Author Topic: One Piece  (Read 5596 times)

Spark Of Spirit

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One Piece
« on: July 25, 2011, 09:35:09 PM »
So I said I was going to start this over, and I did... Well, sorta. I remembered pretty much everything up to Arlong Park so I started rereading there. I'm currently up to Baroque Works introduction in Whiskey Peak.

I started mid-Baratie and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it all was. My only issue was how long everything took. Don Krieg took way too long to take down considering how much of a glass jaw he has, and how much of a one note character he was. Arlong Park was a huge improvement, both in pacing and in general storytelling... Unlike Baratie where the villains (Gin was okay, though he didn't get to do much) were pretty dull, Arlong's crew was a big step up, and they worked great as villains. My only issue with the arc is, Luffy's fight with Arlong goes on too long for my liking. I know he's supposed to be the strongest Fishman in the group by far, but it still doesn't stop the fight from dragging a lot. Anyway, Arlong Park was where it all came together for me, the story, characters, and action all worked together to really form the atmosphere that Oda was trying to achieve from the beginning, but here it finally feels up to snuff with his characterization and art.

Loguetown and Laboon were nice little side stories, but I'm glad to finally get to the meat again in the Grand Line.

I do wonder how Oda manages to make it feel so effortless, however. Storytelling is not as easy as he makes it seem like it is, yet he seems to know exactly what to do at all times and he rarely misses a beat. Can't wait to read more!
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 09:46:11 PM »
Its great to see that you continued reading One Piece.

As for the pacing....yeah, Its always bothered me, as well. I love the manga but even as the shorter version of the story (you don't want to know how much more the anime can drag things out), its extremely slow-paced when it gets down to the fights and such, which are needlessly long and drawn out. The climaxes are usually worth the wait, though, which is why I and most other people put up with it.

Having read/watched through the early arcs multiple times now, I'd say its worth it to pay close attention to certain things that come up in the story that don't seem to have any immediate relevance on the plot. Trust me....almost NOTHING in this series is pointless. Even if it seems pointless it'll actually be brought up later on, and most likely it'll be pretty important to the story by that point.

To give you a spoiler-free example, keep Laboon (the whale and his backstory) in mind....its actually REALLY important MUCH later on in the story....

Also keep what happened at the end of the Loguetown arc in mind as well. ;)

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 10:01:26 PM »
Sounds cool to me.

It's no wonder this became the most popular manga in Jump, considering all the effort that went into every aspect of the story and the world. More modern manga should take example from this.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 10:11:19 PM »
Yeah, Oda is one of the only few current shonen mangaka with the talent to create an entire living, breathing world that feels unique and expansive, much like Togashi and Toriyama.

I think his creative talents really shine through when the crew gets to the grand line. The story gets more ambitious, bigger, and darker with each new arc, and you learn more about the World Government and the world's greatest pirates. One Piece really has a very interesting mythology behind it that Oda has carefully developed over the past decade (more than that, actually). Its actually almost scary knowing that he had most of the story planned out from as early as the very beginning.

As for Whiskey Peak, from that point on there are a number of mini-adventure arcs which are all quite fun, and they build up to the Alabasta arc which is the next step forward in quality for this series after the Arlong arc. It also gets props from me for paying a lot of homage to Dragon Ball. You'll see what I mean when you get to that part of the series.

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 10:31:05 PM »
Fun fact: 4Kids skipped Little Garden completely in their run of the show. That's right, they actually skipped an arc that has important consequences to an even bigger one later. How did they write their way around this arc? They kind of didn't even try, making it even more awkward when we get there.

That said, it is a fun little arc with some great new characters, and doesn't really overstay its welcome. The best part was Sanji infiltrating Mr. 3's house and trying to fool Mr. 0.

I'm now nearing the end of Drum Island, which has quite a bit of emotion to it. The first one since Arlong Park, I think.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 10:39:27 PM »
Personally, I always felt that Chopper had one of the saddest past stories in the series. The death scene with Dr. Hiruluk has to be one of the most touching moments in the series for me. One thing that disappoints me, though, is that I feel that Oda doesn't do Chopper enough justice as a character after the Drum Island arc. He has his moments, but he is often-times cast-aside in favor of giving more focus to other characters of the crew. I think he deserves more focus, but the series will be going on for a long time so I'm sure he'll get some more big moments as the story continues.

Also, I heard that 4Kids skipped Little Garden. That  actually serves very important plot points to both the Alabasta arc and also the Enies Lobby arc way later down the line. The scene with Sanji pretending to be Mr. 3 shows that he's capable of being more than just a pervert and one of the crew's best fighters, but can also use his brain when he wants to. I wish he had more moments like that in the series, but when he does he's a pretty fun character.

After Drum Island you get to meet a very important new character in the series. Its also the start starts the story events that will eventually lead to the grand finale arc of the first part of the series (before the time-skip). But for what it is on its own its a fun series of chapters/episodes with a really awesome character. ;)

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 12:47:12 AM »
Alabasta is really a great arc. So much going on with so many characters, yet Oda is always on top of everything and carefully explaining what exactly is going on at all times. Character-wise, there's too much to pick out and embellish on so I'll just say that there isn't anything really wrong with this arc at all.

The comedic bits where Zoro mocks Sanji and Luffy and Usopp are demanding water while Tashigi and Smoker are oblivious to it is some good stuff. Most shonen isn't all that original with the comedy, but One Piece is good at putting it in the right moments.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2011, 06:47:16 PM »
Yeah, Alabasta was a really fun adventure arc. To me its also probably the closest One Piece came to having the feeling and overall vibe of Dragon Ball (its still its own thing, but the influence is extremely clear in that arc). Crocodile was also the first really interesting villain since Arlong, IMO. He has a classic toony-gangster style character design to him but he's considerably more intelligent than most other villains in the series and I liked how he was clever enough to see through some of the Straw Hat's plans against him. That makes the fact that Sanji outsmarted him even more impressive for Sanji. Also, I don't really want to spoil anything but this isn't the last you'll ever seen of Crocodile. That's all I'll say, though. ;)

Skypiea is the next arc and it has some great moments but it is considerably weaker than Alabasta, for the most part, IMO. Water Seven and Enies Lobby come after that and are widely considered to be the high point of the entire series for most people. Water Seven is kind of slow for me but keeps things interesting, while Enies Lobby is by far one of the series's most exciting arcs, IMO. My personal favorite, though, is Thriller Bark, which comes up right after Enies Lobby. A lot of homage to Tim Burton in that one (The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of Oda's all-time favorite movies).

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 06:53:33 PM »
The beginning of Skypiea is about as far as I saw in the anime (about when it vanished from Toonami and CN), though I only really read up to Alabasta's end at the time. So soon enough I'll be getting into the stuff I never saw before, but yeah Alabasta is a fantastic arc with fantastic pacing (Oda finally hit the right mark with his biggest weakness here, IMO) and a great villain.

It does seem like the end of a bigger portion of the story (sort of like Arlong Park felt like the end of the East Blue, this feels like the end of a story that has been going since they hit the Grand Line), so I'm eager to see what happens next.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2011, 07:15:49 PM »
By the time the Enies Lobby arc plays out the story takes a darker turn in terms of the subject matter, and it sort of feels like the entire world and the overall story becomes a bit more mature (while still retaining the feeling of being One Piece).

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2011, 09:09:40 PM »
Fantastic chapter! This week's chapter was the best chapter since the climax of the Marineford arc. We finally get to see what Luffy's made of after 2 years off the seas. The next chapter should also be great since we can see how far the other Straw Hats have come since the time-skip.

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2011, 05:08:14 PM »
Skypiea is boring the hell out of me. I actually enjoyed the build up to it a lot more.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2011, 05:23:04 PM »
The Jaya arc (the one that leads up to it) is surprisingly good for a build-up arc. It has one of my favorite moments in the series with Luffy's confrontation with Bellamy.

The Skypiea arc itself is pretty disappointing and bland until it gets close to the climax where Luffy meets with Eneru. Up until then, Oda needlessly goes out of his way to keep Luffy out of the picture (for reasons that will become obvious later, given Eneru's ability). He also tries to do too much with the whole war thing going on (he does this type of story MUCH better in the Marineford arc, but in this arc it just feels all over the place). Its a great arc in concept but a poor one in execution (except for the ending, which is honestly one of the most memorable parts of the series).

For me, its easily the series's biggest dip in quality so far, but I'd say its worth trudging through just to get back to the good stuff from the later arcs (Oda clearly learned his lesson from all of the mistakes that he made with the Skypiea arc).

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2011, 06:50:57 PM »
I'm officially skimming through this now. I'm not missing anything much at all, it's basically more of what I don't already care for only Oda's pacing issues are back in full force. I'm also not caring for what's happening because it all feels so inconsequential to the whole main Grand Line story line, and none of the new characters are very interesting. I'm also not really a fan of the whole ""I am God!" *Cue maniacal laughter*" type of villain because they're so one note. So of course Oda has to drag this doofus along by finding ways to keep him out of Luffy's reach constantly is so annoying.

I'm not going to stop reading, but I'm not sitting through this tedium. Sorry, man.
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: One Piece
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2011, 07:35:03 PM »
Eh, I actually like Eneru, but he's not that interesting until he conflicts with Luffy. I can't deny that Skypiea probably has the least impact on the story (so far anyways; I can almost guarantee that events from that will somehow become important to the story later on), out of any other arc, but I still did personally love the ending of the arc. Its just the tedious shit in the middle that lost my interest.

How far into it are you, anyways?

If you get to the flash-back of Montblac Norland, then you should be pretty close to the end since after the flash-back is pretty much the climax of the arc. The flash-back itself is actually more interesting than the entire arc itself, IMO.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 07:37:44 PM by Ensatsu-ken »