One of the things that we saw about Ichigo Kurosaki in Bleach was that he always had the powers of a Hollow, as this was something that he inherited from his mother’s human side. Of course, using the powers of a Hollow allowed him to become even more powerful but at the cost of a lot of energy while also making it more difficult for him to control his power. Of course, during the Fullbring arc, Ichigo obtained a new form called Fullbring Bankai, which combines traces of his Fullbring powers with his Bankai. But can Ichigo still use Hollowfication?
Ichigo can still use Hollowfication after he had restored his Shinigami powers during the Fullbring arc. His Hollow side was always a part of him that never left. However, he didn’t get a chance to use it during the early part of the Thousand-Year Blood War arc because there was no opportunity for him to do so.
Ichigo’s Hollow form was always what allowed him to bridge the gap between himself and his powerful opponents, but he eventually became powerful enough to stand up against some of the most powerful enemies in Bleach without relying on it. As such, Ichigo didn’t use this form during the early part of the Thousand-Year Blood War before his Zanpakutō was destroyed. Now, let’s talk more about the Hollow powers of Ichigo and whether or not he could still use them.
Can Ichigo Still Use Hollowfication?
One of the things that we always knew about Ichigo was the fact that he possesses incredible powers due to his status as a human Shinigami with immense potential. However, another thing that we also saw regarding Ichigo was the fact that he could transform into a Hollow, which is a creature of immense hatred and power. As such, whenever Ichigo was in a bind during the early parts of the Bleach anime and manga, he transformed into his Hollow form, which he struggled to control.
Joining up with the Visored and training with them before the Hueco Mundo invasion, however, allowed Ichigo to learn how to use his Hollow powers because the Visored, who also have Hollow forms, have trained in the art of using something called Hollowfication, which involved them wearing their Hollow masks for a temporary period of time to augment their powers. As such, Ichigo became even more powerful whenever he assumed his Hollow form.
It was Ichigo’s Hollow form that allowed him to bridge the gap between himself and his opponents. In fact, in the fight against Ulquiorra, he assumed a Hollow form that completely took over him and allowed him to finally defeat one of the most powerful of the Espada. But after the entire war against Aizen, Ichigo never used his Hollow form again, especially after he lost his Shinigami powers in that fight against Aizen. So, can Ichigo still use Hollowfication?
Ichigo can still use Hollowfication in Bleach even after he lost his Shinigami powers in the fight against Aizen and recovered those powers again during the events of the Fullbring arc. That’s because his Hollow side was always a part of him because this is something that he was born with. His Hollow side has always been a natural part of his entire existence because it was something that he inherited from his mother, who was human but also a Quincy.
As such, even after he actually relied a lot on his Hollowfication during the war against Aizen, Ichigo was still very much capable of using it. His Hollow side has become something that he had accepted as a perpetual part of his existence.
Is Hollowfication Possible In Fullbring Bankai?
We previously mentioned that Ichigo lost his Shinigami powers during the events of the final fight against Aizen. In his final attack, which was his Final Getsuga Tenshō, he lost all of his Shinigami powers. However, another interesting piece of detail here is that, during the Fullbring arc, Ichigo’s powers as a Shinigami were restored, and that meant that he was now able to use his Zanpakutō again.
In fact, when he assumed his Bankai form, it merged with the remnants of his Fullbring powers, and that was why he now has an even more powerful form that is often called Fullbring Bankai. But could Ichigo still use Hollowfication in his Fullbring Bankai form?
Ichigo can still use his Hollowfication when he assumes his Fullbring Bankai form. That’s because this Bankai form is still similar to his usual Bankai but is only strengthened by the remnants of Ichigo’s Fullbring powers. On top of that, as mentioned, Ichigo’s Hollow side has always been a part of who he is.
In the Thousand-Year Blood War arc in the anime, we never saw Ichigo using his Hollowfication during the first invasion of the Quincys on Sereitei because of the fact that he never really had any real purpose of relying on his Hollow form. His Fullbring Bankai was already more than enough for him to handle Asguiaro Ebern and Quilge Opie, as they weren’t strong enough to warrant the need to use Hollowfication.
Meanwhile, in the fight against Yhwach, Ichigo didn’t use Hollowfication, probably because there was no opportunity for him to do so. He immediately attacked Yhwach while he was in his Fullbring Bankai. He was also defeated without too much trouble on the part of the king of the Quincies. Of course, Jugram Haschwalth destroyed Ichigo’s Zanpakutō with a single strike. As such, Ichigo didn’t get the opportunity to use his Hollowfication in that battle against Yhwach.
However, after Ichigo reforged his true Zanpakutō in the manga, he was able to blend his Quincy and Hollow forms such that they were in perfect balance. Still, he could use Hollowfication when he is overwhelmed with Quincy reiatsu.
But unlike his previous Hollowfication, Ichigo no longer has to wear a Hollow mask to use Hollowfication. Instead, what happens is that his body will simply transform into a Hollow-like state when his Hollow side ends up overwhelming his body. This is often called his Merged Hollow Form.