The newest ability demonstrated by Rukia feels rather puzzling in how it is executed. Most likely, it was meant to be the opposite of Yamamoto’s Bankai, which put his sword at an impossibly high temperature. In this situation, however, the numbers are not meant just to sound absurd, but to present an exact science with how her Zanpakutou works. This kind of skill feels out of place in Bleach, since techniques like those of Yamamoto were shown to carry risks without any exact numbers required. There’s even an opportunity to see the consequences of breaking the rules she established, and they aren’t all that impressive.
As Nodt unleashes his full power in this chapter, which coincidentally makes it even harder to remember the character is meant to be some variety of archer. The creation of a dome full of eyes with which to surround the opponent feels similar to many powers that have come before. It doesn’t even come across as strong visually in the same way it did previously. With Byakuya, the fear took the form of his sister hideously melting, and so far the main effect of the fear is simply to make the opponent stop moving. The most terrifying aspect of this power appears to be As Nodt’s redesign, but there’s no indication that Rukia herself is affected by it.
Just when everyone was beginning to wonder where Byakuya had gone, he arrives in what Kubo must consider just in the nick of time to save Rukia. It seems a little early for him to appear, considering Rukia is still mostly capable of fighting. His reason for entering the fight would be to avenge his own loss rather than letting his sister do it, but this treads on Rukia’s big moment by showing her newfound power to be just barely not good enough. This is not to imply that refusing to let her succeed would be new ground, of course, but the history of the series only serves to make it more frustrating.
Final Flash: A lot of characters talking, but not much is done to properly convey what they should be.