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I originally posted this on wordpress, I decided to import it here.
I remember at how I thought Oda would take a long time to reach the Red Line, I remember at how I gloat at how Oda would go as long as Charles Schulz and how there would be a museum based on Oda’s work; I remember how I heap Oda with praises for his long storytelling style. Having to be a fan since 2004, however fans should known better then to to allow themself to be consumed in their own hyper wet dreams of what Oda was going to do, yet they kept forgetting that Oda is too unpredicatible and is known to make wild twist and turns that you’ll never know what he had in his brain. But Oda would always show on what he is planning by looking in every chapters, fans would then make guesses, predications, speculations, and theories on what Oda might do. Over 30% of them would be correct while 70% more would be incorrect. Here are the finest example of just how unpredicatible and how Oda is different from any other manga writers. First let me tell you what I had in my mind.
Before Post-Enies Lobby arc, some had thought that Kuma would be a religious man who acts as a stereotypical priest who lives in a gothic-style cathedral, I thought that Dragon was a fate diviner, some thought that the New Age was a cult leaded by Doflamigo. I thought that before entering the Red Line, every Shichibukais needs to be beaten up by the Straw Hat Pirates, I thought that we would get an arc based on 6 Shichibukais who resides on their own islands. Everytime the pirates passed 1-4 islands they would face a Shichibukai. Some thought Jinbei would first, and then Doflamigo, and then Kuma, and then Moria, and then Hancock, and then Blackbeard; save Mihawk until the end of the series. Some thought they’re going to be another Aokiji fight and fight other 2 Admirals along the way. By the time they reach the Red Line they have to cross it and beating up bandits before going into Mariejois to fight the Gorousei and finally the New World. Some thought that after Fishman Island, the Red Line would still be far off and that they will not enter the New World until chapter 1000 and that way the story ends in chapter 2000.
The first crackdown of this massive hyper wishful thinking is when Coby mentioned the New World, which would get mentioned over and over again. Plus we found out that Dragon is not an fate wizard but Luffy’s father.
The second crackdown begun when Moria was revealed to be in Thriller Bark, Kuma later appeared. When Kuma appeared, he did not act like a stereotypical priest and speak holy. Instead he acts like a normal guy.
The third begins when Oda brought in the Red Line in chapter 490. Fans thought that they would enter the New World by chapter 500 but this is not what Oda was planning.
The fourth crackdown was when we found out that Fishman Island is under the Red Line all along. Oda basically tricked us by not having Kokoro say where is Fishman island is. Many fans expected that Fishman Island was before the Red Line but once we got the information that Fishman Island serves as an entrance to the New World while Mariejois is on top of the Red Line. If you go to Mariejois you have to leave your ship behind and get a new ship to sail in the New World but there is a hole at the bottom of the Red Line that connects to the New World and Fishman Island sits at the bottom of the Red Line, in the hole. Since there is no canal cutting through the Red Line, it makes much sense to insert Fishman Island under the Red Line.
During the Sabaody incident, Kuma appeared and sent the Straw Hat Pirates away. It appears to be an awkward move, it was like if Oda was saying “Darn, I brought the Red Line too soon! Why did I not think of it before! I know I’ll have Kuma sent the Straw Hat Pirates away!” but it would later become clear that Oda had planned this to happen. After this incident, I thought Oda would do 50-70 chapters on each crews before all of them goes to an island where they would reunite before going back to Sabaody to save Rayleigh, but it would become clear that it won’t happen as Oda did a title mini arcs on each crews with only 2 chapters for each of them. Oda seems to want to do a Luffy-centered storyline instead of wasting time on the other crews.
Later we met Shichibukai Hancock who appears to be an enemy at first glance but later we found out that she is not. She manage to hurt Luffy but Luffy never hit back. Later Luffy was batting against Hancock’s 2 sisters, Luffy manage to defeat them but when Sandersonia’s back was to be exposed, Luffy covered it. After a chain reaction of events, Hancock become Luffy’s ally by aiding him to sneak in Impel Down to rescue Ace. Jinbei, another Shichibukai was imprisoned in Impel Down for causing a ruckus in Marineford because he did not want to fight Whitebeard. He too became Luffy’s ally. Fans thought that Jinbei was going to be in Fishman Island. Most fans thought that he was going to be the next Shichibukai to fight after Nami’s log post pointed to Fishman Island but then, no one expected Thriller Bark to be in Florian Triangle and no one expected a Shichibukai to be there.Also fans thought that during the first half of the Grand Line that everything begins and ends with the Shichibukai meaning that if Crocodile was the first then ethier Jinbei or Hancock or Doflamingo or Kuma or Blackbeard would be the last but it became clear that it won’t happen as Hancock and Jinbei were allies while Dolflamingo, Kuma and Mihawk were neutral. By chapter 490, only 2 Shichibukai were defeated. Yet only Moria, Blackbeard (before he forfeited his rank) and Crocodile and later Doflamingo were antagonist Shichibukai. Crocodile however did not hold any grudges against Luffy.
We also found out that Enies Lobby, Impel Down and Marineford is close to the Red Line. So we had thought that these three locations was in the middle ocean and during the Water Seven/Enies Lobby arc we thought that the Red Line was so far off but it was notNext we found out that the New Age is not a cult but an age that will happen after the Whitebeard War. Some fans thought that Don Doflamingo was the one who invented the cult and that we were gonna have a Baroque Works-esque saga dealing with the New Age followers, and the army before fighting Don to shatter the New Age. Some thought he would be the next Shichibukai to fight after Post-Enies Lobby arc but it did not happen.
Next we would see Ivankov fighting Kuma, Vista fighting Mihawk and Jinbei fighting Moria. None of them are even Straw Hat Pirates. Also, Jinbei quitted the Shichibukai rank.Also Blackbeard had invaded Impel Down to free 4 prisoners, he revealed that it was the reason he wanted a Shichibukai rank to enter Impel Down easily so after getting what he wanted he forfeit his rank.
If Oda had gone by what I wrote here, would the series be any better? I think not. That would be too predictable and random. Oda never really throws in random plots, he always knows what to do with the plot and would develop them. Why did Oda brought in the Red Line so soon? Because then Oda would put too much ideas in the first half of the Grand Line and may not have anymore ideas in the New World. But Oda had delayed Fishman Island for 3 years, imagine how Oda would do the same when the crews reach the end of the second half of the Grand Line. Yet in chapter 576, Roger in Whitebeard’s flashback was going to tell Whitebeard how to get to Raftle but Whitebeard declined, showing that reaching to Raftle is not that simple and may take a long time to reach it. But what if he continues the story after Raftle? I don’t think the story will end with Luffy opening the treasure chest to find One Piece in it. Oda may even delay Fishman Island again after the war as Luffy is back on Amazon Lily and we are going through a flashback, this shows that he’s not in the hurry to finish the story, so it’s not like Oda went “Ok! I gotta finish this now!!”.The problem is that fans keep forgetting that One Piece is not Naruto or Bleach where the main characters has to beat up all bad guys and the organizations but Oda is different then Kishmoto or Kubo.
Oda had planned this since he had Nami’s log pose pointed to Fishman Island, Oda wanted to make another war arc since the Arabastan civil war, He wanted Whitebeard dead so there would be chaos in Fishman Island. If the Straw Hat Pirates reached Fishman Island already, it would be peaceful, perhaps they could witness Whitebeard’s fleet passing by and would have no idea of what is going on or by the time the war is over, the Straw Hat Pirates would be out of Fishman island already. Or they’ll be gone before Whitebeard arrives. However Luffy may find out that Ace was executed but would too late. Oda also wants Luffy to witness Ace’s death to give him a new development before going to the New World. There was a reason Oda split the Straw Hat Pirates from Sabaody
To give everyone new developments. Shown how half of the Supernovas had problems when they entered the New World, the Straw Hat Pirates would have a hard time going through the New World and ended up like Gecko Moria who lost his crew to Kaido.
In conclusion, never hyped for Oda to follow your insane theories. This happened many times in the past. People expected Usopp to fight the CP9 to earn his worth, it did not happen. People expect the Buster Call to have laser beams, it did not happen. People expect Sanji to have dials in his shoes, it did not happen. In the end they scream in disappointment and made threats to travel to Japan to beat Oda to death or they hang their heads in shame, cursing and growling in anger. So if you felt that way, you need to remember that it’s your fault, not Oda. It was Oda who is telling the story, not your insane theories, exceptions, speculations and predication. Oda knows what’s he doing and Oda would never have One Piece insanely random. He would never make One Piece fulfill your hyperbole wet dreams.