Back story time!
What They Say:
Luffy learns the amazing story of Momonosuke, the dragon he found in the garbage dump. But after ten days without food, Momonosuke’s health is in serious decline. Meanwhile, Smoker and Vergo battle to the death and Monet unleashes her chilling powers on the Straw Hats!!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One Piece often throws a lot of things at us over the course of an arc, and sometimes there are things introduced near the end of it that just leaves you wondering where it came from and how long something like this has been under the surface. Such is the case with Luffy, having been thrown all over the map, is now in some deep, dark and abandoned place and has come across Momonosuke, an eel/dragon type of creature that has to fend off Luffy at first because Luffy just sees a meal there. The two have a seriously comical first encounter with each other but there’s also a sadness to it as we get Momonosuke’s minor back story as he ended up here with a desire to help the children who once helped him.
Of course, at the time he was a little samurai type person that we just see a shadowed version of but it’s another one of those moments that helps to show how the children were before they ended up coming to the island. This also leads us to seeing how Caesar at the time drew in so many kids and made them happy to be there. Momonosuke’s time within all of this is minorly interestingly, but when he ends up swiping a devil fruit and chows down on it without anyone knowing, you can see just how things will turn for the little samurai boy who is just trying to keep his distance from everyone while secretly wanting friends and to be liked. It’s standard kid mentality fare and we’ve gotten a good deal of it over the course of the Punk Hazard arc with all the kids that are here so this fits in fairly well.
The back story covers Momonosuke’s turn into what he is now fairly well, something we really haven’t seen often with Devil Fruit – even fake manmade Devil Fruit like this – and that’s a bit of fun to watch. It also gets Luffy to really rally behind him as the story comes out and you have to wonder just what it is that Momonosuke’s role and importance will be going forward from here. The show spends the bulk of its time on dealing with Momonosuke, past and present, but it does give us a little taste of something else as well as we get a bit more of the fight between Smoker and Vargo. Smoker has long been a favorite of mine and it’s good to see him getting into a rough fight here with little in the way of comedy. Between this and a touch more with the children, the cloud of doom and the running around that ensues, the show certainly has its moments, especially when Sanji comes up with his brilliant idea to help move people ahead faster.
One Piece always makes me a bit leery when it wants to spend time on back story out of the blue, especially with a newly introduced character this late into the arc. I’m left wondering just how important Momonosuke is going to be with events here and it does feel a bit forced with him being here like this. The time with the two and the back story definitely dominates the episode, but we get some wonderful tastes of the other events going on in the last couple of minutes, including a surprising scene with Robin that lets Zoro really shine again for a moment. One Piece is definitely getting to that boiling point and it needs to do so soon as this arc is really starting to wind down for me in terms of overall interest.
Streamed By: FUNimation
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