One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at close to 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those who haven’t been watching from the start to jump on board. One Piece Diaries tracks one writer’s experience with this daunting rite of passage. With hype for the highs and critique for the lows, this column will help you decide whether to take your own One Piece journey – or let you relive the one you’re already on. It will update biweekly every other Thursday.
Episodes Watched: 64 – 67 – ‘Whisky Peak’
So, the ‘Whisky Peak’ arc was…fine? I’m not especially excited to talk about it. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t find it especially compelling either. It was fine! But while it interested me enough to keep watching as I attended to tasks like working out and folding laundry, there wasn’t much that really grabbed me.
Except for this duck. He’s my new best friend.
The arc involves the Straw Hat Crew being tricked by a town that claimed to love pirates but was actually just trying to lure them in so they could rob them or turn them in for bounties. Everyone is acting according to the will of the person above them in a complex hierarchy called Baroque Works. Mixed in with all of this is Vivi, a princess who is trying to stop Baroque Works from taking over her country, and who needs help getting home. Most of the arc focused on entering and leaving Whisky Peak – it looks like future arcs are going to go into more detail about the conflict.
There were a couple of things I didn’t love about this arc.
I know I’m probably supposed to get hyped about the part where Luffy and Zoro fight each other, but it didn’t work for me. The fact that Luffy immediately assumed that his friend destroyed hundreds of people for no reason and refused to listen to his explanation felt irritatingly implausible. If he trusts him so little, why are they even traveling together? And why did he instantly believe him as soon as he did hear an explanation? It felt like a flimsy excuse to shoehorn in a battle scene.
I also wasn’t exactly fond of Nami’s money-grubbing here. Prior to the ‘Arlong Park’ arc, it made sense – she wanted to buy freedom for her community, and she was willing to go to whatever lengths she needed to in order to get it. It makes sense that she doesn’t totally break the habit, but trying to extort money from an injured old man who is trying to save someone’s life feels like too much. I get wanting to be paid properly for performing a dangerous service, and I get assuming that royalty probably has the coins for it, but it still felt callous considering the gravity of the situation.
Here’s something I did like – I liked that when Igaram dressed up like Vivi in order to buy her time to escape, nobody made any weird jokes about it. They could have made a whole bunch of transphobic “man in a dress” jokes, but they didn’t. Good on you, creators!
I also liked getting to see Robin! I’m going into this process already knowing a lot about the characters and story, so I’m continuously on the lookout for hints of things to come. It was a little tricky for me to figure out who Miss All Sunday was supposed to be at first – many of Oda’s female characters look quite similar, so I wasn’t sure if she was Tashigi or a revived Kuina or a new character entirely. Knowing that she’s Robin makes me more curious about her than I might have been.
That’s all for now. Like I said, I’m not hyped about this arc. It’s fine. Next time I’ll be talking about the Koby-Meppo arc and getting overly invested in Helmeppo’s character development. Stay tuned for my nonsense, and thanks for reading.