Other shinigami are always in normal mode, and then when needed, transform into Shikai or Bankai modes. But as soon as Ichigo leaned Bankai mode he never went back to normal mode. Or maybe he is always in normal mode and he always skips Shikai and goes straight into Bankai mode? Why is he different?

  • however they may be able to seal it back, since Yamamoto with his great power could seal ryujin jakka
    – user2841
    Dec 2, 2013 at 4:44

7 Answers 7


According to the Bleach Wiki,

Yoruichi Shihōin has stated that his Zanpakutō is a full-time released form type because of Ichigo's vast but uncontrollable spiritual energy upon generation of it, implying that it is simply a type of Zanpakutō that, without proper control of his spiritual energy, once in Shikai form, remains in said state.

  • 5
    The wiki either has overly creative interpretation of what she says or cites wrong place in manga. When she trained Ichigo she pointed out the fact that he has always released sword, but without offering any explanation for it whatsoever.
    – Rarst
    Jan 6, 2013 at 9:32
  • I thought it was that since each Zanpaktou is unique, that some had a permanent shikai mode. It was referenced(I think) during Ichigo's training. (Idk which)
    – Blue
    Jan 20, 2013 at 17:58
  • was referenced by Urahara, if i recall correctly...
    – Vogel612
    Jul 1, 2013 at 8:23

The two characters with constantly released shikai are Ichigo and Zaraki. Both have trait of excessive energy and Zaraki says so openly as explanation for released state of his sword. Which doesn't necessarily mean he is correct about it - he is not into technical side of things.

Since both of them are quite unconventional characters in setting and their abilities are not fully explored, there was no conclusive reason given for it so far.

  • 4
    zaraki kenpachi's zanpaktou is not a constantly released shikai type, as he has never even used shikai, not (yet) knowing the name of his sword
    – Vogel612
    Jul 1, 2013 at 8:24
  • 2
    @Vogel612 that's old and common theory, based on Zaraki saying it that he is not maintaining seal on his sword (chapter 109). With recent developments it might get disproved, but so far there was nothing to counter it. As per answer - both are unconventional characters, so mulling how technicalities of imaginary rules apply to them might be tad moot point. :)
    – Rarst
    Jul 1, 2013 at 9:20
  • it is a Darn good thing Kenpachi was wrong as his real Zanpaktou is Epic.
    – Ryan
    Apr 19, 2016 at 15:54
  • Not true. Information available at this time from the manga has it that Zaraki has a shikai and that he didn't have a constant release shikai. Byakuya Kuchiki even said that there may have been no such thing as a permanent release. Unconfirmed though for Ichigo, so his may be true (constant release shikai).
    – scoochy
    Jun 5, 2023 at 20:31

Ichigo is always in his Shikai released state. He has been ever since he learned Zangetsu's name.

It is unclear and was never explained.

It's also worth noting that Zangetsu doesn't have a command for awakening.


It is not explained why Ichigo's sword is always in it's released state but many assume it is due to his massive spiritual pressure. although with new information some are considering that it is due to his quincy lineage.

And unlike what Rarst's answer says, Kenpachi Zaraki's sword is not always in its released state. Kenpachi does not have a released state at this point in time is due to the fact that he has never spoken with his zanpakuto. That is just how his swords unreleased state looks just as all soul reaper's have different shaped unreleased zanpakuto. They are all katanas but of different size and shape.

  • would you please refrain from commenting in answers? i know you can't comment on everyones answers yet, but what you said is not helpful...
    – Vogel612
    Jul 1, 2013 at 8:26
  • @Vogel612 I modified the answer to make it a rectification, instead of a response to the other answer.
    – JNat
    Jul 1, 2013 at 13:11

Ichigo is always in shikai mode due to his inability to completely control his massive reiatsu. It is the same with Zaraki, when he openly states that his isn't in its sealed form and that he doesn't even know the name of his zanpakuto, when Ichigo asked him why Zaraki's looked different from everybody else's.

  • but then again my memory might be a little slow on the zaraki thing its been awhile since I've either watched or read the manga for Bleach
    – Archangel
    Sep 13, 2013 at 2:45

Ichigo cannot seal his sword for a few reasons 1. His seal state was destroyed by byakua 2. He dosent know how 3. His spiritual pressure most probably stops him from doing so

and kempatchi has already stated his sword does not have a sealed state due to his sirritual pressure. It maybe not a full shikai state but it isnt a sealed state possibly closer to how umichicas acts as he can partialy release his shikai

  • 1
    Maybe have some sources to confirm it ?
    – Dimitri mx
    Dec 21, 2013 at 18:57

It is not known whether or not Ichigo can reseal his Zanpakuto. However, Zaraki Kenpachi is a different story. Zaraki openly states he never put a seal on his Zanpakuto, opening a new level of discussion. It implies that when Shinigami receive their Zanpakuto they unconsiously put a seal on it which puts it in the common katana state. I could go on typing for days but the short answer is... Tite Kubo probably thinks Ichigo's Shikai looks better that his sealed state.

  • Can you clarify what you mean by "sealed"?
    – kuwaly
    Jan 11, 2014 at 6:19

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