OK - - that business with the poo villain molesting the mermaid princess got really weird, really fast. I considered using a screencap of it as the header image for this write up - - since it definitely is the most striking image of the episode - - but I opted not to, lest this start seeming like a piece on Rule #34 of the Internet and its special relationship to THE LITTLE MERMAID.
Eeesh… that was weird.
And that’s very probably the point. The more the villain makes our skin crawl, the more we enjoy seeing Luffy clock him halfway across the ocean, no? That’s not a rule of the internet - - it’s a rule of shonen TV. For damn sure. That was very satisfying to watch
Maybe it just came down to the fact that the last handful of episodes where supposed to be the cathartic, action-packed release of an epic saga - - and thus, there’s not much to get aside from who’s punching whom - - but I actually had a harder time getting into the story this time. It’s a transition point, taking us from one mega arc to the next, and it’s invoking all this complicated backstory that I wasn’t around for, obviously. I can pick up on the none-too-surprising reveal that the bad fishman’s actually been hitting an undersea kind of steroid that’s sapping his youthful vigor as quickly as it's pumped up his muscles; but all the business with Blackbeard, and Whitebeard, and the assorted feuds between pirate factions was strictly an exercise in callbacks.
Again, I don’t fault the series for doing that - - my fault for not being around earlier, certainly - - but it’s still worth noting in an effort, perhaps, to understand which portions of the Straw Hats’ endless adventuring are more accessible than others.
Also - - seriously, what’s the deal with Neptune appending “jamon” to the end of some sentences? Is that just some cute verbal tick of his? I thought I got the idea early on, but the repeated usage has got me wanting a real answer, now.