by Grant Jones,
How would you rate episode 939 of
One Piece ?
The fateful day has arrived. Komurasaki's funeral procession is marched through the streets of the Flower Capital and Yasui is brought out to be executed as an offering. He is tied to a large cross and placed in front of the crowds for all to see. Using transponder snails, Orochi has the event televised (snailivized?) to the people of Wano as an example of what happens to those who oppose Orochi.
In Ebisu town the people are laughing at the sight of the execution video. The Straw Hats are perplexed by this, and even more so when the people realize who Yasui really is. The townspeople rush off towards the capital and the Straw Hats follow along in pursuit to protect them.
It turns out that Yasui used to be the daimyo of the Hakumai, and we flashback to when Yasui and Oden were spending time together twenty years ago. Oden had just been kicked out of the castle, and Yasui was lamenting the country's isolation policy. He wanted to explore and see the world.
Back in the present, Yasui is still laughing as cherry blossom petals shower him. One of the guards shoots him once for talking but it is not a killing blow. Instead, the charges against Yasui are read – primarily opposing Shogun Orochi. As X Drake and Hawkins wonder at the wisdom of televising the execution, they are notified that people are flooding the streets of the capital. The people of Ebisu are rushing desperately to be with Yasui in this moment, and even though the city guards attempt to stop them, the Straw Hat pirates make short work of them.
Yasui begins to make a grand speech about the wonderful land of Wano. He tears into Orochi for destroying this beautiful place that was once full of vegetation and rivers, covering it in his filthy greed. In the last few moments. Toko makes it to the city. She is running as fast as she can with cherry blossoms at her back, weeping for her father as the To Be Continued card flashes.
Another excellent Wano episode. The buildup to Yasui's execution is being handled extremely well. Even though by and large the entire episode is just Yasui up on a cross laughing, there is enough tension and excitement to keep things interesting. The real weight of what Orochi is about to do is settling in, and we get the sense that even though he's clearly never been connected to the people he is about to break something that cannot be fixed or forgiven.
It is a gorgeous display on the visual side as well. There is a constant running theme of the falling cherry blossoms of course, and the use of the different colored leaves to denote the flashback was a nice touch. There are multiple shots of the gathered crowds being all in pink or seen through a pink filter as they watch Yasui's drawn out abuse. There is a distinct visual connection being made between the people and the cherry blossoms. It was a great touch to have Yasui take that single petal in his hand as he faces down his demise, as though protecting the people of Wano in his protection. I also liked the shot of the saw on the chopping block with Orochi muttering “Today is a great day!” at the thought of the pending execution.
Not to mention, this episode also has Robin smiling and getting to use her Devil Fruit powers to defeat a bunch of goons as well. Do you really need anything else for a good episode?
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