What are zanpakuto spirits?

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samuel berner kcvEQb7GXZc unsplash 1

The Zanpakuto is a sword which each Shinigami is able to summon. It attaches to the Shinigami’s arm and has an average length of about 10 inches, though some are as long as 40 inches. 

The Zanpakuto requires some level of spiritual energy in order to function, the more powerful the spirit that inhabits it, the harder it would be to control. Some are humanoid in shape while others are more animalistic. 

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Zanpakuto spirits, as they are called, have a great amount of power and strong will. 

The Zanpakuto spirit draws its power from the Shinigami itself (but it is unknown whether or not they need to eat).

They must be well treated by their masters because they can become very temperamental if angered, and be overcome by evil impulses.

A Zanpakuto spirit can be set free from the imprint of the blade and appear in a physical form outside of it (by using it as a catalyst).

Here are some points discussed about Zanpakuto spirits-

1. What type of Zanpakuto Spirits do you have?

All Zanpakuto Spirits are humanoid in shape, a red long sleeve shirt with a black Shihakusho and a japanese hat with a skull-like pin that goes across their chest. 

The Shinigami’s Zanpakuto is their weapon which they have been trained to use to fight with. Inside the spirit is the Shinigami’s spirit, the sword itself has no mind of its own, but their soul does, sometimes it would even react against them, like when Rukia Kuchiki tries to activate her Bankai against Grimmjow Jaggerjack (Arrancar No.0) while invading Soul Society.

2. How long do Zanpakuto Spirits live?

It varies, however most Shinigami can summon their Zanpakuto spirit for about three hundred years. Some of the high level ones like Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck can keep theirs alive by repeatedly resummoning it.

3. What is the relationship between a Shinigami and their Zanpakuto?

The Shinigami’s Zanpakuto spirit is extremely loyal to the Shinigami, due to this reason it could be seen that its bond is very strong. 

The Zanpakuto has to protect its master, unlike other spirits which may attack others or kill them at any given chance. 

If the Zanpakuto doesn’t agree with its master then it may even refuse to listen, this was observed by Rukia Kuchiki when her Zanpakuto spirit refused to accept her as its master. 

It would be a rare case for a Zanpakuto spirit to revolt against its own master, but this was observed by Shinji Hirako when he found out his own Zanpakuto’s true history.

4. When do Shinigami summon their Zanpakuto spirits?

Most freshly appointed Shinigami start training to summon their Zanpakuto spirits, however it isn’t necessary since most of them do not know what their Zanpakutos look like or how strong they are. 

However, if the Shinigami have not learned how to control their Zanpakuto spirit then it would be very dangerous for them to go into battle.

5. What powers do the Zanpakuto spirits have?

The Zanpakuto spirits powers can vary depending on what type of Shinigami they are contracted to, generally they are able to give power boosts, healing abilities and even be used as transportation. 

Some can even give abilities like Kai (ability for a Shinigami to break through a Hollow’s mask) or Hyorinmaru (freezing power). 

They are usually ranked between 1-99 with 1 being the weakest and 99 being the strongest. More powerful Zanpakuto spirits are mostly used by higher level Shinigami, however some low level Shinigami are known to have their Zanpakuto spirit.

6. Can a Zanpakuto spirit be destroyed?

The Zanpakuto can be destroyed if the Shinigami’s soul is erased completely, this was observed during the second arc of Bleach when Ichigo Kurosaki did not have his love for Rukia Kuchiki. The Zanpakuto will remain in existence but will become harmless.

7. What happens if a Zanpakuto spirit dies?

If the Zanpakuto spirit reaches zero power, then it will disappear. The Shinigami would need to make another contract with a different Zanpakuto spirit and start his training all over again.

8. What can low level Shinigami do with their Zanpakuto spirits?

The low level Shinigami cannot do much with their Zanpakuto spirits, they can only give them simple orders and boost their power levels. 

However, the higher level Shinigami’s Zanpakutos are more powerful as they have been trained to keep it maintained and increase the bond between them and their master.

This is why many of them are able to summon their Zanpakuto spirits for longer durations.


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