It's all about the action this time though it has a lot of extended sequences.
What They Say
The war begins to heat up as the incredible powers of the Whitebeard Pirates and the Navy admirals are unleashed! The Whitebeard Pirates also have an ace up their sleeve as their secret weapon arrives on the scene - in a big way!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Depending on how things go, One Piece is potentially entering a phase where there really isn't a lot to say. We got the start of the battle royale in the last episode but it had a lot of dramatic pauses and pans to numerous characters that kind of dragged things out a bit. This episode follows through on the promise of the action by providing it non-stop throughout, outside of a brief bit of quiet for a reaction shot at times from people after certain attacks either pan out or don't. The forces are marshalling and everything is getting more intense as the various members on each side, be they commanders of Whitebeards of the giants of the Navy, get ready to rumble.
Because this takes up the majority of the time and there's little else here besides this, it's a double edged sword. The action is decent and the diversity of the cast allows for quite a lot of varied attacks and abilities. And all of it happens with Whitebeard watching on and occasionally blocking a particular attack that gets close to him. Having missed quite a few episodes since I'm still far behind, almost none of these characters are ones I'm familiar with so there isn't a sense of connection with them that has me rooting for one side or the other outside of seeing Ace live. And Ace isn't even a blip in all of this as the action is focused elsewhere, though there's a slight pause to deal with a couple of less than monstrously powered Navy men who are feeling overwhelmed by it all.
Episodes like this are fairly fun to watch, especially for those who haven't missed an episode since the beginning, since it's filled with the payoff of action, action and more action. On the flip side, it's an episode where there really isn't a lot to say. Kizaru has some nice scenes as he tries to go up directly against Whitebeard but has to face off with some of his commanders. The giants make me laugh because it feels stupidly out of place in a way. But by and large it's just a twenty minute or so series of non-stop action sequences set in a world I like but with people I'm not familiar with, so it's fun to watch in a very disconnected way. It certainly builds things up nicely, but it's lacking an epic feeling that one got during the Impel Down saga that I can't quite put my finger on.
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.