One Piece 1034 is a generally okay episode that has the unfortunate problem of following episode 1033. Any time we get a really stellar episode like that, the Toei team needs a bit of time to recover (and understandably so).
One big drawback is the focus on Zeus this episode, a character who is simply not all that interesting to me. Sure, it’s funny that there is a living cloud who is desperate for affirmation from Nami and/or Big Mom, but I really don’t care all that much what happens to him (and I didn’t in the manga, either). Any time he is on screen is time that could have been spent with any of the dozens of existing characters who already don’t get enough screen time each week. I’m sorry, I just don’t find him funny or engaging and I don’t think the “will he/won’t he” adds any tension to the existing fight with Big Mom.
There’s also the episode’s heavy reliance on flashbacks, but at least their inclusion here is understandable, as they help to set the stage and remind us of what has happened. Lord knows there is so much going on that flashbacks are needed to keep everything straight. It’s also nice that they managed to work it into the text through the framing device of Mom reading Oden’s journal.
That said, there are still some strong standout moments worth mentioning. Chopper getting a bit of shine is always welcome, but here he gets to fight and really flex his combat abilities, which is an even rarer occurrence – and it’s amazing to witness! Watching a mutated reindeer suplex a punk rock brontosaurus is what anime is all about, baby. On top of that, Eustass Kid interrupting the Big Mom fight to deliver a giant face palm looks terrific. Manga or anime, his arm gets all kinds of attention and shine, and it looks incredible here.
So this is overall a mixed bag of an episode, but it’s fun nonetheless.
Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.
One Piece is currently streaming on
Crunchyroll and Funimation.com.