Winter Sunlight

One Piece - Dressrosa arc

I've now read the Dressrosa arc of One Piece to date, so I'm current up to chapter 766, which I believe is the latest one.

- POOR LAW. On all counts. I think his backstory actually beats Robin's for sheer depressing, and I didn't think that was possible!

- The entire sequence where Law is immobilized with the handcuffs and Luffy is hauling him around is PURE COMEDY GOLD. His FACE.

- Also, the bit where he's slumped on the heart chair, tied down, is so wonderfully creepy -- the throne that Doflamingo meant to give him as a reward, except now he's hurt and semiconscious and tied to it; the symbolism of that scene is great.

- DOFLAMINGO IS AWFUL. AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL. I'm trying to think if OP has ever had a villain who's so completely and utterly despicable. There have been some pretty bad ones, but most of them were fairly petty in their evil (like the marine guy in the Water 7 arc). Doflamingo takes it to a whole new level.

- But the backstory with Rebecca and her parents was so sweet. :') I think this might be the first time in One Piece (at least the first time I can remember) that has a plot arc dealing with a romance. Of course, then one half of the pairing DIED ... but I really like how OP pulls you into even the minor characters and makes you care about them.

- On the other hand ... I feel kind of bad about this, considering how important he is to Luffy, but I .... don't really like Sabo much. I am actually struggling with a certain amount of stupid fannish resentment that he's got Ace's powers now. Which is REALLY DUMB and I know it -- among other things, it makes all kinds of thematic sense that he'd inherit the fire fruit (and as soon as I knew Sabo was in the tournament, it was obvious he was going to win for that reason) and Ace would have wanted him to have it. But Ace was one of my very favorites, and even though it's stupid, having a character I'm not fond of get a power that used to belong to a character I really loved makes me miss Ace even more.

- WHEN ARE WE GETTING BACK TO THE SUNNY?! They're in so much trouble! And most of the strong fighters are elsewhere! Guyyyyyys!

- Usopp got a really great crowning moment of awesome, though! (And I love how the bad guys now think he's the most dangerous one of the Straw Hats. Poor Usopp.)

- I've also been enjoying Franky taking on most of the lower-level fighters by himself. (I wish I'd saved a link to it, but that one page where he and Senor Pink are going on about having a VERY MANLY FIGHT that the women couldn't possibly understand, and then they pull out their actual attacks ... oh my god. One Piece. Why. ETA: Found the page! And all I can say is still, WHAT.)

- Zoro, on the other hand, is so powered up now that his fights aren't actually that much fun. Now he's fighting a whole city, more or less, and .... I kind of don't care all that much? Not that it isn't fun to see Zoro get his badass on.

Hmmm ... I don't think I have any other comments at the moment, except now I get to suffer in realtime like everyone else. XD

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Haaah, oh Law...I have a strong suspicion that Oda intended Law to be fangirl bait, and exhibit A is how much time the guy spends slumped on the ground and/or writhing in agony. And he's one of the only Devil Fruit users we've ever seen whose ability is physically exhausting to use - which is a necessary limit because it is way over-powered; but at the same time it means he's all weak and staggering and everyone knows how weak-kneed heroes make we fangirls equally wobbly in the knees. (and I will not lie, it totally works on me with respect to Law :P)

And his flashback, owwwww (I may be a chapter behind, need to check that...the worst/best part of the Law flashback was that GOING IN I knew Corazon died, I KNEW not to get attached to him...and I ended up falling for him anyway, between his love for Law and the burden of his brother. Poor Corazon. And damn you Oda, for playing me like an easy fiddle.)

Doflamingo is THE WORST. Holy shit I have to be impressed by how much hate he inspires in me. OP villains in general tend not to ping my villain-fanning; some of the henchmen I will like (and they often become allies anyway, like Bon Clay) but usually I just want to see them punched out hard (and then I do, which is so satisfying!) (the only exception to this is Crocodile, who for some reason, while I do love seeing him get his just desserts, I also totally adore and squeal at anything he does.) But some of them do rise to another tier - I actually thought Caesar Clown was one of the most evil villains OP has ever had (getting children addicted to a drug to control them for unethical experiments based on stolen research???) but then Doflamingo makes him look good (or at least slightly less bad.) I want to see him go down, I cannot wait for it.

Am curious about your reaction to Sabo - is there a particular reason you don't like him, or is it just because he's underdeveloped? I'm fond of him but that's mostly because of what he means to Luffy. And I am curious about his role as a Revolutionary (did Dragon know he was Luffy's adopted brother?? what's the deal there?!?!)

And Usopp crowning moment was pretty damn awesome indeed!! Also am with you that Zoro's fight is on the boring side, but that's partly because his opponent just isn't that interesting. And I am hoping that Zoro's easy wins are building to something (not sure what, but there is potential for character development there and with Oda writing I have some faith it will have a payoff?)

Yay for company in our suffering! ...I mean, yay for catching up! ;D
I think the best way to describe Law is that he is a character from a much more serious anime who accidentally wandered into One Piece and now he's just staring around him in baffled shock trying to figure out how he is surrounded by all these WEIRDOS. (Although the fangirl bait theory makes so much sense ... XD)

the worst/best part of the Law flashback was that GOING IN I knew Corazon died, I KNEW not to get attached to him...and I ended up falling for him anyway, between his love for Law and the burden of his brother.

OH GAWD I KNOW. I was just emailing back & forth with my sister about this earlier today, because, well, yeah -- it said right up front that he's dead and yet, it's impossible not to fall for him anyway. STUPID TRAGIC FANGIRL HEARTS~~~~~!

Am curious about your reaction to Sabo - is there a particular reason you don't like him, or is it just because he's underdeveloped?

I ... don't know. I think in large part it's just a reverse of whatever it is that makes me fall in instant "like" with some characters -- I fell in instant dislike with Sabo and it's hard for me to put my finger on exactly why. Partly I think it's that I don't feel a lot of personality from him, as opposed to someone like Ace or Law, who are brimming over with personality? And I also find something about him vaguely creepy. It really is all operating on a very hindbrain level, and maybe I'll fall for him once I know him better, but right now I'm having to struggle not to think of him as a usurper of Ace's role in Luffy's life.

... which may actually be a large part of what it is, because I loved Ace and Ace was Luffy's brother and now Ace is dead and Luffy has another brother and my fangirl heart is SAAAAAD. It might not be anything more complicated than a very hindbrainy case of imposter syndrome that I'll get over once I get to know him better.