View Poll Results: How do you rate the Whole Cake Island arc?

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  • Amazing, one of the best arcs

    36 27.69%
  • Good, par for the course

    59 45.38%
  • Okay, could have been better

    29 22.31%
  • Bad, one of the weakest arcs

    6 4.62%
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Thread: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

  1. #41
    21st Century Schizoid Man Johnny B. Decent's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by .access timeco. View Post
    One thing that I wish this arc had shown was more pirate crews affiliated to Big Mom.

    Think about Marineford, the Whitebeard Pirates were just a small part of the power Newgate summoned there, the sheer amount of crews that were sailing under his flag actually managed to look even more impressive than the Yonkou crew itself. Now look at the Big Mom Pirates, look at how monstrously massive it was with all its Tartes and everything else, now take into account it was just BM own crew, not a single one of its affiliated crews were around with the exception of Firetanks and Sun Pirates.

    I mean, it makes sense that where weren't a lot of crews in there, it is not like the BMP were planning a war or anything like that (the Germa assassination plan would have gone very smoothly if it wasn't for Bege's betrayal), but to think that the only two crews around were exactly the ones planing to betray BM is too convenient. It also sucks that we'll probably see the same happening with Kaido, since he is not expecting an attack and the only additional crews in there will be the ones to betray him (On Air and Drake Pirates), so we'll never have an idea of what is the true might those two Yonkou can amass.



    That said, this leads to another thing that bothered me: the Charlotte family is famous for establishing connections through marriage and yet, except for the two daughters married with the two traitorous crews, we didn't saw a single Charlotte who seemed to be married. Chiffon and Praline both seemed to be heavily integrated into their husbands crews, so you would think if any of the other kids staying in Totto Land was married, the crew/organization they were married into would have at least some representatives around. But no.
    That could be explained by the married kids being away with their own families instead of in Totto Land, but judging from all the recurrent BMP we saw in this arc is very likely we already met every single one of BM's sons and daughters (meaning only Lola was not around in this arc and maybe one or two others).
    It's like the primary concept behind the Charlotte family was forgotten as soon as it was presented and served its function (set the WCI arc into motion with Sanji and Pudding).
    I get where you're coming from, but considering how utterly massive the Charlotte family is, and the few extra characters, it would have got even harder to keep them all in panel time.

    Like, do you remember the Underworld bosses not named Stussy or Morgans?

  2. #42

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by S.C. Amigo View Post
    I get where you're coming from, but considering how utterly massive the Charlotte family is, and the few extra characters, it would have got even harder to keep them all in panel time.

    Like, do you remember the Underworld bosses not named Stussy or Morgans?
    Yeah, I was thinking that too. And while I would want to see all of Kaido's fleet, not only his crew, that arc already seem to be too damn overcrowded with just the names we got so far.

    That said, the Underworld bosses could easily have worked as a way to fix some of the second problem I mentioned. Oda just needed to have some of them be married to the Charlotte family (now that I think about it, I would totally support Du Feld/Smoothie).
    Last edited by .access timeco.; April 23rd, 2018 at 05:55 PM.

  3. #43

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by Coruscation View Post
    Smoothie
    Good lord is this a bummer of a character. I'm not even going to focus on her being underwhelming in her displays of power for a 3rd-strongest Yonkou crewmember, which in my opinion she very much was. Instead I'm going to do the RLM thing. What's her personality? What are her character quirks and reasons for being the way she is? I bet you'll have a hard time telling me because she has none of those things. Throughout the whole arc she was little more than a mediocre design with a 900 million bounty walking/sitting/standing around doing nothing. This is one of the biggest proofs to me that something really was wrong with the arc and I'm not taking crazy pills. Never before has such a high profile villain been given such a thoroughly lame treatment, and for this to happen in a 75-chapter arc where her crew were the main antagonists is just unacceptable. It may be a small point that one character in Big Mom's crew was weakly handled, but it adds to that feeling of something being "off".
    Hi, Coruscation, great review overall, but I'd like to discuss this particular point.

    Starting by your challenge, I'd describe Smoothie as arrogant and sadistic (primarily by the way she likes to abuse people with her powers). She's also clearly afraid of her mother (as shown in two instances) and maybe it'll become a joke that she's lazy, lol. Her quirk is how she uses her powers in very disturbing ways. That said, I agree with you (and everyone else) that Smoothie was not an interesting character, although I like her design. Above all, she didn't do anything relevant, as we know.

    However, I absolutely disagree that Smoothie is proof that something was wrong with how Oda planned this arc, but rather the opposite. Her role being so undervalued in this particular storyline is only proof that Oda is very conscious of the power of a Sweet Commander. He can't let Smoothie have enough space to do stuff without facing a huge problem: the Strawhats are not powerful enough to deal with her. So there are two options: (a) Smoothie would be obliged to underperform in a circunstance where there's no excuse for such or (b) the Strawhats would have to be captured by her (not an option, really).

    The dilemma is as follows: Smoothie must exist, because a Yonkou must have at least a third commander, but this third commander can't be allowed to interfere too much, because (s)he's too powerful for the protagonists (aside Luffy). And this dilemma is very noticeable in the way Oda has written a lot of moments in the last section of this arc. For example, when the Strawhats were surrounded by two fleets and Sulong Carrot had to do her stuff, Oda put Daifuku on the front and Smoothie on the back, because he couldn't make Carrot jump into Smoothie's fleet. That'd be mission impossible for Carrot (the end of the line for the Strawhats), otherwise a Sweet Commander would be completely subpar in strenght compared to the others (and people would think she's even lamer).

    To sum it up, I can't blame Oda for his decision to underutilize Smoothie, since it was only natural given the circunstances. Sure, there're reasons to be upset with her character, but I wouldn't dismiss the construction of the plot for this reason. At the end of the day, we should understand that there's going to be a Part 2 against Big Mom and that's when Smoothie will get her time to shine, hopefully.

  4. #44
    The villain eternal. Kylor's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by .access timeco. View Post
    That said, this leads to another thing that bothered me: the Charlotte family is famous for establishing connections through marriage and yet, except for the two daughters married with the two traitorous crews, we didn't saw a single Charlotte who seemed to be married. Chiffon and Praline both seemed to be heavily integrated into their husbands crews, so you would think if any of the other kids staying in Totto Land was married, the crew/organization they were married into would have at least some representatives around. But no.
    That could be explained by the married kids being away with their own families instead of in Totto Land, but judging from all the recurrent BMP we saw in this arc is very likely we already met every single one of BM's sons and daughters (meaning only Lola was not around in this arc and maybe one or two others).
    It's like the primary concept behind the Charlotte family was forgotten as soon as it was presented and served its function (set the WCI arc into motion with Sanji and Pudding).
    Given how every marriage we've seen eventually turned out, it's not hard to imagine that those Big Mom allies herself with don't end up sticking around too long after they stop being useful to her. She probably does use her children for arranged marriages quite often, but there are a lot of self-made widows in the Charlotte family.

  5. #45

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by theackwardstation View Post
    Hi, Coruscation, great review overall, but I'd like to discuss this particular point.

    Starting by your challenge, I'd describe Smoothie as arrogant and sadistic (primarily by the way she likes to abuse people with her powers). She's also clearly afraid of her mother (as shown in two instances) and maybe it'll become a joke that she's lazy, lol. Her quirk is how she uses her powers in very disturbing ways. That said, I agree with you (and everyone else) that Smoothie was not an interesting character, although I like her design. Above all, she didn't do anything relevant, as we know.
    My impression of Smoothie is that she is... smooth. When I think of her I remember her passing her arm over her underling's shoulders and pulling him close while explaining to him why they shouldn't bother BM with Jinbe's betrayal, and then when she told Cinnamon to not call men idiot (while looking at her male underlings) and told Daifuku he was also fooled by the SH when he was talking shit about Mont d'Or for the same reason. She seems to me like the cool and down to earth type, reminding me of the likes of Shunsui from Bleach.

    But what matters here is that we two apparently got her personality so differently it alone shows how little attention Oda dedicated to her. However, the fact so many of the bigger names in the BMP didn't properly show their abilities (we don't even know what Smoothie DF is, didn't even got a proper look at Snack's face) seems to be like they are being saved for later, so I don't mind.
    Last edited by .access timeco.; April 23rd, 2018 at 06:23 PM.

  6. #46

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    I feel much of my view of this arc was poisoned by my hatred of that cliffhanger resolution. It's something I never wanted, never expected anything from, and didn't turn out well.

    That said, I remember several times during previous chapters how I loved how weird and different this arc was, in that this wasn't the typical "beat a pirate crew" arc like Dressrosa was. I feel I need some time to reflect on what I liked.

  7. #47

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by .access timeco. View Post
    My impression of Smoothie is that she is... smooth. When I think of her I remember her passing her arm over her underling's shoulders and pulling him close while explaining to him why they shouldn't bother BM with Jinbe's betrayal, and then when she told Cinnamon to not call men idiot (while looking at her male underlings) and told Daifuku he was also fooled by the SH when he was talking shit about Mont d'Or for the same reason. She seems to me like the cool and down to earth type, reminding me of the likes of Shunsui from Bleach.

    But what matters here is that we two apparently got her personality so differently it alone shows how little attention Oda dedicated to her.
    The scenes you've just described were not the first ones that came to my mind, indeed, but that's not to say that I disagree with your perception of Smoothie. She's this cool thoughtful type yes! I also say she's arrogant because she's always too conceited, as shown multiple times in this pursuit. Both qualities are not contradictory, in my opinion.

  8. #48
    Bisoromi Bear Game And Guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    i cant wait for the hollywood tv show to get to this arc forty years from now!

    You are on a quest to become the Pirate Prince, and you decide your fate!

  9. #49

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    My main issue with Smoothie that well, of course it's the sole female Sweet Commander that didn't get to do much of anything. I completely acknowledge that fully throwing under Sweet Commander into the mix would've made things very challenging for them, which is why Oda had to essentially nerf her usefulness by having her out at sea. (Although even on land, pretty much the little she did was presumably off-screened) But at the same time I can't be so naive as to not notice that of course Oda would have her be the one to take the backseat. Which of course is par for the course when it comes to One Piece, one just has to accept it to a certain extent, but it'll always sting nonetheless as the years pass.

    Ultimately, it's not that big of a knock against this fantastic arc for me, namely because I'm mostly used to it, as well as the fact that Oda went out of his way to avoid 1v1 fights for the rest of the crew. (who realistically couldn't handle her anyways) But again, it still stings.

  10. #50
    Discovered Stowaway Icefae's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Pros:
    The first third of the arc's pacing was stellar. Great mystery, tension, high drama with Sanji, stakes felt high. Some of those early WCI chapters are some of my favorite.
    I really like how Oda took his time developing Totland and drawing us in slowly. Reminiscent of Water 7.
    Sanji's prince cape was sexy af
    Big Mom is an awesome villain. I love her design, I love her freaky stares, she has some amazing dialogue moments, and is flawed in a pretty unique way.
    Bege was a cool inclusion to the arc and frankly didn't overstay his welcome. Excited to see him again.
    Katakuri and his fight were just fucking awesome. He had a badass design, was genuinely threatening, introduced new mechanics to haki, and his character arc was very "show, don't tell". The fact that so many fans whined about Luffy having "plot armor" or whatever, totally having missed everything about their final interaction, was just icing on the whole cake.
    I actually loved the Big Mom pirates by the end of the arc. I complained a lot about them being incompetent clowns a lot but eventually it dawned on me that was the whole point. They are one of my favorite crews in the series. Fresh dynamic and cool designs.
    Pedro might have actually died. Holy hell.
    Loved the naval warfare sequences. It's about time we got some of that juicy stuff.
    I love the set up for this arc perhaps more than any arc in the series. Political marriage, rescue mission, etc. I think it also ends in an equally strong way with a lot having been lost and a lot of questions left unanswered. I have no doubt that Wano will have very satisfying moments but I'm probably more intrigued to see what happens in Elbaf or wherever Oda takes these subplots.

    Cons:
    Sanji retrieval portion of the arc was cut short with the Reiju/fake cuffs/BM doesn't even really care about Zeff etc. asspull. This one cut deep.
    I desperately wanted more development with Sanji and the Vinsmokes. They are some of the most deplorable villains in the series and Sanji or anyone ever really got to stick it to them the way they deserve. Seriously, reread Sanji's flashback. It's insanity. Coruscation's post on page 2 really says it all - they are uncomfortably and unjustifiably evil and manipulative more than your standard villain. I have no idea what what we're "supposed" to think about them. Not to turn this forum into my personal livejournal, but as someone who actually did run away from an abusive family, this particular subplot disgusted me. This is leaps and bounds above any other gripe I have with this arc.
    Pudding's "friend or foe" routine was a little clumsy to me.
    I really don't get why Oda would have introduced the "Big Mom will target your families" thing if he had no intention of following up on it or even writing around it in a believable way. That was a super compelling aspect of her character and I know I said this already but it's lame as hell that it was just dropped. I know this is One Piece and not Game of Thrones but damn Oda you had me thinking that people were actually in danger.
    The extended chase sequence seemed to nerf Big Mom's power really hard. It was weird how much shit she ate from Nami and Brook.
    A lot of time was spent on extraneous tertiary characters like Pound, King Baum, and Pekoms that I didn't give half a shit about. but hey buddy that's just me.
    Wadatsumi turning out to just have swapped the ships after the best cliffhanger in the series is frankly unforgivable. I kinda hope the Fishmen do end up dying just for that.
    Chopper didn't have much of a presence. It was a missed opportunity that he didn't even identify Big Mom's food illness.
    Like all New World arcs, there were way too many characters.
    theackwardstation bullying me in the chapter threads ;_;
    Last edited by Icefae; April 23rd, 2018 at 09:29 PM.

  11. #51

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by Icefae View Post
    theackwardstation bullying me in the chapter threads ;_;
    Hahahaha sorry Icefae, I hope my 'bullying' is polite, just asking you to give more insight into your usual fierceness. ;) You see, I like your review here, very thoughtful.
    Last edited by theackwardstation; April 23rd, 2018 at 10:21 PM.

  12. #52

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    I think that I could write word for word what Kylor said here :
    Quote Originally Posted by Kylor View Post
    The arc also does that whole post-timeskip thing where he has too many threads going on at the same time and some of them are bound to be more interesting than the others and waiting out the lesser ones to get back into the scenes with more investment can make the arc a huge chore for the reader, and the constant breaks don't help that at all, even if the reason for them is understandable. It also doesn't help that, even in the best parts, it feels a bit watered down because Oda doesn't have the freedom to sit in one moment for longer than a freaking page, again a consequence of how many things there are to get to and how thin one can stretch the reader's patience, but having everything play out in quick vignettes rather than having any actual scenes leaves one lacking in the long term. The wedding cake business, for example, could have been much better on its own, but when it frequently cuts to unrelated material, runs over the course of a year, and then is resolved in a way that's too fast for its own buildup, it leaves us feeling stuffed but not satisfied. But I digress, as this is leading to more a complaint with how One Piece is these days, and not anything specific to this arc. What really needs to stop, though, is cliffhangers that seem insurmountable and imposing, followed by a two week wait, only to resolve in an easy answer in the first few pages of the next chapter. That's called cheating.
    But as he said this will be the rule from now so it is useless to get annoyed by it anymore (I still don't understand what was the necessity of introducing a character like Flanbe though)

    Otherwise for me the weakest point of the arc was the development of Sanji character. Having one of the East blue crewmember which had to pretend to quit the crew and fight against his captain had was out of place in the story at that point in time. And don't even try to tell me that Sanji had no choice because of this and that, it's a waste of your time : It should never had happened ! I also think the flashback was not that great (Big Mum one is much better). If you add to that, the fact that Sanji didn't really had something worse remembering in the future, I'm not really happy as a Sanji fan.

    That say, the world was beautiful, the big mum family (though to big) has great characters. Big Mum herself is a great monster. I agree that the open end of the arc is interesting though Jinbe not joining is hard to swallow.

    Finally, another minus point could be the fact that Mum got her devil fruit power by cannibalism. After the "respawn from the nearest fruit" from Punk Hazard, I'm really worried on the devil fruit explanations yet to come

    So yeah, I'm in the middle. The arc was definitively better than Dressrosa but I'm happy we can move on.

  13. #53

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by Kdom View Post
    But as he said this will be the rule from now so it is useless to get annoyed by it anymore (I still don't understand what was the necessity of introducing a character like Flanbe though)
    Flampé is there as a plot device to trigger Katakuri's liberation from his personal shackles, since she brings the context in which Katakuri makes the choice that defines his narrative development, once again revealing his true self publicly and living for his own passions. She also gives us some insight into the Charlotte family.

  14. #54

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    This is my first review of this arc, with only having read it weekly, so like anyone in that position my memory of the arc will be murky. Once I re-read it (which I've already started, this break waiting for Reverie has been pure torture) I'll post a more detailed review.

    - I enjoyed the Charlotte crew's designs a lot, and I really came around to liking them as a crew when originally some of them I was rather meh about, for instance Oven and Brulee. Oven's pure ruthlessness and effectiveness really made me enjoy him in the same way that I like Akainu, and Brulee got some surprise depth in the final chapter, which did wonders for her character for a large amount of fans.

    - The weakest part of the arc for me was Sanji's flashback. Not even totally sure why, I just found it dull. I think that's almost solely because of Judge, whose design I just... really dislike lol. I will be glad not to have to see his ugly mug for a long time, and then hopefully only sparingly. Also I wanted a lot more done with Sora.

    - On wracking my brain and remembering, this is the most emotional arc of the New World, and my lord, how sorely needed. Emotion is a huge hook point for One Piece, and I feel it just hadn't (not hasn't, now, thanks to WCI) been delivering the same emotional gutpunches. There was something always off in post-timeskip for me, and that was that emotional drama seemed to be taking a large backseat. With Whole Cake Island, I can finally say that odd feeling of mine is dispelled. Just the Sanji empty cigarette flick alone is just such a juicy moment of despair.

    - The pacing for me post-wedding left much to be desired, particularly when the "WEEEEEEEEEEEEED" chase began. I really do truly feel it's because Oda was trying to end around 900, and this arc just wasn't meant for that.

    - Katakuri was a major MAJOR highlight of the arc for me. He's an easy top 3 fight of the series now, and I'm fairly sure that I personally am putting him at the #1 spot (due to some transcendental moments like "You're looking pretty far into the future...!!!") But yeah. A highly precise, effective, logical, honorable man who just gets shit done. It's hard not to love these types of characters, they go so far in making the villains look competent and like a threat. When he gets exposed as some donut-loving freak, that just adds classic One Piece charm to his character, and that's an awesome reveal on its own, similar in feel to Duval's face reveal. And then his character gets improved again when he commits honorable spear-puku to level himself with Luffy, and again when more depth is added to him in the final chapter of Whole Cake Island. Just an all-around incredible antagonist.

    - Wedding was an awesome classy-event-goes-off-the-rails series of events.

    - Chapter 902 being a 10/10 chapter does so many wonders for the arc, especially after the lackluster 901. It's such a neat, full of depth wrap-up, and it delivered not one, not two, but THREE hard-hitting emotional gutpunches in one chapter. That's rare even for early One Piece. Chapter 902 is one of the absolute best chapters in the entire series.

    - Big Mom was the threat she needed to be. Very dynamic interesting panels of her when she's involved, shows you how the weight of a Yonkou is supposed to feel: heavy.

    - The way the arc ended purposely with a lot of hanging threads to be concluded in likely Elbaf is refreshing. It ends on a somber, somewhat incomplete note. The arc is not meant to be totally self-contained. It's Part 1, obvs. So it's another thing that dispels the misguided notion that some distant or casual reader will have that "All One Piece arcs are the same, how are people not tired of this formula yet!?" Well you've been wrong since Sabaody, but you're even more wrong here, now.

    I give the arc an 8.2, and just like Kylor I wish I could vote above Good but below Amazing. Katakuri fight I give a 9.8.

  15. #55

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by theackwardstation View Post
    Flampé is there as a plot device to trigger Katakuri's liberation from his personal shackles, since she brings the context in which Katakuri makes the choice that defines his narrative development, once again revealing his true self publicly and living for his own passions. She also gives us some insight into the Charlotte family.
    Yeah and she sucks both as a plot device and as a character. So she was unnecessary

  16. #56

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaworu View Post
    This is my first review of this arc, with only having read it weekly, so like anyone in that position my memory of the arc will be murky. Once I re-read it (which I've already started, this break waiting for Reverie has been pure torture) I'll post a more detailed review.

    - I enjoyed the Charlotte crew's designs a lot, and I really came around to liking them as a crew when originally some of them I was rather meh about, for instance Oven and Brulee. Oven's pure ruthlessness and effectiveness really made me enjoy him in the same way that I like Akainu, and Brulee got some surprise depth in the final chapter, which did wonders for her character for a large amount of fans.

    - The weakest part of the arc for me was Sanji's flashback. Not even totally sure why, I just found it dull. I think that's almost solely because of Judge, whose design I just... really dislike lol. I will be glad not to have to see his ugly mug for a long time, and then hopefully only sparingly. Also I wanted a lot more done with Sora.

    - On wracking my brain and remembering, this is the most emotional arc of the New World, and my lord, how sorely needed. Emotion is a huge hook point for One Piece, and I feel it just hadn't (not hasn't, now, thanks to WCI) been delivering the same emotional gutpunches. There was something always off in post-timeskip for me, and that was that emotional drama seemed to be taking a large backseat. With Whole Cake Island, I can finally say that odd feeling of mine is dispelled. Just the Sanji empty cigarette flick alone is just such a juicy moment of despair.

    - The pacing for me post-wedding left much to be desired, particularly when the "WEEEEEEEEEEEEED" chase began. I really do truly feel it's because Oda was trying to end around 900, and this arc just wasn't meant for that.

    - Katakuri was a major MAJOR highlight of the arc for me. He's an easy top 3 fight of the series now, and I'm fairly sure that I personally am putting him at the #1 spot (due to some transcendental moments like "You're looking pretty far into the future...!!!") But yeah. A highly precise, effective, logical, honorable man who just gets shit done. It's hard not to love these types of characters, they go so far in making the villains look competent and like a threat. When he gets exposed as some donut-loving freak, that just adds classic One Piece charm to his character, and that's an awesome reveal on its own, similar in feel to Duval's face reveal. And then his character gets improved again when he commits honorable spear-puku to level himself with Luffy, and again when more depth is added to him in the final chapter of Whole Cake Island. Just an all-around incredible antagonist.

    - Wedding was an awesome classy-event-goes-off-the-rails series of events.

    - Chapter 902 being a 10/10 chapter does so many wonders for the arc, especially after the lackluster 901. It's such a neat, full of depth wrap-up, and it delivered not one, not two, but THREE hard-hitting emotional gutpunches in one chapter. That's rare even for early One Piece. Chapter 902 is one of the absolute best chapters in the entire series.

    - Big Mom was the threat she needed to be. Very dynamic interesting panels of her when she's involved, shows you how the weight of a Yonkou is supposed to feel: heavy.

    - The way the arc ended purposely with a lot of hanging threads to be concluded in likely Elbaf is refreshing. It ends on a somber, somewhat incomplete note. The arc is not meant to be totally self-contained. It's Part 1, obvs. So it's another thing that dispels the misguided notion that some distant or casual reader will have that "All One Piece arcs are the same, how are people not tired of this formula yet!?" Well you've been wrong since Sabaody, but you're even more wrong here, now.

    I give the arc an 8.2, and just like Kylor I wish I could vote above Good but below Amazing. Katakuri fight I give a 9.8.
    How do split up the the lead up to sanji's rejoining 829-856, the wedding 857-873 and post wedding scores 874-902?
    Chapter 437 Discussion after franky decides to join the Strawhats:
    So who think Usopp is inside that duffelbag?
    H x H Chimera Ant Arc / OP Manga Spoiler
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  17. #57

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by Long John Silvers Rayleigh View Post
    How do you split up the lead up to sanji's rejoining 829-856, the wedding 857-873 and post wedding scores 874-902?
    I'd have to re-read, I did not realize the wedding was that many chapters o_O! Shows just how foggy memory can get. I'll give 829-856 a 7.5, the wedding seriously a ? 'cause I did not realize it went on for about 20 chapters, and 874-902 an 8, with serious points knocked off for pacing and serious points added for the Katakuri fight and 902.

  18. #58

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    The Good:

    - I was happily surprised that Big Mom and Luffy did not end up on happy terms (I was part of the few who were predicting 'amicable' terms for multiple reasons).

    - Katakuri and Brulee's relation (or generally the camaraderie between *some* of the siblings despite BM's influence)

    - The strawhat team fight was truly a highlight for me

    - Luffy's assertiveness as a captain


    The Bad:

    - Everything tied with Sanji was just *so* underwhelming and unfinished. He had absolutely no agency in an arc that he was heavily tied to. The cake was underwhelming and the vinsmokes lacked resolution. I'm not even asking for an epic 1v1 Sanji fight but for him to have done something more concrete than creating a sauce for a cake that stalled her for an hour or so. The whole thing wasn't even his idea.

    These are the stuff off the top of my head. I'm sure i can think of more if I sit at it but here it is I guess.

  19. #59

    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaworu View Post
    I'd have to re-read, I did not realize the wedding was that many chapters o_O! Shows just how foggy memory can get. I'll give 829-856 a 7.5, the wedding seriously a ? 'cause I did not realize it went on for about 20 chapters, and 874-902 an 8, with serious points knocked off for pacing and serious points added for the Katakuri fight and 902.
    Technically it only started at 861 but I grouped the capone meet up and intro with it
    Chapter 437 Discussion after franky decides to join the Strawhats:
    So who think Usopp is inside that duffelbag?
    H x H Chimera Ant Arc / OP Manga Spoiler
    Spoiler:



  20. #60
    Discovered Stowaway Coruscation's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Whole Cake Island Whole Arc Discussion Thread - Reviews for Totland

    Quote Originally Posted by theackwardstation View Post
    Hi, Coruscation, great review overall, but I'd like to discuss this particular point.

    Starting by your challenge, I'd describe Smoothie as arrogant and sadistic (primarily by the way she likes to abuse people with her powers). She's also clearly afraid of her mother (as shown in two instances) and maybe it'll become a joke that she's lazy, lol. Her quirk is how she uses her powers in very disturbing ways. That said, I agree with you (and everyone else) that Smoothie was not an interesting character, although I like her design. Above all, she didn't do anything relevant, as we know.

    However, I absolutely disagree that Smoothie is proof that something was wrong with how Oda planned this arc, but rather the opposite. Her role being so undervalued in this particular storyline is only proof that Oda is very conscious of the power of a Sweet Commander. He can't let Smoothie have enough space to do stuff without facing a huge problem: the Strawhats are not powerful enough to deal with her. So there are two options: (a) Smoothie would be obliged to underperform in a circunstance where there's no excuse for such or (b) the Strawhats would have to be captured by her (not an option, really).

    The dilemma is as follows: Smoothie must exist, because a Yonkou must have at least a third commander, but this third commander can't be allowed to interfere too much, because (s)he's too powerful for the protagonists (aside Luffy). And this dilemma is very noticeable in the way Oda has written a lot of moments in the last section of this arc. For example, when the Strawhats were surrounded by two fleets and Sulong Carrot had to do her stuff, Oda put Daifuku on the front and Smoothie on the back, because he couldn't make Carrot jump into Smoothie's fleet. That'd be mission impossible for Carrot (the end of the line for the Strawhats), otherwise a Sweet Commander would be completely subpar in strenght compared to the others (and people would think she's even lamer).

    To sum it up, I can't blame Oda for his decision to underutilize Smoothie, since it was only natural given the circunstances. Sure, there're reasons to be upset with her character, but I wouldn't dismiss the construction of the plot for this reason. At the end of the day, we should understand that there's going to be a Part 2 against Big Mom and that's when Smoothie will get her time to shine, hopefully.
    I should have disallowed "arrogant" since it's not so much a character trait of One Piece villains as it's hardwired into their DNA. Every single one of them is. But that's my bad, so you got me. She's arrogant. That's the extent of her character. I'm not sure you can really call her sadistic, but if you go with that then it means she has another generic villain trait that's forgettable enough you could miss its existence.

    The rest: yeah, but... like... that is the disappointing writing I'm talking about. Or at least a part of it. There's no automatic correlation between a character being kept out of the action for plot convenience and them being a boring dullard with no personality. Those are two entirely separate things. Characters with less screen time and plot presence have been far more interesting and memorable in this series.

    But as for keeping her out of the action, I didn't think it was done in a convincing way and nor do I agree it was a necessity in the way you've said. For example: the Germa could've arrived back on the scene much earlier than they did and she could have gone up against all of them by herself, having the advantage over them at full power and in their home territory as a true display of the terror of a Yonkou elite. It would've spared us the Germa's confusing, tone deaf rescue at the end of the arc while giving two groups that needed more to do, more to do. That's just my quickfix too.

    As for the "There's going to be a Round 2 with the BM pirates, and all of this will be fine" notion... it's not something I can seriously take into account at this point in time. It's fine that Big Mom's own defeat will have to wait, but Big Mom was already fine in this arc whereas Smoothie wasn't. If such a thing happens it's likely hundreds of chapters away at the pace we're going, and there's absolutely no guarantee Smoothie that will be expanded upon and made an interesting character at that time. Even if she is, it still won't change how underwhelming and forgettable she was in this arc. It's not something you can salvage by adding something else later. The damage is done, we can only hope if she returns the same mistake won't be made again.

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