The world has changed and it's time for it to start being figure out already.
What They Say:
The death of Whitebeard has left an imbalance in the world. Power brokers from all over are looking on to see how the New Era will unfold. Meanwhile, Boa Hancock locates Luffy and makes plans for his safety.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
No matter how the events of the battle of Marineford would go, it's going to be spun in some way to promote a victory for both sides, though the Navy men have a more vested interest in really promoting this angle because of their need to maintain order. With Whitebeard having been killed and both sides basically pulling away at the end of the battle to just stop after Shanks got involved, the Navy are sending out the messages that they won decidedly and are starting to put the piece back together. But as interesting as that angle is, as we see the world rejoice and Navy men everywhere grinning like fools, the real challenge lays for the pirates. With Whitebeard dead, his area of the sea can be easily taken with a fair bit of potential bloodshed. And Blackbeard himself has cemented things with a lot of power based on what he did. But, as usual, Luffy is the unusual piece on the table.
With the pirate world ostensibly ruled by four powers, and one of them now dead, the imbalance that's there is what needs to be resolved. It's the end of an era to be sure with Whitebeard's death but many pirates are very opportunistic seeking in this regard and see this as the start of something new rather than an end. A lot of pirates have been freed from the events at Impel Down during Luffy's time sneaking around in there and that's having an effect on the balance of power as well. What's making it worse is that Blackbeard has returned there, where Magellan is still pretty much down for the count, and is starting events to turn to battle so he can acquire new, powerful members for his crew that will be desperate to leave. With so many powerful pirates there, down on Level 6, it's definitely something that inspires intense fear from the higher-ups of the Navy.
One Piece sadly doesn't spend too much time with Luffy and those that we really want to follow. As much as I like seeing the fallout from the battle with how the Navy is dealing with things, and how the World Government is going to make it all harder for them to cope, is really interesting and definitely time well spent. But with Luffy having been out of the loop for a bit, you want more. Thankfully, he's been stabilized but is still down for the count right now with the amount of damage he took and the psychological aspect as well. What Luffy's done in the last two arcs has certainly earned him a lot of followers, from the prisoners of Impel Down to those that fought and lived alongside Ace, and you can see many of them rallying to his cause should he raise his flag again. And with the men seeing Hancock hanging around trying to see what's happening with her man, it's even easier to come to his side if you get to be around that.
One Piece again has a mostly fallout/setup style episode as we see where things stand after such a massive battle. There's a lot of power plays going on, and it's easy to imagine dozens more off screen with all the forces that were involved and the number of people who haven't survived the battles that now leave other, smaller power gaps in the scheme of things. We do get some Luffy time at the end, which we really do need more of, but there's a lot of neat little things happening throughout the episode that makes it all worthwhile. Seeing how the Navy is spinning things and yet are being spun themselves introduces a fun layer to the show and gives some clue to where some of the tensions may be coming from in the future. Still, One Piece really needs to get back on track with Luffy as well as re-connecting us with the rest of the Straw Hats.
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.