One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at over 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those who haven’t been watching from the start to jump on board. One Piece Diaries tracks one writer’s experience with this daunting rite of passage. With hype for the highs and critique for the lows, this column will help you decide whether to take your own One Piece journey – or let you relive the one you’re already on. It will update biweekly every other Thursday.
Episodes Watched: 252 – 263 – Water 7 Arc
Finishing Water 7 took a lot longer than I expected it to. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I caught COVID-19. While I was in the throes of sickness, this show was not what I wanted to watch. Instead, I spent the time mainlining NANA. Interpersonal drama and romance went down a lot smoother during that time. That plus trying to keep up with the Spring 2022 anime season and generally attending to my life meant I wasn’t watching a lot of this show. But I finally finished the arc, and now I want to talk about it.
The final stretch of the arc involved the Straw Hats, Kokoro, and Franky’s crew trying to rescue Robin, Usopp, and Franky, who had all been taken away on a sea train bound for Enies Lobby by CP9. It’s been an action-packed sequence of events that involved some cool strategy, some emotional moments, and a really badass train.
We were also introduced to Sogeking, who is both hilarious and also an example of good character work – it makes perfect sense that Usopp would use obvious lies as a coping mechanism. It makes perfect sense that he wouldn’t be able to just come out and support his friends after a falling out, but would resort to a weird disguise to do it anyway.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed the last stretch of the arc, even if I watched it in a disjointed manner. One particularly great moment was when Luffy let the Franky family join him even though they’d messed with him before. I really like that he doesn’t hold grudges and that he treats helping others as a matter of course. I’m not always sold on Luffy as a protagonist, but this is one trait of his that I love.
I’m not sure how I feel about Franky’s declaration about Robin’s existence not being a sin. I think he’s right, but I’m not sure the comparison between her life and a ship someone decided to build is fair. I guess I can’t knock anything that allows him to empathize with another person, but I think that Robin having the right to safety and friendship despite knowing something that could put the world in danger is very different from Franky’s decision to build hazardous weapons and the consequences that result from that. While I don’t think Franky should torture himself over what happened to Tom, I think Iceberg was right – he is partially to blame, and he has to be a hell of a lot more careful about his actions from now on. That’s not comparable to Robin’s right to exist.
Here’s one thing I just straight up didn’t like – Sanji’s fight with Wanze. The damn thing took multiple episodes to resolve, and it was a disgusting waste of time. Wanze seemed like a carbon copy of Satori from Skypiea. Annoying, hard to look at, not funny, and a distraction from more interesting story elements. I did not want to see some dude with eyeballs popping out his head snorting ramen out of his nose, nor did I find his “pretty” face at the end particularly amusing. The whole thing was juvenile and boring. Which…fine, I guess. I’m a woman in her 30s, obviously, I’m not the target audience for this stuff. It wasn’t offensive or morally wrong. But goddamn it was annoying.
Up next is Enies Lobby! I know that this is the arc where the Straw Hats actually fight the CP9. I’m both looking forward to seeing them in action and worried that the fights will drag and be boring. I’ll try and keep an open mind about it. Hopefully, it’ll be a good time.
One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at over 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those whoCOMICONRead More