"Rescue Ace! The New Destination is the Great Prison" is the 416th episode of the One Piece anime.
Following a party, Luffy learns from Nyon that Hancock is a Shichibukai, and that they have been called together as the Marines is launching an all-out offensive on Whitebeard. When Luffy hears that they are planning on executing his brother Ace at Marineford to lure Whitebeard out, he decides to save him from the prison Impel Down before he's transported away. The only hope of him getting there in time is for Hancock to answer to the call for the Shichibukai, so Luffy can hitch a ride on her ship, but the empress has just caught a disease, and is lying in bed.
After telling Luffy all about her past, Hancock agrees to give him a ride to Sabaody Archipelago with her Yuda-towed ship. She also invites Luffy to their banquet tonight and to rest inside. While Luffy expresses how excited he is to see his friends again, Hancock looks back with a confused look as she realizes she's still blushing. Nyon comments to herself how amazed she is that Hancock is trusting Luffy so much and Hancock places her hand on her forehead seemingly uncertain what she's feeling. At the banquet, Luffy eats everything around him, and the girls seem suspicious. The Kuja Pirates misunderstand their Snake Princess's actions and prepare to attack Luffy. But before they can, Luffy, bored, starts to sing Bink's sake and dances with a pan and spoon. It makes everyone laugh, and the party begins. But the girls, who have never seen a man before, interrogate Luffy and touch him as someone places a price to touch him, causing Luffy to yell that he's not for display. Several more girls are interested in Luffy and want to touch him and he runs away despite them seemingly being attracted by his rubber body. He escapes with Marguerite to Elder Nyon's house. While Hancock is alone on a balcony, Sonia and Mary look out and wonder what's on her mind since she hasn't eaten anything and wonder if everything with Luffy has her worried or the fact the call to war has her worried. Hancock picks up a glass and recalls how Luffy is set to leave for tomorrow and realizes she's crying for some reason and starts crying more and drops her glass and falls to the floor in pain and breathing heavily. Her sisters are shocked and go over to help.
At her house Luffy discovers that Hancock is a Shichibukai and admits his surprise. Nyon states she became Shichibukai when Hancock was eighteen, when she became the empress of the Kuja and quickly gained a notorious reputation despite her young age, catching the attention of the Marines and even the World Government, who were frightened of her potential, as she had earned a large bounty after only one campaign. Hancock later opted to join the Shichibukai in order to protect her fellow Kuja, by forming a treaty to protect their homeland from the government, preventing them from entering there. Nyon then reads on the paper about the war between the Whitebeard Pirates and the Marines and surprising Luffy further with Nyon commenting on his lack of knowledge and then reads off the prisoner on deathrow, his brother Ace is about to be taken to his execution. Luffy then is horrified by reading this as he hears that Blackbeard was the one who put Ace in prison and cuts Nyon off revealing he's his brother, shocking Nyon. Luffy asks if Ace is really going to be executed and Nyon says he will and wonders when. She says it's in five days and it will take a week to get back to Sabaody and Luffy says it will be too late by the time he reunites with his crew. He asks for another faster way and Nyon tells him that he's being held at Impel Down, the maximum security prison and decides to go rescue Ace before reuniting with his crew. He says sorry to his comrades after deciding to rescue Ace at Impel Down, and asks Elder Nyon how he can rescue Ace. Elder Nyon tells him that there's only one way to make it to his brother in time, by asking Hancock to accept the call of the Marines as a Marine battle ship can make it in time and Luffy goes to ask her with Nyon. As Luffy and Nyon arrive to ask her, one of her subjects arrives and reveals that Hancock has contracted a fatal illness. Hancock has caught an unknown disease and is in great pain for some reason.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- This episode lacks an opening narration.
- The preview for the next episode is shortened from its usual length.