Zanpakutō are the trademark weapons of the Soul Reapers and The Dark Emperor. Capable of cutting spiritual bodies, they are amongst the few weapons which can be used to combat Hollows. Each Soul Reaper carries a Zanpakutō, and each Zanpakutō is unique: as the swords are both reflections of a Shinigami'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 lends its strength to the Soul Reaper who wields it. These beings can vary greatly in appearance and have their own distinct personalities which match their owner's. Normally, the Zanpakutō spirit can only be seen by its wielder. Otherwise, they dwell in their own "inner world", created within the minds of the SOul Reaper who wields them. As such, each Soul Reaper's inner world is drastically different from another Soul Reaper's and is unique to themselves. A Zanpakutō's spirit can bring its wielder into its inner world, though Soul Reaper can voluntarily achieve this simply by meditation. Zanpakutō are also the main weapons that been used to kill many people and heroes and are also use to unseal a great evil and also they are the weapons of several of the Titans.
A Zanpakutō's shape and abilities are based on their Soul Reaper's soul. Once a Soul Reaper learns his/her sword's name, they are able to communicate with one another and grow stronger together. Zanpakutō are born with their Soul Reaper and they die along with their Soul Reaper. Soul Reaper use them in battle as a reflection of their heart. When released, they can display a vibrant power. They are one with the Soul Reaper, and they share a Soul Reaper's conviction.
Mokushi Zanpakutō: A Mokushi Zanpakutō are the darkest and evilest Zanpakutō and manifest and can turn into any other Zanpakutō. The only known Zanpakutō able to do this is Obscura the Zanpakutō wielded by the Dark Emperor and the most deadly of all Zanpakutō as it can control darkness, time, death, life, and able to turn into other Soul Reaper's Zanpakutō, the same thing being with the Arrancars and Visoreds.
Most Zanpakutō look like regular katana, with slight variations between them as one would expect between different swords. There variations are commonly:
Katana: The term katana may be applied to the standard-size, moderately-curved, Japanese sword with a blade length of greater than 60 cm (23.6 inches). The katana is characterized by its distinctive appearance: a curved, slender, single-edged blade, a circular or squared guard, and a hilt long enough to accommodate two hands.
Wakizashi: A short blade between 30 and 60 cm (12 and 24 inches), with an average of 50 cm (20 inches). It is similar to but shorter than a katana, and usually shorter than the kodachi. The wakizashi was usually worn together with the katana. When worn together the pair of swords were called daishō, which translates literally as "large and small". The katana was often called the long sword and the wakizashi the companion sword.
Nodachi: The nodachi was more difficult to wield due to its size and weight. The length of the nodachi's hilt varied between twelve to thirteen inches (30 to 33 centimeters). Its cutting capability and range exceeds that of a katana, due to its weight and size.
Battle Axe: Unlike other Zanpakutō Dark Emperor's Obscura in its sealed form resembles a Battle Axe that is about 6 feet. It also has a snake like design around the guard he holds with. It has a Skull in the circular area. and there are red diamonds on the axe itself. As for the centimeters its most likely around 30 to 50 at least.
In addition to the upgraded forms, the sealed form of a Zanpakutō can also be radically altered, though such alterations are purely cosmetic and usually don't offer any significant advantage in battle; one exception is Ikkaku Madarame's Hōzukimaru, whose hilt stores a blood-clotting ointment. Zanpakutō can also be disguised as other objects, though such objects seem to need to be of similar proportions to the sword itself. Both Kisuke Urahara and General Yamamoto, for example, disguise their Zanpakutō as canes, Yamamoto's as a large walking stick that dissolves on command to reveal his sheathed Zanpakutō, Urahara's as a shikomizue, a thin blade hidden within the hollow shaft of a cane.
A Zanpakutō will return to its sealed state when its wielder is knocked unconscious.
The Main diffrence of Bleach and Darkness within Shadow with the Zanpakutō is the fact that in DWS, they have powers of other races such as Hollows, Vampires, Diclonius, Demons, and etc. and they can be used to kill any foe in one Hit. they also have the power to manipulate darkness, time, and etc. Unlike the bleach where they only have powers based off of thier owner's powers and personality.
The Shikai: is the second form (or first "upgraded" form) available to a Zanpakutō. To activate it, the Shinigami needs to learn the name of their Zanpakutō. This is not as easy as simply picking a name, as the living spirit of the Zanpakutō already has its own name. Therefore, the Shinigami must be able to communicate and harmonize with their Zanpakutō effectively, which requires being able to speak to the spirit within its world.
A Zanpakutō can change size and shape depending on the spiritual strength of the owner.
Achievement of the Shikai is a mark of control of a Zanpakutō, and it appears to be a requirement for advancement within the Shinigami ranks, as presumably most seated officers are capable of Shikai. It is also required in order to achieve the rank of lieutenant; as it is a requirement most captains look for. After first learning the Zanpakutō's name, the Shikai can be performed at will simply by speaking a command followed by the Zanpakutō's name. The commands vary between users and range from a simple imperative verb to a short poem. They often relate to the Zanpakutō's signature ability, or hint at the nature of its spirit. This step may be bypassed by expert Shinigami who have learned how to use their Bankai.
Constant-Release: In rare cases, a Zanpakutō, once released, will remain in that state indefinitely. This is due to the vast amount of spiritual energy the possessor has that cannot be finely controlled upon initial generation of their Zanpakutō, as such the Zanpakutō is described as a constant released form. The only known Shinigami with Full-Time Release Zanpakutō are Ichigo Kurosaki and Kenpachi Zaraki. By the nature of this type of Zanpakutō, a Shinigami with a constant release form does not need a release command nor is it necessary to even know their Zanpakutō's name. However, not knowing the name of one's Zanpakutō can put a Shinigami at a disadvantage in terms of power against those who do know their Zanpakutō's name.
Shikai Forms: Once the Shikai is activated, the Zanpakutō will change form to access whatever special abilities it is capable of. They almost always take on the form of a weapon of some kind, though the type of weapon can vary greatly among different Zanpakutō. One exception is Retsu Unohana's Shikai, which seems to take on the characteristics of an animal, rather than a weapon.
Special Abilities: Once the Shikai is activated, the Zanpakutō will change form to access whatever special abilities it is capable of. The special abilities of the Zanpakutō, like the Zanpakutō itself, have specific names that usually must be announced to fully activate the effect. As Ichigo's Zanpakutō, Zangetsu, explains, knowing the name of an attack and not knowing it makes a very drastic difference in the amount of power that attack utilizes. Some special abilities are automatically activated upon release.
The Bankai: is the second and final upgraded form of a Zanpakutō. To achieve Bankai, one must be able to materialize and subjugate their Zanpakutō spirit. Materialization means the opposite of getting dragged into the Zanpakutō's inner world. Instead the wielder needs to summon the Zanpakutō's spirit into the physical world. It usually takes 10 years or more to achieve, plus the experience needed to master it. It is also the main weapon on how the trecherous 13 court guard squads use to kill thier victims in DWS.
The power and forms of Shikai and Bankai are dependent on the Zanpakutō. They also vary according to the wielder's strength and training. But in general, one's power can grow 5 to 10 times greater. Only the strongest Shinigami can use it. It is also the ultimate technique of a Zanpakutō. Even the Four noble families, whose members are always exceptionally talented, have a member capable of Bankai only every few generations. Those who achieve Bankai always have remarkable roles in the history of Soul Society and in Shadowblood or Godstrike. Tho most Soul Reapers now of days are Evil and part of shadowblood in DWS.
Ichigo Kurosaki and Kisuke Urahara are the only known individuals that have mastered Bankai through a far shorter, yet much more dangerous method. Using a special device created by Urahara, which forcibly materializes a Zanpakutō spirit (thus bypassing a large portion of the training), they were able to attain their Bankai within three days instead of the normal hundreds of years. After successfully testing the device and achieving Bankai, Urahara stated that training by using this method for more than three consecutive days could prove to be fatal, which is why Ichigo was also forced to achieve his own Bankai within three days.
Besides Ichigo Kurosaki, the only non-captain Shinigami known to have achieved Bankai are Renji Abarai (Lieutenant), who finalized his training at about the same time as Ichigo (although he did not use Urahara's device, but rather perfected it while Ichigo was training), and Ikkaku Madarame (3rd Seat), who did so through his own years of training.
Bankai Forms: After a Shinigami is able to materialize and subjugate their Zanpakutō's spirit, the Zanpakutō can assume its final and most powerful form. Unlike the Shikai, there is no command phrase to activate Bankai, though the user will usually say "Bankai" beforehand. A Zanpakutō's Bankai is often a manifestation of the spirit itself, usually creating a massive creature or a very powerful effect to aid the user in battle (Ichigo's Bankai is an exception, becoming more compact instead). The Bankai itself will receive a different name in addition to the ordinary Zanpakutō (for example Ichigo's Zangetsu becomes Tensa Zangetsu, Byakuya's Senbonzakura becomes Senbonzakura Kageyoshi). Certain Shinigami also change with their Zanpakutō, gaining clothing similar to what their Zanpakutō's spirit form looks like. Most Zanpakutō will also gain additional special abilities, or a more enhanced version of the usual one. Like with the Shikai, most of these abilities have an associated name. Maintaining the Bankai is taxing for the wielder, and it is difficult to maintain it for long periods of time for most Shinigami, with the exception of Ichigo, as it becomes more compact, thus allowing him to hold it for long periods of time.
Special Abilities: The power that comes with Bankai tends to be similar to the Shikai's ability/theme, but amplifies it to much greater levels of power and effect. Some simply increase the original ability, such as Byakuya Kuchiki's blade count multiplies greatly, Ichigo Kurosaki's Getsuga Tenshō becoming faster, far more powerful, and its color become black, or Sajin Komamura's, who instead of only generating pieces of the giant, summons the whole giant itself. While other Bankai follow the theme of the sword, such as Renji's remains whip-like while containing baboon and cobra features, or Mayuri summons a monster with the same face (Jizō) on his trident-esque sword, but kept the theme of poison that came from the monster's breath.
Weakness: A high enough level of spiritual energy can be used to disrupt the rhythm of a Bankai. The biggest flaw of Bankai lies in the overwhelming power it releases. Its power and form are often far beyond that of a normal weapon. This is the reason that in order for one to become capable of using it completely and effectively, one needs to train at least 10 years with Bankai. Any Bankai before that period of time has been reached should not be used in battle. But in DWS the trecherous soul reapers rarely lose much spiritual pressure in using a Bankai.
The Zanpakutō Spirits are the manifestation forms of the Soul Reaper's Zanpakutōs and are all members of Shadowblood who seek to conquer the worlds like all Shadowblood members. The Spirits also gained powers the did not possess in thier arc in Bleach such as Manipulation of Darkness, Fire, Light, Control over the dead, and etc. The Leader of these Spirits is Muramasa and later Obscura.