Even though it was less than a full chapter it rarely felt too padded or stretched and paced fairly well. The animation was better than the last episode, though there was some questionable art, mostly involving Vanderdekken in some scenes
I agree with both parts of your post.
In that whole arc the FB is the best yet from the pacing + stuff (especially the part bout Tiger and this last episode).
Otohime's "the children r watching" really felt right and heavy, so did the kids' faces as well the ex-slave's. The chosen music also has fit well to it.
Also the pacing with the sea kings was ok.
About the size scaling of the sea kings I can just say:
Oda never has been that accurate with body-sizes and this whole scene was just about how the "creators" of the world begin to shiver+faint when the real world/sea leaders appear in front of them. It was just good.
Excited bout the next episode when Otohime gets shot and the bros begin to sing to prevent Shirahoshi from screamin.[/hide]
I didn't know that Aladdin was a slave after all. In the manga I thought Arlong just said that to insult Aladdin. In the anime its more clear that Aladdin was a slave. Yet I thought it was just a suspicion of Arlong. Now I have to say that the Sun-mark did its job very well!