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Thread: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

  1. #1

    Default Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    As we approach the end of this arc, I've been thinking alot about it and what it has actually accomplished in terms of story and progressing characters.

    Wano was the perfect arc to display, spotlight and utilize each and every one of the Straw Hat's individual talents, and yet, they have done absolutely nothing significant.

    Lets look at the various ways they have been failed:

    1. Sanji

    Sanji is a cook, he strongly believes that food should be valued and deeply empathizes with people who are starving. Wano is an arc where a significant portion of it was spent showing us how people were starving while food was being wasted. But Sanji never deals with this part of the arc. Instead he was relegated into that weird soba mask thing that absolutely added nothing to the story.

    Why couldn't we have had a small story where Sanji visits a starving village, he cooks amazing newkama kempo recipes for them, and still have the stupid confrontation with Page One as he comes to investigate?

    2. Robin

    Robin is a historian. She is deeply curious about history, and especially the void century. She is aware that Wano is a significant factor in uncovering that history. And yet, she has never been shown interacting with the history of Wano. Instead she spent her time learning how to be a Geisha??.. Like what?

    This would have been the perfect time to show Robin uncovering the connection between Wano and the Void Century. Instead of Oden's vague prophetic words, it could have been Robin slowly uncovering this connection.

    But nope, Robin gets to be a geisha..yay.

    3. Franky.

    Franky's main goal on the crew is to ensure his ship gets Luffy to the end. He is in a country that is known as the best producer of seastone. Seastone that would allow his ship to chart the Calm belt, further making it the Ship of Dreams. There are also multiple Weapon's factories across Wano. I thought he could do something about that.

    But I guess being a carpenter was a better use for his character and his bs excuse of looking for Blue prints didn't even end up helping.

    At least he built ships for the rebellion. Oda remembered he can actually do that.

    4. Ussop

    He wants to be a brave warrior of the sea. He is in a country full of powerful warriors who have lost their will to fight. This would have been the perfect moment for him to awaken to his goals, motivate himself and the samurai to rise up again in defiance.
    It would have been a great way to add to his mythic army of followers. Further increasing his parallel to Buggy.

    5. Brook

    Brook, he doesn't want much, he just wants to get back to his friend.

    But Wano would have been the perfect moment to show the power of Brook's music.

    He could have been shown going to various villages/towns, playing music so as to alleviate the suffering of the Wano people. Further recruiting more people to the cause.

    6.Nami

    A cartographer who wants to chart the whole world. Never once expresses interest in the rare known countries that are uncharted.

    Furthermore, he skills as a navigator are never used in Wano. She could have been utilized during the trip to Onigashima due to the harsh weather there.

    7.Zoro
    Wants to be the greatest swordsman.

    Has only fought one swordsman/magic fox in Wano, in a country full of swordsmen.


    The only one who has been consistently acting according to their character is Chopper. He came in clutch during Udon and he came in clutch again in Onigashima. Why couldn't the other SH have had similar small moments??
    HOW COME LUFFY NEVER KILLS AN ENEMY?
    ODA:ITS BECAUSE IN THAT ERA EVERYONE USES THEIR LIVES TO FIGHT FOR THEIR DREAMS. FOR AN ENEMY WHEN THEIR DREAM HAS BEEN SHATTERED,IT IS AS PAINFUL AS DEATH,I BELIEVE FOR A PIRATE NOT TO KILL AN ENEMY , IT'S GIVING THEM A SECOND CHANCE TO FIGHT FOR THEIR DREAMS.

  2. #2
    Warrior of Science Kaptayn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Your thread is less about how the Straw Hats have been underused/underdeveloped and more about how they didn't do a set of oddly specific things that you would have otherwise enjoyed. Most of those make no sense (Brook, Franky, Zoro, Sanji), or at least are not relevant since it is hard to argue that their absence has hurt the story in the slightest. The other events that you mention could still happen (Usopp, Nami, Robin), similarly to Chopper playing an important role in the raid.

    All in all, and to reply to what the title of your thread is addressing, I think this arc is set up to do the opposite of what you're complaining about. We've already had several duo fights and moments giving the spotlight to characters who barely had any in the past years (Robin, Chopper, Jinbei). Unique interactions between straw hats. A sense of reunion after the main group has been split in half for years.
    I am also convinced that the straw hats will face Kaido together at some point, but that's just speculation for now.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    The strawhats did get a bit shafted by focusing on the scabbards. I probably would've prefered more focus on the mainhats but i realize that Oda is a bit bored and wants to draw something else for a while and if he needs to doodle on his samurai sideline to get some breath to do some more strawhatting i'll just have to live with that. Other than utterly shitting on Nami and Usopp he has been okay-ish with the rest, some better some worse but he never took a full crap on them like he did with Namsopp so i wouldn't say that he did them any worse than he had in other post-TS arcs

  4. #4

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Like Kaptayn said, your issue seems more that we didn't get to see the Straw Hats doing all the shit they've been doing for years now.

    None of the things you've stated would be considered "progressing", just reiteration. "Oh look, Sanji is feeding starving people like he did in Baratie!", "Oh look, Robin is uncovering the local history like she did in Skypiea!" Stuff that you'd expect to be tackled in anime filler arcs because they don'thave the courage to do something new.

    An actual example of progress would be Sanji relying on Robin to save him, something we once thought as unthinkable due to Sanji's overprotection of women. Another example is Zoro learning how to cut fire, since it was something he was set up to learn arcs prior and it's relevant to his objective of being able to cut anything as the World's Greatest Swordsman.
    Last edited by King Cannon; September 19th, 2021 at 07:06 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Didn't I seem this very same song and dance in another thread?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Wano is far from over.

    Sanji and Zoro are about to get spotlight very soon, and there are already hints that both will get character development and background expansion. If my theory that Act 4 will pick up most of WCI's dangling threads, there's still a lot for Sanji ahead.

    Robin did show talent as a spy AND got a fight already. Plus, there's still no less than 6 Poneglyphs she will have to decipher before the end of Wano: Big Mom's Road Poneglyph and two normal Poneglyphs, the poneglyph under the shogun castle in Flower Capital, the one in Onigashima's basement, and Wano's Road Poneglyph, wherever it is.

    If I'm right about Act 4, I'm betting on proper fights for Usopp and Nami there, including one that will be a huge step up for the former.

    Wano is not over, no point in complaining right now, especially considering there are threads yet to be finished for Zoro, Sanji and Robin.
    Wano predictions: There will be 5 acts; All Straw Hats will get fights, some in Act 4; Big Mom Pirates will arrive; Carrot will have her moment, but won't join; Yamato will be a Kouzuki samurai and Wano's Guardian; Shanks will visit Luffy in Act 5; Next arc is Mary Geoise.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by kevo_koma View Post
    6.Nami

    A cartographer who wants to chart the whole world. Never once expresses interest in the rare known countries that are uncharted.
    Now that you mention it, it is weird that we never see Nami working on drawing maps of the islands.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by RoboBlue View Post
    Now that you mention it, it is weird that we never see Nami working on drawing maps of the islands.
    Considering how uneventful mapmaking is, it's understandable why Oda doesn't give it any focus. We can just consider that Nami has been making her nautical maps during the journey.
    Wano predictions: There will be 5 acts; All Straw Hats will get fights, some in Act 4; Big Mom Pirates will arrive; Carrot will have her moment, but won't join; Yamato will be a Kouzuki samurai and Wano's Guardian; Shanks will visit Luffy in Act 5; Next arc is Mary Geoise.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Deicide View Post
    Considering how uneventful mapmaking is, it's understandable why Oda doesn't give it any focus. We can just consider that Nami has been making her nautical maps during the journey.
    I mean, that's the case with pretty much most of the SH's occupations. A lot of them are not really fun to follow frequently.

    Like, it was fun to witness Robin uncovering Skypiea's existence by reconstructing a skull, or Franky building the Thousand Sunny from scratch, but that sorta work should only be there to establish their character and talents. It's not really something we need to keep seeing over and over since we readers should already have an idea of what they do.

    I'm not sure how one can think Sanji feeding starving villagers would be more exciting and significant to read than him experimenting a new power-up to fight a dinosaur. The former simply doesn't add anything new to the story and it's only useful if the author is attempting to recap an aspect of the character for the readers (even though the previous arc was half-dedicated to just that).
    Last edited by King Cannon; September 19th, 2021 at 10:48 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by King Cannon View Post
    I mean, that's the case with pretty much most of the SH's occupations. A lot of them are not really fun to follow frequently.

    Like, it was fun to witness Robin uncovering Skypiea's existence by reconstructing a skull, or Franky building the Thousand Sunny from scratch, but that sorta work should only be there to establish their character and talents. It's not really something we need to keep seeing over and over since we readers should already have an idea of what they do.

    I'm not sure how one can think Sanji feeding starving villagers would be more exciting and significant to read than him experimenting a new power-up to fight a dinosaur. The former simply doesn't add anything new to the story and it's only useful if the author is attempting to recap an aspect of the character for the readers (even though the previous arc was half-dedicated to just that).
    I agree. The characters' skills must serve the plot, or else they are just filler. We see little map-making for Nami because there's little map-making needs for the plot. Maybe at some point, like in the journey to Laugh Tale, her skills become essential for the plot, and thus they receive proper attention. That's pretty much a rule of storytelling: don't waste precious time (and panels) on something that has little bearing for the plot.
    Wano predictions: There will be 5 acts; All Straw Hats will get fights, some in Act 4; Big Mom Pirates will arrive; Carrot will have her moment, but won't join; Yamato will be a Kouzuki samurai and Wano's Guardian; Shanks will visit Luffy in Act 5; Next arc is Mary Geoise.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    I could sort of see it as a priority thing if not for the way the man keeps pissing away time on absolute nonsense and time sinks for the sake of wasting time. Sunkist doing his cooking thing would probably feel like a better use of space than running form point A to B part twelve

  12. #12

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfwood View Post
    I could sort of see it as a priority thing if not for the way the man keeps pissing away time on absolute nonsense and time sinks for the sake of wasting time. Sunkist doing his cooking thing would probably feel like a better use of space than running form point A to B part twelve
    Running from place to place is there because it serves the plot. It explains why Sanji was not in the main stage to help Chopper/Drake/Marco/whatever, sets up Robin's fight, shows how Sanji got Zoro, and why they return to the main stage for their fight.

    Also, you are comparing events in Onigashima to a would-be thing happening in the main land much earlier. It's not those moments were a trade-off. Sanji cooking wasn't needed for the Act 2 plot, but he getting stranded mid-fight was essential for Act 3.
    Wano predictions: There will be 5 acts; All Straw Hats will get fights, some in Act 4; Big Mom Pirates will arrive; Carrot will have her moment, but won't join; Yamato will be a Kouzuki samurai and Wano's Guardian; Shanks will visit Luffy in Act 5; Next arc is Mary Geoise.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by King Cannon View Post
    Like Kaptayn said, your issue seems more that we didn't get to see the Straw Hats doing all the shit they've been doing for years now.

    None of the things you've stated would be considered "progressing", just reiteration. "Oh look, Sanji is feeding starving people like he did in Baratie!", "Oh look, Robin is uncovering the local history like she did in Skypiea!" Stuff that you'd expect to be tackled in anime filler arcs because they don'thave the courage to do something new.

    An actual example of progress would be Sanji relying on Robin to save him, something we once thought as unthinkable due to Sanji's overprotection of women. Another example is Zoro learning how to cut fire, since it was something he was set up to learn arcs prior and it's relevant to his objective of being able to cut anything as the World's Greatest Swordsman.
    Not really though.

    My main issue, is that the Straw Hats(and their 2 year training included) have not really used their individual skills(outside of fighting) to advance or assist the plot in any way.

    Sanji feeding a starving wano would have been thematically consistent with him assisting in the rebellion/war effort against Kiadou and Orochi.

    Remember, Orochi is specifically using starvation as an effective tool in keeping the Wano populace in check.

    This applies to the other complaints I had.

    Yes, the SH are good at fighting. But they are so much more than fighting.

    This is the crew that is apparently destined to change the world. Surely, that change will not simply be predicated on the fact that they can fight well.

    Its not reiteration, but building upon an already established foundation. It should have been the first time we see the SH skill inspire people.

    Not just their captain.

    Quote Originally Posted by KageKageKing View Post
    Didn't I seem this very same song and dance in another thread?
    Yes, this is an expansion of my complaint about how Sanji didn't seem to act on the starvation occuring in Wano.

    It just seemed out of character, and thinking about it more, I realized the other SH weren't acting based on their skills and desires, as we know them. Except for Luffy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deicide View Post
    Wano is far from over.

    Sanji and Zoro are about to get spotlight very soon, and there are already hints that both will get character development and background expansion. If my theory that Act 4 will pick up most of WCI's dangling threads, there's still a lot for Sanji ahead.

    Robin did show talent as a spy AND got a fight already. Plus, there's still no less than 6 Poneglyphs she will have to decipher before the end of Wano: Big Mom's Road Poneglyph and two normal Poneglyphs, the poneglyph under the shogun castle in Flower Capital, the one in Onigashima's basement, and Wano's Road Poneglyph, wherever it is.

    If I'm right about Act 4, I'm betting on proper fights for Usopp and Nami there, including one that will be a huge step up for the former.

    Wano is not over, no point in complaining right now, especially considering there are threads yet to be finished for Zoro, Sanji and Robin.
    I greatly treasure the moment that Robin got an actual legit fight.

    But I think, as characters the SHs deserved more.

    @wolfwood is correct, this is a result of Oda wanting to play with new samurai toys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptayn View Post
    Your thread is less about how the Straw Hats have been underused/underdeveloped and more about how they didn't do a set of oddly specific things that you would have otherwise enjoyed. Most of those make no sense (Brook, Franky, Zoro, Sanji), or at least are not relevant since it is hard to argue that their absence has hurt the story in the slightest. The other events that you mention could still happen (Usopp, Nami, Robin), similarly to Chopper playing an important role in the raid.

    All in all, and to reply to what the title of your thread is addressing, I think this arc is set up to do the opposite of what you're complaining about. We've already had several duo fights and moments giving the spotlight to characters who barely had any in the past years (Robin, Chopper, Jinbei). Unique interactions between straw hats. A sense of reunion after the main group has been split in half for years.
    I am also convinced that the straw hats will face Kaido together at some point, but that's just speculation for now.
    Are fights the only way SHs can contribute to the plot of Wano?
    Quote Originally Posted by King Cannon View Post
    I mean, that's the case with pretty much most of the SH's occupations. A lot of them are not really fun to follow frequently.

    Like, it was fun to witness Robin uncovering Skypiea's existence by reconstructing a skull, or Franky building the Thousand Sunny from scratch, but that sorta work should only be there to establish their character and talents. It's not really something we need to keep seeing over and over since we readers should already have an idea of what they do.

    I'm not sure how one can think Sanji feeding starving villagers would be more exciting and significant to read than him experimenting a new power-up to fight a dinosaur. The former simply doesn't add anything new to the story and it's only useful if the author is attempting to recap an aspect of the character for the readers (even though the previous arc was half-dedicated to just that).
    Wano was perfectly setup to show us the SHs using their individual skills to galvanize a country of defeated warriors to stand up and fight.

    That was the point of my thread.

    The arc is geared to show how a crew of 9 members are equipped to challenge and change the very foundations of how the world currently functions.

    --- Update From New Post Merge ---

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfwood View Post
    I could sort of see it as a priority thing if not for the way the man keeps pissing away time on absolute nonsense and time sinks for the sake of wasting time. Sunkist doing his cooking thing would probably feel like a better use of space than running form point A to B part twelve
    One hundred percent agreed.

    It would be more emotionally resonant to see Sanji reacting in anger at Yakuza goons busting up food he had cooked for starving people rather than Rich women from the capital.
    HOW COME LUFFY NEVER KILLS AN ENEMY?
    ODA:ITS BECAUSE IN THAT ERA EVERYONE USES THEIR LIVES TO FIGHT FOR THEIR DREAMS. FOR AN ENEMY WHEN THEIR DREAM HAS BEEN SHATTERED,IT IS AS PAINFUL AS DEATH,I BELIEVE FOR A PIRATE NOT TO KILL AN ENEMY , IT'S GIVING THEM A SECOND CHANCE TO FIGHT FOR THEIR DREAMS.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    My point was more generally that Wano isn't a tight knit story where each little delay would ruin some carefully planned bigger picture, it is a slow meandering patchwork collection of many bits and pieces where time has been spent freely like it isn't a commodity, and trying to frame Sunkist cooking some rice as an unfeasable delay in this samurai, magic fox, sumo wrestling, training arc, flashback, flashback, running, flashback, running running running story pot feels silly to me. Given a different preferences Oda could have done that Sunkist cooks with the poor bit with hardly noticable impact

  15. #15

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    I agree with some ideas of the original poster... but as others have said it's just demanding the character to perform specific things. And, honestly, we can't have all SHs be highlighted every arc. Rotation is needed.

    What I think was lacking the most is the bond between the SHs and the people of Wano. We saw enough of that with Luffy and Zoro in particular, but not so much with the other SHs, who feel disconnected from the local conflict, except for the crew's own desire to overcome the Yonkou. Considering the amount of side characters in Wano, it was not difficult to make many pairs of SHs and wanoise people in order to present their struggle while making each SH more involved emotionally.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    I got the impression Ussop was the primary reason so many samurai got the message to join the resistance. It seemed he was very good at picking out who to give the message to among the crowds in his toad-oil act.

    Zoro was fine, it was inevitable that he was always gonna mess up and be on the run in lots of fights. Robin was... fine, but the joke that she had an overbearing instructor as if she was struggling was lame. Robin should've had a beyond easy time with her undercover Geisha role. If I want to nitpick, it probably would've been more interesting to see her go undercover in the Oniwabanshu instead and then have Nami become a last minute undercover Geisha, but eh. That's stretching things a bit.

    Franky got the short end of the stick among the initial invasion crew definitely. I suppose it's fine to single him out as the biggest waste of time, especially since he plays his useful role later when repairing/building ships for the raid, but it would've been a lot nicer to see him working in the underworld setting for Wano or already helping improve weaponry for the coming raid somewhere for Kinemon.

    Sanji's my biggest "retroactive" complaint. It was a huge missed opportunity to have Sanji go solo to help with the Luffy rescue. He has the mobility to realistically get there at the same time as the action started, and it would've been a great moment to establish an earlier vendetta between Sanji and Queen. Him helping feed all the prisoners would've been great too.

    There was absolutely nothing in Act 1 that was "better off" cause Luffy needed to go solo for a bit either. Brook would've been great help in cheering up Tama and that first village with Kinemon's wife instead of.....doing nothing I can remember except scaring some Ninja later on. Just seeing Nami, Sanji, Chopper, and Brook there and interacting with the same characters Luffy was wouldn't done tons to improve how empty early Wano retroactively feels.

    So to tldr... eh, no, half the strawhats were fine, but yes, the other half got kinda screwed, but it's just more fault with how bad nearly everything before the raid ended up being.

  17. #17
    Omne ignotum pro magnifico Zik's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    I dont think Oda has ever in a single arc focused on each strawhats individual talents and skills to advance the plot so I'm not sure why you would expect him to do now?

    All the things you list he didn't do the same time in Wano he didn't do in Zou, WCI, Dresrossa, Fishman island, Saboady, Thriller Bark, Water 7/EL, Skypeia, and so on.

    The strawhats came to Wano for two specific reasons and they've mainly stuck to that.
    Zik Of The 7 Swords: Vision? What do you know about my vision? My vision would turn your world upside down, tear asunder your illusions, and send the sanctuary of your own ignorance crashing down around you. Now ask yourself, Are you ready to see that vision?
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Where people see a bloated arc full of superfluous fluff and redundant filler, I see Oda meticulously, painstakingly lining up an intricate pattern of dominoes that'll soon cascade in rapid and dramatic fashion. So to those that are unhappy with certain things, I say just wait until the arc's over. May turn out that the stuff that displeases you will actually turn out to serve a purpose. Have some faith, chums. Hold onto a lil hope.

    I see big things in Nami and Usopp's future coming shortly, for one.

  19. #19
    aka demonicpoodle Kaworu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    So I think it's important to remember that the title is subjective, not objective. There's no need to "lay down the law" on this and treat it as indisputable truth.

    Anyway. I find his treatment of Nami and Usopp obviously the worst. Things were going well for a while with them but their battle(s) were resolved in a very iffy manner.
    Everyone else though, some have had their best battles ever (Robin, Jinbe), have done crucial things at some point in the arc, usually multiple times (Chopper saving Luffy's life, the Frost Oni antidote), or just got an entertaining battle that was suitably challenging.
    Brook did some endgame important stuff in WCI so that's probably why he's taken a backseat.

    There was a lot of side character focus in this arc for a long time. But that's toned down ever since the Scabbards were defeated by Kaido, and the Straw Hats have taken a much more central role since then. I find their portrayal and actions in this arc the best since Enies Lobby.
    Everything in this post is of course my subjective opinion.
    Croc or Enel would never.
    Wanna see the "ancient civilization destroyed" thing done really well? FFXIV did a great take on it. The bar's high for One Piece to beat.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Wano has Failed the StrawHat Characters

    Quote Originally Posted by Deicide View Post
    Considering how uneventful mapmaking is, it's understandable why Oda doesn't give it any focus. We can just consider that Nami has been making her nautical maps during the journey.
    A single small panel of her drawing once every two hundred chapters or so would be enough.

    The way things are now it feels like her dream got left back at Reverse Mountain along with Sanji's dream.

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