「目指せ海軍本部 エース救出への船出!」 (Mezase Kaigun Honbu – Ēsu Kyūshutsu e no Funade)
“To the Navy Headquarters! Off to Rescue Ace!”
Wouldn’t it have been awesome if the Blackbeard pirates just died right there? But no, Shiryuu had to go and save them with an antidote. He even joins their crew! Jokes aside, this part was a good twist that I did not foresee when it occurred in the manga. I have to admit though, almost every crew member of Blackbeard’s makes me sick to my stomach with disgust, especially that sick guy on the horse.
Meanwhile, back on the stolen marine ship, Buggy and the escaped inmates are celebrating with beer. However, Luffy and Mr. 3 are still sad about Bon-chan’s sacrifice and Luffy gives Buggy a second red nose (yes that was a joke in the anime)! Jinbei then talks to Luffy about how indebted he is to recieve the chance to save Ace (even though he did most of the core work getting here), and then brings up Arlong. He said it was also something that he needed to thank and apologize for, so it’s possible that even though they were fellow merman, Arlong was still a “bad” merman. Who knows, maybe they’re even related.
Most of the time this episode was spent on the hilarious fact that Buggy, even though weak and cowardly, has some pretty famous friends and connections throughout his life. He’s been in Roger’s crew, and coincidently enough, got to know Shanks. The World Government finally realize his connections and deem him dangerous enough to pin half the blame of the outbreak of Impel Down on his behalf. Although initially freaked out of his mind, somehow he manages to turn it around and even instill the pirate “dreams” to the inmates like a mini Gol D. Roger. With this, the problem of mutiny disappears, which is one hell of a way to settle things. The way Buggy’s dragged around and thrown up with qualities a “main” character would have is definitely Oda trying to have him around a lot longer in the story than normal. I’ve said before that he’s his favorite villain, so Buggy will be around for a long while, whether you like him or not. Personally, I find his incredibly bad luck mixed with good surface reputation comedic gold. On a more trivial note, I accidently capped Pandaman in one of the screenshots. He’s a recurring character that appears in crowds hidden somewhere as an animator’s ongoing joke (I’m not sure if he appears in the manga). I also noticed that some of the pirate lackeys had Franky’s voice actor. Of course I can’t be sure, but I think his voice is pretty recognizable.
With the last scene being Marineford, I had chills just looking at the wide shot. For any of you manga readers out there, you probably felt the same. Seeing Marineford pre-war is just breath-taking. Alas, I can’t say anymore, but anime only viewers are in for a big ride.
I don’t know if you can call next week filler, since I believe there were additional scenes like these in the manga, but they will definitely flesh them out so they can be full episodes. Regardless, it’ll be fun to see Nami’s and Franky’s antics on screen again (though I kind of want to see Zoro’s predicament more).