Pumped full of drugs, Luffy basically goes crazy.
What They Say:
If Luffy can convince Ivankov to give him the hormone injection he wants, he'll be able to continue on his way to save Ace - but he'll still have to deal with all the obstacles standing in his way, including the human weapons, the Navy admirals, and Coby! But while many on both the Navy and pirate side have written Luffy off as a pretentious upstart, he still has a few surprises for all those assembled.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Much like Impel Down, you know Luffy is just getting plain pissed off at all the things that are in his way as he tries to rescue Ace. Every time he gets a little bit closer, some other obstacle is thrown out in front of him that keeps him from getting there. After getting kicked down pretty hard recently, he's begged Ivankov to hit him up with his abilities so he can roll through the numerous Navy men that are in his way. And it's pretty damn necessary since the executioners are now standing on the platform next to Ace ready to whack his head off. The downside is that Luffy can handle only so much so Ivankov has to really get in there and help him out to make sure he's safe.
One are the episode does deal with very well is with Coby who has his fateful encounter with Luffy. The two go back pretty much to the beginning of the series with their dreams and have met once or two after that as Luffy went to become the king of pirates while Coby wanted to become an Admiral. Neither have achieved goals of course, but they went from friends that encouraged each other to having to really stay true to that by having a fight this time around. While it may be brief in the end, it brings in some very good flashbacks to the past and shows that both of them have followed their paths well. Coby in particular really stands out well by standing for what he believes in and going against Luffy since if he didn't, he wouldn't be true to what he said he'd do to Luffy in the past even though it was Luffy's encouragement that sent him on to being in the Navy.
Whitebeard himself has a really strong appearance in this episode as the pirates continue to fight along while starting to take more losses. Everything has gone in waves in the battle with each side gaining the upper hand at one time or another, but events have certainly pushed for darker prospects for the pirates, especially with the abuse that Whitebeard is taking. But sometimes the psychological side can make the biggest difference and Whitebeard has been able to provide that time and time again as he pushes back continually against the attacks. He's slowing down though, which gives the Navy more confidence, though it may not exactly be all that warranted considering how many times each side pulls out another surprise move or endurance that is positively shocking.
One Piece sets things up for a really big moment here as the execution is about to happen, swords raised and all, and then proceeds to completely change the game. Such is the nature of One Piece though and the fact that it's able to keep surprising you after so long and so creatively. Events play out leaving you wondering just what the hell happened and insisting that you see the next episode right away. As the fight has gone on here, it hasn't dragged, but it seriously needed a game changer to alter the flow of it so some progress can be made. That just happened and it left me sitting here, mouth wide open, wondering what the hell I just saw. And eagerly anticipating the next episode. One Piece continues to be an amazing series.
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.