One Piece
Episode 1001

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 1001 of
One Piece ?
Community score: 4.3

Once again, I find myself talking about Wano's strengths and weaknesses in the same breath. After the spectacular 1000th episode, there is simply no follow-up that could compare, so I don't want to be unduly cruel with this entry. But at the same time, episode 1001 shows everything that is right and wrong with Wano in roughly twenty minutes.

It's certainly big and bombastic. There are fights galore, characters aplenty, and plots both simple and complex. Schemes are happening behind closed doors, fates are being sealed, and the destiny of the world is being decided with fist and blade on the battlefield. The ground shakes at the approach of titanic characters whose every action will shape the trajectory of the world as we know it. Some characters are risking everything in life or death battles, while others lay their lives on the line for espionage and subterfuge.

But.. it's a lot, isn't it? Like Wano is, amazingly, still going on, with really no end in sight. Even the battle for Onigashima – the “finale” if we can call it that – has been ongoing for months. Luffy has not even made it to Kaido yet! This episode really only covers the distance from Luffy posing with the gang last episode to punching a giant this episode.

We're gonna be here for a while, folks.

X Drake's subplot really shows how dense Wano is. Remember all that stuff with X Drake and Law? Remember that? It's textured and complex, but it sure is a lot to remember, and it's a wonder how anyone can keep all the vectors straight. It's also hard to muster that much excitement for what's happening with X Drake when it seems like we have so many dangling plot threads going on right now. Forget A-plot and B-plot – we're juggling J-plots at this stage in Wano's run, and even for someone who is pretty well-embedded in all this, it can be a struggle just to remind myself of what is all going on.

On the positive side, it was nice getting a flashback to the Oars fight. It not only provides context for Luffy's growth as a character, it's also one of my favorite fights in the series due to the need for all the Straw Hats to collaborate to bring down a single foe. It really felt like the team was firing on all cylinders in a way that has rarely happened since. Sadly, it inadvertently lessens some of the shine on Wano by making me nostalgic for bygone arcs…

Wano's strengths become apparent again in the Gear Four sequence; even with One Piece's considerable length, few sequences manage to show off just how far we've come quite so magnificently. It's just… astonishing. Just watching Luffy move! The Toei team delivers again and again and again in ways that astound me.


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Save on Anime Streaming Subscriptions with Funimation.

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