How would you rate episode 1013 of One Piece? Community score: 4.4
Every time I think I’m in the Wano doldrums, I’m pulled right back in. While the episode has a brief recap of Sanji’s literal thirst trap scenario and Jinbei’s soon-to-be-epic showdown, the real meat is in the Yamato and Ace interactions. This was a segment in the manga that I had mixed feelings about initially, but seeing it play out for the second time helped reinforce that it was a good decision overall and provided a good connection for Yamato and Luffy.
I guess the biggest hangup I have is the fact that Ace just kind of… appears? It’s not completely out of bounds – he is a wandering pirate and all, so him showing on an island is definitely A Thing he can do and has done, and it was already established that he spent time on Wano with Tama and such. But then again, something about his appearance just feels out of the left field. Perhaps it’s the placing of this sequence in the middle of the already long Raid on Onigashima? I’m not entirely sure.
Odd placement aside, I think it’s a really effective sequence. Yamato is already a compelling character, but Ace adds another layer of texture to the present-tense scenes with Luffy. There’s a lot of great overlapping themes at play: the fires of revolution, the drive for discovery, the legacy of Oden, generational conflict, and the link between brothers. None of them is individually all that complex, but when taken together they add a lot of depth to the scene and by extension the rest of Wano. It also adds to the parallels between Yamato and Momonosuke – both of them are struggling against Kaido and inspired by Oden, but in different expressions and at times crossing imagery. This is really Wano at its best, and the gorgeous animation helps reinforce all the terrific textual work at play.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.