by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 714 of
One Piece ?
So, the Dressrosa arc is on the fast track to being 100 episodes long by the time it concludes. This is easily the longest the series has ever spent on a single island, and considering the irresponsible number of side characters and subplots, it's not hard to see why. You've got the dozens of Colosseum fighters, King Riku's plight to save his country, Kyros and Rebecca's father/daughter reunion, all the stuff with the living toys, Kin'emon and his search for his missing samurai friend, Admiral Fujitora, Bellamy, etc. It's a really congested arc with all these moving pieces that rely on each other and none of that's even mentioning the stuff that involves the Straw Hats, Law or Doflamingo.
I bring this up because this episode focuses on another subplot that I had almost forgotten about entirely: Leo and the Tontatta's Princess Mansherry rescue mission. Princess Mansherry, I should mention, is a character that we never got a full reveal for until this very week. Does anybody remember when Wicca was important? What happened to that?
Though, honestly, it's hard to be sour grapes about Mansherry this week considering Mansherry is stupidly adorable. Like, I knew she was cute in the manga, but something about seeing her in anime form really brings it up a notch. There are little pieces of animation where she will do something like take a cautious step back, and her tiny legs will move but it takes a second for her giant hair to follow in response. Something about her design just compliments the animation style of the series in a lot of surprising ways.
So it turns out that Mansherry is a Devil Fruit user. Her Heal-Heal Fruit powers give her tears the ability to restore the injured, making her especially dangerous in the hands of Doflamingo's lackeys. Leo and Cub are on the run to save her before she can be manipulated by Giolla into healing all the Doflamingo officers that we just watched being taken down in the last handful of episodes. There's a scene where Giolla has grabbed the tiny Mansherry and is twisting her neck, threatening to break it. It's honestly really scary since she is so small it's easy to imagine it wouldn't take much force to snap. It's really gross and uncomfortable to watch, and I didn't expect to be put on the edge of my seat as much as I was.
Obviously, Leo saves the day. Not only are the unconscious officers nabbed just in the nick of time for Mansherry's falling tears to miss them, but Leo is able to use his Stitch-Stitch powers to bind and clobber Giolla and her friends together, sealing that little piece of conflict up for good.
I remember this chapter being really short in the manga, so I was worried we'd have a slow episode on our hands, but it turned out to be paced pretty well. Seeing the little Tontattas zip through the halls and knocking guards unconscious with their super strength is still really enjoyable and Mansherry is a surprisingly fun character to watch, even when she's mostly seen crying and calling out for help. The cherry on top is when we finally see Leo and Mansherry together. Mansherry seems to have a bit of a crush on Leo, really reveling in his knight-in-shining-armor role. But when he's got her in his arms, the first thing he thinks to blurt out is, “You've gained weight, princess!” I think this adorable couple has some communication issues to work out.
For an episode that draws the action of Dressrosa's finale out even further than necessary, I found it to be surprisingly enjoyable. It introduces a new conflict just to be solved within the runtime, at a point where that's the last thing the story needs, but it turns out I'm surprisingly weak to Mansherry as a character, which I did not expect. By my calculations we've only got three… no, four… no, five more opponents to deal with in this string of battles before we can get back into the proper Doflamingo fight and… aw geez. You always feel so close to the end until you really have to think about it, don't you? Well, let's take another deep breath because we're in this for the long haul.
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