How would you rate episode 1018 of One Piece? Community score: 4.3
The big bombastic punches are flying, and if you aren’t buckled up folks you better strap in cause there’s a lot of screen-shaking hits.
I think the overall episode is solid. There’s a bunch of wailing on Kaido as this giant punching (or swording?) bag, but there’s a strong sense of Kaido’s near limitless invulnerability. You can see it in Luffy’s eyes as he throws everything he has into punch after punch, coming away short of breath while Kaido raises again and again from the smoke. Kaido is not the smartest or even flashiest villain Luffy and company have ever fought but his absurd endance makes him one of (if not the) deadliest.
Even Zoro, Kid, Law, and Killer cannot seem to tip the scales (fnarf) in a meaningful way. This is saying something especially given how quickly Zoro tends to dispatch enemies post-timeskip.
All the visual flourishes in the episode are in the solid to great territory. Lots of wonderful energy and smoke effects as to be expected, but all done with a keen eye to scale. The sense of Kaido’s size comes through really well in the framing of certain shots and how slow he moves relative to Luffy’s attacks. He is less a flying floe and more a floating one, gently bobbing in the air under the barrage of punches Luffy is delivering. This good direction – coupled with the strong, ominous orchestral music – gives it all the air of a kaiju film, and that’s exactly the tone that should be struck with Kaido and Big Mom on the field.
Other subtler visual touches are much appreciated too. I love the juxtaposition of the CP-0 leader’s eyes and the Go pieces on the table with those rhythmic snap zooms for tension. The POV shot of Zoro helicotpering up the front of Kaido is great too, really giving us a sense of what it must be like to fight Kaido in this form for the average human (or, at least average in height – Zoro is beyond average) .
Great work as always from the Toei team.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.