"Ace Freed! Whitebeard's Final Captain's Order!" is the 481st Episode of the One Piece anime.
Ace is freed at last as he and Luffy fight their way back to escape from Marineford. Everyone is glad for it, as Squard and his crew break into the plaza with the paddle ship to give a chance for everyone to escape, but is stopped by Whitebeard, claiming it would be a shame for a son to die in front of his father. Whitebeard stands and orders his sons to escape, saying the New Era does not need a person like him.
Whitebeard's pirate coalition celebrate their victory while the Marines are horrified and angered that Ace was freed. With Ace now glowing with fire and free-falling with Luffy, Ivankov cries with joy that the latter's father would be happy. Hancock praises Luffy hoping he will have a happy ending with here and wants to marry him after leaving Marineford. Helmeppo is in shock while Koby accepts that Luffy is just as he is. As the Marines are about to fire a second barrage, Ace suggests splitting up, with the Straw Hat pirate throwing Galdino aside. The fiery pirate then uses a Flame Commandment and Fire Pillar burning some Marines and blowing them back.
Ace and Luffy land safely while Galdino hurts himself on the ground. The former surrounds their party with a ring of fire and asks if Luffy can still fight. Luffy answers positively. Ace while surprised that his brother would save him decides to go against his pride. Luffy laughs saying he couldn't have done it alone. The two are hit by bullets with no effect, and Luffy deflects the bullets. Two marines try to cut him, but Ace blocks the hit and heals immediately. He then uses a Fire Fist permeating the Marines around the brothers. Luffy goes into Second Gear, dodging an attack and using a Gum-Gum Jet Spear to hit some officers hard. Ace then shoots some Fire Gun shots out of his fingers hitting more officers. A Marine with a mace almost crushes the fiery pirate, but Luffy knocks him away. With the Marines in awe, Ace says that while the fight is fun, they will need to leave soon.
Vista praises the brothers' team work and Haruta orders the pirates to pull out. The Marines give chase, but Ace and his brother jump over the, before the former shoot a small Fire Fly barrage and detonates them with Fiery Doll, blowing the Marines away. Luffy blows more enemies back with Gum-Gum Jet Gatling. As the two continue their fight, they look back to their younger days when they raced to a beach. Now running in the present Ace admires how tough Luffy has become while they think of the fights they had in their youth. Luffy admits he hopes to be stronger than his brother, but then their path is blocked by Aokiji. The ice Admiral says they won't live to see the dawn. Ace prepares to the engage the admiral who readies an Ice Block and shoots a Pheasant Beak, while the pirate shoots a Flame Mirror. Their attacks dissolve slowly. With the marines in shock, Vista's party charges forward not blaming Ace for showing off a bit.
Meanwhile, Buggy wants a Den Den Mushi repaired so he can show off again that he wants to wear down Luffy and assassinate Whitebeard. When that's done, Buggy plans to be one of the Four Emperors. Watching Ace and Luffy flee, Galdino thinks about Mr. 2's memory and wishes to leave, but is spotted by some Marines seeing through his disguise.
Sengoku recovers infuriated at the blunder while Doflamingo wants to let Luffy and Ace slide. But Momonga gives chase. As some marines are confused on what to do, Akainu orders them to pull themselves together and assures that escape for Ace and Luffy is impossible. Just then, a paddle-boat runs aground scaring the Marines with Squard aboard. Squard tells Whitebeard to leave hoping to show their enemies the pride of the Maelstrom Spider Pirates. Whitebeard thinks Squard is out of his mind.
Some of the pirates think Squard has a death wish and the latter hopes to atone for his stabbing of Whitebeard by heroically sacrificing himself. The Maelstrom Spider Pirate captain is sad that his crew came with him, but they went at their own discretion. Hearing their word, Squard orders the pirates to get Ace out of there. Ace fires a St. Elmo's Fire beam at some marines and is surprised by Squard's actions. Marco worries that sadness will be the result before demanding the Seastone Cuffs be removed from his wrist.
Squard's party charges forward ready to go down fighting, but Whitebeard stops the paddle-boat even on the brink of death. The white-bearded pirate says how it's cruel for a father to bury his own sons and says that everyone needs to grow old and die one day. With their business at Marineford finished, Whitebeard orders full retreat while he stays behind to keep his sons from further harm.
Whitebeard stands firm ready to give one last order to his crew. The pirates protest as they wanted to leave together. While Ace fires a Cross Fire cross, Whitebeard goes on saying that even families must part ways and wishes for his crews to go back to the New World and continue their legacy. With his era coming to a close, Whitebeard says that no ship can carry him to the new age. He causes a quake that begins to break up Marineford imploring the pirates to evacuate and forge their own path. Rakuyo doesn't want his captain to stay behind, while Luffy and Ace protest as well. Giving a proud smile to his sons, he wishes them a new age. He also thinks of the time he spent with his crew as it was a long journey with them. With a smile, Whitebeard yells he will end the fight once and for all.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Ace and Luffy's battle against the Marines is extended. Ace uses many of his familiar Mera Mera no Mi techniques, namely the attacks he used while fighting Blackbeard.
- As the Maelstrom Spider Pirates charge forward with one of Whitebeard's ships, Epoida can be seen reacting in the crowd below, but miscolored as though the artists mistook him as an ordinary bystander.
- Before Whitebeard's flashback, images of some important figures from the era prior to the Golden Age of Pirates appear, including Whitebeard himself, Gol D. Roger, Silvers Rayleigh, Shiki, Sengoku, Monkey D. Garp, Shanks, and Buggy.