One Piece Episode 749
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 749 of
One Piece ?
One of the most perplexing things about filler to me is the weird unspoken rule that the story has to be banal and unexciting. We're three-fourths of our way through the Silver Mine arc, and it's almost impressive how unremarkable it's been. It's completely inoffensive and far from the worst thing Toei has written for anime-only content, but surely there must be a few hungry writers in the bowels of the studio that might be interested in contributing something with a teeny tiny bit of fire in it?
Luffy and Bartolomeo's adventures in the mines continue, as they may have found their way towards an exit. At this point in the story, Desire has come around to the possibility that her leader Bill may not be the kind person he claims to be. After the group's fight with Avelon, she is determined to see this event through and learn the truth, just in time for the next wave of Bill's henchmen to block them off in an attempt to reap Luffy's 500 million bounty.
Our heroes have already found daylight, and the only obstacle in their way is a line of baddies threatening them with some flamethrowers. We don't have much reason to think Luffy couldn't wipe this crowd out single-handedly, but it serves as the perfect opportunity for some of his friends on the outside to intervene. From Bartolomeo's ship, Law is able to use his Devil Fruit to swap Kin'emon into the battle and show off his trademark flame-cutting technique. Once Luffy and company are free and into the open air, Zoro appears to finish off the remaining foes until Bill has to make his big flashy arrival.
The episode ends with a verbal confrontation between Bill and Desire, and I would feel proud of myself for predicting the twist in last week's review if it wasn't so obvious. Yes, it is revealed that Bill was responsible for the mysterious attack that wiped out Desire and her crew once upon a time. Desire is shocked to learn this, and the feeling of betrayal is a strong feeling to leave us on before the arc is resolved next week.
Again, there's nothing especially bad about the Silver Mine arc thus far, but there certainly isn't much good either. Desire and Bill have decent enough designs, if a bit plain compared to the world around them. There's the bare minimum effort put into having a dramatic arc with Desire's character, but I'd be hard-pressed to award brownie points for that. A long time ago, the G-8 arc gave us some really fantastic One Piece filler, and now everything else can't help but be compared to it.
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