One Piece
Episode 779

by Sam Leach,

How would you rate episode 779 of
One Piece ?

With a filler arc confirmed to start next week, it looks like it'll still be a bit before we land on Whole Cake Island. Not that that's unexpected. That arc is still ongoing in the manga, and we're getting a little close for comfort as far as canon story material goes, so a filler arc is kind of necessary. What's coming up looks like a redux of the G-8 filler arc from ages ago, which was by far the best anime-only content that the show has ever produced, so hopefully we're in good hands.

Back in the main story for now, Luffy, half his crew, and a pair of Mink allies in Pedro and Carrot continue on their way to Big Mom's home turf to rescue Sanji from an arranged marriage. Since the crew isn't whole, sea travel poses a few challenges, mainly that we don't have Sanji to cook or Franky to steer the ship. When trouble arises, the crew has to do their best to adapt, and when it comes to food, Luffy insists on doing it himself to disastrous results. There's a lot of good humor as a result, and the scene where the crew works together to weather a sudden storm is fun to watch as usual.

As far as material that takes place on the Sunny, the most interesting stuff is the followup to last week's cliffhanger, where the newspaper revealed the destruction of the Revolutionary Army's headquarters. Luffy's quick to recognize his brother Sabo's face in the paper, but he has to be pointed to the face of his own father (and leader of the Revolutionaries), Monkey D. Dragon. He's been told numerous times who his dad is, but he never cared enough to look him up, so there's a pretty funny scene of "What?! That's what my dad looks like?!" Not much happens as far as plot development during this half of the episode, but it's entertaining and looks good enough that when they spend a few minutes flashing back to an older Enies Lobby episode, the new animation actually looks better than the older stuff for once.

The prime content, however, doesn't happen on the Sunny at all. This week is all about the big man himself, Kaido. Kaido and Big Mom are clearly our main big bads of the story right now, and yet so much of their appearance has been kept in the shadows. We know that they're at the top of the pirate food chain, and Kaido even has the nickname "strongest creature in the world." So the series has felt comfortable just talking about them most of time instead of showing them, but we do get a bit more to go on this week. (By that, I mean we actually see Kaido's eyes for once.)

Kaido's been a curious beast during the few times that we've seen him. He's a terrifying figure in posture and design, but he isn't free from the usual Oda-like quirks. When we meet him in this episode, he's a comedic crying drunk, distraught over the news that his partner Doflamingo couldn't be retrieved from the Navy's grasp. Kaido seems to suffer from a variety of mood swings, but his overall motivations are still not entirely clear. We learned a while back that he's obsessed with trying to kill himself, but his incredibly sturdy body makes that near impossible in a fate of tragic irony. In lieu of a successful suicide, he's decided he wants to start some kind of world ending war for...reasons? There are windows within his mood swings where I find myself really liking the guy as he shows moments of vulnerability, but that might just be a jokey quirk of his. It's hard to tell.

The common bonus to these between-arc episodes is that they're usually pretty liberal with world-building nuggets of information. Exposure to more of Kaido will always be exciting since we've seen so little of him, and it looks as though he's already done quite a number on one of the super rookies, Eustass Kid. Kaido's line to him, "Tell those idiots from the worst generation: You'd better run! What we were doing was just playing pirates!", in response to Luffy and Law defeating Doflamingo, is extremely ominous. One of my favorite things about the Four Emperors is that they still feel completely out of Luffy's league. There are still enemies who can put our spunky go-getters in their place.

There's also the surprise tease that Jack the mammoth man is alive, surviving at the bottom of the ocean by virtue of being at least part Fishman. We couldn't see his sharp teeth before his mask broke, and now it looks like he's got a way of returning to the surface despite his Devil Fruit powers anchoring him down. In all other respects, this is a fairly modest episode, but it's directed well enough that the humor lands really well, so there's a healthy balance of a casual and entertaining first half, followed by a dramatic and edge-of-your-seat second half.

Rating: B+

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

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


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