With the official release of One Piece chapter 1085 on June 2, fans saw the highly anticipated Reverie flashback reach its climactic peak. With the flashback likely to officially end in the next chapter, fans are already discussing the flashback in its entirety, in everything from what was learned to what new questions arose.
Unsurprisingly, the fandom is raving mad about the incredible quality with which the Reverie flashback has been written. Without a doubt, mangaka Eiichiro Oda has been putting his masterful storytelling on display throughout the entire flashback, but especially so in One Piece Chapter 1085.
While One Piece chapter 1085 is emblematic of Oda’s brilliance as a long-term storyteller, it also highlights a lone fatal flaw in the way he writes his series. In fact, it’s one flaw that has likely prevented many people from being able to take the plunge into this Odyssey-like adventure series.
One Piece chapter 1085 highlights Oda’s greatest strengths and flaws as a writer
Brief chapter recap
The chapter began with Imu asserting that Lily Nefertari purposefully spread the Poneglyphs around the world, as well as revealing her being a “D.” This was when Sabo intervened to save Cobra Nefertari, attacking Imu and the Gorosei, who then transformed into monstrous forms. After they attacked and killed Cobra, the issue saw Wapol (who had seen everything) escape from Mariejois with Vivi Nefertari.
From the moment the chapter starts, One Piece chapter 1085 is such a clear example of the skill Oda has as a long-term storyteller. By the time the first five pages are read, fans learn about several new information regarding the Poneglyphs, who Nefertari Lily truly was, and are implicitly told why Imu considers her such an enemy.
The middle part of the chapter continues this trend of answering old questions and raising new ones. Oda’s introduction of the Gorosei and Imu not just as fighters but seemingly also as Devil Fruit holders is done solely implicitly, with no direct commentary said on it. Despite this, it’s what Oda’s intent is by silhouetting their monstrous, transformed forms and giving fans enough to go on for now and save the full picture for later.
In a way, this statement is representative of what the Reverie arc and Reverie flashback events are meant to be, as well as Oda’s writing style up to One Piece chapter 1085 - giving fans small, seemingly incongruous pieces of the puzzle before linking it all together with one unifying sequence of events.
While this stands as a testament to how masterful Oda is at planning his story in a macro sense, it also highlights a major flaw in this approach. For example, fans had to wait nearly five years from the end of the Reverie arc to the beginning of the Reverie flashback. In the meantime, Oda had shown fans the results of these events without actually first telling them, which some would argue is a backwards way of writing.
It’s this approach that One Piece chapter 1085 is emblematic of that can be both Oda’s greatest strength and his greatest weakness. On the one hand, it can keep the eyes of many readers glued to each page and issue, waiting for reveals such as those that have come during the Reverie flashback. Moreover, it can deter people from starting the series or even deter current up-to-date readers from checking in week-to-week.
While both a blessing and a curse, Oda has made it quite clear that this is how he wants to write his series. For those willing to give him the time and opportunity to cook it all into a gourmet, five-star dish of a manga series, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. Simultaneously, there are those who may prefer going to a more drive-thru-esque manga series in terms of the narrative investment needed and the proportionate payoff doled out.