Luffy and Magellan go one on one at last as Magellan turns all his focus on this 'rookie pirate.'
What They Say
Luffy must make the ultimate sacrifice to save Ace - and protect Boa Hancock. As Luffy faces the full wrath of Warden Magellan, not even his friend Bon Clay can help him.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)'
The previous episode really left me feeling like the show had taken a terribly awkward turn as it basically went for some poop jokes, almost feeling like it was a gag episode written by some fans. Thankfully, this episode takes us to a much better place as it brings a one on one match to the forefront down on level four where Luffy, Bon Clay, Buggy and Mister Three are all flitting about. As has been the case for a bit now though, Buggy and Mister Three are still doing their best to get the hell out of there while Bon Clay is enjoying hanging out with his long time friend.
Both main arcs of this episode play out fairly well, especially in comparison to what we had last week. The primary arc is that with Luffy and Magellan as the two have finally come fully face to face and Magellan has reached his limits. He's an interesting character for at least a moment as he congratulates Luffy on embarrassing him like no other has but then promptly going after him to take him down, doing his best to kill him on the spot. As Bon Clay reveals, Magellan has eaten the Venom-Venom fruit and everything he touches when he's like this dies instantly. Even more fun to watch is how Magellan controls his poisons and uses them to create multiple liquid dragons that hunt or he creates bubbles that burst into poisonous clouds that spread over the entire area. Luffy's stymied by this since he can't hit him since he'd die, and the episode focuses mostly on this frustration until he can come up with something resembling a plan. He is Luffy after all and there's always one more trick to try.
The other main arc of this episode involves Buggy and Mister Three as they make their way as far away from that fight as possible. The two of them still just want to high tail it out of there but the level has been mostly sealed off to prevent Luffy from getting any further. Mister Three actually has it figured out smartly though as he realizes that the guards protecting the exits back to level three are going to be fairly weak and that's where their chance lies. Unknowingly though, they have to deal with the Vice Warden who is continuing his inept plots to try and cause Magellan to fail so he can take over the Warden position. So when Hannyabal offers to let them go back to level three on their own without any problem, it screams trap and ends up turning into a nightmare for them'
After what felt like a pretty disastrous episode last week, I was really glad to see One Piece turn more serious this time around and to finally provide a very significant moment as Luffy faces Magellan. There's been a whole lot of running around going on and various bits of setup, but we needed to start seeing some real progress here and a fight that's actually of merit with someone of significance. With some luck, this should be the turning point to getting this arc to a good place and slowly start tying things back together, possibly even bringing in the rest of the cast at some point in the near future. There's a big moment at the end here that could speak to a lot of that depending on what Luffy may have set up before he snuck in under a woman's skirt.
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.