by Grant Jones,
How would you rate episode 938 of
One Piece ?
We open on Orochi's secret ninja police beating Yasu within an inch of his life. They've captured him and are torturing him, but he does not break. In fact he appears to be tiring out his captors. They rip off his covering to reveal his face and massive afro.
The head of the ninja police rushes off to tell Orochi that they have captured the thief Uhsimitsu Koro. Shogun Orochi is still inconsolable regarding the Oiran's death, and is reluctant to see who Yasu really is. After much fuming he goes to see Yasu/Ushimitsu and realizes that he is in fact Tonoyasu. In his shock and rage he decides to have Yasu executed on the same day as Oiran's funeral.
Meanwhile, at the prison Queen hears of the Oiran's death and is distraught. He doesn't have long to mull it over as Luffy and Hyogoro challenge him to a fight. They want to make it a sumo match as they have ballooned up on the red bean soup. Queen instad kicks on his video snail to view images from the Flower Capital.
Elsewhere, Holdem's and Shutenmaru's forces are locked in a deadly battle. Holdem reveals his fiery chain blade and engages in single combat with Shutenmaru. While their battle largely ends in a stalemate, Holdem does matter to set the thieves' hideout ablaze and with it all their supplies. Carrot and Wanda head off to inform Kinemon of this turn of events.
In the snowy hut, Brook arrives and discovers Zoro snuggling with Komurasaki and Toko. He mentions that Ushimitsu Kozo has been captured and that he is, in fact, Tonoyasu. Toko is chilled to her core at her father's capture and rushes out into the snowdrifts to save him. Zoro, Komurasaki, and Brook dash after her to stop her from heading out on her own.
Finally, Yasu is taken from his holding cell and brought into the bright light of day where his public execution awaits.
This episode was more emotionally resonant than visually resplendent. It's mostly setup for what is coming down the pipe in the near future. There's a fair amount of action with the Holdem versus Shutenmaru fight and it's certainly animated well enough. Nothing in particular stands out though and while there is nothing particularly wrong with it, it's hard not to compare it to the dynamite animation from the prior sequences we've seen in Wano. Holdem's fiery chain blade is, if nothing else, pretty darn cool.
The star of the show here is the voice performances. Hiroshi Iwasaki's work as Shogun Orochi is once again stellar. The desperation of his agonized screaming and blubbering crying fits is remarkable, and it's chased with the wonderfully evil glee of his sentencing Yasu to death. Not to mention Kokoro Kikuchi's gut-wrenching performance in Toko's scenes. I think the tragedy of the SMILE fruits is most apparent in the voice acting in these moments, where Kokoro Kikuchi's laughs are so anxious and unsettling. And how could I not mention Mayumi Tanaka's brilliant “stuffed Luffy” voice, she's always a delight. Excellent performances all around.
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