One Piece Diaries #35 – Enies Lobby Arc #3

by Anna Lindwasser

One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at over 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those who haven’t been watching from the start to jump on board. One Piece Diaries tracks one writer’s experience with this daunting rite of passage. With hype for the highs and critique for the lows, this column will help you decide whether to take your own One Piece journey – or let you relive the one you’re already on. It will update biweekly every other Thursday.

Episodes Watched: 279 – 283 – Enies Lobby Arc

Normally, I wouldn’t dedicate a whole article to just five episodes. But this was a miniature arc within the wider Enies Lobby arc, so I thought I should discuss it on its own.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the most interesting of arcs. Instead of covering new material, it was a recap of the Straw Hats’ backstories – including Robin’s, which we literally just learned about in the episodes before this one. We also got to see the same shot of the Straw Hats standing on the Courthouse and jumping onto the Rocketman train like five times.

The backstories are among my favorite parts of the series, and it’s been well over a year since I’d seen most of them. I had a better time with them than I would have if we’d flashed back to, say, Sanji fighting Wanze. But I still wasn’t especially engaged, since they brought nothing new to the table. The whole thing felt like a waste of time.

Besides the flashbacks, this arc also featured comedic, non-canon sketches after the end of the episode. These were just about the only thing that made the arc worthwhile – well, that and a new recording of the original theme song – We Are (Straw Hat Version). If you’re watching One Piece on Crunchyroll, you’ll be hearing this song until episode 325 anyway, so that doesn’t matter much.

As for the sketches…they’re fine? In one of them, the Straw Hats are mob bosses. In another, they’re mythical creatures. In another, they’re housewives. Out of all of them, I think I liked the housewife one the best because it’s so outside of what the Straw Hats normally do, but I can’t say the arc was worth it for that alone.

Overall, I really wouldn’t recommend these episodes. If you want to see the sketches, skip to the end, but don’t bother with the episode content. If you’re feeling nostalgic for the backstories, you’re better off rewatching the actual episodes, since they explain the backstories in a complete, coherent way. Unless you’re a stubborn completionist or you’re writing your own review column, go ahead and skip this mini-arc.

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