One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

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One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby Captain Cadaver » 07 Jan 2018, 12:38

Similar to the thread on Dragon Balls' arcs, the rules are simple as follows:

- Arcs are rated on a scale of 1 to 10.
- A review must be provided alongside them. The length is flexible, though it must be enough to show a concise opinion. Failure to say more than a score and it just being good or bad will result in it not being included in the mean score.
- Due to OP not being as popular for discussion as DB on this forum, obviously, I'll make it two days per arc rather than one, unless a lack of activity forces the pace to be increased.
- Manga versions of the arc, though if you have enough of a differing opinion of the arc in each medium, you can also add a secondary review/score for their anime counterparts. We'll be covering up to the Boo Arc, though if there's a demand for more, we'll go into GT and Super.
- Once enough time has passed, I'll tally up the scores to find Zeta's mean score and post it.

As a clarification, I know many of those I'll treat as arcs such as East Blue or Baroque Works are considered more to be Sagas by many, but I find the distinction and separation into smaller arcs unnecessary. Not only due most of these "Sagas" have the same general theme running about them despite the detours (Luffy building up his crew in East Blue, Straw Hats trying to stop Crocodile in Baroque Works, etc.), but a Saga is meant to be a tale or collection of tales revolving around a specific character, and Luffy is the centerpoint of almost every arc anyway due to the narrative's focus or his own actions, so the only real Saga in OP by the traditional definition is the story's entirety being the Saga of Luffy. That small rant out the way, let's begin.
So, we start with the East Blue Arc.

This is considered by many to be one of the weaker arcs, but I wouldn't say so. It can indeed seem bland when considering it follows a formulaic set up of Luffy finding a new character to join his crew, the character being hesitant until a threat appears and they join his crew afterwards, but it never makes things seem too repetitive by keeping the focus of each section of differing circumstances with a range from loud tyrannical pirates to a well thought out assassination. On the subject of formulaic ideas,it also seems overly coincidental that all the characters who become Straw Hats just happen to have had their goals moulded by a single event in their childhood and the loss of someone dear to them (something that would become a far less tolerable trope in later arcs), but each of the Straw Hats at least had enough build up to their flashback and colourful personalities for me to not view this too harshly. They all at least had some level of development during the part in which their character and goals were the main focus, particularly Nami (though as I'll get into in later arcs, most Straw Hats' development ends after they join the crew) and the interactions between characters were also delightful to see and had yet to become repetitive jokes like in later arcs. On the subject of characters, the villains of each arc also felt distinct for more than just superficial elements as they each helped represent a different route for those who failed to hold onto their ambitions. Buggy is someone who wishes to rise high after living in another's shadow, but has yet to do so. Kuro is someone who wishes to live a peaceful life after realising the futility of his goals. Krieg is one who wishes to try again with more preparation and Arlong is one who seemed to have realised his inability to change much and instead focuses on smaller fish.

The main appeal of the arc, and One Piece as a whole, was the adventure aspect. With each island that was visited, the audience could see a good sense of individuality in either the design or inhabitants of each area, such as Syrup Village being on quite a natural, the imaginative designs of the creatures on Gaimon's island or the creative idea of a restaurant ship like the Baratie.

There was also a good level of competence in the set up of plot and characters for later arcs, such as Buggy and Mihawk's ties to Shanks, the appearance of Rayleigh in Buggy's flashback, Dragon's ties to Luffy and Jimbei's role in the story. It was apparent that not everything was planned out, however, since aspects such as the sheer scale of things such as the world or power seemed to have been far smaller back then (even if you had no idea Oda only expected the story to go on for about 5 or so years). For instance, Yosaku's talk of Jimbei and Arlong would imply the two were on par, when we'd learn that Arlong is an ant to Jimbei, or Shanks losing his arm to a Sea King that pre-Grand Line Luffy can oneshot when he'd prove himself to fight against people hundreds of times faster than the speed of sound as well as be practically a God to most of the characters within this arc. The way people only mention the Grand Line also make it apparent that the idea of the New World is something Oda hadn't concocted until at least 30 or so volumes into the manga as a means to keep things going. Whilst I wasn't bothered by such inconsistencies with later events in the Hunt for the Dragon Balls Arc like Goku breathing in space, there's a difference between a story conceived as a self-contained one and one in which many future plot elements are set up, the latter of which this arc is and is therefore judged more critically for it.

Nevertheless, I'd say the arc was still decent and a good opening segment for the series. Along with the positive aspects I already covered, it also featured some of the most iconic and well executed scenes in the entire series, such as Shanks saving Luffy from the Sea King or the whole Arlong Park battle from the walk to it to Luffy's declaration that Nami is his Nakama. Many such aspects help elevate this arc when the many characters and unique elements of One Piece's world were still fresh and fun to explore. Overall, I'd consider it to have more pros than cons and be one of the better opening arcs of long running Battle Shonen.

6/10

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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby 2kewl4u » 07 Jan 2018, 15:45

Super-Saiyan2 where u at?
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby SSJ2 » 07 Jan 2018, 15:50

?
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby 2kewl4u » 07 Jan 2018, 15:51

?
I thought you wanted to review/rate as-well.
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby SSJ2 » 07 Jan 2018, 15:55

We have two days. I dont remember East Blue well enough to make a post right now. I'll make it when I have a larger period of time to sit down and think about it.
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby Captain Cadaver » 07 Jan 2018, 16:35

?
I thought you wanted to review/rate as-well.
And what about yourself? :CC

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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby 2kewl4u » 07 Jan 2018, 16:48

?
I thought you wanted to review/rate as-well.
And what about yourself? :CC
I would but two things:

1. I can't review/analyse nearly as good as you do.

2. It's also been ages since I watched this. I think I saw the whole thing only once back when that first aired but have never got the chance to go back and watch again. Even-though I remember liking that obviously. I continued watching. There's a lot of nostalgia. I did watch Episode of East-Blue somewhat recently though. I guess that doesn't count though. :troll :troll :troll
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby Captain Cadaver » 09 Jan 2018, 07:20

Reminder you've got just a few more hours to submit your rating/review, unless you'd prefer we make it weekly rather than bi-daily.

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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby SSJ2 » 09 Jan 2018, 11:05

I'll try to get this in soon. Sorry I didn't have much time yesterday
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby SSJ2 » 09 Jan 2018, 11:41

In general, I think East Blue is one of the better arcs in anime/manga in terms of gathering the main characters together. While some of the villains of the arcs had weak personalities (Don Krieg), every arc had a purpose and helped develop the crew. For me this arc is highlighted by the Arlong Park saga in which tensions were probably at their highest in East Blue. I enjoyed the tragic backstory of Nami's childhood/youth, and it really made the arc much more satisfying when the crew prevailed. I don't really have much to say about the other mini arcs. Buggy was somewhat entertaining but having read the segment 7 times now, I find it pretty dry. Kuro falls into the same boat. Don Krieg is probably the worst part in all of East Blue with his constant niggatry.

As a whole, I agree with CC's rating of the arc. It has plenty of good - especially the undoing of the crew, but it has its fair share of boringness ad flaws.

6/10
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby SSJ2 » 09 Jan 2018, 19:09

Undoing? I meant development.
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby Captain Cadaver » 10 Jan 2018, 03:07

East Blue Mean Score - 6/10

Now, we move onto Baroque Works.

This is a significant step up in quality from before. The idea of a more focused major threat and the scale of it elevates the interest in most events in the arc, whilst the adventure/journey element of the plot allows for detours from the Baroque Works conflict that feel natural and not just padding. Once more, each island offers something interesting and essential to gain in order to help drive the plot such as Nami's infection on Little Garden leading to the journey to find a doctor on Drum Island and have Chopper join the crew, or help drive character motivations in later arcs such as Laboon foreshadowing Brook's role or the meeting with Dorry and Broggy helping Usopp persuade Oimo and Kashi in Enies Lobby. On the subject of foreshadowing, it also sets up points such as Saul due to Robin's knowledge of "D." or Crocodile saying Luffy's dreams would some day be crushed being good foreshadowing for Marineford.
The general plot is also a very interesting one, with a rebellion influenced on both sides by a mastermind. This helps set Crocodile up as a good villain by showing his intelligence, as well as certain aspects of his personality presenting him as a battle worn man who's experience has taught him to start off small. His utilisation of Mr. 2 impersonating King Cobra to incite rebellion was a particular highlight. It does feel a bit poor in his loss bringing forth OP's idea that "brains are evil", as so many intelligent villains with thought out plans are foiled by idiotic Luffy, but unlike later arcs it isn't so one sided. We have a lot of the Straw Hat crew forming equally intelligent counters, such as Sanji utilising the opportunity that none of Baroque Works knew his face to save his trapped allies with the "Mr. Prince" diversion or the plan the group put in place with the X marks to foil Mr. 2. These instances lead to some of the most exciting and clever moments in the entire series. Hell, even Luffy presented some genuine resourcefulness in using liquid to counter Crocodile, with his response to each counter making it one of the most interesting fights in the series with an excellent finale.
Vivi was also a well realised character, not exactly being a damsel in distress, but not being an overpowered mary sue. Her moment of pleading to stop the fighting, as well as her decision to remain in Alabasta in the aftermath were some of the most impactful moments in One Piece.
However, the arc did have a few flaws as well. For instance, like East Blue, it creates a problem in power scaling continuity for Crocodile in retrospect of Marineford. I can excuse this more as a flaw to the Whitebeard War and not this arc though. Whilst this arc has the positive of allowing all the Straw Hats to have their turn in the spotlight during Alabasta, it also causes many of the Baroque Works characters to not be fully realised. Aside from Crocodile, Robin and Mr. 2, most of the Baroque Works members are pretty one-dimensional characters only defined by one or two personality traits, making for them not being that interesting as side villains. I also felt that Chopper beating Wapol would've been far better, since not only was Wapol his direct enemy and one he had a lot to bear a grudge against, but it also perpetuates the trope started in Arlong Park (or debatably as far back as Syrup Village) of Luffy being the one to take care of another character's personal conflict, thereby weakening their development. It made sense for Nami and Usopp when they had little combat ability at that point, it doesn't make sense for someone who's power can amaze Luffy when they use a Rumble Ball. The biggest flaw in the arc though was Pell surviving the bomb being the biggest case of plot armour in the entire series. Not only is it nonsensical for a mid tier surviving an explosion meant to destroy an entire town of which everyone believed he couldn't survive, but it also reduces the quality of his sacrifice as there's no real consequence. I know that Oda likes to keep characters alive due to his personal thoughts on the importance of life, but to set up a scene as an epic sacrifice only to have the character survive and do absolutely nothing from there on is bad writing no matter how you look at it. It's like if Ace were to get up after Akainu's attack and say "it's just a flesh wound".
Nevertheless, the positive aspects of this arc are a testament to the quality One Piece had and represents many of the reasons why people like the series. It was overall one of the most fun long running arcs to read/watch in Shonen and is tied with the Whitebeard War as the peak of the franchise for me.

7/10

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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby Captain Cadaver » 12 Jan 2018, 03:29

Note: Will be moving on in a few hours.

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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby SSJ2 » 12 Jan 2018, 13:21

Sorry I'll get to this asap.
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Re: One Piece Arc Review/Rating thread

Postby Captain Cadaver » 26 Jan 2018, 14:24

Bump de bump. Will be moving onto Skypiea soon.


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