“A Great Sensation! Sanji’s Special Soba!”
A lot of the early part of this is just food focused, which is certainly fun, and I like seeing everyone that’s tin this area just hanging out together and looking at the basics of where Luffy is now. But, naturally, there are some punks that are coming by to cause trouble when their food experience doesn’t go right and that… that just pisses off Sanji. And at a time when they don’t need any trouble at all. It’s not something that turns out to be big overall but it leads to some continuing light fun with Sanji as he deals with a kid that got caught up in the adults goofiness. Toko’s pretty much standard kid material here and Sanji’s always had a soft spot for making sure kids are well taken care of, so it’s no surprise that it unfolds like this even if it strains interest.
The rest of the episode kind of… exists? There’s some goofiness with Usopp and Frankie for a bit and some music coming into play as they learn that things are moving forward with a procession to one of the main castles nearby. There’s a sense of real information being brought out here but at the same time it feels hard to really pin down why it doesn’t work. The gist is that the group gets the invite they need to start dealing with the fallout of recent events and are moving forward, which looks good and is an interesting team to deal with. The rest is just a couple of minutes seeing Luffy in the mines where he is, in his own way, simply going to get stronger doing all of this.
One Piece does what it does and we don’t get a lot of real forward progression here. Things are falling into place and that’s definitely helpful, but anyone looking for a big moment or strong change here will be disappointed. We do get a lot of fun character moments throughout it that worked well for me and delivered some grins and laughs. Partially just because I enjoy seeing Sanji doing something he’s passionate about with his cooking. I’m definitely curious to see more of Luffy’s story but keeping that in the background for a few episodes may not be a bad thing overall.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!