After 1031 and the previous few stunner episodes I had been expecting another cooldown period so this episode coming out of nowhere, relatively speaking, was quite a pleasant surprise. Oftentimes when the anime tries to expand on fights or otherwise build them from the ground up we get some odd ideas where the intention is good but the execution isn't quite there so I appreciated how they kept the Luffy vs. Kaido parts relatively simple and grounded this time by sticking to a straightforward, weighty slugfest which Chansard, Maenami, Tu, and especially Ota all did a great job on (and all the other animators who contributed whose names I don't know off the top of my head), You just know the staff popped some bubbly when Kaido reverted back to his human form though, lol.
With this being his third appearance I guess this solidifies Akihiro Ota sticking around for the time being which is a huge, huge get for the show. The veery loose, blobby, Shinya Okira-esque style he's been using in Onigashima is so different from his earlier cuts in Dressrosa, the movies, and his last TV project World Trigger. I can't stress enough how glad I am that 2020s One Piece is less conservative and not afraid to let the animators deviate from the norm and showcase their personal touches like that. In time past you'd only see that kind of heavy deviance from Naoki Tate's episodes.
I thought it would've been funny if Yu Mizushima voiced Hera as well in an exaggerated falsetto to complete the Homie set but I guess five characters in the same arc would've been too much! It feels like it's been years since I've heard Yumi Kakazu in anything.