Renji’s time in the spotlight has been put on hold for now as he takes a nap after defeating Mask de Masculine. His hiding spot turns out to be a poor choice however, and Nanana Najahkoop finds him and observes him sleeping. Renji has never been the brightest shinigami out there, but luckily for him, for some unknown reason the Sternritter chooses not to dispatch him while he’s vulnerable and instead fight him after he wakes. I certainly hope it’s not because some honor bullshit, because Nanana just made a really stupid decision. Nevertheless, I’m sure he will be able to give Renji a run for his money and catch him off guard; after all, the protagonists almost always face the villains in ascending order of strength.
Right now, its Rukia’s time to show off her new skills, and after seeing Renji’s fight, I’m pretty curious as to what she’ll be capable of. As she roams around Soul Society, she runs into As Nodt – a fitting match-up against the person that took Senbonzakura and defeated Byakuya in the first round. The somewhat androgynous As Nodt has huge black irises and a very slim and tall figure; as before, his power is “true fear”. Despite his creepy appearance, he seems somewhat arrogant and overly talkative regarding his powers, a sign of weakness and predictor of defeat in Bleach. I’m pretty sure she will be able to kick his ass handily; she’s already off to a pretty good start by easily overcoming the fear. Being “incapable of fear”, it is now her turn to strike fear into As Nodt’s heart. Of course this battle probably still has a few chapters to go, and both of them have yet to reveal any more powerful abilities like Volstandig or Bankai. Rukia has clearly advanced several levels through her training with the Royal Guard, so I’m still expecting a relatively one-sided battle like Renji vs. Mask. It should be fun watching the new bad-ass Rukia spitting off more cool lines and effortlessly countering her opponent’s powers.