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As I write this, I am sitting on my bed in my college dormitory room, having just taken a swig of root beer, letting it all sink in. It's dark outside, but the streetlight looks lovely when it's reflected off the snow. I can hear other guys laughing, shouting and blasting music through the paper thin walls. They really need to turn it down. But at the same time, it all seems so distant. A while ago, I wrote a blog entry about how I could not wait for Ace to die in the anime and see how it was depicted. I must say, after watching episode 483, the animators have outdone themselves. The animators brought out the true emotions that come from the death of a beloved character, all while showing the unrelenting calamity that is war. I was expecting the episode where Ace died to be a two parter, which it was, since they got the finishing blow out of the way at the end of the last episode. One thing that struck me as oddly poetic was that there was a circle of people surrounding the soon to be dead Ace while the battle raged on just outside of it. Curiel, Fossa, Ivankov, Izou, random ally subordinate 26, 27, and 28, all of them knew Ace, and all of them were there. It made it seem like Ace wasn't dying in the middle of a war, but somewhere peaceful, surrounded by friends, friends of friends, and relatives. It really helped lighten the impact. There are a couple other key points I want to talk about.

The first is Ace's necklace. It came apart when Akainu struck him in the episode prior. At first, I couldn't tell what it was, I thought the round things were supposed to be droplets of blood splatter, it wasn't until one of them hit the ground that I thought otherwise. At first I thought it was a stall tactic, so they could eat up the last twenty seconds of episode. Then I realized that I was only looking on the surface. The breaking of the chain shows the bonds that all the people who knew Ace had with him, and how they are forever broken by death. The bead that rolled up near Whitebeard was what really caught my attention. Him going to pick it up shows that even in death, a bond is never truly broken. As Hililuk said, "A man dies when he is forgotten." As the Will of the D. is passed on in a family line, so too shall Ace's memory be held and carried on by those who loved him.

Thinking ahead a bit to the outcome of the war, I am reminded of the age old saying, united we stand, divided we fall. Ace was what united the pirates in fighting the Marines. With him gone, the war took a different turn, as evidenced by Coby pointing out the lack of rationality in continuing to fight. After Ace died, there really was no point in continuing the war, looking at it from the most simplistic view, that is. The important thing to remember is to never let Ace's spirit be quenched from our hearts and our minds. Let his candle become a roaring inferno and carry on his blazing spirit. Never let the flames die down. Despite the blood rush to the head, this is still leaving me cold. Ah, there's my sweatshirt...but it still doesn't help. Remember, his vast accomplishments and strength. Remember the way he touched peoples' lives, both in the manga, and in our own. Remember his philosophy about living life without regrets. Remember Portgas D. Ace.