“Luffy is on the Move! A Turning Point of a New Era!”
What They Say:
Usopp finds Kin’emon’s upper body and the heavily wounded Kiku. However, they are surrounded by the Gifters and can’t find a way out. Seeing the samurai giving up hope, Usopp remembers his determination.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One Piece had one of its strongest episodes in a while with the previous one as it focused on Zoro’s fight against King and how that played out. It was visually fantastic with some great theatrical-level elements to it and a quality of animation that just shone brightly. And as a big part of Zoro’s larger storyline overall going back to his childhood, it clicked well in highlighting his growth and ability. The downside was that his opponent was pretty uninteresting and the minor bits we got about his background just felt forced coming into it this late in the game. Some of it is just the narrative structure of the series that will always get to me and I’m aware of it but it’s just frustrating to watch unfold because a bit more work to seed that foundation earlier would have made it a more compelling piece – and if the fight wasn’t spread over however many weeks off and on that it was.
The fallout from that fight is what starts off the episode as we see just how much it’s taken out of Zoro in order to achieve what he did, and he’s earned the rest to be sure – not that it will come easy. Amusingly, we finally get one of those “where are they now” pieces that show where the gang is and some of what’s going on, such as Onagishima on a path to crash into the capital and kill thousands of people. It’s a good reminder of recent events and where everyone stands, but also gives us some of the usual running around as well. It’s good to catch up a bit with others again, and to see how Usopp, for example, is doing his best to help others that were taken down recently like Kin’emon and Kiku. He’s wanting to get them some help for their wounds but he has to deal with more attackers, as is the way, and it’s something that’s pushing him pretty hard as you can almost see the constant nature of the fight breaking him, especially with all the flashbacks of what he’s survived so far.
The back half works through a bit more variety with some of those that are fighting the good fight here but a lot of it are with characters that we haven’t seen in a bit and I’ll be damned if I can remember their names considering the scope of this storyline. Raizo’s someone I can’t remember when we saw last and his opponent I don’t ever remember seeing before. It’s the downside to running the stories as they do where we spend so long away from some of them when they’re all happening at the same time. There are some decent moments of animation, but it’s just so empty at times with some of these characters. Thankfully, we do get a bit of time at the end with Luffy and Kaido going at it all while the place continues to fall from the sky and that continues to have a good sense of power about it. But it’s just a tease for the big fight itself that’s coming up as we hopefully get closer to ending this storyline.
The bookends of this episode are good as we get a couple of minutes with Zoro after the recap to watch his fight come to a close while the ending gives us some time with Luffy as that one is getting closer to wrapping up. Those are good moments with some sense of power and scale to them. The material in-between is weaker when it comes to a lot of the characters that it touches upon but at least Usopp gets to have some screen time. He’s close to just breaking at this point and it’s looking a bit uncomfortable how that may play out if they truly let him go past it and into some uncharted territory…
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.