The Marineford adventure has certainly been ratcheting up the action and
intensity as it goes along, though I still find that in some ways it
feels less intense than the Impel Down saga, largely because it was
focused on so few characters then overall. With the large and diverse
cast here, bringing in so many characters, it shifts things across so
many of them. But as it returns to Luffy every few episodes, the
intensity seems to rise more than normal so seeing him getting seriously
angry here and going up against the execution stand itself, or at least
trying to get as close as he can while facing off against some of the
most powerful members of the Navy there, is definitely an exciting
If there is one similarity, especially with this episode, it's in hearing Luffy's footsteps on the pavement as he runs hard to get closer to Ace. He's continually getting closer and closer to everything, even with some setbacks, and he's getting a fair bit of help along the way against some of the powerful opponents. Unfortunately, it seems like just when he's starting to go up against the really powerful ones, he's rebuffed and the mid-tier Navy men go against him again, which in turn allows others to get involved, such as Marco who does a save the day moment just before Hancock can get down there and save her man. Luffy's definitely taking more hits now and the intensity of the fight picks up when it gets personal, but it's still such a large scale fight across this arc that it sometimes has a hard time shifting between the personal and the epic.
There are some very interesting moments here as the battle moves outside of the main barrier since a few people have gotten past. Curse those devil fruit people with flying powers who make surprise appearances after being off screen for awhile. One is that we see that Mister Three has made it past and is leaving quite the wax covered carnage behind him as he's looking for someplace safe to be. He's panicky as usual but after his really enjoyable arc in Impel Down, it's good to see him active again here. The other is the arrival of another pirate ship, something necessary after so many have been sunk in the trap, as Whitebeard gets to point out that he didn't exactly bring everyone into the fight at first. It's a really amusing turn of events that as it plays out, it almost feels Greek in nature with the scale of what's going on. And that really makes it very exciting and fun to watch.