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Live Blog Let's Watch One Piece: Episode Summary and Critique
ComicX62011-08-06 16:23:41

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506: The Straw Hat Crew's Shock! The Bad News is Received

On gloomy Kuraigana Island, Zoro faces off against the feral creatures, who turn out to be giant, weapon-wielding baboons. The leader of the group engages him, and after a brief struggle Zoro defeats him and shatters his armor with his Gyuuki Yuzume (Demon Ox’s Brave Hoof) attack. Seeing their leader defeated, the rest of the baboon tribe gang up on Zoro who ultimate falters thanks to his injuries and is ultimately knocked into the giant wooden cross in the middle of the ruins. He picks himself up and blithely states that this isn’t good, but as he does so the baboons suddenly go all tense before fleeing as a new figure slowly strides through the ruins. Zoro recognizes this man’s aura and is justifiably surprised at the identity of the man now standing before him: the Warlord of the Sea Dracule Mihawk.

Meanwhile, on the South Blue island of Torino, Chopper has once again been captured by the natives and hung over a giant bubbling stew pot. The natives are eager to try raccoon, but upon seeing that he can talk realize that he isn’t and they let him go, albeit a little bit singed. Afterwards Chopper learns of a dilemma the natives are having. Because of the giant birds roosting in the upper levels, they can’t get to some of the herbs that they need to treat some of their sick, and as a result are running very low on medicine. Chopper talks the adults out of launching a desperate attack on the birds and says that he’ll go alone to attempt to negotiate with them.

The next day finds Chopper climbing the enormous tree-stalk in the center of the island, confident that he’ll be able to get through to the birds since he already managed to befriend that chick from before. One of the birds comes down to him, but soon ends up attacking him instead, knocking him out into thin air.

Eyecatches: Zoro and Chopper

Chopper is fortunately saved from falling into the ocean by the parent of the bird chick he had befriended. The bird communicates with the others, and an agreement is reached. It turns out that the birds wouldn’t let any of the humans up to their nests because of the fact that they had hidden treasure up there, and that they feared that the humans would steal it. With the misunderstanding resolved, the natives are able to live in harmony with the giant birds. When he next goes outside, Chopper gets a newspaper off of one of the delivery seagulls, and is quite shocked at what he finds contained within.

On the floating island of Weatheria, we find Nami begrudging tilling the field where the inhabitants grow their weather-controlling Weather Balls. A newspaper gets delivered, but Nami snatches it out of its intended recipient’s hands, stunned at the contents.

On the Boyn Islands Usopp continues to pig out on the forest’s veritably endless cornucopia of food in order to become stronger, though his companion, the champion of the forest Heracles shouts that he’s just getting fat. It’s gotten to the point where the grossly-overweight Usopp tries to eat even the delivery seagull.

In the Kamabakka Kingdom, the newly-minted Sanjo frolics with the other cross-dressers, though upon reading the newest edition of the newspaper, his hands start to tremble, his skin starts to sweat, and his makeup begins to run as he bellows “What the hell is this?!”

On the newly-liberated Tequila Wolf, the agent who freed Robin asks if she could come with the Revolutionaries. Robin politely declines, saying that she has a promise to keep with her friends. The agent asks if she means the Straw Hat Pirates, and reveals that they have some intelligence on them.

Within Vegapunk’s lab in Bulgemore, Franky refuels on cola after having defeated the cyborg polar bear that had earlier accosted him. While savoring the carbonation, one of the machines begins to start up and spits out a print-out.

On Namakura Island, Brook has locked himself inside a small building to compose music, the dreadful sounds of his singing and wailing upon losing concentration convincing the villagers outside that he’s in the midst of placing a powerful curse upon their oppressors, the Long-Arm Tribe. Inside, Brook slumps to the floor, suffering from composer’s block, and notices a newspaper laying underneath the scores of music sheets strewn about the room.

Back on Kuraigana, Zoro tries going for his sword, but Mihawk tells him to stop, for if he couldn’t even beat the baboons, there was absolutely no way he could fight him. Zoro asks him why he’s here, and Mihawk answers that the castle beyond is his home, and then asks Zoro why he’s here. Upon saying that it was due to his fellow Warlord Bartholomew Kuma, Mihawk says that that answers how Luffy was able to reach Marineford in the manner he did. Surprised to hear news of his captain, Zoro quickly asks how Luffy is. Mihawk says that Luffy is probably still alive, but then Zoro, as well as the rest of the Straw Hats, are hit with the bombshell that Luffy’s brother Ace was killed right in front of him.

I do kinda wish that this episode hadn't focused so much on Zoro and Chopper if it was going to fit the whole crew into it, because I would have liked some of their parts to be more fleshed-out. But that said, Zoro and Chopper's parts adequately covered material that was omitted from the manga, though I do wish that Zoro meeting Mihawk had a little more oomph to it. His fight was animated pretty well though, so that was a nice treat.

Speaking of art, Robin and Usopp's sections were handled by animator Naoki Tate, who has up to this point handled both of their episodes. While it's good for consistency, on the other hand his radically-different style clashes pretty heavily with the rest of the episode, and unfortunately there weren't any intricate pieces of animation for him to show off on. Still, I hope his apparent return to the anime means that he'll be doing full episodes again in the future.

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