One of the main reasons why I love One Piece so much is that it’s able to capture emotion better than any shounen I’ve watched or tried to watch and, frankly, better than any anime I’ve ever watched.
Also, the way they navigate through their narratives and build their characters, whether major or minor, is top notch.
Not sure where they are in the manga (and I don’t want to know), but the Fisher Tiger and Queen Otohime flashback was incredible. One Piece has always managed to lay down foundations for its big arcs tremendously well, and it’s no exception with the current one. The themes used in this Fish-Man arc are so deep; maybe deeper than any other arc so far. Just very good stuff.
Were we watching the same anime? The emotional moment with Otohime and her children were good as well as her happiness over getting the signatures, but overall it was pretty dull and way too lengthy and showed that the writers dropped the ball monumentally far from the goal. Oda spent way too much time building up the world that we didn’t really care about. The emotional impact was diluted further by all the time spent mashing in our heads repeatedly of the same racist isshus that occur in One Piece that have existed since the very first ten episodes. Did we need to be reminded of this fact yet again and again and yet again 530 episodes later?
There was racism in the first ten episodes? If so, then yes, you and I (plus everyone else) have not been watching the same anime. :)