"Powerful Independent Rivals! The Beginning of the 'New Era'!" is the 490th episode of the One Piece anime.
As Luffy's fate hangs in the balance, word spreads that the war is over and people all over the world rejoice on the news of the Marines' victory. However, behind all the celebrations and cheers, there are new troubles on the horizon. Blackbeard is on the move with his new crew members from Impel Down's level 6. Also, upon Whitebeard's death, the world's balance has crumbled, and with his last words confirming the existence of One Piece, pirates all over the world are simmering at the brim.
Sengoku has declared the war officially over. While the Marines and the people of the world are celebrating the Marine's victory in the war, they lose sense of what really was going on. They soon find out that with Whitebeard dead, more ruthless pirates will be coming ashore and torture the people. More pirates now know that the One Piece is real and so, more pirates will begin to form in search for One Piece. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Commander Brannew tells Sengoku about Impel Down's state. Magellan is severely injured and blaming himself for the defeat. Many prisoners escaped while some were taken in by Blackbeard. Sengoku is shocked at this news and tells Brannew to get their files, wanted posters and all their information but he denies and says that the World Government intends to keep it secret. In response, Sengoku becomes angry and screams "Damn them!".
Elsewhere, in the backstreets of Marineford, Gecko Moria is being attacked by Pacifistas commanded by Donquixote Doflamingo, who states that Moria is too weak to continue being a Shichibukai, and that it would be better if the people believed he died in the war. When Moria angrily demands if this was Sengoku's order, Donquixote told him to try higher. Meanwhile, all The Eleven Supernovas except Luffy and Zoro were witnessing the whole Marineford fight from their ships far away. Scratchmen Apoo questions why Trafalgar Law, known for his brutality, would save Monkey D. Luffy and states there must be some catch. Hawkins thinks it's odd that the odds of Luffy being alive never reaches zero. Kid tells his crew that nothing is over however, it is the beginning of the New Era, one which no one has ever laid eyes on.
Meanwhile in the Heart Pirates submarine, Bepo feels really hot because of his fur and wants to surface. After they surface, Bepo looks to see if all sides are safe but finds out a Marine ship was beside them. He also sees Salome and is shocked about it. Soon, Boa Hancock lands in the submarine from the Marine ship and tells them that she turned all the Marines in the ship to stone. Trafalgar Law soon comes out and tells her about Luffy's condition. Soon Emporio Ivankov along with his escapees from Impel Down shows up on the Marines ship and talks about how brave Luffy was and what made him lose consciousness. He also asked why Law saved Luffy, but before he could say anything Ivankov stopped him and said that sometimes instincts tells you what to do. Jinbe comes out from the submarine, still heavily wounded and tells them how shameful he feels because he failed to protect anyone precious to him while Law tells him to rest or else the wound might open up. The episode ends after Luffy is seen, still in a coma.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- There was a delay of the report to the world due to connection problems.
- The Marine bases G-2 and the 16th Branch made a quick appearance when the Marines all over the world were celebrating.
- The attack on Foodvalten was not shown properly, as the flag over the town was burst instead of slashed. Also, Brownbeard was not properly introduced like in the manga and all that could be seen of him was his belt. The scene of their introduction is shown on the next episode.
- The anime shows how more Impel Down Level 6 prisoners (other than the four Blackbeard took) were running loose even though Blackbeard ordered them to kill one another. Some of the prisoners who were supposed to be dead regained consciousness and walked out. This was shown at the start of the episode instead of the end, like in the manga.
- The Heart Pirates' submarine was seen going through an underwater volcanic region, causing Bepo to complain about the heat.
- A new scene of the submarine coming up and Bepo finding the Marine ship was shown.
- This is the first episode of the Post-War Arc.