How would you rate episode 1023 of One Piece ? Community score: 3.9
On the surface, there’s not a single thing wrong with this episode. Let’s run down a few of the key aspects:
It heavily features Chopper, one of my favorite characters in the entire series.
It shows Chopper being successful, letting him excel on his own and take the spotlight.
Chopper gets time to actually be a doctor, an aspect of his character that feels like it has been increasingly left behind over the years.
The primary villain, Queen, is one of the best new additions to the cast in Wano’s rogue’s gallery and he’s always electrifying on screen.
The animation is terrific and the stakes are clear and immediate.
We get a satisfying conclusion – or something approaching one – by the end of the episode, a rarity in such a long arc.
So… why did it all feel a bit meh?
This week’s entry is a prime example of how Wano fatigue can lessen what would otherwise be a great episode. This “outbreak of ice oni weapon in the midst of the battle” narrative thread isn’t the b-plot of the Onigashima Raid, or even the C-plot. It’s one of half a dozen simultaneous battles happening across the structure, literally and metaphorically happening beneath a titanic struggle that will set the stage for a new era. This is also a plot thread that has been unfolding for weeks (months? I can’t even recall) amongst all the other things going on in this battle. So despite having good execution and commandable production values, I just can’t bring myself to feel much of anything for what’s going on in this episode. I wish I didn’t feel that way.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.