Damn, a fantastic effort overall.
Since there is going to be a lot of gushing, I'm going to go over what I really didn't care for in this episode. I really didn't like any of the cutaways, I could see why each of them existed, the initial flashback to showcase that Luffy needed to do something different as boundman wasn't enough to keep up with advanced observation haki users, the Sanji pudding one to pad time between action halfs, and the final one in an attempt to thematically tie together Luffy's Rayleigh training with him surpassing himself in this fight. The first of which carried on a tad too long, and wasn't particularly interesting, the second of which was bad, and the third I felt really just needed something more to adequately tie itself properly into the fight itself, maybe some ost leading into the fight, otherwise, it just kind of stands on its own.
Other than that, the actual meat of this episode, the fight itself, was gloriously executed. The animation staff did an absolutely stellar job, with the Watanabe gang of Masami Mori, Takumi Yamamoto and Koudai Watanabe himself delivering some of the best action sequences that the tv anime has ever seen, alongside the regulars of Tu Yong Ce, Katsumi Ishizuka, Yoshikazu Tomita and a new name Sadatoshi Matsuzaka, who really outdid themselves this episode to bring the action to life. I was particularly impressed by Tu Yong Ce and Yoshikazu Tomita's output on this episode, with both of them animating more than two minutes of the episode, and delivering some of their best work to date(with Tu delivering his best work). Kureta's direction during the action was also absolutely fantastic, his use of colours, rotations and perspective, really made the action in the manga feel extremely fast paced, and made every major blow have adequate follow through and timing(which was again, brilliantly executed by the animators themselves).
Overall, finally, a climax episode worthy of being called a climax. Though time skip has had loads of really good episodes, circumstances always tended to fall on the climaxes being lack lustre(many times due to outside reasons), but its great to see that they really made sure to deliver on this episode. So happy to see something this good from the anime.
Next episode I expect a large whiplash, considering that all the major action animators were on this episode. I at least expect next episode to be somewhat polished, though even that is in a little bit of doubt due to the animation supervisor not being particularly great to say the least…