One Piece has been going for about two decades, and I sometimes doubt that I will live to see the end of it. So, it might seem silly to take a little year out of its grand timeline and talk about the best parts of it. But the day that I stop celebrating One Piece is the day that joy dies, and that's why I feel that it's necessary to look back into 2018 and pick out the best bits. And yes, I know that 2018 isn't truly over yet, but unless One Piece decides to include an anime-only scene in the next episode where Sogeking has a sudden one-on-one duel with Kizaru, I think this list is pretty set in sea stone.
So with that said, here are the top 10 greatest moments from the One Piece anime in 2018! Many of them are great for different reasons--some are touching, some are weird, some are action-packed, and some are about Luffy cutting off a villain's windpipe. Actually, that's #10. Let's check it out!
Not a lot of focus is put on this sequence, but in Luffy's effort to find Sanji's location, he chokes Charlotte Cadenza to unconsciousness . This stuck out to me because it shows that Luffy is so desperate to find his cook pal that he's breaking out the sleeper hold. It makes me hope that we'll eventually see Luffy get so frustrated that he locks in a triangle choke on Blackbeard, or a double wrist lock on Akainu.
Charlotte Pudding is one of Big Mom's many manipulated children, someone who has lived her whole life being told that she is ugly and is currently being used in one of the Four Emperors' schemes. No matter how important she is now, Big Mom will always see her as a pawn. Then, on their "wedding day," Sanji tells her that her third eye is beautiful, and in a life that's devoted to serving her unstable warlord mother, Pudding finds a brief moment of comfort.
I wondered how they were going to do this scene, because it would be weird if I had to eventually tell people "man, remember when Big Mom graphically ate a dozen helpless children?" But what the anime ended up with--while not quite scary--was weird in its own right. It was so calm that it was a little bit unsettling.
If there is one Straw Hat that does not get enough credit for how cool they are, it's Nami. I've mentioned this before, but Nami is frequently the Straw Hat's MVP. However, because she's rarely altering the landscape with earth-shattering punches, everyone ignores her contributions. No, her lightning bolt didn't incinerate Big Mom, but it did buy the Sanji Retrieval Team some time to get away. Here's hoping that she gets more big moments in Wano.
The fight that everyone compares this to is Luffy vs Lucci--while I'm gonna need to mull over that question for about five more years before I have an answer as to which one is definitively better, I'm gonna go ahead and deem Luffy vs Katakuri to be particularly rad. I honestly think that the anime is pacing it out a little better than the manga did. That may sound blasphemous to One Piece manga purists, but who cares? They can go make their own lists.
First of all, you're my boy, Pedro. Your duel with Baron Tamago in 2017 is one of the best One Piece anime fights in years. Second, this hit me just as hard as I hoped it would: I got goosebumps when Pedro's image dissipated. Let's all pour one out for Pedro right now. Coffee, liquor, water, it doesn't matter. Your boss asks you to clean it up? Tell THEM to clean it up. That nerd will never understand.
Sanji revealing that he wants to be back with the Straw Hat crew was nice, but the icing on top of the nakama cake was Luffy's nonchalant "We're just gonna crash the wedding" reveal. There is regular chill and then there is Luffy chill, and that's a level of chill that I hope we can all reach one day.
Every once in a while, I'll hit a manga panel (Subscribe to Weekly Shonen Jump! It's $26 for an ENTIRE YEAR and it's incredible) that makes me excited for what it's gonna look like in the anime. And Germa 66's big Power Rangers reveal was one of those panels. Luckily, the anime didn't disappoint. All of the awesome makes you momentarily forget that the commanders of Germa 66 are 80% terrible and that only Reiju should leave One Piece alive.
Yeah, I'd be slightly unhappy if Eiichiro Oda decided to end Luffy's quest to become Pirate King and instead shifted the One Piece story to focus on Katakuri's love of donuts, but the key word here is "slightly."
If there is one kind of scene that One Piece does amazingly well, it's the "A Character Just Gained A Power Boost And Is Now Gonna Straight-Up Eat An Enemy's Heart" scene. And when Carrot transformed into her Sulong form and began tearing ship wheels off and demolishing the Big Mom pirates, it gave me that classic feeling that I got when Luffy first activated Gear 2 against Blueno years ago. Oh, One Piece. You're too good to me.
And those are the top 10 One Piece anime moments of 2018. I hope you've all had a decent year, and let's ring in 2019 the right way: By rewatching One Piece from the beginning. Don't act like you don't have the time to.
Daniel Dockery has a Twitter that he uses for official One Piece business and/or dumb opinions.