One Piece (Netflix) – Season 1 Episode 2 “The Man In The Straw Hat” Recap & Review

The Man In The Straw Hat

Episode 2 of One Piece begins with more flashbacks, as we see Luffy practicing his powers in the bar. He’s warned to be careful with his abilities by Makino, who points out that each Devil Fruit holds a unique ability but seawater can take it away just as quickly.

Shanks shows up and Luffy once more asks to join the crew, but he refuses, pointing out that when he leaves, he’s not coming back. Luffy is crushed.

More flashbacks reveal Luffy being saved by Shanks out on the open sea, losing an arm but managing to stave off a massive sea beast in the process. After, back on land, Shanks hands over the straw pirate hat to the young boy, promising to be back for it once he becomes a great pirate. “Be good, Luffy,” He says, as the pair part ways.

Back in the present, Luffy enthusiastically points out that they have a good crew and he’s impatient to open the safe they’ve gathered. Nami starts to lose her patience but they do manage to open the safe eventually. Inside they bring out the Grand Line map. There’s no gold or treasures here, but the map itself is incredibly important.

Nami is an excellent navigator, and she explains to Luffy that the sea is divided into four different quadrants – East Blue, North Blue, West and South. The thin strip of land that circles the globe is called the Red Line. However, the band across the middle is called the Grand Line. This is a treacherous stretch of ocean with much bigger islands, cities and pirates to contend with. This is where the One Piece could be hidden but Nami is convinced that it’s a myth and it doesn’t exist.

Just then, a giant red flare smashes overhead but the smoke knocks them all out. Thankfully, Luffy manages to swallow the map before they all pass out together. When they wake up, the crew find themselves captured. They believe they’ve been taken by Marines but Luffy is convinced that it’s actually pirates. And we soon find out that it’s the latter.

When the box opens, the trio find themselves right in the heart of a circus. The lead pirate here is called Buggy, and Luffy excitedly chirps up how he’s a wanted pirate and everyone knows who he is. Buggy takes offence though, believing Luffy is making fun of his nose.

Buggy wants the map for himself and points out that he’s destined to bring in the One Piece treasure. He wants to be the Pirate King too. Zoro has heard enough and he steps forward, threatening Buggy and his crew.

Before things escalate, Nami decides to show off Luffy’s skills, throwing his hat in the air and letting Luffy reach for it, using his abilities in the process. When Nami rushes outside, she notices the entire town has been completely destroyed, and she’s captured and brought back in again while she stands in shock.

Luffy is stretched out by Buggy infront of the chained crowd in attendance (who happen to be the poor townsfolk forced to watch) and tortured over where the map is. As for Zoro and Nami, they’re both kept in the back, with Zoro tied to a pinwheel and Nami in a cage.

Buggy switches up his questions and points out that he knows who Shanks is. He was apparently betrayed by Shanks and points out he’s not a great idol. When Buggy decides to torture a kid afterwards, it’s one step too far for Luffy who busts out of his restraints and confronts Buggy, using his abilities to knock his head clean off.

However, it turns out Buggy has eaten a Devil Fruit too, the Chop Chop Fruit. This allows him to take off and replace his limbs at will, using them as dangerous weapons. He’s definitely more formidable than Captain Morgan, and he quickly knocks out Luffy. When he awakens, he finds himself in a glass tank being filled with seawater. Of course, sea water means Luffy’s powers are rendered useless so there’s no way of stretching out of there.

Meanwhile, Koby starts his marine training but notices a much more formidable man standing beside Morgan, that being the Vice-Admiral of course. He wants the pirates apprehended and is happy with Koby’s progress, deciding to take him under his wing and train him up.

Garp is not sure where Koby’s loyalties lie though, pointing out that his story doesn’t fully add up. He was seen with Luffy at the local tavern and unfortunately he’s forced to reveal all. Koby mentions Alvida and how he was saved by Luffy. He didn’t tell anyone about this because he didn’t want his dream of being a Marine to disappear and be taken away.

Garp believes his story, especially when Koby says he owes no allegiances to Luffy, and he’s allowed to hunt the pirate down, while Morgan is taken care of.

Back with Buggy and our crew, the tank continues to fill but in the process, Nami and Zoro bust out of their cages, defeating the clown goons and heading into the main circus area. Buggy shows off his powers to them after Luffy gets out his tank, moving his different limbs around to take them out. In order to stop Buggy, Luffy teams up with Nami to trap each of his limbs down into different crates. All that’s left is his head, hands and feet.

Luffy uses his Gum Gum Bazooka to take out Buggy and hands the map over, which he earlier spat out, to Nami. Luffy also frees all the townsfolk from their chains, pointing out that he’s a different kind of pirate from the ones they’re used to. After bidding the townsfolk goodbye, our crew head back on the high seas again, bound for the Grand Line.

As the episode closes, Nami heads into the back in secret and puts a strange conch in her ear. She communicates with an unknown person, revealing that she has the map.

The Episode Review

The second episode of One Piece starts to expand out the lore, revealing that there’s more than one type of Devil Fruit, while also showing off Buggy the clown and his circus. Despite being taken out at the end, it’s clear this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this pirate, especially if the manga/anime is anything to go by!

Shifting over and seeing more of Koby and his conflicting feelings toward the Marines is also a nice touch, while the show manages to actually do a pretty decent job of capturing the vibe and feel of the original.

Given the limited run-time, and how much is crammed into each episode though, the character relationships between the crew feels pretty forced and there hasn’t been enough time to actually explore the dynamic between Nami, Zoro and Luffy.

The flashbacks peppered throughout is a nice idea though and it helps to drip-feed out more of the history our characters have. There’s enough here to watch and enjoy, but long-time fans of the manga and anime are probably not going to be fully onboard with this adaptation!

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You can look forward to a full season review later this weekend!


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