As you may have noticed, I have opted to skip filler arcs for this show for fear of never being able to finally finish all of this. To open with my usual One Piece Disclaimer, I am assuming anyone reading this has either read my previous One Piece Reviews as I've been watching the show for the first time or has already seen One Piece. As such, I won't be going into too much detail about the world, and just focusing on this arc. Previous arcs may be spoiled if necessary. That out of the way, on with the review.
This is going to be a fairly short review compared to previous arcs because a lot of what I want to say can be said once and applied to just about everything that happens in this arc. But what I want to start with is this is the first time since starting this series of One Piece reviews that I have watched an arc I think is just bad.
The idea of visiting the town Golden Rodger, the one who hid One Piece, was born and executed was great. We had some great moments of people seeing The Golden Rodger in Luffy, as well as another look into the Marines and the people who work for them. We even get a couple of great moments for both Sanji and Ussop.
Where the problem comes in things feel like they happen for the sake of having things happen. Sanji just so happens to run into someone who remembered him as a kid, Zoro comes across someone who looks and fights a lot like a girl from his past, Ussop just happens to come across someone his father dueled, and none of these things really feel like they mattered. With the exception of Zoro (Oddly enough the least interesting one of the bunch) they just kind of happen and go away without feeling like they really mattered to the story of the arc, leading the majority of it to feel like filler.
Then we get to the point where the arc finishes and Luffy and gang just get screwed and Luffy is caught, just about to be killed, but it didn't happen because of some kind of great setup. Someone just drops the upper part of a Gallow on his head and.... he can't get out. Can't use his feat for some reason, can't stretch out his neck, and there wasn't even an epic or even one-sided fight. Just kind of happened. And then a freak storm allows them all to escape the Island (I know it wasn't an accident, but it was just some guy who helped because reasons we don't know) and then the arc ends.
I like that it added a bit more resolution to Ussop being a Pirate, gave hope to Sanji that All Blue might actually exist, and now has people actively pursuing the Straw Hats giving the show a bit more tension going forward. But the way this was all set up just felt rushed and lazy, all without any really great moments like any previous arc has had. I still look forward to what's going to happen next, but this arc is a bit rough to sit through.