The past is explored as we see not only a young Jimbei but also a young Arlong.What They Say:
Jimbei relates the intriguing history of Queen Otohime, passionate champion for brokering peace between the Fish-Men and humans; and Fisher Tiger, liberator of slaves whose adventures inspired the Arlong Pirates - the passions and actions of these two dramatic figures who changed the Fish-Man Island!The Review:Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With events in general picking up within the series for a story arc that is doing little for me overall, it's the perfect time to "derail" things a bit with a flashback/history episode to deal with things that have come before. While we have the Fish-man paradise going through a good deal of turmoil across the board with Hordy and Decken, it also has Neptune going through plenty of rulership issues and the fact that his daughter has gone missing/kidnapped. So what better time to sit down and to have Jimbei do a bit of a history lesson over what happened in the past when it came to Queen Otohime. It has relevance to be sure, since it focuses on what she'd done years ago to deal with relationship between the Fish-men and people, but it's an almost out of left field kind of story turn.
Otohime is unlike other members of the royal family over the years as we see because she's the type to get out into the world there and interact with everyone else, even if she is a bit comically violent at times. It's something that both startles the residents and warms them to her because they see her as being a parental kind of ruler, one with their interests at heart that wants to do right by them. A little too much in some ways, but such are the dangers of royal rule. Jimbei's narration of it doesn't add too much of a view from the present, but he gets a few comments in here and there about how she was received and the general feeling about how Otohime was viewed by her subjects. The cute stuff comes in seeing her with the princess when she was a baby since it's just a kind of surreal moment yet utterly cute.
When the episode brings the younger Jimbei into play, at the time of being around thirty years of age and having served in the royal army, we get to see the way certain parts of the place had turned rough and how it showcased his upbringing into the guy he became. It also brings us a bit full circle as it should be showing us the first meeting of Jimbei and a punk named Arlong with grand dreams of his own. With Jimbei being rather respected there because of his origins, it takes an amusing turn with some relations that come into play from Jimbei's own past. You can see how it impacts things and brings in some new connections that are interesting, especially as it relates to how Jimbei has taken a view of Nami over her tattoos, and in turn gives Nami a new look at what Arlong was all about prior to her first encounters with him that caused her so much loss and pain.In Summary:
As this One Piece arc progresses, I find myself both put off by it and interested in it. The pacing has long been something I've gotten used to with the series but right now it's a mixture of too many subplots, too little focus and the pacing because of it. The arc hasn't won me over in any big way but it has had some neat moments. It's come across as a bit more meandering in its approach, which isn't necessarily bad, but it's in a place where the story itself doesn't feel like it knows where it wants to go. That's normal for the viewer, but the impression it gives leaves me wondering what the point here will be. Based on past works I certainly have decent hopes, but it's leaving me feeling like it really needs to wow me soon in order to ensure that it'll be going someplace worthwhile for all the time and effort put in.Grade: