Hello everyone. Justin here and welcome to the Otaku Mind. Man, it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these. This month it’s another edition of Memories of One Piece. One Piece has done a lot of arcs during the run of its manga and they don’t seem to be slowly down anytime soon. Naturally, when you’ve been going as long as One Piece there’s bound to be one arc that everyone doesn’t like and that arc is the Davy Back arc or Long Ring Long Land arc. Out of all the arcs in One Piece the Davy Back arc is considered the worst arc of the bunch. Going online and looking up arc ratings from various sites and polls, the Davy Back arc was always listed on the bottom in each ranking. So seeing this I have to ask the question: Is the Davy Back arc really that bad to be considered the worst One Piece arc out there?
First off, here’s a quick overview of the arc. The arc takes place after the Skypiea arc. The Strawhats have returned to the Blue Ocean and land on an island called Long Ring Long Land which is known for its animals that have long bodies. While there Luffy helps a man reunite with his horse. The horse gets injured by the main antagonist of this arc, a pirate captain named Foxy captain of the Foxy Pirates. Luffy attempts to avenge the horse and in his rage gets tricked by Foxy into agreeing to play the Davy Back Fight a series of pirate games where each crew will participate in and the winning crew of each game will be allowed to claim a member of the losing team as their own and that member has no choice but to join the winning crew whether they like it or not. Thanks to their cheating tactics the Foxy Pirates win the first game and pick Chopper to join their crew but the Strawhats win the second game and reclaim Chopper. In the final game, Luffy and Foxy fight each other where Luffy wins and takes their flag replacing it with a drawing of his own that they are forced to sail with. After this, we have the arrival of Akoji who reveals a little bit about Robin’s past, Luffy fights and loses to him, and we move to the Water 7/ Enies Lobby arc.
What are the negatives of this arc
So now that we’ve gotten the overview out of the way, what exactly are the negatives of this arc that make people dislike it so much.
Yeah, I agree. This was definitely a boring arc. The games weren’t really all that interesting and the setup for how it happened was silly even by One Piece standards. On top of that the whole arc comes across as filler because it’s so boring and uninteresting. Everybody was interested in seeing what was going to come next after Skypiea and instead we got the One Piece version of the Laff-A-Lympics.
It had no effect on the story as a whole
The arc really left no after effects. In all the other One Piece arcs there was at least impact left on the story whether it be something big or small. In the Kuro/Usopp arc the crew saved a town, Usopp joined them, and they got a ship. It was a small effect on the story but it was a big effect for our characters as they finally got their own ship and gained a new member of the group. In the Marineford arc we got to see the culmination of the entire first half of the series in one big fight. We see Luffy fail to save Ace and watched him die, Whitebeard who was the strongest pirate in the world fell at the hands of the Marines, and Blackbeard somehow has the power to control two devil fruits. This arc effective the entire story and the world as there’s been a serious power shift between the 3 major powers of the world and everybody in the world was effective by it in someway. The Davy Back arc had no effect on anyone. The crew didn’t get stronger or lose anything and the world was not effective by the events of this arc at all. It just came and went like an early spring breeze.
It doesn’t work from a manga or anime perspective
Probably the biggest complaint I have with this arc personally is that it doesn’t work from a manga or anime perspective. What I mean by that is this arc doesn’t work in the manga nor in the anime and a large reason for that is because it had a tough arc to follow both in the manga and anime and an even tougher arc came on after it so it felt like the closing and opening act to a show that nobody really cares about and will easily ignore it.
Let’s look at this problem from the manga perspective first. In the manga this arc came on after the Skypiea. In my research, the Skypiea arc never made the top 10 but it was still in the mid-teens which is considerately higher than where the Davy Back arc was. In this arc, we saw Luffy take on Enel who was considered a god in this arc. Not only did Enel possess one of the strongest devil fruits in the world but at the same time he was an intimidating figure to boot. According to Oda if Enel had a bounty it would be 500 million berries, that’s 5 times higher than Luffy’s bounty during the arc’s run. Even today, Enel’s bounty is the same as Luffy’s bounty and we’re talking about a guy who has taking on and defeated 3 Shichibukais (one of them is in love with him), declared war on the world government, and is the son of the most wanted man in the world of One Piece. Despite all of his accomplishments and family history, Enel still has a bounty that’s the same as Luffy meaning that the world government (or Oda) sees Enel as a threat just as much as Luffy. While it’s true Luffy defeated him, keep in mind that Enel has no relation or association with any of the 3 factions in One Piece (if he did, Luffy’s bounty would have easily gone up to or pass 500 million berries). On top of Enel this arc also gave us a great three-way battle between Enel’s army, the people of Shandia, and the Strawhat crew with everybody contributing something to the battle whether it be taking down someone or doing a task no one else but them can do. This arc also served as our first introduction to Haki which would go on to be a major power and factor in the series. After the Davy Back arc we get the Water 7/Enies Lobby arc which is hands down my favorite arc so far and arguably the best arc in the series so far as well. In this arc we got touched emotionally by seeing the Strawhats have their first real fight with each other and Usopp leaving the crew. We also got to learn about Robin and Franky’s past where Robin all this time has longed to find a place where she belongs, can call family, and finally admitting she wants to live. Action wise we got to see one of the best fights in the series so far as Luffy takes on Rob Lucci and these 2 clash their ideologies against each other. Story wise, it’s one of the most suspenseful arcs as the Strawhat crew have to fight their way through the members of CP9 in order to save Robin before it’s too late. I’m going to hold off on talking more about this because there’s a good chance I might do a blog on this arc in the future.
Now let’s explore the perspective of this arc from an anime perspective. Before the Davy Back arc the anime aired the G-8 arc which as I said before in my previous Memories of One Piece, that this was not only the best filler arc in the anime but it was hands down the best filler arc ever. This arc actually felt like an actual arc from the manga and fans were shocked when they found out that this arc was nothing more than filler. The arc that people thought was in the manga was filler and the arc that people thought was filler was in the manga. That just goes to show you how good the G-8 arc was and how bad the Davy Back arc was in the eyes of its viewers. The Davy Back arc even got filler by adding in more games in the anime so it was Robin and Chopper who got forced to join Foxy’s crew and Luffy had to up the states in their last game in order to save them both. After the Davy Back arc we got another filler arc which while not good was decent compared to the Davy Back arc and we got a little more filler with the return of Foxy and his crew in a short 2-episode filler before the anime resumed following the manga and we got to the Water 7/Enies Lobby arc. While the filler after the Davy Back arc may not have been great, when compared to the what happened in the Davy Back arc they were good and had some level of entertainment to them.
What are the positives of this arc
Now being that I am an optimistic person I believe that where there is bad there is something good as well and this arc does have a few gems.
For starters, Foxy was hilarious. I don’t care if he’s a comic relief character the guy was great throughout the arc. He was a riot every time he was on screen and just like Luffy he too had a devil fruit power. His devil fruit power allowed him to slow down time for a short period of time. At first you may think that power is useless but no, Foxy finds a way to use this power to his advantage and uses it effectively in his fight against Luffy. Just like his name, this guy was as crafty and clever as a fox and he’s to be commended for his character and finding creative ways to use his powers and talents to his advantage.
While overall the Davy Back arc was boring there were a few gems of hilarity that you can’t help but find funny. The two moments that stand out to me the most is the Groggy Ring match where Zoro and Sanji have to set aside their differences and dislike for each other in order to win the match and save Chopper. Throughout the match the odds are stacked against them as it’s 2 on 3, the Foxy crew cheats throughout the game and the referee allows it all while pretending to see nothing because he’s apart of Foxy’s crew. The second is in the filler where they play red light, green light and Zoro does the impossible and manages to get lost despite the path being straight-forward and easy to follow.
So, is the Davy Back arc the worst arc in One Piece? No, but it’s definitely the weakest arc in One Piece. I hesitate to say it’s the worst because that would mean there’s nothing good about it but like I mentioned earlier there a few good and funny moments you can’t deny. The arc however is the weakest arc of the bunch because it contributes nothing to the story on a small or large scale, and the fact that it’s a bad follow up to a good arc and a bad opening to another good arc that many, myself included would call the best arc in the series. It’s an arc that can be skipped to the end as that’s the only thing worth checking out but as for the games and the fight, you can skip and it won’t have any effect on your reading or watching. Well guys that’s going to do it for me. Thanks for reading, as always feel free to leave a comment or feedback in the comment section below and I’ll see you next month where I talk about a topic I’ve been wanting to tackle for some time now. Later days, nakama.
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