Smoker takes up against Trafalgar Law in a big way.
What They Say:
Nami and the others are subject to Law’s bizarre powers, but have to put the shocking results behind them as they make a break out of the facility. Meanwhile, the battle heats up between Law and the G-5; and the mystery of Punk Hazard deepens!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Punk Hazard arc has been a bit more active in what it’s doing than some other One Piece arcs, though it’s felt slower simply because of all the skip weeks that have come up due to changes in the Japanese broadcast schedule. The show lead up to a pretty good fight in the previous episode between Smoker and Trafalgar, and we get to see that kick off pretty well here as the two go at it, though there’s some collateral damage going on as a number of the Navy men are cut in half in the midst of it. There’s some good dramatic tension to it as it unfolds, making it the must-follow arc of this particular storyline so far.
With the skill behind both men, there’s a lot of good fighting that goes on between them as they go at each other and the way they approach it verbally. The tenseness to the conversation is solid and the banter is kept minimal, instead giving it a more serious approach that befits the fight between one such as Smoker and a Warlord. The silly, or at least parts of it, is still kept for other areas of the arc such as the strange types of people that Luffy and his group have run into and won against now, at least for the time being. With them making their journey forward now, they’re at least making a little bit of progress and are giving through to Nami and her group with what they’re coping with, including the cold itself and what it may do to them since they’re dealt with it themselves now.
Within the Punk Hazard organization, it’s being made clear just what they’re up against. The acknowledgement of Smoker being there means that even if they win, the Navy will be alerted to what’s going on there. Similarly, the Straw Hats have made some surprising inroads with who they’ve defeated so far, and that puts them on the defensive a bit more as well. But the end result is that they truly do have to hold their position against both forces. The second half mostly focuses on advancing these small areas a bit, showing where all the groups are now and that the Piunk Hazard command knows about it and is figuring out what to do. Thankfully, even a good chunk of this section is focused on the fight between Smoker and Trafalgar as that’s pretty exciting and fun to watch since there’s just a seriousness about it and a lot of skill.
Though there are some small movements going on here in this episode, One Piece is admittedly still in something of a holding pattern. It’s moving the pieces around just a little and changing the focus a touch after spending so much time with the two separate Straw Hats groups. Giving Smoker a chance to shine here works very well for me and made the episode worth watching, as was seeing some of how Punk Hazard is going to respond to the Navy’s arrival on the island. Though we don’t get much time with the Straw Hats here, their presence is certainly felt and it makes its motions with things. But really, it’s all about Smoker that wins it over, especially the way the focus on the battle in the final minutes goes with some really intense moments.
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.