One Piece Arc Review: Jaya

Hello again StrawHat Crew members, and welcome back to another Arc Review for One Piece.

Today we are taking a look at the Jaya arc. It’s a relatively short arc…but an important arc none the less.

I thought about covering Jaya and Skypeia together, but I think they are important enough on their own that they deserve their own coverage.

Overall, though this arc is short, it has some very important moments in it.

Up until this point, we had the idea of dreams coming true shoved down our throats.

Luffy dreams of being the Pirate King.
Zoro wants to be the world’s greatest swordsman.
Nami dreams of drawing a map of the entire world….etc. etc. etc.

We don’t get to see anyone fight against these dreams, because that is what the story has been about until this point.

Sure, we have a few people trying to contest a StrawHat’s dreams, but not with any serious effort…until Jaya.

In the Jaya arc we get to meet Bellamy…and if you’ve read through the arc, then you know what I am talking about.

Bellamy crushes Luffy’s dreams in an instant, or he tries to at least. Luffy of course doesn’t fall for this way of thinking, and after letting Bellamy’s crew throw drinks over himself and Zoro without raising a hand to fight them, Luffy knocks Bellamy out with just one punch, giving him the ultimate revenge for messing with Luffy’s friends.

After letting Bellamy’s crew embarrass them, Luffy, Zoro and Nami meat the man that is later known as Blackbeard.

He gives Luffy an inspiring speech about dreams, and how you should fight for them to become true, because they won’t just happen on their own.

It’s funny, looking at it from a future perspective, because we know now that Luffy got inspiring advice from one of the bad guys, who has the same dream as him.

To become the Pirate King and rule the seas as the most free man in the world.

We get a little look into the 7 Warlords of the Sea, when they meet about who their next member will be since Crocodile was defeated.

It doesn’t add much to the story, other than giving the audience a good look at some of the strongest pirates in the world, and some future enemies and allies of Luffy and his crew.

Other than that, Jaya doesn’t contain much for the overall story as of now, except setting up Skypeia.

It is a unique arc because it ties in with another, but stands separately on its own.

I like the idea of dreams that is present though, and how they relate to the One Piece world as a whole.

In Jaya we get to experience the other side of dreams.

We get bombarded with characters that dream of being X, or doing Y, or seeing Z, but we don’t get to see many characters that have truly given up on those dreams, or have no dreams at all.

It makes the characters a little more believable, because not everyone would need to have a dream like Luffy, some people could just enjoy whatever it is they are doing.

It’s a nice analogy to real life. Some people go their entire lives pursuing a dream, whether to succeed or fail in the end, and others go their whole lives without a dream in the world. They are happy living in the moment, and living the way they want to.

What did you think of the Jaya arc? Where would you rank it overall in the One Piece story overall? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

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One Piece Arc Review: Alabasta

Hello again dear readers, I am back for another One Piece Arc Review. This week I will be talking about the Alabasta Arc (I’ll be throwing in Post-Alabasta arc too since short.

Overall, I would put Alabasta in the better half of the series. It’s still early on in the show, so we are missing quite a few crew members, but it’s the start of the more serious storytelling in the manga.

Alabasta has been a long time in the making when it finally appears. Basically since the moment the Straw Hats arrived on the Grand Line.

Vivi has joined their crew, and after a few roadblocks, they have arrived in Alabasta in hopes of stopping a rebellion from happening, and Crocodile taking over control of the country….and an Ancient Weapon as we further discover.

My favourite part of Alabasta is the fighting match-ups.

As there are more and more crew members, there are less one-on-one duels between Strawhat members and the enemy. We still get it in the future, but it is a rare instance.

In Alabasta, each member of the Strawhats gets to fight against someone on their own, except Usopp and Chopper who do a 2v2.

We get to see each of them grow as characters through these fights, both in character and strength.

I like those moments in the series, because they are a good way to end the arc with a bit of character growth, and we know that the characters are getting stronger.

It’s not often we get a Nami one-on-one battle because she’s usually fighting the regular soldiers instead of one of the heavier hitters on the enemy’s side.

This is also the first instance we see Nami fight in her modern style, using the Climatact, instead of her regular

On that same note though, the Crocodile and Luffy fights bother me, because they don’t really make sense.

Crocodile is probably the smartest person we have met in the story at this point, and he lets Luffy live, twice!

That makes no sense, especially since Luffy poses more of a threat in each fight against Crocodile. Why would you let the pirate that might be able to beat you, live and continue fighting?

It’s not the biggest detail, and I guess you could excuse the confidence that Crocodile has, but it is a little too much convenience for my liking.

The arc itself isn’t great per se. It is a bit long, and it falls prey to being a politically oriented arc, but we get a lot of plot points for a further part of the story, which is a big redemption for the arc.

We get Nico Robin joining the crew, who becomes one of my favourite members of the crew.

One of the Ancient Weapons is introduced, which still has yet to fully come into play, but has been hinted at since.

Crocodile is one the Seven Warlords, which we have seen before, but this adds to the mystery of them, and Haki is mentined, (but we don’t know that yet).

Overall, I would give the arc a 7/10. It has some amazing fight scenes, story moments, and story endings for some characters.

The only things against the arc is the length, and its lack of guts.

Some of the story could be cut out. It takes a little too long for Vivi to deal with the rebels, though it makes sense for the story.

The lack of guts is just because it doesn’t kill of some characters that should have died. They go through some unbelievable injuries (for One Piece standards even) but doesn’t have them die because the story wasn’t there yet.

At this point in the story, we hadn’t really seen any death, so it makes sense that they would save it for more impactful moments in the story.

What did you think of the Alabasta arc? Good, bad? Where would you rank it overall in the story? Let me know in the comments!

One Piece Arc Review: Drum Island

Hello again ladies and gentlefolk. It’s been quite a while since I have posted, but I took a self-inflicted break from the blog for a few reasons.

Last you probably heard from me, I had given an update on some of the movies I was watching for October, posting book reviews, and throwing in the odd movie/tv show review.

I suddenly stopped posting because of a few different reasons. The first, and main reason, is that I wanted to take a break and refresh myself. I had a few things going on in my life that I needed and wanted to do, and I didn’t want to hurt the quality of the blog posts in order to do it.

I thought it would be better just to take a break from the blog until I figured a few things out. I was going to post a few weeks ago, but I decided to extend the break until I could get a few ideas worked out for what I wanted to do on the blog.

There will be a more in-depth post about my break coming on Thursday, but for now, I figured I’d give you a brief summary before cracking open a brand new review for the Drum Island Arc in One Piece.

There is a lot wrong about the Drum Island Arc, but there is also a lot right with it too. When I think about whether or not I like the arc, I find I am split right down the middle.

Some of the Pros about Drum Island: Chopper, Vivi, Dr. Hiriluk.

Some of the Cons about Drum Island: The story and the villains.

There’s not a lot going for Drum Island that isn’t the characters we get to meet for the first time. What I think the Drum Island Arc is meant to do, is give the greater One Piece world some flavour.

The first half of the story (East blue and the paradise half of the grand line) does a great job of letting the Straw Hat Pirates travel from island to island, going on whatever adventures pop up. Drum Island is another example of this type of storytelling, but it also ties into the Alabasta Arc that comes afterwards.

With the Drum Island arc, we get introduced to an important character. Vivi we already knew, but we get to see the type of Princess and person she is when she decides to stop at the island to help find a cure for Nami.

Dr. Hiriluk is an important character, but more so in the way he influenced Chopper, the reindeer who becomes the doctor in the Straw Hat crew.

Without the Chopper Hiriluk backstory, I’m sure this arc would be in the bottom three arcs of the entire series.

Wapol, the bad guy, is one of the weakest enemies the Straw Hats fight in the entire series. He isn’t overly strong, and his lackeys are more annoying than actually a threat.

He re-enters the series later on, many years later, but he is still more annoyance than actual threat.

In terms of the story that goes on during Drum Island, there isn’t much of one. Basically, Nami gets sick, and the Straw Hats need to find a doctor on Drum Island. They find that there is only one doctor on the island, who lives on top of a unimpeachable mountain.

Other than that small story-line, the entire arc is really just a drawn-out flashback about Chopper and how he became a doctor, despite being a reindeer.

As I am writing this review, I would probably give Drum Island a very slightly positive review. The emotional backstory for Chopper puts it just over the positive edge. It’s not by much, but I like the potential that Chopper has in the story, despite being underutilized for most of the series.

One Piece Arc Review: Little Garden

The Little Garden arc is sort of a forgotten arc in the One Piece manga.

It comes just after the Straw Hats leave Whiskey Peak, on their regular island to island hop, beating tyrants and saving the oppressed.

The crew meets two giants, Dorry and Broggy and the first giants we get to meet, and they learn of the duel the two giants are fighting.

They are fighting eachother for honour, and neither side is willing to give up the duel, in respect of themselves and eachother.

Of course, watching two giants fight eachother is much too easy, so Baroque Works comes back into the mix, causing some mischief by interruption the duel.

The Strawhats try and fight back, eventually beating the Baroque Works agents, and restoring the honour of the two giants, who help the crew escape the island before continuing their duel.

There’s honestly not much to say about this arc.

I have a hunch that Dorry and Broggy will be important later on in the story, for the final battle, but they don’t really do much since their introduction.

They are brought up later on when Luffy and crew meet one of the giants that was a part of their crew, but it’s sort of a flashback moment more than advancing the plot at all.

I’m not choosing to bring up next to nothing about this arc because I think its bad, there’s honestly just not much to say about it.

I think the biggest thing that this arc brings is a connection to future arcs. Dorry and Broggy get brought up in the Water 7 arc, and later when Doflamingo holds the fighting tournament.

Otherwise they are basically unimportant.

Mr 3 is introduced in this arc, with his trusty partner Miss Goldenweek. We don’t see Miss Goldenweek after her defeat in this arc, but Mr. 3 comes back.

He is a key player in the future Marineford War, and teams up with Buggy when he becomes a Warlord.

We don’t get a new crew member, we don’t defeat any important bad guys, and we don’t get introduced to anyone immediately important.

I’d probably throw Little Garden on the lower end of the overall arc ranking, only because it is sort of forgettable. If it was built on more, having more characters and a deeper plot, then yeah it would probably be much higher up.

One thing we do get from the arc, one very small thing, is the little rivalry between Sanji and Zoro. It’s not my favourite aspect of the manga, but it does make some sense and it has provided a moment or two of entertainment.

One Piece Arc Review: Whisky Peak

Do you love Zoro just destroying dozens of mercenaries with minimal effort? Perfect, cause Whisky Peak’s best moment is just that.

After leaving Reverse Mountain, the Straw Hat Pirates are on their way to their first island on the Grand Line…Whisky Peak.

It’s a relatively short arc, but it’s full of important events in the Alabasta Arc. After some explanations, Vivi joins the ranks of the Straw Hats, who were given the task of bringing her to Alabasta and stopping Crocodile’s schemes before her country falls to ruin.

We also get to meet Nico Robin, an enemy at the time but an ally when she joins the crew after the Alabasta Arc.

Zoro’s actions on Whisky Peak and later his defeat of Mr. 1 gave him his first bounty.

Another small little bonus is that we get to see Zoro and Luffy fight each other, in a rather serious duel. Luffy assumed Zoro beat up all the mercenaries because he was a bad guy, so Luffy was pretty angry and challenged him to a fight. Zoro, who beat the mercenaries because they were trying to kill the Straw Hats, defends himself and fights back against Luffy.

This is where a theory of mine comes into play. It’s never really stated, other than in their bounties, but I have a hunch that Zoro is actually stronger than Luffy for most of the story.

Now before you get upset and riot, hear me out. Luffy always fights the big bad guys. Yes, that is true, and Zoro usually fights the second best bad guy.

Luffy usually puts himself through a lot of wear and tear before he gets to the final boss, because fighting him at 100% strength would often be too easy. The same can be said with Zoro. Zoro always has some sort of handicap, whether he is previously injured, missing a sword, or he’d already beaten a few dozen bad guys.

So basically this means they often are in similar situations when they fight right? So why is Zoro stronger in my opinion? I think he is stronger because of his weapons of choice.

Obviously he uses katanas, and early on in the series this would have made all the difference in fighting. Zoro could have easily beaten all of Luffy’s enemies with his swords. Luffy obviously relies on fists, so he beats enemies with blunt force. Before haki existed, Zoro could have cut them up with no issue.

Zoro is seen to be able to lift amazingly heavy objects, he is constantly put through tough and excruciating situations, and he can withstand EXTREME amounts of pain (Thriller Bark).

Yes Luffy has done this too, but Luffy goes through a lot more comical moments, and is often assisted by outside parties or external factors to be able to defeat the big bad guy.

Plus up until the time skip, Zorro is never far behind Luffy in terms of bounty, but he isn’t the captain or beating the strongest bad guy so he gets less recognition for his actions.