Daring rescues, a fun sleepover and more adventures in the woods dominates the latest One Piece.
What They Say:
Deep bonds are forged as Ace and Sabo decide to rescue Luffy from Bluejam Pirates, much to the anger of Bluejam himself - and Ace finally finds his reason to live - and the Dadan family finds itself a bit larger!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The flashback story continues on after leaving us in a really bad cliffhanger in the previous episode, though of course you know Luffy won't exactly die at the hands of this particular pirate. What it did leave you with though was wondering just how abused Luffy would be by him and how it would unfold when Ace arrives on the scene to try and save him. The slow forming of the bond between the two brothers has certainly felt natural in these few episodes so far from when they were introduced to each other, especially with Ace having his plans for his life and wanting to do whatever he can so he can move on. Seeing him in this environment really does make it clear why he went so far as he got older with his abilities and skill.
The resolution of the event isn't exactly one, but what it does reveal to Ace is just how strange Luffy is in that he kept the secret when the pirates would have killed him outright without hesitation. It battles him to some degree, since he can't understand why Luffy would do that for them since he doesn't feel the same way in the slightest at this point in time. Amusingly, it's Sabo that becomes the advocate for Luffy with Ace as he understands what it is he's done and likely why to some degree as well. This eventually has all three of them going back to Ace's home, which has its own bit of humor (fart jokes included, repeatedly) which adds a bit of humor to it all and even as much as I don't' care for it, fits in with who these kids are at this time in their lives.
A good part of this episode continues the fun of the young boys running around the forest and getting into all sorts of trouble with their plans. There's the background threat of the Bluejam pirate group being out there that may come to their home to look for them, which freaks out their foster parents, but it's pushed to the side in favor of some basic adventure before it turns more serious as the trio gets closer to the Bluejam pirates themselves. There's a certain lightness to it all, even as it gets more serious as when the group gets very close to the pirates, but what we get here is the real beginning of how Ace and Luffy became the best friends and brothers that they are. The adversarial side is slowly giving way to a new side, and with Sabo in the mix, it has a very fun balance to it that works very well.
One Piece has kind of an odd feel with this episode where it's covering some ground but doesn't feel like it's getting anywhere. The opening deals well with the quick rush to stop Luffy getting killed and the fallout from it, especially with Ace berating Luffy, but then it goes into an old school Mark Twain kind of boys adventure for a bit where the trio are out having fun, avoiding chores around the house and then getting into some real trouble in a way. It's interesting and it has some very fun moments of levity to it, but it's not a significant progression in plot. What it does excel at is showing how Ace is warming up to Luffy in his own way and a real understanding of some of the defining ideas behind who Luffy is with how he didn't reveal anything to the pirates that would have killed him. Both Luffy and Ace come across the best here, but I'm still having a hard time putting my finger on Sabo with what he's all about.
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.