“Changing Destiny! The Whitebeard Pirates Cast Ashore!”
What They Say:
Oden transforms the wild land of Kuri into a habitable region and is made Daimyo over it. Then he meets Kawamatsu the Kappa and the two Minks, Dogstorm and Cat Viper, who become his followers like the others. Kin’emon and the other vassals are scolded by Yasuie when they try to steal money from him, and they begin reforming themselves for their lord Oden.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The flashback storyline continues as we get into more of what was going on with Oden and the others way back when. We’ve had a few characters show up that we know in the present to form the group that rallies around Oden and we’ve gotten to see some of what has helped his reputation at that time spread out a bit. It’s not bad but it’s also something that I haven’t seen the reason as to why it’s compelling at this point because One Piece revels in doing extended flashback storylines that never seem to land quite as well as they should when viewed on a weekly basis. I’ve enjoyed them more when I’ve had DVD rewatches in binging 12 or 24 episodes at a time.
The first half of the episode just works through getting us to know everyone a bit better and the way they’re all thankful to Oden for what he’s accomplished so far. Of course, there are also some moments of “internal strife” with the hotheaded members so far. Mostly, it’s Oden realizing he needs more people under him formally as a daimyo and that has him bringing the core group on as his samurai. It’s a fun little moment because the emotions are high over it and Oden actually looks like a good and happy guy here to do it, which changes quickly when they rush him with hugs. It’s a nice bit of levity after some of the usual foolishness.
This episode also brings on a few more characters that we know to the past storyline as Kawamatsu ends up coming across Dogstorm and Cat Viper and brings them into the fold. With them all younger it’s pretty cute in its own way – Kawamatsu is actually a bit likable even though I have zero real interest in the character – and seeing the two Minks together in this younger cute form made me smile. But even that goes only so far because it’s just tying up a loose end that didn’t need tying to begin with. All of this leads to some changes in how Oden’s underlings handle and compose themselves with learning and the like, all while Oden just tries to be himself, before it takes us into what the episode title is with the Whitebeard pirates finally arriving for what’s really the last minute or so of the episode.
One Piece continues to explore the era of Oden and how his thing came together and it all moves smoothly and logically when you get down to it from what we already knew. The main thing that it does is that it commits the cardinal sin of simply being dull. There’s not much going on here even if the character material is decent as you just watch things come together as you expected them to. It’s nice to see the Minks in younger form here and the arrival of the Whitebeards is welcome, but that’s not enough to sustain a full episode.
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.