becomes a hollow. After the time is almost up and he's still in the pit, Ichigo is hollowfied. Even before he becomes completely hollow, Zangetsu can still contact him and Ichigo realizes that he is his Zanpakuto. Ichigo is still getting his shinigami powers back when he remembers a conversation with Uryuu Ishida. Ichigo comes out of the hole as a Shinigami with a hollow mask and breaks his hollow mask with Zangetsu's grip. Since then he has been carrying the remains of the remaining hollow mask with him, but is not aware of the existence of hollow ichigos.

2nd saga: Soul Society

Ichigo is seriously injured in the fight against Renji Abarai. The mask can still protect him from serious injuries. After Ichigo was healed by Hanataro, Hanataro throws the mask into the sewer. When Ichigo is badly wounded in the fight against Kenpachi Zaraki, Zangetsu helps Ichigo by leading him into Ichigo's inner world and using Hollow-Ichigo - his official first appearance - as a sparring partner for Ichigo, so that Ichigo understands what Zangetsu really means to Ichigo. He demonstrates this with his unusual handling and strength with Zangetsu, while Ichigo leads a nameless Zanpakuto, which becomes like a stick against Zangetsu. Ichigo recognizes Zangetsu's strength and asks Zangetsu to be allowed to lead him again. When Hollow-Ichigo strikes for the last blow, Ichigo suddenly holds Zangetsu in his hand again and Hollow Ichigo holds the nameless Zanpakuto in his.

After Hollow-Ichigo "let him win", Ichigo returns in reality to continue fighting Kenpachi Zaraki. In the final collision of their swords, both are so badly wounded that they are unable to fight and fall unconscious to the ground. While Kenpachi is being carried away by his vice-commander Yachiru, Ichigo is rescued by Yoruichi. When he regains consciousness, Yoruichi shows him, to Ichigo's amazement, his mask, which has protected him again. In the fight against the final fight Byakuya Kuchiki, Ichigo's bones are broken in the whole body by his own Bankai and so Hollow-Ichigo intervenes for the first time. Not only is this change surprising Ichigo's opponent, but also the Kuroi Getsuga that Hollow-Ichigo uses. Ichigo can push back his inner hollow, however. The intervention of Hollow-Ichigo caused Byakuya to be so badly injured that a final attack brings Ichigo victory.

3. Saga: Bount (Filler)

At the moment, when Ichigo is about to be killed by BountGō Koga and his Doll, Hollow-Ichigo steps in, which completely surprises the opponents. Kōga wonders, since Ichigo is only a Shinigami, but Hollow-Ichigo doesn't feel addressed because it really only means Ichigo. After a short small talk, he immediately attacks the Doll Dark and escapes their counterattacks. He can easily pierce it with Zangetsu, runs with her several meters out of the construction site and defeats Koga's Doll by tearing her to pieces. Hollow Ichigo's joy is neglected, however, because Ichigo regains control of the body and gets help from Izuru Kira.

In addition, Hollow-Ichigo intervenes for a very brief moment in the final fight against Jin Kariya, when Ichigo is at a disadvantage and unable to move for a few seconds because of Hollow-Ichigo. Kariya, who tried to give Ichigo the fatal blow, is attacked by Hollow-Ichigo with a Kuroi Getsuga and backs away. But since only Ichigo's eye color has changed and no mask has been created, the control over Ichigo's body was only for a very short time and Ichigo comes to again. Ichigo later gains victory after a final attack.

4th saga: Arrancar

Hollow-Ichigo gets in Ichigo’s fights against the Arrancar (Yammy and Grimmjow) so much that Ichigo gets scared and he asks the Visoreds for help. The condition for this: he must show that he is worthy and should show his mask. Ichigo refuses, which is why he is forced to do so in battle. When Hollow-Ichigo steps in, the Vizards can overpower him immediately. You accept to help Ichigo. After a while, Ichigo is annoyed because he was walking on the Super Hiyori Walker the whole time and asks the Vizards to help him faster. They agree and bring him to their training ground. So Ichigo gets into a trance through a "kido procedure" and the hollow slowly takes control while the Vizards fight him.

Ichigo is in his inner world and the fight between Ichigo and Hollow-Ichigo starts again. Since Ichigo Zangetsu does not find his other self again, Hollow-Ichigo introduces himself as Zangetsu. He explains that it depends on Ichigo's strength who becomes Ichigo's main source of strength. When the fight begins, they both use their bankai. But Ichigo was unable to injure the hollow even after many exchanges of blows while he was injured and stabbed himself. Ultimately, Ichigo is defeated and his sword breaks. After a short conversation about the "king-horse principle" with his inner hollow and another conversation with an inner manifestation of Kenpachi Zaraki (in the anime also Jin Kariya and Byakuya Kuchiki are added), Ichigo realizes that what is his in the fight is missing, the pure fight instinct is. After this realization, Ichigo comes to, grabs the Hollow's sword and impales him with it.

While Ichigo is busy against his inner hollow, the Visoreds have to fight the hollow in reality. Hollow-Ichigo can break free with ease and immediately fights Lisa Yadomaru. When the two Ichigos release their Bankai during their fight, a hollow hole is created in the real body.

Later you see the hollow in the bankais stage with an almost fully masked face fighting Lisa, she is then replaced by Kensei Muguruma. When he cuts him, he regenerates me immediately and Kensei uses a technique against him that cuts off his left arm in the manga. A kind of gray worm comes out that attacks Kensei immediately, but is immediately destroyed again. Hollow-Ichigo's left arm is regenerated and hollowfied. Even later you see the hollow fighting the last Visored Love Aikawa. Ichigo's body is already completely hollowfied and is dying to fire his Cero. When Love is about to use his mask because he would not survive the attack, the hollow's left shoulder bursts and the visoreds bring Love out of the battlefield. While Ichigo has conquered his inner hollow, the hollow explodes in reality.

Ichigo disappears into reality, his hollow tamed at least for the moment, and wears his hollow mask. Ichigo still managed to subjugate his Inner Hollow and use his powers. He has been using this in every saga since then.

6. Saga: Shūsuke Amagai (Filler)

Apart from the fact that Ichigo uses his mask against Hanza Nukui and against Shūsuke Amagai, you can see Hollow-Ichigo smiling briefly in Ichigo's mind. This is because Ichigo's shinigami powers are sealed by Amagai's Bakkōtō and Ichigo relies on his mask to fight Amagai; when Amagai mentions during the fight that Ichigo can't use his full strength, he doesn't care and Hollow-Ichigo can be seen. The meaning for this, however, is unknown.

10. Saga: Zanpakuto Rebellion (Filler)

After Muramasa Zangetsu had freed Ichigo, a fight broke out between the owner and Zanpakuto. Ichigo is about to lose, but Hollow-Ichigo has taken control and battles Zangetsu. Muramasa, the spectator of the fight, learns from Zangetsu that this is another soul in Ichigo's personality. Zangetsu and Hollow-Ichigo both use their Getsuga Tenshō, whereas Hollow-Ichigo is black (both fight with Shikai). The materialized Zanpakutō dodges the savage attacks of his opponent and injured him twice, which instantly regenerates. In the second injury, however, the gray worm reappears and attacks Zangetsu, who destroys him. Hollow-Ichigo's arm is hollowfied and then used for complete hollowfication. In his full hollow form he fights against Zangetsu, who fends off all sword blows, but then he rams Zangetsu with his head, causing the latter to fly back a few meters and the hollow shoots his Cero off him. But Zangetsu uses Getsuga Tenshō in time and is only caught by the pressure wave of the Ceros. This time Muramasa intervenes and cuts the hollow in the back, but this does not help because it regenerates immediately. Hollow-Ichigo slowly approaches the nearest enemy, but the real Ichigo pushes the hollow back and regains his body.

When Muramasa appears in Ichigo's soul and fights against Ichigo, he emerges from the ground after his king has been defeated. Muramasa asks Hollow-Ichigo what he is and he replies that he could be described as Ichigo's instinct. Hollow-Ichigo says when Muramasa tries to introduce himself that he doesn't care who he is and that it wouldn't change anything if he introduced himself; so Hollow-Ichigo attacks him after Muramasa tries to pull the inner hollow on his side like the Zanpakutō. Muramasa observes the abilities of the inner hollow and takes the strong attacks calmly. But when the hollow in Ichigo is conquered by the power of Muramasa, Ichigo intervenes and saves his other self. Ichigo explains that he accepts his other self and attacks Muramasa, so that the two of them returned in reality.

In the decisive fight against Zangetsu, the inner hollow helps his king again, on the condition that his king is not allowed to use the mask.He also explains to Ichigo that it will be difficult to wield him as a sword. But together they are more powerful in Shikai than Zangetsu in Bankai. Ichigo and Hollow-Ichigo use silmutan a Getsuga Tenshō, which unites both forces and surpasses and defeats the Kuroi Getsuga of Zangetsu.

11. Saga: Fake Karakura 2

Since even Ichigo's powers with Bankai and hollow mask are not enough to defeat Ulquiorra Cifer, he is pierced by him with a Cero. Ichigo hears Orihime's desperate screams and desperately wants to help her; it takes on a new hollow shape. Ulquorria is amazed at this form, but receives no information from Hollow-Ichigo and wants to shoot his Cero Oscuras. The Hollow countered with his own Cero, which amazed the Arrancar again. During the fight, Hollow-Ichigo can cut off his opponent's left arm, but Ulquiorra also has the ability of high-speed regeneration and makes his strongest attack: Lanza del Relampágo. He throws it at his opponent, but misses him, which is why he's already the second Lanza del Relampágo created; But Hollow-Ichigo ignores the extreme explosion behind him and uses his Sonído, which surprises the Cuatro Espada again. In the end, he breaks Ulquiorra's most powerful weapon with his bare hands and fatally wounds him with a sword blow. Immediately afterwards he shoots Ulquiorra, who is lying on the ground, at close range with his Cero, which pierces the roof of Las Noches.

The seriously injured Ulquiorra is said to be killed with a final fatal blow, but Ishida stops Hollow-Ichigo so that he does not lose his humanity. But the hollow throws the Tensa Zangetsu at the Quincy and pierces him. Orihime realizes why Ichigo had changed when she heard his murmur. He is determined to save her. But their calls are of no use when Hollow-Ichigo recharges his Cero to shoot Ishida down, but Ulquiorra just manages to cut off one of the horns, whereupon the Cero explodes and Ichigo regenerates. Before Ichigo and Ulquiorra can continue their fight, the Espada dies after being attacked by Hollow Ichigos.

12. Saga: Deicide

Hollow-Ichigo appears again, this time with the horned mask, during Ichigo's training in the Dangai when he wants to learn the final Getsuga Tenshō there. Ichigo comes into his inner world, where he finds the flooded city and the young Tensa Zangetsu