Monday, August 5, 2013

Story Arc Review: Sky Island

SKY ISLAND: An interesting story arc ruined by its pacing

Sky Island continues the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates in the Grand Line. The story’s foundation revolves around mysterious islands in the sky; their existence, unsurprisingly, is mocked by the local folk, for it is quite illogical. The Straw Hats has suffered social ridicule from their belief that the islands exist, but this does not stop them from gathering clues on the existence of the islands.

            I must admit that I find this premise to be very interesting. It presents something very different from the previous adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates. After all, we are talking about islands in the sky here.

            The beginning of the story arc holds a lot of promise; it sparks the curiosity of the viewers, especially when a back-story about a person who has led them to significant hints that the islands exist has been presented. This curiosity, instead of being satisfied when they have finally reached the sky, has only gotten more intense. The world in the sky is so different to the world in the sea, so the overall atmosphere is very refreshing and very interesting; not only that, it also has technologies that are rather intriguing.

            After a few establishing points, the story jumps to establishing the major conflict of the arc. This conflict has drawn the Straw Hat Pirates in an all-out battle with Skypieans, priests, and a ‘God’. Sure, this is a very interesting set of new characters, so the story remains to be entertaining. However, there is something really problematic that makes the arc’s interesting story into a dull one -- and that is the incredibly slow pacing.

            This slow pacing has presented itself once the major conflict has been introduced. The story has become so slow that each episode has very little development in the plot. It focuses too much on random details, which appears to be a desperate attempt to delay everything as much as possible, for what reason, I’m really not sure. The only thing that I’m sure of is the fact that it has ruined a very interesting story arc.

However, the story arc has successfully redeemed itself when it has proven that the back-story that I mentioned earlier is significant to the foundations of the arc; it is not just a detail that has led them to the sky islands. I must admit that, when this back-story has been expanded further, it has triggered an emotional response to me. It has restored my faith on this story arc that has been slowly boring me with its slow pacing. After this back-story has been presented, the pacing has improved tremendously, and this new pacing has been consistent until the conclusion of the arc.

            What make this arc even more interesting are the hints left by Gol D. Roger. This just means that the story of Sky Island is not just a random adventure by the Straw Hat Pirates, but it is actually a part of the overall story of One Piece. Aside from that, the technologies that I have mentioned earlier have also been exploited to be of use in the next story arcs; and this just makes the development of the overall story quite interesting because I am seeing the results of the previous arcs.

            Overall, Sky Island is a very interesting story arc, because it has intriguing concepts to present. However, the entertainment value has been diminished by the slow presentation of content. This is one of the least enjoyable story arcs of One Piece, but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad -- it’s just not as good as the others.

Related posts:
           Story Arc Review: Alabasta
           List: Top 3 Story Arcs of One Piece

No comments:

Post a Comment