Luffy may just be able to make it to the Flower Field and past the Doflamingo Family officers now that the infighting among the tournament participants has come to an end, thanks to the strategic mind of Dagama. Inside the SMILE Factory, the captive Tonttatas have begun their revolt.
Pacing in shonen series is a tricky thing when you're dealing with a weekly serialization schedule. What's going on during the past few weeks of ONE PIECE isn't all that dissimilar to NARUTO. Luffy has been on this road to the Flower Field for weeks now. Yet he never seems to be making much forward progress. Kind of confusing for a hero that can Gum-Gum Rocket his way across a city under normal circumstances.
What the creator does right is in how he makes the journey just as entertaining as the destination. He's keeping the story moving by showing us different aspects of all the various characters. From Luffy meeting up with Kyros, the Tonttatas trapped within the SMILE factory, and all the random mercenaries have become organized. We're moving along with the action. The current Dressrosa plot may be meandering along, but it's still packed with scattered laughs and action.
Stop toying with our emotions, Oda! Just how many times has it been that we've been teased with the flashback of Trafalgar Law's origin? It was maybe twice, at this point. Although I'm sufficiently curious about this story. It's not as if I really desire some extended look backward. I more just want to get this over with quickly so as to put more of the focus on this battle. It's the constant teasing that I'm getting frustrated with more than anything.
I may be getting a bit impatient with the progress of ONE PIECE, but I can't say I'm not enjoying the ride. Oda has made an art of distracting the audience with humor without it coming across as forced. I'm lookin' at you, bishonen harem gag fromNARUTO. Personality is king in ONE PIECE, and you'll never find it lacking.
Where the arc is falling short is in all this Trafalgar teasing. We've waited for the week break thinking that sub-plot was finally going to get fleshed out. This chapter came and got no payoff. I'm all for foreshadowing events, but enough is enough already. Who knows, maybe Oda has a spot for it that will give it a deeper impact. I just hope that's sooner rather than later.
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