One Piece
Episode 743

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 743 of
One Piece ?

True to form, just as the One Piece anime is finally, finally about to depart Dressrosa and bid it farewell, it needs to slow things down. It's almost as if Toei isn't ready to leave and is digging its nails into the ground, desperately hoping to stay just a little bit longer.

Joking aside, I know One Piece is in a tricky situation as far as pacing goes, since its story is dangerously close to the manga's content right now. Just for our sanity's sake, they should probably detour into a filler arc before reaching Zou. Though I realize that would mean keeping the crew separated for even longer than they already have been, but hey, the series' hesitation towards substantial filler arcs is what got us in this situation to begin with.

It's the Fujitora show this week as the blind, Zatoichi-style admiral goes on the offensive to fulfill his duties as a protector of the innocent. Clearly he doesn't have anything personal against the Straw Hats, he more than likely even respects them, but a marine's got to do what a marine's got to do and he begins to dish out his gravity powers to possibly their most absurd extant yet. All the rubble left over from the fight with the Doflamingo family rises up high in the sky, and soon a huge, island-sized CGI ball of debris is hovering over everybody's heads. Fujitora may seem like a wise old man type, but in practice he ends up being one of the most brash and reckless characters we've ever seen in the show. Even the citizens, who he's supposed to be protecting, are fearing for their lives thanks to this terrifying monstrosity above them.

The episode hinges on Luffy's arrival on the scene, fresh from dropping Rebecca off. It quickly becomes a fight and then even quicker halts in its tracks. Most of the battle is stretched out beyond belief and features Luffy calling out his attacks like "I'm about to punch you!" or "Here comes a kick!" out of guilt for beating on a blind man, and it gets very repetitive. The fight doesn't even conclude by the end of the episode and if memory serves correctly it was only a few pages in the manga.

Otherwise, there's a fairly nice scene at the beginning of the episode between Law and Sengoku where they share their memories of Corazon. Despite being a pirate and a marine respectively, they share this relationship in common and agree that what Cora would have wanted is for them to simply carry on his memory and live life however they please. Again, it's a nice scene continued from last week, but it's a real bummer that we're stretching things out so much that otherwise short sequences are getting split between episodes. The promise of a new arc, whether we sail straight to Zou or indulge in a filler side story, keeps being dangled in front of our faces and I'm as ready for something fresh as anybody.

Rating: C+

One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.

Sam Leach writes and records about One Piece for The One Piece Podcast and you can find him on Twitter @LuckyChainsaw


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