One Piece Episode 740
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 740 of
One Piece ?
It cannot be understated how important these post-arc episode batches can be for the series. They continue to act as little windows of time that serve as a crash course on so many of the things that make One Piece what it is. Just recently we've had info-dumps, a flashback, a major villain unveiling, and now this week we get a peaceful and reflective calm before the storm. I don't know if Toei is just excited to move onto the Zou arc, but whatever it is that's whipped them into shape these last few episodes, I don't want it to stop.
The episode takes place the continuing day, and the Navy is still at odds over how to deal with the hiding Straw Hats. Fujitora, the highest ranked Marine on Dressrosa, continues to put events into the hands of fate, deciding that he will only chase Luffy and company if he rolls anything but a one on his die. For the past few days, Luffy has been lucky. Vice Admiral Tsuru and former Fleet Admiral Sengoku (now with a greying 'fro and a much happier demeanor in his retirement) have also arrived to assist Fujitora in transporting the captured Doflamingo.
As the episode goes on, we're treated to numerous insert shots of flower petals gently falling. Specifically, they are pairs of petals; a pink one and a yellow one. These coincide with the segments of the episode that focus on Kyros and Rebecca, and it's honestly pretty surprising to see Toei go out of their way to include a visual motif that we follow throughout the episode. I mentioned a few weeks ago that there's something very unfamiliar about creative decisions being this visible in the One Piece anime. That's mostly thanks to the anime production really running low on gas towards the end of the Doflamingo fight, but it's still nice to see stuff like this all the same.
The story goes on, as we learn that Kyros has been spreading rumors around town that Rebecca's "true" father was some prince from a far-off country who died in battle a long time ago. The idea is that the country of Dressrosa is more likely to accept her with full noble blood, as opposed to being the daughter of a famous ruffian/soldier like Kyros. We see the two of them dealing with the reforming Dressrosa separately, with Kyros living alone in the flower field and Rebecca being suited up back at the palace. It's all portrayed as bittersweet, and the music and scenery really drives home how fantastic Dressrosa works as a beautiful fantasy setting (as opposed to the tedious battleground it mostly ended up being).
Kyros and Rebecca's story is such a tricky thing to tackle. To this date they've been stuck with some of Oda's absolute worst character writing, and yet I find myself drawn into their world now that the higher stakes have simmered down. I don't want to dislike their story, it just kind of doesn't work at all. This episode brings us back a bit further, to when Kyros was still a toy soldier, and we're reminded that this relationship had a lot of heart before it completely derailed during the Diamante fight.
The episode ends with Fujitora rolling his die once again and finally deciding to roll his men out to hunt Luffy down at Kyros's cabin. I didn't recognize the very cool music track that plays during the last scene as we cut around to all the major players who will be a part of this upcoming chase, but I was pretty impressed. A lot of the orchestration in One Piece these days feels very reminiscent of old Hollywood movies.
One Piece wasn't as packed this week as it was last week, but this episode serves as a good example of how sometimes the thing you need in a series like this is to just relax and soak in the feelings and the world. Early on, there was also a scene where Tsuru and Sengoku interact with Mansherry and the other Tontattas, and it's just really nice to see Tsuru and Sengoku smile and Mansherry being Mansherry. One Piece is a show with a lot to offer, and sometimes "nice" is one of those things.
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