One Piece Episode 762
by Sam Leach,
How would you rate episode 762 of
One Piece ?
The Zou arc is continuing to shape up as a really solid chunk of the One Piece anime. There were a few average-to-below-average episodes in the middle there, but for now it seems like we're back on track with the good stuff. The story continues yet again with the flashback adventures of the Twirly Hat crew and their time bonding with the Mink tribe before Sanji's as-of-yet-unexplained disappearance. Zou is an arc of characters telling stories, and this time Brook takes the initiative to describe the next obstacle they faced in their time away from the Dressrosa crew.
The antagonists this time are the Big Mom pirates, who followed the Thousand Sunny all the way to Zou, represented today by the lion man Pekoms and the former super rookie Bege Capone. When Big Mom's ship originally appeared partway into the Dressrosa arc, they were after the Straw Hats' hostage, Caesar Clown, and this time it seems they have a second agenda up their sleeves.
This is a really entertaining episode, partly due to how relaxing it is. The little pineapple village that the crew hangs out in during their stay on Zou feels so occupied and alive. The anime has been doing a really wonderful job expanding on the interior lives of the Minks without feeling like they're just padding the story out. The drama picks up a lot for the final scene, but before then it's all shenanigans, like Sanji garchu~ing every lady Mink that he can (and the fact that the girls are into it allows Sanji to come off as endearing rather than creepy) and Caesar trying to don a disguise so he won't be associated with the good deeds he's being forced to do. It all serves as a really engaging moment to just sit back and live in. One of the reasons I like this sort of show to be slower is that it allows the more casual stuff to really suck you in.
This is also the second episode in a row with no model issues as far as I can tell, where everything looks tidy and well-drawn. Not an impressive episode in this case, but I'm happy to see this show looking right for the time being. The next episode preview looks solid as well, so I'm happy about that. Once the final scene rolls around, and Sanji decides to confront the Big Mom duo, the show returns to showing off its lighting and coloring chops that I was praising so much at the beginning of this arc, with the sun setting and all that.
Zou is inching the story forward very slowly, but it feels right at this point in time. Dressrosa was a huge battle arc with a million characters, so it's nice to slow down for the sake of exposition and atmosphere as opposed to unfortunate necessity. The story's got a mystery to hang over our heads, so the feet-dragging at least serves a dramatic purpose. I think it's a pretty interesting idea to have an arc focused primarily around unfolding a backstory that the characters missed out on, while we slip further and further into the shadows of the Four Emperors.
If I had any gripes with this episode it would be the exclusion of Brook's Cat Viper song. According to Oda, the character was inspired by a joke-y song that Brook's seiyuu, Cho, wrote for fun, and the song actually made an appearance in the manga at about this point in the story, but it was mysteriously absent here. Though, judging by the structure of the story right now, I'm sure they're saving it to put in a more Cat Viper-centric episode.
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