In yesterday's newest episode of Bleach we are introduced to the original Gotei 13 captains from a thousand years ago. Something that wasn't even done in the manga.
As always, the animation of the past events is different than that of the present day. The absence of color, except for Genryusai's flames, are meant to show the bloodthirsty-ness and pure demonic power of the original captains.
There is no evident lag in the story, from action scenes to the informational story advancing scenes, there is never a dull moment in Bleach.