After 25 years of publication, One Piece‘s general storytelling formula has become pretty clear, but the manga’s latest arc Egghead Island seems to be breaking this tradition. This may be a sign that with the onset of the series’ Final Saga, mangaka Eiichiro Oda is shaking things up. This should come as a welcome surprise to long-time fans as well as make the upcoming plot much more unpredictable.
One Piece‘s general formula for an arc involves the Straw Hats visiting a new island, encountering a new set of villains who are terrorizing that island, and then defeating these villains. Of course, there have been slight deviations to this in the past, with Marineford bringing back multiple past enemies, but as that was the climactic end to the pre-time skip era of One Piece, it makes sense that it wouldn’t follow this formula exactly. Some critics have declared that this formula makes One Piece too predictable, but most fans enjoy this sort of story structure, as the differences in enemies and setting keep these arcs feeling distinct from one another. However, it seems like Egghead is bucking this trend in a big way.
Egghead Island Breaks One Piece’s Classic Formula Forever
On Egghead Island, the main threat isn’t from a new enemy, although Vegapunk’s Sloth Satellite is technically an antagonist. Instead, the major antagonists of the arc are CP0, who recently revealed their traitorous nature, and the Admiral Kizaru, who the Straw Hats previously encountered in Saobody. One of the 5 Elders is also present and could play a role in the fight, but currently, it seems like the major fight will be between Luffy and the incredibly strong Kizaru. Not only does this break the series’ main formula for introducing new villains, but it also makes Egghead the first island where the major antagonists are assaulting the island from the outside.
In many ways, this is a perfect departure from One Piece‘s normal traditions given the onset of the Final Saga. It seems like this Saga will feature Luffy and the Straw Hats fighting a final war against the leaders of the World Government, who have held the islands of the world under their oppressive rule for centuries. The World Government has been an omnipresent threat since One Piece‘s beginning, so it only makes sense that they would be the villains that return for the Straw Hats to face. In addition, this represents an escalation of scale, as while before the Straw Hats fought to solve each island’s internal problems, now they face the entire world’s external threat.
Egghead Island has also featured an increased focus on events happening across the world, which has also given the arc a larger sense of scale. This makes sense, as it is the first act in a Saga that One Piece has been building to since its beginning. With One Piece‘s final chapter beginning, fans are now truly in uncharted waters, proving that the series can still be incredibly unpredictable even 25 years in.