by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 741 of
One Piece ?
The Dressrosa arc is going to end one of these days, I swear. As it stands, our heroes are on the move, making a beeline to the shore and trying to stave off the marines from capturing them. Luffy did say a long time ago, "That's the way pirates should leave," referring to the pirate-marine-civilian relationship. However, in the middle of their grand exit, it's Luffy who stops and decides he has unfinished business on the island.
He's got something he wants to say to Rebecca, feeling unsatisfied with the way her relationship with her father was being swept under the rug by Kyros' fake rumor from last week. So he stops, waves "see ya later!" to his friends and starts to head in a different direction to the annoyance of his crew. But what can they do about it, right?
Rebecca is such a headache to think about sometimes. It's not that I don't want to like her or anything, but she's so obviously one of the weakest arc-centric characters we've ever seen in this show. Luffy's attempt to bring her and her dad back together is supposed to be a beautiful thing, but if ever there was a character who didn't earn it... Though, honestly these last few episodes have been doing a pretty okay job at bringing us back to a time when the Kyros and Rebecca storyline had promise: when Kyros was a helpless toy soldier and Rebecca was his scared friend who wanted to protect him. That stuff still works really well and I wish Oda had kept on a stronger through-line for them.
Okay, so maybe Rebecca is that bad. She's just a victim of a botched subplot. Luffy plows his way through the dozens (maybe hundreds?) of marines as he's keen to do, and makes his way back to the palace where Rebecca is being suited up for her families public return to the throne. Before Luffy appears, she seems to have given up trying to connect back with Kyros after he wrote her a letter saying not to. Luffy's got a fire in him, though, and he grips the bars of the palace window, trying angrily to turn the tides on this side story.
"Are you really okay with things this way?!" Luffy seems pretty opinionated over people's emotional compasses. Most of this episode is a bit of a padded drag, but this scene manages to be interesting. Rebecca has to wrestle with her conflicted feelings where part of her wants to respect her father's wishes, and another part is being shredded by guilt and anxiety as she has to wonder if she's not good enough for him, with no outlet to express herself. It honestly doesn't make a lot of logical sense how she would come to the conclusion based on any of their interactions, but frankly I was able to plug a bit of myself into this scene so I'll cut it some slack. We all get put in those no-win situations, but we probably don't have a Luffy in our lives.
Luffy gets Rebecca to admit that, no, she is not okay with things being the way they are, and soon Luffy is busting her out of the palace and they are off to Kyros' cabin in big, dramatic fashion. The two are off to finish one last story thread before Dressrosa can wrap up and the Straw Hats can finally set sail for Zou.
Overall this would be a pretty below-average episode with action scenes that are competent but in no way memorable connecting the stronger story beats. The exhaustion felt towards the end of the Doflamingo fight is coming back as the story just keeps refusing to leave Dressrosa, but I suppose we've accepted that feeling along time ago, so why not one more thing.
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