Well, first of all: why did we have to watch Renji showing off in the last chapter, when we don’t even see the fight now? Kind of lame… so it really was just to show that Renji has gotten a lot stronger.
Next up: Hitsugaya… well, actually, this fight is really interesting, because Hitsugaya is attacking his opponents mind, instead of his body. From their outlook apperance, they look about the same age, but man… Hitsugaya sure is a lot more mature, calculating and intelligent. We don’t even get to see him using his powers at all, it’s like he’s totally overwhelming the cheeky brat who calles himself “god” and Ice Boy is doing it with just some mind tricks. I like it that they play the intelligent part of Hitsugaya, because he is supposed to be a genius and very smart. We don’t really need to see him using his powers, we already now he’s very strong and add the fact that they all got stronger since the fight with Aizen, I think it’s pretty save to say that he’s damn strong now. And you know what? I believe that, because he’s supposed to be(come) strong, unlike Renji who originally wasn’t able to catch up with the “strong guys”.
There has to be a reason why Hitsugaya decited to play mind tricks instead of just going Shikai or Bankai und wreck the entire place. From what we’ve seen so far, he should be able to defeat him very easy, so there has to be a reason. What I can think of is the possibility that he may be afraid the others are stuck in this weird artificial word, if he doesn’t get his opponent to destroy the fake-realitiy. Plus, he’s probably on the same wavelenght as Renji: no killing your opponent, or you’re a bad boy. It’s most likely easier to get him out of there (into Mayuris lab?) if he’s mentally broken other than half dead.
I’m positively surprised, because we’ve hardly ever seen such a battle in Bleach. They all just go and instantly try to kill each other with their swords and that’s ok, because there’s some good action involved (at least before the Hueco Mundo arc where one chapter had one strike and lot’s of useless talk) and of course, the action is what makes Bleach good, but it’s really nice to see a mental fight for once, a character being mentally broken. That’s incredibly heartless and very cruel. A broken bone just heals more or less good, but a broken mind? Not that easy.
Way to go Ice Boy, this fight is pretty good, very onesided, but still very interesting and surprisingly cruel from Hitsugayas side.