I’m a little surprised that Byakuya held back against Hisagi like he did, refusing to use lethal force. After all, he’s never been the type of person to have qualms about cutting down his friends or allies. He had no problem personally pursuing his own sister Rukia to bring her to execution, nor did he have any problem attacking Tsukishima for Ichigo’s sake, even though he was an “old friend”. But now, he only chooses to incapacitate Hisagi, whose “heart” was captured by Pepe. Even after the Sternritter forces Hisagi to rise and continue the attack, Byakuya does not use any offensive abilities, sticking with Bakudou to try to restrain him and defend himself. In his inner monologue, he shows no hesitation to sacrifice his own body and zanpakutou should they turn against him — yet he refuses to kill Hisagi. As a result, Byakuya ends up unable to do anything against him and is hit by multiple love beams.
As Pepe gears up to deal the final blow, he also strips off his clothes, flexing his fabulous angelic body in its full glory. He attaches several love ropes from his underwear to Byakuya, but before he can unleash his ultimate attack, zombie Rose and Kensei save him (interestingly, Matsumoto is missing). The two of them still have that nice undead tan, and now also have black marks running across their forehead and eyes, probably indicating that Kurotsuchi has defeated Gigi and is controlling her puppets. As long as zombies don’t have hearts, the power of science will soon overcome the power of love, and hopefully that also means the end of this dumb overgrown baby. Thank God Charlotte wasn’t with them or this fight could drag on a lot longer. Byakuya was certainly never going to die to a villain as ridiculous as Pepe, but I was really disappointed at his defeat this time, especially after all of the Zero Squad power upgrades and previous successes against other Sternritter. He ends up being saved by two almost useless captains that aren’t even conscious, from some fat, black Cupid with generic mind control powers that we will forget within a month. Seriously, Kensei and Rose were defeated off-screen again and now they show up to do someone else’s bidding. It’s getting harder and harder to care about these people, as there are so many other characters that haven’t been shown in a long time, with no end in sight.