It’s been pointed out before that the captains of the Gotei 13 rely heavily on their bankai’s for fighting any sort of above-average opponents. Overuse of their supposedly “ultimate power” over the course of the series has watered down the impressiveness of a lot of the bankai’s however, and now they just seem like mediocre, spammable abilities. Now that Sternritter added the caveat of effectively blocking the captains from using their bankai’s, they are forced to improvise. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who thought that despite the shinigami’s wide arsenal of techniques, they have shown themselves to be pretty useless without bankai. Of course now the captains are eager to prove otherwise, as Hitsugaya and Matsumoto have demonstrated with their new ice and ash technique.
Now, Soifon too is eager to demonstrate her newly mastered Shunko against BG9, Sternritter “K”, who seems more robot than human, in both form and mannerisms. I didn’t know that non-biological (or cyborg) quincies existed, but it seems that Kubo is taking a variety-over-rule approach. BG9 also uses a large gatling gun along with several very long tentacles, though I think very few of the quincies are actually still using bows and arrows now. Soifon successfully makes the first attack, cutting the barrel of BG9s gun and punching him back with great force. Of course, their celebration is bit premature, as the quincies didn’t prepare a thousand years for this invasion just to get outplayed by a few new tricks. Bleach has a very predictable, formulaic approach to these fights with each side one-upping the other with different powers multiple times in attempt to take their opponent by surprise. It’s a nice try compensating for the lack of bankai, but there is little doubt that now Sternritter will give these captains quite some trouble with their “true powers” – that is, until Kenpachi bursts out of the ground slaughtering quincies left and right with ease. There are also a lot of other characters that haven’t been shown in battle yet, so we have quite a few things to look forward to in the upcoming weeks.