The One Piece anime has finally reached its 1000th episode. As you’d expect, they’ve prepared something special for us this episode, even in the midst of a raging battle.

One Piece 1000 Commemorative key art.
Along with some special key art to boot.

Yes, you heard that right: the One Piece anime (adapted from the manga by Eiichiro Oda) that began its run all the way back in 1999 has now reached its 1000th episode. In that time, the anime has changed directors numerous times in that time. The current director is Satoshi Itō, who did a brief stint directing Ep. 780-782 before joining the series as the director proper back in Ep. 962. Shōji Yonemura is the current writer for the anime. Kohei Tanaka and Shirō Hamaguchi have been the composers for the anime since the very beginning. And of course, Toei Animation has been the production company since the beginning as well.

One Piece Ep. 1000 premiered on November 20, 2021. You can watch the episode in both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles, or in English dub. You can watch it on various streaming platforms, including Funimation and Crunchyroll.

Warning: spoilers for One Piece Ep. 1000 below. If you want to watch this landmark episode for yourself, stop here, and come back once the Devil Fruit-powered action is over. Or at least, have hit a lull in the battle.

One Piece Ep. 1000: Plot Summary

It’s been quite the long cruise indeed.

Because One Piece is an ongoing anime series, events in this 1000th episode start off where the last episode left off. In this case, Ep. 1000 starts us off in the middle of a raging battle on top of Onigashima between the top samurai of Wano plus a large group of Mink tribe warriors, and the forces of Kaido’s Animal Kingdom Pirates, led by one of Kaido’s top generals: Jack “The Drought” in his Mammoth form. The gigantic Mammoth pirate proves too much for the samurai and Minks, defeating them even in their full moon-powered Super Saiyan form. The tide turns though when Boss Cat Viper and Duke Dogstorm show up, go Super Saiyan as well, and proceed to launch their own offensive against Jack, ripping apart a good portion of the remaining Animal Kingdom forces Jack led as well.

Meanwhile, Luffy and Zoro are trying to get to that same rooftop to do battle with Kaido and his main forces. They aim for a convenient hole in said rooftop. They nearly succeed, but they’re stopped by Queen: a Brachiosaurus Zoan and also one of Kaido’s top leaders. Other Animal Kingdom pirates rally around that hole, preventing the duo from trying again.

Fortunately, the duo stops being a duo pretty quickly. The other Straw Hat pirates, consisting of Sanji, Usopp, Chopper, Robin, Brook, Franky, Nami, and Jimbei (each complete with their own montage and bounty price just for the episode); rally around Luffy and Zoro. After taking care of one of Kaido’s giants and a small portion of the Animal Kingdom Pirates, the Straw Hats gather the crew in one place in preparation for a general offensive on that roof hole. How will they break through the Animal Kingdom Pirates to reinforce their allies on the roof? Well, that’s what we’ll find out in One Piece Ep. 1001.

One Piece Ep. 1000: The Good

One Piece Wano arc key art.
The good guys and girls all lined up here. Complete with some strange poses.

For all of you One Piece fans, this episode is a real treat. Not only do you get to see a continuation of the battle for Wano, but you also get a huge hit of nostalgia on top of it. The nostalgia begins with the opening sequence. It’s not the usual opening featuring the song “DREAMIN’ ON” by Da-iCE.

Catchy, but not quite nostalgic. Not yet.

No, for One Piece Ep. 1000, there’s a special opening sequence. Fans who’ve been watching from the very beginning will recognize “We Are!” by Hiroshi Kitadani. Yes, they decided to reach all the way back to the first opening for this special occasion. Even better, it’s not actually the actual first opening. It features brand new animation, complete with all of the Straw Hats in their Wano outfits, and sailing around in the Thousand Sunny rather than their old Going Merry (RIP). Man, does Toei Animation know how to sling that nostalgia around.

Nostalgia to the max!

Even within the episode itself, One Piece continues to just mash that nostalgia button. When all the Straw Hats gathered together, each and everyone had their own montage showing off their past, leading up to the present conflict, plus their current bounty. As someone who has been following the series since the very beginning, that got me right in the heart. Here’s to the 1000th episode of the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates, and let’s hope for plenty more in the years to come!

One Piece Ep. 1000: The Bad

Kaido art.
The current Big Bad, with an emphasis on Big.

As much as the nostalgia is biasing me towards One Piece Ep. 1000, it’s not quite perfect in my opinion. I actually wish Toei Animation went even further with the nostalgia and included a modernized first ending sequence at the very end of the episode. I mean, how appropriate would it be to see all of the modernized version of the first ending playing to “memories” by Maki Otsuki? Ah well, maybe next time.

Source: Funimation, Crunchyroll