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sahugani
March 25, 2007, 01:20 AM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 449

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Should I just continue to go back to older Oda originals or get recent stuff from Deviantart artists?

It’s been two weeks of torture as we were denied a chapter last week, but Oda has made up for it this time (well he does seem to do it with every chapter but that’s not the point). I’m home from college this week, so finals, the plane flight, and sharing a computer have put off starting my reviews, so I was kinda afraid that I’d get this review out late. However, I’m in such a One Piece mood that I decided to forego my habit of doing Bleach first so this is somewhat on time and Bleach will be pretty late comparatively. Well, Franky House Scanlations has once again blessed us with a MQ scan for my pics, so let’s start.


Goal Revealed

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Real men aren't afraid to cry

It was implied last week, but now we have confirmation that the next target for the wrath of the Mugiwara Pirates is another Shichibukai, Gecko Moria (I know FH uses Gekko, but I’m going by the actual animal name). From the wounded old man we get a bit more explanation of the situation Moria has created on the island and the position he has put Luffy’s crew into. His heart wrenching tale brings Franky to tears (not that it’s that hard) and the reaction of Sanji is pretty amusing. Ironically, he says that only women should be allowed to cry for sad stories, but the only woman in the group is the one that never seems moved by the plights of others. Luffy on the other hand reacts quite predictably to the news that Moria has targeted him. Since he was already going after the shadow thief for Brooke, the facts that he will save others in the process and that Moria is coming for him simply fall along the same path and so he’s more than happy to grant the old man’s wishes. The old man isn’t the only one who shows his gratitude though as the multitude of shadowless victims cheer on Luffy without leaving their hidden posts.


Bad Science

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The typical mad scientist pose

While Luffy’s group learns more about the truth of the island as a whole, the trio in the castle finally find themselves at the door to Hogback’s lab, to the delight of Chopper. However, they are finally forced to realize that it is Hogback himself that created all of the zombies and stitched creatures of the island. This scene does prove my prediction from the first mention of Dr. Hogback that he created life from death in a similar fashion as Dr. Frankenstein. This image is pounded even further in this chapter by the appearance of the future zombie lying on the table, who looks like the stereotype version of Frankenstein’s monster.


Assistant’s Sadness

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For breakfast tomorrow, oatmeal

While the scene does give the solid proof of this connection that we have long suspected, it breaks my former view of Cindry’s role. Before, I figured that she would have been left out of Hogback’s lab and Cindry shrine to protect her from remembering her tragic past. Instead, she still acts as his assistant in the laboratory and is still the strongest comic influence for his scenes. I’ve developed a new view for her character. I still believe that she is his first successful resurrection because of Hogback’s apparent devotion to her and the fact that she lacks a number. As the first success, it is likely that there were some faults in the process and so she applies the misery she felt at her death (I still think suicide) to various aspects of her second life. Her misery now causes her to look at everything pessimistically and wishes plates didn’t exist and hopes for Hogback’s experiments to fail. This has also started making me think about the future roles of the crew at the end of the arc. As I’ve stated, I believe that Chopper will be fighting Absalom (due to Chopper’s smell overcoming invisibility) who will be protecting Hogback. I think that somewhat prior to this, Usopp and Nami’s role will be to find the truth behind Cindry and Hogback and their discovery will be what enrages Chopper to fight.


Familiar Voice

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Damn you Oda!!! I wanna see his face

As the trio tries to make sense of what Hogback is doing, we once again see the swordsman from the hallway and once again are left in the dark as to who he actually is. As we noticed a couple weeks ago, his laugh is the same as Brooke and the trio notices that as well. Now our shock from last chapter is passed to them as they pose all the questions we had regarding his connection to the skeleton. His laugh is the same, but he has flesh on his bones, so how can they be the same person? My best guess is that he had some relation to Brooke (and thus the same laugh) on the pirate ship before it got taken down by other pirates. While Brooke was revived due to his devil fruit, this man was revived by Hogback. As we have not seen much of his skin, we cannot tell if he has the trademark stitches, so it can’t be proven yet. The thing that angers me most about his character is that even after making a huge scene forcing Usopp, Nami, and Chopper into the lab, he does not enter himself to talk to Hogback. Since the following scene was so short, we may see him next chapter, but for now Oda is trying to keep us in suspense as to his connection to Brooke.


Breaking the Rules

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As expected, the villain tells what will happen next

After the swordsman forces the trio into Hogback’s lab, they begin to hear some truth from the surgeon’s own mouth. Usopp tries to deny seeing anything (as expected) but Hogback will not let it go. While Hogback mentions that the other guests on the island are in trouble, he doesn’t seem to offer a threat to the ones in front of him. I find it hard to accept that Oda will pass up the opportunity to develop Chopper through Hogback, so my best guess for next week regarding this situation is that Hogback will have the swordsman remove Nami and Usopp and he will prey on Chopper’s admiration and trust by telling some lie to explain his actions in a noble way.


Perv Zombie

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Just like them, we all follow a pervert called Oda

Hogback announces that the offensive has begun and the first army to gather is the zombies from the graveyard. Giving the inspirational speech that raises them from the soil is none other than Absalom, who stands proudly atop a grave as he dispels his invisibility to lead his decayed troops into battle. The zombies are still clueless as ever though as they mention his perverted nature. It is important to note a couple things about Absalom and his troops. First of all, he can turn his invisibility on and off, which proves that it is an ability and not a permanent aspect of his character. To me this means that it is something that he relies strongly on in battles and part of his defeat will be the realization that someone can overcome it. He believes himself untouchable and Chopper will be to him what Luffy was to Enel.


Ghost Fusion

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She reminds me of the girl in Foxy's crew. i wonder if she'll try to take Chopper

After meeting Absalom’s army of zombies, we see the commander of the island’s second force, Pelona of the ghosts. Unlike Absalom’s army, Pelona’s ghosts seem to all be a part of her. We saw before that they divided by dancing, so by fusing together, they take a human shape. This makes the ghost even more dangerous than previously thought. In addition to being able to replicate and destroy the spirit of whoever they touch, they are connected and all of their knowledge is shared, making them the perfect spies. I also find it highly ironic that someone that is part of a dark themed group would have an obsession with cuteness. More than ever I imagine her future duel to be against Robin. First of all, Nami would be severely damaged by the spirit crushing ability but if anyone has the mental strength to resist this seemingly unbeatable ability, it is Nico Robin. Also, with the ability to spawn endless ghosts, Robin’s ability to spawn her parts anywhere would be extremely useful in applying whatever plan she has to all of the ghosts simultaneously. In addition to these combat reasons, I think it would be great to hear the conversation between a cuteness-obsessed enemy and the woman who considered Cerberus cute (which I also happen to agree with).


Waking the Beast

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Does popping nosebubbles really wake people up?

With the two commanders ready to go, all that is left is to awaken the Shichibukai himself, Gecko Moria. To our surprise he is a giant. In heinsight, this makes perfect sense. Mermen and giants have both been proven to be extremely strong and both have been known to enter piracy. In a group of seven extremely strong pirates like the Shichibukai, it is easy to assume that a giant pirate would make the cut. This also makes Luffy’s battle with him extremely interesting. We have already seen Luffy slow down a 100 million beli pirate giant who was weakened by poison, but it was questionable or laughable whether he could have taken Dory at full strength. Although Luffy has already tripled Dory’s bounty, if he takes down Moria, it will be a major marker in his level of strength. For this battle, I can expect gear 3 to make a glorious comeback. It was introduced in Enies Lobby, but ultimately gear 2 was more useful against a fast opponent like Lucci. Facing a giant will allow Luffy a large enough target so that he can pit his gigantic strength against a real giant. I really hope to see some new “gigant” versions of his attacks. Before we only saw attacks that were direct single limb moves in their original forms (pistol, whip, axe). Maybe this time we may see a more powerful version were he inflates two limbs allowing bazooka and spear versions. Due to the hardness and size of the gigant attacks, I doubt we’ll see a gigant version of my favorite attack, rifle, because he can’t twist his arms.


Giant Jolly Roger

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Hell ya!!!

Once again we return to Luffy’s group as they come to the mansion. The fog covered it up when Usopp’s group arrived, but rain has allowed the new heroes to see the enormous sail of Thriller Bark, the largest Pirate ship in the world. Before I say anything else, I must state that Moria has one of the most badass Jolly Rogers ever. The image makes this island really seem like hell. We have seen the walking dead and ghosts of the damned, but the flag symbolizes the flames of Hell and the atmosphere that surrounds the name Moria. The fact that this island is a pirate ship has profound effects for the story. First of all, it shows that Moria, like Donflamingo, doesn’t give a shit about the government’s policy for Shichibukai to abandon their crews. This gives some hope for Blackbeard to join the Shichibukai. As it can be easily assumed, the Blackbeard crew is very likely to be involved in a major battle later down the road, so it is unlikely that he would abandon them upon becoming a Shichibukai. Since Moria seems to get away with it, it is now not unheard of and along with the eventual defeat of a second member, Blackbeard’s appointment seems all the more likely. While I’m on the subject, I STRONGLY believe that the Blackbeard crew’s later battle will not be against the Strawhats but instead against the Redhair pirates. I’ll spoiler tag this theory as it’s not relevant to the chapter but people are more likely to take it seriously here than the multiple times I’ve put it forward in the Tree of Knowledge

It is pretty clear that the Blackbeard crew will have major 1-on-1 battles with another crew later on in the story and being that the Strawhats are the main protagonists it is easy to think that the fight will be with them. However, if you look closely, the Redhair crew is set up much more for this fight in terms of both compatibility and story. For story purposes, Shanks is the one who bears the best reasoning for fighting Blackbeard. It can be argued that Luffy would want to fight him for taking down Ace, but there are two main problems with this idea. First of all, I highly doubt that Ace is dead and he will simply remain in the shadows until a later point where he is needed. If Ace is not truly dead, it takes much of the emotion from a fight fought for that reason. Also, Luffy and Ace’s relationship makes this unlikely. Even if Luffy hears the news of Ace’s death, he has enough faith in his brother to not believe it and would not divert his course to investigate. We have already seen Luffy show the level of intuition his blind faith in others on many occasions dealing with his own crew.

In terms of compatibility, the Redhairs are better suited to fight Blackbeard’s crew as well.

Shanks vs. Blackbeard – Much better than Luffy for both emotional and combat reasons. First of all, Shanks has a reason to hate Blackbeard from the past and a fight would give an opportunity for his own dramatic flashback to his youth when BB gave him the signature scar. In terms of the fight itself, BB would easily nullify Luffy’s ability with his power. Since Luffy’s attacks are based on amplifying regular combat with his power, the strength of his attacks would be limited. Also, he would once again be able to take blunt damage. It makes much more sense for a non-DF user to take BB down. Shanks has proven his swordsmanship against both Whitebeard and Mihawk, so BB’s power at least does not hamper Shanks’ abilities.

Yasopp vs. Van Auger – Oda’s habit of only directly classifying snipers in the three major crews (Strawhat, Redhair, Blackbeard) makes a duel between Van Auger and one of the other two inevitable. Other than the fact that Shanks is the more likely opponent for BB, I have no real evidence for Yasopp over Usopp. However, this fight makes me believe that the BB fight may actually start out against the Strawhats and the Redhairs take over to allow Luffy’s crew to accomplish some other objective. Usopp needs to prove himself to his father and I think Yasopp seeing Usopp hold his own against Van Auger before taking over himself is the perfect opportunity for that.

Beckman vs. Laffite – Less reasoning than the first two matches, but his style and intelligence make him a much more likely opponent for Laffite. Not only do both seem to use club type weapons (butt of a rifle and cane), but Laffite’s style is likely extremely crafty and full of tricks (as assumed by his sneaky nature and appearance). Ben Beckman’s intelligence (as proven by Oda) is high enough to create a split second plan to counter these tricks.

Lucky vs. Burgess – this fight is more a “battle of the best” type of fight. Both are absolutely enormous making the physical comparison of their battle balanced. However, while Bergess proclaims to be the best wrestler, Lucky’s ironic speed will cause an interesting clash of powers.

Rockstar vs. Doc Q – Well neither character we know much about in terms of battle capabilities, so this fight is more due to story issues regarding Rockstar. Oda introduced him into the main members of the crew and gave him a personality, so I believe he will come back as his character has a strong need to prove himself to his superiors.


A Shichibukai Crew

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think of what his and Nami's children would look like

As the officers of the Moria crew have begun to gather their subordinates, we finally get an image of them as they begin their offensive. I personally love Absalom’s look. Robin said she heard a beast and he indeed does have the appearance of both a beast and a man. This only strengthens the link between him and Chopper. Neither is quite human and I would not be surprised if Absalom’s perverted nature and desire for a wife stem from a desire for acceptance that he tries to force from women. This is just one more aspect that affects Chopper’s emotional battle. Both Absalom and Hogback represent aspects of Chopper’s character that have been taken in a dark direction and by overcoming both, Chopper will prove to himself both his strength as a man and a doctor.


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I'd laugh if she faught Sanji and he became "the Prince"

We also see the true form of Pelona, the ghost commander. Fitting with her cuteness obsession, she takes the appearance of a young girl. Just like a young girl playing princess, she bears a crown and scepter, but she has the power to hurt those who make fun of her for her childishness. This once again implies that her fight will be with Robin. The girl who was denied a childhood is the perfect opponent for the girl who lives her childish dreams endlessly.


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there is a chance that Moria's real face is that black because of the shadow stuff

In the frame, we also see Hogback, implying that he is another officer of Moria’s forces, though I doubt that his role is related to combat. He is likely in a situation similar to Nami’s role in Arlong’s crew (though his situation was likely more of his own desire). Like Nami was useful to Arlong as a mapmaker but not as a combatant, Hogback is treated as a VIP in Moria’s crew for his ability to create zombies despite the fact that he lacks physical strength. Unfortunately, we do not get to see either Moria’s face or the true appearance of the swordsman, who I can only assume is a crewmate as well. Maybe next chapter.


Overall

Once again Oda has outdone himself. The two weeks of waiting were worth it as we begin to see the truth behind the mysterious island. The only regret I have about this chapter is that we still have no new information about the mysterious swordsman other than the fact that his laugh is recognizable by Usopp, Nami, and Chopper. As a whole, the chapter made enormous revelations and, through some analysis, clues that foreshadow possible later events. All that is left to make me the happiest person ever is to bring back Cerberus.

Well that took a bit longer than I thought it would, so for those of you who read my Bleach reviews, I’m afraid I don’t think I’ll be able to work on it solidly until tomorrow.

Crenzel
March 25, 2007, 03:15 AM
great review Sahugani :D

not to be rude though.. in the spoiler you stated Van Auger twice :x is it meant to be like that?

venicia777
March 25, 2007, 03:23 AM
Thank you sso much for always our releases when they are available on time. We will try to do more SMQ releases when members arent too involved elsewhere.

The group knows that you always use Our Scans when available.

Hmm-- i didnt post a comment in the previous review.- eeeeeeeeeeeeeH!!!

i will do that first before coming here.

sahugani
March 25, 2007, 04:36 AM
great review Sahugani :D

not to be rude though.. in the spoiler you stated Van Auger twice :x is it meant to be like that?

thanks for catching that. i changed Lucky's opponant to Bugess


Thank you sso much for always our releases when they are available on time. We will try to do more SMQ releases when members arent too involved elsewhere.

The group knows that you always use Our Scans when available.

Hmm-- i didnt post a comment in the previous review.- eeeeeeeeeeeeeH!!!

i will do that first before coming here.

:D I think the main reason i like your scans so much is the people behind them. i've had nothing but good experiences in dealing with Franky House members.

i'll look forward to posts in both reviews then

juUnior
March 25, 2007, 05:21 AM
Nice review sahugani :D

"As expected, the villain tells what will happen next"
Yeah buahaha :D xDxD

hmalik1003
March 25, 2007, 05:38 AM
i loved the review and the spoiler. i just wish u would do a Bleach review today

Luckas
March 25, 2007, 06:30 AM
Great review, sahugani; you are becoming even more better in doing this.
Not very much to add, but I add the impression that the ghosts enter in a body and not they become a body.
And about mysterious swordsman and Brooke I'm not so sure they aren't the same people, even if we can think the trio mistook him for Brooke because of the laugh and because they don't know Brooke appearance with flesh and bones.

sahugani
March 25, 2007, 10:30 AM
Nice review sahugani :D

"As expected, the villain tells what will happen next"
Yeah buahaha :D xDxD

there is a formula for evil geniuses and Hogback fits it perfectly. they laugh with outstretched arms at the sky and when the heroes are trapped, they begin to explain their plan


i loved the review and the spoiler. i just wish u would do a Bleach review today

i'll be working on that today, so don't worry


Great review, sahugani; you are becoming even more better in doing this.
Not very much to add, but I add the impression that the ghosts enter in a body and not they become a body.
And about mysterious swordsman and Brooke I'm not so sure they aren't the same people, even if we can think the trio mistook him for Brooke because of the laugh and because they don't know Brooke appearance with flesh and bones.

:D thanks.

as far a Brooke goes you also must concider the fro. it was firmly rooted, so i doubt he could tame it at will to become this fleshed swordsman

PaperYomiko
March 25, 2007, 04:50 PM
The girl who was denied a childhood is the perfect opponent for the girl who lives her childish dreams endlessly.



Well said. I am definitely looking forward to a good Robin fight this arc.

I'm also thinking the swordsman isn't actually Brooke, but is somehow related to him. Maybe he had a brother on the crew who was turned into a zombie by Hogback (assuming it was Moria's crew that attacked his ship). Brooke just doesn't seem like much of a fighter to me...and he was terrified of Pelona's ghost when it came onto the ship. That would be an awkward relationship if he too were on Moria's crew.

Anyway, nice review, sahugani :amuse

dfcarolinaguy
March 25, 2007, 05:49 PM
I love reading your one piece reviews dude because you analyzed it to perfection. :)

yeste
March 25, 2007, 05:51 PM
A real nice review!!! And I loved the part in the spoiler tag... Makes a lot of sense :)

venicia777
March 28, 2007, 05:38 PM
Great Review. Managed to skim through a few. Will make a short response.

I was amazed when i saw the ghosts circle perona and some even entered her- right?(i read the chapter only once). That will certainly mean they are part of her or that she harbors them inside her body even if they are created from a different source. And also that it could an ability.

[QUOTE]After the swordsman forces the trio into Hogback

sahugani
March 29, 2007, 12:10 AM
i think that if that Frankenstein's monster type zombie on Hogback's table does end up playing a big part, he will fight Sanji. He would seem to be a power fighter with a heavy build. However, i doubt that he will play a major part and i would much rather see Sanji do some behind the scenes work this arc