One Piece Episode 1000 was released earlier tonight, much to the joy of fans everywhere, and it certainly delivered on the hype.
From quite literally the first scene to the last, One Piece Episode 1000 delivered on hype, emotion and setup. It certainly excelled at stirring nostalgia, especially with a redux of the first opening specifically for this episode.
The memorable moments weren’t just those which stirred up old memories, however. One Piece Episode 1000 certainly struck a great balance between reminding viewers about where the show came from and where it’s going.
Note: There are spoilers ahead.
One Piece Episode 1000: Nostalgic opening, Straw Hats reunite and Zoro gets serious
In the opening scenes of One Piece Episode 1000, the One Piece 1000 Logs logo is seen before a familiar 4:3 ratio image appears. It’s the One Piece logo as seen in Opening 1, which continues playing in its entirety. Once the music vocals come in, the differences are obvious.
This is a special redux version of Opening 1, featuring all current Straw Hat crew members and replacing the Going Merry with the Thousand Sunny. The starting of One Piece Episode 1000 set the tone really well, and instantly made the hype and buildup feel more than deserved.
Once the theme ends, Marco and Perospero are seen talking before Big Mom shouts out for help while rolling and is popped up into the air off of a bridge. Sasaki of the Tobi Roppo then appears, saying he never expected his best friend Kyoshiro to betray him. Sasaki then admires Big Mom’s power (an earlier attack of hers is what set him free) before declaring his intent to kill Kyoshiro.
A truly amazingly animated scene follows, showing the rooftop clash between the Mink Tribe warriors and a sect of Beast Pirates led by Jack and Kaido. The Akazaya Nine minus Dogstorm and Cat Viper go to step in before the latter two stop them. Dogstorm and Cat then turn Sulong, proceeding to tear through the battlefield on their way to Jack.
Finally reaching Jack, the two dance around him before brandishing their fangs and claws while going in for a hit. In an excellent transitional shot, the show then cuts to Luffy dodging and striking some Beast Pirate fodder before landing in front of Queen. Zoro then appears, and the two Straw Hats attempt to head to the roof.
Suddenly, Queen is transformed into his brachiosaurus form and bites down on the two. King and other flying Beast Pirates show up and affirm their intent to keep the Straw Hats from the roof. The first act then ends with Zoro and Luffy flying through the air before redux eye catchers from the very first season of One Piece appear.
Straw Hats reunite
The final half of One Piece Episode 1000 opens with Luffy and Zoro landing hits on one of the Drunken Giants before landing safely on the ground. Hyogoro and Wano samurai then show up, followed by Franky, Usopp and Chopper.
The three Straw Hats then initiate a “docking” sequence to combine their mechs into the Iron Pirate, General Franky. A great part of the series’ writing are the homages it’ll pay to other anime and manga genres/series, and the mecha genre homage that is the docking sequence is always welcome.
Sanji then rises from the rubble King placed him in before deactivating the Raid Suit. Beast Pirate enemies begin closing in on Hyogoro and the Samurai, but Luffy steps in, kicking off a great series of action sequences.
Each sequence in One Piece Episode 1000 is centered around a different Straw Hat, giving them the opportunity to shine and take out some fodder. The sequences all use different light filters, and each also ends with the character’s major moments in their journeys thus far. While the scenes did drag on a little bit, it was a great feeling being shown where the series has come from, where it’s at and where it's going.
After the last sequence, King and Queen tell the Rebellion force not to get complacent. Hyogoro laughs, saying with Straw Hat on their side, he feels like they can’t lose. The sentiment is restated by all samurai present, before the Straw Hats begin reuniting one by one. Once fully assembled, there is a great shot of the crew together before Luffy reaffirms his sentiment to take down Kaido.
Something very noteworthy here is the positioning of Zoro’s swords in One Piece Episode 1000. In the scenes leading up to the shot of the crew all together, Zoro is carrying his swords on his right side. Yet in One Piece Episode 1000’s final scenes showing the crew altogether, Zoro has his swords on his left side.
In Japanese samurai etiquette, swords being carried on the right generally meant the wielder wasn’t taking any current threat seriously. Carrying the swords on the left meant they were on guard and ready for battle, as samurai were taught to make a wide offensive stroke when unsheathing swords with their right hand. In essence, Oda is telling us Zoro is finally taking the New World seriously, a small yet incredibly significant detail certainly worth pointing out.
One Piece Episode 1000 was so full of minor details and nuances that it would be impossible to list every episode highlight here. The episode truly lived up to the hype it had received, and delivered in any and all aspects.
One Piece Episode 1000 marks not only a turning point for the Onigashima raid, but the franchise itself. With the official announcement of a new film releasing alongside One Piece Episode 1000, all eyes are on the franchise as it sails forward into uncharted waters.