What They Say:
“Sons’ Cups! The Straw Hat Fleet is Formed!”
With newfound allies won in the battle at Dressrosa, and as the Navy watches, Luffy and the Straw Hats depart Dressrosa for open water. But will Luffy accept the oath of allegiance given by his new fleet?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With just a little bit more to go before we shift into a few weeks of prep/side story material for the One Piece Film: Gold event, the end of the Dressrosa arc has been very satisfying overall. While I would like a little more closure on certain elements, the simple truth is that the end of most arcs involves getting the hell out of there either willingly or unwillingly because things are going to go bad if they stick around. There’s a certain fun to the way these aspects unfold, but I’ll admit that I’d like to dig into the fallout from Doflamingo’s work here and how the ripples through the Navy and World Government as well as the Warlords is like. There are a lot of areas that the series can explore, though it’s no surprise that it mostly keeps its focus on the Straw Hats plus a few nods here and there as needed.
The biggest change, however, was Luffy getting a number of people pledging themselves to Luffy after what went down. Considering his reputation over the years, you’re almost surprised it doesn’t happen more often and that his crew is sprawling or has more ships under his banner. We’ve seen all manner of pirate groups over the years and his is one that has been kept pretty tight overall for story reasons. But realistically, having it grow is a natural plot point. And when you add in the bad blood toward Luffy out there now that’s coming from some other pirate groups that had various deals with Doflamingo over the years that are now up in smoke, the desire for revenge is going to grow. And he’s going to need some allies to help deal with that along the way otherwise it’s easy pickings. It’s pretty fun how it does come together since it expands his influence but keeps things small as it usually does for the show. That’s particularly useful since we have long arcs like this where half the straw hats aren’t even involved in the show.
With the birth of this loose fleet that now operates with Luffy, it’s fun to watch as they have a hella quick party and celebration for it and call him Boss Straw Hat, which isn’t exactly his thing but is a lot of fun for everyone else. Having this play out as the threat looms overhead is pure One Piece and a lot of fun to watch with all the personalities and silliness that’s helping to close out this run while setting up other pieces for the future. When the show shifts into full fun mode toward the end, using the opening theme song that you know means we’re at the end of things, it’s definitely enjoyable as we get small nods of recap and touches upon the arc and an actual formal “goodbye” being said by various characters with Dressrosa. It’s a fairly standard send off in this series but it works well.
With what I believe is the long arc for One Piece yet that run around two years, the Dressrosa arc has been fantastic. It had ist slow moments as they always do and I dislike that some of the Straw Hats were kept out of the show for a large portion of it, but with a great mix of characters and a strong story ender dealing with Doflamingo, the work achieved what it set out to do and even brought Sabo back into the picture in a great way. There was a lot going on here and while some of it didn’t work as well as it could, the end result is definitely one of the stronger arcs out there for this series that I hope they don’t try to top in terms of episode count again for some time.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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