“Taking Back Otama! A Fierce Fight Against Holdem!”
In today's episode we get a lot of posturing as Holdem is now involved in everything more directly and Luffy has a proper target to focus on. The problem is that as Luffy deals with him he realizes that it’s not just Otama’s that a hostage (though she’s literally in the lion’s mouth on his belt) but that the entire village/town is to Holdem and his people. And that generally doesn’t fly well for someone like Luffy, which Zoro knows full well. Holdem’s bravado and dares are just comically stupid at this point, though once again we have the usual issue in how Luffy’s abilities sway so much depending on the needs of the villain and story. Naturally, the arrival of food from Paradise Farms is a huge distraction for Luffy at first, which is delightfully amusing, but the reality of what it means sets in quickly and just reinforces his desire to take down Holdem.
It’s hilarious as we get Luffy setting Zoro to handling the food boat’s handlers while he’ll deal with Holdem all while Okiku is just caught off-guard by this shift as she believes it to be unrealistic to a significant degree. When the two do spring into action it’s that kind of moment you wait for as it completely puts everyone in their places while reminding that our two leads really have grown so much since their first meeting. The fight is a good bit of fun, though Luffy deals with the lion’s head quickly to save Otama, and I absolutely loved seeing Zoro and Okiku fight side by side as the two look well-matched in how they handle aspects of it. But the big plus is that you don’t get Zoro being surprised or looking at her in a new way or anything, just as someone he’s fighting alongside with in order to get the job done. That made for a really great moment while Luffy fights on elsewhere with Otama in hand.
In Summary, with Hawkins arriving in the town going to be a flashpoint going forward, I did like that we get Trafalgar Law there to slow him down while being smartly costumed up. That left the bulk of the episode to focus on Luffy’s group going up against Holdem. I really liked how things shook out with Luffy going up against Holdem, and just how intense he gets by the end because of what happened to Otama in his custody, but I also really enjoyed what we get out of Zoro and Okiku. I’m hoping they get more action sequences together because it’s a visual delight in watching them move as well as they did. A good episode of largely action after the initial posturing, definitely what was needed.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!