“A Faint Memory! Luffy and Red-Haired’s Daughter Uta!”
Part of the fun of this is that it opens on the Straw Hats doing something we never get enough of and that’s just enjoying the journey on board their ship listening to some music. It’s simply enjoyable to have them all together even if it is to highlight the theme song from the film. It’s these moments from years past that help to provide a foundation for what happens in the present and touching on that delivers on the nostalgia even as it sets for the film as we see Uta in the present looking out to the sea knowing her song will reach the wide world. A song that’s based on childhood days that the episode shifts back to, giving us more time with young Luffy. We had a lot of that back in the 500-range of episodes for what felt like a year in going through that time with Luffy and Sabo at that age along with Ace and it’s enjoyable to reconnect with this again as it’s just so light and nostalgic.
It’s cute as it progresses in this past as we see Shanks coming back into port in the town with his daughter Uta and we see the first meeting between him and Luffy, who is in his own way defending the village from nefarious pirates. It places a new piece into Luffy’s past and dynamic, which I’ll leave to the hardcore to know how well it really fits, but it’s always a tough thing to do as a retcon. The show does some nice stuff in playing with the period and exposing Luffy to Uta’s singing, which has a twist to it, and simply expanding on our knowledge of this time and how Luffy became more of who he is. There’s not a lot of depth here and it’s silly to expect it because of what it is, but this sets some mood well and gets to play in the background building that the film likely doesn’t have the time to do or would really kill the pacing of it.
A young Luffy who has been dreaming about getting out of Windmill Village one day to accomplish something great meets a young girl named Uta who came along with Shanks and the Red-Hair Pirates calling herself the musician of the pirate group.
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