“An Inherited Technique! Unleashing Oden’s Secret Swordplay!”
The early part of the episode is as you’d expect, lots of initial standing around and rallying and then the action portion itself gets moving – with a lot of running first. It is fun to see the Akazaya gang going after a really powered-up Kaido who is throwing down well but they, as a group, don’t have what it takes to take him down. At least not now. It’s almost a bit frustrating that it takes as much as it does for them to even land something resembling a real hit on him. And even then a lot of what they do land early on is pretty ineffective, making Kaido even more powered up than you’d expect. I wanted a little more back and forth on it as even when he does seem like he’s taking a hit, you get the sense it’s more just an annoyance to him than anything else in this mode and that he really hasn’t cut loose at all yet. Which is standard, of course, but it reinforces that it’ll take the Straw Hats to help to really take him down.
The rallying point for the Akazaya gang in the back half works well as they’re all encouraging each other in expected ways based on their personalities, and doing it amid all the flames certainly takes you back to the past. Kin’emon does work fairly well here in taking the lead but Kaido definitely has a sharp eye on how they’re acting, from his point of view, and even though you know the worm will turn here eventually, you can’t help but feel there’s truth in what Kaido says about them – even as they start to really push back against him. The episode does effectively use a couple of flashbacks as the fight rises in scale and intensity, as the passion of the Akazaya members is reinforced along with memories of Oden, but it is fairly standard at this point a well. It’s what’s guided them all this time on this very long journey. They do each get their moment of coolness along the way and the episode does serve the Akazaya well, even if they don’t do much for me.
While Luffy is hurrying to the rooftop and Yamato is trying to catch up to Momonosuke to protect him, the Akazaya members finally face off against Kaido. Hearing Kaido jeering at them for being weak, the samurai retainers attack him relentlessly, remembering the day Oden told them to master his sword skill.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!