Each side continues to pull out its surprises to make the fight even more intense than the previous episodes.
What They Say:
Mere seconds remain before Ace's execution, and while Luffy has made it over the wall, he must still contend with three Navy Admirals! Luckily for him, Whitebeard has had a secret plan all along... and at the last minute, help arrives from the most unlikely of sources!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Marineford adventure has certainly been ratcheting up the action and intensity as it goes along, though I still find that in some ways it feels less intense than the Impel Down saga, largely because it was focused on so few characters then overall. With the large and diverse cast here, bringing in so many characters, it shifts things across so many of them. But as it returns to Luffy every few episodes, the intensity seems to rise more than normal so seeing him getting seriously angry here and going up against the execution stand itself, or at least trying to get as close as he can while facing off against some of the most powerful members of the Navy there, is definitely an exciting moment.
If there is one similarity, especially with this episode, it's in hearing Luffy's footsteps on the pavement as he runs hard to get closer to Ace. He's continually getting closer and closer to everything, even with some setbacks, and he's getting a fair bit of help along the way against some of the powerful opponents. Unfortunately, it seems like just when he's starting to go up against the really powerful ones, he's rebuffed and the mid-tier Navy men go against him again, which in turn allows others to get involved, such as Marco who does a save the day moment just before Hancock can get down there and save her man. Luffy's definitely taking more hits now and the intensity of the fight picks up when it gets personal, but it's still such a large scale fight across this arc that it sometimes has a hard time shifting between the personal and the epic.
There are some very interesting moments here as the battle moves outside of the main barrier since a few people have gotten past. Curse those devil fruit people with flying powers who make surprise appearances after being off screen for awhile. One is that we see that Mister Three has made it past and is leaving quite the wax covered carnage behind him as he's looking for someplace safe to be. He's panicky as usual but after his really enjoyable arc in Impel Down, it's good to see him active again here. The other is the arrival of another pirate ship, something necessary after so many have been sunk in the trap, as Whitebeard gets to point out that he didn't exactly bring everyone into the fight at first. It's a really amusing turn of events that as it plays out, it almost feels Greek in nature with the scale of what's going on. And that really makes it very exciting and fun to watch.
One Piece is going through that herculean effort of pushing forward slowly but surely through every obstacle to get to where they need to be. There are some surprises along the way as various pirates appear in the blink of an eye, but so much of it is really stated in the last few minutes with its massive, hard push towards the execution stand. This show has many epic moments, but this is one where you can watch it and feel that it's a place in time where history is made and legends are truly born that will be talked about for ages to come. While Impel Down was largely personal, Marineford is becoming very epic in nature and this episode cements it fully.
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.