In Bankai, Getsuga Tenshō has several distinguishing features and abilities separating it from its shikai counterpart. The waves are colored black (with a red outline in the anime) as opposed to blue, earning it the nickname "Kuroi Getsuga" (黒月牙; "Black Moon Fang") as identified by Byakuya Kuchiki. While in Bankai, Ichigo seems to have the ability to control the trajetory of this enhanced rendition of his primary attack, with explosive power and augmented speed. The technique is also very malleable, as its shape will change depending on the manner in which it is used. Ichigo has also demonstrated holding Getsuga Tenshō within Zangetsu to augment his melee attacks. Getsuga Tenshō in bankai was initially used by Hollow Ichigo, and has therefore been recognized to be his original technique. Interestingly, in the anime Hollow Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō is black in shikai as well, which was probably to keep consistency with the canon. Moreover, in Ichigo's inner world, Hollow Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō, as well as his bankai, is white (with a red outline added in the anime).
This move was also demonstrated by Ichigo Kurosaki's father, Isshin Kurosaki during his fight with Sōsuke Aizen. It was powerful enough to destroy a significant area of Karakura Town and create a large crator in the ground.