Will the escape portion of the arc run as long as it took to actually get Ace rescued?
What They Say:
With only steps to go before freedom is theirs, Luffy, Ace and all the Whitebeard Pirates must dash for the exit to Marineford. But Admiral Akainu is determined to make sure that Luffy and Ace never escape.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One Piece has finally succeeded in one of its goals that started quite some time ago with Luffy having finally rescued Ace. It took awhile but the ride as a whole was a lot of fun. Now that that is done, a couple of different plot points are starting to be realized. Amid silly material like Mister Three playing at being a turtle, Akainu and Garp have realized that Whitebeard is intent on sinking all of Marineford at this point and putting his effort forward to change the era. The various eras in the world of One Piece have come up at different times, but with what Luffy and Ace have accomplished and the way that Garp can see these things with the age he's at and the larger understanding he can bring to the fore, he has the idea as to what Whitebeard is all about. And in a way, it's hard to tell if Garp is actually opposed to it since these kinds of changes do happen and you can't stop it, only delay it.
Similar to Impel Down, once you have a whole lot of people on the run trying to escape, it's hard to turn that tide back. With so many of the pirates racing away as they want to honor what Whitebeard is intending, there's a wave of people making their way back to the ships. But it's hard for some, even with the understanding of what Whitebeard is doing. The hardest at this point is for Ace. While he may get that this is larger than just his life being freed, Whitebeard has been such a strong and key figure in his life for so long that to let go like this after such sacrifice is incredibly difficult. The sequence between the two men is powerful for its manly simplicity as they wear their emotions outwardly enough. The whole piece, brief as it may be overall, is one of those really beautiful, key moments of the series that defines it.
There's a good bit of talk about the changing of ages as various people get involved towards the end here and as Whitebeard's plan becomes even more obvious. The prattle by some is certainly amateurish as they try to dissuade the pirates from fleeing so they can be killed, but it's not a surprise to see Ace easily riled after all that has happened even before he arrived at Marineford. He's been kept down and pent up for so long that there's an increased desire to cut loose. And the admiral gives him exactly the reason to do so as he eggs on Ace to a fight. When One Piece wants to give us the big moments, it does so in spades and the main fight here is a difficult one, but it's filled with such emotion and intent that it's highly captivating. And it avoids being all full of quick cuts and over the top action, focusing more on the intensity of emotion as the fight goes on.
Amid all the serious material, we do get some good lighthearted moments along the way as well. Mister Three in turtle form at the start was priceless and the subplot with Captain Buggy again proves to be very amusing. His attempts at getting away are set back by the men he has with him since he's also afraid of them considering they were all hardened Impel Down prisoners. Going against their desires isn't easy since he just wants to flee but events keep pushing and propping him up as a great leader. In the end though, it all comes down to those final moments of the episode where One Piece again proves to be the rare series that leaves you on edge and practically screaming at it that it can't end like that. This is a fantastic episode through and through that sets the series in a different course once again.
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.