“Luffy’s Determination! Win Through the Sumo Inferno!”
The first half of this episode just moves through its usual array of material where it’s flashy and active but without much substance. I’ll admit to being pleased to see Brook pull out the guitar and get all musically scary for a moment or two and see their reaction to it with the locals. It’s something that we haven’t really gotten in a long time and even Nami was super pleased by it for a brief moment. There are decent little moments beyond that as well as we again get the basic lines drawn, but mostly it’s just moving the pieces around the board without anything significant actually happening. There are appealing moments visually but that’s what’s carrying the series these days so I’m not surprised.
There’s the promise of change with what Luffy is facing at the labor camp, however, as Queen is getting the Sumo Inferno moving again after performing a little water torture on two of the Devil Fruit folks that he has under his control. The whole water/fruit thing has never clicked well for me, though I get the thing where they can’t swim. But the aversion to water is just weirdly problematic in a basic kind of existence way. Anyway, things slowly continue to build here but it’s so incremental and without anything that feels like seriousness in a way that it’s more of the usual nudging of things along.
Zoro keeps fighting Kyoshiro, but Orochi’s Oniwabanshu comes to back Kyoshiro up. Meanwhile, at the Excavation Labor Camp, Queen announces the restart of the Sumo Inferno with a new cruel rule which is painful not only to Luffy, but also to Drake and Killer.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!