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One Piece Episode #534 Anime Review

4 min read

Hordy showcases the kind of power he has on his side, much to Hachi’s dismay.

What They Say:
Hordy Jones and Vander Decken’s ingenious plan to infiltrate the Ryugu Palace is revealed! And while the Straw Hats continue their accidental occupation of the palace, Luffy takes the Mermaid Princess for a walk!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the things I do enjoy about One Piece is how things do seem to happen by accident quite often, leading to bigger and more amusing and engaging situations. While we have the subplot going on with Hordy and hisplans, we also have a lot going on back at the Palace that will play into it. The Straw Hats going through their little “occupy” session is definitely cute as they’ve held off against a number of attackers through Zoro’s silliness and the other shaving to back him up. And then having Luffy figure out how to smuggle the princess out of the Palace in order to let her see the world for awhile is just plain awkward yet largely comical as he stuffs her inside her pet shark. And then wraps a bubble around the shark so he can be a part of the adventure as well, laughing the entire way.

With that silliness in play, a good chunk of the episode is given over to what Hordy is doing as the group there goes through the plan to get into the Palace and cause as much trouble as possible. It’s not unusual in this series to get a lot of time spent with the bad guys and getting to know Hordy more at this point is definitely useful. What it spends a good part of its time doing is making clear just how dangerous not only Hordy is but also Decken as he works over Hachi pretty well with some creative abilities. It’s certainly not what Hachi expected when he got involved in all of this and Decken’s ability with the arrows is particular disturbing considering they work just as well in water as in air. There’s been some brutal moments here and there since going down below and this just adds more to it.

Hordy and Decken’s plan is pretty brutal as well when he gets to detailing the assault on Ryugu Palace and the place humans have within the whole thing. That the human pirates involved even thought they’d be on equal footing is pretty foolish when you get down to it and view the history of interactions the Fish-Men have had since the start of the series and likely much longer within the world history itself. It’s a good bit of dark setup for what’s about to happen which makes the brighter scenes at Ryugu all the more unsettling, especially when it focuses on Sanji and his outlandish ways which continues to throw me off. Most of this is just filled with fluff and silliness It does manage to tie things to Hordy in the end and sets the stage for what’s to come, but it’s almost a tacked on piece here.

In Summary:
This arc has definitely been taking its time in getting underway, in particular when it comes to Hordy and what he’s up to, but this episode gives a lot of time to their plans and the characters involved with it. It’s a bit of a welcome change of pace but it still feels like there’s something concrete missing to make it all work, to really give some weight and measure to what Hordy and his group is intending to do. They get to flex without interruption for this episode and that helps to showcase their power, but it still feels like it falls far short of what the Straw Hats have had to deal with over their career at sea so far. All of this is balanced out with a bit of fluff that’s cute, especially with the Mermaid Princess, but it’s just a bit more world building to show another side of the area they’re currently operating out of so it’s not all dark and dangerous. I’m enjoying the arc overall, but still waiting for it to feel like it means something.

Grade: B

Readers Rating: [ratings]

Streamed By: FUNimation

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.