Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Anime: Marineford Arc- Episode 483

First Thoughts 
Mikey: So here we are. After so many long years, One Piece has finally seen it's first real time death. Some people may say that we have seen death in real time but really this is the first real time death of a character that we knew. A character where the overall objective was to save him and along the way we saw some development via flashbacks and appearances.

Kind of hard to put what I want to say in words. This was an amazing episode that had an ending that left me speechless. Just like the last few minutes where there was no music playing to create silence, so was everybody else who were watching this episode.

To join me in this post I have Neku and Sora. Say hi guys.

Superneku: Hi everyone.

Sora: 'Sup.

Mikey: Also I guess the opening image for this post is a bit strange but I wanted to use the same scene that was used for the manga post which was done almost a year ago. Still for now sit down as we try to go over the events of this episode.

Whitebeard pirates retaliate against Akainu for defeating Ace.

Ace and Luffy share their last conversation and in the end Ace dies.

This episode will forever be known as the episode where Ace dies. The manga reading fan community knew this secret for almost a year now and now most of the One Piece fan community knows about it. The size of this event I admit is making it hard to do the post for this episode since clearly we should just focus on Ace's death.Though I would like to take a moment to just to go over the reactions of everybody. This is going to be an interesting formatted episode recap but that is what we tend to do here.

People are reacting to the fact that Akainu put a lava fist into Ace's chest as a surprise by it looks like. Even that loser Kizaru seems a bit surprise at how far Akainu went. That is really something as even Akainu's coworkers are unsure on what to react. Then you have Aokiji who looks as if he disapprove over what Akainu did. I guess this is another thing to show us how different each admiral is. On one hand you have Kizaru who likes to 'play with his food' while you have Aokiji who is calm and collective and is respectful then you have Akainu...and this episode itself is a perfect example as in what kind of person Akainu is.

We can only wonder what is going though the minds of the people at Sabaody. Maybe some of them are happy and maybe some of them are sadden. It seems like a lot of them are shocked. Most likely they saw first hand when Akainu put his hand though Ace's chest and then slowly pulled it out. It is clear they they are wondering how far this war will be going.

Then we have the look of shock on Luffy's face. He looks terrified as Ace literally has a flaming hole in his chest that he isn't recovering from. Not everyday you get to see a lava fist in the chest of your brother. Still we get to that later.

Also the Whitebeard Pirates are not liking Akainu too much. Apparently the guy with the rocket launcher looking staff thing.

Terminator much?

Akainu is a scary guy. His devil fruit power doesn't help in making him look any less scary.

This scene was maybe the only part that kind of made me happy. Mr. 3 was the comedy value of this very tragic episode. That is saying a lot considering what happened in this episode. Still now it is time for Marco to get back into to fray.

Random Thought: I wonder what Marco did when it came to fighting before he got his Phoenix Devil Fruit power.

More reactions....None of them look happy. You have Jimbei who is trying to keep Akainu from taking another shot at Ace. Then at the same time he is trying to protect Luffy from being killed. Apparently Jimbei is doing his all and willing to give his life in order to make sure that Ace and Luffy can live just a little longer. Seems like Marco and Vista are trying to help out as well in making sure that our boys live a little longer.

Then Garp really going out there to put his job on the line. He looks as if he is ready to tear Akainu's head off or at least try. If it wasn't for Sengoku then who knows what Garp would have done but surely old man Garp doesn't like the idea that his grandsons are in danger. It is nice to know that when the chips are on the table that Garp truly value his family over this job. We saw this a few episodes back when he let Luffy beat him and once again now.

Things don't look good at all. The moment that Luffy pulled his hand up and saw that it was covered in blood looks traumatic. You can tell that Luffy was desperate when he looks back and asks for a doctor to help and then he became really desperate once he called out for Ivankov to use his hormone powers to help out. It seems like there are even limits to the power of miracles.

This moment here really made me cry. Seeing Luffy holding on to Ace. Luffy is really trying his best to help his brother. The pain on Luffy's face is clear as he holds on to Ace. Then we hear this:
"You promised that you'd never die..."
That line really made me want to cry and maybe I did. I felt tears forming in my eyes as Luffy said that and it touched me. It is like everything just hit me as you have Ace and Luffy put their life on the line for each other. Ace literally just now sacrifice his life just to save his little brother's life. Then this promise is just icing on the cake as you realize that Luffy literally believed the promise that Ace made him. That Ace wasn't going to die and that he brother was never going to leave him. The trust and dedication to each other.

And then like that. Ace dies.

This here is the ultimate form of brotherly love. The bond that these two boys have for each other is something that literally rivals brothers that are blood related. It is really touching to see something like this even though Ace and Luffy are not blood related yet they are this close. It really warms my heart since as a bigger brother I feel like this is how my relationship with my own little brother should be. Willing to protect and help my little brother though the hard times, support him during his endeavors, enjoy the happy times and even the annoying times.

Superneku: I felt very emotional while watching this episode, despite the fact that since I myself had already read the manga chapter based off of this episode. I knew that I would feel sad and I did, but here are my thoughts on this event since I never shared them initially. When I first saw Akainu's fist go through Ace, I was in denial. After all, Ace is a main character and through every "rescue arc" before this, the victim has always managed to get rescued with no major problems while escaping to safety. But this time was different, this time the rescue mission is a complete failure and will cause a lot of events to happen not only to everyone in the war, but perhaps even the whole world. But my other reason is I thought that he got punched through the stomach at first, but at closer inspection as well as the fact that everyone around him is shocked proved me wrong. But even then, it didn't take until Ace was being clutched by Luffy that I realized he was about to die. I almost teared up but when Ace makes his final thanks of being loved thats when I realized that the character is even awesomer than usual and I salute him, even when he eventually died with a smile.

Now I think that Toei handled this scene very well not only due to adding more reactions to the people around Luffy and Ace, the beautiful yet tragic music but also the moving  and excellent voice acting of Toshio Furukawa and Mayumi Takana whose vivid emotions as they are slowly dying respectfully and becoming in a complete shock respectfully. Overall, this scene still makes me both upset at the fact that one of the best characters on the series is dead, but makes me respect Oda as a storyteller since it moves the story and characters of everyone around Ace perfectly and I know for sure that this is one of the best moments in the entire story by far.

Mikey: It is really hard to believe that Ace has died. At first I couldn't believe it and when I first saw this a year ago I was in shocked. I had to check to make sure that he actually died but when I saw the vivrecard burn up into nothing then that was when I knew for sure that Ace had died. After so many years of being part of this adventure. We witness the death of the main character's brother. So many things must be going though Luffy's mind as we registrar the death of Ace.

So many things for a person to feel for but one that really got me was Ace's last words to Luffy:
"...my desire to see you fulfill your dream. But I am sure you can do it! Because your my brother!"
This moment was asking for tears. In the end it Ace was was still supporting his little brother in his dream. In the past he stated that he was going to make Whitebeard the King of the Pirates but here he shows his believe in Luffy's dream. He does what any big brother does and shows his support of his little brother's dream. It is a crazy dream to have but Ace really does believe that Luffy will become Pirate King. Ace's sole reason to believe this? Because he is his little brother. That is the only reason he needs and that is really touching. In the end Ace really does believe in Luffy to fulfill his dream. Then he dies with a smile. A big brother to the very end.

Sora: My goodness, where to begin? If I hadn't known the outcome of this arc from the beginning I swear I would never have forgiven Oda-sensei for this. Probably never. But, because I knew it was coming, I lived through it with little to less sadness. ...kind of. Okay, so it still hit me notoriously hard. How could it not? This really was (as it hit me right at the end) the first real important death of the series. Yes, characters have died before, but almost all of them if not most have been previously deceased before Luffy came around. Like, Gol D. Roger, Bellemare, the professors of Ohara, the people all those centuries ago on Skypeia. All of those people had very sad deaths, important roles to play in the plot, but it was in the past. You couldn't change it. More importantly, it did not directly influence Luffy in his attitude and demeanor towards life.

This...well, this is almost as bad as having one of his own crew members killed. Of course, since Ace isn't a total main character and all it isn't as huge as someone like Nami or Chopper dying (horrible thoughts yes, but Zoro, Sanji, even Usopp would die if they were achieving their dream or protecting someone. They are just strong enough to be considered 'possibilities'), and he wasn't previously touched upon as much, the impact of his passing shouldn't be such a huge hit as it stands right now.


Because of how close the two brothers were revealed to be, Ace is going to be a huge impact in Luffy's up-and-coming development, his attitude, and especially his determination. This is where the 'Official Rules of One Piece', stating 'a main character can never die' are broken into little pieces, burnt, the scarred remains frozen, then thawed and let sit in a blazing desert for three months, then run over by a steamroller and electrocuted by a thunderbolt by the great God Eneru.

Basically, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. The live-die ratio...is now practically a "free-for-all". Previously, the law was simple. The Great, Benevolent and Wise Oda-sama will never kill anyone (if he can help it). WRONG. Now, it is going to be a panic-fest, especially with the introduction of so many new and powerful people way back at the beginning of the Sabaody arc. Who will die? Will Oda be merciful anymore, after killing Ace off in this manner, just to teach Luffy a 'life-lesson'? How many more 'life-lessons' must Luffy learn, how many more people must be sacrificed to get Luffy prepared for the terrifying reality of his world?

The game has changed. It is no longer a fun, free, 'pirate adventure'. Now it is a struggle to remain on top and to make sure that the people you love do not die. Only the strong survive now, you literally have to grow up now. No more fairy tales about determination and hope. (Luckily, Luffy actually has this power, he just needs to grow and refine it!)

Off of my silly speculation now and onto the high points of this episode. It certainly held a lot of visual appeal. Kizaru being a Beep, and of course Akainu being a dirty rat. He really is scum. I cannot put into words the true audacity of his attack, because anything I would say would be to good for the low-life he is. Blehk. The part I loved, of course, was Garp's extremely serious moment.
"You had better hold me back Sengoku, because if you are not there I will Kill Sakazuki!
This was AMAZING. In any case, this could be one of the highlights of the episode for me. Actually, there was not one moment of this episode I really have to comment negatively upon, even Buggy or Mr. San's roles. Buggy actually got live footage of some of the fire and carnage at the battle (still live and running as we speak), and Mr. San has proved a very useful commodity to the Whitebeard pirates. Each detail was refined to superb quality, and the presentation of this most infamous chapter was gorgeous. I know for a fact that this will surely become just as well remembered (if not surpassing) as the burial of the Merry Go. The end of the "Eternal Flame".

Oh, so much to say, so little time to say it all! On a closing note however, I do grieve for the fact that Ace will not be able to have any decedents. There will be no blood legacy of Gol Roger, which is unfortunate, but perhaps for the better. One of the best things, and yet worst things in the series, occured in this episode today.

Ace died...smiling.

Mikey: Now lets take a look at some of the responses to this episode from people on Twitter.

KevinDGrussing said:
"Definitiely one 4 the Anime Hall 'o Fame. And there was probably a lotta eyes that teared up on both sides of the Pacific."
That is true. I know my eyes were tearing up at least twice during this episode. It is hard to take in but something like this can hit the hearts on both sides of the ocean.

StrawHatPirate9 said:
"Beautifully done had me crying the entire ep & for quite a while after it. The ch was great & the ep only made it better."
That is so true. The episode was beautifully done and this episode the the chapter justice if not executed the death of Ace better.

DragonPiece said:
"Since the start of The Whitebeard war in July, I knew we were in for a emotional ride, as it the thrills kept going higher until the climax that was Ace's death. Things can only get worse from the point forward."
Ace's death does seems to be the climax of this arc. This whole arc has only been building up to this moment with the conflicted Garp to all the mini-flashbacks of Ace's life. This moment on we can only guess that things are going to go down a slippery slope downward.

It seems like the thoughts of the people from Twitter all agree that this episode was great. This episode pulled at the heartstrings and just really made you feel for what was going on the screen. Now we can only wait to see how Funimation will handle this. Hopefully they will do this moment with as much justice as they can just like they have done so far.

Mikey: It is really hard to explain why a moment can make a person cry which made this a difficult post to done. It is clear that this episode had a huge impact on the people who watched it. When I saw this part happen where there was no music playing and all you heard was the wind blowing. I was in awe and then the episode ended.


I couldn't come up with anything when the ending screen appeared and my mind was blank. It finally happen and at the end of the episode Ace was dead. Laying before Luffy was Ace's dead body with a smile on his face. Now we just sit here and wait till the next episode to see how everything else will play out.

Things don't look as if they are going to get better after this episode. Luffy doesn't seem to be taking the death of Ace too kindly as he seems to be out of it. Maybe the kid will get up and kick some butt. Maybe he won't. When you lose something dear to you then it can really hurt. A person may not feel like doing anything. In Luffy's case he lost his brother that supported and protected him to the very end. This surely is going to take a while to sort though for Luffy.

Whitebeard on the other hand seems to be going crazy as he is attacking Akainu full force. It seems like Akainu has bit off more then he can chew but surely this lava man is going to make sure to take a bite out of Whitebeard.

Next Episode: Marine Headquarters Crumbles! Whitebeard's Silent Rage!

Stay tune because things can only get worse from here on out.


  1. This is very emotional but something really bugs me. How is Akainu able to hit Ace? In the anime, Marco hit Akainu with his skill plus haki, and Akainu is not even injured. I always assumed that Akainu hit Ace with haki, which is why Ace's hurt and died. Did I miss something?

  2. @Melgyp
    From what I understand, there is an hierarchy and on that hierarchy lava beats fire. I am guessing this is because lava is hotter then fire and thus overcomes it. Akainu mention this in the last episode. Also I guess if you do get some lava and put it over a fire that it will put it out and then start another fire. I never tried this so I can't tell you for sure.

    As in for Marco and how he hit Akainu (with blood coming out of it) I can't be too certain. Clearly it hurt Akainu but Marco nor Vista were able to hit anything vital thus once Akainu was able to recover it off. Haki still is kind of new and hasn't been explained too well but I am guessing it just is 'armor' for your knife allowing you to damage Logia(/devil fruit people) but does not leave lasting damage unless you hit something big.

  3. @Mikey-san, thanks for your explanation. I suppose in addition to hierarchy of the power strength, one must hit vital organs to fatally wound a devil fruit user or any other person.

  4. @melgyp Ace purposely didn't let his body become logia(intangible) cause if he did then akainus fist would go right through him and hit luffy. So ace just hardened his body and it hit his organs. Instead of it going through him.

  5. i still cant watch the episode as i cried for weeks after only reading the manga......cant tolerate luffy's that crying face.....