Luffy's surprise move has caused quite the stir and placed him ever closer to saving Ace.
What They Say:
With the help of his friends - and his unconscious ability to use the Conqueror's Haki - Luffy has made it to the foot of the scaffold. Only the surprise appearance of an old friend can help Luffy climb the scaffold to reach Ace... and even if he is able to reach Ace, what will Garp's reaction be? And in the midst of all of this, Buggy needs to turn on the charm if he wants to be King of the Pirates!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Luffy's ability to surprise and be unaware of what it was he was doing has long been a staple of the series. His unleashing of the Conqueror's Haki in the previous episode certainly shocked a lot of people on both sides, even those that know of his bloodline to Dragon himself. Luffy himself is completely unaware that he actually unleashed a power when he screamed out like that as Ace was about to be beheaded and says as much to Ivankov, which further cements just how frustrating Luffy can be to others. His battle cry has however rallied the troops on both sides as they won't take him less than serious and it has renewed the vigor of both pirate and marine alike.
Whitebeard's approach to it all is rather interesting and shocking at the same time. He knows he can go only so far with what he's been through and with the navy men regrouping, it's going to be an even harder slog on him. So his chance to rally the troops around Luffy is an ideal solution since it gets them to focus on someone that's making active progress and is in pretty good shape overall. And after the Haki itself, they can rally easily around him and that starts them to overwhelm the navy men. The Marineford arc has seen a lot of back and forth, ebb and flow, in the battle and this is yet another one of them. Luffy at least has Ivankov along with him at this point who can add a little useful commentary to get Luffy to realize what's going on with the bigger picture.
That ebb and flow works really well here as Luffy makes his advance and it seems like everyone crawls out of the woodwork to stop him. And to help him as well. Some are surprising at times in a way, even after what we've seen, but it's like a big old home week episode where so many people make a brief appearance at a key moment in the battle and help one way or another. Whether it's Crocodile, Hancock or Hawk-Eye, they all stand out really well here by fitting into the flow of the battle rather than directing it. They're providing that small moment to try and shift things even a little for their own interests and side rather than to be a key moment that dramatically changes the flow of events. And that's very well handled here in a way that's so seamless and smooth that it's still surprising.
As serious as the episode gets at times and as intent as it is with the way it wants to progress things, it still has time for something a little lighter and a whole lot of fun. Buggy still fulfills that role beautifully and he does his best to work his charms here to cement his position more with the men that are with him at a time when Luffy is drawing practically everyone towards him. One Piece hits up the scale of things well here with a whole lot going on, a lot of characters getting even a brief moment to shine after being away for who knows how many episodes, and everything advances ever closer to a real tipping point. That excitement is still strong after all these episodes and it's easy to feel practically giddy in watching this unfold.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.