Have the Straw Hats seriously never encountered a dragon before in this entire series? I find that pretty hard to believe, especially considering the rate at which ONE PIECE rolls through new characters and concepts. Remember when they were setting up Big Ma (or whatever that gangster’s name was) several episodes back? We’ve been introduced to at least three sets of potential big villains in the interim, while she hasn’t even been alluded to; so I find it hard to believe that one of the most basic and universal fantasy monsters hasn’t already been addressed in this show.
At every point I enter this saga, I find a new series in pop culture to compare it to. At the start, it seemed like PETER PAN with a more bellicose and rubbery lead. When I started this streak of episodes, it struck me as SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS with its own superhero universe. At various points, I’ve seen a very ALICE IN WONDERLAND-esque vibe to the show’s surrealism, but now I can’t help see some WIZARD OF OZ in this, as well.
Yeah, that association was directly triggered by the crew falling asleep on deck in a fashion that directly recalled the part where Dorothy’s gang gets sleepy in a poppy field. Thinking more about it... there ain’t a ton of difference between the more creature-ly of these oddballs and the characters from the later OZ books. If you commissioned somebody in artist alley to draw amalgams of… say… Brook and Jack Pumpkinhead, Franky and Tik-Tok, and then Tony Tony Chopper and the Gump, they really wouldn’t have stretch their imaginations that far.
Perhaps one reason for this show’s mammoth success is that it seems to be drawing from a whole host of entertainment that’s so far afield of anime’s typical sandbox?
Oh, and did anybody else find Franky’s line about putting on a super cola sweat to be one of the oddest, nonsensical lines ever? Not only was he preparing to sweat out soda (right?), he was also jacked up about it?