「決戦の幕開け! エースと白ひげの過去」 (Kessen no Makuake! Ēsu to Shirohige no Kako)
“The Beginning of the War! Ace and Whitebeard’s Past!”

So I was wrong about the fighting beginning near the end of the episode this time. Instead they put it in the beginning, which I’m not sure was how the story was structured in the manga. Regardless, it shouldn’t matter too much. While the last episode featured Ace’s parents, this time the focus is on Ace’s “Pirate-hood”. With the war pretty much completely about him, much akin to Helen of Troy, what better time to finally learn about Ace’s past?

The details of who exactly Blackbeard killed, and why that pissed Ace off so much are revealed, but Ace’s history is a rather simple one compared to Luffy’s. Of course, most of Luffy’s adventures consisted of obtaining crew mates, which this flashback simply frolicked over (not necessarily a bad thing). At times like these, a common problem often comes to my attention, where any characters other than the main ones rarely get any attention to their design. For example, you know each and every one of Luffy’s crew intimately, and their designs are rather “normal”. This is most likely because “normal” is how one “relates” to things. If Luffy’s crew was as ugly as Blackbeard’s, OP would not be alive today. Anyway, if you take a look at Ace’s crew, there’s not really any one member that stood out except of course for Ace. Because of this, Ace losing his crew doesn’t become such a big deal. In fact, his entire crew pretty much looks like the typical fodder that makes up the rest of any crew other than Luffy’s, whose crew only consists of a couple people and no one else. Now I’m not complaining, if my point was unclear, only just amused. Given that information, will Luffy ever gain “fodder” crew mates? As far as I can tell, there would be no point, as the fodder from other crews never do much anyways.

Animation will be key in the upcoming episodes, and it seems they’ve kicked the animation up a notch this episode, if only very slightly (that rising ocean did look a little crappy). At the very least, Ace’s movements and fights (short as they may be) looked fluid and coherent. Not to mention, the animated effects of Whitebeard’s Gura Gura no Mi ended up quite breathtaking. The preview shows some nice animation as well, but it’s nowhere near Enies Lobby yet. But hey, Toei pulled off a Lucci fight for a dozen episodes. This should be the next step.

 

Preview

25 Comments

    1. I Do not know if you are being sarcastic but Shanks lost his arm when Luffy was a kid, Ace departed at 17 so Luffy was 14. Shanks already left Luffy´s village and lost his arm. This was a mistake by the artist.

      Thatch was just a background character for me, this episode gave him a personality and shows how amoral is Teach.

      They said (weasel word) they liked when Marco shoved his meat in Ace´s mouth… hahaha.

      Lectro Volpi
    2. Luffy had his devil fruit before he even first met Ace at Dadan’s. They were aged 10 and 7 respectively (for Ace and Luffy). Hence, when Ace met Shanks at age 17. the left arm would have been gone…a mistake by the animators..

      Anyway, pretty good episode. Liked how they portrayed Blackbeard’s betrayal…only thing that annoyed me was how they didn’t show what happened to the dual tsunamis..I mean..after the flashback, they had Helmeppo saying “thank god it’s over” or smth? Show us Aokiji in action dammit!

      Chris
  1. “Anyway, if you take a look at Ace’s crew, there’s not really any one member that stood out except of course for Ace”

    We totally agree here, what’s with the quality of the crew? they are random people that uses swords or guns. Check out Roger’s crew, even Buggy had a devil fruit and shanks was somewhat strong (and he was just a cabin boy).

    Lectro Volpi
    1. Well I mean it makes sense, Ace’s crew is never going to show up anyways, so why put the effort into making any important characters into his crew? Thing is, they all looked ordinary though, as if he just hired them from a town or something. Every other crew has actual “characters” because they end up possibly being important. You gotta give credit to Oda for making some unusual designs for the upcoming characters in this war though. Feels like he’s just pulling stuff from his ass (which is actually commendable).

  2. Yep still no fighting they’re really trying to build this up, which I don’t mind as this episode was decent but I’m fearing that this build will lead to a less then expected battle as is often the case in one piece. Build and nothing,some half arsed climax.

    crazystudyguy
  3. I was under the impression that that Ace’s crew was assimilated into Whitebeards.. Thatch Said that they kicked their ass but they are still alive and on the ship..

    Also i highly doubtful that Luffy would bring in any fodder crew.. seeing how serious he takes each relationship of his nakamada and all.. that and each crew member can take out a nice sized group of enemies individually so it wouldnt make sense to hire “Red Shirts”
    Whenever the Stawhat crew needs sheer numbers there is always “conveniently” a third party.. Franky house during Enis Lobby.. and the New kamas/prisoners during Impel Down..

    Any further any further additions would be to solely bolster their power/fill a specific role as a crewman.

    royceHOLLERED
    1. Yeah, no you’re right, his crew was added into Whitebeard’s. But I mean they technically “disappeared” anyway since they never really came up again right? Even if they did, you wouldn’t have known, since none of them were even remotely distinct, which goes back to my point.

  4. BTW… no mention of the new VA for Ivankov? The previous VA got arrested for posting “indecent” pictures on his blog. Have to say that I’m not a fan of the new VA in this role.

    Jaysus
    1. I’ve read about that, but Ivankov sounded the same to me this episode.. either they found a really good replacement, or it’s leftover recordings. But I could definitely be wrong, either way, I’m happy.

      1. If you check ANN’s staff listings, you get the following:

        Norio Imamura as Emporio Ivankov (eps 438-452)
        Mitsuo Iwata as Emporio Ivankov (ep 461-)

        I thought he sounded nothing like the other Ivankov, which actually made me remember reading that Norio had been arrested a while back.

        Jaysus

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