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One Piece Episode #502 Review

4 min read

Everything comes to a head before the rug is pulled out from under us.

What They Say:
As the Gray Terminal burns, the only hope the residents have is for a miracle. Meanwhile, Ace and Luffy face off with Bluejam as Sabo must come to terms with the grim reality of his situation.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The story worked up to a pretty good serious level with the previous episode as you have the Gray Terminal burning, people panicking and Bluejam finding out that he can’t get what he was promised for power and security. The realization that he was being used hits him pretty hard and it puts him in a mindset for taking out his aggressions all over the place. So it’s not exactly a good thing that Ace and Luffy have crossed his path since that just sets them up for a confrontation. It got pretty intense with Bluejam about to kill Ace, if not for the arrival of Dadan who has really grown close to the kids even though she protests.

Dadan is a lot of fun since she’s been harsh with them yet has a soft spot for the boys because of her time spent with them. She’s also very territorial when it comes to them since she has an ownership of them that she does take seriously, even though she’s largely been unable to find them for awhile. Having her face off against Bluejam really cements her position when it comes to them, especially with Ace standing beside her to help out in whatever way he can. The show gets to a pretty big level with the fire burning all around, a pirate ship arriving to offer passage to those who want to join them and an amusing cameo or two that ties events in a way that proves that it truly is a small world after all. It gets to this point but doesn’t really follow through well on it though, shifting to the next day and focusing on Luffy’s recovery from his fight with Bluejam.

This weakens the impact of the fire and what everyone went through, but focusing on how much of it is torched and destroyed reminds easily. What’s surprising is how few bodies there are, which reinforces that something else went on there in the midst of the flames that the nobles and those in the city proper have missed. With the day after focus, we get to see more of how Sabo has coped with events as we see just how controlling his father is and what he’s doing to make sure that Sabo understands it. As time passes and Sabo does what he can to fit in, to make sure he survives to fight another day, there’s a growing sadness within him but also a belief that the others must have survived. You have to feel for Sabo as he deals with his life as it is now, full of gray and feeling like a bird trapped in a cage.

In Summary:
One Piece comes across as very, very uneven in this episode as there’s no real conclusion to several storylines going on. While Sabo in a way makes out the best because of it as he finishes out the episode, other storylines here such as the fire, Dadan, Ace and Luffy as well as Bluejam simply feels incomplete in how they were handled. It’s like they were cut off very quickly at a time when it needed more examination, dropping the tension away entirely in favor of going in another direction. It ends on an odd note as well where it’s hard to feel like the people watching events unfold should feel connected to it at all or even care. With the passage of time here, the missing in action nature of several characters halfway through it, this episode left me feeling very much on the outside of things and not caring much for it at all.

Grade: C

Simulcast By: FUNimation

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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