“Dashing! The Righteous Soba Mask!”
With this episode, the focus is largely on Sanji as he goes up against one of the main players within the Animal Kingdom Pirates. Page One isn’t bad but it’s something that while I could “get” the races like the Fishmen and the like, things like these pirates just don’t do much for me and kind of takes me out of the show more than usual. It’s fun to see Sanji getting all done up in his big mystery costume like he has here as the Stealth Black version of him is definitely cool. And it’s a change of pace for him from the usual. But I also like his usual a lot with the straightforward kicks and the way he’d bounce about in fighting. But this style works as well as there’s a kind of Captain Harlock riff to him that’s pretty appropriate. And it is fun to see how Law is almost fanboying over what Sanji is doing here.
This fight takes up about 85% of the episode, so it’s definitely fun on the level of how well-executed the action is and the animation for it. But it just doesn’t do much beyond that, being hit with some cool factor for costuming. There’s a little bit more beyond that as we get some investigation into the Poengfliff with Robin investigating that, but mostly it’s just a little bit of pomp and circumstance to showcase the unique elements of Wano while building up the tension.
With the ending segment introducing what looks like a couple dozen more characters, One Piece once again just leaves me rolling my eyes. It’s the kind of thing that I’d expect if they were merchandising the hell out of every character with things like figures, but that’s not the case here. It’s just Oda building a big and complex world filled with a lot of characters. But it also becomes distracting and leaves me not paying attention to most – if not all – of them because one has to imagine they’re just filler material at this point to pad things out. I liked the fight here well enough and it’ll be memorable for Sanji in his outfit for it, but beyond that, it’s a bland episode otherwise.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!