One peaceful day, Luffy and his crew happen upon an old treasure chest which holds a skull with a message: ‘Plunge into the Ocean’s navel; therein lies the secret to making your dreams come true…’ Intrigued by the note, Nami, Sanji and Usopp are lowered into the abyss to explore – and hopefully snag some treasure - but they get more than they bargained for when they are attacked by a giant octopus! Meanwhile, Luffy and Zoro are swept away to a derelict town that is plagued by giant sea creatures. They soon learn of the notorious Captain Joke, a man who broke the seal on a nearby mountain and brought forth the wrath of God. Intent on repaying the villagers in exchange for a free meal, Luffy and Zoro head to the mountain hoping to defeat the monsters and free the village of its curse. However, as each beast’s defeat aids Captain Joke’s resurrection, Luffy and the gang may have bitten off more than they can chew!
This again follows the old One Piece formula; the child needs help from some baddie, SHP comes to the rescue. Cue the applause. This time though it's a bat, that revives as a skeleton who turns out to be the main antagonist, wtf. Also, why is there a city/town down here? Pros: Early Brook deployment, maybe? Cool monsters. Cons: Another Santa Luffy specialty. The story was a bit boring, fights were too quick. Base-line characters, a new type of boss bad guy, a nice ah-ha moment at the very end. A one-time watch only.
I wasn't expecting too much from this special. But, I actually enjoyed it. This special takes you back to the old days of One Piece. Back when there were only five Strawhats. Back when the Going Merry was their ship. Back when they had weird little adventures. I thought the story had a nice One Piece feel to it. The Strawhats discover a new place and go to save the village and its people from an evil pirate. The old One Piece comedy was perfect. I enjoyed seeing the different groups have their own but similar adventures on the island. The special nailed the original strawhat's personality! Luffy being classic Luffy. Zoro sleeping at the beginning and staying behind to fight the sea monster while Luffy went ahead. Nami loving her treasure. Usopp trying his best to be brave. Sanji attempting to flirt with the new character. All in all, it was pretty good. I gave it 8/10 (mostly because of the nostalgia)
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