Original Airdate: 5/18/2008
Toonami Airdate: 7/23/2016
Last time on here, we finally found the 3 Straw Hatters who got their shadows taken in a rather awkward state. They got woken up and as they process what happened, Franky told them a story about Brook. Brook is still going because of a promise he made to a friend. A friend that most know well, if you didn’t just watch the 4Shitz dub. That friend is the giant whale, Laboon. This episode is kinda like the Hunter X Hunter episode tonight, where it’s nothing but a big recap. However, unlike that which only takes place after 12 episodes, this one goes back all the way to episodes 62 and 63. So yeah, there’s a BIG difference between the two. Let’s start this recap of the mostly-recap.
The episode begins with Franky, Robin and Chopper still shocked that Luffy and co. knows about Laboon. The recap of this recap starts when they met him at the Red Line in Two Capes. There, they thought they had a giant mountain block the way, as they go downhill at a fast speed. They notice quickly that it’s a whale, as it screeches loudly. Luffy has an idea to beat the whale, as the others try their hardest to steer the Going Merry away from the behemoth before crashing, with Nami thinking it’s the end. Luffy fires a cannon (which did happen on the 4Shitz version as well) and hits Laboon, freaking the crew out. It has no effect as the Merry hits the whale, sending the Merry’s head/Luffy’s sitting spot flying off and onto the deck. The crew paddles away, as Laboon’s loud screech hurts their ears. But Luffy’s still mad about his spot being broke, so he does what he would do in this situation: Punch the whale in the eye. The others are just astonish by this stupidity, as Laboon now sees them. He starts to swallow up the ocean, sending the crew into its mouth, swallowing them whole.
They do know it’s the same Laboon as Brook’s. They also talk of the Lighthouse Keeper who was inside Laboon too, taking care of him when he got injured. Which is good, cause of this.
Back to the recap’s recap, the old man tells that because of grief of missing his friends, Laboon kept hurting himself on the Red Line mountain, for 50 years on. All his friends are dead, even though Usopp tries to keep the hope alive. The old man thinks they abandoned him and won’t come back. And even if they didn’t, the Grand Line is so treacherous with ever-changing weather and patterns, that even if by some miracle the crew were alive, making it back would seemed impossible. Plus, Laboon understands human speech, and cause of this, the old lighthouse guy told him everything (Giving us a flashback WITHIN a flashback. Isn’t this Shippuden’s stupid shtick?) And so Laboon can’t accept this terrifying truth and starts to howl at Reverse Mountain, and smash into the Red Line. He is a lost soul trying to reach his friends, with scars on his face, and more impactful scars in his heart. It’s very deep.
But what’s not very deep is Luffy, who takes the mast of the ship, and makes up a new move “Gum-Gum Flower Arangement”, to puncture Laboon’s head with it. This throws Laboon into an outrage, as the two start to fight. Luffy and Laboon going back in forth in a brawl. Of course the others have no idea what he’s doing cause Luffy. The match ends in a draw, and Luffy knows Laboon can tell how strong he is. His fight did restore Laboon confidence, and now he made a new friend. Luffy promises to go through the Grand Line and make it back for a re-match. And he also draws his Straw Hat logo on Laboon’s head so he won’t have him smash into the Red Line any more.
Sure, it’s a crappy drawing, but it’s the thought that counts. The crew say their goodbyes as they head off towards Whisky Peak from there.
Franky and the others see that not only did Luffy convince Laboon to be a friend, but that the whale is still waiting for his old friends from 50 years. The promise is still alive, and meeting one the old crew in Brook is a big coincidence. Speaking of, he is still fighting Ryuma. He got stronger in 5 years, but so did his zombie counterpart, who is still trying to get his afro. Brook is basically almost out of it, but still won’t give up. As they fight on, he wonders if Laboon still remembers him. He knows how lonely he felt without them, and it breaks Brook’s (not-there-anymore) heart. He even wonders if he returned if Laboon would even recognize him anymore since he lost everything he has, including his crew.
The afro is the one thing remaining, as the samurai tries to cut it off still, as it’s “black, round and funny like Laboon.” A flashback to Brook’s crew shows a baby Laboon enjoying himself with not-skeleton Brook playing the violin, as his crew says the two look like brothers. Brook promises that he will come back to Laboon, even as he gets stabbed in the gut by Ryuma.
Franky cries alot, saying he loves that whale and the skeleton. Luffy talks of how he loves Brook too and everything about him, and how they now have a musician to join the crew. The others give no objections to Brook joining up, even though Sanji is still focused on only Nami, and Zoro wants to get their shadows back. The counterattack is about to begin on Moria.
Again, this was mostly a recap from earlier episodes, which served the purpose of how the crew knows Laboon and what for. But still, it’s not only important to this whole story, this is also a way for some who never seen the Laboon story on One Piece before as a way to see it now. (Again, thanks 4Shitz for somehow fucking this up.) But even then, it’s fun to see how Luffy has never changed alot since, and how he can make quick friends with anybody or anyone. Even just in a fight. Also, we got to feel for Brook and knowing if his old friend would know him anymore. A great feeling of conscience and emotion from a skeleton man who just wants to keep a half-centuries old promise with his afro. By the way, it will be awhile before we see more of Brook’s past with tiny Laboon, but it will come. As for next week? The counter-strike against Moria commences. This gets 3.5 Big Whale Fights/5.
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