At Roa's behest, I'm gonna discuss last night's filler ep and the new OP. Who knows, if this is popular enough I might do one for each episode.
So first things first, the new opening song and animation. The song itself is nice and all, but I think it'll take a few more weeks of hearing it for it to catch on with me like Hard Knock Days did. That aside, the opening animation was excellent. We get hype shots of Zou and the Minks, the eventual confrontation with Kaido and his forces, BEST MAMMOTH JACK-SAMA, and of course a three-pronged assault on Kaido from the Monster Trio, ending with an epic fist-clash between Kaido and G4 Luffy. This is pretty much doing right what the first OP of Dressrosa tried to do by hyping up some of the strongest enemies in the series, except without giving one of them Usopp's nose for no reason.
Onto the episode itself, which has left me intrigued. Aside from the first few minutes with the Straw Hats and the Barto Club dealing with a hailstorm, the rest is filler; Luffy and Bartolomeo are by themselves in a silver mine, one of the enemy pirates is a childhood friend of Barto and totally smokin' hot, the main bad guy has the ability to smelt things like weapons and people, Luffy's stuck in a giant silver ball, and apparently Gildo Tesoro is connected to all this by virtue of Bill (smelting guy) providing him with tons of silver every months. I presume Luffy being left starving is so he can't break out of his imprisoning ball and rek literally everyone on the island, so Barto's gonna have to keep him alive while figuring out how to free him and maybe recruiting Desire (his old friend) along the way. Moreover, I'm interested in seeing how the tall guy whose name escapes me's Devil Fruit works; apparently, he can just appear from shadows and do stuff, or something. His bits were pretty funny though. Oh, and of course Bill isn't actually the nice guy saving degenerate scum like Franky was - looks like he's just using them for hard labor and raising money via capturing pirates. Sheesh, and here I thought I might actually like him.
Overall, great opening and a pretty strong start to this filler arc, though I can't imagine it lasting more than 4 episodes.