|By the end of this episode...you will hate this man.|
Title: ''The Power that Burns Even Fire - Akainu's Fierce Assault''
Chapters Covered: 573
New Characters: None
Animation Director: Toshio Deguchi
Whitebeard is on a rampage. After the last episode's speech about ending it with the Navy, "good old man" (curse you Funimation) begins to wreck the Marinford HQ to give his children time to leave the premises. Ace, Luffy, Jimbei and all the Whitebeard Commanders make their way out as we go into some extensive filler. Now mind you, Toei is notorious for putting filler in their anime, this is one of those few times I didn't MIND it as much and I'll tell you why: sh*t is about to get serious. And I don't mean serious in the sense that "Oh Noes there's a War going on" but rather "People are about to start dropping" and it ain't going to be fun for anyone. Keep in mind the anime is targeted at a younger audience in Japan (this is a sunday morning show) and the stuff that's about to go down needed to be "eased in".
|"I'm Buggy and I'm a legend"|
That being said, the episode featured a ridiculous amount of Buggy the Clown filler as he tried to get his troops up and announce to the world his plans to take Whitebeard's head and one of the Four Emperor's (Yonkou) seat. We all know Buggy is nothing more than a clown version (I see what you did there Oda) of Mr. Satan from DBZ so his antics and ego amuse me greatly. Does it warrant 15 minutes of filler in an episode? Hardly, but I'm giving Toei the benefit of the doubt only because I know what they're trying to accomplish with his scenes. While the Buggy filler took a lot of the runtime this week, and by extension pushing the Top 10 Saddest Moments column, there was still some scenes worth mentioning.
|"I didn't drink the last bit of orange juice, I swear to Christ!!"|
For those of us not on the "Hatin' Ace" bandwagon (and thanks for not being that person) we've found out that Ace's daddy issues cut really deep. His hatred for the blood that flows through his veins have blinded him with rage enough times to get him in trouble for sure. So much trouble that Whitebeard saw it fit to step in and become the Father that Ace never had. Before running away from Marineford, Ace decides to thank the old man (much like Sanji did to Zeff in Baratie) for his troubles. Whitebeard, in perhaps a moment of pure acceptance, asks Ace if he was happy to have HIM as a father. Ace falls to his knees and just bellows: "Of course I am!" That takes care of that now doesn't it, Whitebeard? So after another filler interlude by Buggy (and really nothing important missed there) we have our "Marty McFly Moment."
Apparently Oda was browsing through his "Back to the Future" Blu Rays and decided to have that entire "chicken" moment recreated for One Piece. So we have Ace, Luffy, Jimbei and the others running away as Akainu decides to start verbally insult Whitebeard, now don't get me wrong... I'd be pissed if some jackass started talking ill about my "father" but let's have some common sense here. It goes back to Ace being Ace, hot headed and prone to let words get to him. So Akainu, doing his best Jason Vorhees impersonation when he seemingly teleports from halfway across the plaza just behind Ace, continues to trash talk Ace and goads him into a confrontation.
|Magma > Fire. Capisce?|
So now we have a somewhat injured Ace on the ground, and Akainu begins to ponder about the opportunity presented to him here by fate. Two stepbrothers, one the son of Gol D. Roger, the other (Luffy) the son of the Revolutionary Monkey D. Dragon. As if to purposely torture Ace, Akainu decides to attack a somewhat vulnerable Luffy instead. What follows is the following picture.
|"This is definitely going to leave a mark..."|
If there's anyone out there who's an anime only watcher and you think Ace is going to just brush this off... I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Luffy is not going to have a brother come next week. And while this is an already spoiler-esque column I don't think I need to remind anyone that after the episode ends, there's usually a "NEXT TIME ON ONE PIECE" clip that follows. If there's anyone still on denial (why?), I offer this from picture from next week's episode.
|Words cannot express how mortifying it is to look at this picture...|
Overall a slow episode with entirely too much filler, and while the second half IS enjoyable, it's still a bit on the rough side. The Whitebeard/Ace and Akainu scenes were golden, but most of the Buggy filler was too nonsensical (I'll admit I laughed at the third "I'm Buggy and I'm a legend" gag) and took away more from the episode than Toei probably was aiming for.