Kurotsuchi Mayuri has always been the most sadistic character in Bleach. If you recall his fight against the arrancar mad scientist Szayelaporro, then it is clear that Kurotsuchi doesn’t simply outmaneuver his opponents with superior planning and gimmicky techniques, but he actively tries to fuck with their minds and make them suffer mentally. He really takes mind control to the next level, applying some proprietary drug discreetly to Hitsugaya before he can attack. They skirmish for a bit, and Hitsugaya releases his bankai. The twist is that just as he strikes the fatal blow, the entire sequence begins again… and again every time it seems he’s about to win. Supposedly the drug causes him to replay his short term memory over and over, though the two of them are also able to carry on new conversations in that time. Regardless of what is happening to him, the drug apparently also alters reality bit by bit through the many iterations, and the poor kid is never actually able to kill Mayuri. Eventually his mind becomes too disoriented and he collapses.
My question though is how this is was possible if he isn’t controlling his own will and consciousness. Since the drug was only applied to Hitsugaya, do the people around him also perceive the time reset? This type of theme isn’t uncommon (see Naruto or the recently adapted All You Need Is Kill), but Kubo never explains his crazy powers completely. Kurotsuchi does seem to be somewhat aware of the progression through each sequence, but since Giselle, who doesn’t show up at all this week, is the one actually controlling Hitsugaya’s mind, it makes more sense if she was one trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Perhaps, putting him in some sort of Inception limbo state has disconnected Giselle’s mind control, and he’s has regained some of his own awareness. Alternatively, she will just abandon his broken mind and find some other way to fight Kurotuschi. Either way though, Hitusgaya has been screwed over pretty hard by both sides.