At the start of the Bleach manga, Rukia stabs Ichigo in the heart with her zanpakuto in order to give him her shinigami powers, which allows him to protect his family from the Hollows.

After that, Ichigo obtains a sealed zanpakuto that he uses (alongside Rukia in a gigai) to fight Hollows around Karakura.

Later, Rukia returns to Seireitei and regains her shinigami powers, which robs Ichigo of his.

This implies that Ichigo had borrowed his powers from Rukia for the run of the Karakura Arc. This is further supported when Ichigo gains his own zanpakuto, Zangetsu, and his sword is unsealed rather than remaining in its more benign state.

Because Ichigo is borrowing Rukia's spirit powers, and because Zangetsu's form appears to be more volatile and less prone to remaining sealed, is the first zanpakuto that Ichigo carries Rukia's zanpakuto Sode no Shiraiyuki?

  • If I recall correctly, most zanpakutoh, even when sealed, have a unique hilt.
    – user74
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 23:38
  • I'd say that since Ichigo was borrowing Rukia's power, it wasn't enough to fully energize his abilities. That would explain the difference between the two sword forms.
    – fbueckert
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 23:40
  • 1
    @user74 Later, Rukia is returned to Seireitei and regains her shinigami powers, which robs Ichigo of his. It should be Ichigo lost his first shinigami power due to Kuchiki Byakuya damaging his spiritual pressure points. Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 6:38
  • @user74, also, what do you mean by this? and because Zangetsu's form appears to be more volatile and less prone to remaining sealed,? Ichigo has huge amount of Reiatsu and that caused Zangetsu to be always in its shikai form. Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 6:41

4 Answers 4


Ichigo doesn't have Sode no Shiraiyuki originally. He loses his powers originally because Byakuya severs his soul chain, which detaches him from being able to touch his powers. He regains the powers because of training with Urahara that also causes him to become

part Hollow.

As quoted from bleach.wiki.com:

[Urahara] explains that Byakuya destroyed the source of his power, leaving him without any Shinigami powers and that he must restore these in order to fight the Shinigami. He explains about Reiryoku, saying that the more one's reiryoku rises, the sharper the movements of their spiritual body becomes. He says that if Ichigo can manage to move even better with his spiritual body than he can with his mortal body, then we will have made a complete recovery of his reiryoku.

More importantly, however, his unsealed zanpakuto is the same both before and after his fight with Renji/Byakuya. To have had Sode no Shiraiyuki previously, he would have needed to have an entirely different sword, which he didn't.

These aren't exactly manga scans, but here are pictures of the sword before and after Ichigo regains his powers:





  • Ichigo may have had Rukia's asauchi , but that is it. the asauchi itself molds its Shikai and bankai from the spirit of its wielder. So at best ichigo had an asauchi that was Shiraiyuki, but was most certainly would not be able to use the ice powers. Thanks to Zaraki, we know zanpaktou can switch wielders, but clearly the asauchi becomes a new zanpaktou of its new wielder. We dont know the stage it was at though, So if there is a point of no return for an Asuichi (like shikai) to return to a blank canvas and become the zanpaktou for its new user is unknown. we will probably never know that
    – Ryan
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 20:47

No. When Ichigo was stabbed, the only thing transferred over was Rukia's Spirit Energy. She lost the ability to call forth her sword and to use Kido effectively, both of which have some bearing on Spirit Energy. However, Ichigo didn't pick up any of her abilities.



When Ichigo was stabbed again (Again, by Rukia) to give him his Shinigami powers after he lost them against Ginjo, he regained his own sword.

That makes it rather hard to believe that he originally had her Zanpakuto.

  • 1
    even though you might add that the form of the sword has drastically changed
    – Vogel612
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 17:15

The blade of the zanpaku-to just channels the spirit of the users zanpuku-to. It was an incomplete manifestation of Zangetsu. So even if he had called Sode no Shiraiyuki, nothing would have happened.

Its like trying to call someone else's spirit (zanpaku-to), when you don't even own it.

  • Please include relevant sources/references.
    – W. Are
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 1:29

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