Ace and Whitebeard are Dead!

For those of you who watched One Piece, this news isn’t really a surprise. The episode of their death aired back in 2011, so I’m a little behind. As part of the 2020 pandemic, I started watching One Piece with my wife on Netflix, and despite it’s quirkiness, when episodes ran out on Netflix, I kept going… I think my wife wanting to stop watching about half way into the first season — the cussing and silliness was too much for her. It looks like I’m nearing the half-way mark in the series (ep. 487)… it’s still running, with 959 episodes in total as I type this.

The heaviness of the story arch is still weighing on me emotionally. Luffy has rejoined his crew and has continued on to mermaid island, 2 years after the loss of Ace. Up until then, several episodes were dedicated to bonds of brotherhood and the loss of a family member, and the impact it had on the friends/family around them… Surprisingly, it’s very touching. So much that it makes me wonder about the series’ writer and if they’ve experience similar grief to draw upon… From a few blog posts I’ve read, sound it was more of a deliberate decision to kill of Ace to help Luffy go onto the next level — I get that — and I’m feeling a tad bit emotionally manipulated.

That’s the funny thing about American story tellers, you can generally tell when the writers are trying to manipulate the audience to feel a certain way — it’s almost like they’re hitting you over the head with it… the sappy music… pull the camera in close to the actor as they’re starting to tear up… it’s to the point where it’s cliche… But this One Piece story arch felt different. Maybe it’s the length — 100 episodes for this season, 30 of them covered the war ending in Ace & Whitebeard’s death — to spread it out over, however the build-up was just unbearable — I felt like Luffy was covering the same 30 ft, of ground every episode for 10 episodes straight… Maybe it’s the source material (although I haven’t lost a brother, so hard to connect on that level)… Maybe it’s just refreshingly different… Not formulaic in the western short story telling sense… however, it could be formulaic in the eastern epic melodrama sense…

Meh. This wasn’t the reason I started this post — to rabbit-hole into comparing/contrasting different story telling techniques. More to explore how I was feeling and the impact it’s having on me…

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