“Explosive?! The Handcuffs that Shackle Yamato’s Freedom!”
The start of this episode follows up some of what we had at the end before as we follow the Akazaya characters as they’re looking to get further inside but have found themselves with a real obstacle at the gate. They have a few smaller challenges to face at first but once they reach the gate and the door opens, it’s Kanjuro and all the memories that come up from their shared time together, the betrayal, and all the emotions that swirl from it. It’s a slow start to get to something meatier with this in the first half of the episode, but we do get some time to see how prior to that Kanjuro was an absolutely dark and brutal person in regards to Momonosuke and his relating the tale to his former comrades that he fooled for so long serves his purpose of antagonizing them into making mistakes.
With a bit of action in the mix, the back and forth that we get is well-done here, especially since Kanjuro sets everything against the backdrop of getting closer to Momonosuke’s public execution by Kaido. That rallies them to fight, as expected, but it also makes them prone to emotional mistakes, which is why Kanjuro eggs them on as he does. This fight doesn’t get far overall but all the setup put into it works well to set the tone. From there, it leaps to some silly fun with Nami and Carrot, for example, as they run with all the chaos around them, and some decent dialogue time for Luffy to get engaged in as well with Yamato as explanations fly there and Luffy is just so nonplussed by the whole thing, seeing it as just one more thing to fix in this larger mission of his.
At the back entrance of Onigashima, the Akazaya members try to get inside the gate, but they’re blocked by their former colleague Kanjuro. Meanwhile, as Kaido’s son Yamato shows Luffy the handcuffs that have restricted his freedom for years, they hear Kaido making a speech on his grand plan.
Thanks for reading! See you next week!