If there's a pirate who knows how to make an entrance, it's Whitebeard.
What They Say
The war has started! While Whitebeard stuns Navy with his incredible power, his allies try to invade Marineford. Meanwhile, the ship that Luffy is on suddenly starts to go backwards which makes Buggy to rethink about him becoming the King.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The face-off of epic proportions is here and laid out plainly as one side features Whitebeard with his crew and forty allied ships while the other side has the Warlords and Admirals who have shown (though not all are committed to fighting) and a hundred thousand elite naval men who are itching for a fight now that their execution has been taken away from them. The bonds of the Whitebeard crew is shown plainly here as Ace's past is sort of nudged a bit so as to explain why he's not really on their bad list, a moment where Whitebeard himself manages to again come across as a fatherly type who is doing right by those who have served with him.
Watching the tension build between both sides is really fun since there's that small uncertainty about what will really happen. Throwing us a bone about Luffy and his crew (or Captain Buggy's crew as the case may be) getting ever closer to Navy HQ to be a part of everything since they want to save Ace and aren't aware of the changes only adds to the excitement. There's a nice bit of comedy about all of it there with this crew and the way Buggy's miracles seem to happen even though he's just making it all up as he goes along is priceless. He's still the character that's made a huge turnaround for me since I first met him and watching him in the Impel Down arc and this one has been an absolute blast.
We've had such a build-up towards this moment that the actual start of the fight kicks off with a big moment to be sure with tsunami's rolling in and a whole lot of ice being tossed around to try and stave it off. With so many powered individuals here among the throngs of both sides, it could literally turn into a huge free for all in an instant if they all cut loose. It'd be hell to animate and keep track of, but there's such an allure to going big here that you anticipate it at every turn. It's a little slow to start, but as both sides finally start advancing and the variety to the cast picks up the pace, we're finally getting the payoff to part of the storyline that we've been hoping for and promised for so long. Seeing who pops up, who actually fights and who they come across is what makes it exciting for the long time viewer as well.
The scale of what's happening here isn't fully clear yet, though when someone like Tsuru says that there's no safe place anywhere in the sea from what's coming, you know that it's set to potentially change everything. The mixture of individuals involved, especially with the Warlords in seeing who will get active in it, is a lot of fun since we've seen this build towards this kind of moment for quite some time. The Admirals are almost all itching for a fight, the Whitebeard pirates are as eager as can be to defend one of their own and Luffy and his crew are inching closer towards the headquarters. The show is building slowly towards the epic level of what's involved here, almost too slow in some ways, but past experience has shown that once it gets into gear it can get even more intense than you thought. With this being just the tip of the iceberg, I'm cautiously optimistic to seeing a whole lot of payoff here and this is a decent of mildly underwhelming start.
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.