Is it Reverie? Levely? I have no idea anymore. I’m just gonna stick to Reverie and call it a day.
News of the events at Whole Cake Island have spread across the world, reaching even the Straw Hats themselves, along with a shocking surprise for Luffy. Meanwhile, the monarchs of the world gather at Marijoa for the Reverie in order to make important decisions regarding the future of the world. But not all is peaceful at the highest peak of the world; a mysterious figure is moving in the shadows, making plans that may center around an old friend.
The Straw Hats get very limited time in this mini-arc. All we really see is them sailing away and reading the newspaper. Honestly, this is my least favorite part of the arc. Luffy becoming the ‘fifth Emperor’ is cool, but the gag of him misreading his bounty just isn’t all that funny. Luffy is dumb, but he’s not that dumb.
Thankfully, the rest of the arc is remarkably solid. Not a lot actually happens; this very much is the setup for Wano and the arcs to come after it. What little does happen, however, is extremely impactful and memorable!
A whole ton of familiar faces return. Vivi is finally back! Shirahoshi and the other leaders of the Fish-Men have risen to the surface! Rebecca returns from Dressrosa! Seeing all these characters come back and quickly become friends because of their connections to Luffy is very satisfying.
It’s not just the lovely ladies, either. Garp and Coby are back, Sabo’s replacement brother steps up as a new minor antagonist (potentially major, depending on how things go in the future), even the Celestial Dragons from Saboady and Fish-Man Island are here! Doctor Kureha is back! Fucking CP9 from Enies Lobby are here! This whole arc is a big ol’ collage of familiar faces, friendly and hostile alike!
Also, Kuma has been made a slave. That just makes me sad. He was cool.
This arc also introduces a ton of mysteries that are yet to be solved. Who is the mysterious shadowy figure that seems to rule the World Government? What does he have planned for Vivi? What the hell is the giant straw hat? Not to mention that this little arc ends on a mystery; we still don’t know what happened there, only that it had something to do with Sabo and Vivi.
As a whole, Reverie isn’t an especially complex arc. It establishes several mysteries for the series going forward, perfectly setting up the arcs to come, and re-introduces several beloved characters excellently. The whole thing is setup, yes, but it’s still plenty enjoyable.
And just take a moment to think about that. Oda spent an entire arc setting up the stuff to come. The man has some INSANE stuff planned for the future. Reverie is just an appetizer.
Now, it’s finally time to talk about the first course.