One Piece: 5 best Wano Arc anime episodes yet (and 5 best manga chapters) (2023)

One Piece’s Wano arc has been the biggest arc in the series to date, spanning more than two and a half years of the series’ serialization time. Even more impressive is that, despite being the longest arc yet, the Wano Arc failed to become stale for many One Piece fans, even in its relatively slower moments.

This success is largely due to the level of quality both the anime and manga production teams have imparted into the arc this far. In many regards, it boasts some of the best overall quality amongst all of One Piece’s 1000+ chapters and episodes.

Here are the 5 best anime episodes and 5 best manga chapters in One Piece’s Wano arc so far.

Megumi Ishitani directed episodes dominate One Piece’s 5 best of the Wano arc

1) Episode 1000

First up on the list is the momentous One Piece Episode 1000, which was iconic for many reasons. For one, it marks the moment where the series joined a relatively exclusive and small list of anime with 1000+ episodes, which is enough by itself to include the episode here.

On top of that, it featured brilliant animation and direction, as well as stellar performances from voice actors to boot. Furthermore, the episode announced the upcoming One Piece Film: Red, which is set to release in Japanese theaters on August 6, 2022. Overall, the episode is incredibly significant both for what it represents and for its exceptional quality.

2) Episode 982

Megumi Ishitani's second directorial outing is undoubtedly one of the best anime episodes of the Wano Arc to this date. The episode was exceptionally well-made from top to bottom, in everything from storyboarding to voice acting to animation and everything in between.

It has become one of the most iconic episodes amongst fans, and for many others, this episode remains as one of their favorites of all time. While some argue Ishitani’s third directorial outing for the series to be her best work yet, episode 982 is an extremely close second, or even the preferred option, for many fans.

3) Episode 1015

One Piece Episode 1015 was an amazing episode from start to finish, with many viewers calling it their absolute favorite episode of the series. The installment was outstanding, marking the start of the highly anticipated Roof Piece (the rooftop battle between the Worst Generation and the two Yonko) in the anime.

The episode is also yet another Megumi Ishitani directed installment, and the level of professionalism and quality control she brings with her is palpable throughout. Every scene is crisply animated, with almost no corners cut throughout the entire episode. Without a doubt, episode 1015 deserves a spot on this list.

4) Episode 1016

(Video) 🔴 'Luffy Gear 5' VS 'Kaido' !!! - Full Manga Fight - No Cuts

If episode 1015 was an appetizer for Roof Piece in the anime, then One Piece Episode 1016 is the first entree course for the oft-praised section of the Onigashima Raid. The episode takes everything its predecessor did and doubles it, featuring a 23 minutes of non-stop action between the Worst Generation and the Yonko.

The animation is of exceptional quality as the previous episode, arguably even more so due to the dynamic animation that fight scenes necessitate. The episode is detail-oriented, and is unmatched by most of the earlier episodes in the series, except for a few. The episode aptly deserves its rank on this list.

5) Episode 957

The final entry on this list is Megumi Ishitani’s debut as a director for the series, One Piece episode 957. The episode primarily focuses on the major news coming from the fallout of the Reverie, including a tease of Sabo’s fate and the disbandment of the Seven Warlords of the Sea. The episode was perfectly executed by its incredible animation, on which Ishitani had the final say over.

The main reason for this episode’s inclusion is how unique it was relative to other Wano Arc episodes at the time, marking a step-up in quality akin to that of an anime film. Since the episode was incredible, it has made a lasting impact within the community even 18 months after its initial release.

Power up issues comprise best manga chapters of One Piece’s Wano arc

1) Chapter 1000

The manga chapters comprising of a majority of episode 1015’s events is one of the best in the Wano Arc chapters. Like its episodic counterpart, the issue saw Roof Piece begin in earnest, with Luffy launching a devastating attack on Kaido to the point of hurting the previously-thought invincible foe.

Despite lacking technical advantages such as voice acting, backing music, and captivating animation, chapter 1000 proved to be just as engaging as the anime’s adaptation. There’s little doubt that many would call it one of the best chapters in One Piece’s Wano Arc.

2) Chapter 1044

One Piece Chapter 1044 saw Luffy's spectacular awakening of his Devil Fruit to become the next incarnation of the mythical Sun God, Nika. It saw Gorosei finally explaining what Luffy’s true Devil Fruit is, which the fans had suspected to be coming for quite some time.

The issue’s ending scenes of Luffy dominating Kaido in the next stage of their fight further added to the excitement the issue created amongst the fanbase. It would be a sin to discuss the best chapters of the Wano arc and not include this brilliant chapter.

3) Chapter 1010

One Piece Chapter 1010 is what many fans call the first step-up in the Roof Piece section of the Onigashima Raid. Firstly, it sees Zoro damage Kaido with an attack so severe that it compels Yonko to admit that he “will remain with him.” It also sees Zoro’s Conqueror’s Haki, teased by Kaido himself, before being officially revealed later.

(Video) Wano After Kaido Is Defeated🔥- One Piece Chap 1052

The issue also sees the introduction of Advanced Conqueror’s Haki, which is done via Luffy’s activation of the power by coating his arms with it before attacking Kaido. With this introduction alone, the power-scaling system in the series has completely changed. Even if the readers were to ignore the other details about the chapter, the introduction alone would make it up to earn this chapter a spot here.

4) Chapter 1035

As mentioned above, One Piece Chapter 1035 marks Zoro’s debut using both standard and Advanced Conqueror’s Haki. Here, he also comes up with his new King of Hell style, which is what he calls his use of Advanced Conqueror’s Haki. It’s an outstanding chapter which sees him keep his promise to Luffy and beat his toughest opponents in the form of King.

Beyond this introduction, the fight itself ended grandly, showing Zoro’s incredible power, and likening him to Shimotsuki Ryuma. Such parallels are always welcome, especially when buoyed by a fantastic fight scene, easily earning this issue a spot on this list.

5) Chapter 1034

Similarly, One Piece Chapter 1034 marked Sanji’s victory in his own toughest fight yet, as well as the introduction of his own new power-up, Ifrit Jambe. While not quite as significant as Advanced Conqueror’s Haki, the power-up sees Sanji be elevated to the same level of super-soldier status as his siblings are.

Being one of Sanji’s best fights in recent memory, the finale against Queen also helps to elevate the issue of his power-up. While the storyline of the fight had different levels of engagement among the viewers, it was met with a generally positive reception. Nevertheless, this chapter deserves a spot on this list considering all the other factors.

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