We all know that Ichigo is the protagonist of the Bleach manga and anime. On top of that, he is also the strongest among all of the protagonists, as he was able to defeat some of the strongest enemies in the series almost all on his own. Of course, true to shonen tradition, Ichigo used multiple forms throughout his entire life as the main character of Bleach. This allowed him to assume powerful forms that were able to take him to the next level.
Ichigo probably has more forms than the regular shonen protagonist. This also implies that some of these forms are stronger than others, as Ichigo needed to progress to another form to defeat his opponent. In that regard, we are here to rank the strongest forms of Ichigo in the entire Bleach manga and anime.
13. Human Form
Of course, Ichigo began the Bleach storyline as a human being that was yet to become a Shinigami. That means that he doesn’t have powers while he is in this form, even though he does have the capability to do some of the things that normal humans can do. But that also means that, as a regular human being, he has all of the conventional weaknesses that humans have.
Nevertheless, in his human form, Ichigo is strong enough to beat other humans, as it is possible that he is at peak levels in terms of his strength, athleticism, and other physical capabilities. But against the enemies he has encountered in Bleach, he wouldn’t be able to do anything against them while he is in his human form.
12. Basic Shikai
When Ichigo met Rukia in the early part of the Bleach storyline, he became a substitute Shinigami that obtained her reiatsu. In this state, he was strong enough to stand up against powerful hollows that most Shinigami would struggle against. However, he only became stronger while he was in this form, as he learned how to use his powers.
Ichigo was strong enough that he was able to defeat a restrained Zaraki Kenpachi, who we all know is one of the strongest captains in Soul Society. He also defeated the lieutenants that worked under Kenpachi, as it was clear that Ichigo was special and quite strong even in his regular shikai form.
11. Basic Bankai
As strong as Ichigo was in his shikai form, he needed to get to the next level because there were other characters that he needed to defeat if he wanted to rescue Rukia in Soul Society. As such, he had to train with Youruichi, who was a powerful Shinigami herself, as she used to be one of the captains of Soul Society.
While he was in this form, Ichigo’s appearance changed as he became a black-robed figure with a traditional katana (now color black) instead of the large sword he wielded in his shikai form. While in his Bankai form, he was able to match Byakuya Kuchiki in a battle of their Bankai. Ichigo is now more of a darker figure while he is in this state.
Ichigo first assumed his hollow form in the battle against Byakuya, who was powerful enough to make his Bankai form struggle. Because he struggled against Byakuya, he had to break his limits by going to a new power level, and that was the reason he had to enter his hollow form. In this form, Ichigo was strong enough that he was able to block Byakuya’s sword with his bare hands.
The problem was that the hollow within Ichigo was the one in control over this form, as Ichigo had no control over what he was doing. So, as powerful as his hollow form was, he wasn’t the true Ichigo in every sense of the word. Still, after Ichigo overcame this form, he became more efficient in his use of his Bankai. That was how he was able to match Byakuya’s attacks after initially struggling against him.
9. Full Hollow
Ichigo needed to control his inner hollow because he understood the power that this form had. That was the reason why he had to train with the Vizards, which were a group of Shinigami that also had hollow powers that they could control. As such, when Ichigo was training with them, he was overcome by his hollow form, as he became the White Ichigo that represented his hollow side. Meanwhile, in the real world, he assumed the form of a full hollow.
In this form, Ichigo was at his most monstrous state, as he really did look like a hollow. He had white skin and a beastly appearance, and a hollow mask. During this time, he was strong enough to give the Vizards some problems. But while he was indeed strong, the problem was that he wasn’t in control over his actions and was more of a mindless beast.
8. Hollow Mask
In his inner world, Ichigo was finally able to defeat his hollow form, as this was what the Vizards were trying to help him with. That was the reason why he could now assume his hollow mask form, as he could wear a hollow mask that enhances his powers and makes his Bankai form much stronger than it was.
Due to how the form enhances Ichigo’s Bankai, it allows him to deal with powerful strikes that allowed him to overpower some of the strongest Arrancar, which included Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez. However, the problem was that Ichigo could not sustain this form for a long time, and that was why he used his form strategically.
7. Fullbring Bankai
In his final fight against Aizen, Ichigo lost the use of his Shinigami powers, as he had to exhaust himself using one of the strongest forms he had ever had. As such, he spent seventeen months living the life of a regular human being, as he was completely cut off from the events happening in Soul Society. However, he got involved with the Fullbringers, whose powers were similar to Sado’s. And that was when Ichigo was able to make use of a new power.
Nevertheless, while he was strong in this form, his powers were stolen from him. The good thing was that Rukia arrived to help him and restore his Shinigami powers. As such, he was able to combine his Shinigami powers with his Fullbring powers after he recovered his Fullbring capabilities. This allowed Ichigo to augment his normal Shinigami powers and even change his appearance. And when he activated his Bankai, he became even stronger than he already was.
6. Vasto Lorde
The Vasto Lorde version of Ichigo manifested in his fight with Ulquiorra Cifer, who was the only Arrancar that had a second form. It was the fact that Ulquiorra had another form that made him arguably the strongest Arrancar. This form was awakened when he couldn’t defeat Ulquiorra and even suffered a fatal blow that nearly killed him. But this only awakened his Vasto Lorde form, which was his strongest form at that time.
At that time, this was Ichigo’s true hollow form, as he was able to match Ulquiorra’s powers. He even overpowered Ulquiorra as he speed-blitzed the Arrancar. Despite the fact that Ulquiorra had a power called Lanza del Relámpago, which could cause a nuclear explosion, Vasto Lorde Ichigo was able to block the attack, as this was the form that allowed him to defeat the extremely powerful Arrancar.
There was a point in time when Aizen defeated all of Ichigo’s companions, as that was when Isshin Kurosaki told his son to go to the Dangai, which was a different dimension that existed between Soul Society and the Human World. Think of this area as the Hyperbolic Time Chamber of Dragon Ball as time moved differently here compared to the real world. Ichigo trained hard while he was in the Dangai, as he spent nearly three months there, even though only an hour had passed in the real world.
After Ichigo returned from this dimension, he had long hair and was extremely strong. He now had a better connection with his Bankai, as he was able to overpower Aizen right after appearing. He even countered most of Aizen’s attacks while he was in this form, as it was clear that Ichigo had reached a new level of power.
4. Merged Hollow
Ichigo’s merged hollow form made its debut during the Thousand Year Blood War arc, as the protagonist was fighting Yhwach, who was the strongest Quincy and was arguably the strongest character at that time. This form appeared near the end of the Bleach manga, as he was able to assume this form by merging all of his different powers.
While he was in this form, Ichigo was incredibly fast and strong as he pushed Yhwach on the defensive. However, Yhwach was still a lot more powerful than Ichigo, even though the protagonist was able to actually surprise him with an attack that combined Getsuga Tensho with a Gran Rey Cero. This attack was the manifestation of his existence as a Shinigami and as a hollow.
3. Final Getsuga Tensho
In the final parts of Ichigo’s fight against Aizen, the incredibly strong Shinigami was able to reach a new power level that Ichigo couldn’t defeat. As such, Ichigo had to activate his Final Getsuga Tensho form, which allowed him to defeat and incapacitate Aizen long enough for Soul Society to restrain him and keep him locked up for all eternity.
Ichigo achieved this form when he was training in the Dangai. So, when he fought with the merged spirit called Tensa Zangetsu, he was able to obtain this form as he accepted the powers of the spirit. That was how he was able to achieve the Final Getsuga Tensho, which allowed him to become an incredibly strong being that used an attack called Mugetsu, which was what allowed him to weaken Aizen.
2. True Shikai
Ichigo’s Zanpakuto actually broke during a fight with Jugram Haschwalth, who was one of Yhwach’s subordinates. That was when he made his way to the Soul King Place to repair his sword, but that was when he learned that the hollow in him was his true Zanpakuto.
Meanwhile, Zangetsu was merely the spirit that was repressing his hollow form. But he released his influence over Ichigo’s inner hollow, as that was when he achieved his true shikai. In this form, Ichigo wielded two blades compared to only one. He was also strong enough to give Yhwach and his subordinates trouble, as he was now even more powerful than he ever was.
1. True Bankai
Of course, since Ichigo had a true shikai, he also had a true Bankai that he was able to unlock to obtain a power that was more than enough to handle his fight against Yhwach. Ichigo achieved this form by merging his two swords together, as this was his Bankai while he was in his true form. As such, he was now stronger than ever and was able to match the strongest character in Bleach.
In this form, Ichigo was finally a true threat to Yhwach, who was stronger than even the strongest Shinigami in Soul Society. While Yhwach managed to break Ichigo’s sword when he altered the future, his Bankai was restored later on and was able to allow Ichigo to land the final strike on his incredibly powerful opponent.