"Let us have a meat together!?"
One Piece has been slowly but surely bringing the various elements together since coming to the Fishe-men island and the undersea realm, but it’s taken its time in really becoming engaging. The new attack by Hordy, after sending in the humans to soften things up against Ryugu Palace, has now brought us to a decent fight as we get to see Zoro going up against Hordy. We got a nice tease of it before but it just made you want even more. And now, with the fish-men getting all buffed out in order to deal with the royal army, the scale of the battle builds up well. But there’s such an intensity and madness about those involved that it feels like things are being manipulated in a bigger way.
The battle takes some surprising turns early on, but it wants to keep its focus squarely on the fight between Neptune and Hordy. While Hordy may be a pint sized guy in terms of actual size, there are some things that Hordy has up his sleeve that lets him put a slowdown on Neptune’s escape, which was also needed in order to save the couple of Straw Hats that are still with him. The scale of the fight has been clear for a bit now once we saw Decken getting in line with Hordy and the way they made their initial push against the palace, but now things are becoming even more deadly and problematic. You expected things to go poorly and not be resolved quickly, but Hordy is making a very strong and confident push in dealing with his foes.
While there is a lot of big action here within the palace, the show also goes for some quieter material as well as Luffy makes it to the ship with the group he’s with now and discovers that Jimbei is there as well. And you really have to feel bad for Jimbei when he realizes that Luffy’s come with the princess no less. His eyes bug out so big it’s positively hysterical. It’s a welcome bit of levity overall, including even Sanji being all enamored of the princess, which still feels more over the top than it has in seasons past. It’s not all levity though as it starts to hit some of what’s going on in general in the area, but for the most part it’s just fun to see how out of the loop Jimbei suddenly feels even as events start to get out of control.