So, after countless chapters of chattering, Bleach is finally back to its bread-n-butter: one-on-one fights. The first fight—one of four match-ups that serve as appetizers in the Winter War arc—is between Yumichika Ayasegawa, fifth seat of the eleventh division, and Charlotte Coolhorn, one of five Fraccións under the top arrancar Barragan.
Rather or not it’s a good matchup depends on your definition of “good matchup.”
In terms of credentials, it may seem like it was not a fair fight, since Coolhorn, a direct underling of the top arrancar, should require at least a Shinigami lieutenant to tackle while Yumichika, a mere fifth seat. Of course, Yumichika’s fifth seat status was more of his weird, narcissistic choice (the kanji for five (五) is the next aesthetic character to the kanji three (三), which was taken by his lifelong friend Ikkaku) than of his skill, which he did prove back in the Soul Society arc when he took out the Lieutenant-level Shinigami Shuuhei Hisagi. So, Yumichika can certainly stand in for the fight at the level of at least a Lieutenant, making this a fair fight.
On the other hand, in terms of narcissism, they were a perfect match. During the whole fight, they traded as much insults about the other’s nose and hair as sword strikes. And what is up with those technique names: super magnum sexy sexy glamorous cero, and miraculous sweet ultra funky fantastic dramatic romantic sadistic erotic exotic athletic guillotine attack.
Of course, this seemingly comical exchange was just a cover for the more serious underlying death match, and they both knew it well that only one of them would walk away breathing. That erotic exotic athletic guillotine attack broke Yumichika’s arm in three places, and the sexy sexy glamorous cero was the first wide angle shot of one of the most fearsome ranged attack by a hollow.
For a brief while, Coolhorn had a death grip choke on Yumichika, who had no one else to blame than himself for not willing to release his shikai in front of his comrades. His vanity of appearance was going to be the cause of his demise. However, Coolhorn’s own vanity of wanting to erase his opponent where no one can witness was a bigger mistake. Within Coolhorn’s rosa blanca, an attack that confines its opponent within a void where no one from the outside can see, Yumichika was free to release his kidou-sword’s shikai Ruriiro Kujaku, an attack that spreads numerous vines from his sword which attach onto its opponent. When the lilies on the vines bloomed, it sucked all of Coolhorn’s reiatsu dried, effectively killing him.
Overall, the fight was a bit disappointing. Coolhorn, as the introduction of the power that an underling from the top three arrancar should feature, seemed quite weak. I would’ve been more impressed if he had defeated the Ruriiro Kujaku by overloading the lilies with overwhelming reiatsu. Let’s just see how much reiatsu can those sucking flowers suck. It might have also pushed Yumichika to release a surprise bankai too, which would be totally awesome. But as it is now, we’ll have to wait.