As a reader, you may sit back and think writing action-based fiction is easy to plot out. I contend that you have to almost literally become your own worst enemy. Firstly, you need to create a course of action for your protagonists that stands a good chance of success, then you think of a way to destroy it. In reality, a well executed plan is your goal, but that would be a boring read when it comes to fantasy. At some point, the wheels need to fly off the cart, and you have to patchwork together a new mode of transport to get to the destination.
I can't image how things could have gone any worse for the Straw Hats at this point -- putting their utter defeat against Bartholomew Kuma aside. The crew came to Dressrosa with a solid plan, but they've been subverted at every step. Now, Law has fallen, Luffy is trapped inside the coliseum, Zoro and Kin'emon are being chased by the Navy, and the rest of the crew are on the run from the crew of Big Mom, who have almost literally popped up out of the blue...sea.
I can only speak for myself, but I'm very excited to see where this is going next week.
Last chapter, I had sort of an off tangent critique about the guns of this world. I don't want to make this a regular issue, but I really don't have much to complain about for this edition.
It seems that Corrida Colosseum is lined completely with Sea Prism Stone. This is suppose to be a rare mineral, but just how rare is it? It brings back memories of Kryptonite and Adamantium in comics. We're led to believe that these are extremely finite, but it always seems to get pulled out at the most convenient moment.
I find it a tad bit ridiculous that all the bars of the coliseum are sea prism stone, and couldn't Luffy just crush the walls around the bars? My only thought is that Oda needed to put Luffy in a cage for this moment, and sea prism stone is the only substance capable of that.
The way this arc is going is a fine example of building upon the false expectations of your audience. Tell them your plan then pull the rug out from under them. There was just so much going on in every page. The Straw Hats may be off balance, but Luffy is intent on taking this battle directly to Doflamingo. Not just to complete the plan but to save Law. This is action, drama, and comedy in one tight package. A thrilling read, and I bet you Bepo fans are happy. The Heart Pirates should be joining the fray.
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