There’s a lot going on in this week’s episode, and this time I mean it in the best possible way. Wano is consistently strong in presentation, but it’s in episodes like this where it really shines. Of the dozens of character threads happening at once, the adaptation team wisely focuses on the most engaging ones, but even the less engaging threads have such terrific animation you can’t help but watch anyway.
The drama surrounding Oden’s retainers hits a fever pitch this week. Even though they feel somewhat sidelined now that the Worst Generation has taken over Kaido and Big Mom stomping duties, this battle with Kanjuro almost feels more important for them. It has become a literal battle with Oden’s image and those who have been left behind or let down in the years since tragedy struck Wano. Ashura paying the ultimate price seems almost strange given his background, but it makes perfect sense – Oden uplifted him in a way he never could have imagined, and he’s willing to protect Oden’s legacy to the end.
At the same time, Orochi reemerges to cause havoc. Another ghost of the past plaguing the present, he’s a menace and takes abject glee in ruining any hope left in Wano.
The battle with Queen and Chopper is one of the real visual highpoints of the episode. It’s particularly engaging if you’re a Marco-lover (as many folks in my social bubble tend to be). The pineapple firebird gets a lot of visual shine thrown his way, and it’s yet another moment to add to the growing pile of “Reasons why the Toei team deserves an award for their weekly TV production output.” The final fight sequence with Big Mom and Kaido making a gigantic doomball combo attack is equally glorious, like icing an amazing cake with an entire other cake.
We are eating well my friends.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
One Piece is currently streaming on
Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.