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The Initial Trend
- Whenever Luffy needed a member to fill in a specific profession, he would find that said perfect person and invite them into the crew. They refuse at first, but Luffy refuses to give up, and then a battle ensues with the story arc's antagonists, with the weaker members (minions) defeated en masse, while Luffy defeats the "boss character". Then the member that Luffy needs joins after gaining a new respect for him.
- The crew would go on a fairly linear line on the map that heads to their final destination, Raftel, with little deviation, fighting an antagonist group, defeating the minions easily, and the boss character at the end, and then moving on, with their allies living happily ever after and so on.
- Sometime after a female member joins the crew, they would leave and appear to betray them, due to their past leaving them cynical and unable to trust people. The crew would go out of their way of adventure, chase after the said female member and defeat the arc's antagonists, and regain the female's trust and have her officially join the crew.
Yes, this trend has been going on for the first half of the series (and that's for more than 10 years running).
Then It All Changes...
Yup, after finishing the first half of their adventures, Oda breaks off this trend and makes massive plot twists one after another.
- (Though not happening during the end of the first half) Going Merry breaks down beyond repair, is cremated, and succeeded by the Thousand Sunny. The first of the some of the saddest moments in the series.
- By Sabaody Archipelago, the crew is split apart into different locations, and do not meet again for two years.
- Luffy steps out of the normal trend of moving forward with his adventure in order to rescue Ace from execution.
- Ace unexpectedly dies, and Whitebeard follows shortly after. Completely unexpected, as each arc usually ends with a happy ending, but this one is out of it. A very sad moment since Merry.
- The series goes on a four weeks hiatus and a two year time-skip happens.
Though these plot twists are powerfully unexpected, they are what makes the story interesting and exciting, right?
Other Plot Twists in Between
- Luffy met two opponents whom he couldn't beat (Smoker and Aokiji).
- Luffy's grandfather and father's identities are quite shocking at first.
So Here's to You
Do you think that now the crew's reunited, the plot trend will return to normal? Or will there be more plot twists that we should be getting used to by now? And if there are plot twists, how would you think they turn out to be?