by Grant Jones,
How would you rate episode 934 of
One Piece ?
Zoro's jacket is in the air, descending to earth as he and Kamazo face off. The cloth touches down and the warriors charge… while we the audience are whisked away to the labor camp. Luffy is lamenting that these fights are still not great training for him. An enormous green bear man comes out to fight, and Luffy dispatches him with “regular” haki and a punch to the gut.
The discovery of the link between the tattoo and the insurgency is the talk of the town. Hawkins and crew are rounding up samurai to throw in prison. Meanwhile, the people lament Komurasaki's death. Shogun Orochi is particularly upset about her death and is crying inconsolably in his room.
In Ebisu, Yasui overhears Shinobu and the Straw Hats trying to talk Law out of sacrificing himself. Our beloved goth doctor wants to save his crew and is ready to charge into battle, but Shinobu wonders if they can be trusted to keep a secret. She goes so far as to suggest that they be killed before they can talk, and she reminds everyone through tears that this is not a game. They have been fighting for Wano's freedom for two decades, they cannot leave anything to chance. Thankfully, Yasui enters and cheers everyone up before things get too tense.
Our final scene is back at Zoro's duel. Things aren't going great at first, as Zoro catches a pretty nasty scythe to the torso (I'm not a doctor but I hear that's generally a detriment to one's health). Zoro flips the script however by keeping his foe from pulling the scythe out and keeping it himself. He steps back, removes the scythe, and puts it in his mouth, resuming three sword(?) style now that he has a third blade again. He unleashes Purgatory Onigiri and ends the fight in one explosive finish. Victory assured, but stomach rumbling, he falls to the snow as the first warrior leaves with Shushui still in his possession. Komurasaki and Toko rush over to Zoro's fallen body and the episode ends.
An excellent episode all around. We get a strong emotional beat with Shinobu reminding everyone of the length of the struggle as well as the stakes. We get delightful cinematic touches like the world's color shifting the moment Zoro's cloak touches the snow. The voice acting is marvelous, from Hiroki Takahashi doing Queen's hilarious eating noises to Hiroshi Iwasaki providing Orochi's truly bizarre wail of agony over Komurasaki's death.
But folks – that Zoro fight. Wow. What is there to say? The whole fight oozes raw power, it's a boiling pot about to bubble over. The marvelous coloring from the flashing reds and deep purples over the stark white landscape immediately stamp themselves into your memory. The sheer heat coming off those animation cels… this is movie quality animation on a weekly show, I'm at a loss for how the team manages to put this together after last week's episode. Hats off to the entire Toei team for this one.
How would you rate episode 935 of
One Piece ?
Luffy's battle against the animal crackers brigade continues. Alpaca man returns spinning blades and spitting sprays, while his joined by an armadillo man wielding a brace of pistols that shoe sea prisom stone bullets. They try to attack Hyogoro first but Luffy jumps in the way, using armament haki to good effect. He picks up Hyogoro to carry him to safety (and to improve his training as well).
Meanwhile, in prison the leader of Orochi's ninja is pressing them on their involvement in the insurgency. They deny it but he has the receipts. The Heart pirates are in the back of the cell, beaten and weary, but Bepo assures them that the captain will come save them.
Back at the labor camp, Luffy's battle continues. The alpaca jumps on the armadillos back and they become an enormous whirling dervish of bullets and blades. Luffy solves the problem in a predictably Luffy fashion by punching them really hard and winning the battle. It isn't good enough for him however, because he knows Kaido is even tougher.
We cut away to a little hut out in the sleepy snow-covered wilderness. Zoro is woken up from his usual dream of swords and yells “Sword!” as he kicks the blankets off – a typical morning for our moss-headed swordsman. Turns out his wounds have been patched and he is lying next to a small fire. Toko and Komurasaki are there and fill him in on what happened after the battle. He's upset that Shusui is still out there but Komurasaki won't let him leave, he's too injured to fight.
Toko applies a bit of toad oil that she definitely 100% did not steal, helping Zoro's wounds heal. She asks him to stay with them. He relents and enjoys food and drink in their company during a little montage. Lastly, Komurasaki drops the bombshell that her name is Hiyori and that her younger brother is none other than Momonosuke.
This episode was perfectly fine. After last week's tour de force I expected a slightly lower ebb and that is understandable. Nothing was wrong with the episode by any means, though it is hard not to think about how exciting and gorgeous 934 was in comparison.
This episode did have its highlights though. The alpaca and armadillo team-up is pure hilarity with them spinning around the ring and the absurd voice acting on display. The tender moments in the snow-covered cabin at the end were particularly poignant. The bit where Toko asks Zoro to stay hit hard.
Last but not least – a brand new opening! Wow wow wow this is a good one. I liked the last one a lot too but Dreamin On is incredible. Wano's colorful characters and locale are perfect for these splashy openings and the song itself is, scientifically speaking, a bop. I did not skip the last one even once, and I had to listen to this one twice back to back.
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