How would you rate episode 985 of
One Piece ?
I won't lie folks, this episode was probably a low point for the anime adaptation of the Wano arc. I feel like in spite of Wano's length, there has consistently been something engaging to the material in both the manga and the anime. There has certainly been fatigue in the past – hard not to experience it at least on occasion, given that we are years into it at this point – but this week's episode was one of the first times I truly felt like there was nothing added.
I suppose that's not entirely true. We do get introduced to Bao Huang, a character who boasts a wonderfully distinctive character design without being quite as ridiculously over the top as some of the beast pirates have been. She plays a critical role in Wano due to her powers, but other than showing up and looking neat, she does not do all that much in this episode.
Not much happening is the theme for episode 985 in general. Kaido and the Tobi Roppo talk for a little while, but there's really no tension or comedy to the scene. Luffy and Zoro both wandering the floor and talking to beast pirates goons while getting upset about the plight of Wano's people is good, but feels very repetitive. It honestly struck me as a bit of a start/stop with the emotional build-up; I felt like their righteous anger at the situation was already boiling at the end of 984. Did we really need another episode dedicated to spilled red bean soup and Tama flashbacks so soon? I can't recall how long this sequence played out in the manga, but this episode sure made it feel longer.
I truly feel bad for not enjoying an episode like this. Wano has been such a consistent delight up until now, and every week it has met or exceeded my expectations. Perhaps the team needed to draw out this week's events to be able to prep for upcoming events, and given the incredible quality of other recent episodes I can see that being a real possibility. That said, what's here is not much and I'm not sure what it adds to Wano outside of more runtime.
One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.com. Save on Anime Streaming Subscriptions with Funimation.