With one swift move, the entire tide of the battle is on the edge of which way it will go.
What They Say:
With the pace of the battle quickening, shocking developments continue. Just when it seemed the battle couldn't get any more complicated, the reasoning behind Squard's betrayal of Whitebeard is revealed! But beware - things are not always as they seem!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One Piece certainly ended on a moment last time around where you really felt like every other character in the midst of that battle where you're wide-eyed and staring at what just happened. With Squard having made an appearing, to the surprise of some to be sure, he manages to be the one to get close enough to Whitebeard to thrust his sword right through his chest. With Sengoku having laid out numerous plans to deal with this kind of battle, not all of which have gone well, Squard's attack is one that managed to get the closest and caused the most surprise across the board. Especially for poor Ace who continues to watch all of this while in chains and unable to move.
What comes of it is a surprise, one that throws the motion of the show off a bit even as things are picking up the pace even more. Squard's attack has him revealing that there may be a deal afoot between Whitebeard and Sengoku where none of his pirates nor Ace will be hurt. Squard's story takes him back to when he first met him and became an ally of his and eventually found himself siding with Ace for quite some time. Squard's information is intriguing to be sure though as it paints Whitebeard as being able to sail into the Navy and get Ace back at the expense of his allies, the non-Whitebeard pirates, which Squard realizes means everyone else will get picked off or captured and leaves Whitebeard in the prime position to become the King of Pirates with no real competition.
It's a compelling case based on the circumstances and with the battle going as it has been and the way they all feel trapped now by events and the actions that have taken place, the seed of doubt has most certainly been planted. Even with the very strong bonds that Whitebeard has fostered with his family angle, Squard has fed that doubt and it's not that everyone is about to turn on him, but they've been stopped in their tracks (when not attacked for a moment) by the potential revelation. Whitebeard's style throughout this definitely fits with what we've seen before, but there's something more to all of it when it gets down to the core of what's going on with him. The emotion here, the bonds of it all, is well played and adds another excellent layer to the show even if it is a bit overly dramatic, which fits in perfectly with the show and the nature of this fight.
One Piece is the kind of show that even when it slows down midstream of a large fight sequence, something it's done a few times in this arc alone, it's able to add a lot to it while not losing the forward momentum. Though it seems like it might at the start when we get some flashback material, it's all used to serve the energy of events as it ties things together a bit more and gives the right motivations to several. This episode brings in an interesting angle to events that are playing out because there is a believability to it, which is why everything pauses in a way as the Whitebeard pirates don't want to believe it, but they're not naïve enough to think it's impossible to be true. The bonds of family are at their strongest here and Whitebeard's position in it all is something that is the most interesting to watch, both here and going forward.
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.