“The Power of Ice Oni! A New Version of the Plague Rounds!”
The fight so far has been long and bloody and it makes that point early on here with some serious wounds against Kaido and copious amounts of blood flowing to remind us where things have been. What the Straw Hats and others are dealing with now are the residents and other fights, some on their own side, that are being turned into ice demons of sorts that are now fighting for Kaido, having lost their mind and soul to it. It’s definitely an easy way to rebuild ranks for Kaido’s folks after what’s gone on so far and to make it so that ethical folks like the Straw Hats have a harder time fighting against them. There’s still a good bit of fighting going on and we have moments where Sanji pushes back on Luffy doing too much, trying to get him to be ready for Kaido, and we get Jimbei making a good entrance along the way as well to help out.
While this dominates the episode overall and provides for some minor forward motion, we do get a little downtime toward the end with a few of the locals as there’s a remembrance of the Fire Festival from times past. It’s one of those sequences that in the present gives you that thing of remembering what you’re fighting for and helps in that regard with some of the characters. The contrast to the nature of the land of Wano today is pretty stark as you’d expect and you see how in the years past that they justified things even while bristling against how Orochi and Kaido have a stranglehold over things. It’s a simpler and easier to animate sequence in general with minimal motion but it’s so bright and colorful and fun that you don’t mind it much in order to get that reminder of what was.
Queen, the Lead Performer, blazes away at samurai on the Performance Floor with the special version of the Plague Rounds, which turns them into hideous ogres that corner Zoro and Drake. Meanwhile, Luffy and Sanji, who are on their way to the rooftop, run into another Headliner with a special ability.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!