"If this eye cannot see a thing, then it does not exist. That is the assumption under which I have always fought. What is this "heart?" If I tear open that chest of yours, will I see it there? If I smash open that skull of yours, will I see it there?"
Ulquiorra is a slender, yet fairly muscular, male Arrancar of average height with a melancholic appearance. He has fairly short, messy black hair, pale white skin, a black upper lip, and green eyes with small slit-shaped pupils, similar to a cat's. Part of his bangs fall between his eyes, and he has distinctively thick eyebrows. He has teal lines which descend from the lower part of his eyes. His facial expression rarely changes, though he is almost always frowning. He wears typical Arrancar clothes: a white jacket, black sash, and a white hakama. However, his jacket has longer coattails than others, and the collar is higher.
Like most other Arrancar, he possesses remnants of his former life as a Hollow in his appearance. His Hollow hole is located on his sternum, though the hole was initially located on the base of his throat. The remainder of his Hollow mask lies on the top-left side of his head, forming a broken horned helmet. His Espada tattoo lies on the left side of his chest.
As a Hollow, Ulquiorra was roughly the same size, with a full white mask and body, and large black wings mounted on his lower back. His mask covered his entire face, with a line, running up the middle, diverging into three near the top of his head. From ear level, two horns sprouted out.
Ulquiorra is a very cold, callous, and dispassionate figure, and is rather aloof, brooding, and indifferent, willing to harm both his comrades and enemies should they get in his way. He refers to anyone he does not find interesting as "trash", and treats them as expendable. Despite this, like most of the other top Espada, he is not particularly violent, and will only fight when provoked or ordered to by Aizen.
As stated by Grimmjow, Ulquiorra demonstrates a strange habit when killing victims he is particularly interested in; he stabs them with his bare hand in the same location as his Hollow hole. Whether he is consciously aware of this habit or not is unknown. During a speech to Orihime, he claims he does not believe in Human emotions, which he refers to as the "heart," reasoning that if his eye cannot see them, they do not exist. These words, and much of Ulquiorra's overall behavior, reflect the concepts of materialism, which connects to his aspect of death as an Espada, Emptiness. In the last seconds of his life, he seems to finally find his own "heart", and understands feelings.
His cold demeanor allows him to stay completely calm and in control in most situations, and he is not easily surprised or caught off-guard. However, he does not seem to comprehend the Human trait of fighting against all odds or the concept of the Human heart; during his final battle with Ichigo, he completely overwhelms the Shinigami after releasing his Zanpakutō, yet Ichigo continues to fight on regardless of this. Because of this, he, shouting at Ichigo out of frustration, tells him "to continue fighting is pointless." He transforms into his Segunda Etapa form in an attempt to show Ichigo "true despair". He seems to contradict himself, telling Ichigo that although it is natural for Humans to mimic Hollows to become stronger, they will never be the equal of Hollows, though the Arrancar are doing much of the same by mimicking Shinigami.
Ulquiorra is highly perceptive, cunning, and analytical. During his and Yammy's first visit to the Human World, he makes several surprisingly accurate comments on the Humans who confronted them. He theorizes Orihime Inoue's healing power is a temporal-spatial ability, which Aizen later describes as the rejection of fate, and comments on how Ichigo Kurosaki's Bankai can easily cut through Yammy's defenses. He notes how Ichigo's power fluctuates, varying between very weak and stronger than his own.
Ulquiorra is very demanding, coming to Orihime's chamber and ordering her to eat a meal an Arrancar servant brought in, claiming that, for Aizen's benefit, it was her "duty" to stay alive. When Orihime hesitates, he threatens to force the food down her throat or strap her to a table and feed her via an IV. This implies that, while he prefers not to dirty his hands, Ulquiorra is fully capable of committing truly abhorrent and inhumane actions without feeling any shred of remorse or hesitation. Despite his demanding nature, Ulquiorra is not vain like most of his fellow Espada. He maintains a cautious and cool demeanor, being always in control of his actions. He holds himself with decent dignity and finds Nnoitra's taunts about 'punishing' Orihime repulsive and vulgar. As he usually not the talkative one, Ulquiorra spares his words and only speaks when necessary or for those he finds worthy of them. He is emotionally detached from all materialistic things but shows a stubborn reluctance to admit the existence of anything immaterial.
After Ichigo's Hollow form overwhelms and strikes him down during his last battle, Ulquiorra, maintaining his composure, calmly berates himself for being defeated by a "Human-turned-Hollow." Believing he no longer has a purpose in life since he was quickly defeated by his opponent, he, demanding Ichigo kill him, compliments Ichigo when he decides to use a point-blank Cero to kill him, claiming the lack of mercy is "rather Hollow-like." This is a marked departure from most of his fellow Arrancar, who died cursing their enemies or with an abject fear of death.
As a Hollow, Ulquiorra felt alone in the world, being white while those around him were black. He wandered Hueco Mundo alone, lamenting his existence, until one day he came across a white tree with many sharp spines. Ulquiorra, finding it satisfying due to its emptiness, sank into it, destroying part of his mask, finally at peace. An unspecified amount of time later, he was recruited by Aizen into the Espada.
Ulquiorra first appears in Karakura Town to gather information on Ichigo Kurosaki. When Yammy Llargo states he is unenthusiastic to be there, Ulquiorra says he cannot complain, as he asked to come along. Yammy, noticing a crowd gathering, uses his Gonzui, commenting on the souls' bad taste. Ulquiorra, asking him why he expected such weak souls to taste good, explains no one was staring at Yammy like the large Arrancar thought. Ulquiorra mentions they have only come to kill one being, and the others can be left alone. When Yammy admits such a task will be hard, Ulquiorra reveals there are currently only three beings of note with any spiritual strength. Upon the arrival of Yasutora Sado and Orihime Inoue, an altercation ensues, resulting in Sado becoming grievously injured.
Ulquiorra watches as Yammy, attempting to dispatch Orihime, is stopped by her Santen Kesshun technique. When Yammy, noticing Orihime using her powers on Sado, asks if it is healing, Ulquiorra states it is not healing, but something like time reversal, which he has never seen before. He mentions that Orihime is quite strange for a human. When Yammy stops Orihime, who tries to attack, Ulquiorra tells him to simply kill her, but he is quickly stopped by the timely arrival of Ichigo. When Yammy asks if he is their target, Ulquiorra, confirming it, states Yammy's lack of subtlety caused Ichigo to notice them. When Ichigo cuts off Yammy's arm, Ulquiorra expresses mild surprise. As he watches Ichigo and Yammy fight, he notes Yammy charges into battle rather than read his opponents as he taught the large Arrancar. He is surprised Ichigo can cut through Hierro so easily, and that Ichigo's Reiatsu is so solid despite having only recently gained Bankai. However, he reasons that at his current level, Ichigo is no threat to Aizen. After Ichigo soundly beats Yammy, Ulquiorra, stating he is struggling, asks if he wants to switch. Yammy, telling him to shut up, proceeds to take out his Zanpakutō, causing Ulquiorra to question whether it is actually necessary to use it against Ichigo.
Ulquiorra watches as Yammy attacks a distracted Ichigo until the latter is saved by the arrival of Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin. After Yammy, effortlessly beaten by Yoruichi, begins to battle Urahara, Ulquiorra steps in to deflect a blast away from Yammy. He strikes Yammy in the stomach with his hand, scolding him for being so reckless, and asks if he knew just who the two he faced are. He states that at Yammy's current level, he will not win, no matter how much he tries. Ulquiorra, opening a Garganta, tells Yammy it is time for them to retreat. When Yoruichi asks if they are running away, Ulquiorra, telling her she is foolish to make such a taunt, notes that if the two of them tried to fight him while protecting the others, it is obvious who would emerge the winner. Ulquiorra, stating his mission is over, says he will tell Aizen the 'fake' Shinigami he is interested in is nothing more than a piece of trash.
Shortly after leaving, Ulquiorra and Yammy, arriving back in Hueco Mundo, are greeted by Sōsuke Aizen and an assembly of Arrancar in order to share their findings from the mission to the Human World. Ulquiorra, using his Solita Vista ability, asks that they all look carefully as it swirls around them, replaying the events of his mission. As Aizen sees for himself, he understands why Ulquiorra chose not to kill Ichigo. As Ulquiorra begins to explain his reasoning, he is interrupted by Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, who questions his choice to allow Ichigo and his friends to live as, regardless of their threat level, they are their enemies. Grimmjow begins to taunt Yammy, but Ulquiorra, stepping in, ends the building altercation. He explains that the problem is not Ichigo, as what Aizen is observing is not Ichigo in his current state, but his growth rate. Although it is true his growth rate is quite high, it is disproportionately unstable because it is so immense. He states if they were to just leave him alone, he would eventually destroy himself or become one of their pawns. Grimmjow finds the argument pointless, as Ulquiorra could be wrong and he might get powerful enough to get in their way, but Ulquiorra brushes it aside, stating if it comes to that, he would finish him off himself. Despite the argument, Aizen congratulates Ulquiorra on his work in completing the mission.
A month later, Ulquiorra arrives just as Yammy's arm is being reattached. He states it was a good idea to bring Yammy's severed arm back, though the other Arrancar complains that it will rot, as it will take far too long to heal. Yammy states it would be nice if their bodies healed on their own like Ulquiorra's eyeballs do. Ulquiorra states he should just be happy they could reattach it, for if his arm was completely destroyed like Grimmjow's was, he would have been kicked out of the Espada as well. Yammy agrees, and after his arm is fixed, they depart, Ulquiorra telling him Aizen has summoned them. They, showing up just in time, join several other Espada at the creation of an Arrancar. When Ulquiorra asks Aizen what the status of the Hōgyoku is, Aizen states it is on schedule as far as Soul Society is concerned. He explains how he is capable of using it at full power, resulting in the creation of Wonderweiss Margela. When Aizen asks Ulquiorra if he remembers the directive he gave him, Ulquiorra states he does. Aizen, giving him the choice to bring anyone he wants, insists Grimmjow go. Ulquiorra sends Yammy, Wonderweiss, Luppi, and Grimmjow to Karakura Town to act as a distraction to the Shinigami while he goes to capture Orihime. Ulquiorra, ambushing Orihime and her two guards, startles her as he asks why Soul Society would only send two guards. Though he states only two guards are not to his liking, he notes the disabling of the Kōryū is rather convenient for him, as he claims it is not his style to rush a conversation.
After Ulquiorra takes out the two guards with Bala blasts, Orihime tries to heal them. Ulquiorra, amazed at the level of her power, tells her to come with him and not to speak, as her answer will have to be yes, for if she says anything else, he will kill her. He shows her friends engaged in their own fights elsewhere. Ulquiorra explains she is not to speak or ask questions, as she has no rights; they are not negotiating, and it is entirely up to her if her friends die. He reveals Aizen desires her power, and he is under orders to bring her back unharmed. Later, Ulquiorra, arriving just in time to stop Grimmjow from releasing his Zanpakutō, states their mission is accomplished, and multiple Garganta open up to take the Arrancar present back via Negación. As they leave, Ulquiorra notes that within Ichigo's Reiatsu there are traces of a new power he has acquired, but is unsure as to what extent. By threatening her friends' lives, he convinces Orihime to come peacefully, allowing her to say goodbye to one person beforehand. This makes it appear as if she betrayed her friends of her own free will.
Hueco Mundo arc
Upon arriving in Hueco Mundo, Ulquiorra brings Orihime to Las Noches for an audience with Aizen. He has her display her powers to all Espada assembled by "regenerating" Grimmjow's arm, much to the disbelief of Luppi, and confirms this is the power he spoke of upon his first excursion into the Human World. Ulquiorra is present when Aizen tells the Espada of the intruders. Afterward, Aizen warns the Espada to treat the intruders with caution, as just four of them went into Soul Society and faced the Gotei 13. When Zommari Rureaux notes he is missing one, as there are currently only three intruders, Ulquiorra mentions they are missing Orihime. He sits silently as the other Espada argue until Grimmjow interrupts them by attempting to walk out against Aizen's orders. He, alongside the other Espada, watches as Aizen subdues Grimmjow with his Reiatsu to keep him in line.
Shortly after, Ulquiorra, arriving in Orihime's chambers, informs her that her friends have infiltrated Hueco Mundo. When she asks why, Ulquiorra explains they have come to rescue her, which is the only reason they need. He states that for her such a thing should have no more meaning, because, in both mind and body, she is their comrade. Her wearing the same clothes as the Arrancar signifies that concept. He forces her to acknowledge her mind and body exist for Aizen's will. As Ulquiorra leaves Orihime, he acknowledges she is a girl of strong spirit.
His thoughts are interrupted by Nnoitra Gilga, who asks how he is handling her, explaining he knew Aizen entrusted her care to Ulquiorra. Nnoitra asks how far along he has gotten in "taming" her, but Ulquiorra, ignoring him, walks away, calling him degenerate scum. Undeterred, Nnoitra, using Sonído to move in front of him, asks Ulquiorra to not get so testy, as he is only asking if everything is going well. Ulquiorra cannot comprehend why Nnoitra really cares about something so trivial, but tells him not to worry, as Orihime has been under Aizen's spell even before she arrived in Hueco Mundo. When Nnoitra asks if Aizen used Kyōka Suigetsu as usual, Ulquiorra assures him the situation was not big enough of an issue to warrant its use. He reveals that the moment she was invited there, multiple psychological cages were put in place. She could not say no, as her friends were in danger, and she had 12 hours to say goodbye to only one friend. Nnoitra does not understand, so Ulquiorra further explains she is set to believe they are not the enemy, and therefore she will follow them of her own free will. He makes note that, by allowing her to say goodbye to a friend of her own choosing, it is as though she is a traitor, coming to them of her own free will. Finally understanding, Nnoitra states the plan was well thought out and he would expect nothing less of Aizen, but Ulquiorra, correcting him, states such things are nothing more than a game to Aizen, as no matter what, she cannot escape. Afterward, Ulquiorra arrives as Aizen presents the Hōgyoku to Orihime.
Later, Ulquiorra arrives to confront Ichigo Kurosaki as he and Nel make their way through Las Noches. Ulquiorra, taunting Ichigo, states Rukia Kuchiki has died. Unsure of this, Ichigo tries to leave. When Ulquiorra asks if Ichigo can really leave without killing him, Ichigo says he has no reason to do so. Ulquiorra is perplexed before Ichigo explains Ulquiorra has not harmed any of his friends. Ulquiorra asks Ichigo what he would do if he knew he was the one that kidnapped Orihime. Ichigo, realizing Orihime did not leave of her own free will, attacks Ulquiorra, who finds it odd her friends came while they had doubts. Scolding Ulquiorra for causing Orihime to be branded as a traitor, he releases his Bankai, knowing he must go all out. Ulquiorra is unimpressed, but is shocked to see Ichigo wearing a Hollow mask. Ichigo fires an enhanced Getsuga Tenshō at the Espada. As Ulquiorra blocks the attack with his forearm, Ichigo manages to send him flying through some pillars. As he gathers himself to launch an attack of his own, Ichigo attacks and Ulquiorra, stopping it with his bare hands, is pushed back a good distance. Assuming he has won, Ichigo goes to leave with Nel, only to find Ulquiorra is barely injured. Ulquiorra, disappointed that Ichigo believed he would not be able to stop the blast with both hands, asks Ichigo if that was all of his power. When Ichigo does not respond, Ulquiorra, figuring it is, fires a Cero at Ichigo, sending him flying. As Ichigo tries to see if Nel is alright, Ulquiorra kicks him further. When Ichigo summons his mask to take the blunt of his Cero, Ulquiorra is impressed by his reaction time. Realizing Ichigo will be unable to use his mask, he asks him to surrender. Refusing, Ichigo stabs Ulquiorra in the shoulder, reasoning that because Ulquiorra is the main Espada, after he finishes him off, everyone else will be simple clean-up.
Ulquiorra looks at him before, tearing his coat, revealing he is merely Espada number 4. When Ichigo, stunned, asks him if he is really only number 4, Ulquiorra states he is the Cuatro Espada, Ulquiorra Cifer. Impaling Ichigo through the chest with his bare hand, he tells him he cannot defeat him, and even if he did, there are three more Espada above him. He concludes there can never be any victory for either him or his friends. As Ichigo lies fatally wounded, Ulquiorra expresses disappointment that he overestimated Ichigo's abilities, as he failed to meet his expectations. He leaves Ichigo, suggesting he retreat if able to, and if not, die; either way, his journey has ended. Returning to Orihime's room in Las Noches, he questions Loly Aivirrne and Menoly Mallia about what took place there, as Orihime is gone and the room is trashed. After discovering Grimmjow has taken Orihime, Ulquiorra tracks them down with ease. Ulquiorra immediately questions what Grimmjow is doing, going out of his way to heal an enemy he has defeated. When it becomes clear he will get no answer, Ulquiorra, stating Aizen has placed Orihime in his care, tells Grimmjow to hand her over. Grimmjow, refusing, attacks, but Ulquiorra easily blocks. Grimmjow, taunting him, fires a Cero, which Ulquiorra blocks. Ulquiorra, appearing above Grimmjow, fires a point blank Cero, which Grimmjow counters with his own, sending both Espada flying. Ulquiorra, emerging from the rubble unscathed, is grabbed from behind by Grimmjow, who throws a portable Caja Negación field into Ulquiorra's Hollow hole, temporarily trapping him in another dimension.
Later, Aizen, leaving Hueco Mundo for the Human world, leaves Las Noches in the control of Ulquiorra, who returns from the other dimension by ripping an opening back into Hueco Mundo. As he awaits Ichigo's arrival, he asks Orihime if she feels afraid now that there is no one left to protect her. She, boldly answering no, states she has confidence in her friends and Ichigo, and she is not fearful because her heart is with them. She elaborates further, detailing how she left to protect them, and though she did not initially understand why they came for her, she can now understand their actions. Ulquiorra, not knowing how she can harbor such feelings, presses her further. He asks her what a heart is, as he hears humans talk of it all the time to the point that it seems a physical concept. He, reaching out to touch the area above her heart, asks where he can find it. Just as he is about to further interrogate her, Ichigo breaks in, prepared to fight. Ulquiorra unsheathes his sword to kill Ichigo in order to protect Las Noches.
When Ichigo tells him to get away from Orihime, Ulquiorra states he has every intention of doing so, as Aizen's orders are to guard Las Noches in his absence and not to kill her. He notes that, unlike her, Ichigo is different, as killing him would be protecting Las Noches, and resolves to destroy him with his sword. Ichigo is surprised, stating he believed he would have to force him to take out his sword, and asks Ulquiorra if he finds him a worthy opponent. Ulquiorra states that, at the very least, he sees him as someone who must be destroyed.
Fake Karakura Town arc
As the two battle, Ichigo initially remains on the defensive, blocking Ulquiorra's amazingly fast attacks, but eventually he, deciding to go on the offensive, follows the Espada's movements closely enough to catch his arm and land a blow. Although Ulquiorra is barely cut, Ichigo has demonstrated a strength he did not have in their last battle. Undeterred, Ulquiorra, demonstrating his true speed, is blocked by Orihime's Santen Kesshun technique. When Ulquiorra asks her why she chose to help Ichigo, Orihime does not know what to say. As Ulquiorra tries to explain, Ichigo, interrupting, prepares a Getsuga Tenshō, but Ulquiorra tells him that by now he should know it will not work. However, Ichigo wraps the Getsuga around the blade, surprising Ulquiorra. Ulquiorra explains that without his mask on, Ichigo's attacks will do nothing.
When Ichigo notices the presence of Loly and Menoly, who have grabbed Orihime while she stood back from the fight, he advances on them, but Ulquiorra, intercepting him, deflects his Getsuga Tenshō. Telling Loly he was not trying to save her, he continues to stop Ichigo from advancing, saying he must kill him if he wishes to fight anyone else. They are interrupted by the arrival of Yammy. When Yammy states he is there to help, Ulquiorra states he does not need help. Ulquiorra tells him his job is elsewhere, suggesting he either sleep or fight the others, but Yammy refuses. When Yammy asks why Loly and Menoly are there, Ulquiorra, telling him to ask them, continues to fight Ichigo. When Yammy defeats Menoly and Loly, he asks Ulquiorra if he is allowed to kill Orihime next, but they are interrupted by Uryū Ishida, who takes on Yammy.
Ichigo, finally donning his mask, manages to crack Ulquiorra's blade. As Ichigo attacks, Ulquiorra, dodging, counters with a Cero. Surprised to find Ichigo has effortlessly blocked it, Ulquiorra moves to the top of the dome of Las Noches. As Ichigo notices their location, Ulquiorra reveals there are two things forbidden within Las Noches: the first is using the Espada's Gran Rey Cero, and the second is any of the Espada ranked four or above releasing their Zanpakutō, as either has the potential power to destroy the fortress. He proceeds to release his Zanpakutō. As he warns Ichigo to stay alert, he attacks. Although Ichigo defends himself with a Getsuga Tenshō reflexively, the upper-right portion of his mask is destroyed. Ulquiorra, noticing the reflex, says if Ichigo had not done so, his head would be lying at his feet.
Ulquiorra mentions Ichigo's power has increased and he can use his mask longer, but he still easily shattered his mask. He goes to attack Ichigo. When Ichigo dodges, Ulquiorra closes in for a strike. As Ulquiorra promises to show him the true difference in their power, Ichigo unleashes a Getsuga Tenshō, but Ulquiorra is completely unharmed. Ulquiorra states Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō is similar to his Cero. When Ichigo disagrees, Ulquiorra, noting he has not yet seen it, demonstrates the Espada's fully powered Cero Oscuras. The Cero Oscuras critically injures Ichigo and completely destroys his mask. As Ichigo falls, Ulquiorra tries to get him to surrender. When Ichigo tries to fire a Getsuga Tenshō in defiance, Ulquiorra, losing his calm, destroys part of the area, saying it is useless for Ichigo to keep trying. Sending his opponent flying once more, Ulquiorra, picking Ichigo up by the throat, tells him to just drop his sword and give up, as by now he can see the difference in their strength. An injured Ichigo states he has always known that Ulquiorra was stronger, but nothing he sees will change his mind, and he will defeat him regardless of his strength. Upon listening to Ichigo's reasoning, Ulquiorra, deciding to show Ichigo true despair, activates Resurrección: Segunda Etapa.
Ulquiorra explains he is the only Espada with a second release, which not even Aizen has seen. As Ichigo tries to fight with no fear, Ulquiorra resolves to show him true fear. He, flying towards Ichigo at full force, easily overwhelms him with his speed, but Ichigo, going on the defensive, summons his Hollow mask. Ulquiorra expresses his inability to understand Ichigo's resolve, believing it is a Human's "heart", which causes them pain and will result in their deaths. Uryū and Orihime arrive to the top of the dome just in time to see Ulquiorra send a Cero Oscuras through Ichigo's chest.
After Ulquiorra drops Ichigo's limp body, Orihime tries to heal Ichigo, but Ulquiorra says it is no use. Uryū attempts to attack with arrows, but it proves ineffective, and Ulquiorra states he believed Uryū to be the calmest of Ichigo's friends. As they continue to fight, Ulquiorra manages to sever Uryū's left hand. Despite this, Uryū keeps fighting, but is quickly defeated. Orihime, not knowing what to do, begins to panic. As she screams for Ichigo to help, Ichigo's arm begins to move, and his hair begins to grow longer. Ichigo stands, appearing entirely different, wearing a new Hollow mask with long horns. Shocked at his enemy's unexpected revival, and believing Ichigo to be dead, Ulquiorra demands to know who he is. Ichigo, summoning his sword to his hand without touching it, answers with a roar. Believing words to be useless, Ulquiorra fires a Cero Oscuras, but it is countered by Ichigo's own stronger Cero. Ulquiorra refuses to believe a Human could release a Cero, especially one capable of blowing away his own. Ichigo, appearing behind him, effortlessly takes off the Espada's left arm. Ulquiorra, quickly regenerating the arm, states he is the only Arrancar capable of instantly regenerating any non-vital body part. He resorts to using Lanza del Relámpago.
When the attack misses, Ulquiorra explains it is difficult to control. As he prepares a second spear, Ichigo uses Sonído to attack, shocking Ulquiorra. Ichigo throws the detached arm at him, but Ulquiorra, slashing it away, thrusts the spear, but Ichigo catches and breaks it. Ulquiorra is left dumbfounded, allowing Ichigo to slice him down the torso and slam him to the ground. As Ulquiorra states he cannot believe he was defeated by a Human turned Hollow, Ichigo, stepping on Ulquiorra's head, begins charging a Cero. Ulquiorra comments on how Ichigo shows no mercy, something very Hollow-like, but because Ichigo has beaten him, he has no reason to live. Ichigo releases the Cero, creating a vast and powerful explosion on the dome of Las Noches. Ulquiorra survives, but his left arm, both legs, and lower torso are blown away in the blast. Ichigo, tossing his tattered body aside, prepares to impale his throat with his sword. Uryū, stopping him, states Ichigo will no longer be Human if he goes through with such a merciless finish. In retaliation, Ichigo stabs Uryū, and just as he is about to attack Uryū with a Cero, Ulquiorra, having partially regenerated, severs one of Ichigo's horns, causing his Cero to disperse skyward.
The explosion shatters Ichigo's mask and he collapses to the ground. As his body and leg begin to regenerate, Ulquiorra muses that it is merely a front, as his internal organs were decimated by Ichigo's Cero and cannot regenerate. Even so, he believes Ichigo is finally dead. However, the hole in Ichigo's chest completely repairs itself and he awakes, shocking Ulquiorra with his ability to use High-Speed Regeneration. He, removing Zangetsu from Uryū's chest, throws it to the newly awoken Ichigo, demanding for the fight to finish. Ichigo refuses, stating his arm and leg should be cut off as well for the fight to be fair, as it was his inner Hollow who interfered. As Ulquiorra prepares to cut off his arm and leg, his body begins to dissolve into ash, and he realizes he is finished. He tells Ichigo to kill him now, but Ichigo refuses. Ulquiorra, woefully exclaiming Ichigo never does what he wants, admits his interest in humans has increased. Taking one final glance at Orihime, he asks her if she is afraid of him. With a saddened expression, she tells him she is not afraid. In his final thoughts, Ulquiorra ponders what a heart is. The Cuatro Espada reaches out to Orihime with his hand, but before Orihime can grab hold of it, his hand begins to dissolve into ash. From her gesture, he, finally realizing what a heart is, believes that there in his disintegrated hand is a heart. Ulquiorra fades entirely into the wind.
Powers & Abilities
Master Swordsman: Though he rarely engages in it, Ulquiorra is highly skilled in swordsmanship. He possesses flawless precision, and uses his speed to inflict lethal attacks without much effort. Ulquiorra prefers to wield his sword with his right hand, leaving the other hand free, though it usually remains in his pocket. He fended off Ichigo using his Hollow mask-enhanced Bankai long enough to reach the top of Las Noches, though his Zanpakutō was nearly broken.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Ulquiorra mostly relies on hand-to-hand combat, rarely drawing his sword at all. Ichigo speculates he only draws his sword against opponents he considers "worthy". Ulquiorra seems to prefer an off-the-ground method of combat, often attacking opponents from aerial standpoints, such as when he attempted to use his Cero on an offending Grimmjow by attacking him from the air above his head, or when he jumped upwards with Sonído in an attempt to catch Ichigo off-guard during their most recent confrontation. His trademark attack towards prey he likes is to impale them in the chest, gouging a hole in them in the same place as his own.
Sonído Master: One of Ulquiorra's more noticeable traits is his tremendously skillful speed. He caught up with Ichigo after kicking him from a tower in a few moments. He can skillfully keep up with Ichigo's Bankai speed. Ulquiorra moves at an excessively fast speed in combat, so fast Ichigo found it hard to even discern his movements at first. He remained able to use Sonído while being burdened with the absence of most of his left leg.
Cero: Ulquiorra can fire Cero from his fingers with excessively destructive power. His Cero can be charged and fired relatively fast, and is green instead of red, which is the most common color of a Cero. The force of the blast can send an opponent hurtling long distances, effectively destroying any obstacle in its path at great range. He can fire it from either hand.
Keen Intellect: In addition to his remarkable combat prowess, Ulquiorra is gifted with great insight and understanding of situations at hand. His intelligence is something Aizen, a man arguably best known for his intellect, harbors respect for, as he sent Ulquiorra to investigate Ichigo's power and threat level. With his calm and collected nature, Ulquiorra is highly perceptive and analytical, deducing the basic idea of his opponent's skills to figure out their strengths and weaknesses.
Bala: This technique hardens the user's spiritual pressure and fires it like a bullet from their fist. Ulquiorra's Bala is red, and is powerful enough to blast a huge hole into two unseated Shinigami.
Enhanced Hierro: The hardened skin of the Arrancar, which is a result of their compressed spiritual power. Ulquiorra's skin is highly durable, even by Arrancar standards. He can deflect attacks of similar power barehanded. He can defeat Ichigo with his Bankai and Hollow mask on without unsheathing his sword, rendering Ichigo defenseless with two attacks and not sustaining injuries of any kind. The best example of his Hierro's might is him taking a direct slash from Ichigo's Tensa Zangetsu with only a minor cut on his chest, while his fellow EspadaYammy Llargo lost an arm from the same opponent.
Enhanced Pesquisa: The Arrancar ability to sense spiritual energy. While any Arrancar can learn it, Ulquiorra possesses impressive skill with it. From a single glance at his opponent, Ulquiorra can immediately determine how powerful his opponent is. He can comprehend the flow and concentration of the person's energy, instantly noticing Ichigo's energy was fluctuating due to his inner Hollow.
Enhanced Strength: Ulquiorra is deceptively mighty for his slim build. He can physically injure Yammy, an Espada known primarily for his physical strength, with no visible effort. He can upturn huge portions of rock floor with a single strike at the ground with his sword. With a single kick, Ulquiorra sent Ichigo flying a tremendous distance away.
High-Speed Regeneration: Despite having great speed, durability, and attack power, Ulquiorra's greatest strength lies in his regenerative power. This power allows him to regenerate his eye after using his Solita Vista ability. During his battle against Ichigo's new Hollow form, he is even able regenerate his arm after having it torn off. Ulquiorra states it is his greatest power, one which most Arrancar give up in return for greater strength. He explains he can quickly regenerate any part of his body except for his brain and internal organs.
Solita Vista (共眼界 (ソリタ・ヴィスタ), Sorita Visuta; Spanish for "Accustomed View", Japanese for "All-Eyes World"): This ability allows Ulquiorra to replay events he has seen to others by removing and crushing an eye, which turns into dust and flows around those he intends to use it on. The dust relays his sight and feelings.
Immense Spiritual Power: His spiritual power is immensely high. As the fourth Espada, he is forbidden from releasing his Zanpakutō within Las Noches, as such a release could destroy the fortress. During his first visit to Karakura Town, he compared his spiritual power to that of Ichigo Kurosaki, a Shinigami with exceedingly high spiritual energy, and states Ichigo's energy at its peak is higher than his own, but fluctuates. His Reiatsu is green.
Garganta Broadcast: Ulquiorra can create a visual broadcast, similar to a television screen, using individual Garganta portals. He uses this technique to show the current predicament of Orihime's friends (Ichigo, Tōshirō Hitsugaya, and Rangiku Matsumoto) fighting their respective battles. (Unnamed)
Murciélago (黒翼大魔 (ムルシエラゴ), Murushierago; Spanish for "Bat", Japanese for "Black-Winged Great Demon"): Ulquiorra's Zanpakutō is a standard sized katana with a green handle and sheath. The guard has two curved extensions from its long sides with a line going through both sides, giving it an eye-like appearance.
Resurrección: Its release command is "Enclose" (鎖せ, tozase; Imprison in the English Dub).Murciélago unleashes a black and green burst of spiritual energy, which falls around Ulquiorra as green rain. In his released state, Ulquiorra becomes bat-like in appearance. While in this form, large, black bat wings form on his back, his hair grows longer and wilder, and the remains of his Hollow mask centers atop his head, with two large horns extending outward to the sides towards the front. The lines on his face become black, broader, and more triangular, and his fingernails lengthen. His Arrancar attire becomes more form fitting and closed at the top, becoming more like a robe towards the bottom. In this form, he can use his wings for flight.
Resurrección Special Ability: He gains even greater physical abilities in this form. Ulquiorra has the unique ability to enter a second released form called Resurrección: Segunda Etapa.
Luz de la Luna (ルス・デ・ラ・ルナ, Rusu de ra Runa; Spanish for "Light of the Moon"): He can generate green energy javelins. He can use them as ranged weapons, throwing them at an opponent, and as a melee weapon. It can be used in his Segunda Etapa form.
Enhanced Speed: His speed is greatly enhanced, moving great distances in an instant as if to displace himself, and pushing Ichigo to the point where his Hollow mask-enhanced Bankai has difficulty keeping up.
Enhanced Hierro: His Hierro has vastly increased in strength, to the point where a Getsuga Tenshō with Ichigo's mask activated has no effect at all.
Enhanced Spiritual Power: Though already possessing immense spiritual power, in his Resurrección, his black and green spiritual energy permeates the area. It is intense enough to create a profound effect on others and coalesce into green rain which falls in the surrounding area when he releases.
Cero Oscuras (黒虚閃 (セロ・オスキュラス), sero osukyurasu; Spanish for "Dark Zero", Japanese for "Black Hollow Flash"): It is a black Cero with a green outline, which Ulquiorra states to be similar to Ichigo's black Getsuga Tenshō. Ulquiorra's Cero Oscuras is powerful enough to blast Ichigo's mask away and destroy a large part of the city-sized Las Noches' dome. Ulquiorra refers to it as "our Cero". It can be used in his Segunda Etapa form.
Resurrección: Segunda Etapa (刀剣解放第二階層 (レスレクシオン・セグンダ・エターパ), resurekushion segunda etāpa; Spanish for "Resurrection: Second Stage", Japanese for "Sword's Release: Second Level") Upon his transformation, Ulquiorra states he is the only Arrancar among the Espada who can reach a second Resurrección form, and even Aizen has not seen him in this form. Ulquiorra refers to his second state as "True Despair", both before and after its release, because the immensely dense spiritual pressure it releases instills despair upon those around him. While he retains his black wings (which he can use defensively and offensively), his long white coat is gone, revealing his slender white torso, with his bare chest patterned so his Hollow hole (which has become larger) appears to be dripping black, blood-like liquid. His waist becomes covered in something similar to black fur, which covers his arms and legs. His fingers grow claw-like extensions, and his feet resemble talons. The irises of his eyes turn yellow, and the sclera become green. The tear-like marks under his eyes increase in size and turn black. Ulquiorra's mask is completely gone. He has two large bat ears, and the #4 Espada tattoo is no longer visible on his chest.
Latigo (ラティーゴ, Ratīgo; Spanish for "Whip"): He can use his very long, thin, and powerful tail as a whip or to lift, strike, and strangle a victim.
Overwhelming Reiatsu: Ulquiorra's already immense spiritual power significantly changes its Reiatsu's nature upon entering his second stage. Even being within the vicinity of his release instills despair on those who can sense it. Uryū Ishida, a Quincy who is an expert at sensing Reiatsu, noted that the density of Ulquiorra's spiritual power was so vast it could hardly be identified as Reiatsu.
Lanza del Relámpago (雷霆の槍 (ランサ・デル・レランパーゴ), ransa deru reranpāgo; Spanish for "Lance of the Lightning", Japanese for "Lance of Thunder and Lightning"): Ulquiorra creates a javelin-like weapon using his spiritual power. It is quite like his original energy javelins, with the only, if quite noticeable, difference being the energy flowing off of each end in a fashion similar to flames, making it look more arrow-shaped. He can use this weapon as a projectile or as a melee weapon. When thrown, it produces an incredibly destructive explosion on impact, which dwarfs the fortress of Las Noches in height. Ulquiorra prefers to not use the attack at close range, most likely because the resulting blast would damage himself as well as Las Noches. While he can use these spears in rapid succession, he has difficulty controlling their trajectory. Ulquiorra can use this attack as a blade, and he can use it to either disintegrate material upon impact, striking away his own amputated arm Hollow Ichigo had just thrown at him, or to cut, severing one of Hollow Ichigo horns to prevent him from using a Cero.
In the manga, during his fight with Hollow Ichigo, the latter throws his amputated arm at him. In the anime however, a large boulder is thrown instead.
Appearances in Other Media
Ulquiorra is the first Arrancar to be featured in a Bleach video game, appearing in the Bleach: Heat the Soul 3, Bleach: Heat the Soul 4, Bleach: Heat the Soul 5, and Bleach: Heat the Soul 6 installments of the Bleach: Heat the Soul series for the PlayStation Portable. He appears in the Wii fighting game Bleach: Shattered Blade, and is playable in the recent Bleach: Versus Crusade in which he remains unchanged from the prequel. His Resurrección: Segunda Etapa is playable for the first time ever in Bleach: Soul Carnival 2 on PSP, and again later in Bleach: Heat the Soul 7. He has a cameo and artwork in Bleach: Dark Souls, and is featured in the Bleach DS game Bleach: The 3rd Phantom. In Bleach: The 3rd Phantom, he is capable of using a skill called Expiacion (Spanish for "Atonement/Expiation"), a powerful technique where a black 'X' is formed which damages not only his foes, but himself as well if he gets caught in it, with an aftermath of holding down his opponents who are in range of the attack. In Bleach: Soul Resurrección, Ulquiorra is playable in his Segunda Etapa form, and can use Tromba (魔旋襲 (トロンバ), Toronba; Spanish for "Whirlwind", Japanese for "Devil Whirling Strike"), where he rapidly flies around the enemy in a circle while leaving damaging green energy behind him, and Vuello Oscuras (黒翔撃 (ヴェロ・オスキュラス), Vuero Osukyurasu; Spanish for "Dark Flight", Japanese for "Black Soaring Attack"), where he flies forward and loop-de-loops before surging forward, damaging all enemies in his path. Ulquiorra has his own character album as part of the Bleach Beat Collection 3rd Session. The three vocal tracks are titled CRUSH the "WORLD" DowN, Our World, and "Voice Message". In Bleach: The Hell Verse, Ulquiorra is featured briefly in the opening, as a flashback to his fight with Ichigo is re-enacted.
Ulquiorra's name is sometimes romanized as Ulquiorra Schiffer.
He was voted the 10th most popular character in the most recent popularity poll with 3751 votes.
His theme song, as chosen by Tite Kubo, is "Moonshield," on the album "The Jester Race" by the group "In Flames."
Ulquiorra's first appearance in the manga was considerably different from his later appearances in the manga and the anime. He had thinner eyelashes, a lack of black borders on his coat, a higher Hollow hole, a longer Hollow mask remnant with a notable crack, and shorter hair. He was more prone to making facial expressions, conflicting with his melancholic demeanor.
Ulquiorra appears to have dark-colored nails in the manga, but in the anime, they appear to be normal-colored.
Ulquiorra's death was voted the most impactful scene of the year by the fans, and was played on the screen in Jump Festa 2009, with Tite Kubo present.
In the Bleach best bout poll, Ulquiorra's final fight with Ichigo came in second place.
(To Orihime Inoue) "The fact that you only have two escorts is a bit anticlimactic, but having those annoying walls fixed in place suits me just fine, since rushing a conversation isn't really in my nature."
(To Orihime Inoue) "Do not ask any questions. Do not say anything. You have no rights. What you hold in your hand is the rope to the guillotine above your friends' necks. Nothing more. Understand, girl. This is not a negotiation, it's an order."
(To Orihime Inoue) "What would you have me say? 'Don't worry, I'm sure he's still alive'? Ridiculous. I am not here to comfort you. I don't understand: why are you so fixated on life and death? At any rate, your friends will soon be annihilated. So what if that's one step closer? They should have seen this coming from the start. If they couldn't see it coming, the fault lies in their own foolishness. Laughing them off as a group of idiots would be sufficient. Why can't you do that? If it were me, and my friends entered Hueco Mundo without first gauging their strength, I'd be infuriated by their stupidity."
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Even if you rise up a thousand times, there will be no victory for any of you."
(To Orihime Inoue) "Hearts, you say? You Humans are always so quick to speak of such things. As though you carry your hearts in the very palms of your hands. But this eye of mine perceives all. There is nothing that it overlooks. If this eye cannot see a thing, then it does not exist. That is the assumption under which I have always fought. What is this "heart"? If I tear open that chest of yours, will I see it there? If I smash open that skull of yours, will I see it there?" 
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Do not allow yourself to be shaken. Do not weaken your stance. Open your senses. And do not let your guard down for an instant."
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "No matter how your appearance and techniques may resemble those of an Arrancar, it is as distant from us as the Earth from the sky. It is an understandable route for humans and Shinigami who wish to obtain power to imitate Hollows. However, it will never allow you to stand upon the same level as Arrancar."
(To Ichigo Kurosaki before entering the Segunda Etapa) "Your words are those of a man who knows not true despair. If you know it not, then allow me to teach you. This is the face of true despair."
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "You are a fool, Ichigo Kurosaki. You willingly seek to challenge an opponent so much more powerful than you that it strikes a primal fear into your being. Incomprehensible. If this is the work of the 'heart' that you people speak of, then it is because you possess this 'heart' that you humans bring hurt upon yourself, because you possess this 'heart' that you lose your lives."
(To Ichigo Kurosaki before getting shot point blank by his Cero) "I see. So you show no mercy. Just like a true Hollow. I care not. Defeated by you as I stand, my existence holds no further meaning. Do it."*
(To Ichigo Kurosaki) "Kill me. Make it quick. I no longer have the strength left in me to even walk. If you do not cut me down now, then this will go unsettled for eternity."
(While dying) "I see. So this is it. It lies here within this palm. The heart."