Just when things couldn't seemingly get any more complicated, Blackbeard and his crew have arrived on the scene.
What They Say:
Faced with Blackbeard, who has been reunited with his crew, Whitebeard has the chance to avenge the death of Thatch. But can Whitebeard go so far as to murder one of his own "sons"? We also get a glimpse into the mysterious connection between Gol D. Roger and Luffy!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The arrival of Blackbeard at least answers a question or two as we now know how the Gate of Justice opened not only for them but also for Luffy and his crew when they got there. There are some seeded plans at work in the midst of this with what Blackbeard has done and it's the kind of thing that really pushes Sengoku since it goes against his own plans. Of course, there's only a brief moment to really talk about this before Whitebeard gets all pissed off and throws out an impressive attack that I don't think was really seen by him during the large scale battle that just occurred, even with what happened to Ace.
The thrust of events gets going between the two men over the death that Blackbeard caused of a fellow mate named Thatch, a story I do not know or have seen in the episodes I've watched so far, so it's not a piece that has huge connection for me. Whitebeard's intensity seems stronger here than it was during the rescue of Ace as he fully separates everyone of his crew from his side so he can go against Blackbeard, something Blackbeard accommodates well as the two stand off easily with a whole lot of darkness swarming around them. It's an intriguing fight to watch simply because of Blackbeard's confidence in combination with his power that nullifies other Devil Fruit powers. But also on the emotional level since Blackbeard is still considered one of Whitebeard's sons.
There's a significant moment when the fight turns truly intense and it slowly pulls back to reveal juts how devastated Marineford is from all of the fighting that has gone on. It really strikes home just how intense everything has been with all the Devil Fruit abilities used on top of the plain fighting. With Blackbeard's crew taking on Whitebeard while everyone watches, it's a powerful sequence, one that turns into an interesting flashback for Whitebeard that helps to cement him even more as an interesting character. Whitebeard really has come across well across this whole arc, though it took time for him to get to it, but the results here are very powerful as he stands firm against Blackbeard and all of Marineford. What he says during this truly places fear into Sengoku and he uses the moment to start the true change to the world that will happen. It is a game changing event in full.
One Piece hits another dramatic episode here after the dealings with Ace and it continues to be just as powerful at a time when you can't be sure what direction the story will go. Whitebeard hasn't been a character that I've been terribly drawn to in this arc but he's definitely grown on me and this episode is a defining one for him that fully sets his name to legend in a way that easily inspires others, especially as all his family are there to witness it and tell the tale. No embellishment need be made of this moment as it's larger than life already. And that he finishes out the events in a way that gives the Navy a huge middle finger with a sense of style, it cements his legend among the pirates even more. There are some great moments of action here, but it'sthe quieter moments that will make this a defining episode of the series.
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.