The guards gather in to capture Raizo. Vice Warden Solitaire leads the group, leaping into the air to strike him down. Raizo goes Full Naruto uses shadow Clone Jutsu to try and fight back but it is not enough against her six swords. Or is it?! It is. He bamfs out, leaving her frustrated.
Back at the prison, Kawamatsu is surrounded by guards. They rush him, but Raizo leaps through the air to intervene and help free Kawamatsu. He takes up a sumo stance and barrels through the guards using ryou. Then he blasts out with the River of Retribution, defeating all of the nearby guards, and joins the fight for Wano. He is greeted by Kiku and Raizo and the remaining guards arrive to capture them. Kawamatsu sends them packing by threatening to throw up all the rotten fish he's eaten over the last thirteen years.
Luffy is still in the clutches of the desperate prisoners. Hyogoro introduces the gathered members of the Akazaya Nine to the prisoners, who flee when they realize who they are. The group stands back to back and Kiku puts on her fearsome mask, shocking the guards who remember her as she was twenty years ago. This confuses Chopper and Luffy for a moment but she simply explains “This one is a woman at heart,” and it's back to the action.
Elsewhere, Zoro and Hiyori are travelling and encounter someone playing a flute in the woods. As they pass the flutist turns to shoot a dart at them, but Zoro deflects it. It turns out the flutist was actually a ninja in disguise who quickly bamfs away to remain unseen. Aboard Queen's vessel, Big Mom is still asleep. She suddenly wakes up despite the sedatives and demands to be given red bean soup, but falls asleep again before she is able to break free.
At the prison, the battle kicks off with the Akazaya Nine showing the guards their power. Chopper and Luffy add their strength to the mix. Soon the guards begin firing plague rounds at the prisoners because they cannot hit Luffy, forcing the heroes into a tough situation. They leap into the fray once more, this time more to save the prisoners than themselves.
Nearby, Kid and Killer are still in chains. Raizo hands them the keys and heads back into battle, leaving Kid and Killer to sort things out on their own. It is obvious that Killer and Kid will have to work together given Killer's current state, but we cut to the To Be Continued card before we see what happens next.
Another great adaptation of the manga from Toei this week. I think Luffy standing back to back with the members of the Akazaya Nine in the prison is not only the hypest moment in this scene, but also an unmissable foreshadowing for what will be coming. Luffy is the inheritor of Gol D Roger's legacy in more ways than one, and now he is joining the inheritors of Oden's legacy to free the people of Wano from oppression. This is the good stuff I'm here for folks.
I feel Kawamatsu made a bigger splash (ha!) in the anime reveal than he did in the manga. The manga made this feel… a bit speedier, so it wasn't as impactful as it could have been. Seeing his attacks like the River of Retribution rendered in their full glory was a sight to behold, especially the spiraling bright green effect line and the way Kawamatsu stretched and sprang into action only to leave a steady rain of guards' bodies. Hard not to get hyped in the aftermath, and the film grain on the title card for his attack was another great cinematic touch.
I really enjoyed the moment with Zoro and Hiyori in the woods too. It was pure chanbara/jidaigeki goodness, with the slow, tense passage of the two only to – surprise! – become a ninja ambush out of nowhere. The use of bloom in that scene to make the light feel distorted and surreal keys viewers into why Zoro felt something was “off.” It's just all very deftly-handled and the kind of stuff I eat up.
Thematically we get a few more heavy lines sprinkled throughout. The prisoners holding Luffy – even though they don't want to – hit the hardest. “Even if we're pathetic or go hungry, we can live as long as we submit to them!”
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And lastly, it was great to once again see Luffy and Chopper so readily accept Kiku without missing a beat. They're good kids, these Straw Hats.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history