The return of Crocodile brings back all sorts of past memories but does Luffy have a choice in dealing with him?
What They Say
The mayhem has begun! In the final push to get out of Impel Down and save Ace, Luffy and his friends find themselves making even more bargains with the criminals housed in the Great Prison!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The game has certainly changed at this point now that Luffy has made his way all the way down to the bottom of Impel Down only to find that Ace has already been put about the Navy ship and is bound for HQ to be executed. Luffy being who he is, he certainly won't give up at this point and is now set to head right back up. There's plenty of obstacles in his way since going up is harder than going down, or falling down as has been pointed out, but there's some unlikely help that's now been offered with Crocodile making a return in the previous episode.
There's some minor discussion about whether they should free him and the intriguing part is that Ivankov actually knows him and knew him when he was a rookie, hinting at some secret. I suspect Ivankov transformed him years ago and Crocodile is really a woman. That said, he's not the only one that gets out from level six as Jimbei makes an impassioned plea to help and follow Luffy in order to stop the war between the Whitebeards and the Navy. Crocodile wants out so he can see the war and do some damage himself and it all comes together so that Luffy now has a way to get back up a few levels. It's amusing to see the dynamic now as Luffy is the center point for a pair of Warlords and Ivankov himself.
The rush to get up and out with only hours to go before Ace is properly executed has the group doing the mad dash thing but with some obvious side steps. The obvious angle to take is to have them free up numerous people on the way out and cause a riot, especially since Hanabyal is in charge and he's pretty incompetent. With Magellan still outside having seen off Ace, things turn towards action pretty nicely here as numerous characters start to come out of the woodwork, starting with those from New Kama Land where Ivankov has built up a good following. He even takes a small moment to help get Bon-chan back in play, though part of me wanted to see him get a gender change since he could be even more amusing in that form.
There's a lot to like here as the show is moving in a slightly different direction now. While it wasn't always stealthy, the trip down to level six had some quiet time to it and some skulking around. Now that the pressure is really on and they have to go up, it's all about the carnage and distractions that can be caused. The group that's come together is highly amusing, especially as I just watched the episodes about Crocodile's defeat through the DVD releases, so seeing him back in play here is really fun to watch. There's a lot to like here as the direction shifts and the characters and their connected pasts that are coming to light are fun and amusing to watch while adding a lot to the overall tapestry. Definitely a good episode and hopefully one of several in a row that we'll have.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.