After a few episodes worth of being poisoned and dragged around by Bon-chan, Luffy is finally up on his own volition and... being accosted by a large group of drag queens.
What They Say
With Luffy now healed, the race is on to save Ace! But will Ivan-san lend a helping hand or leave Luffy to do it all by himself? The answer lies in Luffy's own mysterious family tree!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bon Clay's efforts have paid off as Luffy has risen from the near-dead after hours and hours of encouragement by Bon Clay outside of Luffy's recovery room. The bond of friendship between the two is immense and this small arc down in Level 5.5 has made that even more important than before, much to the delight of Bon Clay fans. While I've not been enamored with Ivankov and what this entire hidden level entails, the core story itself has been very solid with these two have who wear their friendship with each other on their sleeves.
Luffy's resurrection has him all pumped up to go an rescue Ace but he's still nowhere near really recovered as he's out of energy. Ivankov is doing his best to try and keep him settled since it won't do him any good but there's an of fthe cuff revelation made by Luffy that changes everything. When Ivankov talks about how he's not intending to escape himself for quite some time to come, even though that's one reason Bon Clay came down this way, he talks about how he's waiting for the right signal to come from Dragon of the Revolutionaries army that he's a part of. The time isn't right now for an escape since the world is dealing with confrontation between the Navy and the Whitebeard pirates, of which Ace is a part of.
So when Luffy casually mentions that his father is actually Monkey D. Dragon, the man in charge of the Revolutionaries and a very old friend of Ivankovs (which we see a brief flashback), everything changes. Ivankov's slow realization of Luffy's lineage means a whole hell of a lot to him and then the realization of who Ace really is means that action must be taken now as there is only six hours left until Ace is publicly executed. Now, having not been in the Luffy loop for about three hundred episodes, the revelations of Dragon, the Revolutionaries and things associated with it are really quite intriguing and seeing events starting to build up in pacing and action is quite exciting. Ivankov's shift from biding his time to quick decisive action fits well with Luffy's personality and his strong need to rescue Ace which means the last segment of this episode feels more active than anything we've seen for a few episodes.
One Piece has long been an uneven series so it's little surprise to see up and down episodes as it plays along, even a few hundred episodes after where I'm watching it on the DVD side of the series. This arc has been really enjoyable overall because I like that it's dealing more with just Luffy and a couple of quirky pirates that may not have been seen for an age. This particular sub arc has had its less than good moments when it comes to Ivankov, but the story itself is really intriguing at this point as events are coming together faster and faster as Ace's execution nears. I enjoyed this episode a lot for its revelations (which is likely non-news to the diehard fans) and the way that it's starting to draw more things together.
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.