Originally Posted by sayde
I'm not sure you're understanding my main point here. In terms of speed and strength the Espada should've been much more capable than what we were shown -- period. <--- That's the main point. If clever tactics, abilities, and strategy were to be used on the captains behalf, it should've been used more to give them a fighting chance against this. We should've seen Espada 1, 2, & 3 completely dominate their opponents with the bare essentials while the fights were still mostly 1-on-1 straight sword duels. So the mere fact that the captains were able to match the top 3 espada's released strength and speed implies either the top 3 espada are much slower and physically weaker than Ulquiorra, or Hitsugaya, Soifon, and Shunsui are all physically faster and stronger than a Bankai'd Vizard Ichigo. Needless to say, I'm not buying it.
I realize that may have been Kubo's intention. But unfortunately, he failed to set up the plot or the fights in such a way where the main character could have such a battle without creating too much contradiction in the process.
Using clever strategies and wits is great. I'm all for it. In fact it would've been awesome to see some of those abilities, strategies, and wits used to level the playing field against opponents who for all intents and purposes should've been vastly physically superior to the captains. But instead, a lot of the strategies and wits were used to support battles based mostly around abilities and techniques instead.
I think Kubo begins to use a decent example of how I would've liked the battles with the Espada to play out later on, but for the sake of spoilers, I can't go into specifics.
It's true that Ichigo may not be captain level yet. But it's not because of his strength, speed, or spiritual energy. It's for pretty much everything else -- (intelligence, tactics/strategy, maturity, experience, control, etc.) Also Ulquiorra's statement makes the disparity between his own strength and the other 3 Espada feel all the more greater -- which makes their performance all the more underwhelming.