I just finished watching the recent block of episodes that were dubbed into German. The block contained the first part of Act 3 of the Wano arc, including Oden's flashback and the beginning of the raid up to exactly episode 1000. I had never seen these episodes before, aside from a few clips here and there. And what can I say, kudos to the anime because I think I enjoyed basically every single episode? When Act 2 aired over here, I got really bored along the way, especially during that tournament at the prison; it seemed like it would go on forever.
But the anime version really got me to appreciate Act 3 again, particularly the Oden flashback, which I never cared that much about. But somehow, with the anime stretching things out a bit (but not in an annoying or cumbersome way), events just seemed to flow a bit better and organically. It basically has to be split into three parts:
Each of these parts gets around 3-5 episodes of screentime, I think, and I found myself invested in every single part of the flashback. I think what threw people off when reading it for the first time is that it's content is in fact very different from other flashbacks in the series: basically all other flashbacks establish the life of its focus character(s) in the past and then focus on one specific tragic event that shaped their lives. All flashbacks are basically tragedies, at the end of the day.
But Oden's flashback wasn't like that: it only became a tragedy at the very end, but it wasn't focused on that particular event at all. Instead, it's focus was depicting Kozuki Oden's life, from (almost) beginning to end, including both happy and sad moments along the way. Of course it would move from one focus point to the next (the scabbards, the travels etc.), they were all important parts of Oden's life. Of course, this reading of the flashback won't endear it any more to people who hate the character of Oden with a passion. I have to admit that the anime version actually got me to finally like the character, I just felt that I got a better grasp of him and that his flaws were more pronounced (he was certainly still a legendary badass, but he didn't seem as perfect as in the manga version).
This could kind of also belong into the Official Wano thread. I wasn't quite sure where to put it since I am mainly talking about the anime version of the arc.