Will the arrival of Shanks alter the balance of events?
What They Say:
With Luffy and Jimbei safely aboard Trafalgar Law's submarine, 'Red-Haired' Shanks turns his attention towards ending the war. But will Blackbeard and the Navy listen to his pleas to put aside their differences and call a ceasefire?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The arrival of the Red-Haired Pirates on the scene is something that was certainly unexpected and having Shanks stand plain and tall amongst all that's going on here is yet another one of those game changing moments. With his role being one in the past that put Luffy on the path that he's on, serving as a huge bit of inspiration for the young man, having him there brings a new element to the mix that gets pretty much everyone to pause and almost panic over what's going to happen next. One Piece often shifts gears in the middle of a story with who steps onto the stage, but the Marineford saga seems to do this even more simply because of the scale of the cast that's involved in the actions here.
There's some welcome nostalgia here as Shanks remembers his past with Luffy, told through brief clips of footage from years and years ago, as the two men have not seen each other for close to a decade at this point. It's a bit sad in a way though as he wants to see him, but with Luffy comatose and now in the submarine speeding away with Jimbei wounded at his side, there's no point to it and much more for Shanks to do at Marineford. The Navy men were on the rebound and they're intent on stopping Luffy from getting away with some fun methods but it has a great sense of danger about it with Luffy undergoing treatment. The pirates in general are now so protective of those that are fleeing, with Luffy having earned quite a place among them from being Ace's brother alone, never mind all that he's done since arriving at Marineford, but also Jimbei as well.
There's a lot of standoff style material here as the various factions on all sides start to decide what it is they're going to do now that Shanks is here. Some, like Hawk-Eye, simply walk away since they were only here or contracted to fight Whitebeard himself. Even Blackbeard seems ready to call it a day at this point and just move on to deal with what he wants to do next. The Navy men themselves seem to understand that this is a moment to start drawing back as his presence brings some calm and closure to all the destruction and devastation. A chance for the pirates to pay their final quiet respects to Whitebeard and for both sides to try and collect some of their dead so they can bring an end to it all. It's quite properly somber and the music is spot on, but you can also see quite a few people very much wanting to just go nuts on everyone as well.
One Piece brings numerous events to a close with this episode, though that just leaves us open to deal with the real fallout from this point forward. There's a lot of really solid material here that deals with character issues, many of it done with no words, that helps to cement the position of several characters and their relationship to others. Shanks comes across pretty impressively here and Luffy now finds himself on a new course, not that he's aware of it yet considering what he's going through. One Piece has hit a real high once again with the Marineford arc, even as long as it was, and this episode draws it all to a proper and fitting close while leaving things very, very open as to where it goes next.
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.