We are back again this week with another One Piece Arc Review. This week I’m gonna take a look at Orange Town, which is the second arc of the manga, and the second of the East Blue Saga.
This is a pretty important arc for the overall One Piece story because this is the first time we experience two important characters, Buggy and Nami, and we get to see our first devil fruit that doesn’t belong to Luffy.
We also get to see a bit of Buggy’s story in a few flashbacks, and later realize that he was a crewmate of Shanks way back when, and that Silvers Ryleigh was a member of the crew as well, which solves a few puzzles later on in the story.
Despite all of the importance it has in character introductions, new devil fruits, and future plot points that are hinted at, this arc didn’t really leave any lasting memories for me.
It’s not really a bad arc. It follows the common pattern of Luffy and his friends coming to a certain island and freeing the civilians from their evil overlord.
It’s also one of the few times that Luffy gets help from a “crew mate” to beat the bad guy. Nami doesn’t do a lot, but she does enough to give Luffy an easier time of beating Buggy.
It’s also a rather playful arc, since Buggy and his crew members all revolve around circus performances and use them to fight Zoro Nami and Luffy.
A big problem I have with the arc is that the Strawhat Pirates are at their awkward phase of members, where they don’t quite have enough yet.
If we want to get technical, the crew only consists of Luffy and Zoro at this time, though Nami does help them out a bit, especially when fighting Buggy. There’s only two true members who don’t even have a flag or a ship yet, but they’re going against quite a few of Buggy’s crew.
The numbers were okay in the first arc, because there was only one bad guy at a time that needed to be taken down, but the numbering feels sort of awkward in the Orange Town arc, and in the Syrup Village arc.
It’s not really the story’s fault since it’s right at the beginning, but it just doesn’t sit right for me having Luffy and Zoro fighting multiple bag guys at once and defeating them so easily.
I just find it’s a bit awkward, and Oda uses this arc and Syrup Village as a learning experience for the future arcs, and I think that the problem is solved come the Baratie arc.
I don’t think the earlty arcs are a bad thing. I think that there are quite a few moments in the East Blue Saga that are really iconic, but none of them are in the Orange Town arc unfortunately.
Buggy is the comedic relief character in the series (basically when Usopp isn’t around) and it doesn’t really make for a good enemy.
The best part of the arc is Chouchou, the dog that doesn’t leave his master’s pet store until he comes back. It’s a sad story because Chouchou’s master is dead, but seeing Luffy’s interaction with the dog gives us a good insight in to Luffy’s beliefs which help us better understand our main character a bit more, also this is the first instance where we see Luffy able to conenct with an animal and understand their feelings and convictions.
Overall, it’s not the worst arc in the series, and it’s not the best. It’s kind of just average. Even the new devil fruit we get to see isn’t anything that cool, it just lets Buggy break himself apart into different pieces, which Nami beats pretty easily on her own, and she is far from a good fighter at this time.