How would you rate episode 1016 of
One Piece? Community score: 4.3
How would you rate episode 1017 of
One Piece? Community score: 4.7
Another strong episode of One Piece. Obviously it’s nowhere near the same level as 1015 was, but it would be unfair to ding it on that account. 1015 was a celebratory milestone and likely one of the best pieces of animation we’ll see all year, so 1016 being “just” the normal top-quality Wano we’re used to seeing is fine.
The episode is largely split into two halves: the roof battle and Sanji in Black Maria’s lair. The roof battle with the three captains of the Worst Generation facing off against Kaido and Big Mom has a lot of heavy, weight-of-destiny buildup behind it, but ends up mostly being a shtick comedy. We get the now-iconic silly reaction faces of Luffy, Law, and Kid reacting to Big Mom’s impending fireball. Like the legendary Enel Face, Perona Face, and Robin/Usopp/Franky-reacting-to-wanted-posters faces before them, these are just great gag faces that gave me a big belly laugh even though I knew they were coming.
The actual fight itself is mostly a small set of giant hits. There’s not much nuance to the fight – Zoro and Killer hit Kaido with a big attack and he laughs it off. Whether this is a feature or a bug is up to you, but get ready for many weeks of titanic beings slugging each other with world-ending attacks because there’s a lot of that in Onigashima. We’re in for a long fight, folks.
The second half of the episode focuses on Sanji in Black Maria’s clutches. He keeps trying to escape, but he suffers from The Thirst and is battling to try and get away. Your mileage may vary on this – personally I’m not the biggest fan of the “Sanji is horny” gags, but here I actually did find the juxtaposition with his inner-thirst funny. Though it’s still the same joke repeated a dozen times in one scene, so it wore thin pretty fast.
But overall a solid episode in what will undoubtedly be a long run of Kaido-punching.
Wano is not an easy arc to talk about on a weekly basis under normal circumstances, but we have entered a particularly difficult section to review. I can only say that the battle on the roof of Onigashima is perhaps the MOST Wano of all Wano thus far. Here the titans clash and the world shakes.
Like most of Wano, your mileage will vary on whether you will actually enjoy watching this particular battle, yet here this holds truer than perhaps any other section of One Piece. The highest of highs for the longest of times.
The animation is flawless of course, there’s no denying that. Every single frame of this episode is beauty in motion, every attack rendered with the kind of artistic vision and cinematic flourish that would make the most feature length films blush. This is your favorite characters brought to life in the most vivid, beautiful form imaginable as they tear the world apart with every bone-crushing swing.
And boy are there are lot of big swings in this section. This is like late-game Final Fantasy where everyone in your party is dropping summon attacks that do massive damage after a 90-second cutscene. The boss here just has so much HP you’re going to have to get used to seeing him get hit again and again.
That’s what makes this stretch hard to talk about. Even with all the great gags and character moments, even with the beautiful destruction and kaiju-movie sense of grandiose scope… there’s just going to be a lot of big hits for a long time on repeat. It is in some ways the shonen formula distilled into its purest essence: weirdos shouting and punching each other. Oda and the Toei team have been building up to this moment for literal years, and it’s all been earned, but settle in because we’re going to be here a while, as I keep trying to figure out how not to rewrite this same review every week.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.