“The Holyland in Tumult! Emperor of the Sea Blackbeard Cackles!”
What They Say:
On Gloom Island in the Grand Line, Perona finds out that her captain, Gecko Moria, is alive and she is about to leave Dracule Mihawk who let her stay there for the last two years. Meanwhile, Moria raids the Pirate Island of Fullalead with his zombie army to take back his friend from Blackbeard.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One Piece put Luffy on the journey to his new home for a while with the mine that he’s going to work on. Thankfully, the journey itself isn’t a multi-episode arc that takes a while to get there because it would have reduced some of the visual impact we had. The bloodied and bruised popular character wearing bandages around almost his entire head and face makes for a good look for a change here, giving him a bit more intensity than usual and humbling him a bit after his loss. Everything is moving according to plan in a sense but there’s always some level of fun when the leads get knocked down a few pegs and have to lift themselves up again. It’s harder and harder to do when your characters are as overpowered as this series, but they do manage to find some creative ways to accomplish it.
The initial phase of this episode brings us to Perona, who I think we last saw a few years back when she was fighting against the straw hats and got bumped away by Kuma and his ability like many of them did. She ended up on Gloom Island where Dracule Mihawk has let her stay, which has kept her largely off the board for the last two years. She’s fairly the same when you get down to it but when she learns that Moira is actually alive, she’s pretty much right out the door. But that’s something that will cause a break with Mihawk to a degree, at least initially. Her emotional side doesn’t really sway him but it does get him to take stock a little more, which has him pondering making his way to Reverie since there are many things afoot there that will change the world going forward if some have their way.
This, naturally, takes us to where Moria actually is, which is Fullalead Island. There’s a good sense of some tropical delights to be had there but it is a full-on pirate island and Moria wants Teach as he believes that he’s there and can tell him where Absalom is. For long time One Piece fans, Moria is a problematic character that many were glad to think of as dead and gone so having him back and just on a mini-rampage is going to do a lot of good. This mostly just runs down a range of players on the island that are there as Moria makes his way through the place and while I think I remember some of them, it’s not like most made a big impression from their first time around if they aren’t new. It’s that kind of sequence where you’re stuck watching uninteresting characters all around chew scenery and just bide your time until it’s done.
This installment is basically a “things happen” episode where it’s setting up for what’s to come by introducing a whole bunch of characters. Which is standard for One Piece and I get it, even if their style of it doesn’t always work well for me. I did like the big of time at the start with Perona and Mihawk as that feels like it has some portent to it but the rest of it was just the usual Moria stuff and that left me just taking it in and waiting for it to be done.
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.