The surreal nature of the storyline continues to roll right along.
What They Say:
Nami and her group keep pushing through the mysterious facility in order to free the children, while Luffy and his group dodge fire in their small boat. And what is Trafalgar Law doing on the island? The G-5 want to know, but he won’t let them without a fight!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having Smoker’s group make their way in much easier than anyone else, though with challenges, certainly provided some amusement in the previous episode. I’ve long been a fan of the character since he was first introduced and I loved seeing how he’s being inserted into the series once more at this point. But the real fun was as they got to the laboratory and a bit of the background was revealed that we get the bigger reveal that Trafalgar was there, giving that particular grin of his that’s ever so dangerous. The show has such a huge cast at this point that I can’t help but to love when they draw on it rather than introducing new characters. Add in the amount of time that has passed overall since bigger events, means it has a lot of potential.
While that sets up a side of the story that will become stronger as it progresses, we get more material showing the strange nature of part of the island as we see Nami and Chopper along with lots of the kids trying to continue their escape to someplace that even seems remotely safe. Of course, the fact they end up in a place where lots and lots of large prisoners are encased in ice and seemingly dead only adds to the bizarreness of the island. We get to see them freak out which is always fun, especially with Chopper, but even that event seems to have been registered by Sanji as he senses something is wrong while all the way elsewhere fighting against the Punk Hazard guys. His bit of dialogue with the samurai is amusing since it does show the good side of the Straw Hats in their leave no man behind mentality, even someone like this guy.
Though there’s some action and fun inside the facility with that group, there’s also a lot of fun going on outside as Luffy and the others have to deal with the strange group that’s attacking them in the snow. It’s more just straightforward action and silliness than anything else, but it has a sense of real fun about it as it progresses. The more the episode goes on though, the more it pads out events in a way as it shifts between all three or four stories that are going at this point. We get a touch more with Trafalgar, the one story you really want more of, more silliness with Franky leading the kids with Sanji and so forth. What’s really amusing is when things end up just running into each other at least a bit with Smoker’s crew learning about what’s going on at the moment that it’s all just so surreal and hard to believe that it leaves everyone kind of speechless. It’s the kind of good physical comedy of sorts where both sides hit each other headfirst and just blink in disbelief.
The Punk Hazard arc continues to have its series of strange and unusual moments, plenty of physical comedy and action and a lot of unanswered questions. The last part is what’s frustrating as there’s a lot going on but little in the way of even teasing an explanation or two, which would help to keep things connected. There is fun in watching the various groups running around and dealing with events, especially when Nami’s group runs into Smoker and Trafalgar and there’s that uncertain moment, but a lot of the episode is just pure fluff. Of course, they do know how to end an episode with a show of power and a tweak that should get things moving a bit more soon, but that just leaves this episode in a largely forgettable way. It’s fun while you watch it but it’s certainly not memorable overall.
Streamed By: FUNimation
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.