When Kurotsuchi does things in the name of science and research, he is truly an unstoppable monster. Even after Hitsugaya goes down, he continues to inject strange drugs into him, including the painful, paralyzing venom in his sword, Ashisogi Jizo. I realized that Mayuri hasn’t actually used his demon-baby bankai after he broke his zanpakutou and seems to be relying on other techniques he developed. Clearly he doesn’t seem to need it though, and even Hitsugaya at his strongest is rendered helpless without much of a real fight. Hitsugaya isn’t the only second-rate fighter to have been turned into Giselle’s slave though – Matsumoto, Kensei and Rose have all been zombi-fied after their disappointing performances and defeat earlier in the battle. Now they are glorified cannon fodder for the enemy team, only to face torture at the hands of a mad scientist. I don’t expect the three of them to last long, but Kurotsuchi still has to deal with Gigi before he can conduct his “experiments” in peace. That’s three captains and one lieutenant to add to his body count.
They aren’t the only characters Kubo has decided to take out early though; elsewhere, Byakuya has singlehandedly defeated three of the Sternritter off screen. I would have wanted to see that fight, but apparently they weren’t significant enough to be worth showing. Colonel Sanders actually injured Shunsui and Nanana was stalking Renji for a while so it’s not completely clear why they were cut out so soon. Of course there isn’t exactly a shortage of characters at this point. Another quincy with mind control abilities has appeared as well; Pepe, Sternritter “L”, possesses the power of love (love of himself to be exact), charming both Hisagi and Meninas and forcing them to attack Byakuya and Liltotto, respectively. He looks like some sort of black Santa Claus/fat biker pimp, and he has pretty ridiculous power too. I guess this is the chance for Byakuya to show off what he’s got, though as of right now his opponents aren’t particularly impressive. No doubt he won’t hesitate to take down Hisagi if necessary, and he can probably overcome any gimmicks that Pepe throws at him. However in the end, the results of these small skirmishes don’t really matter at all except to cater to fans; what really determines the outcome of this war is what Ichigo is able to do against Yhwach, Hacshwald, and Ishida in the Royal Palace. Once enough secondary characters have been whittled down or incapacitated, I expect that’s what the remainder of the arc will be dedicated to.