“If it weren’t for electricity, we’d all be watching television by candlelight.” – George Gobel.
This latest collection of episodes continues the Skypeia storyline, and mainly consists of the Straw Hat Pirates preparing to take on the so-called “God” who rules the land.
The crew have split into two groups. While Luffy, Ussop and Sanji are on dry land helping native Skypeian Conis, it is discovered that she has been pressured by the villainous electrical God Eneru to separate the crew by getting a giant lobster to take the Going Merry to the forbidden “Upper Yard”, with the rest of the crew on board. Luffy, Ussop and Sanji thus go off to find transport in order to bring back their friends. This results in them having to sail on a cloudy stream filled with booby traps and evil priests who have set up various ordeals.
Meanwhile Zoro, Nami, Chopper and Nico Robin have found that the Going Merry has been put on top of a sacrificial altar. Chopper is left in charge of the ship while the others investigate the area, during which time Chopper is attacked by one of the said priests and the others make a shocking discovery as to the origins of Skypeia.
It has to be said that this is not the greatest bunch of episodes. While you could argue that there is no filler and it is faithful to the plot in the manga, it is not as exciting as it can be. For example, for much of the time Luffy is swallowed by a giant snake and the story often cuts to his pathetic and misguided attempts to escape, which, as always, cause more chaos by annoying the snake. The plot itself moves rather slowly too, but the action does seem to quicken as Robin pieces together the true history of the land.
It should be pointed out though that if you are into the fights, all the characters get a look-in. All seven members of the crew get involved in a major fight, whether on their own or as small groups. Probably the best one is a battle between Chopper and a priest who controls a cloudy swamp.
The finale of this collection also witnesses the start of the main peak of the arc, as Eneru reveals his shocking (no pun intended) plans for Skypeia. Eneru is seemingly indestructible with his electrical powers, although, as you watch him, you get the feeling that you know where this is going. After all, if the enemy controls electricity, then all you need to do is find someone who won’t be harmed by it and you can guess who that is.
So, not the greatest batch of episodes but there is the odd decent battle, the occasional laugh, and frequent moments of tension.