453: The Crew's Whereabouts - The Weatheria Report and Cybernetic Animals
As the ship continues to sail the Tarai Current, Luffy sits on top of one of its batteries, gazing out to sea. Jimbei comes up behind him and says that he should be resting up instead of worrying about Ace right now. They are about to dive headlong into a battle that will change the world, after all.
High above the clouds drifts the small floating island of Weatheria. Nami sits on a hillside, gazing at the sea of clouds and her Log Pose with an expression of longing. Her longings are interrupted by the old man Harudas, come to show off a new creation of his, cloud candy, though he almost suffocates her with it instead. After that mishap, Nami asks the old man how long it’s going to take for the island to reach the Sabaody Archipelago. Harudas’s answer is that the island depends on the wind to move, and as of right now, they’ve made the grand ol’ progress of two-hundred meters. Naturally Nami isn’t very pleased at that, and grumbles that she would’ve left long ago if this hadn’t been a floating island. Harudas replies that even if she were down on the surface it would take her quite a while to get back. But then he suggests that they go down to the surface anyway, as his research funding is starting to run low.
Their method of descent is a contraption in the shape of a boat powered by a flame suspended in a bubble not unlike the ones on Sabaody. Soon they arrive in a village on a desert island. The earth is parched and ground cracked. After discussing matters with the village mayor, Harudas reveals that using his weather science, he’ll be able to bring rain to this drought-ravaged land…for the discount price of one-hundred million berries! When Nami points out that that’s way too much, he brings it down to one-hundred berries, which is way too little.
Anyway, Harudas goes to work and activates a machine on his boat which starts spewing out miniature thunderclouds encased in bubbles. Harudas throws Nami a wind-rope and instructs her to undo all of the knots, summoning up a gust of wind which blows the bubbles high into the air where they coalesce and turn into a giant raincloud which lets loose a downpour, providing the ground with much-needed rain. As Nami marvels at this, Harudas hands her an umbrella and tells her that he’s spoken to the mayor, and he’s agreed to help her on her way to Sabaody as thanks. Nami, however, says that she’s changed her mind, and now wants to stay on Weatheria for the remainder of the voyage in order to study the weather science. Harudas is overjoyed at the news, and decides to start lecturing on the properties of his miniature thunderclouds…and it blows up in their faces.
Eyecatches: Nami and Franky
Within the Bulgemore Kingdom on Karakuri Island, the Darjeeling tea-powered Franky takes a long sip and remarks on how calming it is. The boy Kitton spies on him from around the corner and lets out a sigh, since Franky was so much cooler before they gave him tea. His grandfather tells him that since they don’t have any sodas on the island, Franky’s wild nature has been lost. This gives Kitton an idea…
So Franky later awakes to find that he has been left in the woods, bed and all. He wonders what happened and finds a scarf to help keep him warm. A scarf that is actually a cybernetic snake which fires a laser beam at him. After making his escape, Franky comes upon a broken keep out sign that informs him that this forest is full of cybernetic animals. As he turns back to the woods at the sound of a commotion, animals of all shapes and sizes emerge from the darkness and surround him, each one sporting some kind of mechanical part. Kitton and his dog keep watch via an underground hatch, with the plan of forcing Franky to regain his wild nature by pitting him against the wild environment. Franky, ever the gentleman, starts reprimanding the animals for being so worked up before breakfast time, but then realizes that it is indeed breakfast time and that he’s the breakfast. He takes another sip of tea and the animals pounce on him, but he elegantly makes his escape, saying that it’s good to be alive.
Kitton laments the failure of his plan, and is then attacked by a giant gorilla. However Franky, or as he says ‘’Mr. Frank’’, steps up to defend him, and begins to reprimand the animal for using violence, even as it continues to incessantly wail on him. But as he’s being pummeled, the tea within his inner refrigerator begins to boil, emulating the carbonation of cola. Steam shoots out of his ears, his sleeves rip, and his fashionably-combed hair spikes up into a pompadour. Franky is back, and effortlessly beats up all of the animals, yelling if they know that they’re dealing with the great Franky.
Kitton’s pleased to see Franky restored to normal, but there’s a new problem: the boost the steam provided is fading. So Kitton decides to lead him to an abandoned laboratory in hopes of creating a solution. The laboratory, Kitton explains, was the home of a quirky yet brilliant man named Vegapunk, who left the island some time ago, leaving his creations, such as the cyborg animals, behind to roam the island. After tearing down the boards covering up the entrance, Franky, Kitton, and the dog step inside, only to trigger an alarm. Something begins to move towards the three, something that Franky finds incredibly peculiar.
So after the Impel Down arc we get a little break to catch up on what the rest of the Straw Hats are up too, just like we did after Amazon Lily. The episodes here follow the same formula, each half of the episode covers a different Straw Hat, and the beginning has a short bit with Luffy (though Jimbei reiterating for the nth time that they're going into a giant battle is a poor substitute for Hancock's threesome fantasies).
Nami's half was pretty low-key, but it did contain some key points of information; that Nami is heading back to Sabaody on Weatheria, and that she's going to be studying the weather sciences. Since all she really does with the Perfect Clima Tact these days is spam lightning, a power up is welcomed, and the Cyclone Burst
from earlier is a step in the right direction.
Franky's half may not have been as informative, but it sure was hilarious! From Mr. Frank to the ACME door gag, I was laughing throughout. It was great to hear Franky's leitmotif again, since it's one of my favorite tracks in the show. I wasn't expecting the ending at Vegapunk's lab to be a cliffhanger. Looks like we're going to get another set of episodes feature the Straw Hats' misadventures after Marineford, which means that Oda should probably start drawing more coverstories...
So next episode looks like we're following Chopper's quest to not get eaten by both ooga-booga natives and giant birds, and Sanji's waking nightmare on Kamabakka.