Jimbei's move to become a Warlord shifts a number of pieces on the table for the Fish-Man Island residents.What They Say:
When an ill-natured Celestial Dragon – Saint Myosgard arrives at the Fish-Man Island with his wrecked ship, his former slaves who had been tortured by him try to shoot him to death. In that turmoil, unbelievable ability of baby Shirahoshi has revealed and Queen Otohime’s decision makes everyone stunned.The Review:Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the complete attention of Luffy and his crew, Jimbei continues his tale of the past as the Fish-Man Island has dealt with a variety of problems. His shifting to becoming a Warlord isn't exactly what he wanted out of life, but by doing so it accomplished a number of things for those that he's served with for years. His true nature does shine through in how he does things for his men to be able to be reunited with their families and that's all he really wanted in the end. And the men understand this and are thankful for it, understanding the sacrifice that he's made and honoring it. Of course, doing all this doesn't ease the anger that the Fish-Men have towards humans and Jimbei becoming a "tool of the World Government" creates a rift amongst the people.
With Jimbei exploring mor eof the past, it's kind of awkward as some of the recent episodes have been, especially the ones without Fisher Tiger, as it feels like it's meandering and adding too much back story to what's going on. The social and cultural/political issues of the area are interesting to be sure, but the presentation of it here is starting to feel like a drag at times, which is unfortunate since there is a lot of potential and you know things will connect to the present against soon enough. The introduction of Saint Mosgard, a Celestrial Dragon with a personality issue that makes you wonder how he ever became a Celestial Dragon or survived for long as one, ends up on Fish-Man Island and is instantly the subject of zero debate about what's to be done with him as everyone wants to kill him for good reason.
Unsurprisingly, Otohime gets involved with things as do some of her children, bringing us to see a young (yet big!) Shirahoshi as well, which starts to tie things in more. Getting an understanding of how Otohime views the Celestial Dragon isn't a surprise from what we've learned of her so far, but it's something that is shown to make it clear just how much her opinion holds sway even if they don't like it. So when Myosgard ends up trying to take advantage of the situation, it goes as you'd expect, but it's watching how little/big Shirahoshi ends up really changing the conversation here with what she's able to pull into it. It's really an interesting and almost classic feeling moment out of 60's live action films with the swell of music and the surreal nature of what jut happened. And it's something that sets a huge number of events into motion that will swing back to the present.In Summary:
One Piece's back story episodes are double edged swords and this one is no exception. It brings in some intriguing material but after awhile it just gets to be a bit too much as you want to get back to the present. Yet as these stories progress, you see more and more of the ties that come to the present and you understand why it's being done and how it expands the scope of things. There are a bunch of neat moments to this episode, but the one that surprised me the most and really made me enjoy it is the inclusion of Shirahoshi as a babygirl, which is not something I expected to like. With what she brings to the table, it reaffirms things in the present as well, though her voice still just cuts right through me. There's an interesting shift happening here as we deal with the politics and survival of the Fish-Man Island and it's something that could certainly support a story of its own without being tied to events in the current continuity.Grade: