by Sam Leach, Jul 3rd 2018

At long last, it"s time for the Luffy/Capone/Caesar alliance khổng lồ come lớn an end. They may have failed khổng lồ kill Big Mom, but they succeeded in knocking down her castle (an accident) và pissing her off (hey, what can you do?) so Capone"s ready khổng lồ cut his losses & call it a day. The Big Mom pirates are furious and on the hunt, so they only have so much time to escape the territory completely. Sadly, this is also Caesar Clown"s final appearance in this arc, concluding his multi-hundred episode long saga as the Straw Hats" resident hostage/bargaining chip. His final gag is to lớn hang out in the background, shouting goodbye and hoping somebody somewhere will care that he"s gone.

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I care, Caesar. I care.

The Big Mom pirates were able lớn survive the fall off the chateau thanks to lớn Streusen"s food powers that turn the Whole Cake Chateau into an actual cake so that people can land on soft bread & frosting. However, food produced by the Cook-Cook Fruit apparently doesn"t taste good enough for Big Mom"s liking, & in the rubble of her fallen castle all she can vì is lament the loss of that wedding cake she was craving for at the ceremony—the one that Luffy busted with his grand entrance. Mom"s "hunger pangs" were established early in the arc, and the full bộ of those and her seething rage toward the Straw Hats as she hits a furious withdrawal & topples the nearest city screaming "wedding cake!!!" over and over again. Her children have a lot khổng lồ worry about between killing the Straw Hats và stopping Mom from killing them.

After spending the past few months on đứng đầu of the bright, confectionary-themed chateau, it"s refreshing khổng lồ see the green grass và trees again now that we"re back on the ground floor. This episode"s greatest strength is that we"re finally entering a new phase of the story, with new settings & goals. That doesn"t mean that our heroes are anywhere close lớn done with Big Mom và her family, but there"s still something bittersweet about parting ways with our allies nonetheless. There"s a lot of good comedy that comes with the end of the Straw Hat/Firetank partnership too, lượt thích Capone putting up a "Straw Hats went that way -->" sign in a last ditch attempt khổng lồ get the Big Mom family off his heels.

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The weakness of this episode is that somewhere along the way we slipped back out of the one-chapter-per-episode pace, so a lot of the runtime gets taken up with Big Mom"s kids standing around talking, và the fate of Charlotte Opera, who was sent to try and calm Mom down in the midst of her rampage, is left for next week. If you were an anime-only watcher, then you"d likely be confused as khổng lồ why the Straw Hats are now không tính phí to escape Big Mom"s territory without any more fighting. Like, really? That"s it? The faster the show can get us lớn the the Straw Hats" next concrete goal on WCI, the better.

This is a serviceable episode if ever there was one. Entering a new phase of the arc can be a little exciting, but it also comes with new challenges. The gimmick of Whole Cake Island moving forward is a giant chase with Big Mom herself, so we"re going khổng lồ hear her shout "wedding cake!" a deathly number of times. It"s about lớn get very old, very fast. However, the focus on story flow & momentum in this part of the arc is incredible, và I"m looking forward to lớn seeing it be adapted, janky pacing và all.

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Rating: B

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Sam Leach records about One Piece for The One Piece Podcast and you can find him on Twitter