What They Say:
Hidden far underground, Kin’emon finds his old friend Kanjuro, whose powers allow the two to, quickly, but not elegantly, escape to the surface! Meanwhile, Cavendish shares his fears that the “Birdcage” game Doflamingo is playing has been rigged all along – and that the only way to win is to take the Warlord down!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Dressrosa arc has been an interesting one to watch for me as unlike a lot of other arcs, the drawn out aspects havent’ bothered me as much. Yes, the Tontatta’s frustrate me to some degree, but each arc has its gimmick species or group and this arc has them. But the drawn out nature of moving things along hasn’t been as bad as some others for me, partially because there have been enough subplots that work to keep me interested a bit each time to get something out of an episode that might otherwise just leave me disinterested. That’s not to say each episode has been amazing, but it’s wrapped itself up in enough trappings to make the dull moments more bearable as we get events moving along. With the focus on getting to the Sunflower Field recently, that’s given it purpose, even if it is the usual kind of dawn out piece. It’s the little cogs along the way that have kept it interesting along with the whole birdcage element.
With this episode, we get a few more things moving along as the various forces align, and the opening half deals with a lot of the fighting in the streets between the various sides that exist. While we’ve seen some of these characters earlier in the arc, there’s a sense of disconnect about it for a lot of it simply because they’re not well known characters and it’s hard to feel invested in it. But it is fun seeing those from the arena fight in general since they have some good moves and abilities and it breaks up the action overall, especially for those that are fighting to give Luffy some cover after past events. There’s some welcome action here overall, and it also reinforces things for Luffy as he sees others doing their part to help him get to where he needs to be, so it has a nice resonance overall for this part of things.
With that dominating the first half, the second half gives us some time with Kin’emon, which is probably one of the worst turns for it in awhile. I’ve not cared much for the character since his introduction, though he’s had amusing moments. Here, he’s been underground with a lot of others that are trapped, and his coming across an old friend names Kanjuro has him hopeful that the two of them can do what’s necessary to get out. Kanjuro is, of course, a bright spectacle of a character that’s introduced and it just feels like one more subplot that the arc did not need. It doesn’t take a huge amount of time, but you know it’ll play into things later and that just disheartens me. Beyond this, we just get a lot of silliness in the second half as Luffy and Cavendish verbally “spark” while on their journey. This has its moments, and I do like the pushback Luffy gets from Cavendish, but it’s all in service to getting them closer to Sunflower Fields. And that just means new opponents for next episode.
One Piece doesn’t exactly just pass time here, though it has drawn out moments, as it introduces some new opponents at the end and an old friend for Kin’emon along the way. The Kin’emon story bored me from the moment I saw him and Kanjuro didn’t do anything to get me all that excited to see him and what he might portend for the arc and the show in general. If there’s a group of characters I want to see depart, it’s Kin’emon and his family. The arena fighters getting their chance to shine was good and I enjoyed the bits with Luffy and Cavendish along the way and it looks like we might get some decent action the next time around for Luffy. The arc is moving along and it’s hitting the expected story beats where I thought they’d be, so I’m not terribly frustrated. It’s all building, slowly but surely.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.