The latest issue of American Shonen Jump has a special feature about One Piece as a result of the skip ahead.
I'm going to hit the highlights of all this for people who don't bother with the Viz discussion thread. Spoilerized so you can skip anything that doesn't interest you; if there's anything in particular that you want to me to check, let me know.
! Jaya isn't mentioned at all so no Bellamy. There's a portion at the bottom that describes the Norland story, but doesn't mention Montblanc or Cricket.
! There is a recurring feature of a small inset with New Cast Member! that has an image of the person in question as well as a description of said person. Nico Robin obviously.
! No mention of The Sky Knight and Former God (Viz is going with Kami).
! They don't name Ener's Devil Fruit or Mantra though the latter is mentioned a few times in passing. Earthly (in italics)is mentioned once so I'm guessing that they're probably going to use earth instead of vearth.
! Davy Back Fight gets a one line mention.
Water 7 summary.
! New Cast Member! = Franky.
! Cipher Pol 9 chart:
Spandam Douriki 9
Rob Lucci Douriki 4000
Kaku Douriki 2200
Jyabura Douriki 2180
Blueno Douriki 820
Kumadori Douriki 810
Fukuro Douriki 800
Karifa Douriki 630 (The description refers to her as Kalifa though so who can tell?)
! Devil Fruits:
! There's a line that explains douriki.
Thriller Bark summary.
! New Cast Member! = Brook
! Devil Fruits:
! Perona's Fruit is described, but not named or even explained as being a Devil Fruit.
Skypiea 24-28 January
Skypiea 29-31 February
Water Seven 32-33 February
Water Seven 34-38 March
Water Seven 39-43 April
Water Seven 44-45 May
Thriller Bark 46-48 May
Thriller Bark 49 June
Sabaody 50-53 June
! Camie, Celestial Dragons, Kizaru, Bartholomew Kuma, Hebihime-sama (Hancock), and the Supernovas are all mentioned. Law, Killer, and Kidd are pictured, but not named. No mention of any Devil Fruits.
! Interesting that Hancock appears as a New Cast Member! rather than being mentioned in the story description like everybody else. I'll have to check, but I think Bartman isn't mentioned in Thriller Bark in order to save that little surprise. Viz is doing a good job for the most part by preserving at least some of the surprises of each arc while giving a fairly complete description of most of the events in them.
Impel Down introduction and summary:
! Crimson Hell, Blugori Guard, Beast Hell, and Starvation Hell are all mentioned and the Hells each get a description and accompanying image; Beast Hell is represented by the manticore. The other two are not mentioned so it may pick up with Luffy and Friends breaking into the fourth level. None of his allies are mentioned by the way and the description makes it pretty clear that Luffy is alone when he breaks in, but no reason is given as to why.
! None of the staff is mentioned.
gomu gomu no mi
! Shima da!
! Buggy The Clown
Wapol of Tin
Fans Chat with Oda Sensei
Mostly SBS grade material though there a few interesting notes in there. The last one… well, you'll see.
Ashley Rochefort asked…
Why does Tashigi look like Zolo's old friend Kuina?
It's just a coincidence. There's no backstory like Tashigi turns out to be Kuina's sister or something...[Laughs]
Vicky Hutchinson asked…
Zolo's my favorite character. I would like to have permission to be his #1 fan.
Well, Vicky, all the Zolo fans think like you do. So please do as you wish. I'd like you to think that you're the #1 Zolo fan.
Normandy Peterson asked...
I'm thinking of going as SHANKS for Halloween. Any tips?
You need advice? Put on a scar. Draw a scar and make your hair red. That's about it. Don't cut off your arm though!
Presley Porter asked...
My favorite villains are Arlong, Hachi, the Meowban Brothers, and Kuro. Who are yours?
Buggy, because he's easy to draw.
Diane Bree asked...
How do you come up with Devil Fruits?
When I think up a Devil Fruit, I always try to come up with something that fulfills a human desire. In the end, I don't think it's worth drawing one unless it makes you want to eat it when you see one.
Beniam Hollman asked...
Is it possible to find Gum-Gum Fruit on this planet?
Maybe you can find it by coincidence, like when searching for a treasure in a treasure box. Or might have to buy it from the black market fruit-and-vegetable shop.
Abe Portugal asked...
Who does Nami like?
Hmm, in a romantic sense? I don't think there will be any reomances among that crew. Nami probably sees all the good aspects/qualities of those guys, but One Piece isn't a romance. Maybe a lot of girl readers ask this kind of question. Boys are not interested all all. One Piece is basically a shonen manga, manga for boys, so romance isn't depicted.
Lars Aarhus asked...
Is Panda Man a master of disguise?
Because my neighbor looks kind of like a panda with a fake mustache.
Yes, I think so.
Devin Johnson asked...
I've been wondering about Panda Man. Is he following Luffy and his crew?
He just happens to be in the camera frame. He's actually... being chased by gangsters called the Tomato Gang.
John Irons asked...
What is Luffy's mother like? Was she beautiful?
What happened to her? Did she die when Luffy was a baby?
I think she's alive. I'm still thinking hard about this. [Laughs] But if she does appear in the story, then she'll be a very tough-looking woman. And strict. There's no way that she's a beautiful mother. She's got this typical middle-aged woman's permed hair. Speaking about families, I did a backstory for Nico Robin and her family. That was actually the first time for me to draw a mother in a character's memory. Up until that point, I'd never drawn a blood relation. =Note from Ubiq- Insert Usopp reaction shot of your choice; I suggest one with tears. bitter tears of resentment.- Note ends.= There were cases when you call someone who's not blood-related your mother. In Chopper's case, he's called a son even though he's not blood-related. So I've put in a message there saying that you can still call someone who's not related by blood your family.
Either Oda flat out forgot about Banchina and Yasopp both or there's more to that situation than meets the eye. Wait, what about Garp or Dragon for that matter? Or does he just mean blood relatives that are female?
Then it leads into Romance Dawn. By the way, it mentions the other Romance Dawn and notes that it isn't available in English yet. So there may be hope of getting it somewhere down the road. At a guess, they didn't use it here because it'd spoil the Garp relationship.
No mention of Teach or his crew at all so presumably Viz wants them to be a surprise when they show up at Impel Down.