466: Team Straw Hat Arrives - The Battlefield Falls into Chaos
The Jailbreak Gang has finally made their dramatic entrance at Marineford by falling out of the air. Naturally, the episode begins with a flashback to explain how this came to be.
After getting blown away from the Gates of Justice by Whitebeard's seismic wave, they group soon found one of the giant tidal waves baring down on them. Jimbei orders everyone to haul in the sails as he plans to have the ship ride its way into Marineford on the wave. Buggy and the prisoners of course panic, but Crocodile shuts them up by pointing out that anything else would capsize their ship, and scolds them for panicking despite being pirates. So everyone hunkers down and grabs on to something, as the ship is pulled up into the wave until it pops out atop its crest. the wave is then completely frozen thanks to Aokiji, locking the ship within the ice.
While everyone recovers their bearings, Crocodile, Jimbei, and Ivankov go over to the edge of the ice to see the battle taking place below. Luffy proposes that they break the ship out of the ice and slide down the back of the wave, which Mr. 3 calls impossible. Luffy says that if they call work together, it'll work, which manages to get the others fired up. Right then the telesnail stored within the ship's mast starts to ring again as a new transmission comes through: the Navy is to proceed with a plan code-named TOTTZ, after which they will immediately execute Ace. After hearing this Luffy gets desperate, and he, Buggy, Crocodile, Jimbei, and Ivankov attack the ice, freeing the ship...and causing it to fall off the wrong side.
The ship luckily crashes down onto the one patch of sea left on the field from Jozu's iceberg throw. The prisoners scurry to higher ground as the ship breaks into two while Jimbei saves the Devil Fruit users. Luffy regains consciousness and after recollecting himself, starts scurrying around the ship's wreckage, looking for any sign of Ace amidst the fighting going on all around him. After punching out a few marines who had climbed aboard, he makes his way over to the ship's bow, in sight of the execution scaffold. Overjoyed to have finally found his brother, he bellows out his name loud enough for all to hear.
Eyecatches: Luffy (twice)
Luffy tells Ace to wait for him as his other allies come up behind him. The marines are justifiably shocked to see Luffy allied with the Warlords Jimbei and Crocodile, as well as the revolutionary Ivankov and hordes of notorious Impel Down prisoners. Akainu remarks that Dragon's son will have to be elimated as well.
Trying to gather himself, Sengoku shouts to Jimbei is this really his answer to the government, and Jimbei retorts that he's quiting the Seven Warlords of the Sea. Garp doubts that the entire group has one goal in mind, especially with revolutionaries and Crocodile included.
And he would be right, for Crocodile flies over towards Whitebeard while everyone is distracted. Coming up behind him, he remarks that it's been quite a while, and that Whitebeard never learns. Fortunately for the old man though, Luffy quickly zips over using Gear Second and deflects Crocodile's hook away. Seeing that Luffy is still dripping wet from his earlier dip, instead of picking a fight, Crocodile demands to know why Luffy's opposing him now, especially after he held up his end of the bargain they made in Impel Down. Luffy remarks simply that he knows Ace respects Whitebeard, and so he won't let him harm him.
While some of his crew try to block off Crocodile, Whitebeard takes a look at Luffy, recognizes him as the brother that Ace often bragged about, and recognizes his hat as Shanks's. He asks if Luffy's come to save Ace, and when Luffy states that he is, Whitebeard slams his bisento for emphasis and shouts that he has no idea what he's getting into, and that he stands no chance on the battleship. Luffy tells him to shut up and insists that he's going to be the Pirate King, not Whitebeard. Despite everyone within earshot crapping their pants at this declaration and Luffy's suicidal attitude, Whitebeard becomes amused by Luffy's stubborn spirit, and says not to get in his way.
Kizaru asks if he can kill every one of the intruders, and Sengoku replies that he can. "Here I come!!" Luffy declares.
The chapter this episode covered didn't exactly have a whole lot of content, so in light of that, I think the episode did a fairly good job of adapting it. I honestly don't really have a whole lot to say because of that. I guess I would have appreciated that anime showing some filler depicting everyone arming themselves and suiting up for battle (instead of it happening instantly and off screen), but eh, you can't get everything you hope for. There were some minor bits I thought were pretty funny, like the prisoner wearing the inner tube during the wave riding scene, that one marine clubbing a bunch of guys and uttering a cartoonishly cheesy evil laugh, and Kizaru at the end just sort of leaning into a dramatic distance shot with that dopishly happy expression on his face.
I have to wonder what Crocodile's connection with Whitebeard is. Was he simply a pirate who was defeated by him, an Ace-style conversion gone horribly wrong, or something else entirely? Luffy's scene with ol' Whitebeard wasn't really anything special, but it just goes to show that you can get a lot of mileage out of pigheadedness in shonen. Shame it doesn't work that way in reality.