One Piece Diaries #40: Post-Enies Lobby Fillers
by Anna Lindwasser
One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at over 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: 317 – 319 – Post-Enies Lobby Arc Fillers
Here we are at the Post-Enies Lobby Arc – the very last one in the Water 7 saga. For this review, I’m going to focus on the fillers that appear toward the beginning of the arc. I’ll talk about what actually happens in canon during a future review – or two, depending on how much I have to talk about.
All three filler episodes deal with the crew’s activities while they’re hanging around Water 7 waiting for Franky to finish building their new ship. While the art and animation dropped in quality, the episodes were interesting enough. Still, I do have some criticisms, because of course I do.
317 – The Girl Searching for the Yagara! Great Investigation in the Water Metropolis!
This episode focuses on a young girl whose pet Yagara went missing during the Aqua Laguna, a dangerous storm that happens yearly in Water 7. She enlists Luffy to help her find him, but it turns out that he’s actually gone to a secret location where Yagara go to die.
Honestly, this felt like a poorly developed version of the Warship Island arc. It tried to be emotionally compelling, but to me it just felt maudlin. Sometimes One Piece nails this type of emotional content, but this time around it just didn’t work.
318 – The Mother is Strong! Zoro’s Slapstick Housework Help
While looking for a new sword, the two boys who tried to mug Zoro – Michael and Hoichael – appear and demand that he become their new older brother. Zoro is obviously opposed to this, but he ends up doing housework, taking care of their younger siblings, and even helping their adoptive mother escape from debt collectors. Despite his annoyance, he can’t just let these people get hurt. Meanwhile, the mother of this gigantic family of adoptive children seems to genuinely view Zoro in a maternal life.
This was a weird episode, and not just because one of the characters was named Hoichael. Watching Zoro be reluctantly mothered was hard to interpret since so far I don’t know if Zoro actually had a mother of his own, and if so what his relationship with her was like. The episode did cast the Straw Hats as Zoro’s family – just like this mother and her kids are family despite having no blood relation. That was sweet, but I don’t know if the Straw Hats are a replacement for an actual family or a supplement. I think this episode would have been a lot more effective if we knew was it was being compared to.
That being said, it was still pretty funny. I still can’t get over Zoro in a stretched-out ‘Mama’ t-shirt.
319 – Sanji Crashes! The Mysterious Old Man and Intense Cooking
In this episode, Sanji goes with Chimney and Gonbe to a food cart run by her grandmother’s friend. When it turns out that the old man is asleep and drunk, Sanji starts whipping up something in his kitchen without permission. This wakes up the old dude, and he ends up making fried rice for everyone. Sanji is skeptical at first, as it doesn’t appear to be anything special, but he ends up fascinated by the flavor. After ransacking every spice shop in the city to figure out the spice, he finally realizes that it’s salt – specifically, salt that forms on rooftops after Aqua Laguna. He ends up collecting a bunch of it to cook for his crew.
Overall, it was a good episode. I always enjoy deeper dives into Sanji’s passion for cooking. But there were a few things that just felt…let’s say out of character.
First of all, I can’t imagine Sanji commandeering someone else’s kitchen without permission. That’s rude as hell, and he knows better. The same holds true for bursting into someone else’s shop and sticking his hands in containers of spices for sale. If he didn’t actually have better hygiene than that, half of his crew would have died from food poisoning by now.
He also knows better than to scoff at fried rice – he knows perfectly well that it’s all about how the food is made, not what it is. If he didn’t know that, he wouldn’t have made that amazing fried rice that knocked everybody’s socks off in the Baratie arc.
I did think the whole roof salt thing was extremely cool, though. No idea if it’s safe to eat, but I love the idea of sourcing unexpected local ingredients.
Anyway, those were the fillers. If any of them sound like fun, go ahead and watch them. But it’s not really necessary to watch them all unless you want to.
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