Original Airdate: 10/12/2008
Toonami Airdate: 1/7/2017
The last time we saw One Piece 3 weeks ago, the Straw Hats finally put down Oars for good by working together as a team. It was a “spine-breaking” loss for Oars, to put it simply. All they needed was for Moria to give everyone their shadows back, but he wasn’t done. He decided to absorb all the shadows on the island, 1000 of them, and become a giant himself. The first One Piece of 2017 is the final showdown between Gekko Moria and the Straw Hats. Let the recap start.
As Moria laughs away again, the others look on in the horror of him having a thousands shadows in him. As put simply by one of the Risky Brothers, “We’re screwed!” The sun is rising, and Moria has 10 times as many shadows now as Luffy did. This looks impossible. But the Straw Hats won’t give up since they still don’t have their shadows back. As the Rolling Pirates run, Moria launches a punch that cause destruction around the already destroyed Thriller Bark. The bad part is the sun is showing more. It hits a window and catches one of the Rolling Pirates, causing him to catch on fire.
But as they run, they notice that not only are the Straw Hats aren’t moving, but their captain Lola isn’t moving either. She’s staying to take responsibility for this fight. Even though her crew is scared, she isn’t giving up and doesn’t regret this decision, even when she gets lit up by the sun’s rays herself. If this is her fate, she won’t leave. Plus, the Straw Hats already know they beat Moria. He only got so big because he wants to stall for time to let the sun rise and take them out.All Luffy has to do is “go wild”. Luffy goes into 2nd Gear. He gets him with one attack at first, and some of the shadows Moria absorbed leave him. Luffy unleashes multiple Jet Bazookas on Moria, and hundreds of shadows start to escape. Moria can’t control them all as he loses consciousness. Before Luffy can unleash another attack, Moria uses Brick Bat and covers Luffy in the aptly named “Black Box”. He is surrounded and Moria punches him into the building, crushing said box. Moria stomps on the box, over and over again. He calls this punishment for what Luffy and crew did to his island, and the others think it’s over too.
However, Luffy emerges from said box unscathed. He’s rubber, so he can take a stomping or two. (However, his iconic straw hat is all fine? I know he’s made of rubber, but his hat isn’t. Weird that that didn’t get crushed.) Luffy may be a nail that sticks out to Moria, but no one will hammer him down. Why? Because rubber bounces back, that’s why. The sun is still rising, and more people catch on fire. Luffy decides that even though he’s in 2nd Gear, he will go into 3rd gear with Bone Balloon to finish this off. Usopp and crew know what happened last time Luffy did this at Enies Lobby, as the show flashes back to Luffy not being able to move after using said combination. Even against their wishes, Luffy still does and uses Gum-Gum Giant Jet Shell to smash right into Moria’s stomach. He coughs up a bunch of shadows, and tries to command them to return. Lola, getting more lit up now than a barbeque pit, tries to tell her shadow to come back to her after it’s been gone from her for 3 years as her crew tries to protect her from the sun. They see this, and the others call out for their shadows to return too. Luffy also has some words for his own shadow: “If you’re gonna be the shadow of the King of the Pirates. shape up and come back!” He smashes Moria with all his might right into the mansion/mast, and as comes falling down right on top of Moria, crushing him. Moria knows he lost, and with a final warning, he says the real nightmares for Luffy and crew are just beginning out in the New World.
The shadows escapes, and all return to everyone. The others can’t believe they won. However, the building splits apart, revealing more of the sun. Zoro, Robin and Sanji all catch on fire. And so does Luffy and others. They thought that they made it in time, but it looks like the sun won.
The overall feel of this fight felt very anticlimactic. Even though Moria was the enemy at the end, he still wasn’t the biggest foe as the sun killing all who didn’t have their shadows were. They did say Moria lost already, so some points get a bit deducted off of this. It still was an enjoyable episode as we saw Luffy do whatever it takes to help his friends and others for their shadows. Plus seeing Captain Lola stand up for and not coward showed some real courage in the face of becoming nothing but a pile of ash. I liked that from her. And seeing Moria get smushed like a bug was also fun to watch. This was a good welcome back for One Piece. But, this arc isn’t done yet. We don’t know if the crew without their shadows are done for good. Plus there be more danger looming other than the sun. What is it? Well, you have to find out in the next episode, as long as you don’t read the damn Toei episode titles. Because fuck you, we’re Toei! 3.5 Crushed Morias/5.