Quote Originally Posted by Afro Thunda View Post
In my opinion, Ichigo should never, ever reach this pinnacle of power ever again, nor should there be an enemy that reaches a power on the same level as Aizen requiring Ichigo to achieve that power again. Unless, of course, he ends up fighting Aizen again.

I would like to think it cosmetic the same way the change, albeit drastic, between Zangetsu and Tensa Zangetsu is largely cosmetic.

I'd like to think it's a combination of both, but it's more likely that the addition of his Full-Bring abilities changed the appearance of his zanpakuto. I mean, there wouldn't really be any reason for the change if all he was getting was a huge portion of reiatsu poured into him to fully reawaken his Shinigami powers. At least that's how I see it.
On the 3rd, I would think that the Zanpakuto that Ichigo had from Rukia was just his normal Zanpakuto without Shikai, and once he awakened his powers after Byakuya Stabbed him that his Zanpakuto just ended up staying in Shikai. (I can't remember if he learned Zangetsu's name before his sword re-appeared in the Shikai state. I'll have to go back and check that out again.