One Piece Episode 1,015 left fans on a rollercoaster of emotions — tears, smiles, the feeling of satisfaction, and more.
We're all happy that the much-awaited "Roof Piece" (as fans like to call it) is finally here. But, the way the staff at Toei Animation used the latest episode to lead toward the beginning of the epic battles between the two Emperors of the Sea and some of the Worst Generation deserves all the praise they can get.
Directed by Ishitani Megumi, the emotional impact, storytelling, and emphasis on parallels in One Piece Episode 1,015 sent shivers down everyone's spine. This episode reminded us why One Piece is so good and why we're so invested in following Luffy and his dream.
It would not be a surprise if some of us shed a few tears here and there — this episode was nothing but short of perfection.
One Piece Episode 1,015 Review
The first half of the episode centers around Yamato, who told Momonosuke and Shinobu more about his encounter with Ace and Oden's journal. Of course, Ace was praising Luffy the whole time — and as such, slipped out a few words regarding Luffy's dream about being King of the Pirates.
Even after Ace apologized and told him not to laugh, Yamato did not laugh at all. Instead, his face was painted with amazement and admiration — for those were the exact same words he read in Oden's journal about Gol D. Roger.
And then it begins — a well-executed animation sequence of the parallels between Luffy and Roger to further emphasize Yamato's feelings on the matter.
It's not a new technique to alter the animation style in flashbacks and whatnot, but the contrasting color schemes between Luffy and Roger in this scene were highly effective.
Not only did this scene help us understand Yamato's point of view on it, but even for the fans, we're reminded of how relevant Luffy and Roger's parallels are to the story.
To add to the parallel, they incorporated the trios — in the sequence, they had Luffy, Ace, and Sabo alongside Roger, Oden, and Whitebeard. These were vital people concerning Luffy and Roger's dream, and of course, that further contributed to the emotional impact of the episode.
Eventually, Ace and Yamato say their goodbyes, and we're back to shedding tears. Ace's Vivre Card vanished right in front of Yamato's eyes, and we again witnessed a glimpse of Ace's painful death in the Marineford Arc.
What's wonderful about Yamato's part in the episode is the team at Toei Animation took the time to explore and flesh out Yamato more, which surely affects us differently, especially in comparison to the manga.
We're given a clear vision of Yamato's admiration and dedication to Oden, Luffy, living freely, and opening Wano to the world.
The second half introduces us to the much-awaited Roof Piece. Members of the Worst Generation slowly make an entrance, ready to battle Big Mom and Kaido.
In true One Piece fashion, it is never wholly serious — there was even a bit of comedy with Zoro's entrance, who was thrown up to the rooftop by Marco.
Finally, Luffy makes his entrance. Despite the taunting of Big Mom and Kaido, Luffy simply walked past them without saying a word and made his way toward Kinemom and the rest of the Akazaya Nine.
This scene uses parallels once again, although the emotional impact is greater since we see it from Luffy's point of view. This time, it focuses on Luffy's emotions regarding their journey in Wano.
For more emotional damage, the bright colors in Luffy's flashback with the Akazaya Nine when they vowed to help each other out, followed by hues of dark red with the Akazaya Nine knocked out, were painful to see.
Plus, there were Kinemon's haunting words to Luffy — "Can you carry the Land of Wano on your back?"
The segment emphasizes the emotions surrounding the fight for Wano — its importance, its impact, and the gravity of it all on the side of the samurai and their alliance.
Shortly after, at the moment leading to Luffy punching Kaido, more feelings flow through the scene.
Luffy remembers Hyogoro's words about Ryuo (Wano's version of Haki), meaning flow. This part shows "flow" in more ways than one. Aside from Luffy using his abilities to prepare to attack, there is also the flow of emotions, demonstrated through the flashbacks of the people behind his reason for fighting.
And finally, Luffy lands a hit on Kaido. The background music, an instrumental of One Piece's very first opening theme, is the cherry on top of the whole sequence.
Some fans may say this was the best episode in the series so far, while others may argue that it's just one of the best. Either way, the focus on emotions and expansion of narrative in this episode deserves all the praise from followers of One Piece.
However, one thing is for sure — One Piece Episode 1,015 is undoubtedly one for the books.
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