One Piece Episode 722
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 722 of
One Piece ?
Every episode of One Piece deals with its required snail's pace differently. Most episodes are generally one-to-one in terms of their translation of a given manga chapter, and so the contents are just the material of that chapter evenly drawn out over twenty minutes. However, that's not always the case. In instances like this week's episode, sometimes they'll smush all the interesting material into the back half and let the front be a bunch of drawn out reaction shots. This means that the first half is slow, sometimes with a dramatically appropriate pace and sometimes with far too slow of a pace, while the second half gets to move with all the fire and energy that the rest of the series covets.
This week's episode starts us off with an incredibly slow and long sequence of Doflamingo's birdcage slowly closing in on the country of Dressrosa. Buildings are being sliced through as the townsfolk make a run for safety towards the middle. The countdown before Dressrosa's demise has begun, meaning Luffy and Law only have so much time to finally bring an end to this epic battle. Most of this content is pretty repetitive of what we saw beginning last week. Ideally it wouldn't have taken up an entire half of the episode, but as I stated it does allow for the rest of the episode to be really fast and exciting.
There are definitely times where I wish the show could just be ten to fifteen minutes long each week. It practically is sometimes with its five minute recaps, but there have been quite a few episodes recently where you might as well have jumped in as far as middle. However much content you need to skip, the second half of this episode is pretty great in terms of having the speed and excitement you'd expect from a shonen manga adaptation. The Luffy vs. Doflamingo action is brisk and genuinely exciting. No notably impressive animation, but the editing did all the work in getting my blood pumping and that's all I can really ask for.
We also get an aster to the tricky “is Law dead or not?” question that last week left us with: It turns out that the person doflamingo riddled with bullets was not in fact Law himself, but one of Doffy's grunts that Law had swapped places with (clothes and all) using his Op-Op powers. Law was face down during all of this, so he was able to switch in and out pretty easily without Doflamingo ever noticing. I do wonder if that grunt actually died as a result of this. That seems pretty cold blooded for this show.
It all culminates on the moment that Law returns to the battle, unleashing a special “Gamma Knife” attack, a strange electricity blade that reminds us that the Op-Op Fruit can basically do whatever it wants, as he pierces is straight into Doflamingo's chest. There's a stray comment from Law implying that the attack hurst the target from the inside, out. The episode concludes with Law standing over a toppled Doflamingo, ready to land a final blow.
For the most part, this is a really energetic episode of the series. If you're willing to discard the time wasting of the first half (which I am) then I think there are a lot of props to give the editing of the backend. Luffy vs. Doflamingo continues to be as kinetic as ever and while it's a little sad that the show can never commit to any of the beat-downs it delivers on Law, I never really expected it to to begin with. Law is being given one last go at his arch-nemesis, one last contribution before the meat and potatoes of the Luffy's side of the fight. In my heart this is only a ten minute episode, and I think it's a very fun one at that.
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