One Piece ramped things up, again, last week with Luffy getting ever
closer to Ace but still getting beaten back. Since he's so dramatic when
taking hits, it does make for some amusement. But where it ramped up
even more is when the Whitebeards had a secret weapon of sorts hidden
below with a paddle boat that Oars was properly placed with in order to
help shove it through the encircling wall that was put up. Giving
everyone a chance to get through, albeit a relatively small space, sets
up for a lot of intense action to happen. Whitebeard set up quite the
nice charge for it and motivated everyone, but the sense of dread is
really in place as we see the upper echelon of the Navy men there are
about to get their hands dirty.
With the size of the cast at this point, something that's problematic for me since there are so many characters I barely remember and a number I haven't met yet on the DVD releases, there's always another story ready to happen. Some of it gets done in snippets, with old grudges coming back into play, but this episode focuses largely on Luffy which is much needed. He's been progressing well towards Ace all this time considering the carnage at hand, but with the big dogs, almost literally, now being the ones he has to deal with, his challenges are growing in difficulty. Some of it does feel like it works well, especially when you consider how much he's gone through so far, but at the same time you expect better out of him after what he fought through at Impel Down and the odds there.