206: "Farewell, Marine Fortress! The Last Battle for Escape!"
I cannot believe it. I am genuinely sad that a filler arc has ended. One Piece: what have you done to me?? ;_;
It is official. Naruto 101 (Gotta See, Gotta Know! Kakashi-sensei’s true face) has been supplanted as my favourite ever filler. The Navarone arc has finally knocked it off the top spot. Everything about this arc was spot on. The original characters were well-developed (especially Commander Jonathan), there was a ton of humour crammed into every episode, the twists came thick and fast (you can’t tell me you saw the takoballoon thing coming, come on!), and the anime team did each and every one of the Strawhats justice (Sanji might have been a little too obsessed with Nami and Robin but perfection is impossible).
Dammit, why does it have to end?
I guess I’ll crack on with my favourite parts. There were a lot in 206, which makes sense, given it was the spectacular grand finale to a fun filler arc. ^_^
I had a feeling Jonathan had a secret agenda and my suspicions were confirmed, though not exactly as I’d imagined. At the beginning of the episode, the action opened on Jonathan’s balcony. While Shepherd was throwing a hissy fit over the defeat of his “elite” task force, Jonathan pretty much admitted he was using the Strawhats to justify the importance of Navarone continuing to function as a base. The Strawhat pirates had broken into an impregnable stronghold, avoided all the traps and engineered their escape. The area surrounding Navarone clearly needs to be defended.
That’s really what I liked about Commander Jonathan as a character. He’s a chess master type. Always planning moves ahead. If something doesn’t work out, he has loads of other back-up plans waiting to fall into place. The nine o’clock trap was his trump card, though.
Turns out Navarone is able to regulate the ‘tide’ within the bounds of the base. At nine o’clock, the ‘tide’ is low. So low that any ship entering or leaving will run aground on the jagged rocks.
Look at that toothy grin. He fucking loves it.
As the Strawhats were sailing away, thinking they were on their way out of Navarone, the tidal bomb hit. The Merry ran aground and smashed a hole in the hull.
The next thing they knew, all the guns of Navarone were pointed directly at the stricken Merry. Searchlights illuminated Luffy, standing tall and proud, resplendent in his raggedy cut-offs, flip-flops and straw hat.
Jonathan made his terms. As Luffy and Zoro were wanted criminals, there would have been no hope for them. Navarone would have handed them over. If they came quietly, however, Jonathan was prepared to release the rest of the crew (I wonder whether he would have retracted that if he discovered Nico Robin was on board?)
Shepherd was not happy with the arrangement (is he ever happy?) He thought Jonathan was indulging the Strawhats. There followed a swift verbal smackdown that made me cheer like a loon. “I’m in command here,” Jonathan reminded Shepherd. “You are just an inspector. I will thank you to observe quietly.” Shepherd, of course, stormed off in a huge huff, which probably suited Jonathan just fine. (Shepherd will definitely need some cream for that fierce burn, though, haha).
Then the action switched to the Strawhats and their revolving door conversation about how the fuck they were going to get out of Navarone. I swear, I laughed so hard at that part. “Hey, how about we use the octopus and inflate it with the flame and breath dials!” “Yeah, we could use the octopus!” “Yes, the octopus!” “We don’t have the octopus.” “No, we don’t have it.” “Shitty octopus.” “I have it here!” “He says he has it.” “He has it? Where?”
And then Luffy plunged a rubbery hand into the depths of his pants and extracted the slithery takoballoon octopus.
To be honest, I think Zoro asked a more important question here that was glossed over. “Didn’t it feel weird down there?”
Yes. The answer would have been yes.
(Is this as close as OP gets to tentacle porn?)
Apart from hiding takoballoons in his pants, Luffy also nicked the flame dial. Apparently, he took it because it was cool. He was playing with it in the kitchen.
Oh, Luffy. You crack me up. xD
The plan finalised, the Stawhats did what they do best. AMAZING PIRATE TEAMWORK, OH MY GOD. Nami, Robin and Chopper were on breath dial duty and Luffy on flame dial. Below deck, Usopp was in charge of firing the impact dial, with Zoro and Sanji there to support him (with the extra incentive of a ‘shitty tres bin tofu’ made especially by Sanji. Sounds delicious. xD)
Because Jonathan is not useless, he had a plan to capture the Strawhats even as they were flying away. Simply shoot them out of the sky. Should have been simple, right?
Shepherd, in the grand tradition of this arc, rocked up and fucked up. He fired the bazooka straight into one of the gun chambers and the Strawhats escaped. ^_^
Not that Jonathan was unduly put out. He had another goal besides proving the worth of the base to the higher-ups as HQ. He wanted to boost the morale of the team and get the civilian staff and troops working together. Again, Jonathan is a great guy, really. Even when threatened by Shepherd, who dropped the name ‘Admiral Akainu’ into the conversation like a anvil (causing Jessica to punch him, lawl), he was pretty cool about it.
Yeah, I’m gonna miss him. And Navarone. Live on, hedgehog! Stay strong. Don’t like Admiral Akainu shut you down. ^_^ (I’m guessing he is the name I’ve to look out for. No other new names cropped up).
(adm: So, there were some people reblogging some of my “old” stuff and then I just. Wow. (This is really a long post so if you don’t feel like reading all of it I just wrote all of this to say “Thank you” and “I love you”)