“The Battle Under the Moon! The Berserker, Sulong the Moon Lion!”
What They Say:
The Animal Kingdom Pirates gasp with surprise to see thousands of samurai warriors coming into the castle. In his dragon form, Kaido goes outside to fight the Akazaya members under the moon. However, the Akazaya members have secret weapons to use against him.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a surprising amount of attention being given the upcoming 1000th episode of the series, it does leave me a little wary about the setup prior to it. Mostly in that I don’t think we’ll really see much happening in these episodes and that much is being saved for the big number time, which is totally fine as we see that happen often. It still just feels weird for there to be so much attention for it considering how many other anniversaries were overlooked over the years where a lot of different things have been done. But what it does in watching the episodes that remain before it is that we get more and more build-up but little in the way of actual payoff. That’s also part of One Piece methodology, so we’re not too surprised, but it is a little frustrating.
With Luffy getting things really underway here by making it clear that this is all-out war by literally screaming it, the tone is certainly set and we get the usual amusing montage of several of those involved. But I love that Yamato is excited by it as it brings back the idea of how Ace would handle such a thing and it helps to cement the way that Luffy can rally and inspire. All of this leads into the start of more bloodshed and violence as the various rank and file get into the battle and we have all the running around combined with some crazy attacks by the powered people. It trie to cover a lot of different ones but it also just lets the rank and file get a few moments as well with swords raised and getting in some hits before being sashed down completely. So it’s just a matter of whether some of your favorites get a few seconds, like Law, or get a lot more time. But even those that get more, it’s still part of the larger whole of so much going on.
As much action as we get in the first half of this, there’s a fair bit less throughout the second half – though it’s still there. This is where things get a bit quieter and some of the more cautious movements are happening, but we also have the group that’s arrived that are using a specialty gas in order to cause trouble and take down some of the rank and file. As you can expect, a lot of those “name” characters with real powers will find ways to avoid it, which is fine, but it reduces the impact of the sequence overall if it’s just the grunts all the time. I do like that as we get toward the end that we get some really big bad and disturbing looking opponents into the mix, but now we’re at this point of the battle where it’s so big, there are so many forces aligned here, and the locations are so varied, that it’s just a huge impossible mish-mash of a mess.
We’re close than ever to the big episode and everything is going to culminate in a big event there at this point it looks like. The build-up toward it is working well but it’s just so overpowering at this point with so many things going on that I’m just glad when I see one or two characters that I do like getting a few seconds of screen time.
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.