The battle gets into full swing as the overpowered individuals on both sides cut loose and the rest of the naval men and the pirates get in on the action.
What They Say
The war rages on as Oars pushes ever closer to rescuing Ace but will his drive to save his friend be strong enough to bear the full onslaught of the amassed Navy forces?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The battle finally kicked off in the previous episode and we got to see both sides really starting to get into it with massive amounts of power and ability, though everything sort of hits a balance along the way with how each side fights. With little personal connection to most of these characters, I enjoyed the spectacle of it and that it's a fight that's been built up to for some time where the power is definitely out there in the open. Watching the giants moving about while the leaders such as Whitebeard watch on waiting for their time to strike is fun, but at this point I find myself really anxious for Luffy and his crew to arrive and throw it all into even more chaos.
Once the Whitebeards manage a way inside the bay itself though, though the help of their massive Giant named Oars, the battle changes heavily. While we saw the focus initially on the mega powered individuals, this event changes it to a more personal things as the ground troops make their way in and it's a fight between the elite Navy men and the skilled pirate group. Everything turns red and bloody as they go at it and it feels much more oppressive, though less so at times since they keep shifting the night time feel into daylight. They return once again on the weaker soldiers in the battle, which turns out is actually Coby from way back in the beginning of the series but with a somewhat different design, and you can see this fight being a battle in which he'll likely become a true man if he can step up to the plate.
One person that gets to shine in this battle is Hancock as the pirate men get closer to her and she pushes back against them. She has some amusing powers, such as her slave arrows that turn men to stone, but she excels are her hand to hand attacks as well and takes down quite a few of them. She also gets a lot of the Navy men in the crossfire, which infuriates the others, but as she points out she's got little interest in them as her life is devoted to just one man at this point and almost everyone is in the way in a way. Her loyalty to Luffy is amusing and with her I still think she's the best match for him that I've seen, not that Luffy exactly engenders a lot of pairings with women in general.
One of the things about One Piece that allows it to excel as a series is that it can eject most of the main cast at any point to tell a story. Often we follow just one subset of them, or just Luffy, but this battle starts off in a way that ejects all of them from the main proceedings and tells the story of the battle with no real central focus outside of Ace perhaps, who just watches on in horror at it all. Yet it still manages to be quite engaging, even if you're unfamiliar with a lot of the characters. The fight gets raised a few notches this time around to good effect and it's starting to have a more personal feel as the lower level fighters get into the mix, but it's also giving us a number of casualties along the way to add more impact to it. Still, at the end of the day, I want to see what Luffy will bring to this fight when he arrives. But we do get some really great emotion and impact here and even the flashbacks with Oars and Ace fit surprisingly well, giving it what it needs and making the episode shine.
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.