One Piece Episode 724
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 724 of
One Piece ?
It's the Trebol show this week as One Piece sweeps its remaining subplots under the rug in time for Luffy vs. Doflamingo to go into full swing. I feel like I've been spending the last two months writing about how we're “finally” at the end of all the pre-final battle fodder, but I guess that comes with the territory. Trebol, the sideline executive with the mucus based Devil Fruit (never was sure how explicit they were about his ability beyond “stickiness”) manages to get his own episode ending in his final defeat.
There's a surprising amount of different stuff going on in this episode that otherwise centers around one of the arc's more unpleasant characters. There are some characters that you love to hate or at least you accept their grotesqueness in the context of the story, but Trebol has always been uncool to me. In retrospect, I don't think I really found any of Doflamingo's main three officers especially entertaining outside of Pica's cool abilities, but Trebol really is the worst. I don't like his design. I don't like his powers. I don't like his voice. None of it. No thank you.
There are several reveals here that make Trebol extra gross. One, we see the creepy eyes behind the shades for the first time. It kind of feels like Oda is teasing us, knowing how much we want to see Doflamingo's eyes and instead he gives us this cretin's face to look at. Second, we learn that Trebol's Stick-Stick Fruit is, in fact, not a Logia type. It's a Paramecia, and his invincibility has been an illusion by way of him actually being a very scrawny man hiding his tiny waist within his big mucus cloak. I remember the character Siam waaaaay back during the Kuro arc was operating a scheme like this.
There's also some further exposition on the Doflamingo's relationship with his crew. Trebol brags to Law that the four main executives of the family share equal ground with Doffy himself since they were the ones who picked him out of poverty, seeing the leadership potential in him. There's a montage of all the people they beat up and killed for Doflamingo's sake. The most outrageous of these being that the crew blows up an entire town simply because Doflamingo tripped and fell on uneven ground.
This only further takes away from the deviousness of Doflamingo himself, making him seem more like the product of other people's evil than anything to do with his own agency. Fortunately, Law contests this by taunting Trebol: “To me, even you, who acts like you're chief of staff, only looks like Doflamingo's foolish puppet!” Does Doflamingo care about his crew or is he just using them? Is he a product of his executives, or are they kidding themselves? At this point, Doflamingo's story makes no sense to me, but at least Law's line here brings it back around to ambiguity so I can pick whatever I think is coolest. That's not how I'd prefer it go, but it's better than the disappointing mess of a backstory that keeps folding in on itself.
The show stopper is when Law uses his Devil Fruit to teleport his severed arm back into fight, spinning his sword directly into Trebol and unveiling him as a pitiful piece of shriveled meat. It's hard not to let a laugh slip at how audacious that is. It was a real surprise when Law got his arm cut off, but it's just icing on the cake to see something like this. Trebol, beaten and bloody, lights his mucus on fire in a last ditch effort to kill Law, causing the entire palace top to erupt into flames. Luffy manages to grab Law and jump to safety down below. If there's anything to thank Trebol for, it's a change of scenery of Luffy's fight after the last few months.
One Piece continues to bide its time as exaggerated as ever. I've got my fingers crossed that they're saving the real production talent for a few certain events that take place in the near future of the story. As of right now, I'm getting a little tired of every single episode only inching us the tiniest bit further into the story of Dressrosa's climactic fight. I wouldn't mind so much, but we're buying time with the likes of Trebol, and I just don't care enough to give that much of a pass. Doflamingo as a character is on thin ice with me right now and frankly, I hope we're done hearing about his past so these two characters can finally shut up and fight.
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