“A Climactic Sumo Battle! Straw Hat vs. the Strongest Ever Yokozuna!”
While I’m not thrilled about Luffy fighting Urashima, there is some amusement as he opens with the sumo slap in response and combined with the music it feels like a Saturday Morning Cartoon kind of show for a few minutes. The match that happens between the two is drawn out a lot at the start, comically so, and it does have its moments as Luffy gets “serious” amid it in playing the sumo aspect while Urashima goes all out with his slaps.
It’s impressive with the speed and quantity but Luffy has faced much harder over the years and in far deadlier situations so it’s no surprise that he’s able to navigate it easily. It’s just his overconfidence that trips him up a bit, as usual, which then forces him to get serious and show off what it is he can actually do. It’s a great looking sequence overall and the contrast in the opponents plays to the humor side just enough as well.
The fight basically dominates here while we see things slowly moving with Otama as she’s being threatened. Is it a surprise that the main fight ends up crashing into where Otama is and chaos ensures? No, not in the slightest, and it helps to kind of nudge both of the storylines back together so they can be dealt with.
The defeat of Urashima is welcome since I don’t need multiple episodes of Luffy fighting him and Okiku gets to realize exactly who she’s hanging with going by her expression after the fight. And Zoro’s smoothness over the win is pretty great as well, though he exposes himself to more people who know him only by the high reward that’s out there for him. We don’t get much forward motion here but things are shaking up nicely.
In Summary, with a small nod toward Trafalgar Law at the end with Bepo and what’s going on there, the episode is overall just one long fight sequence. They know how to slow it down to extend it, of course, but I’m glad this one wrapped up pretty quickly overall. It’s a decent fight and a chance for Luffy to flex a bit. The main piece I think is Okiku learning who she’s actually with and the reaction of the people who live here upon realizing who Zoro is and that he’s aligned with Luffy. Hopefully, the next episode will see more serious forward momentum.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!