One Piece’s New Epic Fight Takes the Series’ DBZ Inspiration Too Far

Warning: SPOILERS for episode #1046 of One Piece.

Fans of One Piece are ecstatic about the quality of the latest episode of the anime, which shows the beginning of the much-anticipated double battle between the Straw Hats Zoro and Sanji on one side, and King and Queen of the Beasts Pirates on the other. While the quality of the animation delivered by Toei is stellar, the flashy style is too different from the actual tone of the manga, and takes the Dragon Ball inspiration of the series too far.

The long war for the fate of Wano Country between the alliance led by the Straw Hats and Kaido’s Beasts Pirates had plenty of iconic moments. One of the most memorable scene takes place at the height of the battle in Onigashima, when the two strongest fighters of each pirate crew, Zoro and Sanji for the Straw Hats and King and Queen for the Beasts Pirates, face each other, while their captains Luffy and Kaido are fighting on the roof of the castle. Fans have been waiting for a long time to see this scene animated, and Toei did not fell short of expectations, delivering and exceptional episode that has had the internet buzzing since it came out.

Episode #1046 of One Piece, titled “Taking a Chance! The Two Arms Go into Battle!“, shows the recovery of Zoro, who had suffered terrible injuries to protect Luffy from Kaido and Big Mom’s combined attack. Thanks to a special medicine, Zoro steps back into the battle, and together with Sanji they face off against King and Queen, the only remaining officers of the Beasts Pirates, after the Flying Six have all been defeated. Zoro and Sanji hit the two All-Stars with combined powerful attacks, knocking them down and proudly declaring that, once they win this battle, Luffy will be one step closer to his dream of becoming the Pirate King.

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The Fights In One Piece Anime Are Using A Different Style From The Manga

This scene faithfully adapts one of the most epic moments in the manga (shown in chapter #1022). However, while the quality of Toei’s animation is top-notch, the style chosen since the beginning of the battle of Onigashima could be quite controversial for purists fans. One Piece has plenty of exciting and dynamic battles, but the style of the fights has always been very gritty and physical. In this episode, when Sanji and Zoro hit King and Queen with their attacks, their bodies are surrounded by streams of energy and they are flying through the air, which is similar to how the battle between Luffy and Kaido has been depicted. These visuals are more akin to Dragon Ball Z or the classic Saint Seiya, manga/anime that never cared much about the realism of their fights, but look more than a little unusual for One Piece.

This is not to say that One Piece is realistic in its battles, but rather that the anime is taking a different approach to them compared to the gritty stile of the manga. The end result is still spectacular: something that happened in only one page in the manga was transformed in this episode into a minutes-long sequence that gives goosebumps to every fan watching it. The upcoming, epic sequence of battles in the One Piece anime will show if the series has taken its Dragon Ball Z inspiration too far or if it will remain closer to the style of the manga.

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One Piece is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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