Balls, String, Iron or Swamp
That is the decision awaiting Monkey, Usopp and Sanji. The Going Merry has been kidnapped by a giant lobster along with Chopper, Robin, Nami and Zorro, and the only way to get them back is for the remaining trio to pass through one of the Ordeals guarded by one of the God Enel’s warrior Priests.
Balls, String, Iron or Swamp. Which one do you think Monkey picked? I’ll give you a hint. It was the one he thought sounded like the most fun.
The “One Piece: Season Three, Second Voyage” contains episodes 157-169 of the long-running and popular series. Anyone looking for a quick end to the Skypiea storyline is going to be disappointed, as the crew doesn’t return to Earth until episode 195 but there is still a lot of action to be had amongst the clouds.
Continuing from Season Three, First Voyage (actually Season Six by the Japanese reckoning) things heat up as the Straw Hat gang learns that there is a darker side to this supposed paradise. The Upper Yard itself is different from the rest of the cloud islands, and the secrets it holds might just be the key to the mysteries of Noland the Liar (or did he lie?) and his fabled mounds of gold. And who are the Shandians and what grudge do they hold against the inhabitants of Skypiea? Is the Sky Knight Gan-Fall really a God? The episodes ask far more questions than they answer, but bit by bit the truth is revealed setting everything for the big confrontation you know is coming.
I am always amazed at how “One Piece” never seems to lose its momentum. To many long-running anime series become redundant and uninteresting after awhile, but “One Piece” just keeps turning out gold. I am loving the adventures in Skypiea, the mysterious dials, and all the crazy action going on. The Priests of Enel turn out to be a genuine challenge for Monkey and crew, and it was a nice change to see them have to work for it. The Upper Yard setting is incredibly inventive, and the birds and beasts that inhabit it are as much fun as the story itself.
Because of the length of time the crew spends in Skypiea, this box set doesn’t really have complete story arcs and finishes on a bit of a cliffhanger, but that just leaves me drooling for the next release from Funimation.