Bleach: Why Does Mayuri Change His Appearance so Often? Explained!

Why Does Mayuri Change His Appearance so Often in Bleach? Explained!

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Bleach fans will certainly remember the first time they met Mayuri Kurotsuchi. The eccentric Captain of the 12th Division fought Ishida and almost died during the battle, but as it later turned out, he had much more to offer in battle. And that was the last we saw of Mayuri… in that form. Over the course of the series, Mayuri changes his appearance at least nine times, with the changes usually being quite radical. In this article, we are going to focus on Mayuri Kurotsuchi’s visual changes and the reasons behind them in the world of Bleach.

Officially, there is no explanation for why Mayuri changes his appearance all the time, but it certainly has to do with him being a scientist and focusing, among others, on experiments involving the human body. Out-of-universe, Tite Kubo simply loves to experiment with various designs and changes, and Maruyi was his best option in that aspect.

The remainder of this article is going to focus on the changes in Mayuri Kurotsuchi’s appearance over the course of the Bleach series. We are going to tell you how his appearance changed, what he looked like (with pictures), and what the reasons behind all of these changes are. If you don’t know the whole plot of Bleach, there might be some spoilers here.

Mayuri’s visual changes

Mayuri has the most extraordinary appearance of all Shinigami. His entire skin is made up in black and white, depending on the arc. His hair and fingernails are blue, and the nail on his right middle finger is abnormally long. He wears strange attachments over his ears and on his chin, which he can apparently unscrew. His hair resembles a mohawk. Mayuri wears a kind of hat on his head that covers his hair.

However, his headgear also changes as the story progresses. He also seems to be one of the younger commanders, as 110 years ago, he looked quite young, like a teenager. His actual appearance has been shown only once. Mayuri looks like a regular human. He is quite handsome and has blue hair, but due to his modifications, he has no ears, and his body is full of stitches; he is also very slim. It is known that Mayuri takes off his makeup every night before going to sleep and that he puts on new makeup every morning before going out.

172Mayuri without makeup

Mayuri apparently modified and “upgraded” his body through various self-experiments. He can extend his left arm like a grappling hook and pull out a kind of kusarigama from one ear. In addition, his body liquefies when he stabs it with his Zanpakutō, making him virtually unassailable but also unable to attack himself.


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639Mayuri reads

It is not known when Mayuri made these modifications to his body. Still, scenes from when he was younger showed that he had been putting on makeup at least 100 years ago and that he had, by that time, already modified his body, as he had artificial ears; it is not known how advanced the modifications were at the time. His makeup back at the time was simpler. He did not wear any type of headgear, and his haircut was relatively simple.


His first version from the present timeline was also relatively simple. He had makeup on his face, a simple Captain’s uniform, and relatively few odd additions. He wore a strangely-shaped hat that hid his hair. His teeth were still white at the time, as were his nails, which were normal in length and color. But, as the story progressed, Mayuri’s appearances in the story became more eccentric.

305Self Destruct Protocol2

After the events in Seireitei, he styled his hair into a hairstyle reminiscent of a ram’s horns or an Egyptian pharaoh. This was the first major change for Mayuri. He dropped the headgear, but his haircut was such that it honestly did look like a piece of headgear. His teeth became golden (for reasons unknown), and he also started dying his fingernails blue to match his hair. This is also the iteration that saw Mayuri grow one long fingernail, which was used in a comical way to “repair” Nemu in Hueco Mundo.

Seventeen months after Aizen’s defeat, Mayuri shows a new look. Much of his face is covered in black paint, leaving thin white lines running up his face and a white nose. He wears a long golden headdress that curves down his middle back. Below the chin are two opposing crescent-shaped protrusions from the same mask. The symbol of the Twelfth Division is painted on the back of the headdress.

596Mayuri arrives 1

Later during the fight against the Quincy, Mayuri appears in his famous “Sun God” costume, which is a bright white overcoat with numerous ridges and a hood which, when put on, gives Mayuri the appearance of the Sun (he also has been labeled as a sunflower by some fans). In this iteration, he also changed his shoes but kept the same makeup as in the previous iteration.

638Hirenkyaku Shoes

The costume was also hiding the changes in his haircut, which are seen later in the story. Namely, Mayuri formed his hair into three loops while his ears were covered by three large golden tubes. This iteration was seen during the fight against Pernida.

685Mayuri27s new outfit

Ten years after Yhwach’s defeat, Mayuri takes on a new appearance. Now Mayuri covers the lower part of his lips, chin, part of his forehead, and the areas around his eyes with black paint. While the rest of his face is completely covered with white paint. Mayuri also adorns her head with a large gold-colored headdress that is shaped like a pair of ram’s horns.

NBFHMayuri profile

Twelve years after Yhwach’s defeat, Mayuri decides to change his appearance again. Now the Shinigami Captain covers most of his face with black paint. Mayuri also puts the gold metallic pieces over his ears, as usual, and now the headdress he wears on his head is a bit simpler and looks similar to an insect’s antennae.

Regarding his uniform as Captain of the Gotei 13, Mayuri has decided to make some small modifications by decorating it with a series of orange petals with black dots in the center.


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Mayuri changes his appearance because, well… he can

There has never been an explanation for all the changes Mayuri went through. No one really commented on any of the changes, and Mayuri himself never explained any of them. He simply appeared in a new costume and with new makeup, and that was pretty much it. No one really commented on that, and it always seemed like nothing had changed with Mayuri; the Gotei 13 were probably used to all of these changes, so no one really bothered with them anymore, but everyone else just avoided the topic as well.

In-universe, it is probably because of Mayuri’s personality; he likes to experiment, especially on the body, so these changes definitely reflect that fact. As for Kubo’s reasons, we know that he has always liked to experiment with various designs, and Mayuri was a character that he could use for such artistic experiments, and that is why Mayuri had so many iterations in the series, more than any other Bleach character.

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