The future becomes clearer as we see more of the ashes of the past.What They Say:
Queen Otohime returns from her visit to meet the Celestial Dragons with a promise that seems almost too good to be true - but when unrest erupts on the Fish-Man Island, Queen Otohime's dream - and the Queen herself - are put in grave peril!The Review:Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The flashback story hit an interesting point at the end of the previous episode with Otohime going off into the world of men to meet with the Celestial Dragons and to show her people that they can walk in the above world without a huge problem if they approach it right. That set the right mood for some chance at positive results, but this episode starts off with more unpleasant material as it focuses on Vander Decken and his quest for power. He's setting things up in his mind at first for how he can acquire Shirahoshi in order to cement things better for himself and he has a good little group of toadies that agree to everything and continually encourage him.
What helps to offset that darkness though is that Otohime has returned and with a plan from the World Nobles that will help set things right for her people. What she's brought isn't met with a lot of enthusiasm though because it's seemingly backed by the Celestial Dragons and they can't get behind that easily, nor the idea of moving to the surface world. But because of who she is and what she's done for them over the years, there's that kind of theatrical sense of politics of hope here that builds up in a fun if hard to believe way. They have such a belief in her and what they think she can do that they'll put aside their fears and worries in the trust that she wouldn't lead them wrong.
Otohime does help to expand a bit more of the subplot of the arc when it comes to Shirahoshi as she explains to a small group about Shirahoshi's destiny. Her being the rare being that can speak to the Sea Kings and the prophecy about someone who will come to her in the future and guide her towards a world changing event. It's what's driving Otohime to some degree, to ensure that Shirahoshi has this potential kept in place to be taken advantage of some day. Unfortunately for Otohime, things don't go in a good direction for her and it's the kind of moment that changes the path of the Fish-Man Island people in a big way, especially for young Shirahoshi as she watches on in shock, losing her mother. It's not an unexpected plot point to be sure, but it's done well here without glossing over it or spending too much time on it.In Summary:
While the show is providing some good story material here, it's also getting to the point where it's starting to more seriously lose my interest. These are key moments but they've made it such a lengthy story overall that as important as it is, it's now moving at a good enough pace to make it really engaging. It is pretty standard One Piece fare though so it's not really a complaint and certainly nothing that would cause me to drop the show, but it's becoming an arc to get through in order to get back to the present so we can see how Shirahoshi can help be a catalyst for change in the world. This episode does some fun stuff and goes through a key moment while also fleshing out more of the story with the prophecy. Good things, but it could certainly have been tightened up a lot more overall within this story that Jimbei is telling.Grade: