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.
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|