As far as Bleach characters go, Hollows aren’t really a group we’ve been talking about too often here on Fiction Horizon. But, seeing how a largely unknown Hollow played a major part in the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, the story’s protagonist, we had to dedicate an article to that character due to his importance in the story. The Hollow we are talking about is White, an experimental Hollow that Aizen used before the main story began, which greatly impacted Ichigo Kurosaki’s life. This article will tell you who White was and why he was so important.
White was an experimental Hollow created using the Souls of numerous Shinigami in Bleach. Sōsuke Aizen, the main antagonist of the first part of the manga, used White for his experiments years before Ichigo’s birth. White also clashed with Ichigo’s mother, Masaki Kurosaki, and infected her, almost turning her into a Hollow. Isshin and Urahara saved Masaki, but due to the encounter, Ichigo inherited Hollow powers from his mother.
The rest of this article will focus, as you’ve probably deduced for yourselves, on the Hollow by the name of White, who is largely unknown but has played a major role in the final part of Bleach. White is a very interesting character who appeared late in the story and had a major impact on the story, so we will tell you everything you need to know about him. Spoilers from the manga will be present, so be careful how you approach the article.
Who was the Hollow White in Bleach?
Although the Hollows were more important during the original Arrancar Saga, it is a fact that a relatively unknown Hollow played a major part in the story in the later part of the manga. It was a flashback moment, for sure, but it turned out to be a defining moment for Ichigo Kurosaki and his family, which is why the role of this Hollow is so big at the moment. The Hollow in question is called White, and we are going to introduce it in this article.
Hollows are usually born in Hueco Mundo, but White is a notable exception. Namely, this Hollow was actually created in Soul Society from the souls of several Shinigami, as part of Sōsuke Aizen’s research into the process of Hollowfication, which was a major part of his plan to rule over Soul Society. These experiments would later lead to the Hollowification of the Visoreds and the exile of Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin. Aizen’s role in the creation of White had been a secret at the time, so no one knew that he was orchestrating everything from the shadows.
Aizen sent White to Naruki City, which was under the jurisdiction of the 10th Division and is best known as the headquarters of Xcution, the Fullbringer group led by Kūgo Ginjō. Now, White was a very cunning Hollow and quite strong. He was so dangerous and more powerful than your average Hollow. Still, it acted purely on instinct, which is why Aizen could use him for his own goals.
In battle, he would always choose the weakest opponent because he wanted more power, but the fact that he was created from the souls of several Shinigami was visible, as Isshin later noted that he felt like he was fighting a Shinigami rather than a Hollow. Despite that, White did not seem able to normal speech.
Be that as it may, White, during his trips to Naruki City, killed several Shinigami stationed there, prompting the 10th Division’s Captain, Isshin Shiba, to intervene. Now, as a Captain, Isshin was certainly more powerful than White, so he used his Reiatsu to lure White to him, although he did not stop him from killing two other Shinigami since White picked the weaker opponents first. Isshin’s intervention would probably have been over quickly had an unexpected guest not hindered him.
Namely, unknown to Isshin, Sōsuke Aizen himself appeared on the battlefield and cut Isshin from behind, which was a way of stopping Isshin from discovering his own role in all of this. This caused many problems for Isshin, giving White the upper hand in the battle. But Isshin would later get some help before White was forced to self-destruct after being cornered by Isshin and his helper. More on that in the next section.
We’d like to explain another thing about White before continuing with his role in Ichigo Kurosaki’s story. Namely, if you notice his design, you’ll see that White is – which is not all that common among stronger Hollows – almost completely black, save for his mask (which is always white) and the long, back-length hair, which was also white. So, why is such a dark character called White? As you’d expect, Aizen is to “blame” because he is the one who gave this Hollow the name White.
Aizen considered this to be an ironic name. Namely, White’s external appearance was pitch-black, which reflected the evil that White embodied. But, because he was created from the Souls of numerous Shinigami, he had an “inner whiteness” to him, which reflected Aizen’s twisted sense of humor.
How is White connected to Ichigo Kurosaki?
To properly answer this question, we have to revisit the story of how Ichigo’s mother encountered White and how that encounter shaped both her future as well as the future of her son. While she was living with the Ishida family and was set to marry Ryūken, Masaki felt two great Reiatsu converging in the vicinity on a rainy night. She couldn’t sit idly by and wanted to see if she could help. Ryūken initially wanted to stop her but couldn’t. Masaki encountered the wounded Captain Isshin Shiba of the Gotei 13’s 10th Division.
This was in a fight with the Hollow White. With her abilities, Masaki was unable to hit the Hollow, so she let him attack her. White bit Masaki’s shoulder, and Masaki took the opportunity to kill White with an arrow. Isshin thanked his rescuer, who introduced herself as Quincy. Both then returned to their homes but still thought of each other for days.
A few days later, when she was just getting home from school, she met Kisuke Urahara, who noticed something about her. When Masaki returned to the Ishida family mansion, she was confronted by her aunt, who heard from Katagiri about Masaki’s trip helping a Shinigami. Before Masaki could explain herself, she suddenly collapsed, and a Hollow hole slowly opened in her chest. Ryūken ran with her, desperate for help.
He met Isshin, who in turn snuck out of Soul Society to see Masaki again. Ryūken blamed everything on Isshin when Kisuke showed up, explaining that Masaki was suffering from a case of Hollowfication caused by White’s bite. At that time, the Hollow had probably sent some of his Reiatsu into Masaki’s body, whereupon she slowly started to transform into a Hollow.
In his lair, Kisuke explained that he couldn’t fully heal the process but could stop it. However, this would require the Reiatsu of a counterpart to Masaki’s current Hollow-Quincy soul. The counterpart would be a human-Shinigami combination, after which Kisuke explained that he could equip Isshin with a Gigai that suppresses Masaki’s Hollow but robs him of his Shinigami powers and turns him into a normal human.
Isshin agreed without a second thought, wanting to save Masaki now as she had saved him. After the successful treatment, Isshin stayed in the human world and, with Kisuke’s help, set up a small private clinic where Masaki frequently visited him. Isshin and Masaki then fell in love and moved in together after Masaki finished high school.
Masaki couldn’t remain in the Ishida family either way, as her half Quincy/half Hollow Reiatsu would have polluted the family’s bloodline, so her engagement to Ryūken was also broken off. Isshin initially tried to lie to Masaki that he didn’t have Shinigami powers because he was banished for not being able to defeat the Hollow on his own.
However, Masaki saw through the lie but was not angry with him. A year or two later, Isshin and Masaki had Ichigo. And with this, the relevant part of the story of Masaki Kurosaki is over. You can see that the remnants of White’s Reiatsu remained in her even after her Hollowfication was successfully stopped by Isshin Urahara. Since the Hollow’s Reiatsu remained with her in her body, she transferred these powers to Ichigo when he was born.
This explains why Ichigo has both Quincy and Hollow powers, alongside his other powers, and how White, who was killed long before Ichigo was even born, had a major impact on the protagonist’s life.