Choujirou is currently the 3rd quickest person mentioned, to have acquired a bankai in such a short time (the first is Ichigo, then Urahara).
2000 years of polishing a weather controlling bankai, damn, it just might have 10 stages, since Byakuya's had 3 forms and he isn't even close as old.
As to Ichigo leaving the cage:
I feel like drawing his new form, I can more or less imagine it :D... or can't I ? Damn, I'm not sure in which way it will go. To Hichogo's level 2, with marks, but without the mask, or more around what we have seen from FGT...
That's a good question. I don't believe they die. I think they MAY lay dormant. It's a tricky situation certainly.
I say that because Tousen used the Zanpakuto of his deceased friend as his own. However Kubo never explained whether or not his friend had unlocked Shikai or Bankai prior to dying. I'm guessing she had not. Also if Zanpakutos DO die, how is it that the Sternritter Overkill was still able to use Choujirou's Bankai? Shouldn't it have been depleted?
You can argue that because the Bankai was captured & confined within their technology that it remained. However since Zanpakutos are a suppose to be an extension of their master's power who's generating the the energy for these stolen Bankai? That's some badass tech these Quincies have!
Sorry I can't give you an answer. I'm not sure myself on this one.
Touzen might have used the Sword made by his friends soul, but the spirit inhabiting that sword which came from his friend had died when she died.
Now in the case of the Sternritters' medallions, they have succeeded in capturing and enslaving that part of the Shinigami's soul. No doubt the shinigami find it very offensive and disturbing indeed indeed.
It was a short yet great chapter.
So mangastream version says he didn't used it for 2000 years.... he must have been really rusty lately without using it for that long and without ever participating in serious fights for that long..... and how old are this dudes lol? yamamoto must be over 5000 yrs old or more
Let's try to remember that Kubo has emphasized how dangerous Byakuya's Bankai is to himself, we saw that re-emphasized in the last arc. Now unless your hide is very thick, or you have a technique that hardens the skin, Byakuya's Bakai will do some damage.
Now having said that, I personally have to believe that Yamamoto Genriyusai will somehow Tank Byakuya's stuff, but that's the limit.
Now here's where things get really interesting. I initially thought Yamamoto was about 1,000 years old. When Yama faced off against Aizen he said there hasn't been a Shinigami stronger than him in over 1,000 years. Now it turns out that Yama is well over 2,000 years old, and in a recent chapter Kurotsushi told Yamamoto all of this was happening because he failed to kill "that man" (= Buckbeard) 1,000 years ago. Very exciting indeed.
And Zaraki's so dead. Which is a pity, because as soon as I read that the Quincies can seal off Bankais I thought "Zaraki's sooo going to kick arse".