+ Reply to Thread
Page 13 of 13 FirstFirst ... 3 11 12 13
Results 241 to 249 of 249

Thread: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

  1. #241
    Wano? Wa-yes! Kaido King of the Beasts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Under your bed, in your closet, in your head

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    The raves are in!

    STOP...REVIEWING!
    Alabasta Arc


    Things people loved about the Alabasta Arc were...
    1. Rain and Character Shining: All of the main protagonists got their chances to shine in this arc, and they all hit major milestones. Even Vivi, who closed out her saga-long focus with some great moments that etched her into our memories to this day.
    2. Enter Sandman: On the opposite side, Crocodile is also a very great and memorable villain, getting the Shichibukai off on the right foot with a lot of personality and the abilities to match, handing Luffy his first complete and utter defeat...and then another one after that! It helps make the final battle between them as intense as it is.
    3. Lively Desert: Alabasta and its landscape are a high point for most, boasting many detailed locations. From the depths of Rain Dinners, to the unique flavors of the different towns, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

    Favorite love comment goes to Zar:
    Quote Originally Posted by Zar View Post
    What Alabasta does better than any other arc is focus. Looking back it had a fairly complicated setup - there's the royal family, marines, baroque works, civilians, strawhats and even Ace. We get introduced to concepts like the Poneglyphs, The Whitebeard Pirates and ancient weapons. But all of it is introduced in such a manner that it's never confusing, nor does it rely on excessive exposition. Part of this is because each side isn't inflated with unnecessary characters. The Marines are represented only by Smoker and Tashigi, and that's fine because they're the only ones we care about. We don't get to see a lot of the civilians, but Vivi makes us sympathetic anyway. The arc had a good flow and knew when to or not to focus on something.
    Things people loathed about the Alabasta Arc were...
    1. Sand-Sand Bland: Remember Kohza and the rebels' past with Vivi? Lots of people don't. This hurts them in the present, as they're not particularly memorable despite being a major facet of the plot.
    2. By the Numbers: While most if not all of them gave great battles, the Baroque Works agents as characters are a bit more mixed. Some of them are viewed as bland, while Mr. 4 and Miss Merry Christmas are sometimes outright disliked. Robin didn't get off to the strongest start. Even Crocodile, as great as he is, ends up one-note himself as his reputation as hero of Alabasta is glossed over in favor of the smug bastard he usually is.
    3. For Whom the Pell Tolls: This one shouldn't require so much explanation. One of the arc's most gut-wrenching scenes ends up with this, and the arc's refusal to kill anyone (actually, the entire saga's), causes everything to end on a less sweet note once we find out about all of it after the climax.

    Favorite loathe comment goes to Count Mario:
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Mario View Post
    But I think the one thing that pricks my mind the most is more in what we didn't see much of. And that's regarding Crocodile's public perception as a hero. We're so used to thinking about him in a purely villainous light skulking from the shadows, but it's very easy to forget that this guy was viewed as a hero to the public who eviscerated invading pirates as a Warlord. If I remember correctly, the plan for Operation Utopia hinged on Crocodile inheriting the throne after Cobra would be deposed by the rebellion. Yet we only see this side of him in Chapter 155. Everything else about his character is completely dedicated to seeing him as a smug villain, which feels awkward to think about. A time where people actually saw Crocodile as being a hero. So I feel like there was some lost potential there to see him manipulate the masses first-hand, interact with Marines like Smoker and Tashigi under the persona of seeming innocent, or maybe even have a bit more characterization depth beyond being evil for evil's sake. But that's just me. This isn't an actual flaw but only something I would have liked to see more of. That way, moments when he reveals his true nature to everybody feels more impactful rather than the reader only remember 97% of his screen time being dedicated to being Alabasta's Jafar and going "Duh, of course he was a bad guy". This was better utilized with Caesar and the Brownbeard Pirates in Punk Hazard, and sort of CP9 in Water 7.
    Overall, with 6 votes, this arc received...
    a story/characters score of 4.50
    and a setting score of 3.92!

    Rankings - Story
    1. Alabasta: 4.50 - ★★ NEW RECORD! ★★
    2. Sabaody: 4.39
    3. Arlong Park: 4.10
    4. Impel Down: 4.08
    5. Post-War 3.92
    6. Thriller Bark: 3.90
    7. Baratie: 3.69
    8. Zou: 3.67
    9. Skypiea: 3.56
    10. Davy Back Fight: 3.21
    11. Punk Hazard: 2.93

    Rankings - Setting
    1. Thriller Bark: 4.45
    2. Impel Down: 4.42
    3. Zou: 4.33
    4. Sabaody: 3.96
    5. Alabasta: 3.92
    6. Skypiea: 3.78
    7. Post-War: 3.55
    8. Davy Back Fight: 3.43
    9. Baratie: 3.35
    10. Arlong Park 2.94
    11. Punk Hazard: 2.58




    Now for the next arc! Taking place over an unprecedented 20 chapters...

    The Straw Hats get into a sticky situation
    Syrup Village Arc
    AKA the Captain Kuro Arc


    To get the whole picture, please tell us the following:

    What are the things that you love about Syrup Village?
    What are the things that you loathe about Syrup Village?


    At the end please give Syrup Village two ratings:

    One for the story and characters.
    One for the setting.

    These must be between 1 and 5, with 5 being the highest (.5's are acceptable - ex. 1.5 or 4.5). I will tally these.


    This analysis will be open for the next week. Or whenever we get sufficient votes.

    Missed out on the previous arc? You can still review it! Just the previous arc, though. Ignore what I said about stopping reviewing, that was a joke. Just like Pell.


    Enjoy!


    Spoiler:

  2. #242
    Champion Worrier Zar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Whole Cake Island

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Syrup Village

    Love

    There's a homely feeling to this arc. For once we're introduced to a peaceful, normal setting. There's no pirate who have taken over, no crisis or corrupt royalty. Just plain old villagers living their normal lives on an island nobody cares about. Seeing the Strawhats prevent a crisis before it takes hold is very refreshing.

    Usopp is of course the highlight. His relationships with all other characters worked well. His story was interesting without being outlandish and helped add a sense of 'reality' to the arc. He's a boy who lost his parents and has big dreams, and through the arc gets the courage to chase them, making a promise to a dear friend before he leaves. It's a simple but effective story that we all can relate to. It's by no means a stellar arc, but few manages to feel so personal.

    And that's one of the recurring themes. Of all places in One Piece Syrup Village feels most realistic. I can imagine living there. It helps solidify the idea that there's millions of people in the One Piece World who are just like ourselves, standing at the harbour wondering what's on the other side of the sea. The setting is among the most bland, but that's also it's strength - if Syrup Village didn't show us the ordinary side of One Piece I think a lot of the later weirdness would've lost it's appeal.

    Kuro was a great villain, especially that early on. He was cunning, terrifying, had a good design and theme. He's my second favorite main villain from East Blue (I'm not counting Buggy, because I didn't start to like him until his re-appearances). And of course Jango, how can you forget Jango.

    Despite being short it had a lot of good moments. I love the idea of "turning a lie into truth" and not letting the Villagers learn anything. The goodbye between Usopp and the Boys was surprisingly emotional, and even Kaya got some good moments. I've always liked the ending when they leave and Merry and Kaya talk for a bit. Even the little flashback can get a little tear out of my eye - simple, but effective.

    And of course - Merry Go. It was so satisfying to see the Strawhats go from tiny boats to this fancy ship! It felt so big back then! To think a couple hundred chapters later we'd cry floods for that boat...

    Loathe
    Kaya wasn't the most interesting character. I like her personally, but looking at her from an objective point of view... she desperately needs some depth. Kuro is also a victim on this. Once you take away his design and moves there's not much left. His henchmen were also forgettable. Made for a decent fight, but not much else. The exception is Jango, who was more memorable than his boss.

    And overall the arc was a bit... bland. There's nothing I hate, but nothing I absolutely adore either.

    Usopp looked really weird the first chapters.

    Might add more if I remember something.

    Story/Characters: 3.5 - It's a guilty pleasure. It's honestly not that good, but there's something that makes me love it anyway.
    Setting: 4 - Again, a guilty pleasure. It's bland as hell, possibly the most bland in the entire series, but it works to its advantage.

    Bonus: That volume cover is one of my favorites.
    Last edited by Zar; July 16th, 2017 at 11:45 AM.

  3. #243
    Wano? Wa-yes! Kaido King of the Beasts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Under your bed, in your closet, in your head

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Love: Usopp, of course, is a great plot driver. It was fun seeing his wild antics clash with the town's idyllic ways, and made his more or less normal traits actually pretty special. His relationship with Kaya was really touching, and it culminated in a pretty neat fight at the end. I also like the kids, who felt more fun than annoying and proved to be pretty useful. There's a certain charm to the idyllic town - like Zar said, its normalness helps make it a bit neat and special.

    Kuro and Jango are great villains. While still being a menacing pirate with cool techniques (that would be later used in improved ways!), his philosophy was also interesting. It showed Luffy that a pirate's life wasn't one to be taken lightly, but Luffy proved himself ready for the challenge as he took down Kuro with gusto. Jango was hilariously wacky in all his Michael Jackson glory, but still proved a credible threat (even if it was only against normal people).

    Loathe: Syrup Village is only slightly charming - otherwise, it's pretty boring. It was pretty funny when we found out there were 2 slopes on opposite ends of the islands that look exactly the same - but that little acknowledgement isn't enough to make the place any less boring. Kaya's mansion is boring, and she's mostly boring as well. I didn't care all that much about the big plot to kill her and steal the mansion, especially since Kuro was obviously evil the entire time. The only time the whole thing was kind of interesting was when no one in town believed Usopp, but that particular scene doesn't result in anything other than the Straw Hats having to fight by themselves (which wasn't too hard). The citizens acted as funny foils to Usopp and that was about it - while I do agree to an extent with Zar that them not knowing about the invasion was a nice break, I was disappointed that the citizens and their attitude toward Usopp was totally unaffected by the end. The plot itself isn't all that different from Orange Town. Come to a nondescript island, meet a coupla guys, fight a villain trying to terrorize the populace, meet a guy who's not too skilled in fighting but helps in their own way, deal with disgruntled citizens who don't care about anything. And without a compellingly emotional subplot.

    The two cat brothers that Zoro fights are really bland and I barely remember them. Zoro and Nami don't get to do much at all in this arc, which is a shame since they and the series itself were still new.

    Usopp's flashback isn't very well written and doesn't have much effort put into it. He and his mom just echo the sentiment that his father was a great man after he abandoned them to become a pirate, and...that's about it. Usopp's lies stem from his dad, but how this came to be is actually pretty damaging in hindsight, what with him abandoning his family and them basically having to pretend he's there to be happy...and yet they still think of him as the coolest guy. It's like the constant plugging in the current arc about Sanji being a nice person, except with a lot less detail and effort thrown into it.

    Story: 2/5
    Setting: 2/5


    Spoiler:

  4. #244

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    OH Damn I missed Zou, short of a pardon by the President of this thread I guess my vote will not count Nevertheless I'd still like to fill out a ballot for completeness

    Love


    Loathe

    You know what I'm gonna save this and my alabasta review for tomorrow
    Chapter 437 Discussion after franky decides to join the Strawhats:
    So who think Usopp is inside that duffelbag?
    Spoiler:



  5. #245
    Kick-Ass Finalis desa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Somewhere

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Love: Kuro was truly enjoyable. The guy had a simple and understandable goal. He wanted money to live a good life. He was over the top or anything and that made him the most intimidating villain of east Blue aside maaaybe Arlong. It also gave the strawhats a real boat.

    Loathe: It is incredible forgettable and bland.

    Story:2.5

    Setting:2.5

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Alabasta
    Alabasta is by far my favorite arc of one piece and it is Oda's writing at his best.

    Love:
    Alabasta came at time where death was still very much a reality of the manga. Zoro has clearly killed before, Mr.11 gets killed by Baroques Work so when we get to Albasta the horror of the war about to explode is real Thanks to that the battle between the revolution and the army is clearly a brutal fight where bodies of citizens are dropping. It also helped give Luffy speech about how people where going to die in the war some real truth to it when they had their confrontation.

    Crocodile is probably the best villain of the series.For every bit of depth Doffly have he makes up in charisma and style. Every scene he is in has great presence. But he doesn't just looks good he also proves a true challenge for our heroes especially with his planning.He has a solid plan with good back up for if there's some trouble along. And this makes his final defeat better.When he is defeated it is not because they got lucky but because our heroes had to truly surpass a truth obstacle.

    It is also conveniently the arc where I think women where best integrated in the story. Baroque Works of course being the easiest example. Mr.1's partner was sexy, Mr.4's partner's was hideous but both had powers that had nothing to do with their genders and were truly dangerous individuals. Robin could crack the neck of the best warrior of the country(a man) without a sweat and was the closest to our main villain. Even Vivi for all her whining was well used thanks to her emotions being well balance by her actually taking actions.

    It is also the one where the strawhats are at their best in term of ingeniosity and connection. The reason the Baroque are forced into 1 vs 1 isn't because of their pride is but becasue the strawhats confuse them and force them to split to kill Vivi. Mr.1 clearly goes for Nami because she is the easiest target but has to be stop by Zoro. The villains are a challenge and the strawhats have to rise up. Mr Prince is a highlight for sure but Zoro comes up with crossmark under the headband(a double bluff from freaking Zoro). It is the one where Usopp gets his skull crushed but stand up for his captain. It is also one where Sanji finish his battle by getting back the goggles not for a female crewmembers but Usopp instead. Even Luffy gets a brutally impaled in the desert to prove how serious of a challenge they are facing.

    Its is full with good emotional beats such has Tashigi's resolve, Pell's taking the bomb or even Vivi breaking down in the middle of everyone fighting. When Luffy is fighting for Vivi they have spent great time together and you feel that connection better than almost any other(Nami at Arlong Park is the exception).The constant violence help sells the realness of their emotions and the guards of the castle taking the poison only to die having done nothing is the kind of hopelessness that can never happen in one piece again but help sells the tension and the desperation our heroes are feeling.

    The struggle of this country can be seen in the impression of poor neighbourhood or a kid trying to kill Khoza.

    That rain scene is just the perfect way to end this climax.


    The finale goodbye scene is one of my favorite moment of One Piece. Everyone is a part of it with all and them being forced to do a silent one emphasize the emotion. And I love the idea of transforming a strategic mark into a proof of friendship and belonging to a group. It is because it wasn't the original meaning that it makes it so much greater.


    Loathe: The battles against Croc were not that great. Khoza's flashback is pretty forgettable. And Pell's death is an awful cop-out.

    Story: It deserves a 4.9 or 4.8 but since it is 5 or 4.5 I choose 5
    Setting: 3.5

    Don't mess with the Law if you don't have an Ace up your sleeve.

  6. #246

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Alabasta Arc, the Culmination of the Alabasta Saga and of Vivi's story.

    Love: This arc has everything people love about one piece. Adventure, Comedy, kick-ass fights, character development, a threatening antagonist, feels, compelling side characters and a nationwide plot and a great ending. We see great things from everybody here to. In a way I think or at least hope the final arc will be a bigger alabasta. The introduction of Bon-Chan was great and then went into scary when we knew he was Mr. 2 and then things got crazy as the straw hats ran into smoker twice in a series of different hijinks. We get an introduction of Ace, luffy's fire wielding brother and a continuation of the smoldering Blackbeard plot with a promise to meet at the top later. They then go to Yuba and we meet Kohza's father and learn that he's now the rebel leader. We get luffy confronting vivi about not having herself bear everything on her shoulders and they make way to rainbase where everyone gets stuck in a cage and we get the great Mr. Prince scene and luffy telling zoro to save smoker. We get the great crocodile fight and for the first time luffy loses in a pretty gruesome way and the belief of the crew is shaken, then we get the mysterious Robin scene where her endgame is very mysterious. A ton of other things happen the back drop of the civil war and how pointless it is, is why the strawhats fighting so hard to end it is so great. Zoro, Nami, Usopp and Sanji are all pushed very hard in their plan to take down BW. We see Vivi fight valiantly doing everything she can even though she isn't tough and that culminates to where she is dropped by crocodile and luffy saves her before cold clocking crocodile. The Luffy vs Crocodile parts are some of the greatest and the finisher is tremendous. Then vivi's voice breaks through as the rain returns and we get a nice conclusion to all the political turbulence. We get Mr.2 turning face again to help the strawhats escape which was really cool. Then to cap up the ceremony we end up with vivi making the choice to stay but remaining friends in one of the best panels in the series with the X's. Shortly after Robin joins the crew in the last chapter a wtf that many people didn't see coming but was a hell of a hook going forwards.

    Loathe: Pell living, but honestly that's barely even much a worry to me. Maybe that we didn't get to see more of Ace before later event. But while there maybe two or three arcs (Sabaody, EL and Skypiea ) I like just as much or more on the whole alabasta has very few faults at all, it's incredibly consistent and has one of the stronger middles in the series.

    Rating: 5
    Setting: 4.5 Oda really gave a lot of life to the whole desert setting, I never got bored of it and the collection of animals certainly gave the feeling it was still a living breathing ecosystem. I also appreciated the vastness of it and that we saw the effects of it on the strawhat crew. It seems redundant to say but oda made it feel hot which for some reason isn't done a lot in deserts. Also the Casino and various towns were pretty diverse and a nice contrast to each other.

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Quote Originally Posted by desa View Post
    Love: Kuro was truly enjoyable. The guy had a simple and understandable goal. He wanted money to live a good life. He was over the top or anything and that made him the most intimidating villain of east Blue aside maaaybe Arlong. It also gave the strawhats a real boat.

    Loathe: It is incredible forgettable and bland.

    Story:2.5

    Setting:2.5

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Alabasta
    Alabasta is by far my favorite arc of one piece and it is Oda's writing at his best.

    Love:
    Alabasta came at time where death was still very much a reality of the manga. Zoro has clearly killed before, Mr.11 gets killed by Baroques Work so when we get to Albasta the horror of the war about to explode is real Thanks to that the battle between the revolution and the army is clearly a brutal fight where bodies of citizens are dropping. It also helped give Luffy speech about how people where going to die in the war some real truth to it when they had their confrontation.

    Crocodile is probably the best villain of the series.For every bit of depth Doffly have he makes up in charisma and style. Every scene he is in has great presence. But he doesn't just looks good he also proves a true challenge for our heroes especially with his planning.He has a solid plan with good back up for if there's some trouble along. And this makes his final defeat better.When he is defeated it is not because they got lucky but because our heroes had to truly surpass a truth obstacle.

    It is also conveniently the arc where I think women where best integrated in the story. Baroque Works of course being the easiest example. Mr.1's partner was sexy, Mr.4's partner's was hideous but both had powers that had nothing to do with their genders and were truly dangerous individuals. Robin could crack the neck of the best warrior of the country(a man) without a sweat and was the closest to our main villain. Even Vivi for all her whining was well used thanks to her emotions being well balance by her actually taking actions.

    It is also the one where the strawhats are at their best in term of ingeniosity and connection. The reason the Baroque are forced into 1 vs 1 isn't because of their pride is but becasue the strawhats confuse them and force them to split to kill Vivi. Mr.1 clearly goes for Nami because she is the easiest target but has to be stop by Zoro. The villains are a challenge and the strawhats have to rise up. Mr Prince is a highlight for sure but Zoro comes up with crossmark under the headband(a double bluff from freaking Zoro). It is the one where Usopp gets his skull crushed but stand up for his captain. It is also one where Sanji finish his battle by getting back the goggles not for a female crewmembers but Usopp instead. Even Luffy gets a brutally impaled in the desert to prove how serious of a challenge they are facing.

    Its is full with good emotional beats such has Tashigi's resolve, Pell's taking the bomb or even Vivi breaking down in the middle of everyone fighting. When Luffy is fighting for Vivi they have spent great time together and you feel that connection better than almost any other(Nami at Arlong Park is the exception).The constant violence help sells the realness of their emotions and the guards of the castle taking the poison only to die having done nothing is the kind of hopelessness that can never happen in one piece again but help sells the tension and the desperation our heroes are feeling.

    The struggle of this country can be seen in the impression of poor neighbourhood or a kid trying to kill Khoza.

    That rain scene is just the perfect way to end this climax.


    The finale goodbye scene is one of my favorite moment of One Piece. Everyone is a part of it with all and them being forced to do a silent one emphasize the emotion. And I love the idea of transforming a strategic mark into a proof of friendship and belonging to a group. It is because it wasn't the original meaning that it makes it so much greater.


    Loathe: The battles against Croc were not that great. Khoza's flashback is pretty forgettable. And Pell's death is an awful cop-out.

    Story: It deserves a 4.9 or 4.8 but since it is 5 or 4.5 I choose 5
    Setting: 3.5
    I think we can get that feeling back again, albeit it was missing in Dressrosa and FI but it was there in Skypiea for awhile EL to some extent and definitely in MF. I think when wano comes around we'll be getting that feeling back, I just hope the connection to Momonosuke mirrors more Vivi than Rebecca. But I think the tone isn't quite the same but it's not gone forever either.
    Chapter 437 Discussion after franky decides to join the Strawhats:
    So who think Usopp is inside that duffelbag?
    Spoiler:



  7. #247

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Bump!

    Love: Syrup Village is...uh...well, it's a cute little adventure with a good number of gags. Stuff like Jango's errant hypnotism, the wrong side of the island gag, and some vintage TrollZoro keep much of the pace light. Kuro and Jango both have great designs. The tie-in to Captain Morgan's promotion is our first hint that Oda Never Forgets. And we get some of the most inventive foreshadowing in the form of Usopp's lies to Kaya, so that's cool too.

    Loathe: Syrup Village is just so...forgettable. It's not like there's a pinpoint thing that drags it down. It's just...bland. One particular thing that I've noticed is that Usopp's characterization feels a bit off in this. He's not the coward we frequently see later and is actually quite brave quite often. It's kind of jarring to see how flanderized he gets in later arcs. Aside from that, Syrup Island is just pretty forgettable. It lacks the One Piece flair and creativity that make even other mediocre arcs still passably entertaining.

    Story: 3/5
    Setting: 1.5/5

  8. #248

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Maple Town Arc

    Love: Usopp was a braggart and everything here but when he learns of the attack he takes a stand here and although it's fighting for things very important to him and his bravery in other situations is what marks his development it was great to see. Also the fights were pretty interesting as simple as they were, luffy's finisher and him trashing kuro for being a fake and a dick to his men were great. Also the small town and slower pacing led itself t some great gags like cannibal zoro. I guess Kuro being evil was the first plot twist of the series too.

    Loathe

    The story being so small meant that there wasn't a ton of excitement in how the story was told and in comparison to current arc's it looks like thte barebones of what oda would have in mind and then he'd start adding a bunch of craziness later. It doesn't make it bad but it's certainly something that isn't as rewatchable as others.

    Rating: 3/5
    Setting: 2/5, the forest and cliffs were kind of nice
    Chapter 437 Discussion after franky decides to join the Strawhats:
    So who think Usopp is inside that duffelbag?
    Spoiler:



  9. #249

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Black Hole View Post
    Skypiea Arc



    Love:

    - A true adventure arc:
    Skypiea stands out from most One Piece arcs because of the adventure aspect being at the forefront. Our heroes come to Skypiea in search of an adventure and are accidentially caught up in this whole civil war mess. A welcome contrast to Alabasta where the interfering in the civil war was the main reason for them to visit the island or things like Marineford where there is a great amount of "One Piece Politics", but the adventure aspect is toned down in other arcs. Skypiea is different from this in that from the beginning it is concieved as an arc reminiscent of classic adventure literature and Oda constantly comes back to this aspect.

    - You don't know what to expect at first: We don't go into this arc knowing about any of the villains/characters that are gonna be important there. This is not a critique of the Aalabasta Saga, but rather an examination of how differently Skypiea works in comparison to the Aalabasta saga, where we were prepared for a big showdown with Baroque Works from Whiskey Peak onwards. We don't have prior arcs to prepare us for the villains/allies and this gives the arc a very mysterious and interesting feeling akin to Action-adventure video games.

    - Depth of the inhabitant's culture: Oda really put a lot of effort in establishing the Shandians and Skypieans culture as different from the Blue Sea and from each other. You have nice details like another currency being used and the lack of knowledge about gold. The two people's differ nicely in how they organize themselves and what housing they have (with the Skypieans living in rather "normal" houses while the Shandians of course living in tents). They're differences always reminded me a little bit of Athens and Sparta. You can tell that Oda had fun in designing the inhabitants of this world and giving them unique characteristics.

    - Enel: Enel is a great and completely crazy villain who outclasses everyone who crosses him by miles until Luffy appears to fight him. His power is one of the powers that probably come first to mind when you think about Logia powers and Oda uses it to the fullest extent. His "God speeches" are completely frightening and the scariest aspect is how absolutely he himself belives in his words. A complete psycho in the greatest possible way. That said, when it comes to Enel, we cannot mention his greatness without...

    - Enel's horrified look:

    http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb2...ocked_Face.png

    Enough said. Deserved an extra point.

    - Great background story: The whole set-up with the centuries old conflict depict a human tragedy of the most touching kind. The flashback at bfirst seems unusual, but quickly gets you with its great characters. The amount of themes here is encapsulating: Traditions vs modernity, xenophobia, cross-cultural friendships, religion and deities, bad luck, friendship, broken promises... I wish I could describe in more detail how deeply it touches me, but alas my English's not always the best. So I will say this: It really feels like a perfect story, where all the parts are put right into place and everything is resolved flawlessly. The hallmarks of a great writer. Bonus points for the fact that Oda used another arc to set up many parts of the story (Jaya). The scene of Cricket seeing Luffy's shadow deservedly ranks often among the 10 most iconic of the series.

    - Innovative and surprising execution of the battles: This is one point which stands out for me maybe the most. The whole way how the survival game unravels is creative and deliberately breaks with what Oda typically has in store for the readers when it comes to an arc climax. One priest (Sattori) is taken out before (!) the climax even begins and by a very well depicted team (!) effort (Oda doesn't like team battles that much). When the survival game begins, we have 50 Divine Soldiers (typical fodder when it comes to fighting) plus Yama, 3 priests and Enel. Now typically Oda would go for the priests as the right hand men of the main villain to be defeated right before Enel. Here he deliberately and effectively breaks this convention. The first (!) victim is Shura, who is brutally defeated by Viper and Gedatsu follows soon after, defeated by one of the "weakling trio" (!). Luffy finds an equal opponent (!) in Viper and their match ends in a draw, in contrast to usual amounts of Luffy-asskicking. Enel is absolutely untouchable by anyone, until he meets Luffy, who completely whips his ass at first (!).

    -Chopper has a well-developed fight: Oda manages to make the fight extremely funny and still dramatic and all the more satisfying in how our beloved reendeer holds his own. Ah, there was a time where Oda put real effort into Chopper.

    - Nico Robin: First, she has a great fight with Yama. Oda here shows us a character who grabs the readers interest, partly because of her desire to find the Poneglyph (the scenes of her finding the Lost City are great and were made even greater by the anime episode), partly because we so such variety of behavior: In this arc, she can be chillingly cold and brutal towards Yama, supportive towards the crew and also very introspective. For the story, of course we need this exposure so that she already feels like part of the crew when shit goes down at Water 7 regarding her past and the stakes for the subsequent fight for her are all the more higher.

    - The Poneglyph: The Poneglyph establishes a connection between the true history and Raftel (and thus One Piece) and because of this is extremely important for the overall story. It also puts a lot more focus on specifically Robin. Not much to say, except that this represents a mile-stone for the reader in getting closer to One Piece and we wouldn't get a big clue like this until Marineford.

    - Huge relevance to the later story: http://www.onepiecepodcast.com/2015/...ce-connection/ If you hadn't read this article, than do it now. But Skypiea will get enormously relevant again. Yeah, all the Shandians and Birkan stuff. The story seems to be pretty self-contained at first, but Oda has planted some of the most important seeds for the One Piece story as a whole in this arc.

    - Funny crew moments en masse: As is expected of an pre-Timeskip arc, there is an abundance of very funny bickering and teasing among the crew and other funny scenes. Just two of my favorites:





    - The right length: Skypiea just feels like it has a perfect length. At 66 chapters it has an impressive length, but Oda clearly didn't overdo it like he did with Dressrosa. Whenever I re-read it I have no complaints about unnecessary drawn out scenes on the one side and too short scenes on the other (like I currently have with Totland...). It just feels "right".+

    - Enel's defeat: Creative of Oda to connect the defeat of the Big Bad with the resolution to the arc's underlying problem in the most direct way possible. It's not that the bell is rung by some civilians after Enel's defeat as a side-event or something like that. Luffy uses Enel to ring the bell. A sensational way to tie up the narratives sorrounding the arc.

    - Klabautermann: I like how Oda puts a mystery in there that is explicitly NOT solved in the arc.

    - Nola: Clever to insert one character who met the people from the flashback and the current heroes. And an extremely awesome moment to have her celebrate with the others at the big party at the end of the arc.

    - The crew acting more "pirate-y": The crew was ready to just grab the gold and disappear. That actually fits for more into the way Luffy sees himself - not necessarily as a hero.

    - The "Prayer's Scene":



    How is this scene not more iconic? Oda brilliantly prays with the religious themes of the arc around and presents maybe the most desperate "clock-is-ticking"-scenario in the entire series which is wonderfully resolved.

    - At least a dozen things I'm not thinking about: The arc is so great, that there are quite likely a couple of things I'm not thinking about that would deserve mention. It has an almost endless amount of very good scenes. So this point is substitute for all the moments I forgot.


    Loathe:

    - Hotori and Kotori: Satori was freakishingly annoying in a good way and it was very satisfying for the reader when his skull got crushed by Sanji. And that should have th end for his character in this arc. Unfortunately Oda decided that Nami needed a cheap fight and alas, Oda crossed the line here by introducing two clones of Satori. Man, any other villain would have been better.

    - Pagaya's fake death: While the scene where he is back is very funny, this represents one of the instances where it is narratively cheap to let him live or introduce this plot point in general.

    - The Divine soldiers and their goat-like behavior: This always reminds me of this:

    Spoiler:


    Annoying as hell, unnecessary, idiotic. Seriously, what was Oda thinking here? The only thing which does some good is that because of their behavior, Luffy breaking their faces is all the more worth it.

    - Viper and Montblanc Cricket: Those two are the direct descendants of Kalgara and Noland. I disliked that those two didn't get some closure, especially regarding the extremely important relationship between their ancestors.. Now admittedly, this would be difficult since they don't know each other and are worlds apart. But Oda could have gone for something like showing their reaction to Luffy ringing the bell juxtaposed with each other at a 2-page spread or something like that. But I admit, a very minor complaint.


    Story: 5/5

    Setting: Good. The Upper Yard may be the biggest jungle we've ever been to and while not very creative with regards to Angel Beach, that is all that is needed for this arc. We have an interesting fauna, well-developed cultures, a nice Mayan-theme with the Golden City. While not perfect, it has everything this arc needs. 4/5



    With the exception of Water 7, Skypiea represents the pinnacle of Oda's achievements so far in my opinion. A near perfect arc. Sam from the One Piece Podcast has put it nicely too: http://www.onepiecepodcast.com/2014/...n-do-about-it/

    (Malicious gossip has it that I may be a fanboy for this arc, but judge for yourself... )
    you took all the words right out of my head and presented them perfectly. It's my favorite arc and both those articles you linked are excellent. Also, they really should have included Jaya with this, its narratively and thematically connected even more so than Water 7 & Ennies Lobby.
    Last edited by HelloFidelio; August 13th, 2017 at 01:32 AM.

+ Reply to Thread

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 3 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 3 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts