One Piece is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the anime series this year, and Toei Animation is marking the occasion with a huge new movie releasing in just a few days in Japan, One Piece: Stampede. The film is highly anticipated for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest draws is that it will feature the animated return of many fan-favorite characters who have not been around for quite a while.
This, of course, includes the massive popular Boa Hancock, and the recent episode of the anime series features a bit of filler that actually brought her back to the series proper with an introduction fans definitely were happy with.
Episode 895 of the series is actually part of a special side story tying into the upcoming release of One Piece: Stampede in Japan. This episode features Luffy and the other Straw Hats being stuck on an island after their drain their cola reserves with a Coup de Burst in order to escape from the bounty hunter Cidre and his crew.
It turns out Boa Hancock is on this island as she's been preparing for the upcoming Pirates Festival, which will be the story focus of the new film. When Luffy is launched away thanks to their carbonated water weaponry, he bumps into Boa Hancock in the bath. As fans know by now, this would normally be a death sentence for any normal man but Hancock is nothing but happy in seeing Luffy again.
Their reunion doesn't last long, however, as Cidre's forces eventually break into the bath and Luffy and Hancock have to fight their way out. Though Luffy is wary about letting them see the tattoo on her back, Hancock is ready to fight despite being in the nude. After some fights, the two of them are now teaming together in order to take down the Bounty Hunter Cidre as the episode comes to an end.
These filler episodes are meant to be a good prequel to the upcoming One Piece: Stampede, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters August 9th in Japan. There is currently no word on its release to other territories as of this writing, but Fuji TV officially describes the film as such, "The world's greatest exposition of the pirates, by the pirates, for the pirates - the Pirates Festival. Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Crew receive an invitation from its host Buena Festa who is known as the Master of Festivities. They arrive to find a venue packed with glamorous pavilions and many pirates including the ones from the Worst Generation. The place is electric."
New characters and cast members for the film include Tsutomu Isobe as Douglas Bullet, Yusuke Santamaria as Buena Festa, Rino Sashihara as Ann, Ryota Yamasato as Donald Moderate, and Chinese fashion model and singer Ron Monroe, YouTuber group Fischer's, and Naoto Takenaka in currently unconfirmed roles.