How would you rate episode 1014 of One Piece? Community score: 4.4
After many long weeks, One Piece is back. What a glorious day.
This episode is a solid return to form for the consistently strong Wano arc. There are plenty of fight scenes and more than a few flashbacks, and it all fits together well without feeling overwhelming. There’s no big standout moment, but being consistent and, well, back is sufficient enough.
There are lots of fun little moments in this episode as well, such as scenes of Chopper demonstrating battlefield medical science – it’s rare that he gets any screen time, let alone showcase his medical background. We also get lots of Marco showing off his blazing pineapple powers which I know will please the Marco lovers out there.
But the real meat of the episode is a rumination on what Wano means to Ace, and what Ace means to Wano. Ace’s place in One Piece is interesting because his demise is one of the few high-profile character deaths in the entirety of its 25-year run. It was definitely one of the definitive moments of the series and I still get pangs in my chest (sorry, too soon) just thinking about him. So it’s interesting that Oda has decided to tie Wano into his past through flashbacks as a way to loop it more fully into Luffy’s personal story.
Oda is a huge proponent of hard-hitting flashbacks, but I think using Ace this way is smart. Because we so rarely get much information about Ace, having his dream be tied to Wano gives us that much more reason to root for Luffy’s success. The flashbacks to Yamato and Tama spending time with Ace further underscores how important they are, while adding a bit of gravitas to their relatively recent appearances in the story.
There are a few bombastic fight sequences to round out the episode too. Queen and King make their “official” combat debuts against Marco, plus we get some really terrific Musou-esque explosions of goons when Luffy comes in swinging right at the end. All in all a great episode that hopefully heralds a return to regular airing for the show.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.