One Piece (Dressrosa)

One Piece (Dressrosa)

One Piece anime series logo
One Piece

Overview

Dressrosa is the One Piece arc that follows Punk Hazard and is widely regarded as one of the best arcs (in the manga, at least) of the series. In the anime, it spans 118 episodes, from 629 to 746. I think that makes it the longest arc I’ve covered so far.

So, let’s just get this out of the way upfront. It’s been over 2 years since I last reviewed a One Piece arc. Why is that? Well, a large part of it is the length of Dressrosa. It really drags on in the anime. The pacing is extremely slow, which makes it difficult to get through, the number of episodes aside.

I’d watch maybe 20 episodes in a week, and then take a 3-4 month break from One Piece. That’s why it’s taken me so long to finally complete Dressrosa (though, I’m actually multiple arcs ahead of it right now).

But, it’s not as if I haven’t written about One Piece, Dressrosa specifically, at all in these past 2 years. I wrote about my favorite character from Dressrosa and I wrote about some of the real-world influences on the country.

So, let’s just quickly run through the good and the bad of this arc. The thing I like the most about Dressrosa is the cast of characters. Both the Straw Hat’s allies and their enemies are good characters. I love Rebecca, the Grand Fleet are all cool, and the Donquixote Family members are all unique.

The biggest issue is what I mentioned already, the pacing. However, more specifically, I found the pacing to be a problem primarily in the “final battle” against Doflamingo, which lasted something like 60 episodes. Prior to that, when all the Colosseum stuff was going on, I didn’t mind the pacing.

One Piece Manga

One Piece Manga

Join Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat crew on their journey across the seas to find the legendary One Piece!

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Straw Hat Grand Fleet

Before I get into the Grand Fleet representatives, I want to give an honorable mention to King Riku and King Elizabello II. They’re not members of the Grand Fleet, but they’re new allies the Straw Hats gain within the Dressrosa arc.

First up, we have Cavendish, the captain of the Beautiful Pirates. His character design is based on French knights known as Chevaliers. He’s also frequently accompanied by his white horse.

Next is the best of the Grand Fleet members, Bartolomeo of the Barto Club. He’s the Straw Hat Pirates’ number one fan and is obsessed with every member of their crew. Bartolomeo also has the Barrier-Barrier Fruit, which is a pretty cool ability.

Bartolomeo of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet from the anime series One Piece (Dressrosa)
Bartolomeo of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet

I’m going to group Sai of the Happo Navy and Ideo of the Ideo Pirates together because they’re probably the least interesting. Sai is a member of the Chinjao Family and Ideo is a member of the Longarm Tribe — the same tribe Scratchmen Apoo is from.

Leo is the leader of the Tontatta Pirates, and one of the key figures of the Tontatta rebellion against the Donquixote Family in Dressrosa. Tontatta are basically a pixie race that are native to Dressrosa. Though, the citizens of Dressrosa think of them as mythological.

Hajrudin of the New Giant Warrior Pirates is pretty neat, primarily because he’s a giant. I don’t have anything else to say about him.

And lastly, we have Orlumbus of the Yonta Maria Grand Fleet, who I think is the most creative of the Straw Hat Grand Fleet members. His name is a reference to Christopher Columbus, and his ship is a play on Columbus’s ship the Santa Maria. San is 3 in Japanese and Yon is 4. So Orlumbus’s ship is the Yonta Maria, instead of the Santa Maria.

Doflamingo Donquixote

The one thing everyone seems to love about Dressrosa is that Doflamingo Donquixote is the antagonist. And, because everyone loves Doflamingo, there are countless discussions and breakdowns of what makes his character so good.

That’s why I’m not going to do that.

Instead, let’s look at how Doflamingo changed the story. The first way he did this is by increasing the scale of the threats the Straw Hats find themselves up against. Previously, all of the antagonists were relatively minor players in the oceans of the world.

With Doflamingo, we hit a transition period. Luffy and the gang are no longer going up against random pirates or Warlords (of which Doflamingo was formerly a member). Doflamingo comes from one of the Celestial Dragon families and has a worldwide influence due to his black-market network.

He’s a big deal that even the World Government didn’t touch. And, that’s true for every villain after Doflamingo. The next two villains of the story are the Emperors Big Mom and Kaidou.

Former Warlord Doflamingo Donquixote from the anime series One Piece (Dressrosa)
Former Warlord Doflamingo Donquixote

The second way Doflamingo changed the story was through his abilities, specifically his Devil Fruit. We’d previously been introduced to the concept of awakened Devil Fruit back in Impel Down, but Dressrosa is when we begin to understand what awakening a Devil Fruit really means.

Doflamingo’s fruit is the String-String fruit — a fitting fruit for someone who controls people both physically and mentally like a puppetmaster. But, what’s key here is that his fruit is a Paramecia that allows him to create and manipulate strings.

However, Doflamingo’s fruit is also awakened. This awakening allows him to turn all of his surroundings into string and control those strings as well.

We won’t see another awakened fruit until Whole Cake Island. But, Doflamingo’s use of an awakened fruit makes it clear that there’s another level of power we’re going to see more of as the series progresses and enemies get stronger.

Conclusion

What do you think of the Dressrosa arc of One Piece? Is this your favorite arc? Did you watch the anime version or read the manga version? Is Doflamingo your favorite antagonist? And which Grand Fleet member is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

Overall, I think Dressrosa is actually a 5/10. Now, that’s my rating for the anime, and it was brought down significantly by the length and pacing of the arc. If it was shorter, I would have liked it a lot more.

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My review of the Zou arc is available now.

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