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YMMV / A Gem in the Rough

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  • Broken Base: Lufven (the fusion between Luffy and Steven) for two reasons:
    • Several fans love the fact that Steven fused with Luffy based on a joint desire to save their friend. However, others feel that the fusion was not earned given the fact that they only knew each other for a few days at most.
    • Lufven assisting bringing down Crocodile. While some had no issue with it due to the fact that it allowed for a wonderful introduction for Sardonyx, others were not pleased that a key moment in Luffy's character development was robbed from him and that Crocodile was removed from the story early on. For what it is worth, the author has acknowledged these points in both the commentary and within the story itself, making it a plot point about how Luffy is not sure if he would be strong enough to defeat Crocodile by himself.
    Monkey D. Luffy: "Steven, fusion is awesome! I love it! I love Lufven! I…I just also need to know that I can fight my own fights too. When we fought that hippo-guy, Lufven kicked ass. But Crocodile…we didn't need to fuse then. We could have tag-teamed him and taken him down together. It just sounded so cool at the time, and it seemed like we could solve all of our problems with it! Instead...instead we got stabbed."
    Steven Universe: "I know…but what does that mean? Do…do you not want to fuse with me anymore?"
    Monkey D. Luffy: "What I mean is that Lufven is benched…for now. It has nothing to do with me wanting to fuse with you or anything. We need to get stronger together. When we fight together, that is what I want us to do: I want us to fight side by side like friends…like brothers! But rest assured: when the time is right, Lufven will kick ass again!"
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  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Surprisingly, the "Ocean's Dream" arc. Drillmaster (the author) has gone on record that he dislikes the majority of anime filler with special disdain going towards the "Warship Island" arc and the "Ocean's Dream" arc. In the commentary for the chapters posted on the Tumblr, Drillmaster highlighted the three biggest issues he had with the filler (besides the obvious delay before the Aokiji fight): the length of how far the character's amnesia went was inconsistent (servicing to only show the cast right before they met Luffy), the lack of character examination with the sudden change in attitude, and the characters of Noko and Tatsu the seahorse. Drillmaster goes on in great detail to elaborate why nothing outside of the general premise that Robin learns about her crew using amnesia as a plot device makes sense in a narrative context or as a way to engage the viewer. As such, he took on the task of adapting the arc in a manner that made more sense (creating a set reason for why the amnesia worked the way it did: by taking away one month of memories for every year you were born), taking the time to examine character interactions and motivations (specifically Amethyst.), and for altering Noko and Tatsu into practically completely characters (such as making Tatsu actually a Corrupted Gem named Bixbite, who had gotten sent to the Grand Line using a Rifting Stone in the last days of the war). The end result was an arc that not only went over well by the fanbase, but was stated to be the author's favorite arc in the story this far, which is surprising given that he was not originally going to adapt it at all.
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  • Unexpected Character: Beyond the various characters from the CN Multiverse, nobody could have predicted the inclusion of Phil, a character created for the long-running One Piece fan fiction Luffy's Renewed Adventure becoming a reoccurring character at all.
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