Pulls a bond from the souls of humans that do not pass over to the Soul Society for any number of reasons after their death. When these souls linger on and stay within the human world, they eventually become corrupted. After transforming into Hollows, they gain supernatural powers and begin to have cravings to devour the souls of living and dead humans.
In Chapter 535, it is explained that Hollows are the opposite of humans and typically reside within Hueco Mundo. They have the ability to cross over to the human world as well as the Soul Society. In this blog, I want to talk about everything we know about them, as well as the evolution they undergo.
Hopefully, through this, we can better understand the strength and abilities they gain when they undergo the transformation into Arrancars. I know I, for one, was pretty confused with the different rankings of the Hollows and how the Espada and the Arrancars fitted into all of this.
Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you’ll know the three different classes of Menos Hollow, as well as how them are created and the process by which Menos Hollow are transformed into Arrancars. So, without further delay, let’s get into the topic of this blog. This is everything that you need to know about them and their evolution.
Before the blog begins, only 12 percent of the people who watch my content are subscribed to the channel. If you enjoy these blogs, then subscribe and stick around for more content just like this. Now let’s get back to the topic of the blog. When souls, also referred to as pluses, end up losing their hearts to either despair or regret, it results in them remaining within the world of the living for far too long.
If a plus doesn’t meet a Shinigami who performs a soul funeral on them, then they will eventually transform into a Hollow. Performing the soul funeral or the Konso is an important aspect of a Shinigami’s duty. They do so in order to maintain the balance between the souls within the human world and the Soul Society.
Souls tend to linger within the human world because they either have a grudge that they hold beyond the grave or they are attached to a loved one that they don’t want to leave behind. Many souls become depressed upon seeing that their loved ones have moved on or forgotten about them.
By becoming obsessed with their goal, it results in their soul becoming empty. This is similar to what happened to Orihime’s older brother, Sora, as he had become obsessed with Orihime. His obsession had eventually transformed him into a Hollow. A soul transforming into a Hollow can take anywhere from several months to even years, but it typically depends on the length of that soul’s chain of Fate, which is located at the center of their chest.
If the chain of Fate, which is typically connected to the body, is severed, it begins to slowly corrode over time. The corrosion of the chain of Fate can be sped up if that soul is undergoing extreme despair or if they are being attacked by a Hollow. When the chain of Fate completely corrodes, that soul then transforms into a Hollow, and a hole opens up on their chest where the chain was attached.
This is also symbolic of the Hollow having lost their heart. They are usually driven by an unrelenting hunger to devour other Souls. They do so in order to desperately fill that void within their soul. Typically, the individual that they were obsessing over before they are transformed into a Hollow ends up becoming their first target.
Then later on, they end up becoming mindless creatures as they start to pursue individuals with high spiritual pressure. And as we learn throughout the course of the series, the more stronger and evil eye Hollow is, they end up retaining more of their intelligence within their Hollow form.
A perfect example of this is the Grand Fisher, who is one of the most intelligent Hollows that we see right at the start of the story. The most notable feature by Hollow is usually the mask that they are wearing, and this is usually formed from the heart that they lose as a human. Typically, Shinigami take out Hollows by shattering their masks.
When a Shinigami zambakto is used to split the mask of a Hollow, the Hollow is not actually killed. Instead, the soul of that Hollow is purified of any sins that it may have committed as a Hollow.
This allows the spirit to enter into the Soul Society as a normal soul. But if there is such a Hollow that had committed sins while it was a human, during the purification process, it will result in the Gates of Hell being summoned, leading to that soul being dragged into Hell. We see this in chapter 12 where a murderer who was transformed into a Hollow was sent to Hell after Ichigo had shattered its mask.
Now, when a Hollow is killed by a Quincy, it is completely destroyed, meaning that its soul is also taken out. And if Quincy are left to kill Hollows unchecked in this manner, then it will result in an imbalance of souls between the real world and the Soul Society. Shinigami, of course, exist to maintain this balance and descend wandering Souls back to the Soul Society.
We learn most of this information about Hollows from the first arc of the series, where we are introduced to a number of Hollows under several different circumstances like Acid Wire, the Shrieker, and even the Grand Fisher.
They demonstrate typical abilities that are shared amongst Hollows while also proving to have Hollow-specific abilities, like how the Grand Fisher has the transcribability when he pierces his opponents with his claws, allowing him to look into the memories of his opponents.
And Rukia states that all Hollows possess the ability called acidic touch, and this is when a Hollow grabs onto a human with their hand, it results in that area of the body that the Hollow had touched being burned as if acid was poured onto it. We learned that this had happened in chapter 3 when Orihime’s leg was grabbed by Acid Wire and when Chad’s back was wounded in chapter 7.
So far, we have talked about the simplified form of Hollows, which are typically transformed from Human Souls, but there also exists a group of Hollows called Menos Grande. They are large numbers of hundreds of Hollows, which combine to form one entity, and in chapter 48, it is revealed that a Menos Grande has far more power than an ordinary Hollow.
Menos are formed when the void within a normal Hollow’s heart becomes so great that devouring human Souls is no longer able to satiate their appetite. It is at this point that the Hollow ends up cannibalizing other Hollows. These cannibal Hollows end up attracting each other over time as they devour each other, resulting in the formation of a Gillian.
When a Hollow transforms into a Gillian and has two further Transformations, it can transform into an Arrancar, and the final level of transformation is called Vasto Lorde. There are different criteria for each of these evolutions, and it is not limited to just Menos devouring other Hollows. Survival also plays a key factor to ensure the continued evolution of a Menos.
They need to avoid being eaten by another Hollow because if a Hollow ends up consuming even a single part of their body, then it will be impossible for the wounded Hollow to evolve further.
In chapter 48, we learned that Hollows that are classed as Menos Grande, so the Soul Society ends up sending special highly trained Shinigami to deal with them. There are three types of Menos Hollow, the first being a Gillian, the second being an Arrancar, and the final being Vasto Lorde.
Gillian-class Hollows are the weakest amongst the Menos, and there exists a large number of them, but they serve as more pawns in comparison to their evolved forms. The Soul Society typically speaks about Gillian when they mention Menos within their textbooks at the Shinigami Academy.
On average, they are giant creatures with slow movements and very limited intellect. A Shinigami of captain rank can easily take out a Gillian. If within the Gillian, there is a Hollow with a dominant personality, they end up gaining control of the entire being. This results in the Gillian forming a unique Hollow mask, and they end up taking a different shape, and these types are referred to as Gillian variants.
It is only these types of Gillian who have the potential to evolve into the next stage of Menos called the Arrancar. They end up increasing their chances of evolution by continuing to consume other Hollows and even Gillian-class Menos.
When it comes to the second form of Menos, the Arrancar, they are far smaller in number in comparison to Gillians, while also being smaller in size. They are typically much smarter and even stronger than their prior forms while even having the ability to lead Gillians into battle. These types of Menos usually work on their own, and it is rare for them to join and work together as a group.
This class is able to challenge even a captain of the Gote 13, and the most notable Arrancar that we see is Grimmjow. Through his backstory, in chapter 285, we see that while he was in the Arrancar form, he had eaten several of his group members because they were afraid that he would take control over the group.
As we can see, there are a lot of limiting factors when it comes to the evolution of a Hollow, and a lot stands in their way from transforming into the Vasto Lorde form.
Through Grimmjow’s backstory in chapter 285, we see that while he was in his initial form, he had eaten several of his group members because they were afraid that they would regress. They wanted to give themselves up for their leader, as they believed that he has what it takes to reach the final form of Bastard.
This final class of Menos are referred to as the highest grade Vasto Lorde. They are rare and even fewer in number than the Arrancars. It is even stated that there only exist a handful of them within Hueco Mundo, proving how difficult it is to attain this final form of Menos.
A Vasto Lorde class Menos is said to possess fighting ability which is even greater than that of a captain of the Gotei 13. While it isn’t completely confirmed as to how Vasto Lorde are formed, as Grimjow and his faction had theorized that a Bastard is formed by devouring large quantities of Hollows, others assume that the transformation into Vasto Lorde is determined at the point of birth of a hollow or even before that.
During the Arrancar invasion of Karakura town, Hitsugaya had notably stated that he worries if Eisen is able to recruit ten or more Vasto Lorde into his army and if he transforms them into a Rancar, then it will mean that the Soul Society would not stand a chance against him. We later learned that most of the Espada are comprised of Vasto Lorde class Menos, while Aroniero was the only Gillian class Menos amongst its members.
Now, while Hollows have their own unique abilities, all different classes of Menos Hollow share a few abilities. The most notable is the Cero, which is an energy blast that can be fired from different parts of their body. Within the story, we have even seen a Rancor and Vizard’s utilizing Cero blasts. Hollows and Arrancars typically travel between Hueco Mundo and other Realms by using a Garganta, which is the ability to open up a rip in space and time.
Another very notable ability that Hollows possess is high-speed regeneration. Ulquiorra states in chapter 351 that most of the Arrancars had given up this ability in the pursuit of more power.
So now that we’ve talked about Hollows and all of the different classes of Menos, let’s now speak about the Arrancars, which are Hollows that have ended up removing their masks and gained Shinigami-like abilities. Eisen had utilized the Hokyoku in order to transform different classes of Menos Hollow into an Arrancar. Some of the most powerful Arrancars were ranked from numbers 1 to 10 and were a part of Eisen’s elite soldiers called the Espada.
Like we said, an Arrancar is created when Hollows end up removing their masks. Typically, these Hollows are either Gillian Menos or higher in rank. Arrancars that take up a 100 humanoid form were typically Vasto Lorde class Menos. If an Arrancar was either an Adjuchas class or Gillian class, then their resemblance ends up being less humanoid, which typically indicates that they were a lower class of Menos at the point that they were transformed into an Arrancar.
You can see this in the various different fashions of the Espada. All of the Arrancars continue to have a hole, which is located somewhere on their body, as well as remnants of their Hollow Mask taking shape on their faces.
The Grand Fisher is the first Rancar that we see within the series, as early as chapter 25 when he returns to Quake on window in order to heal his injuries. Several other Arrancar end up scolding him for the fact that he had run away from Ichigo. The Arrancar ended up shattering the mask of the Grand Fisher, which results in him transforming into an imperfect Arrancar.
We know that he later undergoes another transformation, and the Grand Fisher returns within the Arrancar arc, where he desires to kill Ichigo, but he is later then defeated by Isshin.
This was a pretty interesting topic for me to cover since all of the information about Hollows was presented at various different points within the series, but after having pieced together all of it for the making of this blog, I now better understand the various different types of Hollows and the transformations that they can undergo.
I would love to know all of your thoughts about Hollows and their evolution. Did you know all of this information regarding Hollows, and did you know about the Grand Fisher’s imperfect Arrancar form where he was forced to transform?
I would love for you all to continue the discussion in the comments and let me know what you thought about how Kubo expanded upon the concept of Hollows and that ended up creating an entirely new class of powerful enemies from them. So yeah, thank you for making it to the end of this blog, and I can’t wait to see you in my next Bleach explained blog.
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.