“Luffy Rages! Rescue Otama from Danger!”
The opening elements of this episode has Urashima’s underlings just going all out on everyone at this point with the whole daring them to try and take Otama back. This keeps things simple with some action and it’s always nice just to see Zoro slide a sword into his mouth and take the pose.
But we see that as things go big here and the ground is almost literally rumbling, the show shifts to the next town over where everyone is just struggling with the very basics of existence, remind us of the darker problems caused by those in power here. The further expansion to showing the way the area has been polluted is leaned into while also delivering us a look at the Paradise Farm that is the idyllic vision of what Wano can be.
As the episode barrels forth, it drops a number of hints about subplots to come that will all come to support the larger story that will take us through the overall arc. But like past arcs, I’m wary of connecting or really getting to know any character at this point because of how the show operates. So it’s a kind of superficial thing, a quasi-montage of information and visuals that’s intriguing but is best just kept to the side for now.
The main thing that carries through the episode is revisiting the fight that Luffy and the others are in and moving past Urashima a bit as Holdem finally shows up since the whole place has been really messed up from the fight. It’s forced his hand in the simplest of ways. Which is unfortunate because I disliked Holdem from the moment I saw him and how he presents himself.
In Summary, One Piece continues to do what it always does and that’s what I’m used to at this point. Revisiting some of the older material recently you can see a lot of the same structural points there as you do here but the difference usually comes in the size of the cast, as we still get these pared down stories rather than continually exploring where everyone is, which is my main frustration with it. There’s a lot of stuff introduced into this episode during the middle and I’m curious to see how it all comes together eventually. Otherwise, this episode is just more of the back and forth fight that we’ve had for a few episodes, which is fun and enjoyable enough on its own.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!