“Spank Strikes! Sanji’s Woman-trouble!”
The show made clear the last time around that Robin was stepping up to the plate but that, of course, is just a delayed gratification kind of thing. Initially, it’s all about showing more of how Sanji is being tormented and getting things in order there as Robin walks into the situation and escalates everything with her decidedly cool presence. That’s then pushed to the side for a bit to focus on Momonosuke and the group he’s with as they’re continuing to move him along and protect him, which has them taking some refuge in an abandoned and seemingly largely sealed storehouse. It has all the right tension with a bunch of low-level thug pirates roaming around trying to deal with things in low-level ways, and it’s hard to take it too seriously because those protecting Momonosuke are not pushovers but they take everything as serious as if facing Kaido himself.
The show weaves in a couple of other things, such as the fun moment with Sanji being freed and then trying to make his way around that has a really good feeling to it, and we get some time with others such as Carrot and all who are reeling from their fight. We continue to like Carrot a lot, so seeing her trying to screw together her strength and courage while remembering Pedro really does a good bit of character work for her. She’s definitely a strong addition to the Straw Hats and seeing her dealing with a real threat to her life and taking the hits she does gets you to rally around her well. The really tense moments for us in this episode, however, come at the end with its focus on Kaido getting his act together after what he’s been through recently fighting against Luffy and the rest. He’s now in fight mode in a big way as we get the standard second round powered-up kind of piece and with Big Mom at his side. There are so many places it jumps around to in the back half but it does set things up well at the end.
Robin bursts in to rescue Sanji along with Brook, and faces Black Maria, who is trying to keep Sanji as her pet. Meanwhile, Yamato, Momonosuke, and Shinobu are spotted hiding by the enemy, and they find themselves on the run again.
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