‘Bleach’: How Did Toshiro Hitsugaya Become Zombie & What Happened to Him?

How Did Toshiro Hitsugaya Become Zombie & What Happened to Him?

Toshiro Hitsugaya is one of the most popular characters from Bleach; even Kubo himself said in one interview that he liked Hitsugaya a lot and that he was glad to see that the fans accepted him. The Captain of the 10th Division, he is the youngest among the Captains, and while he is, as a Soul, hundreds of years old, he actually looks like a young boy. Shunsui Kyoraku, the current Captain-Commander, has stated that Hitsugaya is so talented that he might surpass all of them when he reaches their age. And indeed, Hitsugaya was an exceptionally powerful and talented Shinigami, but there was an episode where he became a zombie. A what? Yup, you’ve read it correctly, Toshiro was a zombie for a short period of time during the Quincy Blood War, and we are going to explain how that happened and what happened to Toshiro later.

After getting his Bankai back and defeating Cang Du, Toshiro Hitsugaya collapsed because he was out of energy after fighting Cang Du and Bazz-B. Giselle Gewelle, the Sternritter “Z” (“The Zombie”), reached him before he died, covered him in her blood, and that allowed her to transform him into a zombie. Since he was not dead at the time of the transformation, he retained much of his original strength and reflexes. He was ultimately saved by Mayuri, who freed him of Giselle’s control, completely healed him, and returned him to normal.

The rest of this article is going to be about Toshiro Hitsugaya and the time he was turned into a zombie by Giselle Gewelle, the Sternritter “Z” (“The Zombie”). This was a brief episode during the Quincy Blood War, but it was an interesting one, and we understand why fans actually want to know what happened and how Hitsugaya became a zombie. Be careful, though, as the article will be full of spoilers.

Giselle Gewelle used Toshiro’s fatigue to turn him into a zombie, but Mayuri managed to fix everything

One of the most talented Shinigami in the history of Soul Society, Toshiro Hitsugaya, had a very rough time during the Quincy invasion of the Seireitei. While he was ready to fight and was on the front lines, he actually suffered a lot of setbacks until he returned and helped defeat the seemingly invincible Gerard Valkyrie in the Soul King Palace.

During Wandenreich’s first attack, Hitsugaya’s and Matsumoto’s first battle was against Cang Du, the Sternritter “I” (“The Iron”). During the fight, Captain Hitsugaya activated his Bankai in order to see how Cang Du would seal it, but when Cang Du actually stole it, he was shocked and told Matsumoto to inform all the other Captains about it via the tenteikūra.

Toshiro lost his Bankai, and he has then seen training with the other Shinigami to hone his basic skills so he could prepare for the next round of fighting, even without his Bankai.


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Yhwach did not wait long for a second attack and transformed the Seireitei landscape into the Wandenreich, thus creating a completely new battlefield. Bazz-B, the Sternritter “H” (“The Heat”), attacked a group of Shinigami, but Hitsugaya arrived and blocked his fire with a wall of ice before it reached the Shinigami.

He stalls Bazz-B for a moment while Matsumoto gets the other Shinigami to safety. Meanwhile, Bazz-B makes fun of Hitsugaya’s thin ice walls and claims he can easily destroy them. However, when Matsumoto joins him again, Hitsugaya uses her to create an ice wall that Bazz-B’s fire cannot penetrate. It is a multi-layer vacuum ice wall.

Hitsugaya explains that his Zanpakuto differs between Shikai and Bankai almost exclusively in the amount of ice it generates, so he was looking for a way to fight with little ice. Eventually, he also manages to supposedly knock down Bazz-B with an ice attack. Bazz-B is unharmed, however, and when Hitsugaya realizes he can’t win without his Bankai, he orders the retreat. However, the Sternritter pierces the ice wall and the Captain’s chest with his “Burner Finger” technique.

As the injured Captain tries to flee, Bazz-B knocks him out with a second Burner Finger attack. However, Hitsugaya is then, ironically, “saved” by Cang Du, who arrives and reminds Bazz-B that Yhwach ordered that those who managed to steal a Captain’s Bankai had to kill their respective Captains.

Cang Du activates the stolen Bankai, but it disintegrates and damages the Quincy after Hitsugaya touches Urahara’s black pill, which briefly Hollowifies a Bankai; namely, while working in Hueco Mundo, Urahara discovered why the Quincy hated the Hollows so much – it wasn’t out of any moral reasons, it was because the Hollow’s Reiatsu was toxic for them so he used that fact to stop the Sternritter from keeping the Bankai. Using his Hollowfied, recovered Bankai, the injured Hitsugaya narrowly manages to defeat Cang Du before collapsing unconscious.

The next time we see him, though, he came back in a very different form. Namely, at the time, the Shinigami engaged some of the Sternritter, and Mayuri Kurotsuchi managed to witness the use of Giselle Gewelle’s ability, “The Zombie.” With this ability, Giselle cannot be truly killed by any attack.

Even with the largest cuts, she can continue to talk and walk as if nothing happened. In addition, she gains complete control over another person’s body as soon as they come into contact with Giselle’s blood. Those affected then become her “zombies,” which Giselle can command at will and even force her to commit suicide. She used this on numerous dead Shinigami, but also on Bambietta Basterbine, the Sternritter “E” (“The Explosion”), who was almost killed by Komamura.

Now, Giselle explained that her effectiveness with her ability depends on the Reiatsu of her target – the stronger the target, the more blood she needs. This is why, in the case of a Captain- or Sternritter-level target, she has to bathe them in her own blood, which turns their skin darker (like Bambietta, but later also Muguruma and Otoribashi). She also revealed to Mayuri that she could take control of living people as well and that her non-dead targets actually retain most of their strength and reflexes.

Going back to Hitsugaya’s fight against Cang Du, we know that he was on the ground, unconscious. At one point, Giselle, as she admitted, prepared for a potential fight and sprayed numerous Shinigami with her blood, including Captain Hitsugaya, which is why he appeared in his zombie form. Mayuri, who was Giselle’s main opponent, said that the fact that he had to fight Hitsugaya would be a problem, but he was ready for that, and he successfully parried the young Captain’s attacks. At one point, he makes Hitsugaya knee him and then administers some drugs to him. Hitsugaya activates his Bankai and kills Mayuri but is then returned back in time before he even attacks Mayuri.

He repeats his again and again until Mayuri explains that the drug allows him to see the future and that every time he kills him, he goes back in time to the point where both of them are alive. Confusing Hitsugaya, Mayuri uses the moment to stab him with his Zanpakuto and paralyze him, after which he administers a seemingly painful drug into him that makes him scream in agony.


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Later, after defeating Giselle, Mayuri takes the injured Captain in a special capsule that heals him completely, and we once again see him in the Soul King palace when he comes to assist Byakuya in the fight against Gerard Valkyrie. So yes, Toshiro Hitsugaya was a zombie for a while, but he was saved and healed by Mayuri, so he is, as of this moment, completely fine.

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