Episode 13 of Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War allowed us to see that Ichigo has finally accepted his identity as a hybrid of three different beings: Shinigami, Quincy, and Hollow. This allowed him to finally forge a new Zanpakutō using the Asauchi that bowed down to him in Oetsu’s palace. After confronting Old Man Zangetsu and saying goodbye to him, Ichigo was able to reforge his new Zanpakutō in the form of two swords. So, why does Ichigo’s Zanpakutō have two swords?
Ichigo’s Zanpakutō has two swords because it represents the two different versions of Zangetsu that he knows. The shorter sword represents the old Zangetsu that was actually the manifestation of his Quincy powers. Meanwhile, the larger sword represents his Hollow Shinigami side.
The fact that Ichigo still recognized Old Man Zangetsu as Zangetsu despite being a fake one was what allowed him to actually pour his entire soul into his new Zanpakutō, which manifested in the form of two swords. In that regard, he was able to accept his identity as he combined his past and future selves into one to form an entirely new weapon that truly represented him. That said, let’s talk more about why Ichigo has two swords.
What Is Ichigo’s True Zanpakutō?
In the earlier episodes of Bleach: The Thousand-Year Blood War, one of the things that we saw was Ichigo’s Zanpakutō getting easily broken in his fight against the Quincys. In that regard, Zero Squad brought him to the Soul King’s domain so that he could heal and then reforge his Zanpakutō. But the problem was that Oetsu wasn’t able to reforge his Zanpakutō because he was yet to accept what he was. After all, a Zanpakutō is the representation and manifestation of the soul of a Shinigami.
Ichigo returned home where his father told him the story of who his mother actually was, and that was when Ichigo learned that his mother was a Quincy that was infected by the power of the powerful Hollow named White. As such Ichigo was finally able to accept who he was after learning about his history, as he was now ready to reforge his Zanpakutō in Oetsu’s palace.
During the part where Oetsu was about to forge Ichigo’s new Zanpakutō, he told him to say goodbye to Zangetsu. That was when Ichigo learned that the Zangetsu he knew wasn’t his true Zanpakutō as Oetsu told him that his true Zanpakutō was one that represented his Hollow and Shinigami sides. As such, Ichigo entered his inner world to confront the old man he always thought was the true Zangetsu.
Old Man Zangetsu told Ichigo that he never wanted him to become a Shinigami due to the fact that he wanted to keep him safe from a dangerous life. That was the reason why Old Man Zangetsu tricked Ichigo into believing that he was the true Zangetsu while he was suppressing Ichigo’s true Shinigami powers.
In that regard, Old Man Zangetsu was the one that represented Ichigo’s fake Zanpakutō. The Zanpakutō he was using before it broke was actually created by the fake Zangetsu using Ichigo’s own Quincy powers. However, now that Old Man Zangetsu has accepted that Ichigo is now strong enough to choose the life of a Shinigami, he was proud enough to say goodbye to him as he disappeared from Ichigo’s inner world while leaving him his true unsuppressed power.
Old Man Zangetsu also revealed to him that his true Zanpakutō was actually the Hollow side within him. That was the reason why the Hollow side of Ichigo always came out during the times when Ichigo needed help as this was his true power. In that regard, Ichigo was now ready to accept and embrace his true Zanpakutō as well.
When Ichigo poured his soul into the Zanpakutō that Oetsu was forging, he thought about Old Man Zangetsu and Hollow Zangetsu. He accepted that the old Man version of Zangetsu was still Zangetsu for him despite the fact that he lied about who he was. As such, Ichigo was able to forge a new Zanpakutō in the form of two swords, to the surprise of Oetsu and the women that were serving him.
Why Does Ichigo’s Zanpakutō Have Two Swords?
As mentioned, Ichigo’s Zanpakutō manifested two swords when they were finally reforged and after he was able to pour his soul into the forging process. This surprised the women that helped Oetsu forge the Zanpakutō as it was unusual for a Shinigami to have two swords for their Zanpakutō. So, why does Ichigo’s Zanpakutō have two swords?
When Ichigo poured his soul into the forging of his new Zanpakutō, he thought about the two different versions of Zangetsu that he knew. The first was Old Man Zangetsu, who he always thought was the true version of his Zanpakutō. Meanwhile, the second was the Hollow version of Zangetsu, who he thought was always just the Hollow side of his soul.
As such, when Ichigo’s Zanpakutō was finally reforged, it formed two swords because it represented Ichigo’s inner soul, especially after he poured his soul into the forging process. It is basically the manifestation of who he is and the different sides that formed his entire being. As such, he needed to have two blades that represented who he truly was.
The smaller sword represented Ichigo’s Quincy side, which he always thought was his true power. Old Man Zangetsu provided him with the power he needed in his past battles, and that is why he was thankful for having him around the entire time. Ichigo never discarded his memory of Old Man Zangetsu despite the fact that he lied about who he was and about suppressing Ichigo’s true power.
Meanwhile, the larger sword represented Ichigo’s true Shinigami powers. This manifested in the form of Hollow Zangetsu, which was formed when Ichigo’s Hollow side merged with his Shinigami powers. This was the very same power that helped him fight all of his tough battles whenever he was in a pinch, as his Hollow side manifested itself during the times when he needed help the most.
So, by accepting the fact that he was a Hollowfied Shinigami and a Quincy, he could now accept who he was. Ichigo now understood the very essence of his soul, and that was the reason why he was able to manifest his Zanpakutō in the form of two swords, which represented the different sides of his power. And by using both of these swords, he is now able to use the full strength of his powers, which are represented by both his Shinigami and his Quincy identities.