One Piece is a series that took me quite awhile to warm up to. The opening season, the First Voyage, didn't win me over for the most part but I wanted to keep plugging away at it. While I liked certain elements of it, the show felt like it dragged on a bit in the usual Shonen Jump way that I had experienced previously with other series. As I got into the Second Voyage though with the large Alabasta story arc, I slowly warmed up to it and the way the cast grew. So while I kept up with that season, I leaped ahead and started watching the simulcasts last year that took me about three hundred episodes past where this batch of episodes are at. Having enjoyed actually writing about the One Piece crew, I thought I'd give it a whirl by just looking at some of the earlier episodes in large chunk format.
After the previous twelve or so episodes which were all small standalone stories, One Piece gets back to the big story ideas here as the crew moves along in the Grand Line. Their journey takes an odd turn when the Log Pose that Nami has suddenly starts pointing upward to the sky where there's obviously no islands for it to lock into. Though they they some fanciful ideas about islands in the sky, there is a sense of reality among them that no such thing could exist. At least until ship wreckage begins to fall from the sky and Luffy ends up in possession of a map for a place called Skypiea, a land far above where islands really do exist. Over several episodes, Luffy and the Straw Hats work towards finding information about the sky islands from a nearby island placed called Mock Town. Of course, sky islands are so fanciful that nobody would take them seriously and it leads to a couple of fights with a local tough guy pirate named Bellamy.
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