“The Parting Time! Pudding’s Last Wish!”
What They Say:
At a great cost of energy and life, the Straw Hats make it out of Totto Land. Left behind in their wake are allies and friends, and would-be lovers. As the sea opens before them, what price has been paid for their escape?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a good sense of movement afoot, One Piece felt like it was really going forward with things the last time around. The main part that I ended up enjoying was just seeing Jimbei and the rest of the Fish-Men doing their thing and some of the little twists of how the Sunny was saved. I still remember really not liking the Fish-Men when they were first introduced far too long ago but coming on board with them during some of the later adventures and with Jimbei in particular. So seeing the way they step up here for Jimbei is pretty good and all of it ties together to that idea that we’re closer to wrapping up this arc. But it also feels a bit hollow in that you’re almost not quite sure what the goal was until you remember that it was about rescuing Sanji since he was caught up in a wedding that he wasn’t exactly thrilled with. But that’s what happens when an arc spans about two years.
Thankfully, we do get some decent time at the start in dealing with some of this, though mostly with Sanji being a friend in helping Carrot through some of her loss and issues that stem from it since they did lose friends along the way. The montage element that comes from this is nice with Chopper doing his work to help Luffy, who has definitely taken a hell of a beating in the larger fight. Hell, just getting the crew on the Sunny feels like a major accomplishment that’s great to finally have and seeing it sail along the open sea as they get close to the edge of Big Mom’s territory. It’s interesting to watch it as it plays out with the music and we see more of the battle going on behind them, the battle that’s protecting them, and seeing the cost of it with the destruction. Again, it’s enjoyable for me just to get some great Jimbei fight scenes and seeing him leap from ship to ship with all his intensity.
Of course, the montage elements go on a bit longer than they should – even though I expected it to fill an entire episode – but it works well to see where everyone stands and nods to what has come before, especially for Pudding. There’s also some fun flashback stuff where we see some of those that were just fought against when they were young, such as Katakuri in a way that’s just adorable, and it helps to reaffirm why their bonds are like they are in the here and now. There’s some nice closure elements to parts of this with the return of Big Mom as well that’s nicely done as she returns to the scene, and we get the reinforcement of the fight to come between the sides that exist at this point, but I just loved the moment where Jimbei says they must survive because they promised Luffy that they would. It all has the right epic feel with the music that it’s set to and sets a good way to draw this to a close.
There’s a nice sense of finality about this and I’m admittedly hopeful for new open pastures to head to at this point – and I’d love to reconnect with some of our other characters as well that have been MIA for a while. As I’m not reading the manga, I have no clue what’s next or what’s to come (and I avoid the previews) but I’m hopeful that we’ve got something that’s very different from the recent couple of major arcs in our future and that they’re sooner rather than later. This was a nice ending if that’s what it is for this arc as it works a lot of the familiar aspects to how this property does handle them. It even managed to work the music right, which with some of the musical episodes we’ve had I wasn’t sure that they would.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.