I know this is necessary to defeat Kaido, but the crew is now more separated than during the timeskip… First, Nami, Chopper, Brook and Sanji were forced to sail to Zou, then, the whole crew met again (except Sanji) for a brief moment, and now, a part of the Strawhats is in Whole Cake and we know nothing about the others.
True but the alternative is even worse, namely having additional inflated arcs. The New World arcs are really interconnected just through the nature of NW´s structure and many characters are necessarily involved, so instead of juggling many thing at the same time, i think it´s better to build up everything until the entire crew takes down their first Yonkou.
Feels like an irrelevant thread. The chapter threads are pretty much this and we do them every week.
Chapter threads usually only criticize what happens in the respective chapters though. Rather than that, the problem is that such a thread already exists.
I see this thrown around a lot but there isn't much discussion on it beyond "it was dragged out". The level of stuff/ideas that Dressrosa had, it's understandable why the arc ended up being as long as it is. Having re-read the entire arc after it was finished, and i found the flow of the arc pretty good.
And yes one could argue that it's Oda's fault for throwing too many ideas in the arc, and i would kinda agree with that but Oda handled it really well in the second half where he stopped and allowed for a much needed breathing room. A lot of people will say that the arc dragged out in the second half and i would say that Oda needed to stop and properly develop stuff. The first half of the arc was especially guilty of constantly throwing stuff at the audience without taking it's time. Some of the best moments from that arc happened in the second half.
And yes Rebecca was a garbage character but to counter that Kyros was an awesome character. To top it off we had some of the most memorable side-characters in the entire series. To top it off we had finally a villain who was explored heavily in the arc instead of just being there for the sake of getting punched.
Not gonna compare Zou because that arc was ultimately a set up arc compare to the full blown saga of Law that Dressrosa was.
People are still sore about Dressrosa because of their weekly fatigue but i think that just like Skypeia arc, it will be looked back upon fondly, and will be consider a classic One Piece arc despite its flaws.
Just like Robby already mentioned, the real problem is really having everything in one arc. Despite some minor issues, the ideas Oda presented are not in any way bad but having everythign in one arc was simply too much. You have the Law-DD relationship, Dressrosa´s past, Alabasta 2.0 with Fujitora, colosseum, Sabo´s reintroduction, Burgess, the dwarves, Luffy´s fleet…
Basically enough stuff to fill 2-3 50-chapter long arcs. I do not think it was necessary to put Sabo, the colosseum, the Mera Mera reintroduction and Luffy´s fleet into the same arc in which we deal with one of the most anticipated villains of OP.
It was very much the conclusion to the SOP operation. The whole point was to revert everyone back to humans- especially Kyros - whereupon they would rise up against Doflamingo. Just because the "tragic ranks" subplot got dropped hard, doesn't mean Usopp resolved the SOP operation plotpoint right then and there through sheer dumb luck.
The second sniping of Sugar was cool, but a completely superfluous moment in the grand scheme of things, as she had already been KO'd once, and all the intended consequences of that had taken place. It feels like Sugar was artificially wheeled out again to give Usopp a redemtive moment, but the moment ultimately isn't as cool as it'd have been if it was the only Usopp v Sugar moment because its recycling a villain, and because the tension with the citizens on the Usopp side is completely fake.
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Usopp resolved that fight through brains, trickery, and utilization of his skillset though, just like Vs Chu and Perona. Which is the actual point regarding his first fight with Sugar, not that it concluded in a silly way or involved silly elements, but that Usopp won it with sheer dumb luck; not even him capitalizing on luck, just the luck of Sugar basically KO'ing herself. Despite his fight being against a Flammable Man and a tiny, fast girl who needs to swallow a tabasco ball, Usopp wins through no conscious effort of his own - And you know as well as I do that this was not presented as a "clever trope suberversion!".
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When the only credentials Burgess has in the arc is the offscreen takedown of characters we don't see/know in his initial appearance, and he spends the rest of the time getting tossed around by Sabo, thats pretty bad. He didn't "destroy" anyone else.
Its possible to write someone to failing their objectives, and still looking threatening or competent, but Oda never attempted that with Burgess. Ever since his introduction, Burgess never got a personal “win”, a high-moment to give him credibility, because everything he did was always offset by Sabo trumping him, thus making it “wins” for Sabo.
Elaborating on the latter: When I talk of Burgess getting “wins”, or moments of credibility, I’m not talking about reader-inferred, pseudo-feats of “Burgess survived a hit from X so he must be Y durable, that’s impressive”. I’m talking Burgess getting wins as framed deliberately, visually in the manga. Oda is a seasoned artist, and he knows how to draw a manga to get across an intended effect – which here was all about Sabo looking cool, and NOT Burgess looking credible, or even threatening. When Burgess is set ablaze and flying in a two page spread, while he’s screaming his head off in pain, Odas aim is not to make us think “wow! Good on you Burgess for surviving that!”, we’re supposed to think “Wow, Sabo is so cool!”. Even when they allegedly “tied” in their clash in the coliseum, the manga still give the “win” to Sabo. Burgess is the one whos’ armor breaks, who has the annoyed expression during and after the hit, and Sabo is the one whose expression is unchanged and gets the cool quip.
In the end Burgess is left battered, panting and beaten on the ground, while Sabo walks off in nonchalant, unhurt dominance. None of these moments are designed to make Burgess look credible to the readers. The biggest “win” you can attribute to Burgess this whole arc is his introductory offscreen defeat of fighters never seen before or since. And even that only gives him credibility as far as us readers having to do he legwork of “well, if we assume that the fighters in his block were of X power level and he defeated them in Y time, and with Z ferocity causing the possibly fearsome fighters to be completely incapacitated for the rest of the arc, he does seem to be quite strong”.
Yep, the problems does not lie with the comedic tone of Usopp´s fight, this has been the case since the beginning, whether it´s against Chew and one of the most hilarious of early OP with Usopp Hammer, his golden moment on Enies Lobby in which he starts to sing or the "fight" against Perona. The problem is that his resolution to overcome his fear, to fight and become the hero he pretended to be before for the Tontatta has no real payback. Sure, the fact that he turned around and faced them despite the overwhelming odds against him still ultimately led to Sugar fainting but it neither felt earned nor did it have the impact the scene in EL had for example.
And like you said, reintroducing Sugar to give Usopp the redemption felt too artificial and did not remotely have the impact it would have had in the first place.
The problem with that is that most of the "citizen" characters don't like fighting, its not unique to Rebecca. Vivi didn't enjoy having to save Alabasta, but she gave her all anyway, she was dead set on contributing. Rebecca also repeatedly tries to contribute, only for her to wind up screaming for Kyros/Luffy to resolve her problems. She is being used as a prop to enforce how awesome Kyros is more than anything else, and ultimately I find the "stand back, Daddys here now" conclusion to be annoyingly infantalizing towards her. She even gets in trouble because she disobeys Kyros wanting her to stay put, and heads out to fight Doflamingo. If only she'd done what Daddy said!
Its particularly annoying to me once you break down their history: A dad is erased from his wife and childs memories through a magic spell that removes his physical strength. The wife/childs mother is killed. For 10 years, the child is trained by his Dad, in order to not being reliant on Dads protection. Eventually the child becomes an accomplished 16-year old warrior, who wants to take down the Evil King. During the course of the story the child comes face to face with the mothers murderer, and reunites with a restored Daddy… whereupon Dad tells the 16 year old accomplished warrior to stay back, not fight anymore, and let Dad resolve everything by himself. Theres not any sort of familial team effort involved.
I just don't see that ultimate resolution happening if Kyros had a son, is all I'm saying.
First off, i should say i dislike what Oda has done with Kyros and Rebecca as well but to be completely accurate, Toy Kyros never trained her to fight nor did he ever intend for her to be a warrior, hence him training her to only protect herself without harming anyone else.
The problem is that Oda basically says that fighting, no matter in what situation, is something to be avoided which really puts a bad light to everything that has happened before where he basically preaches that fighting for what you believe is right and protect your friends is a noble and the right thing to do. I can understand that Kyros, having killed two people only for revenge, wants her to not walk the same path but for Rebecca, it was never truly about taking revenge, it was about protecting the toy soldier she loved, so having Oda present this as something tainting really left a bad taste in my mouth.