Real strength is found in pushing yourself beyond pain to get stronger. True bravery isn't having a lack of fear. It's finding the strength to move forward in spite of it. Rukia Kuchiki is ready to put on a display of strength and bravery that will make her brother proud.
Good writing is when you can play and tease with your reader's expectations. I was so hoping to see Rukia use bankai, but my expectations were in check. I never thought it was really going to happen. I was content up until I felt that Byakuya was going to step in and push Rukia aside. However, Kubo has surprised me once again. Byakuya's appearance is completely appropriate, and I like his role of ring man. He calls a time out just long enough to tell Rukia that she can handle this then steps back out.
Rukia's powers have become awesome enough in the previous chapters. I don't want to start filling my head with expectations for what we're going to see from her now. The bankai should be appreciated on their first appearance. All I'm willing to guess at is that it will have something to due with ice. Seems like a safe wager at this point, right?
I still believe you start to diminish the bankai if everyone starts poppin' one off every battle, but I think it's justified enough given Rukia's specialized training. She also qualifies as a major character in the series.
This chapter of BLEACH is easily the best of the week for WSJ, and I don't mind predicting that next week will also surpass its compatriot series. Most of us felt the manga was going to fall back into the cliche of the man supplanting the woman in battle. Little did we know that Kubo had a surprise for us. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I'm so looking forward to what's coming next week.
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