The past is explored once again to explain the present.
What They Say:
Don Chinjao’s hatred of Garp and Luffy is finally explained, while his battle against Luffy comes to an end. With tremendous power, one of them is squarely eliminated! But is that really the end of the Colosseum battle?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One Piece began its buildup in a pretty good way previously with the Green Bit aspect of the arc. While we’ve been wondering where things will go with Usopp and Robin as they dealt with the fairies, things started to move forward in a fun way as their army was put together to go into the city and do what’s needed. It also helped that Franky and Zoro connected in the city itself, bringing those smaller arcs together. That’s always one of my favorite parts of an arc where everyone is separated for awhile since it usually means things are starting to get serious now. With that and other things going on, the forward momentum has definitely been picking up in the last few episodes.
With Zoro kind of frustrated with Luffy over the fact that he wasn’t told about the arena fights, we get a little more of that fight itself as Luffy going up against the Don continues to be pretty power filled. Not as big as some of his other fights of course, but it’s providing him with a challenge and that’s just fun to watch, especially the crowd reactions. What becomes useful in all of this though is that during a pause in the fight, the Don starts to reveal events from thirty years ago that have motivated him all this time. It’s a mildly entertaining piece in some ways, showing us what defined some of the back story that’s been tossed about, but it also admittedly felt like a strange detour to take amid the ongoing present day storyline. That longstanding grudge because of the incident there has festered ever since, especially since he ended up giving up pirating and became a husk of a man. But that’s given him the incentive he needs in the present to seek his revenge on Garp through Luffy.
With Luffy pushing back here with his own intentions of winning Ace’s Devil Fruit, the two definitely have established their reasons for why they’re doing this. And you have to admire the Don on some level because he’s come alive to do this after all this time, but there’s also just some decent comedy to the action, particularly his spinning top routine. It goes kind of big in a way as the two really get down to it and while I am always reminded of the really big fights that Luffy’s been in, there’s still something special when he gets really serious and fights all out. And he does that just here because he wants to win but also because he wants to give the old man a real fight that he deserves. And it takes a kind of amusing turn towards the end because he also ends up giving the Don exactly what he really wanted all these years, what it was that Garp took away from him. And that can change the dynamic of the fight in a huge way for several reasons.
With a focus entirely on the fight between Luffy and the Don, episodes like this in One Piece do tend to feel a bit more dragged out. We get to break it up a little bit with a look towards the past that explores a bit of the Don’s anger and that does help overall, though it was only mildly interesting and could have just been done with a touch of exposition. But the end results are worth it and seeing the fight comes to its conclusion, which opens us up to new paths now, is definitely the most exciting moments of the episode.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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