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Thread: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

  1. #261
    Champion Worrier Zar's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Whole Cake Island

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Sick_Fool View Post
    I liked Dressrosa but I share your sentiment with Doflamingo, especially with him not using Parasite to its fullest potential. Him controlling the Strawhats and having them fight one another was truly a missed opportunity for some great drama. I think it's no exaggeration to say that most of the fandom expected it to go that way, but it didn't. It's even more disappointing given the fact that Oda went out of his way to show that Parasite was a broken skill that had limitless range in King Riku's flashback only for Doflamingo to sparsely use it - as if he's forgotten that Parasite was his most useful skill - against his enemies in the present. I let out a long sigh every time I'm reminded that Dressrosa could've been so much more had Oda not let go of such great opportunities.
    That sums up my biggest problems with the arc. The arc isn't that bad, and once I properly re-read the series I'll probably enjoy it. But there's so many missed opportunities. You can tell Oda had these brilliant ideas in his mind but he never let them play out properly.

    But I'm glad to meet someone who liked it. Sometimes I feel I'm a bit too harsh on the arc.

  2. #262

    Default Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    More impressive orators have expressed their grievances with this arc, but I feel like I have to rave about it for a while.

    Love: I think there are things to be admired about Dressrosa. The first half is full of pretty great movements, lots of cool characters and abilities are introduced.

    Doflamingo really feels like a threatening presence. His final battle with Luffy was adrenaline fueled. Most of the fights between his underlings and the various gladiators were sweet too. Short, to the point, establishes the villain's power, had them beat a few of the weaker guys, to get defeated by the keyplayers. Bearing in mind there are a lot of series where these fights would last chapters on end, or not establish anything about the minor mook characters, just to have them hype the new characters. But Oda managed to play all of the purposes of these fights in an excellent way ( not for the officers, more on that in loathe ). While Pica's fight with Zoro has caught tons of flack, I happen to go about viewing it a little bit differently.

    Pica really do feel like a powerhouse. Just the scale of him and the fact he could squash an entire army in a second, really sells that. And the fact that he is so powerful, works to sell Zoro as even more powerful. Usually, when a villain is considerably weaker than a hero, he's just scrubbed to the side. Oda managed to make Pica a threat, while simultaneously making sure that Zoro comes across as just way stronger. Sure, the fight isn't enjoyable for much of it, but I still think there is something deeper going on in the craft here. I also appreciate the attempts to introduce a lot of elements at once. Lots of stuff transpire, the Blackbeard pirates, Big Mom Pirates, the Revolutionaries are all brought into the fold. Law's backstory is great. Usopp awakening observation Haki is great. Then of course the Strawhat Grand Fleet was such an extremely cathartic payoff.

    And everything about Fujitora was great. Just great. The twist in the end, answering weeks of frustration and forum nerd rage. It just made perfect sense, it didn't feel contrived. It just added up in retrospect.

    Loathe: as for flaws, well they are numerous. Much of Dressrosa, I was gritting my teeth just going "come on, get onto the next arc". There is so much annoying stalling and postponing the inevitable, I think there is like 6 times in total where the set up for Luffy defeating Doflamingo is there. It's been said this was meant to be two arcs, and yeah, it should have been. Maybe one Green Bit arc with one of the Doflamingo family's branches being the main antagonists. Preferably Trebol's. And the remaining two in Dressrosa.

    -the dwarves suck ass and are not needed for the story. They're kinda fun in terms of their quirks and are cute definetly. But I hate their presence in Dressrosa. There was no reason to introduce them to be the people needed to cultivate smiles.

    -The Riku family being ultimately disposable, time wasting characters. Viola, who is probably one of the sexiest women in OP history, got reduced to exposition dumping. Rebecca's character arc ate itself and she became one of the most annoying characters in fiction. Kyros was awesome at first, but got so dull with time. Riku too... I really couldn't tell you anything about him other than him being nice and sweet.

    - the fights with Trebol and Diamante did everything that the small fights did right, completely wrong. They were awful battles.

    -Bellamy should just have been murdered by Doflamingo in mock town . We didn't need him again. His presence opened up a whole can of worms we didn't need. If we could rewrite Dressrosa without Bellamy somehow, I think it would be a worthwhile project. Just cut out all the panels he's in and mentioned completely and I think Dressrosa will function much better.

    -the whole "mohahahah Law is dead!" Cliffhanger shit that went on to absurd length. It almost felt like a tasteless joke after a while. I legit laughed out loud when I retreaded this path a few months ago.

    -again... Stalling. Why couldn't Luffy's first gear 4th fight with Doflamingo be the end? We didn't need an additional 4 chapters to knock him out for real. God, that got stupid.

    -I don't mind Sabo, but I also don't see why he needed that whole amnesia thing. Wouldn't it be enough to say "I was working with the revs forever and when I heard about Ace I was halfway across the world so I couldn't do anything?"

    Last edited by Strooger; August 30th, 2017 at 02:19 PM.

  3. #263

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Didn't get to do one of these in a while, but Dressrosa I can't miss.

    * What pretty much everyone here did: a huge build up with endless opportunities in the first half of the arc. A mastermind manipulator villain with an admiral on his side, CP0 lurking around, a secret army of insanely strong dwarves, a forgotten legendary fighter, living toys, haki-trained warrior princess... I could go on for a while, but really the beginning of Dressrosa had me clinging to my seat because there was simply so much that could happen.
    * Some parts of the fights are damn epic, with a few spreads that might number among the very best Oda ever drew! The first time Fujitora rained a meteor on Greenbit I was breathless; the sheer scale of Zoro slicing mountain-Pika is mind-blowing; Luffy OHKO'ing Ajrudin; the first King Punch; Rommel's whirlwind; Franky's smoldering terminator face as he rises up from Pink's finisher; the choregraphy in some of the Luffy/Law/Doflamingo clashes; and Gear 4 of course, which hasn't been nearly as impressive ever since.
    * Usopp's haki moment
    * Bartholomeo, the character we didn't know we were longing for.
    * The Donquixote family, a colourful cast who even got a far-reaching backstory thanks to Rocinante's flashback.

    * Like pretty much everyone: the wasted opportunities. The turning point for me was right after operation SOP succeeded and Kyros beheaded Doffy. Back then I was breathtaken by the boldness of that move: if the arc's villain was finished so quickly and with such ease, then that Kyros guy really meant business. Who or what would rise in Doffy's place? The possibilities were plentiful at that time. And then Doffy's ass-pulled string clone rose...
    * Speaking of, Doffy's array of increasingly ass-pulled vaguely-string-related-powers. The bloody Birdcage We knew ten chapters in that he was going to be a formidable foe anyway, so why keep adding powers when he didn't even make good use of his starting set in the end?
    * As a villain, Doffy is litteraly all over the place. To this day I still don't get why his clone ever showed up in that damp tunnel where it had cornered Luffy, Uci and handcuffed Law. Or why he fought so dumbly after having displayed an array of abilities that could have payed off so much better than just cutting Law's arm and playing tentacle monster.
    * The pacing.
    * Some of the fights that felt completely flat and/or were too hashed to create any lasting impressions.
    * Law's "death". Hum.
    * The hyped dwarves amounted to not much at all.
    * The neverending final battle, with special mention to the last ten minutes that lasted 4 chapters or so.
    * Rebecca's character arc: to this day she is possibly THE most wasted potential for a female character in the entire series, although Smoothie may soon best her in this category. I hate how she went from brave warrior princess with a distinctive fighting style to collapsed frightened burden that must be protected by everyone. To top it off she even returned to her anonymous life afterwards, so she could just as well not have been there at all.

    Setting: 3
    Green Bit and the initial exploration chapters were full of promise, but everything afterwards felt quite mundane. Was Dressrosa an actual island of the New World ?
    Story : 2
    The arc failed to deliver its initial promises, with too many intertwined subplots of which a good deal were not resolved in a satisfying manner.
    Last edited by Seafarer33; August 31st, 2017 at 05:33 PM.

  4. #264

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Any plans to start this thread back up?

  5. #265

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    This arc gets the worst ratings for the plot
    Plot/characters: 2.33
    Setting: 2.91

  6. #266

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Dressrosa, as other people have mentioned, is a hot mess. It's a case of too many things being crowded into an overly long arc, so that nothing really gets the focus it needs. That said, it also features some hype af moments. Frankly, it's got the best moments of the series post-TS. If we didn't have so many half-baked plotlines crammed in, this arc could have been really amazing. I'm still a little soft on it for the ambition involved in managing such an arc. Hopefully Oda learns from it in managing giant arcs in the future (but WCI doesn't bode well).

    Setting is ok. Visually it's a fun style, but the sense of geography on the island makes everything kind of blend together. Would have been nice to see more of Green Bit, but at least the setting including dwarves and toys had a good emotional tie-in. Certainly could have been worse.

    Plot: 3.5/5
    Setting: 5/5

    If you get dunked on in the dream, you get dunked on in real life

  7. #267
    Wano? Wa-TWO YEARS??? Kaido King of the Beasts's Avatar
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    Oct 2015
    Under your bed, in your closet, in your head

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by HelloFidelio View Post
    Any plans to start this thread back up?
    I don't know, honestly. My schedule is a mess and I don't really know how active this would be after so long. I wouldn't have an issue if anyone wanted to take over, and might try to get going again in the future, just not the near future.


  8. #268

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaido King of the Beasts View Post
    I don't know, honestly. My schedule is a mess and I don't really know how active this would be after so long. I wouldn't have an issue if anyone wanted to take over, and might try to get going again in the future, just not the near future.
    I probably wouldn't be the one to take over, but I'm definitely interested to see it continue. I've enjoyed the discussions in this thread and would gladly contribute in the future.

  9. #269

    Default Re: Love and Loathe: Story Arc Edition

    Well, looking at the number of responses, I think it's safe to say the breaks killed (or at least crippled) the thread, so continuing it would probably not work after yet another one. On the other hand, too many arcs have been reviewed to just restart it from the scratch. I'd say it's best to let the thread die completely and then maybe try to do it some day in the future (so no one would be "recently" after reviewing particular arc) once again with a bit changed rules, like going chronologically through the manga, so even should the thread's creator be unavailable, the discussion can continue onto the next arc (stuff like where the coverstories go can also be agreed beforehand).
    Last edited by Koliber; October 22nd, 2017 at 03:07 PM. Reason: grammar, typos, I can't into English
    All hail Machvise-sama, Arlong Park Character Tournament 2016 Champion!

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