That was quite a surprise, for Kubo-sensei to actually let Byakuya take the back-seat in the fight and let Rukia deal the finishing blow. I am still of the opinion that the fight would have been concluded better when Rukia used her absolute zero attack on Äs Nödt, it would have saved Rukia from appearing so weak for one chapter as well as her bankai for another battle. Still, finally, FINALLY, we get to see the main female character’s bankai…after so many years of hoping and wishing, Kubo-sensei finally rewards the patience of his readers. Hopefully with Byakuya breaking Äs Nödt and inspiring Rukia, and Rukia unleashing her bankai on Äs Nödt, he will be down for the count for good this time. Quite a cool chapter with some nice brother and sister development between Byakuya and Rukia.
I feel sorry for Äs Nödt, he had the perfect opportunity to kill Byakuya, but nope, just like the usual silly villain, he gets cocky and high on his power and leaves the Byakuya alive. BAD MOVE Äs Nödt, you basically set yourself up for defeat when you failed to deal the finishing blow on Byakuya. Äs Nödt overestimated his own “fear” power and Byakuya’s capability to evolve his fighting style. Byakuya assessed Äs Nödt “fear” power and saw the underlying source behind it all, with that knowledge, he practically thrashed Äs Nödt with just his shikai. Going to be interesting to see how far exactly Byakuya has taken his shikai and how much more powerful his bankai is now.
Rukia, you don’t get to see this vulnerable side of Rukia often, actually there are only really three people she gets this soft and vulnerable with; her nii-san (Byakuya), Kaien, and Ichigo. Nice to see the relationship between Byakuya and Rukia develop, especially considering that the story of Bleach began with Byakuya being quite cold to Rukia as he forced himself to follow the laws of Soul Society which sentenced Rukia to death after she helped Ichigo. Rukia was able to gain strength from Byakuya’s acknowledgement of her and overcome the fear within herself.
Äs Nödt, poor guy, he was looking so sinister last chapter, but just chapter he looked like a broken toy…a toy with eyes handing out of their sockets and their skin peeling…he should be down for the count aka. dead, after this chapter, but we could be trolled again by Kubo-sensei =P.
RUKIA’S BANKAI! Hakka no Togame (White Mist Sentence) huh? Sounds like a spectacular finishing move, even looks like it when you notice the ice mist cross at the end of the chapter. Rukia, the epitome of Bleach, cleansing any and all stained evil with her White Ice Bleaching Powers. Looking forward to the next chapter.