Imagine if we HADN'T gotten that cutaway to the elder star info dumping this and we were just as in the dark as everyone else, and Kaidou was the first one to notice it was weird and like a zoan. If we'd been able to see and put together the pieces ourselves and have a mystery of the fruit being "weird" before someone later info dumped the true lore of it.
Learning its a renamed Nika fruit might have landed better later on, when say, Vegapunk was info dumping all sorts of fruit stuff. Ah well.
I think spreading out the reveal a bit more would've worked wonders. Like instead of Kaidou mentioning it just a couple of chapters ago, what if, when Luffy's Snakeman form first appeared, we had Katakuri saying something like "He's evading my Future Sight by changing the direction of his punches in mid-air? Impossible! That's not how rubber works!". Just makes it feel more planned out and less last minute.
I may not be happy with how we got here, but I am loving what Gear 5 brings to the fight visually. Only problem is that it's hard to tell now if either side is actually being hurt, Luffy especially is giving me Blackbeard vibes where you get this really exaggerated reaction, but you kinda feel like he's faking it.