One Piece Diaries #48: Spa Island Arc

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: 382 – 384 – Spa Island Arc

First off, I have to admit something. I was totally wrong about what this arc would contain. I was absolutely positive that given the track record of this series, an arc that had the characters in their bathing suits was going to be fan service central. It wasn’t. Like, at all.

The other thing that I was wrong about is that it wasn’t focused on Foxy and his crew. I genuinely can’t stand them, so I was relieved to see them take a backseat. I’m not really sure why they were present to begin with, since their only role was one that could have easily been filled by someone else, but I don’t care.

So, what I was worried about didn’t happen. That will teach me to make assumptions! Well, no it won’t because making predictions based on text evidence is what media consumption is all about. I just happened to be wrong this time, and very well could be again!

Now, let’s talk about what actually happened in the arc. The Straw Hats take a break at a floating resort. There, they encounter two sisters – Rina and Sayo – who have run away from home to try and figure out the secrets behind their father’s research on creating jewels. They have two problems. One: Rina doesn’t believe that her father’s research has any value because he’s been a negligent father and doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about. Two: the owner of the spa is after the notebook containing their dad’s research and is willing to hurt them to get it.

Naturally, the Straw Hats help them out – destroying the entire spa in the process. That part was pretty fun.

Ultimately the girls discover that the research was real and that their father actually does love them – he only left to keep them safe from dangerous thieves who were after it.

It was a cute story, but I feel like “let’s actually believe in a guy who seems like a quack!” has been done repeatedly in this series. It might have worked better if, say, Chopper had mentioned that he related to their situation because of his past with Dr. Hiriluk, but that didn’t happen.

The other part that was weird was the fact that lab-grown jewels are very much a thing in real life. Lab-grown diamonds have been around since the ’50s. I know that the world of One Piece has different technology than the real world does, but they do have a wide range of modern technological advancements. The fact that lab-grown jewels weren’t even remotely new technology when the episode aired makes the whole thing feel a lot less believable.

The final episode focuses on Brook feeling insecure about his place in his new crew. Because of these feelings, he offers to help the rest of the Straw Hats out with whatever they’re doing, only to screw it up and annoy the heck out of them. Ultimately, he realizes that he can relax, because he’s already been accepted.

I appreciate the deep dive into his emotional state. It makes a lot of sense that Brook would feel that way – he lost his entire crew, so of course he’d be terrified of losing what he never thought he’d have again. He doesn’t know the Straw Hats well enough to fully trust them, and he hasn’t felt valuable to anyone living in decades – except, of course, for Laboon. Robin was the right person to vent to, also, since she had similar issues integrating into the crew, albeit for different reasons.

That being said, it was pretty jarring when contrasted with his insistence on sitting around doing nothing in the previous episode. It’d be nice if the filler writers could keep their own interpretations of things consistent!

Essentially, the arc didn’t have the problems I thought it would, but it didn’t blow me out of the water either. It was totally fine!

Next up is the Sabaody Island arc. I am looking forward to learning how “Sabaody” is pronounced – and to seeing what the arc is all about.


For more of my work, check me out at Ranker, at Medium, on Twitter @annalindwasser and @sinistealatte, and on my website If you like my writing and want to help pay for my Crunchyroll subscription, you can donate to my Ko-Fi.

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