Straight up - - ONE PIECE has to be one of the most baffling pop culture phenoms I’ve ever laid eyes upon. I’m never going to get over how straight -bizarre it is to see some of wackiest and silliest characters busting heads like real ass-kickers in what is, by all appearances, a fairly complex mythos. Every time I do a write-up on this show, I have to draw a comparison to some otherwise innocuous Western franchise to illustrate just how many genre wires this show is crossing in my brain, but I'll hold off this time. I think you’ve got the idea.
And, more importantly, I think I’ve finally got the idea. After skipping however many hours of programming, I’m at last submitting to ONE PIECE in all of its most sublime bizarreness. There truly isn’t anything like ONE PIECE, anywhere else in the world, and that’s something that isn’t to be undervalued.
So, while I'm valuing this show, I’ll say that this is a properly rockin’ and ridiculous conclusion to what seems like a properly epic story arc. We see each member of the Straw Hats squaring off against their own personal foes - - each one utterly unique from the next - - and the comeuppance the good guys deal out on the bad guys is every bit as satisfying as it’d be in a “serious” show.
While Luffy’s gear-shifting during that tilted ship deck brawl was pretty cool, I got the biggest jollies out of the skeleton rocker’s blink-and-you’ll-really-miss death stroke. The “delayed reaction death” gag has gotten to be a pretty common trope - - especially in samurai shows - - but it’s not too often that you see the perpetrator acting so aware and nonchalant about it.
I feel like I'm cheating, here - - jumping past so many episodes of build-up to enjoy all the pay-off. But hey, this is a show about piracy anyway, right? I'm sure Luffy knows just how good cheating feels.