Anime Reviews: One Piece Episode 523 – A Surprising Fact! The Man Who Guarded The Sunny!

Introduction
It’s one of the more satisfying One Piece episodes in a while, with some really good art. Though the animation does suffer in places. And important questions are answered.

Plot Summary
Caribou has his brother Coribou, and their underlings, dig graves for the fake strawhats. He says that he wanted to join the strawhats and kill them from the inside. He grabs fake Sanji, and reveals that he has a devil fruit power that lets him absorb a cannon ball from fake Sogeking.

Sentomaru reports back in, telling HQ that the strawhats demolished the pacifista they originally fought back when they first came to Sabaody. Clearly they have grown in power, he says.

Clearly.

Rayleigh flashes back to when he first met Roger, who looks very much like a slightly older Luffy, and that the strawhat Luffy wears is very likely Roger’s old hat. Rayleigh comments that he feels like living just a little bit longer, to see if Luffy can really make it.

The Thousand Sunny sinks deeper into the ocean, following the underwater current. All the strawhats are amazed by how beautiful it is underwater, except for Zoro, who’d already seen it. After Luffy almosts bursts the bubble surrounding their ship, Sanji asks Nami to tell them to knock it off. After seeing her new and improved cleavage, Sanji’s nosebleed rockets him out of the bubble and into the water.

After retrieving Sanji, Nami explains that the bubble won’t break if something small passes through, so they could use their cannons to defend themselves against sea monsters. But if something too big, or too many objects try to pass through, then the bubble will burst.

Franky tells them about how he found the ship unharmed. Kuma had been defending it for the past year, and according to Rayleigh Kuma had become a full cyborg, losing his humanity. But just before he got Vegapunk to program one final mission into him. To defend the Thousand Sunny until the strawhats returned.

While Sanji questions is Kuma really was their friend, after sending him to transvestite island, they are being stalked by Caribou’s crew. Caribou still wants to kill the strawhats, so he can gain notoriety. He picks up speed, his ship being pulled by something very large and very familiar, and rams the Thousand Sunny.

My Opinion
The opening was much darker than usual, with a character casually killed onscreen, something that never happened before the marineford war. Personally I like it, it takes the series someplace a little darker than it was before. While the rest of the episode proves that at its core One Piece will still be silly.

The underwater scenes were great, with some awesome lighting going in to set the mood. However, there were certain scenes that were nothing but still frames. The several seconds of them all kneeling over Sanji were atrocious. I really don’t see where Toei gets off on not putting more money into the animation budget of their bigest cash cow since Dragonball. Shame on you Toei, One Piece deserves better than that.

This could easily be an animated gif, and you wouldn’t even realize.

Still, besides a few egregious animation flops, the episode was well paced and the slow bits were used to share some new information. Still an enjoyable episode that avoided some of the major gripes I have with the anime.

And there was about as much shipper fuel as One Piece fans ever get. Enjoy.

If you liked my review, Watch the Episode Here!

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