Episode 1012 – One Piece

How would you rate episode 1012 of
One Piece? Community score: 4.1

This is one of those episodes that I struggle to write a review for. Most of the runtime is setting up for the next round of one versus one fights across Onigashima, while a dozen other battles are still raging. I would not go so far as to say that Wano is as bad as Dressrosa in regards to fight pacing and having too much going on, but it’s still hard not to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff happening and how many characters are involved.

Very little actual fighting happens in this episode to boot. It’s mostly characters talking about getting ready to fight their next opponent: Jinbei and the beast pirates, Franky and Sasaki, Ulti and Nami, etc. Even if well-animated and directed, watching “Grrrr, I’m gonna beat you up!” repeated a few dozen times in vaguely similar disconnected locations across Onigashima is a bit tiresome.

I think what compounds the problem is the sort of hand-wavey feeling of Onigashima. Despite the maps Oda lays out from time to time, I still don’t really know if I have a good sense of how big the island is or the sizes of the structures within it. Everything feels like it is as big as it needs to be – which is fine – but the act of traversing through these locations seems mind-numbingly long. Week after week of Luffy running through vaguely long hallways leading into darkness to get where he needs to be… just how much longer will Luffy be running? Another episode? Ten more? It’s impossible to tell at the moment, and that deflates a lot of the tension that should be present in these scenes.

On the positive side, we get lots of great animation flourishes this week. Chopper hilariously rolling around in Marco’s flames is a delight. Franky getting to flex (literally and figuratively) in the Iron Pirate with all the shine and dazzling lights is superb. And the introduction of the brief Ace bit at the end, tying him with Yamato, is a great sequence. It all looks and sounds terrific – I just wish these connective episodes had more to them beyond setup.

Rating:




Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.

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