Another week, another incredible One-Piece episode. Episode 1072 marches to the same drum as 1071 and delivers many of the same joys and thrills, but with its particular spin on the formula.
The majority of our runtime this week involves Luffy engaging in what can only be described as hijinks. It’s a medley of shenanigans, tomfoolery, and outright silliness at every turn. You might find yourself thinking, “Surely Kaido doesn’t swallow Luffy whole only for Luffy to puff up like a balloon in his stomach and give him indigestion.” You’re mistaken there, my friend. “And after that,” you might continue, “he certainly would never use Kaido like a massive jump rope in midair, all the while giggling.” I’m afraid that’s another misconception. The lad’s behavior is goofy, the drums are beating, and Luffy takes Kaido through a parade of cartoonish goofball antics.
For myself, this was a non-stop delight. Same as last week, I can’t get enough of this stuff. I sharpened my teeth on the comedic shorts from the likes of Tex Avery and Chuck Jones, and I’ve always lamented that the Looney Tunes have largely fallen out of public consciousness. Witnessing (and hearing! Shout out to the continued excellent sound design) Luffy being reborn and empowered with all the screwball delight of those old cartoons is such a treat. I’m sure you all have your favorite bits – I’m quite partial to Luffy having to reach out and grab his expression out of midair and shove it back into his face – and there’s plenty to choose from.
That’s not to say that 1072 is solely a nostalgic look back, though; there are many lovely modern techniques in the mix as well. The beautiful sequence of Luffy getting in touch with the drums of his heartbeat as colorful splashes of energy burst all around him is truly a sight to behold, with a water-like sense of movement in place and delicate linework. I’ve always been quite fond of the part where Luffy gets struck by Kaido’s bat, and not just because his face is imprinted with the spikes of the bat, but also due to the way it rotates along with the club arc; Kaido’s swing is at an interesting angle relative to the camera’s POV, and it turns along an odd axis that I am certain was a pain to animate.