One Piece
Episode 946

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 946 of
One Piece ?

Episode 945

The Big Mom and Luffy fight continues, with Big Mom sending Luffy flying using a windup punch that would make Popeye blush. Hyogoro ends up rather worse for wear. Luffy clutches him close and Hyogoro, trembling, tells him about mastering Ryou. He reveals that he can reach a level where he is able to use the Divine Fist of the North Star Haki to make his enemies' bodies explode from within. Hyogoro drifts off and Luffy cries out in agony, just as Big Mom is driving down with a crushing overhead blow.

...then Luffy and Hyogoro both get up and scramble away.

Hyogoro exits stage left as Big Mom tears after Luffy. In the process of chasing him she keeps attacking using either her fists or a giant metal club, destroying most of the prison in the process. Luffy leaps from one area to the next, and essentially tears the prison apart from within.

Meanwhile, Queen awakens from being knocked out and devises a plan. He and the other guards place an empty red bean soup container in the center of an open space. When Big Mom sees it she goes to enjoy the soup, but *sad trombone* it's empty. That is when Queen springs his trap, launching himself into the air in his brachiosaurus form to enact another Brachio Bomber. He hits her square in the head and creates a massive crater. She is almost knocked out in the process, and regains her memories of who she is: Charlotte LinLin, Emperor of the Sea. She roars mightily then we see the To Be Continued card.

Another strong episode from the Toei team for the Wano arc. The majority of the runtime is caught up in the early sequence with Luffy and Hyogoro talking, then Luffy on the run and Big Mom smashing stuff. Even if the Ryou/Haki exposition is not the most engaging material for the runtime, the payoff of Luffy and Hyogoro leaping away from Big Mom's attack is more than worth it. Similarly the framing of Big Mom as a kaiju-like menace is an easy win for me, shaking the screen with her every tread and destroying everything in her path.

The animation and direction were on point once again. I think the tracking shot along Big Mom's arm during that first sucker punch was marvelous. Talk about selling her power in one punch. The Bracihio Bomber effects were also outrageously good, with sparking lightning and the light haze/filter over the shot to create the effect of heat coming off the high-pressure impact. I liked Queen in the manga, and the anime team has done a great job bringing him to life between the fun dance numbers, the exaggerated reaction shots, and the lavishly rendered attack animations.

Rating:


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

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


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