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Live Blog Let's Watch One Piece: Episode Summary and Critique
ComicX62011-08-28 19:15:54

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508: Back to the Captain - Fleeing the Sky Island and the Winter Island's Incident

Everyone assembled at Rayleigh’s site goes silent upon hearing Rayleigh’s plan. Jimbei speaks up, saying that Luffy needs to focus on healing himself for the time being. Luffy asks what of his crew, and Rayleigh answers that they’ve probably heard of what happened at Marineford by now and are trying to head to Sabaody, and that he has a second suggestion to deal with this problem.

Meanwhile, on the floating island of Weatheria, the weather scientist Haradas and a companion make their way along a path. According to his companion, Nami had suddenly stolen some of the island’s Weather Balls and research notes and tried to flee the island by stealing one of their balloons. However, she lost control of it, crashed, and was captured by the irate scientists. Haradas wonders what could have happened to make her act that way, since she didn’t seem to him like a person who would pull something like that.

He soon reaches where Nami’s being held; a cell sealed by one of the island’s bubbles. Surrounding it is a crowd of fuming scientists, who refuse her insistences that she be set free. Haradas tries using his wind knot again to cheer her up, and gets punched through the bubble barrier. While the scientists flail about calling Nami a demon, Haradas asks her what’s come over her, as she had been excited to learn about their weather science. Nami points to her confiscated knapsack and tells them to look at the newspaper inside.

Haradas opens to paper to see the article about the battle at Marineford. Nami tells him that the Straw Hat Luffy mentioned in the paper is her captain. While his crew was scattered around the world, he was fighting a fierce battle all on his own. Breaking down, she says that Luffy lost his brother before his eyes, and she had no idea of what was happening. She wants to go to their meeting place so that she can be there to help him before his heart breaks.

At this, the scientists go back into a panic, horrified that they’ve driven a girl to tears. They unlock the cell, but as soon as the bubble opens, Nami is suddenly a good fifty feet away, with her recovered knapsack and Haradas in a chokehold, cheerfully thanking them and saying farewell. Furious at being tricked, the scientists chase after in pursuit. As she runs, Nami mentally asks Luffy if he’s all right, and apologizes for not being there for him when it’s their turn to help him, after all the times he’s helped the crew. Haradas notices that her ‘’fake’’ tears are still flowing.

Eyecatches: Nami and Franky

Within his home on the frozen island of Bulgemore, the panicked boy Kitton calls for his grandfather, wailing that the ‘’old man’s’’ personality has changed again, as he’s now like a demon. To punctuate his cries, Franky comes crashing down through the ceiling, and demands to be given a ship so that he can meet up with his crew. The grandfather says that that’s impossible, as there are no ships on the island save for the occasional Navy battleship and a supply ferry that comes once a month, and that won’t be returning for several weeks. The grandfather then recalls, however, that there is an ice breaker within Dr. Vegapunk’s lab, but it’s old and in disrepair. Franky perks up and says that that’s fine, for he’s a shipwright.

So, after being warned of a self-destruct switch that he mustn’t ever press, Franky ends up back inside the lab, being pursued by a squadron of marines. Unwilling to fight back and risk damaging the place, Franky takes shelter inside a side room, where he discovers blueprints for some of the most amazing machinery, things so advanced that the current level of technology can’t build them. As he starts to leave, he notices a panel with a skull-and-crossbones on it. He goes to press it, and the entire laboratory goes up in a mushroom cloud.


And once again we are in the midst of the "where are they now" glimpses with the rest of the Straw Hats.

Nami's more tempermental and violent traits have been pushed towards the forefront during her stay on Weatheria, and then this episode/chapter comes around showing that beneath that exterior, she's one of the more compassionate and caring of the main characters. The sequence was set up to look like she was faking, but she wasn't, the emotions were real. Her inner monologue of how it's their turn to help Luffy was a touching reversal, I thought, coming from her considering the times the two of them have been in danger and how they treat each other during those times. It always manages to bring a smile to my face.

Franky's part...was considerably less bombastic than I had hoped. When reading his bit in the manga chapter, I had imaged the scene playing out to Franky's theme (the full version of the orchestral swing piece that plays during his eyecatch) and generally just be really over-the-top. I mean, a guy's being chased by a mob of soldiers and cyborg animals, than has a moment of inexcusable stupidity and blows the whole place up while his image flashes a thumbs-up superimposed against the sky. How can that be anything but over-the-top and wacky? Instead it was...kind of depressing with that music that was played, but apart from the fact that Franky probably just killed a bunch of marines, I don't think that was what that scene was originally intended to come off as. But I suppose that kind of stuff is inevitable in an adaptation.

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