Ok, so I was originally going to post this as a comment on Godisme's blog, but it became too long, so I'm putting it as a separate blog.
I'm pretty sure we all knew this was coming. It's the final arc, I was half-expecting a lot of people to die. The way they're dying, however, I agree is utter bullcrap.
I mean, right off the bat Sasakibe died (which didn't actually bother me too much), then Kira gets taken out of commission (which I honestly thought was extremely stupid, they should have taken out one of the newly introduced seated members), Ichigo is trapped, Byakuya is presumed dead, Kenpachi defeated, and now Yama is one-shotted by a sword made of reishi?! Don't you think that with Byakuya and Yama's level of proficiency they would know how to defend against their own bankai? Let alone dodging a sword?
I understand that bankai is their trump card, but remember when Byakuya's bankai was turned on him from Tsukishima? He improvised and still managed to take him down. Why couldn't he have done something like that against Äs? Speaking of which, [rant] I honestly don't believe his page should say he is dead, Grimmjow's page stayed unconfirmed until Kubo said he will be back. Just because Hogwash said that he died doesn't mean that he is. We see this type of thing in Anime/Manga all the time. "Oh, he's dead" *turns back* *'dead' person gets up and stabs him*. His zanpakuto broke. So what? We see them break all the time, it doesn't necessarily mean he's dead. Even Gin tricked Aizen into thinking Rangiku was dead when he used Hakufuku. [/rant]
Okay, so Kirge was killed by someone and Kisuke has a sword to his head. Want to reveal who's sword it is? It's been like, 2 months since that chapter was revealed, stop leaving us in suspense. I mean, it's pretty obvious who it is, too. If you look at the sword, it's a zanpakuto, and the only people in Hueco Mundo with zanpakuto's are Arrancars (OR ASHIDO, HURRRRR). And since most of the Arrancars have either been rounded up or killed, and the only one with the strength to be able to do something like that to Kirge has to be Grimmjow (ASHIDOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!1). Regardless, go back to Hueco Mundo, show Grimmjow, and get Ichigo out of that box!
Once Yama set foot on the battlefield, he was set-up to die. We all knew it. Not all of us wanted to admit it, but somewhere deep down, we knew it. And he knew it too, based on the flashback. He went all out and showed most of his abilities, he was set-up to be killed by Bach. What I did not expect, however, was the extremely cop-out way that he died. Being cut in half then incinerated? That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about him basically going, "Oh crap, my bankai was stolen, better stand here and act like a sitting duck." If he knew he was going to die, he should have done something like, I don't know, SLOW HIM DOWN?! He probably could have done something that at least give him a limp making Hirenkyaku more difficult. But no, he just stood there like a wimp. Also, did anybody else notice the unnamed Sternritter that Yama incinerated get back up?! Does that mean that Äs and NaNaNaNaNaNaNaNaBATMAN are still alive? Äs certainly looked dead, but who knows.
I came up with a theory as to why Ichigo's bankai can't be stolen, but this is purely speculation. I don't think I've seen anyone else mention this, either. And no, it has nothing to do with fullbring, hollow, compression, or any of the other common theories. I'm thinking the method in which bankai was obtained. Think about it. Ichigo and Kisuke are the only two people in the Bleach universe to have acquired bankai in this fashion. Everyone's bankai that has been stolen so far have all acquired bankai in the normal fashion. Is it that wrong to think that this might be the case? I mean, there are only two ways this can be proven (for the most part), 1. They come right out and say it, and/or; 2. Kisuke's bankai can't be stolen, either. And this is also speculation, but the two confirmed war potentials are Ichigo and Kenpachi. If my theory is right, then that would likely place Kisuke in there as well.
Does anyone besides me think the whole replacements-for-Zennosuke bit was pointless? I really don't see it as being of any point, unless Zennosuke has been sand-bagging this entire time and reveals himself to be the REAL captain-commander. But we know that won't happen.
I think this arc has potential, but so far it's been pretty disappointing. I understand it's a war and even the best soldiers can be gunned down in a fire fight or surprise attack; but they weren't really surprised attacked and they pretty much went down without a fight. I mean, yeah, they showed up sooner than they said, but they prepared for that. They shouldn't have been this off-guard. I guess we'll have to wait and see just how strong the Royal Guard is, and if 10 chapters of useless killing was worth the wait.
And those are my thoughts. What do you think?