Hey guys. I’m back again with my recaps on here, and since I was busy all last week, I haven’t had the time to get those recaps done. So, for this one time, I’m doing a double recap for not only One Piece, but for Naruto Shippuden as well. It’s one way to get all caught up on the shows you missed. It helps that these two One Piece episodes had some important stuff happened during it as well.
Ep. 377 “The Pain of My Crewmates is My Pain. Zoro’s Desperate Fight”
Original Airdate: 11/16/2008
Toonami Airdate: 1/28/2017
As where it leaves off, the Ursa Shock hits everyone and Thriller Bark to boot. It sends everyone flying as the the shock finally fades. As rubble and debris fall from everywhere, Kuma is just standing there from his giant shockwave. He starts to walk, passing a bunch of the knocked-out Straw Hats and Rolling Pirates. He gets to Luffy, and deflects the stone on him away. As he picks him up, Zoro comes in and uses Lion’s Song on the Warlord.
He slashes his shoulder, thinking it worked. But it shows that Kuma is just like Franky, as he has a cybernetic parts in him. Well, he’s not quite like Franky. He’s tougher than him, and he shows it as he fires a laser beam at Zoro. Zoro dodges, but gets caught up in the explosion.
Zoro can barely move, but does get up to see a steel beam melted by it. (Insert your own “steel beam” jokes if you read this.) Kuma tells him what he is. He is a “Pacifista”, a project brought up by the World Government, and made by the great genius, Dr. Vegapunk. A guy who is so brilliant, it is said the technology he makes would take 500 years to catch up from anyone else. With this tech and Devil Fruit Powers, Zoro can see he is no match for Kuma, especially in his state. So, to help agree not to take Luffy’s head, Zoro offers up his own. His bounty might not be as much, but he would sacrifice his life, and his dream of being the greatest swordsman, to save his friends. Zoro also proclaims that Luffy will be the King of the Pirates.
But, as Zoro says all this, Sanji shows up himself. He doesn’t want Zoro to do this, and will sacrifice his own self instead to the government.
Sanji knows his bounty isn’t as high as the other two, and he’s just as badly out of it as Zoro is. But he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the crew too, and since he feeds people, he will “feed the worms” now. He tells Zoro to do him a favor, and tell the others he’s sorry he didn’t make it, as they got to find another cook. Except Zoro has other ideas.
As you can see, he hits him square in the stomach with his sword. Zoro is doing this himself, as Sanji collapses and passes out from this. Kuma has seen all he can, and agrees to Zoro’s word. He won’t kill Luffy. However, Zoro himself will experience his own taste of Hell. Kuma grabs Luffy, places his paw pad on his chest, and out of his back comes a giant red bubble.
Kuma repelled all the pain and anger Luffy had within him with his fight with Moria. Zoro will have to go through this pain himself, but with the condition he’s in, it would probably kill him. In fact, Kuma gives Zoro a little taste, and tosses a tiny bit of it. It goes in him, and a whole world of shock/agony goes throughout Zoro’s body that rocks him. Zoro still wants to take all this pain, but wants to do it in a secure location. They go and as Zoro stares at what awaits him, he pauses, then takes the pain bubble all in. Kuma can see the loyalty the crew all have for their captain. After all, he is Dragon’s son.
The crew wakes up later, and see Kuma is gone, thinking they somehow won. Luffy is up, and feeling very energetic, making some think he took too much damage to the brain to feel this good. Sanji wakes, and immediately looks for Zoro, as Brook looks on. He finds Zoro finally, standing up. Sanji thinks he’s okay. However, Zoro is covered head-to-toe in blood. As Sanji asks what the hell happened, Zoro only replies with “Nothing at all”.
Ep. 378 “The Promise from a Distant Day. The Pirates’ Song and a Small Whale”
Original Airdate: 11/23/2008
Toonami Airdate: 2/4/2017
The episode begins with Absalom and Hogback leaving Thriller Bark for good, as they use an invisibility cloak to run. They are leaving without Perona, who they have no idea where she went. They also have a still knocked-out Moria with them too. Hogback tells the perverted beast that Kuma was there to inform Moria of the new Warlord that was named, Marshall D. Teach. He gives him the newspaper that shows Ace being arrested by the government after the fight with Blackbeard, as it is now big news around the world. The two leave the island, as Absalom complains about wanting a wife that is not undead.
The Straw Hats are aboard the Sunny again, as Luffy is hungry, even if he is eating a bunch of cheese. The ship is stuffed with food and treasure, as one particular Straw Hat is happy with all the treasure. Nami even allows Luffy to take one piece of the treasure.
Lola is with them, and she mistakenly calls her “Namizo”. She doesn’t know why she did this, but this get Nami and Usopp to realize that this Lola was at one point Warthog Zombie Lola. Nami gives some of her treasure to Lola for this, and it freaks Luffy and Usopp out. Luffy arrives to Zoro, who is still out and having Chopper take care of him. He was on his death bed, but they don’t know why he is like this, while Luffy is so energetic. The Risky Brothers saw everything, and are about to tell them what happened. Sanji interrupts them, and takes them out to talk. Sanji wants to know what happened after he blacked out, and the Risky Brothers tell all, as it flashes back to them waking up and seeing all that happened to Zoro and Sanji with Kuma. Sanji now knows why Luffy and Zoro are the way they are now, and he tells the bros to keep it a secret. Sanji doesn’t want Luffy to know, because of how badly it would make him feel. The bros decide to keep it a secret. Even if a certain Devil Fruit, flower-power user secretly overheard it all herself. The bros come back to the building, and as Luffy ask what they wanting to say, they act cool and don’t say it. Even if they really want to.
Everyone eats at the banquet and are happy to have a real meal for the first time in ages. Brook is happy to eat too, even if he has no taste buds and can’t gain weight from eating. He’s a laugh riot to the Rolling Pirates, even if they don’t know how a skeleton can do all of this. Everyone dances, and they start to party. Zoro is still out, and Luffy stupidly tries to give him booze. He’s not thinking, cause Luffy. But hey, his concern is enough. Brook starts playing the piano, as the others start to dance to the music. He tells Sanji that, even though he is a violinist, he can play any instrument. Brook saw all that happened too, saw all the resolve Sanji had, and how much he cared for his friend. He ask if Sanji has any song requests, only to start playing a song by himself. He play’s “Bink’s Booze” (“Bink’s no Sake” in the Japanese version) and everyone really starts to party. It’s nostalgic to Robin, and Luffy knows the song since Shanks’s crew played it all the time. It’s a song that every pirate crew sung back then. Everyone is having a good time hearing it. Even Zoro has a smile on his face as he sleeps.
Since Brook has his shadow back, Luffy asks him if he wants to join the crew. He wants to, but he has to fulfill the promise he made to his friend still. Luffy knows all about the Laboon story. He also knows Laboon personally since he met/fought him. This shocks Brook, as he learns that not only is Laboon alive, but has been waiting for his friends for over 50 years. Not only that, but Luffy tells him Laboon knows the promise he kept. He knows the whale is gonna be so happy to find out Brook’s ok. The others can back-up Luffy’s claim he met him, and that he is as big as
an immovable iceberg a mountain now, and not the small whale Brook knew back then. All the memories of Brook playing Laboon his music, and saying goodbye to him, it all comes flooding out in tears of joy from the happy skeleton. Brook has never been so happy as he is now.
To end, the episode flashes all the way back to when Brook had a flesh-and-blood body. there, we see a tiny baby Laboon who got lost from its pod. Brook tells his captain of the Rumbar Pirates, Yorkie, to cheer the whale up. The group plays a lively tempo of Bink’s Booze, and as Laboon sees and hears it, it makes the whale happy.
To end it, my thoughts on both the episodes, starting with 377. That episode was one of the best episodes of One Piece that every OP fan remembers for all that happened. From Zoro’s sacrifice for the crew. To Sanji wanting to do it himself. To the loyalty that both the swordsman and cook show for their captain. To the friendship the both of them have, even if they always fight one another. To the very ending of Zoro standing there in blood, taking all the pain and suffering for the team. It showed how loyal these two are for their captain. It showed how much respect they have for Luffy, to sacrifice all their dreams and ambitions, just to make sure their captain will go on with his own dream. They would do anything for their captain, even taking in all his pain he ratcheted up, as they are near death themselves. That is one of the best themes of One Piece, as it shows the crew will do anything to make their captain’s dream of being the King of the Pirates a reality. Even if means they will have to sacrifice themselves to do it. Plus, as Sanji said in the episode after, they did this for Luffy even though they will take it to the grave for what happened. They know Luffy wouldn’t be able to handle this, as you’ll see later on this year in the next upcoming arc, and the arcs after it as well.
Now, to go on a bit of a rant, I saw some people actually disparage the fact that Zoro did all this and somehow survived it at the end. Yes, One Piece has a thing will it sucks with killing off characters that shouldn’t be able to survive the stuff that happens in the situations they’re in (Ex. Look at the bird man in the Alabasta arc who survived the nuclear-like explosion as he FREAKIN’ CARRIED THE BOMB WITH HIM!!) And while they have their rights to it, to say that another anime character like Erza would get shit from this if this happened, but not Zoro, is really fucking stupid. Those are different animes that have different things happen. Plus, in the realm of shonen anime, shit like this happens a bunch of times. One Piece may be one of the biggest offenders of it, but it isn’t the first one to do this. If you think this is new, it isn’t. And to say Erza wouldn’t survive this, you never seen Fairy Tail. Not only would she survive it like Zoro, but she would have some type of magical friendship power-up bullshit afterwards to take out Kuma himself, because that is how that show works. Besides that, if you want to know why Zoro survived, there’s always this theory.
On to the next episode, it was mostly a “Straw Hats and co. party after beating the big baddies” episode. And there is no one who throws a party as well as the Straw Hats do. As I said, we did see how Sanji handled not having Luffy finding out, and Brook getting emotional with knowing Laboon is still alive was touching. Hearing Bink’s Booze again in dub form, they did a really great job dubbing the song from its Japanese counterpart. I still will always love the Japanese version more, but they did an excellent job here of bringing the song to life here. I can’t wait to see in the episodes soon how they do the whole song. They will do this, and we will see the rest of how baby Laboon, Brook, and the Rumbar Pirates were in the past, and what separated the crew and whale apart. That is coming real soon. Overall, one excellent episode and one solid episode. They were both a joy to watch.
Episode 377’s grade: 5/5
Episode 378’s grade: 4/5