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One Piece – 455

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「仲間達の行方 革命軍と暴食の森の罠!」 (Nakama-tachi no Yukue – Kakumeigun to Bōshoku no Mori no Wana!)
“The Friends’ Whereabouts! Revolutionaries and the Gorging Forest’s Trap”

I went into this episode with much more interest than last episode, as Robin’s placement actually had some serious consequences, and we all know that serious consequences make a plot more exciting. Robin is currently stuck on Tequila Wolf in East Blue. It’s not really an island, but more of a bridge that the slaves are building to connect islands together. The episode starts out rather movie like, with the audience thrown right in the midst of the torture. I feel so bad for Robin, chained in cuffs and being tortured/interrogated, why’d she get the worst end of the stick out of all the Straw-hats? Was it the female sympathy card? Or is it that only she is smart enough (or sympathetic enough) to see the complexities of a slave run organization? With the red uniforms and a cross sign (the cipher pol symbol) as their insignia, one can’t help but think of the Nazis and dictatorship. Their poor treatment of the slaves doesn’t help their case either. This has got to be the worst kind of slave life you could live, even child labor? But c’mon, Robin went through hell in Enies Lobby, and now she has to suffer through this? Robin is not a sadist Oda! You’re being too cruel ;_;

If there’s anything to take notice this episode, it’s that the old man in the cell next to Robin is going to lead the revolutionary army (one of Dragon’s many leaders?). He might be a really important character later on, but his face is like that of a supporting character, so maybe not.

After thinking about it, the fact this whole place exists just shows how much of a dark side One Piece’s world has. Comparatively speaking to other shounen, it’s dark, but this is our reality. These kind of places can only exist with human minds leading them, in the past, the present, and the future. Even now in foreign countries, I’m sure there’s a place almost exactly like Tequila Wolf. One Piece began as a relatively happy series, with a rather ignorant eye to the darkness in human hearts, but this bit truly changes everything. This episode felt like I was watching a containment camp drama of some sorts (Rainbow anyone?).

As for the animation in this episode, the massive clutch Robin unleashed was amazing. This episode had quite good animation, even if it was a sloppy style. I usually see this kind of animation in scenes where it requires quick animation but with less effort. It’s a compromise of some sorts, with the cons being less defined characters. It may also just be this particular episode’s director’s style, which I’m also used to, as these kind of episodes were very common during the Water 7 and Enies Lobby arcs. If you didn’t know, One Piece has several animation teams, each led by different key animators (and/or directors), and they switch off accordingly depending on how difficult or important the scenes and animation will need to be for that particular episode. That being said, I don’t think they even chose specific directors for this episode, as it probably just happened to be the good ones.

Meanwhile on the Boyn Islands in Grand Line… Usopp’s predicament so starkly contrasts Robin’s serious mood, it’s almost annoying, with the aforementioned realism thrown straight out the window with its man-eating sunflowers and ridiculously dressed masked heroes. The punch to Usopp’s face as he landed into the sunflower’s face was just hilarious and so out there, it completely caught me off guard (also, who was reminded of the baron’s flower in movie 6?). I haven’t genuinely laughed to an episode of One Piece for quite some time now, so this was a nice change. The scriptwriters and animators really put a lot in this episode (for reasons I’m not really sure). Usopp’s a really funny character on his own, but this island just amplifies that about ten-fold. Perhaps he was sent to this island to improve his comedic traits. Heracles is a mysterious character himself, possessing massive strength, but immense idiocy (it’s always one or the other in One Piece isn’t it?). A big reason why Usopp is so funny is that he’s just a normal guy like any of us, stuck in a world of ridiculousness. On a trivial note, Usopp’n should be his new side persona. As a surprise twist, the island seems to be a gigantic plant with a mouth in the middle, and eats animals when they’ve fed till they’re full with delicous meat on themselves. Luckily, Usopp can eat ramen faster than gravity can pull his weight down. Surprisingly, Usopp’s the only one so far that didn’t take a look at Rayleigh’s vivre card. He didn’t really seem that worried about getting back this episode either, but that’s possibly due to the constant trouble that keeps happening to him.

These episodes are getting me seriously psyched for the upcoming war, which I guess is a small reason as to why they’re showing these episodes. However, I’m only psyched due to knowing what’s coming up next, so I suppose these intervals of foreshadowing with Luffy and Jinbei don’t really have any weight on anime only viewers. Next episode deals with Zoro and Brooke, with the former also being one of the more interesting islands to land on. Besides that, Zoro gets to deal with Perona, which should be “fun” to see.

 

Preview

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June 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm
20 comments »
  • June 15, 2010 at 2:14 pmcaramel_cod

    Robin likes being whipped. I’m sure. And what was with the extreme boobage this ep? Bleach censors Haribel, but One Piece gets away with this?

    Not that I’m complaining.

    • June 15, 2010 at 2:23 pmKiiragi

      Extreme boobage = signs of taking advantage of women = sympathy card
      boobs = sympathy card
      HMM.

      • June 15, 2010 at 6:54 pmAfallenrock

        This fact is the reason I cannot watch Seikon no Qwaser, it’s just too sad…

    • June 15, 2010 at 9:31 pmcrazystudyguy

      Seikon no Qwaser has a decent plot (or so i think from what I can gather from watching 3 eps) but ye is ruined by the nudity or echi.

      • June 16, 2010 at 1:29 amBROOKLYN otaku

        what are u talking bout?!? you shoulda seen the last episode” mafuyu BOOB METAMORPHOSIS!!!!!!!

  • June 15, 2010 at 2:37 pmAznCoffee

    Such a manly episode. :]

  • June 15, 2010 at 2:45 pmGoodStuff

    I’m liking most of these side stories so far except for Sanji’s and Chopper’s. Robin’s being the most interesting and my favorite so far.

  • June 15, 2010 at 3:22 pmGuille

    heracles for next nakama :p

  • June 15, 2010 at 4:43 pmN0216332

  • June 15, 2010 at 6:51 pmAfallenrock

    When Robin took out all those guards I was literally yelling in my seat F*ck Yea!! Go Robin!!
    And she does always seem to draw the short stick but that’s one of the reasons why I love her!

  • June 15, 2010 at 6:52 pmKevz

    I lol’ed on this episode especially on usopp’s story

  • June 15, 2010 at 8:07 pmjj

    the pink haired girl in the preview looks like juvia from fairy tail.

    • June 18, 2010 at 6:15 pmSOSAnimeBoy

      You’ve GOT to be kidding… @_@

  • June 15, 2010 at 10:35 pmJaysus

    Get ready for some horo-horo-horo-horo-horo’s next week.

  • June 16, 2010 at 1:26 amBROOKLYN otaku

    Looks like the brought in “TEAM B” to do the animation this ep, GOOD CALL!!! a thoroughly enjoyable episode!!! robins sexy dark sadism, usopps nutty INSANITY… great!
    and whats this?? Horo Zoro Horo Zoro Horo Zoro Horo Zoro Horo Zoro!!!! cant fucking wait!!
    btw- wish i had a ramen fall in my yard!

  • June 16, 2010 at 6:22 amnoctis

    I actually laughed my ass off when usopp ate all the ramen to save himself from getting eaten..its just too funny to make any sense..and gawwdd robin is soo sexy in this ep! <3

  • June 17, 2010 at 10:50 amroyceHOLLERED

    So Robin’s boobs aside.. no most of these “side stories” hint at the crew potentially gaining something.. with that said.. is Ussop’n gonna beef up by surviving on that isle? he’s eating enuff that for sure.. and im guessing/hoping that Hercules is gonna offer some Hero training

  • June 17, 2010 at 5:29 pmTakashiD

    Ussop getting so fat makes him look like blackbeard a little. also, im confused as to why robin ended up there. arent they all supposed to fly to a place theyd like to vacation in? i dont think robin wanted to go there…

  • June 18, 2010 at 5:55 pmIsland Esper

    Robin noooooooo….. well at least at the end she had revenge. PeronaxZoro feel the luv!

  • June 21, 2010 at 11:47 pmNice Holystone

    Robin’s side-story is my favorite by far. It just emits a whole different mood.
    I seriously think they can make an awesome movie or filler arc out of just her side-story. I love it so much, haha. It kind of reminds me of the series Now and Then, Here and There. It technically does have enough elements to span a movie’s length. Imprisonment, escape plan, intrusion of the Revolutionaries, Robin and Revolutionaries combine strengths, counterattack on the dictatorship, defeat the main villain, free the slaves. :D

    Also, Usopp was just hilarious this episode, especially with that punch part, lol.