One Piece Episode 748
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 748 of
One Piece ?
The Silver Mine arc continues as Luffy and Bartolomeo try to make their escape with Bill's underling, Desire, in tow. I neglected to mention last week that Bartolomeo and Desire know each other, as they were a part of the same land-based gang back in the East Blue. When it came time for them to set sail and travel the ocean, however, they went their separate ways, with Bartolomeo off to find his idol and Desire off to run her own crew of lady pirates.
As the story trudges on, we learn that Desire and her crew suffered a huge defeat one night from a surprise attack by an unseen enemy, and that was when she was rescued by the arc's villain, Bill. Now she has pledged her loyalty to this man, despite all indications that he may not be as earnest as he seems. I'm piecing together that Bill may have been responsible for the initial attack.
When Bill's other henchman, a "tram human" named Avelon, starts to attack Luffy and Barto, Desire is shocked to learn about the less savory aspects of the Silver Mine and Bill's Pirate alliance. Avelon's chase pushes them further and further down the cave where they fell at the end of last episode. They happen upon what seems to be a small civilization of miners and abandoned Silver Pirate crew members who Bill has disposed of, meaning that Desire is getting closer and closer to facing the music about her boss.
Most of the episode focuses on the battle between the Luffy/Barto/Desire trio and the aforementioned Avelon. Avelon is notable for having by far the wackiest design of this entire filler arc's roster of original characters. You can usually tell an Oda design from a Toei design because the latter leans more toward plain looking characters (Bill and Desire are just regular humans), but Avelon is pretty evocative by comparison. His Devil Fruit is the "Roll-Roll Fruit," which allows him to turn his hands into wheels that he uses to traverse the tracks within the mine. He also carries a big wooden box on his back, supposedly for passengers, that he uses to carry all sorts of weapons like bombs and mallets.
It's a pretty mediocre battle, but it did get a few laughs out of me. I got a kick out of Avelon skewering the metal ball that Luffy was still stuck in, sure that he had killed the poor kid, only for him to overestimate Luffy's size and free him instead. I also thought Bartolomeo's use of his Devil Fruit power where he used his barrier to guide Avelon's track was clever enough. For the most part, that's all the episode really had to offer.
I'm grateful that we're not going to spend this entire filler arc with Luffy stuck inside the ball, since that was completely within the realm of possibility. Overall, the Silver Mine arc is looking to be as mild of a filler experience as they come. I don't think we'll ever have a filler arc as good as G-8 again, but it's been so long since then that I guess we have to stop hoping these things will ever again be more than just shallow time killers.
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