「起こせ最後の奇跡 正義の門を突破せよ」 (Okose Saigo no Kiseki – Seigi no Mon o Toppaseyo)
“Come, Final Miracle! Break Through the Gate of Justice!”
This was probably the slowest episode in weeks for me. I don’t know if it was just plain slow with all the emphasis on flashbacks and Bon-kurei, but it was incredibly repetitive to see those marines shooting cannonballs for two-thirds of the entire episode.
Now I’m well aware that some may call One Piece a “kids” show and it was or still is intended to that particular audience, but I’m usually intent on emphasizing that it is only shallowly as a “kids” show. Generally, yes, it definitely appeals to kids, but to the older audience, we can pick up in depth so much more and really appreciate the well written over arching plot line and the wonderfully developed characters. I also like to point out that while it can be called a “kids” show, there is a “kids” genre label that it isn’t associated with. It’s a shounen, and that is still a step above “kids” shows in Japan, targeting towards 12-14 year olds.
I’m bringing this up because so far, I have never really been provoked by the show into thinking “wow, this is so juvenile”. However, with the massive emphasis on Bon-kurei and his deeds, with the whole friendship thing, I just couldn’t get “juvenile” out of my head. Of course, I may just be “old” to acknowledge such things anymore, and that kind of thinking is often made fun of in kid shows (like “those adults just don’t understand how to be a kid anymore” or something similar). There’s also the issue that this whole friendship thing is just how Bon-kurei is portrayed, and is just one of those things you accept in anime, let alone Japanese culture. I don’t know, but in the end, I felt there was too much focus here. Then again, it’s entirely possible that because I’ve seen it in the manga, with the addition of it needing to be dragged out in the anime, it just lost its magic on me. I did feel some sympathy in the manga when it was revealed, but it was somehow much less cheesy… Actually, after thinking about it, One Piece’s biggest themes is “Nakama” and Bon-kurei is a perfect example of sacrifice for friendship. HOWEVER, I still believe it could have been less cheesy, but given Bon’s character, I guess it can’t be helped.
Episode-wise, there’s not really much to analyze or go in depth about. The crew gets through the gates with Bon-chan’s help… and that’s it. Surprisingly, it was nice seeing the old crew in the flashback, which shows how desperate I’ve become to wanting the old crew to come back. The symbolism with the “last cherry blossom petal” was nice, BUT THERE ARE NO CHERRY BLOSSOM TREES ON THE OCEAN. Oh, and there’s STILL 4 hours left till Ace’s execution. Wasn’t it four hours… 2 episodes ago?
Note: Okay I guess I wasn’t clear enough (I edited some parts to make myself clearer), but I also don’t agree that One Piece is a kid show either, I just merely meant that it can be called a kids show (if one really wanted to) if only because kids are able to watch it and enjoy it. I also didn’t belittle his sacrifice as something to be laughed at, since that’s what some of you are trying to get at. All I’m trying to say is that it seemed much cheesier to me in the anime than the manga. I think I’ll bold the part where you guys don’t seem to be reading… Sorry if I loosely threw the word “kid” and “juvenile” around, as it seems most OP fans see a massive negative connotation with OP being anywhere near the word.