One Piece
Episode 746

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 746 of
One Piece ?

"We can't see Dressrosa anymore," Robin says to Law as they stare out at the open sea. Holy moly, did you ever think we'd see the day? I joke a lot, just because it's novel how long we've spent on a single island, but that doesn't change the huge sigh of relief that line brings me. Of course, the episode cuts back to Dressrosa almost immediately as we get some reconstruction shenanigans, but we've gotta wean ourselves off first.

This episode covers a lot of the cool stuff we tend to look forward to in these post-arc episodes. It was just a few weeks ago that we saw Kaido and many of the super rookies of the New World, and now we've returned to that well with the revelation that some of the old CP-9 members (the villains of the Water 7 saga) have been promoted to roles in CP-0. This is crazy-pants if you've read the manga cover stories, where it seemed like Rob Lucci and friends had separated from the World Government, but apparently not. They're back just in time for their Film Gold cameos too.

We also see Doflamingo chained in his cell, as he's being transported to Impel Down or wherever they intend to hold him up. Miserably, the marines seem to have given him a pair of replacement sunglasses, meaning we still don't get to see his eyes. I was sure that would have happened by this point. Regardless, he gives a huge dramatic villain speech about how his defeat is only going to turn the world to mayhem. It's a big diatribe about the many world powers: the Four Emperors, the Seven Warlords, the rookies, the World Government and the Revolutionary Army.

It's one thing for this speech to be cool, but it does an even better job at defining the bigger picture that's been developing since pretty much day one. One Piece has always been about the enormous rat race between the strongest and most interesting people in the world vying for that “one last empty seat.” The political web that makes up the pirate world has always been crucial to the appeal of this series, as everything is connected with room for change and growth around every corner. “Who's going to side with who? Who's going to betray who?” In the days of alliances and Emperors, this is a more important question than ever.

Lastly, the episode gives us an update on the Straw Hats's wanted posters. Everybody's bounty went up by at least 50 million berries (except for Chopper's nonsensical “pet” bounty, which doubled to a whopping dollar in our real word currency), as well as a new picture for everybody, representing their New World status. Luffy and Law have gone all the way up to 500 million each, and “God Usopp's” bounty skyrocketed from 30 million to 200 million, thanks to the following he gained on Dressrosa. Sanji's new 177 million also mysteriously lists “Only Alive” on his poster, hinting at a new development to be explored in the next arc.

I've always loved the bounties in One Piece. Maybe I'm just basic like that, but I always thought it was a neat equivalent to Dragon Ball Z's power levels. Not only does the number give us a ballpark of a character's strength, but it represents their reputation within the world, which is a huge part of the pirate life. I guess I'm still attached to the days of Jaya, when the story played with the idea of reputation in an incredibly satisfying way. I love the idea of regular folk within the One Piece world just opening their newspapers and exchanging gossip about all this stuff.

Next week looks to be the beginning of a new filler arc (we haven't gotten any in a while), so even if it's bad, it'll hopefully still be fun to talk about. It looks like the bulk of the usual post-arc info dump is over, so we've got this Silver-Mine arc and then finally the Straw Hats' reunion on Zou to look forward to.

Rating: B+

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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