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ONE PIECE #612 - - Special Review

Can we wrap this arc up, already?

As much as I love a good fight scene, I’ve gotten some serious battle fatigue after this fifth successive duel. They really are just eating screen time while the plot itself stays pretty stagnate and, after a month of that, it’s honestly getting tiresome.

Lobbing this exact criticism at DBZ should be familiar enough to anybody with even the slightest familiarity with shonen. However, even though ONE PIECE isn’t featuring any episodes devoted entirely to characters grunting, powering up or grunting while they’re powering up, I’d say it’s about as culpable for beating round the bush. The qualification is that, yes, the individual fights don’t go on for as long as they do in DBZ. What we get instead is an endless number of individual fights feeding out of the show’s other, more unique, type of filibuster - - that is, its endlessly-rolling, character-creation assembly belt.

Seriously, if you break down what happens, episode-by-episode, then we saw what should’ve been the climatic showdown between Luffy and Caesar a few episodes back. In ideal conditions, “Punk Hazard” would’ve centered on their conflict. However, it was only a fake-out and, since then, we’ve seen a half-dozen ancillary characters either introduced or re-introduced and, more often, their introductions precede duels with each other.

(I went from being mildly disinterested in Zoro’s fight with Monet, to surprisingly impressed when she started showing off her more monstrous powers, to rolling my eyes when Tashigi joined the fight with her. As if the fight needed any newcomers to prolong it).

Look, I understand that this chain reaction of creativity is exactly the charm that makes ONE PIECE so diverting every week. However, there’s a difference between just watching that happen every episode and commenting critically about it. And when I have to use that part of my brain, it’s hard not to see this as Oda repeatedly pulling rabbits out of the hat when he probably should be getting to the point.

Watch this episode, "A Deadly Fight in a Blizzard! The Straw Hats vs. The Snow Woman!” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode here.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
zaldaron Sept. 19, 2013 at 10:11 a.m.

and here you have the reason I don't watch shonen...any show that goes beyond 100 episodes is just to long...

FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 19, 2013 at 10:36 a.m.

If you feel that this arc is going on too long. It's a good thing you never got into NARUTO's Fourth Shinobi World War Arc. In the manga, that began in Volume 55, which was published in Japan on April 2011; and it still hasn't ended. The Punk Hazard Arc finale isn't too far off. If I had to guess by the upcoming schedule and episode titles, I'd say it will possible end some time in November.

I personally have no problem with the pacing of how things have been going. It's a shonen series. You kind of know what you're getting into going in.

I'm overjoyed for what's coming up. Since you're new to the series, Tom. You just aren't aware of how epic it is that Zoro and Tashigi are going to be teaming up. These two have a rather complicated history. Long story short, Tashigi looks just like Zoro's deceased childhood-friend, who he could never manage to defeat in a duel. It bugs the hell out of Zoro that Tashigi looks so much like Kuina. Tashigi thinks Zoro is a wicked villain who's using his legendary swords for evil, and she wants to take his blades away. Tashigi is a sword otaku. She's anything but a newcomer.

As far as the anime goes, it's not bee revealed if Zoro can use armament haki, which is needed to hurt a logia-user.

SuperTienchaon Sept. 19, 2013 at 12:23 p.m.

The One Piece anime has been extremely slow in recent years. They have been going at a one chapter per episode pace which is really slow for this series. I get that they have to keep distance from the manga but each chapter is really only about half an episodes worth of content and they end up having to stretch that to a full 20 minute episode which really has its limits. I would prefer they atleast cover 2 chapters an episode. I would much rather sit through filler arcs then see the main story stretched out to such unbearably slow pacing.

Jinbeifan1on Sept. 19, 2013 at 9:44 p.m.

@SuperTiencha: the anime needs a new writing team when it comes to filler. The only ones I could actually say i enjoyed that were filler were the memory arc, the flag arc which was more interesting than I expect, and... oh that's it :P Oda considers them his competition... well they arent very good competition that's for sure

MDoorpsyon Sept. 19, 2013 at 10:43 p.m.

I wish that they would just go ahead and animate the cover stories. Seriously, they did the Coby and the Buggy ones, so why stop, I'm sure people would prefer them to the filler that would get shelled out in their stead.

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