Episode 68: "Try Hard, Coby! Coby-Meppo's Struggles In the Marine!"
I talked about this mini-arc previously during the Buggy two-parter. This marks the second (and also the last) time that one of Oda's chapter cover page stories got an anime treatment.
In that regard, the anime treatment does really well in establishing how Coby and Helmeppo became friends while it came off pretty out of nowhere in the manga. It is nice to see the transformation of Helmeppo from a weakling who got off easy in life due to the status of his dad to still being a weakling but who now has a goal in life. That scene with him in the cannon hold talking to Coby about his dad also successfully manages to pull on one's heartstrings making you feel for a guy who understands that his dad deserves his punishment yet he still feels sorry for him since it is his dad after all. Very neatly developed in here.
Apparently, you can even stay in the Marine when you have become an old geezer as seen with Vice-Admiral Garp The Fist here. Doubt that that guy will play any major role anytime soon, but he makes for some fun bits.
All in all, a pretty good episode all things considered.
Manga differences: -Hard to believe but the whole first part of the ep (the stuff on Luffy's ship, Coby's dream, fighting with Helmeppo on the barrack roof etc.) was anime-filler. None of that happened in the manga where it basically went straight to the Morgan story after 2-3 set-up pages. Rest of the ep is pretty faithful to the manga, on the other hand.
Hmm, what did Nami see in that newspaper I wonder...something to do with the Alabasta Kingdom perhaps?
And so we conclude the Coby-Meppo 2-parter (and with it the animefication of Oda's Chapter Cover Page Stories) with this decent one. Have to say, I kinda grew to like Helmeppo after this one. Mostly because his character progression was believable in that he still wants to return to the life he lived but wants to earn his status through hard work and surpassing his father through it. I think that is more believable as if he would have changed his entire outlook on life 180° just like that.
Otherwise, there is nothing much about this episode to report. Coby-Meppo's adventures are fun to watch, Garp is a decent character (although I doubt he will play an important role after this one) and...yeah, it is decent but there is nothing outstanding to really talk about.
Manga differences: -Again the part on the Going Merry was not in Oda's story originally as are the parts until Coby-Meppo actually start training their bodies. Fascinating how this 2-parter adds a lot more filler compared to the Buggy one (maybe another reason why the anime abandoned these? Who knows?).
Episode 70: "An Ancient Island! The Shadow Hiding In Little Garden!"
Dear Nami, I notice something different about you this episode...Is it your hair? No, it's lovely as always...Is it your clothes? No, you dress casually like usual...Is it your perfume? No, I cannot smell it since you are just a fictional character...
Ah, now I know! Your voice changed!
Joke's aside, for this and the next 8 episodes (basically the whole Little Garden arc), Nami's VA changed from Akemi Okamura to Wakana Yamazaki because the former took time off due to pregnancy. While Yamazaki tries hard, I think her voice sounds too cute for Nami and cannot pull off the devious and shrewd side of her character very well. Looking forward to Akemi's return.
In general, this episode sets up the Little Garden mini-arc and introduces us to the concept of islands in the Grand Line developing differently depending on the level of interaction they have with other islands (from cultivated ones to prehistoric ones like this one). This is a cool concept that allows Oda to freely play with the design of the islands and not being subject to only doing stuff like you'd find in RL pirate times (as if the Den Den Mushi did not already help in that regard).
All in all, this works as a good start showing us the prehistoric wildlife of Little Garden and ending on an interesting cliffhanger with Nami and Usopp. Crew interactions are fun as always and we also get some fun action with Zoro and Sanji kicking some dinosaur butt. Only downside is Vivi's outburst at the start of the episode regarding the crew's carefree attitude, mostly because we already saw her interacting with the crew in filler parts in the previous episodes where she did not have any problem with them at all. In the manga, this was actually the first interaction with the crew after setting off from Whiskey Peak we had, so it made sense there while in the anime, it does not flow as well.
We also get to meet Mr. 3 and his as of this episode unnamed partner who will be our main antagonists for this arc. I really like Mr. 3's VA who gives him an air of sophistication and intelligence which just sounds like poetry in Japanese. Looking forward to seeing more of him. His partner is just a blank currently for me (although Baroque Works seems to have really relaxed position on child labour).
All in all, a decent set-up.
Manga differences: -Karoo going chug-chug-chug with the cocktails and passing out was extended (in the manga we only see him drink one cocktail without any aftermath shown). -Sanji getting attacked by the prehistoric bird is also anime-only. -The fights Sanji/T-Rex and Zoro/Triceratops were a lot more extended and detailed than what they were in the manga.
Episode 71: "Huge Duel! The Giants Dorry And Broggy!"
I bet Oda had lots of fun with Dorry and Broggy based on their viking design. Why, you ask?
Oda mentioned that his first encounter with pirate lore was related to the vikings and how they fascinated him and got him interested in the subject of pirates. Another influence was this anime from the 1970s "Small Viking Vicke":
This actually has a lot of memories for me as well because as far as anime goes, this was really popular in Germany as well, having the same standing like Astro Boy, Gigantor, Starblazers, Voltron etc. have for anime in the US. Even led to 2 modern live-action movies that became box-office successes.
But I digress.
Dorry and Broggy are pretty fun characters and would surely be fun to hang out with. I dunno, they just give off a vibe that makes you wanna smile.
While it was hinted at previously, at this point, it was pretty settled that Nami and Usopp were kinda the weak link in the Straw Hat Crew given their general aversiveness to anything that seems dangerous. While they were still pretty awesome and an integral part in the Straw Hat Crew, I am happy that down the line Oda made efforts into turning them into competent fighters based on what they can do best. That certainly helped them a lot.
Huh, seems like they still want to give Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine some screentime and not let them look too much like pushovers based on their last appearance. We shall see.
While the episode is pretty decent, it is the first one in a long while that feels like it is slowed down through too much unnecessary filler which I will come to below. If they cut all the filler out, they might have been able to get to the exploding barrel in this episode already. This only makes this a middling episode unfortunately.
Manga Differences: -Originally the first longneck Luffy sat on, was also the one that ate him and Broggy saved him from. In the anime, we get Luffy avoiding a long barrage of other longnecks before he is finally eaten. -After the scene at the ship, the next time we see Nami and Usopp in the manga, they tearfully sitting across Dorry while contemplating their fates. In the anime, we get a long scene of them continuing pretend to be dead while Dorry prepares the lunch, them escaping, getting changed by a saber-toothed tiger and then a T-Rex before getting saved by Dorry before sitting down to eat. -Zoro and Sanji meeting and comparing the size of their meat was also anime-only filler and never happened in the manga.
Episode 72: "Luffy Gets Angry! A Dirty Trick Violates The Sacred Duel!"
And that's how Mr. 5 created the Gunpowder Irish Gin.
Most notable about this episode is Usopp turning into a fanboy of the giants, inspired by their honorable behaviour and fearlessness when it comes to death. This is actually an important step in the character development of Usopp in that while he respects Luffy and the other straw hats for their friendship and camaraderie, the giants represent what Usopp personally wants to be: a proud warrior of the sea. Not very notable at this time, but his time with the giants actually will help the crew out later.
Besides, this is a pretty good episode where the filler does not slow things down as much as in the last episode. We learn more about the giant and Elbafian culture in general (and that the two giants are on good terms despite their 100-year duel), the small fight Luffy vs. the hurt Dorry is nice and it continues setting up the main conflict in a good way.
Little Garden continues to be a good arc.
Manga Differences: -All the scenes with Zoro and Sanji are anime-only filler. -Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine's scene in the forest while the duel was taking place was also filler. -Vivi's anger at Luffy's and Dorry's care-free talk about trying to get to the next island without a Log Pose course was also only in the anime (or at least, she was not that pissed off in the manga). -The Baroque Works Agent Meeting after Dorry drank the tampered alcohol is also anime-only (though I did like the Ms. Goldenweek/Mr. 3 interaction and Mr. 3 getting angry when the others asked him for tea refills).
Episode 73: "Broggy's Bitter Tears Of Victory! The Conclusion Of Elbaf!"
I salute you, Dorry. You died a true warrior's death...although it came from outside interference.
Another decent episode almost free of filler material sees the conclusion of the Giants' fight (with a really effective composition of sound, video etc. for Dorry's death) and Broggy's tears really hammer it in that Dorry was not just an opponent for him which is really sweet.
Baroque Works finally appear to engage the Straw Hats where we also learn that Mr. 3 has the power of the Wax-Wax Fruit (guess he can do "Wax On, Wax Off" in a different way?) which he uses to capture Zoro, Nami and Broggy. Nice detail as the agents are only focused on the targets they actually have pictures of (which are Vivi, Luffy, Zoro and Nami since they know the boss's identity) which is why they do not have any information on Usopp when they engage him and they leave Sanji pretty much alone for this arc (hmm, I do wonder why Ms. All Sunday did not relay that information since she actually saw how many people there were on the ship. Perhaps she has a different agenda).
Kudos also to Karoo for being a loyal friend and not allowing himself to be used to trap Vivi (although it was ultimately futile in the end).
Usopp's fanboyism for the giants is the fun part of this episode and is actually kinda sweet how giddy he is about them. And Luffy? How slow can you be to get trapped like that when you had all the time to evade such a large rock?!
All in all though, a decent ep for sure.
Manga differences: -Dorry trapping Luffy under the giant rock was only done off-panel in the manga, while we see it here in more detail. -Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine first meeting Karoo in the woods is anime-only. The flashback to when Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine try to force Karoo to squawk like a duck was the only part we saw in the manga.
Another break tomorrow for Manga Volume 19, so see you all on Monday!
Episode 74: "The Devilish Candle! Tears Of Regret And Tears Of Anger!"
That Candle Chandelier might as well have been a death trap from the 1960s Batman TV series...although I think Adam West's Batman would have come up with a less bloody solution than chopping his own legs off.
Have to say, that moment when beaten Luffy and Usopp just talk about kicking the Baroque Works' Agents butt, is somehow exciting like you get the feeling "They might have been just gotten brutally beaten, but darnit, if they are not gonna stand up again and bring down righteous indignation upon them!".
Most of the episode however is not that exciting since it is mostly about Mr. 3 gloating and explaining about his view of art and how he is so much smarter than everyone else blablabla. While I do like his voice when he is in his sophisticated mode, his excited voice grates a bit since he sounds like a screeching schoolgirl when he does it.
Still, Luffy mouthing off to Mr. 5 before getting a footful of exploding kicks as well as Zoro's plan to free himself are scenes that draw some interest (with the latter made comically through Nami and Vivi's reaction to his crazy plan). Broggy's speeches are also really nice.
All in all, while not on the same level as last time, it is still an episode one can watch and I look forward on how it proceeds.
Thought about Nami's substitute VA sounding familiar and now I know why: It is the VA who also voices Ran Mori/Rachel Moore in Detective Conan/Case Closed. Still do not find her fitting for Nami.
Manga Differences: -One big difference compared to the manga is how Mr. 3 secures Broggy the second time. Anime: Handcuffs, coating of wax over his hands and feet and, finally, wax nails through his hands and feet. Manga: Wax swords going directly through the palms of his hands and feet with the resulting bloody effects.
While the idea is essentially the same in both versions, the anime version feels comparably "clean" (since we also do not get any blood from it).
-Detailed and extended look at how Mr. 3 creates the Candle Chandelier. -Vivi's flashback to what Igaram once said to her.
OK, now Ms. Golden Week displays something that might have been used on the old Batman show. Can definitely somebody painting something on Adam West's and Burt Ward's clothes and them giving it their silly all.
Really loved this episode because this is what I like best about One Piece: Despite a serious situation the show still finds its time to let silliness and fun shine through. Emphasized here mostly through the "Greek Choir" of Nami, Vivi and Zoro commenting about the actions of Luffy and Usopp trying to rescue them. Especially loved Nami and Vivi commenting on Zoro striking a heroic pose before becoming a wax figure or all of them reacting to Luffy getting completely entangled by Ms. Golden Week's Colors Traps. Though Ms. Golden Week's care-free attitude about everything also is a hoot.
The episode also still finds time to have some good action like Luffy taking care of Mr. 3 for now or Usopp/Karoo fending off Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine (though I hope Mr. 5 does not get tummy aches from having too much Gunpowder).
Yet the strangest thing here is mostly Vivi referring to Zoro as "Mr. Bushido". What a strange nickname...
All in all, a very good episode.
Manga Differences: -As far as I can tell only a long scene with Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine chasing Usoroo through the forest until they get away so that Mr. 5 can introduce his gun which is where the manga material picks up again.
Episode 76: "Time To Fight Back! Usopp's Quick Thinking And Fire Star!"
And so the fight against the Baroque Works Agents on Little Garden comes to a close.
Have to say, they are certainly going out with some impressive powers (talking about Mr. 5's Breath Breeze Bombs and Mr. 3's Candle Champion) although too late to save them from the power of the Straw Hat Crew. As the title suggests, Usopp plays a vital role in freeing the others from their wax prison although he does not get to give them the finishing blow (though it is nice that Nami and Vivi get to take out Ms. Valentine at least).
In general, it is another action-packed episode with less focus on humor this time (mostly because it misses the captured Straw Hats as Greek Choir), but it does not hurt because the fight is still entertaining. Big laugh-out loud moment was for me Mr. 3's final trick: his elaborate Doru Doru Mansion with lots of dopplegangers which is built up to be this dangerous spot (kinda like Kagebunshin in Naruto), but Luffy immediately finds him and puts him down for the count in one hit. And we never did find out what Karoo did to Ms. Golden Week...
Finally, we end on a cliffhanger with Sanji accidentally intercepting a phone call by the boss of Baroque Works, Mr. Zero aka Crocodile (and kudos to the planning guys at Toei. Leaving his face in the shadows like in the manga, but making it pointless by showing his face in the current ending anyway )
Manga Differences: -The very short build-up to how Sanji acquires the saber-tooth tiger as a transport vehicle through the jungle is not shown in the anime. He just immediately rides a beaten-up tiger through the jungle. -Zoro's final attack on Mr. 5 in the manga was just his normal Onigiri. In the anime, it is a fire-enhanced Yakionigiri that engulfs Mr. 5 in flames (and kinda censoring the blood splash emanating from his body which is strange since the anime previously had no problem with that). -Sanji's comments on the tea before snapping out of his reverie are anime-only. -In general, the episode used very little filler...but that was mostly because the first few minutes were basically a recap of the Little Garden Arc until that point for some reason. But I guess its better than badly written filler at least.
Episode 77: "Farewell, Giant Island! Head For Alabasta!"
Mr. 0: "By the way, Mr. 3. Since when did your voice and manner of speaking change?"
That was the only weak spot I could think of with this episode: either those Den Den Mushi distort the voices more clearly than what is shown here or Mr. 0 is not as intelligent as previously thought. Then again, one could take what was mentioned here that reports were only done by letter and Den Den Mushi were only a vast exception for emergencies. In that case, it makes sense that Mr. 0 would have no idea what Mr. 3 actually sounds like.
Anywho, this is our first glance at Crocodile or Mr. 0 and he has a pretty cool, booming, ominous voice already. Looking forward to what he will be like in person.
As the title suggests, this is the final part of the Little Garden arc, wrapping up everything (well, almost anything) in here. Dorry is not dead (oh well, I can live with a death fake-out as long as it does not happen too often), Sanji manages to defeat the Unluckies for good and earning an Eternal Pose to Alabasta in the process and the crew has to find its way through the stomach of a large island-eating goldfish to get to the next island.
As usual for a wrap-up it is pretty calm although still having some fun moments (Zoro and Sanji arguing about whose is bigger...Zoro's triceratops or Sanji's T-Rex among others). I especially love the callback to Usopp's grandiose stories he used to tell Kaya about island-size goldfish whose dung could be mistaken for islands. Now he realizes that those stories were actually true.
The sight of Dorry and Broggy on the edge of the island assembling their strength and killing the Island-Eater was also a truly epic sight fitting of ending an episode.
A nice cap-off of this mini-arc and we'll see what comes next.
Manga Differences: -Nami getting bitten by a bug which is noticed by Zoro is anime-only. But this won't probably lead to anything big. -The scene where Dorry and Broggy power up is longer than it appears in the manga, almost DBZ-esque. So were the energy waves that destroyed the gold fish (nothing like that seen in the manga).
Episode 78: "Nami's Sick? Beyond The Snow Falling On The Sea!"
Nami's pretty hot this episode! A 40° fever tends to do that.
Another quiet episode dealing mostly with the big conflict of the next arc, Nami's sickness. Some fun stuff with the guys freaking out over Nami's illness (as well as the admission by at least Luffy, Usopp and Sanji that they've never been sick, ergo they admit that they are dumb ) and a display that Nami is quite an exceptional navigator.
Also found it nice that the newspaper bit here (which was in the manga) was set up by a scene in the filler scenes during the Cobymeppo two-parter. That's a nice use of how to use filler.
We also get a first look at another member of Baroque Works: Mr. 2, Bon Clay. More about him later on.
Finally, we also learn the reason for Dorry and Broggy's duel from all these years ago (although they still cannot remember why they fight) and why there are giant skeletons on the island. Sweet how a little girl set all this into motion.
So yeah, a quiet but decent episode.
Manga differences: -In the flashback, the focus on the crewmates of Dorry and Broggy talking about their bosses was not there. The most we see of them are in the background behind the two on the respective panels.
Until later today (missed an episode yesterday, so today's a 2-for-1 special!).
Episode 79: "A Raid! The Tin Tyrant And Tin Plate Wapol!"
Although we only hear from her during the preview for the next episode, this marks the return of Akemi Okamura as Nami's VA. A good thing too, because I kept getting the feeling that Nami was gonna ask anyday about a Shinichi for some reason...
This episode marks the appearance of the villain for the next mini-arc, the Drum Island Arc. Wapol is pretty much run-of-the-middle as far as villains go. Character-wise, he is just a basic "I'm better because I am royalty!" villain and while his Munch-Munch Power is fun to look at, it is not that helpful as a battle power. His (as of this episode) nameless field commanders are also not much to write home about either.
Still, this episode has some good action with the Straw Hat Crew taking on the members of Wapol's pirate crew, some fun scenes with Luffy trying to cheer up the sick Nami and also the crew's reaction to one of Wapol's field commanders seemingly standing on the water. A sweet little scene was also Nami waking up and seeing all of her crew members sleeping in her room at night causing her to smile (well, except Sanji who got the look-out job for the night).
One rather pointless bit of information gets introduced here regarding the seasons of the islands: If the season stays the same during the whole year, then it would make sense to categorizing them into Winter Islands, Summer Islands etc.. But if they have four seasons anyway, what exactly makes them special? If its just that islands do not have synchronized seasons but stay independent, then just say that instead. Or did I misunderstand the explanation?
Finally, we see that Smoker and Tashigi live and will probably play a part in Alabasta. And we land at a winter island where some hostile inhabitants apparently kill Vivi (or not as the preview shows).
All in all, a better than average ep.
Manga differences: -Luffy trying to cheer up Nami by drawing markings on his face to make silly grimaces (and frightening Zoro instead) was anime-only material. -In general, some of Luffy's tries to cheer up Nami were extended compared to the manga version. -Tashigi tripping and almost killing herself with her newly acquired sword is also anime-only material.
Tomorrow will be another break (planned this time) for Manga Volume 20, so see you on Monday!
Episode 80: "An Island Without Doctors? Adventure In A Nameless Land!"
Why didn't you offer them some pickled plums, Dalton?! I am sure that would help in pursuading the doctor to help them!
With this episode, the Drum Island Arc begins in earnest where we get a closer look at this island: a winter wonderland with hiking bears and grizzly rabbits called Lapins. It is kinda nice seeing a different climate instead of the spring/summer time locations we have seen until now.
Most of the episode is rather quiet as it is an exposition-type episode for a large part, introducing us to the island, a main character (Dalton) and its history. Dalton is a decent character: modest with his heart in the right place and also introducing us to a new type of devil-fruit power very soon. Not the top tier of characters but still an enjoyable one.
Again, we ride a gamut of dramatic scenes (Vivi calming Luffy down after her getting shot by the islanders) and funny ones (seriously, the casual discussion between Luffy and Sanji about sleeping and women with smooth skin in snowy countries while evading attacks from a Lapin cub is one of the most enjoyable scenes during this first part of their journey ; or the Hiking Bear scene for its absurdity).
Hmm, the country was attacked by five pirates and one of them is named Blackbeard? I wonder if we will hear anything about them again. We also learn that the name of one of Wapol's field commanders is Chess if anybody's curious.
As mentioned, pretty good for an exposition episode.
Manga Differences: -Extended scene of the villagers commenting on the pirates and Dalton after the latter assures them that the pirates will be no threat to the island.
Episode 81: "Are You Happy? A Doctor Called Witch!"
Strange, why do I get sudden flashbacks to that 1970s Jack And The Beanstalks anime now?
Anywho, we do get introduced to another major character in this arc, Doctor Kureha (and not Witch as the misleading title would make you believe). She is one tough old turkey and, like Dalton, is a decent character. I like her attitude most of all, though her pricing seems a bit over-the top. All in all though, she is another good character.
Oh and she has an animal companion named Chopper, but I doubt this animal will become important in any way.
This is kinda a run-of-the-middle episode because this is another one plagued by too much filler. They probably wanted to have Dr. Kureha's introduction and what happens next episode to be the main foci of these episodes, so they had to do filler to buy some time in order to get there. Since the filler stuff here is not that much of interest, it leaves you with a pretty middling episode.
The fight with Luffy/Sanji against the Lapins is also only thumbs-in-the-middle territory (mostly because Luffy cannot fight and Sanji has trouble kicking at his full strength in the snowy conditions). While it is good that it gives the Lapins a sense of danger that they would otherwise lack, it makes it a not very satisfying episode.
The humor was also weak here, so as mentioned before only 5/10 for this one.
Manga differences: -All the scenes with Zoro here (him swimming in the ice water, getting lost in the woods, meeting Doctor Kureha etc.) are anime-only filler. -All the flashback scenes in Dalton's tale about how the country has only one doctor is anime-only. -The scene with Doctor Kureha right before she enters the tavern in Cocoaweed is also filler (manga introduces her when she punches the door) -Doctor Kureha passing the sleigh with Dalton, Usopp and Vivi overhead was also anime-only filler.
Episode 82: "Dalton's Resolve! Wapol's Corps Lands On The Island!"
Will Zoro ever find a place in the snow to do his training in piece and quiet?
Anyway, this episode is a bit better in the actual content-to-filler front. I am not sure what I prefer as filler: dialogue scenes or a quiet, musically accompanied scene having a look around the landscape. I guess it just matters on the actual content what would be the better choice.
For the first time in the series, we get a devil-fruit categorization by having Wapol's soldiers referring to Dalton's devil fruit, the Ox-Ox Fruit, as a Zoan-type fruit. For the moment, we do not learn anything further about it but the categorization of devil fruits will get more important as time goes on. This is also the first time we have seen this type of fruit power in the show, only having seen the other, as-of-yet nameless categories as of now.
Good that Chess knows that Dalton always catches danger towards fellow citizens with his body, it seems. Given the reaction time, Dalton could have probably caught them with his shovel sword but who am I to argue with somebody who knew Dalton longer than me?
On the other side, Luffy and Sanji have to contend in an exciting sequence with both the avalanche and the surfing Lapins where Sanji makes the ultimate sacrifice to ensure Luffy and Nami are safe. A powerful scene in the aftermath is the one where Luffy decides to help a Lapin caught in the avalanche snow without any words (Luffy seems to have a bigger heart than most would have in that situation. Or maybe he has a soft spot for anything not losing its parents.) Definitely a highlight of this one.
Otherwise, this episode is more dramatic than funny mostly because of the Dalton-Wapol confrontation and Luffy/Sanji in the avalanche with some of the humor provided by the Vivi/Usopp pair.
While not a very good episode, it was at least a bit better than last one and that's good enough for me.
Manga differences: -Again, the scene with Zoro is anime-filler only. -The villagers from all the towns rallying up to support Dalton is also anime-filler (we do not see those villagers until they actually arrive in time to Dalton sacrificing himself for them). -Some scenes with Vivi and Usopp are extended compared to the manga version. -The scene with Luffy saving the Lapin was extended compared to the manga version incl. showing the Lapin cub's reaction to Luffy which was not there in the manga (first anger at him approaching, fright when Luffy puts his hand out and then happiness when he pulls the big Lapin out).
Episode 83: "The Island Where Snow Lives! Climb The Drum Rockies!"
Forget about Goku climbing Karin Tower! Luffy climbing a mountain while carrying two hurt people and also suffering from frost bites, hand and feet cuts is the true master climber of Shonen Jump characters!
So yeah, this is the main focus of this episode. Luffy being the man and climbing a mountain to bring his friends to the doctor which is shown in really intense and dramatic scenes. You definitely want to cheer on Luffy to make it to the top by the end!
Nice scene also with the Lapins distracting Wapol and his field commanders as thanks for Luffy saving the head Lapin (?) from the snow (although was it really necessary to show the whole scene from last episode in a flashback? There would have been a pretty good cut-off point for this episode as well if we went just a bit longer.).
This episode featured again a good balance of action (Luffy fending off Wapol and his field commanders without attacking them as well as Zoro defeating Wapol's soldiers in Big Horn) and humor (Vivi waking up the avalanche-hurt Usopp and his reaction as well as Zoro during the whole episode in general). Vivi during that whole Usopp scene has to also be the most adorable Vivi's been so far in the series.<3
For reference, Vivi and Usopp finding Zoro in the snow was the first appearance of Zoro in the manga post-getting ready on the ship to begin his training. You can guess from that how much Zoro filler they added here.
Finally, this episode introduces perhaps the most important character of this arc at the end, but we'll talk about him in the next episode.
All in all, a very good episode.
Manga differences: -Actually, nothing much to report in that regard here. Only thing was Luffy sliding down the mountain for a bit (pretty cringey scene since it also focuses on his hands and feet getting cut further by the sliding) which was not in the manga.
Huh, guess that reindeer was not as unimportant as I thought.
Jokes aside, this episode introduces the next Straw Hat Crew Member, Chopper (or Tony Tony Chopper in full). While not hearing about it from Oda in interviews, I could see that the popularity of Chopper was not something he expected. In his first manga appearances, Chopper's design was also not in the kawaii state Oda would later draw him in...
The anime on the other hand did have his look down from the start (I can imagine Toei already gauging some popularity of Chopper from fanart etc. and deciding to alter his appearance for the anime a bit)...
Given the amount of Chopper plushies in existence, him getting two movies that make him a focus (though one is just a retelling of the Drum Island Arc) and also getting a manga spin-off based upon the Chopperman short story, I can definitely tell that...yep, he's pretty popular.
As far as my own opinion goes, I have no qualms with him. He is a decent character with him being the most naive straw hat member and also having some funny quirks (his terrible attempts at hiding, denying any praise heaped upon him while blushing and being as happy as can be) while also being a competent fighter and having an important role on the ship as the doctor. As far as his backstory goes, we will go more into that during the next episodes.
This episode is a good first look at Chopper introducing us to his quirks, his capabilities as a doctor and already gives us the start of his sad story (kinda borrowing a bit from Rudolph here). For the most part this ep is more on the fun spectrum due to Chopper's quirks, the interactions between Dr. Kureha and the Straw Hats and Luffy/Sanji chasing Chopper around. A strong scene is also where Luffy, while suffering from severe frost bites, begs Dr. Kureha to save the other two because they are his friends. Only nitpick about this episode is the cliché of seemingly talking bad about a character while actually meaning it in a positive manner as happens at the very end of the episode.
All in all, it is a good introduction episode and we see how we go from there with Chopper.
Manga differences: -Chopper taking care of Luffy and Sanji before they wake up and start chasing Chopper is anime-only (in the manga, we first see Luffy and Sanji when they are already chasing Chopper). -The short scene with Wapol and his field commanders. -The scene at Big Horn and the Dalton rescue was extended a bit (including another appearance by the Hiking Bear. Would have liked for him to give Zoro some grief for now bowing to him )
Episode 85: "An Outcast's Dream! Hiriluk The Quack!"
I wonder how Chopper first got his pants. He already had them when he roamed around the island after getting kicked out by his reindeer tribe and apparently the Human-Human Fruit embeds you with a certain act of decency otherwise why would he feel the need to wear pants at all? So strange.
So yeah, its time to delve into Chopper's past that is intertwined with the episode title's Hiriluk. The latter is also a decent character though with some scrupulous methods that make him a bit of a shady character (more in the manga though to which I come later). Nevertheless, it is a good story in this first part where we learn how him and Chopper meet, how he gave Chopper his name and how he was the first human that Chopper trusted. The episode also ends on a good cliffhanger where we learn that Hiriluk only has 10 days left to live (which is the reason why he drove out Chopper in the end, not wanting him to witness his only friend die).
All in all, it is a good episode that is a bit hampered by the below changes from the manga.
Manga differences: -All the scenes in the present at Wapol's castle are anime-filler only. Weird thing is Chopper mentioning Day 3 at the beginning, implying that it has been several days since Nami's treatment started. In the manga, the whole Drum Island Arc took place over the course of a day, while it lasting several days here does not make much sense (since it means that Dalton spent several days without heartbeat or that it took Wapol several days to climb the mountain). On the other hand, it could be that he was checking something unrelated to Nami in which case ignore my above complaint. -The scene where we see Hiriluk for the first time "treating" a patient got changed drastically from the manga:
Manga Version -When the patient's wife runs to get the guards, Hiriluk shoots her with his tranquilizer gun. -After giving the patient his cure, the former starts foaming at the mouth and gets unconscious and it is implied that Hiriluk killed him. -The child of the family starts crying (obviously because its mother had been shot and its father apparently getting killed) with Hiriluk trying desperatey to placate the child before Wapol's guards enter the house.
Anime Version -The wife successfully gets away to fetch the guards. -Hiriluk's cure causes the patient to turn green, croaking like a frog and jumping away frog-like. -The child disappears and never makes a noise throughout the whole scene.
All in all, just a strange change that was made perhaps to make Hiriluk into a more sympathetic character than the more shady characterization in the manga.
-In the anime, Chopper (after seeing Hiriluk's tranquilizer gun) hits Hiriluk one time knocking him out, while in the manga he hits him repeatedly when he is already on the floor. -In the manga, a strategically placed snowflake covers up Hiriluk's private parts while his clothes cover them up in the anime. -Originally, the montage of all the events Chopper and Hiriluk did in the one year they were together (still cannot get over how Chopper's injuries were so serious that he needed one year to recover from them, but at the same time not so serious that he has no problems walking and moving around normally) came before the scene where Hiriluk releases Chopper while in the anime, those scenes are interspliced between Chopper crying out for the doctor to let him back in. Personally, I feel the way the manga does it is more effective than the anime version because the sudden shock of seeing Hiriluk throwing Chopper out has more oomph! to it when it comes off a montage of them having happy times together. -Originally, Hiriluk only has 3 days to live and after some back-and-forth, Dr. Kureha agrees to treat him so that his life is extended to another 3 weeks. In the anime, he has 10 days to live and no treatment by Dr. Kureha is administered before he leaves her office. Also, their first discussion about Chopper is omitted.
Episode 86: "Hiriluk's Cherry Blossoms And The Will That Gets Carried On!"
"Ave Maria"? Certainly an inspired and beautiful choice for music.
And so Chopper's past comes to its sad ending with Hiriluk honoring Chopper's will by eating the soup made from the poisonous mushroom and Dr. Kureha taking Chopper under her wing to honor Hiriluk's request to make Chopper a splendid doctor.
This is a wonderfully sad episode that hits all the notes in the right spot, enhanced by the wonderful music choices seen here. While Chopper's past does not reach the level of Nami's and Robin's in my book, it is still a tragic and sad story that, however, also has an uplifting element to it due to Hiriluk's spirit and vervor. The scene between Chopper and Dr. Kureha in Hiriluk's house is also pretty intense and paints Dr. Kureha in the favorable light that she is in the present. We also learn a bit why Dalton came to resist Wapol's government (though the true reason becomes clearer later on).
Only thing I never understood in either the manga or the anime: Chopper sees the mushroom on the other side of a gorge, wondering how he is to reach it, when his reindeer tribe that he fought just before comes up to him. The meaning of this I never got: Did they help him somehow get the mushroom as a sign of respect for his fighting the main reindeer (does not make sense because him turning up pretty beaten up in Hiriluk's house indicates that they just fought him some more)? Did they come to fight him some more (but then what is the point of letting them turn up again just as Chopper wonders how he can reach the mushroom)? Strange scene all in all.
All in all, a pretty great episode marking Chopper's past as No. 3 in my list of favorite One Piece pasts.
Manga Differences: -Chopper trying to imprison Luffy is anime-only filler. -The scenes with Dr. Kureha telling Chopper's past to Nami and Sanji are also anime-filler (in the manga, none of Chopper's past is explained to the Straw Hat Crew. How does it appear? That is for tomorrow's episode). -Chopper did not lose Hiriluk's book while searching for the mushroom in the manga and actually shows Dr. Kureha the picture of the mushroom with the skull written next to it. No idea why they changed it to him losing the book. -Wapol coming to the idea of how to capture Hiriluk was also only shown in the anime. -Originally, Hiriluk did not throw any bombs at the ropeway valley station before holding a guard hostage to take him to the top. Instead, he had a suicide bomber-belt attached to him that he used to force himself to the guards among the crowd. -The anime omits the guards at the valley station (after Hiriluk went up there) disclosing the truth to the crowd that this was all a set-up to capture Hiriluk to which the crowd decries this shady trick. -The reaction of the Twenty MDs (Wapol's personal doctors) to Hiriluk's happy declaration of gladness that they are not sick got also omitted in the anime.