One Piece Episode #438 -

Anime Review

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Audio Rating: NA
  • Video Rating: NA
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Menus Rating: NA
  • Extras Rating: NA
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • Running time: 24
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: One Piece

One Piece Episode #438

One Piece Episode #438 Review

By Chris Beveridge     February 14, 2010
Release Date: February 13, 2010

One Piece Episode #427
© FUNimation

The search for Ivancov is underway with only twenty-six hours left until Ace is executed.

What They Say
Bon-Clay, with Luffy in tow, continues to search for Ivancov, perhaps the only person who can save Luffy's life. On the way they'll discover Impel Down's most shocking secret!

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With all that's happened recently, a bit of a slowdown episode after the Magellan material isn't all that much of a surprise. That we'd learn the most shocking of shocking secrets about Impel Down? Well, that was a surprise, as was the actual secret itself as it was laid out in front of us. The Impel Down prison is almost like a time box in Dr. Who in that space and physics really mean little, something that's even more apparent after seeing Level 5 with all of its trees and winter weather, as well as what looks like something resembling a sky beyond those snowy moments. So having something even more mysterious available within the prison really isn't a surprise as all.

For this episode, there are again two main arcs playing through it to different levels of time. The first, and my favorite, is the continuing adventures of Buggy and Mr. 2 as they just try to get the hell out of Dodge. They keep being forced further and further down into the prison and now on level five they're ducking the wolves as best as possible. Amusingly, the wolves are very crafty overall and have some great moments where they shine, but it's also an area where Mr. 2 gets to shine as he gets his candle wax ability back and uses it to good effect, even if he doesn't think out the logistics of it. The flip side of this arc that gets explored a little is seeing that the uprising back on the earlier levels is being taken care of so we get a small bit of resolution there, as well as some humor about Hannyabal and how he got suckered by Bon Clay.

The Bon Clay segment really works well as it continues to make clear the bond these two men have. Seeing Bon Clay going all over Level 5 with Luffy in tow on a sled in order to find Ivancov is really well done, even if it's hard looking at Bon Clay's face most of the time. He's manned up a lot for his friend after he tried to run away and making amends for it in this way is a huge thing. His search for Ivancov in order to help Luffy leads him everywhere, and even gets Luffy to wake up enough to get involved, before something mysterious this way comes and whisks their unconscious bodies off to. And that's the shocking secret of Impel Down as we learn, gods help us, that the demon snatching that has happened is all related to a big old gay bar of sorts in between levels far down below. In a priceless moment, you have Bon Clay watching all of this and wondering what's going on with all these perverts. Priceless.

In Summary:
Sometimes I really don't know what to make of this show. The shocking secret has me laughing and One Piece often does things like this to break the mood, which in turn makes the serious moments all the more serious. It'll be interesting to see how this revelation plays out, but the clock is ticking as Ace only has just over a day before he's publicly executed. There's a good bit of fun here, even if it's slow at times, as it focuses on characters that I've warmed up to immensely since they got busted out of their cells. I do wonder when we'll get closer to finishing it out and getting back to everyone else, but I'm enjoying this for the most part.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
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.


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