A Zanpakutō (斬魄刀; literally, soul-cutter sword) is the main weapon of the Arrancar. An Arrancar Zanpakutō is different from the Shinigami version. The Arrancar art of wielding a Zanpakutō is called Zan Cirugía (斬術; literally, swordsmanship).
The Zanpakutō of low-ranking Arrancar are called Asauchi and don't have names, but the Zanpakutō of Arrancar of rank have names. In its sealed state, a Zanpakutō has the form of a Japanese sword. Such weapons are unique swords generated from their owners souls. Its shape differs depending on its owner.
Zanpakutō are the trademark weapons of the Shinigami, however at an unknown point in time the Arrancar adopted them as well. Capable of cutting spiritual bodies, they are amongst the few weapons which can be used to combat Shinigami and other spiritual beings. Each Arrancar carries a Zanpakutō, and each Zanpakutō is unique: as the swords are both reflections of a Arrancar's soul and power, and sentient beings unto themselves. The Zanpakutō's name is also the name of the living spirit that empowers the sword and gives its strength to the Arrancar who wields it. These beings can vary greatly in appearance and have their own distinct personalities which match their owner's.
A Zanpakutō's shape and abilities are based on their Arrancar's former Hollow powers. Unlike the Shinigami, who learns his/her sword's name and are able to communicate with one another and grow stronger together. Arrancar Zanpakutō's names are chosen by the Arrancar, based on their Hollow powers the Zanpakutō aid their Arrancar owners by given them access to their full power.
The Zanpakutō grows stronger with their owner and can gain their own hidden strength as well. The Zanpakutō does not govern the use of an Arrancar's Resurrección as such they become the guardian's of the Arrancar's Hollow powers.
- Because they are part of their owner's soul, a Zanpakutō cannot be replaced, though it will slowly regenerate if it is broken.
- The size of the Zanpakutō reflects the amount of the swordsman's spiritual power. Exceptions to this rule are beings of immense power who are required to actively control the size of their Zanpakutō.
- If a Arrancar pierces the chest of a Shinigami with their Zanpakutō and channel their Reiryoku into the Shinigami it will cause an explosion. It is currently unknown why this happens.
- Every Zanpakutō has its name given to them.
- A Zanpakutō cannot determine whether or not its wielder is worthy of its power.
- Zanpakutō have a true form. This true form resides inside their Arrancar. A Zanpakutō has a mind, and a body that controls their powers. Arrancar are able to grow more powerful by battling with them.
- Zanpakutō possess their own reiatsu, which can be sensed as any reiatsu can and is identical to that of their wielder though with subtle differences.
Obtaining A ZanpakutōEdit
Asauchi (浅打ち, '"Shallow Hit"'): The class of nameless Zanpakutō that all low-class Arrancar wield. The Asauchi were introduced sometime in the past during the founding of the Imperio Oculto. The Asauchi allowed Arrancar gain more Shinigami-like powers by allowing them to gain a Shikai and a Bankai as well as the Arrancar exclusive Resurrección.
Arrancar who have just been created and are still in training - those who do not yet belong to any of the Imperio Oculto - all wield their original Zanpakutō which are the embodiment of their Hollow's power.
Asauchi are the strongest Zanpakutō, as they can become anything. Once an Arrancar is given an Asauchi he/she will fuse their Hollow's power into it. This quickly imprints the essence of their soul into their Asauchi. This quickly gives birth to a Zanpakutō spirit. The process is much faster than the Shinigami's Asauchi.
A wielder knows their Zanpakutō spirit very closely and vice versa. The relationship between wielder and spirit varies greatly between each individual. But the common relationship is that of give and take. Many Zanpakutō are willing to give their wielder's power while many fight with their Zanpakutō go gain their power. The fighting always takes place in the inner world of the Arrancar.
Some take the Shinigami approach towards their Zanpakutō. Though this practise is frowned upon in the Imperio and is silently practised by a few individuals.
The original Arrancar Zanpakutō was generated by its wielder upon the solidification of their Hollow powers into the form of a sword. It was an embodiment of the Hollow's power and only lead to a Resurrección. Many Arrancar in the Imperio Oculto still use their original Zanpakutō.