There is no doubt Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya is one formidable force to be reckoned with considering his position both as a child prodigy and as the youngest Shinigami in history to achieve Bankai. His impressive skillset is incredibly boosted by his intricate swordplay and his use of both high levels of Kido and Shunpo.
Now, if we’re talking about his genius, it’s only fair to focus on his Zanpakuto- Hyorinmaru, which is one of the most powerful ice-type Zanpakuto in the entire Soul Society. When he wields Hyorinmaru in combination with his overpowering Reiatsu- now, that’s when he gets overwhelmingly unstoppable. With all that said, let us take a deep dive into how exactly Toshiro Hitsugaya’s Zanpakuto Hyorinmaru works.
Hyōrinmaru’s Shikai command is “Reign over the Frosted Heavens.” Once released, the sword extends in length and gains a crescent moon blade connected to its handle via a chain. Hyōrinmaru’s special ability allows Hitsugya to control ice and to freeze anyone or anything his blade’s chain captures. Hitsugaya’s ice-cold Reiatsu is so strong that just releasing his Shikai itself drastically changes the weather in Soul Society, causing frigid temperatures and even blizzards.
Hitsugaya can also directly manipulate the weather by controlling the water in the atmosphere with Tenso Jurin (Weather Subjugation) . For defence, Ryojin Hyoheki allows him to finely weave threads of ice together to create a protective wall. As for a more offensive technique, Hitsugaya uses Rokui Hyoketsujin, to set five snowflakes on the ground in a pentagon shape as a trap, freezing anyone who steps inside.
What’s interesting is that out of all the Zanpakutō in the Gotei 13, Hyōrinmaru’s techniques don’t really have much difference in their transition from Shikai to Bankai. The only difference is in the amount of ice Hitsugaya is capable of producing.
Daiguren Hyorinmaru Bankai
Daiguren Hyōrinmaru (Great Roaring Coldly Shining Moon)- Hyōrinmaru’s Bankai, greatly changes Hitsugya’s physical appearance (except his head) to the likeliness of an ice dragon. An ice dragon head envelopes his sword hand, and ice claws replace his left hand and both feet. He even gains wings and a tail. This body transformation is inredibly useful in combat as these new physical features assist him in battle and overall mobility.
His wings encourage mid-air maneuverability and can also be used as a shield. One absolute great perk is also that his ice appendages can always regenerate, as long as there is water in the atmosphere. As noted earlier, Hyorinmaru’s techniques don’t really shift from Shikai to Bankai but just hugely amplified. It means that Hyorinmaru’s ice gains much better range and freezing strength.
His technqiues are much like his personality- contained, precise and deadly. He uses Ryūsenka (Hail Flower Dragon) to freeze his opponents, after which both the ice and opponent shatters. Opponents ensnared by Sennen Hyoro (Thousand-Year Ice Prison) are surrounded by numerous ice pillars that close in on and eventually crush them.
Hyoten Hyakkaso (Frozen Heavens Hundred Flower Funeral) is Tenso Jurin at full power, and it is this technique that has Hitsugaya so careful about ensuring the safety of his comrades when using it. The range of this technique is captivating as it makes dark clouds take over the sky and open a hole from which snow falls. This snow immediately freezes anything it touches into the shape of a flower, eventually freezing his opponent into a large 100-flower ice sculpture by the time the snowfall ceases.
Daiguren Hyorinmaru Final Stage
Hitsugaya’s Bankai aesthetic is characterized by three four-petaled ice flowers that float behind him. At first, he thought they indicated how much time he had left in Bankai, as the petals would crumble the longer he used his Bankai. Later he realizes that the crumbling actually signals the amount of time left until Daiguren Hyōrinmaru reaches maturity.
The minute every flower is gone, Tōshirō’s body transforms into an adult to much better control his matured power. In this form, Hitsugaya is much taller, and though he loses the wings, his shoulders, arms and legs are still covered by Hyōrinmaru’s ice. In this form, his freezing capabilities reach a new level of insane. If anyone or anything touches Hitsugya in this form, they become instantly flash-frozen.