“Dead or Alive! Queen’s Sumo Inferno!”
What They Say:
Luffy fights quite a few Queen’s men at once in the deadly sumo match while protecting Old Man Hyo! Meanwhile, Nami, Robin, and Shinobu are cornered as Hawkins comes to raid the bathhouse. However, someone who they don’t expect to be there pops up from nowhere to save them.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I always feel like I’m harsh on One Piece when it’s in a stage like this even though I know full well that this is how it operates and have for hundreds of episodes. This isn’t new. But the frustration remains all the same and is likely heightened just a bit after the downtime because of the pandemic where we had no One Piece at all. Has that changed how I feel about this show? Do I have more of a “get to the point!” mentality now as we go through a real-life event that involves mortality and tension? Quite possibly. It’s not new to complain about the pacing of this series but I find myself feeling like it really needs to make some sort of storyline statement soon in order to really clarify what it’s trying to do here.
Once pst the preamble here, the show gets back into the fight that’s been loading up for a bit now as Luffy is getting closer to fighting the local big bad. With Hyo at his side and making sure to protect him, Luffy gets to deal with an array of less powerful types all while still having the collar on around his neck. There are some nice flashback moments that remind us of Luffy’s power but also that he can be taken down and it helps to set him on the right path for how to deal with this group. But mostly, what we get here is once again drawn out without any real impact or forward progress, though there is a tiny bit when you really do get down to it.
While all of that is underway, the show also gives us just enough fanservice with Nami and the ladies getting their bath on just as a raid hits with Hawkins showing up. There’s some amusement to it in how it unfolds, especially with one of them not going in because he’s only after Soba Mask, but the show takes a turn when it’s Sanji that shows up in his Germa gear and goes to take them down as Soba Mask. It’s welcome to see Sanji involved in some action once again, though I’m still conflicted about the gear since it’s all tied to his family and he’s got longstanding issues in that regard.
The episode also gives us a little bit of time outside of Wano proper in the town of Ringo where we see a little more basic samurai action that paints a grim picture what with the snow and all and the warrior that’s collecting swords. Another character to try and keep track of and wonder if we should be or if we’re supposed to just ignore them. At least he’s tied to Zoro and we’re able to see him working through more of his journey to get his sword back so he can be at full strength. It’s a nice capper to an episode that otherwise just puts us in the place to nudge everything forward a bit more overall.
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.