“Zoro’s Pursuit! Ice Oni Tag!”
The opening half of this episode deals with a lot of the lower level kinds of fights going on overall, though there’s a “chilling” bit of fun to it as we see a number of folks who are being turned to ice and controlled that way. It’s interesting to see that transformation process and just how much more threatening they are once changed, and how they move and attack, but we also see that there’s an extra layer of danger to them. When Zoro arrives to take up the fight against them, smacking them around only seems to strengthen them as the ice reforms stronger and with more sharp edges. They’re like more-animated zombies of some sort. They’re interesting visually and with the challenge they present but at the same time, they’re just a bunch of nobodies overall that are slowing down characters like him, Chopper, and Robin from moving forward.
The minor musical number that we get in the back half is, well, a thing at best. It further reinforces how terrible Queen is as a person as they regard the lives of others, but it again has me cringing at the performance itself. The episode continues to raise the stakes as it touches on more of the characters here overall and showcases where they stand at the moment, but we also get a key flashback moment for Yamato when it comes to when Oden was boiled alive for a while, so referencing all of that is certainly important as it was a key pivotal moment in much of what has happened in Wano for so long. Watching as Yamato engages with the emotions of it all is certainly welcome and how it’s only going to push them harder and stronger into doing what’s right in dealing with Kaido and the threat that he clearly is.
Yamato fights Sasaki and the Animal Kingdom Pirates Armored Division to protect Momonosuke. Meanwhile, Zoro tries to get rid of the Gifters who have turned into Ice Oni, but Queen starts a horrible game which involves the antibody for the virus.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!