One Piece (Whole Cake Island)

One Piece (Whole Cake Island)

One Piece anime series logo
One Piece

Whole Cake Island Arc Overview

The Whole Cake Island Arc of the One Piece anime covers 95 episodes from Episode 783 to Episode 877. It started airing in 2017 and concluded in 2019. That’s fairly close to the length of Dressrosa. But as I’ll explain in this review, Whole Cake Island didn’t suffer from the same issues Dressrosa did.

Okay, well, that’s not entirely true. But, I’ll say Whole Cake Island masked those issues a lot better than Dressrosa did. And, I think the first improvement that’s worth discussing is the plot of the arc.

Partway through Dressrosa, Sanji left with I believe Nami, Brook, and Chopper to head to Zou before the rest of the Straw Hat Crew. Then, Sanji was captured by the Big Mom Pirates at Zou and taken to Whole Cake Island to be married to one of Big Mom’s daughters.

Why was Sanji being married to one of Big Mom’s daughters? Because he’s actually a prince from the Vinsmoke clan of the West Blue and the Big Mom Pirates and Germa 66 (the Vinsmoke’s “country”) wanted to forge an alliance.

We get Sanji’s whole childhood backstory at this time, which explains how he made his way to the East Blue. And, this sets up a reason for the Straw Hats to finally come into contact with the crew of one of the Four Emperors of the Sea.

Obviously, Luffy isn’t going to simply let Big Mom have Sanji. And so, the entire Whole Cake Island Arc is really just a giant rescue mission. At this point, the Straw Hats aren’t strong enough to take down Big Mom and her crew. Their goal is simply to rescue Sanji and flee Big Mom’s territory.

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Increased Quality

Overall, I’d say there was a substantial increase in the quality of the series in Whole Cake Island compared to what came before. And, this increase in quality applies to all aspects of the anime, namely the story and art/animation.

As far as the story goes, this may be my new favorite arc. I still really like Thriller Bark, and I enjoyed Zou as well. But Whole Cake Island did a lot more than those arcs. Specifically, I think Sanji’s whole backstory with the Vinsmokes was great.

It would have been easy for this whole Vinsmoke connection for Sanji to feel forced. I mean, we already saw Sanji’s backstory from when he joined the Baratie. But, this goes beyond that without retconning it. And I really enjoyed Sanji’s interactions with his siblings (who have great voice actors I recognized, such as Kenjirou Tsuda).

Sanji Vinsmoke crying in the rain from the anime series One Piece: Whole Cake Island
Sanji Vinsmoke crying in the rain

Whole Cake Island was also surprisingly emotional. I know we already had Usopp “leave” the Straw Hat crew back in Water 7. So you’d think Sanji “leaving” the crew here wouldn’t be as impactful. But because of the circumstances surrounding Sanji’s departure, that wasn’t the case at all.

Of course, I can’t talk about the increase in quality of the anime during this arc without bringing up the insane animation during Luffy’s fight against Katakuri. The entire fight wasn’t animated amazingly because it was spread across many episodes (it was still good). But Episode 870 was crazy.

Honestly, my one big complaint about the arc has to do with the main antagonist, Big Mom. Despite her appearance, I do think Big Mom is a pretty cool character because of her ability and how she uses it. I also enjoyed her backstory. However, I couldn’t stand her screaming “wedding cake” for half the arc.

Big Mom Pirates

I guess I should start off this section on the Big Mom Pirates by explaining Big Mom herself. As far as we know, she’s a human. But, she’s huge and her skin is effectively made of reinforced steel even without her using armament haki.

She also has the Soul-Soul Fruit, which allows her to take the life force out of people and implant it into inanimate objects to give them life. It kind of works like Moria’s Shadow-Shadow Fruit. Big Mom can also implant pieces of her own soul into things.

The objects she animates are called Homies, and there are three Homies made with Big Mom’s soul. Prometheus is a large ball of fire, Zeus is a large thunder cloud, and Napoleon is a hat that can transform into a sword.

I don’t know if Napoleon’s transformation is due to a Devil Fruit like Spandam’s sword that ate an elephant Zoan fruit.

Luffy vs. Cracker from the anime series One Piece: Whole Cake Island
Luffy vs. Cracker

Below Big Mom herself are all her children. She has a lot of them, at least 70 from what I remember. Most of her children also have Devil Fruits — often corresponding with their names. For example, Oven has the Heat-Heat Fruit and Smoothie has the Wring-Wring Fruit.

Additionally, Big Mom’s children apparently encompass every known race other than Giants. It was specifically pointed out that there were no Giants among the Big Mom Crew. And the reason for this is that the Giants are sworn enemies of Big Mom due to the events of her childhood.

Oh, and aside from Big Mom’s children, she also has many other crew members from all around the world. Two we’ve met before are Pekoms, a lion Mink with the Turtle-Turtle Fruit, and Baron Tamago, who has the Egg-Egg Fruit.

Overall, Big Mom seems to have hundreds, if not thousands, of crew members.

Conclusion

Whole Cake Island is a 7/10, which is tied for the highest I’ve rated any One Piece arcs. However, as I mentioned, I do think this is probably my favorite arc so far. Despite sharing a rating with some other arcs, it’s the best.

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My review of the Reverie arc is available now.


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