“Angry Tiger is holding his mace in his left hand, which means his attack will be coming from his left side! If he attacks, I could either block the strike or dodge it altogether! But if I dodge, I could go to the left, right, up, down, even backwards! So many choices, but which one’s the correct one? Wait – he’s swinging from his left side! Of course! If I dodge to his right, then he’ll be completely defenseless to my attacks! But if I attack, I could use my sword, my legs, even my head! But which…”

– Feitr’s inner monologue between the second and third panel

Many years ago, I stopped watching One Piece sometime after the Skypiea arc because goddamn, does it take forever for anything to happen! I’ve always wanted to get back into it because I really like the characters and when the story’s emotional beats hit, they really hit – so I was happy to discover that various fan-edits of the anime exist that cut out all the filler and repetitive scenes to bring the pacing closer to how it is in the manga. I can definitely say the edit I’m watching is a marked improvement, but still, goddamn, does it still take forever for anything to happen! It’s been a while since I’ve revisited the 90s-early 2000s style of action shonen, where every single motion in a fight scene necessitates reaction shots and commentary from every character on the sidelines, but it’s really given me a deeper appreciation for how much the pacing has improved in modern titles like My Hero Academia or Jujutsu Kaisen. Though even with those shows, I think they could do with a little less narration at times.

In  other news, I lied, Angry Tiger will be making more appearances in this series as well as the rest of the Five Sages of Grief. Nobody asked for this, but I’m not just going to create a new character whenever I need someone to lose a fight or have no one else to write a new Character Bio about.

– James