Well, hello there toilet humor. A sign of how weak this episode is, to be sure.
What They Say:
Out of the frying pan and into the fire! Luffy and his companions barely survive the fall into the Burning Heat Hell only to be faced with Impel Down's grandest villain; Warden Magellan himself!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)”
Outside of the disastrously dull side plot special storyline about nothing tied by a whisper of a thread to a new movie, I’ve really enjoyed watching One Piece since the early 420’s when I started in on it as I watch the DVD releases of the first hundred episodes roll out. Sadly, that enjoyment slows down a fair bit with this episode, as it’s a bit of running around that just feels off in general. A lot of it is focused on waiting for Luffy and the gang to arrive on level for and it lacks any sort of tension because of poop gags.
Yes, poop gags.
While it was obvious what was going to happen to Luffy and the others at the top of the well on level three, what was waiting for them at the bottom is where the interest is. The boiling pit of blood as its termed is one of the more brutal places in Impel Down for good reason with its intense heat and intense physical labor as well as the way the guards cruelly run the place, executing prisoners as they see fit. There are some familiar faces here, going back to the Baroque Works days, but the majority of the time is not spent on the prisoners nor those in Luffy’s group.
Where it spends most of its time is with the Warden and his underlings as they wait in the main area where they figure Luffy will come through. If they end up falling through the central well, there’s no worry there since they’re all Devil Fruit people and falling into the boiling water will kill them. Sadly, this is where the episode is at its worst in terms of being entertaining. The warden spends his time in his enclosure where he doesn’t want to get exposed to anything while everyone else mills around outside. Worse, the warden’s place also apparently doubles as a toilet, complete with sound effects that really make you cringe. The usual banter goes on with the vice warden talking about how much he wants the wardens job and we see various other Mino-creatures that are waiting for their chance to see some action, but it’s mostly a whole lot of hurry up and wait going on here until Luffy arrives.
Standing on its own, this episode is fairly dull and doesn’t even rearrange the positions of the cast in interesting ways, unlike some of the previous on-the-run episodes have. There’s a small moment of fun when it comes to Hancock as she returns to the ship and makes a change to her food intake but otherwise it’s all about what’s going on down on level four. The toilet humor really felt out of place here for me, since I can’t really recall anything of that nature in the first hundred episodes that I’ve seen. I almost feel bad for beating up on this episode because I know that when taken in context with the episodes around it, such as in a block of thirteen episodes on a DVD set, it’d be pretty unmemorable and barely worthy of comment. But on its own for this week, it left me feeling pretty blasé about the show and hoping that things pick up again next week.
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.