Sometimes Wano feels like an “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” sort of arc. As much as I love its thematic importance and grandiosity, the sheer enormity of it all does begin to wear on me as time goes on.
Case in point: basically this entire episode.
Episode 1019 has a lot of great moments. Tama rallying the troops and committing everything she has to save Wano, her people, and her friends is really touching. It’s thematically poignant that the act of feeding others is what is helping win the day against the tyrannical rule of the shogun and beast pirates – groups that have made it a habit of starving the people of Wano. I love it! I really do.
Except … it’s really hard to muster up the will to enjoy it after all this time, or even the effort of remembering the four dozen other characters in these scenes. Oh yeah, Speed is a character! And the giraffe sword guy! I totally forgot because we haven’t seen them in weeks (months?) of real time. And ultimately what they’re adding to the conflict is, well, more scenes of lots of dudes running with swords and screaming.
The Franky fight feels similarly deflating. Don’t get me wrong, I love Franky getting any shine and the animation is drop-dead gorgeous. Wano has never been a slouch in the visuals department. But it’s easy to forget – after weeks of rooftop megaton punches – that this battle between Sasaki and Franky was even happening.