One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at close to 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those who haven’t been watching from the start to jump on board. One Piece Diaries tracks one writer’s experience with this daunting rite of passage. With hype for the highs and critique for the lows, this column will help you decide whether to take your own One Piece journey – or let you relive the one you’re already on. It will update biweekly every other Thursday.
Episodes Watched: 123 – 130 – Arabasta
At long last, the journey has come to an end – I’m done with the Arabasta arc! This was the longest arc so far, as well as the most complex.
One thing I appreciate is that the arc didn’t end when the villain was defeated. Sure, beating up Crocodile was important, but it’s not even close to being that simple. The community he destroyed needs to be rebuilt, side stories need to be resolved, and the foundation for coming arcs needed to be laid. This felt like a strong story that was firmly rooted in a larger story, and I loved that.
I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the fact that Pell survived. I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it seemed pretty implausible that anyone could survive getting blown up by a bomb strong enough to destroy a whole town square. On the other hand, characters in this show are constantly experiencing things nobody can reasonably survive. Luffy got all the liquid sucked out of his body, that should have instantly killed him! Yes, it was unrealistic, but realism isn’t exactly the name of the game here. All that said, it did lessen the impact of his sacrifice, just a little.
I’m glad that Vivi decided to stay in Arabasta. Sure, it would have been fun to see her stick around, her heart was clearly with her homeland. Her goodbye salute with the Straw Hats was a fitting and heartwarming end to an era. I hope to see her again, but this was the right moment for them to part.
Especially since they got a new crew member almost immediately afterward. I knew Robin was going to join, because of the episode title “Beware Her Scent! The Seventh One is Nico Robin!”, because of spoilers I’d read, and because of her presence in the opening theme. I’m interested in the energy she’ll bring to the crew. At 28, she’s significantly older than the rest of them – the oldest so far have been Sanji and Zoro, who are 19. What’s more, she was ready to die if she couldn’t find the Rio Poneglyph – implying that she’s been through some serious pain. I want to know more, and I want to know more about the Poneglyphs.
Overall, this was a satisfying arc that I genuinely enjoyed! I said before that the Arlong Park arc was my favorite – I’m not sure if this arc supplants it, but I definitely liked it the same amount. I’m glad I stuck around this long – and I appreciate you, readers, for doing the same.
Up next is the Post-Arabasta filler arc, and then a few more fillers. It’s a little disheartening to know that I have 13 more episodes to go before I can get back to the actual plot, but I’ve enjoyed previous fillers, so hopefully it won’t be too bad.