From the back cover:
The execution of Ichigo’s friend Rukia has begun, yet Ichigo himself is nowhere in sight. In a matter of seconds, the power of one million zanpaku-tou will slice through Rukia as punishment for sharing her Soul Reaper powers with Ichigo. Is this really how things are going to end?!
Well, that was sort of a disappointment. The events at the execution itself were good, but when Ichigo and Byakuya were juuuuust getting ready to engage in a fight that would surely eclipse Byakuya vs. Renji in coolness…
Cut to fights with other, mostly minor, characters! Granted, it was cool to have a fight between two powerful female characters, and two of the captains engaged in fighting elsewhere were among my favorites, but jeez! If I didn’t have volume 19 on hand already, I’d be sorely peeved by the delayed gratification.
No explanation was given, either, for Ichigo’s attainment of awesomeness. I know I’d wanted the training arc to just finish already, but this wasn’t exactly what I meant.