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The Truth About Bleach's Zangetsu According To The Creator

The popular anime/manga world of "Bleach" is populated by monsters, factions with wildly different agendas, extraplanar dimensions, sentient weapons, and powerful and destructive martial arts techniques. Created by Tite Kubo, "Bleach" follows the exploits of Ichigo Kurosaki (Johnny Yong Bosch), a 15-year-old student who is drafted into politics, wars, and conspiracies involving Soul Reapers, an organization that generally deals with Hollows, which are souls that have been infused with a tremendous amount of negative energy and have turned demonic.

The tools of the trade for Soul Reapers are Zanpakuto, which translates to "soul-cutting sword." Each Zanpakuto is unique to each Soul Reaper, and these self-aware weapons form a partnership that sees both wielder and weapon grow stronger. Ichigo's Zanpakuto is known as Zangetsu, and it is even more powerful due to Ichigo's unique heritage and mixing of skills, and its usage typically results in Ichigo transforming into a brutal and ruthless fighter with an often inverted color scheme and Hollow-like characteristics. Recently, the series creator decided to share their thoughts on Zangetsu's nature, and with the final arc of the anime series soon approaching, it could be exceptionally important information.

Zangetsu exists in a two-sword state

Ichigo himself is the result of Quincy, Hollow, and Soul Reaper lineages, which allows him to access wild and fantastic skills that bridge disciplines. Collecting a roughly translated interview from Tite Kubo, Reddit user u/zazabgfd posted several screen grabs of a conversation detailing Zangetsu. Kubo said of Zangetsu, "I will answer this because I have not described it in detail but I do not intend return to this afterwards. The two swords of Zangetsu are 'sword' and 'scabbard.' The correct shape for the Zanpakuto is that it has a scabbard, and the only ones without a scabbard are Sayafushi and Zangetsu."

Kubo continued, "The two-sword state in which Zangetsu was [reforged] is the 'correct shape,' and the 'True Zangetsu' appears when the Bankai that was contained in the scabbard lose the scabbard/sheath because it was crushed. The crushed scabbard was absorbed into Ichigo, so if he [wants] he can use two-sword sate, but it depends on Ichigo."

It is important to note that there are varying stages of power in "Bleach," and that each Zanpakuto forms a symbiotic relationship with its user. Once a user knows the true name of a Zanpakuto, they can access a state known as Bankai. Each Zanpakuto consists of two parts, and the original scabbard for Ichigo was made from part of his soul. However, he reabsorbs this shattered sheath and can still unlock his full power and duel-wield weapons if he so chooses, but just hasn't as of yet. Ichigo is always tapping into unknown and fantastic powers throughout "Bleach," so really anything is possible.