I’ve liked almost all the openings of One Piece dearly, which is surprising considering how much I don’t seem to like songs used in other openings of anime. The only ones I didn’t like were the second and the last opening. I was so sick of the last opening, and never really thought it fit in. That probably compounded to the detachment I felt for OP for a while now. While the song for this new OP doesn’t sound bad, it just feels weird with the action in the background. With the upcoming episodes that will be filled with said action, this moody song just doesn’t fit in. That said, the animation showcasing the powers of each character was excellent, and is something I feel is a good measure of the animation to come.
One Piece – 458
「海軍本部直前回想特別編 集結! 三大将」 (Marinfōdo Chokuzen Kaisou Supesharu – Shūketsu! San Taishō)
“A Special Retrospective Before Marineford! The Three Navy Admirals Come Together!”
Yeah.. again another 90% flashback. Though you have to give some credit to having some thought given to these flashbacks, instead of just pushing them in random places. Although most of the flashbacks weren’t anything “new”, I’m surprised they had one for Donquixote Doflamingo. It was a bit intriguing since there’s almost no information on the guy, but they didn’t reveal anything either. If anything, they did remind the audience what his powers can do. I think his scenes were also reanimated, since I don’t remember OP going widescreen until episode 218 (pulled this straight out of memory because I watched that new widescreen episode so many times) or so. Other than that… there’s not much content to blog about, so I attached it to the next episode.
One Piece – 459
「決戦の刻迫る! 海軍最強の布陣完成!」 (Kessen no Toki Semaru! Kaigun Saikyō no Fujin Kansei!)
“Ticking Down to the Time of Battle! The Navy’s Strongest Lineup in Position!”
Now here’s the episode that many of us have been waiting for! With the semi fillers finally over, the new and quite possibly the best arc in One Piece history begins. Although this episode mainly served as exposition, it was still incredibly exciting to see. I mean, I’m caught up with the manga, but this episode had me giddy like a kid on the day before his birthday (trust me, I’ve been there).
I’m not sure if there was this much exposition in the manga, but I’m pretty sure the children’s song about Whitebeard wasn’t in there. That was pretty surreal if you think about it. More realism injections with parallels to our universe I suppose. About halfway through the episode, I kept thinking, “this is really happening isn’t it?” With the thousands of marines, the Shichibukai, and the three Admirals ready in their positions, one can’t help but feel that the shit’s gonna hit the fan. I feel like One Piece is finally getting back on its feet, like how it felt during the Enies Lobby arc. When the Gate of Justice was shown, the whole thing just hit me like a sack of bricks. The war is coming people! This entire arc is almost nonstop adrenaline once it snowballs into a gigantic epic- yeah, I’m going to stop there to avoid spoiling. But it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
They had a pretty good atmosphere going on through this episode, making the weight of this entire predicament pretty imminent (which it is, and which it should be). The anime always does things like this to make the story with an extra punch to make it worth seeing along with the other obvious reasons such as animation and sound. However, before anything really happens, they’re going to explain a lot of things about Ace, since he IS the main x-factor of the arc. The reveal that Portgas D. Ace is Gol D. Roger’s son still had me gaping in awe, even though I knew the reveal a while ago due to reading the manga. With the first of many story changing revelations out in the public (literally), the snowball has officially started rolling. The reaction of the reporter was right on the money, as it is probably exactly what everyone’s thinking of right now… “The bloodline of the Pirate King continues?”
Note: With Ace finally being in the spotlight, I’m wary about the comments that will follow. Please avoid talking about anything even remotely related to this arc’s future storyline. We’ve finally reached this point in the anime, and it would be a ridiculously selfish move to ruin the fun for others.