The Hollows are an essential group in Tite Kubo’s Bleach, and they have played a vital role in the first half of the story. After Aizen’s downfall, their role has diminished, but they are still a vital element of the lore, especially due to their connection to Ichigo Kurosaki, the story’s main protagonist. Namely, fans of Bleach will know that Ichigo has Hollow powers thanks to an earlier incident that almost turned his mother into a Hollow and that he has even become a partial and a full Hollow at one point in the series. His complete Hollowfication, as seen during his fight against Ulquiorra in Hueco Mundo. That form is known as Ichigo’s Vasto Lorde form, and in this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about it.
Ichigo’s Vasto Lorde form is the name of his full Hollowfication, achieved during the fight against Ulquiorra Cifer above Las Noches in Hueco Mundo. It is called Vasto Lorde because Ichigo practically became a Vasto Lorde-level Hollow, i.e., the most powerful Hollow in the hierarchy of Hueco Mundo. In this form, he was able to defeat Ulquiorra, who had killed him earlier easily. This event actually triggered his complete Hollowfication.
This article is, thus, going to be more about Ichigo Kurosaki and his Hollow powers, as we are going to explain how and when he turned into a Hollow, focusing especially on his powerful Vasto Lorde form in which he fought and defeated Ulquiorra Cifer. This article is going to give you details from the story and several arcs, so be careful how you approach it, as it is going to contain a lot of spoilers. Nevertheless, we want to explain everything to you, so – here we go!
When Ichigo became a Hollow, he was powerful like a Vasto Lorde, the most powerful type of Hollow
Ichigo Kurosaki is not just the protagonist of Bleach. He is an exceptionally special character. Initially, he seemed to be a more or less regular human who could see ghosts. He would later awaken his Shinigami powers and, with them, also, his Hollow powers.
He would later sacrifice all of it to defeat Aizen, after which he managed to achieve Fullbringer and regain his usual powers. During the battle against Yhwach, it was also discovered that he had Quincy powers, so he became a unique blend of powers, which helped him become so powerful. In this article, we are going to focus on his Hollow powers.
Ichigo inherited his Hollow powers through his mother, a pure Quincy, who was bitten by the Hollow White and whose Hollowfication was stopped by Isshin, who sacrificed his powers to save Masaki. Ichigo inherited these Hollow powers from his mother, and they would activate themselves alongside his Shinigami powers. They were represented by White Ichigo, who would later turn out to be Ichigo’s real Zanpakuto, Zangetsu.
And while Ichigo’s Hollow powers fluctuated and changed, he eventually learned how to be a Visored, but the risk of him Hollowfying completely was always there, and it ultimately happened during his fight against Ulquiorra Cifer.
Ulquiorra was such a difficult opponent, and with his friends being in danger as well, Ichigo lost control and finally became a Hollow, which enabled him to defeat Ulquiorra, but the price was almost too great. The transformation itself occurred in Episode 271 of the anime, titled “Ichigo Dies! Orihime, the Cry of Sorrow!”. The episode premiered on May 18, 2010, and here is the story of how Ichigo became a Hollow.
At the start of the fight, both appear to be evenly matched. However, Loly and Melony show up to torture Orihime. Ichigo wants to protect Orihime, but Ulquiorra says that in order to help her, Ichigo must first defeat him. Ichigo has to endure some attacks because he repeatedly fails to help Orihime. Suddenly, Yammy Llargo shows up and easily defeats Loly and Melony.
He then wants to kill Orihime as well, but Uryū Ishida appears at that moment and stops him. Now that Orihime is safe again, Ichigo can focus on fighting Ulquiorra again and dons his mask. Realizing how strong Ichigo is, Ulquiorra takes the fight outside and assumes his true form to show the difference in power between the two. In the ensuing fight, Ulquiorra pierces Ichigo with a Cero, and while Orihime tries to heal him, the Hollow within him awakens.
This one is now more humanoid in shape than it was when transformed during training with the Visored and is significantly stronger than a regular Hollow or even an Adjuchas-class Menos (possibly even more powerful than a Vasto Lorde. However, this is more speculation given the magnitude of the powers of a Vasto Lorde, especially since we don’t know whether Ulquiorra was a Vasto Lord before his life with Aizen).
He injures Ulquiorra so badly that he dies as a result of the injuries, as even his exceptional regenerative skills were of no use here. However, after Ichigo regains consciousness, he no longer remembers what he did in his Hollow form.
The Vasto Lorde form of Ichigo was amazingly powerful. Ulquiorra, who was the fourth Espada in terms of powers, was no match for him, although he could defeat all of Ichigo’s prior forms.
The Vasto Lorde are the strongest Hollows, and while most Espada was, at one point, Vasto Lorde, Ichigo was still able to trash Ulquiorra. He did not kill him immediately, but he damaged him so much that Ulquiorra, the best in this category, was unable to regenerate.
This is how powerful Vasto Lorde Ichigo was, and this is how he was actually able to become one of Ichigo’s most powerful, but also one of his most dangerous forms. This form did not appear later in the series.