I can't really agree with your assessment that it lacked adventure. Adventure is, by definition,
Yeah gonna stop you right there. Do not turn this into Left Brain Robo Festival already. Put away the adventure measurement tape.
It does NOT work like that.
It totally had a structure as well. The beginning part of Punk Hazard is primarily set during the chapters where the crew is wandering around the different halves of the island as they start to discover the mysterious circumstances of the island and those that inhabit it - especially with regard to the children and Brownbeard. The middle, or second act, starts essentially from the moment the crew decides as a group to help the kids,ally with Law, and defeat Caesar. Like any good second act, it's marked by the inability of Luffy and his friends to do exactly that - Luffy's captured, Team Zoro is knocked out by KYP gas rounds, and so on. The end obviously deals with the resolution of everything - Luffy beats Ceasar, Chopper and Nami help the kids, and Law defeats Vergo. Roughly speaking, the beginning probably includes chapters 655 to 668, the middle includes 669 to 677-ish, and the end is from 678 on, with the climax probably being chapters 689 to 692, or thereabouts. I do think that we could have done with a few chapters less, mostly by shaving off some of the extraneous running scenes, but it's Oda's style to get deeply involved with all of the details, even when he probably shouldn't. Seeing the world at large connect to the Punk Hazard arc was really, really great, though, and I think that has a lot to do with why so many people enjoyed this arc. I know I did.
Ugh and the rest is goddamn robo shit.
"Look it technically had a structure!".
Now let's apply that to my complaint that the arc was nonstop movement and chaos from the start, I'm glad you can cast a vague three part box around the oozing blob of action scenes and sloppily thrown on exposition for other story lines, but that isn't any kind of triumph whatsoever.
Basically what you have is the start was the chaos before some small inconsequential mysteries that too highly resembled Thriller Barque were revealed, to the point that certain characters yelled stuff in that same chaos, to the point where the chaos unraveled. The closest thing to a breather we got was the part where Luffy and Law and some others were in a cage.
Hell Vergo was so poorly defined and so suddenly introduced and taken away, with no context aside from HERE I AM, I AM THIS, GRR, FIGHT, BYE. A waste.
No, adventure and plot defined nothing on Punk Hazard when taken in a vacuum. It was an action arc, and not very well pulled off action either.
It would have maybe worked with severe editing, and one volume of length.
Oh btw, what DETAIL are you talking about? 50% of the overlength was painfully drawn out action scenes and people running around from one place to another. Oda's overly detailed stuff is not that kind of canon filler.
I really dislike the "wasted potential" argument when it comes to characters. Oda does tend to use his characters extremely well, but not all characters are created equal and Rock and Scotch played their roles just fine.
Who were they? What did their faces look like? Were they even defeated exactly?
Not every character needs to be in 30 chapters an arc. Remember the conductors from Water 7?
Kocoro, Chimney and Gonbe, whose names I still remember were popping in and out of not only Water7 but Enies Lobby too.
And the three-headed judge from Enies Lobby?
They were the official judge of EL, it was three guys in one suit, and we clearly saw them beaten right before the crew reached the top of the court house.
Three big details apparently too good for the weird random faceless Yeti dudes.