One Piece
Episode 768

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 768 of
One Piece ?

One Piece is in a position that demands high expectations right now. After the incredible episode finale last week, the promise to transition off of Zou and towards Big Mom, as well as the remaining surprises left to wrap the Zou arc up and bid it ado for now, I've got high hopes that the show will keep delivering on that something special that One Piece has always had.

This episode is tapping into the same feeling as the big party episode that we got a few weeks ago, basking in the general pleasantness of the One Piece world. Dogstorm and Cat Viper agree to get along at Momonosuke's request, and Zunesha sprays some water into the sky, creating a beautiful, sparkly rainbow to commemorate the occasion. The episode also uses a few classic tracks from the series' ever growing OST, reminding me how much I miss the constant presence of the old music. The new stuff is good, (especially that 'Bond Between the Samurai and the Minks' theme used at the end of last episode), but I'm hellbent on seeing the show continue to tap into those old feelings again.

Plot-wise we get a few bombs dropped regarding our samurai friends. The biggest by far being that Kin'nemon and Momonosuke are not actually father and son. Kin'nemon was simply guarding Momonosuke, who it turns out is actually the son of a deceased samurai lord named Oden. The idea here is that Momonosuke is a far bigger deal than we were led to believe previously, and that the story of our samurai allies (which started in Punk Hazard, over 150 episodes ago) is only just beginning, promising to tie us directly into a forthcoming Wano Country arc with its own history and connections to Kaido of the Four Emperors. Dogstorm and Cat Viper also think of Momonosuke as their leader, just to hammer home how much power he's supposed to have as an heir.

I have a tough time with this father/son twist because it, more than a lot of surprises in this series, feels like it was partially pulled out of thin air. I can't go back to those Punk Hazard episodes and believe that Oda already had this twist in mind, and it feels a little contrived as an attempt to unfold the importance of these samurai characters. That said, it did succeed in all other respects, as the samurai now feel like a much bigger deal, and I'm super invested in learning the story about Oden, his relationship to Wano as a country, and his eventual demise.

Aside from the billion berry bounty man, Jack, being revealed to be alive and on his way back to Zou, so much of this arc has been wrapped up. All of the characters that we're hanging out with are getting along, and we get to enjoy Zou as a great fantasy one last time before the story gets ready to reveal the thing we're truly here for (speaking as a person who's familiar with the manga). This sense of peace is earned and entirely welcome, though maybe not the most efficient thing for story progression since we already had a peace and fun episode a few weeks ago. It's a calm before a storm, however, and that's definitely something I can get behind.

Rating: B+

One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and

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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