The push upward continues on as Magellan becomes more involved and the danger escalates.
What They Say
Luffy needs a hand getting out of Impel Down - and Ivankov is willing to help! She reveals her secret power in order to stop Magellan! Meanwhile more surprises are on store for Buggy and Mr. 3 on level 1!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When it comes to the oddness of the Devil Fruit people, there's certainly been some very strange ones over the years. While Ivankov may not be the strangest, depending on what you've seen, he certainly ranks up there, especially when it comes to his visuals and transformations. He's been a character I haven't much cared for since his introduction, particularly as he had an episode where it was all about him and his hidden realm that was just bizarre, but he has had some really good scenes as they decided to break out with Luffy and he's taken on a commanding role. Now that he's going up against Magellan directly, he has the potential to shine again.
Luffy's push upward has him very focused on making progress at all costs but the group he's with, which continues to be very amusing now that Crocodile is a part of it, is surprised by the lack of resistance they're coming across. It's definitely been a help that Buggy and Mister 3 have been making their own progress, awkward as it's been at times, by letting out everyone that they can come across with the wax keys. It certainly plays into Buggy's self preservation mode since he has a lot of people to act as targets there on Level 1 with him, but there's also that feeling that he really loves leading in a way, or at least having a ton of followers behind him. Though his time is brief in this episode overall, Buggy continues to be the real highlight of the Impel Down arc for me, which is a huge change from when I was first introduced to him.
What we do see in this episode outside of the main fight scenes is more setup with the various guards moving about to different levels and the start of new chase sequences. The four demonic guards finally start to act like something decent as they get their chase on and we also do see that Magellan is very intent on stopping everything that's going on with a basic plan that Luffy must die since he believes that he must be the full instigator of all of this. The best moment in the episode for me though came when Crocodile finally came across Buggy and his group and there's a mini reunion of sorts where Mister 3 is just surprised and comes across as very, very glad.
There's a lot to like here as the episode plays out as it moves between a few different areas and continues to advance things overall. What it lacks for the most part is a big defining moment, which instead keeps it feeling like a transitional episode. There's progress made but it's just advancing the battles that the various groups are having as they follow their own plans. Ivankov's fight is pretty good and it's fun watching Buggy set things up on Level 1. It's also interesting that we do get a brief by about Shiryu that should be playing into things soon since it's hard to imagine they'd use all of the things he's done so far and not take advantage of it. One Piece is getting closer to getting out of Impel Down, which is good and bad, as we'll see a shift in tone and adventure once that happens.
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.