Barragan reveals that each of the Espada represents one of the ten aspects of death. Harribel (who represents sacrifice) continues to fight Hitsugaya. They both attempt to use their own abilities against each other, turning water into ice and vice versa. Hitsugaya is handicapped by the presence of injured allies in the area however, and the area soon fills up with water. Though he takes a lot of damage, he reveals his ability to control the weather. Nearby, Shunsui questions Stark why they don’t step up and level of their fight and Stark obliges by firing a cero.
I think Hitsugaya is a bit underestimated due to his age. While it is true he often seems to be in trouble and has to pull out bankai in a lot of his fights, he is holding his own against the number three Espada pretty well. Compared to Ichigo, who had his bankai and normal hollow mask completely dominated by number four’s resurrection, Hitsugaya is still able to fight without much of a problem after taking direct hits from Harribel’s cero and Cascada. There is speculation that Ulquiorra is much stronger than his rank indicates due to the fact he has a second release, but for now I’ll stick with the numbered system. Captain class shinigami are at least on par with Ichigo. Of course Ichigo’s abilities are still very impressive considering the time he’s been a shinigami.
That said, I found Hitsugaya rather annoying with his long screams and inexperience in dealing with the unexpected. The episode was dull, mostly involving exchange of smack talk and mediocre attacks. Freezing water attacks and melting ice attacks is a cool idea, but after a while it isn’t too interesting to watch. Hitsugaya and Harribel wasted most of their opportunities by following up their attacks with small talk, which killed the pacing. Now that he has taken control of the weather though, hopefully the fight will advance more next time. For me, the highlight of the episode was Stark’s cero; it’s definitely exciting to watch two experienced players battling.
Omake: Yes, wearing less clothes can be convenient when you have water powers, but I think it’s better for showing off that extremely toned body.