I’d be curious to find out how the practice of announcing special attacks evolved in shonen anime. You know, like Luffy shouting “Elephant Gun!” and “Second Gear!” and such. If you put this on a scale with YU YU HAKUSHO, I suppose there’s been some twenty years of incremental progress, bringing us from special attacks being identified by captions on screen to there being so many thrown around in this episode that they could very well take up a quarter of all the Straw Hats and Neo Navy’s dialog.
For American boys toons, there are two main motivations for this sort of thing. The first is to clearly identify the products in the toyline - - to clearly delineate the regular Luffy figurine from the “Elephant Gun Luffy” figurine (or the “Elephant Gun” accessory in the Luffy action figure, maybe). The less mercenary reason is that the highest point of hooking kids’ imaginations is to have them playing as your characters during recess. At that point, all the attack announcements become like RPG rules, making sure that all the kids are on the same page about what they’re pretending to throw at each other, instead of there being any vague disagreement about what “Luffy’s arm stretching attack!” could mean.
This episode’s almost entirely devoted to a chaotic, multi-front brawl, so there isn’t a lot of plot to comment upon. (I did think the flashback where the multi-armed bad guy looks like he’s getting captured in some cyclone turd attack and subsequently driven by revenge for that turd-ing was pretty amusing - - but, again, that’s a battle scene). There are a lot of special attacks being announced and thrown around, of course, so that’s what my thoughts dwell on.
It’s actually kind-of funny, because ONE PIECE isn’t tied to any action figure line that I’m aware of, but it’s structured very much like a “toyetic” show with its endless parade of new characters to sculpt. I’ve always thought “toyetic” accusations were a little chicken-or-egg - - what else do you expect from an action-adventure but a wealth of colorful, memorable characters? - - but it’s still worth noting that ONE PIECE has qualities that’d allow it to absolutely clean up with toy sales.
Would any of you more learned fans care to enlighten me, once again?