I noticed that, too. It started around the timeskip in 2010 and he did not get a grip on it ever since. I have spent some time studying his art style and writing after I watched some writing lectures last year. Odas art style got a lot messier after the ts in terms of line quality as well as composition and coloring. The color spreads are not as clearly composed anymore either. It takes longer to find the focal points and notice all the details in the page, because they are so crowded now versus a more clean distinct composition and layering of visual elements before the ts. The manga pages also suffered a considerable loss in line quality. Oda used to pay way more attention to clean, varied lines. Now its just about getting the image across and move on. The biggest drawback are the chaotic plotlines and the shift in the focus of attention to side characters and minor details as you have noticed, too. The first time it really hit me in WCI. I remember how often I was confused about all the side characters there and what to pay attention to, because so many side plots and characters where introduced with every chapter. It really threw me off the page there a lot, until I just didn't bothered anymore about who is who and read over the flashbacks for side characters most of the time. The last thing I noticed is how there are a lot more hype elements to keep the interest up. I subjectively feel like pre ts one piece had less of it, because the story carried itself better. Probably because it was more organized and focused on the main plot and characters.
Absolutely yeah, I've seen a lot of people say the manga looks much worse now and the anime definitely does especially post TS imo but also lately. I saw some panels of pre TS and they looked so simplistic but so powerful, focused, stunning etc.
That's exactly it too, its too chaotic, too saturated, too messy.
I've really felt the writing has become an ADHD fest post TS and this is coming from someone with ADHD too ofc.
The story really did carry itself much better pre TS. It wasnt' so ham fisted, so desperate for our approval and to say certain messages, especially over and over. it was much more individual and thus character focused, much simpler and better for it.
However, I am not even sure if Oda is aware of these isssues himself and if so, does it bother him? I have like 3 theories, that could play into this change:
1.) Oda is getting older and the work takes a toll on him. (which is also why he hurries to end the story.) If for that reason I am not even made if the quality of illustrations goes down as long as the story goes on.
2.) Oda just wants to get over with the story and move, but Shueisha wants to milk it and keeps pushing him to go one for as long as possible. Would explain why Oda shifted focus to keep his own interest in the story up.
3.) In 2010 social media alghorithms and smartsphones really became a thing. Today we know that the constant shift in attention hurts the mind a lot to focus well. We also know from interviews and the shueisha twitter channel that Oda uses ipads and iphones and likes to watch stuff on youtube. Maybe this reduced his ability to focus on the right things and he gets easily distracted. Maybe he has trouble to keep the focus on the big picture and to keep the vision of the story strong, hence why he changes plotlines so often. (This lack of focus is something I noticed in myself in the past years and therefore really reduced my phone use and practiced intentional focus to keep the ability of doing focused work.)
It's definitely the first two at least, the third option is possible too. He could have gotten addicted to various things especially in this technological social media and internet generation, during his increased downtime and such. I think he had a month break before starting the post TS in the manga too?
Shuiesha and Oda and his editors are probably trying to adapt the manga to the over stimulated and low attention span generation too, the zoomers obsessed with hype, action, auras, speed and such. Unleashing my true boomer-san energy now lmfao.
But who knows... Those are just speculations. In the end I am just unhappy the plotlines became really inconsistent and sides plots are thrown in the bin halfway through (and Oda even admitting it casually in the question corner to really stick the finger in the wound. :/). I am glad many readers like you noticed as well. For some time I already thought I am losing it. xD
Completely agree. This place, Drizzt and Dustans channels whilst they lasted and r/Piratefolk have been a desperate source of reassurance and sanity for me. I can really relate. You get treated like crazy and a hater for noticing the emerging cracks and refusing to ignore them. Even when the ship starts sinking, they refuse to admit it is. They refuse to admit water is leaking in and slowly flooding the ship.
This meeting between the two would have been so epic. lol. Their VA is amazing. I loved the episode in Gintama when Gintoki and Hijikata switched bodies. It must have been mindbending for the VAs, but they did such an amazing job to bring out the personalities of the other. The same thing for Zoro and Hijikata in one episode would have been pure gold and probably a lot of meme material. lol.
Hahaha right?! Oh yeah episodes like that are great! Usually a great laugh! Hahahaha, Zoro swapping bodies with Hijikata would be gold! Maybe Hijikata and Sanji for the irony? It really is sads how much potential has been wasted here due to Odas pettiness/selfishness. Oda probably afraid Sorachi will make him look inferior lmao.
Yup, I have a lot of samurai anime in my favoruites as well and thought Oda is not gonna ruin this. There are so many samurai classics out there how could he?! Well... We know the result... :/ But it definitely made me put the other series on my watch list again. I think I will add one or two from your list, too, that I haven't watched yet. :D
Go for it! You might really enjoy them hopefully! Sengoku Basara is really good, based on the games that I love, well I only played the 3rd one which was on Wii but I LOVE that game! The English voice acting actually is really good imo too! Although it has some real cheesiness with the fodder characters too lol. Kinda charming and quite cheesy. Muramasa is Wii and PS Vita game too and its really beautiful, fun, good and stylish too. Very cool concept too. Its by Vanillaware who did Odin Sphere and Dragons Crown I think, similar style to them.
I always thought Oda and Kishi were on good terms - as in friendly rivals?! Kishi even drew a strawhat on the final naruto page if I remember correctly?! With Kubo though ... I think he was an outsider of the big three manga(ka)s from back then. But boy I love his style. I watched/read Bleach mostly for that, haha.
It is. The series carried me through a really tough time. I started it to lighten up my days with some comedy and ended up bawling my eyes out a few times instead. lol. One Piece is great but surprisingly I never shed a tear watching it. Meanwhile Gintama made me tear up over things like a damn random vendine machine that appeared for one episode. lol. Also the SA arc! Sorachi, why! I was a hollow ghost for a whole week! xD I am glad he followed through with the series though and finished it despite all obstacles. I wasn't even mad when he kept prolonging the end and switched magazines and stuff. It just added to the fun. lol. And then the last emotional roller coaster of a final movie. Boy, never change, Sorachi, and I hope to read a story of you again, bastard! xD
Thats fair haha. I've only see 61 episodes of Gintama for some reason but i've seen clips of later episodes too. I stopped at the first serious arc ironically, Benizakura? Ive heard it has the best villain and its the best arc too lol.
A vending machine? I'm curious about that now haha. I could think of possibilities of why that would be sad knowing Sorachi and Gintama tbh.
Yeah I heard he really wanted to finish it on his own terms or something? He really cared about his series. I always felt he was extremely sincere with Gintama and in his author comments or so, he came across as like that and very humble too.
I really need to catch up and actually watch the full series and movies now, its all fully ended right? I've missed out on so much lol.