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One Piece Episode #952 Anime Review

3 min read
There are really good moments within it, however, but you have to work through the bland to get there.
© Eiichiro Oda / Shueisha · Fuji Television · Toei Animation

“Tension Rises in Onigashima! Two Emperors of the Sea Meet?!”

What They Say:
Nami and Franky join Kanjuro who has taken Yasuie’s dead body to bury him with Oden, and together they hit the road. Robin, Usopp, and Brook are at the dock trying to figure out a way to pass through a check point. Meanwhile, Big Mom and Kaido finally clash at Onigashima.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Every week I do try to approach this series with some amount of anticipation, so don’t get my frustration with it over the last few months the wrong way. I still very much enjoy the show as a whole and the character, but this arc has overall just proven more frustrating than I expected and it’s left me just waiting for it to hit that point where it goes from treading water to tipping forward enough that the motion and intention is interesting. The problem simply continues to be that the world of Wano, while interesting in passing and visually, is filled with a lot of characters that have not resonated in the slightest and weak story material that ties back too far, making it even harder to connect with.

A lot of the first half of this episode deals with the usual, the extended credit, some recap material, and then a shift into kind of moving around to different characters to update where they are. It’s not filled with a lot of forward movement material or anything, but I do like when it settles on Otoko for a bit since she’s basically hanging out sleeping in Brook’s outfit, which he gets chided for since he can’t provide her with any body heat. Just spending some time with some of the Straw Hats we’ve barely seen in so long and seeing them being tender with Otoko hits a certain sweet spot for me. That and a couple of other small things makes for some decent reconnects, including some time with Luffy and the old man as they practice a bit with their iron gear hands and all. It’s nice, sometimes, just to see Chopper in aww and to get a moment where Luffy really has to work to learn how to gear up.

While we see the potential of what Luffy can be, we also get some time with Zoro doing his round of cleanup in the area and giving his blad a good workout, which makes for probably the best action sequence in the episode without question. Zoro continues to be one of my favorite characters and seeing the way he goes at things here – and handles the interruption with such skill – simply reinforces that in a big way. Especially as it brings Kawamatsuo into play as that brings about its own reunion. The last main piece involves Big Mom and Kaido spending some time together and while it has its moments it’s mostly just amusing to watch her eat while still chained up and everything. With her seemingly back to herself, it doesn’t take long for things to get threatening and that alone is worth watching. That’s right, the Big Mom material is probably the best of the episode.

In Summary:
One Piece spends time with a lot of different characters and locations in this episode, which is good, but unlike better storytelling very little of it actually advances anything or changes anything. There are good key moments to it that do play out, but it lacks anything that really does change anything, instead promising that for maybe the next episode. There are really good moments within it, however, but you have to work through the bland to get there.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.