The Special Presentation episodes continue along as the theatrical movie draws ever closer.
What They Say:
It soon becomes obvious that Luffy isn't the only one who would like to take the big beetle with him as a powerful pirate crew proves to finally be a match for Luffy and his friends!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)”
With the theatrical movie Strong World due out in just a couple of weeks, the Special Presentation episodes continue to roll right along this week in order to build up enthusiasm for it. Unfortunately, it’s having the opposite effect on me as it’s not giving me any reason to want to see it at all at this point. The break in the ongoing story arc is frustrating enough but these first two episodes of it are so weak and uninteresting that it compounds the issue even more.
When there are moments within the first two minutes where you want to turn off the episode completely, that’s not a good sign. Nami’s heading off to the East Blue island isn’t a bad thing but the first thing she meets upon arriving there are four complete idiots who make up her fanclub and have shaved the letters for the word “love” on the backs of their head for her. Her expression sums up how this arc has felt so far in general. And as bad as that is, the rest of the inhabitants of the East Blue Island aren’t much better, especially when taken as a whole. Some of them aren’t so bad individually but as they add up, such as we see the various Straw Hat members interacting with them in their various locales, it just pushes the whole group into a very different level.
What really made this particular episode even worse is that it isn’t until two thirds of the way through the episode that the “big part” of the story even shows up. And that, for those of us who have already forgotten, is the arrival of the pirates that are trying to recapture the giant Beetle that the Golden Lion Shiki is wanting returned to him. And these pirates are definitely intent on catching it since it’ll give them membership in Shiki’s big group of pirates. Naturally, they’re going to run into the Straw Hats and make a simple operation far more problematic than it should be otherwise but it’s already feeling like it’s far too drawn out. And we’re only two episodes in.
I really like the idea of firm continuity between a TV series and a movie. So many movies – anime or not – that are based off of TV series have such a loose connection to any continuity that they’re pretty much a joke. And Shonen Jump properties tend to be worse since they have to be self contained to tell a story without impacting it. So I like that they’re tying it into things, but not this way. The shoehorning in of the story in the middle of a very different arc, taking us back to before the arc, is simply a matter of bad timing. I wish this had come before the current arc so that it could have set the preparation a month or two ago instead of in the weeks just before the movie. And it doesn’t help that this arc so far in its first two episodes is completely dull and almost off-putting with its style and intent.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.