One Piece
Episode 984

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 984 of
One Piece ?

The Toei team delivers once again. This could have been a relatively stale setup episode, but instead we are treated to a deft bit of framing for the coming fight. The road to Onigashima has been long, and it's important to contextualize why the battle is important through events past and present. Kaido, Orochi, and the Beast Pirates have their evil laid out for all to see as both a reminder to the audience and to the Straw Hats themselves.

If there were a theme for the episode, I would say that it is excess. Food, drink, sex, dance – everything is overflowing on Onigashima, heedless of consequences. This is a victory celebration where anything goes and where the closer you are to power, the greater the hedonism. Even though we see a lot of mirth and excitement during the party it is not a happy episode, and we as viewers are meant to be repulsed by what we see. It is all too much, too fast, and too loud. The goons on the floor go so far as to remind Zoro and Luffy, our first two Straw Hats, that they know this food/drink/merriment comes at the expense of the little people of Wano. It brings them joy, and makes their refreshments taste all the sweeter.

This is to ensure that the audience knows how to feel in the coming stages. No matter how off the walls the ensuing battle will be, these people deserve the justice that Luffy and co are bringing. This is a fight for the freedom of Wano from cruel overlords who know precisely the harm they are causing.

Visually, the episode reinforces this theme of excess brilliantly. The screen is often popping with a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors, or shown with the colors reversed. It gives everything a distorted feel, and even in moments with “normal” coloring the screen is often blurry at the edge. Furthermore, there's a lot of fanservice in this episode of the Bouncing Bazonga™ variety, and hey, if there were any episode to include it in it would be this one. Surprisingly, because everyone ends up wearing these outrageous Beast Pirates costumes, the episode, on the whole, comes off a bit more balanced and natural-feeling in that regard than some other episodes have been.

Also we get the SUPERRRR wholesome content involving Franky. Him getting to deploy all the vehicles, ride bromance style with Brook, and put Chopper and Usopp into their little tank together is heartwarming, as was the bit with Robin and Jinbei calmly walking towards the battle as the mature ones. Bless.


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

One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Save on Anime Streaming Subscriptions with Funimation.

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