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sahugani
May 19, 2007, 09:28 PM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 456

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This has been a great relaxing day away from my studies

Sorry I haven’t really been around much lately. With midterms around the corner, I was forced to set up some priorities. However, three factors kept me from abandoning my reviews this week due to the exams. 1 - The reviews offer me an escape from overstressing myself, so this way I don’t kill myself studying. 2 – This chapter of One Piece was just too good to pass up and the thought of it would have haunted my studies otherwise. 3 – As I’m away at college, birthday presents are coming a bit late so I’m giving myself a present of indulging my analytical mind. Also, this week finally marks the return of Franky House as the source of pics for my review, so thanks guys. This week’s title WP is a piece by sora-ko (http://sora-ko.deviantart.com/) over at Deviantart, so take a peek at her gallery.


Beaten and Bruised

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How does a robot cry?

As sad as it is, we saw this coming. Spacey’s forces are easily taken down by the space pirate captain and are lucky to be left alive (they are likely still alive due to the fact that they are robots). It is a depressing loss for Spacey and he cries because he was not able to do anything against those who caused the doctor’s death. However, we know that this loss did not stop his efforts as we saw him still fighting at the present time. Enel can learn a lot about strength of heart from these little guys.


A Victim’s Fate

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he could have been a bit more creative with the guy dying

Once again we return to Brooke as he explains the aftermath of the shadow stealing process to Franky and Robin. After a shadow is removed, the original body will sleep for two days, in which time, Moria sends the strong ones out to sea. He cannot kill the original body without killing the resulting zombie as well due to the fact that the shadow is still linked to the original soul. Since Thriller Bark is shrouded in mist, chances are slim that the original body can find its way back to reclaim its shadow. Due to this, Brooke has suggested that Franky and Robin return to the Sunny and await the delivery of their Nakama’s bodies. In combination with later revelations in the chapter, many of my fears from last chapter regarding the future of the arc have been quelled, but I’ll get to many of those issues later. From the looks of it, it seems the Franky and Robin are going to meet up with the unconscious bodies of Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji on the Sunny while Usopp, Nami and Chopper are still stuck on the island inside Bearsy’s stuffing, thus once again making them the only ones in immediate danger while the others reenter the danger of their own free will. Also, as I have mentioned before, there have been some little inconsistencies regarding the issue of Sanji being captured including the manner in which Moria mentioned him (the blonde guy he put out orders for rather than caught) and the fact that his shadow was in an inferior body that was subsequently blasted by Absalom. If Absalom’s ability somehow has the ability to bypass the need for purification to kill a zombie, we may not see Sanji return to the boat with the others. If so, then we can expect to see Sanji in the background as I predicted.


The Purification

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Salt, great for killing snails...and gigantic spider monkey zombies

Before leaving the Franky/Robin pair, Brooke gives them a bag of salt and reveals the trick behind his purification of Talaran. Once again Oda has thrown our way an explanation that is both completely logical and surprising. Since the corpses are bonded to the stolen shadows through the power of a devil fruit, a part of seawater, salt, is used to dissolve that bond and release the shadow from the zombie’s body. However, this explanation does give rise to a few inconsistencies regarding the nature of the devil fruit’s weakness to the sea. We have seen many times (actually mostly through testimony that they can’t swim at all) that DF users are useless in water be it seawater or freshwater. That would mean that the active aspect of seawater on a DF user is the water instead of the salt. In that sense, salt technically should not be an effective tool to disrupt DF abilities. Maybe its like the different forms of kryptonite in Superman where different forms of seawater have different effects. Anyways, it’s really best not to think about it as even though Oda is by far the best storywriter I’ve seen, inconsistencies are a regular part of this series (how can certain human body shapes or sizes physically exist; how does a skeleton move without a brain or muscles; where did Garp’s giant steel ball come from).


Rampage of Hanauta

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that buzzard was just a tad bit late in Brooke's case

For a couple chapters now we have known that Brooke was a master swordsman and we have seen how the island’s inhabitants have reacted to his existence, but we finally hear from Brooke what happened that made him so infamous here. When his shadow was taken 5 years earlier, he was deemed too strong to live on the island and was cast out on his ship. Somehow he was able to retrace his ship’s path and return to the island, which begs the question of how exactly he did that. With a moving island shrouded in fog, they do the exact same thing to every other warrior who is considered too strong to live on the island, but he is the only one who was able to find his way back quickly. I doubt if Oda will address this, but I really hope he will. Anyways, upon his return, he caused extensive havoc on the island’s zombies before he met his defeat (presumably at the hands of Ryuuma) and fled the island on his ship. Since then he has wished only to escape the Triangle, die, and fulfill a wish of his dead nakama, though a couple of these might be linked. I believe that the wish of his nakama lies somewhere outside of the Triangle, but the actual escape is more related to his wish to die. As he is a skeleton already, I can’t imagine how any more damage to his body could cause his death. The only hope he has for death is to have his shadowless body evaporated by exposure to the sun. I know that many will use his quote of wanting to fulfill the wish of his nakama as a reason why he would join the crew. Remember though that each of the Strawhats’ dreams are their own and not passed down from another person. If the wish of Brooke’s nakama was the goal of the crew as a whole prior to entering the Triangle, I would consider it as a legitimate clue towards his recruitment. However, if it was something like the dying wish of a crewmate, then it is more evidence towards Brooke surviving and fulfilling this wish for his nakama on his own separate from the Strawhats.


The Dreams of the Mysterious Three

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i need a timeline to figure some stuff out eventually

We return to the room where Luffy’s shadow has been amputated and held by the hands of Gecko Moria. The trio have left their hiding place within Bearsy to witness the unbelievable event, but are quick to return to safety when Perona looks back over. Now that the strongest shadow yet is in their hands, each of Moria’s commanders reveal their reasons for following the shichibukai. Hogback has long awaited the birth of the 900 zombie as he likely considers the corpse used to be his crowning achievement in his surgical career. Absalom dreams of commanding graveyards all over the world, which makes sense as he has a thing about controlling people (he wants his wife to be weak and obedient, he likes telling his subordinates what to do, etc). Perona also has dreams of control over people, but hers are less like Absalom’s alpha male type militaristc command, but more like turning everyone into living zombie dolls that she can play with. Moria also reveals his dreams to us in the scene and like his subordinates, he highly values the obedience of the zombies he will create, but he also reveals a surprising piece of info from his past.


Moria’s Past

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I wonder if this guy will like Luffy

The reason he wants the strength of the 900 zombie is so that he can control enough power to beat a man in the New World called Kaidou. If my train of thought is correct (i.e. it is not just my creative imagination fabricating a mental fanfic history), this one sentence reveals a huge amount of information about Moria’s personality, the reason for most of his actions, and even a future character for the crew to meet in the New World. As a pirate captain, Moria has a lot of pride in his strength, so after being beaten, his only thought is to return to his opponent and reclaim his pride lost in that fight. To do that, he pretended to sell out to the World Government and became a Shichibukai in order to gain access to knowledge and resources a normal pirate would be incapable of obtaining. Due to the nature of his method of beating pirates for the government, he was able to hide the knowledge of his crew and ongoing dream of being Pirate King from his employer. Through his new connection, he was able to entice Hogback to join him and by combining their two skills were able to create zombies, including one that had the potential to beat any enemy Moria would ever face. As for my personal theory as to the identity of Moria’s opponent, I think Kaidou is one of the Yonkou. As the two strongest factions in the New World are the pirates and government, Kaidou is likely a part of one or the other and as Moria turned to the WG to gather strength, I doubt he’d join the same side as his enemy. Regarding strength, an emporer would clearly have the power to take down Moria. Finally, Oda has made a habit of naming characters long before we actually see them or realize that an already seen character is that person (Whitebeard, Blackbeard, Jimbei, Luffy’s grandfather aka Garp), and now that the Yonkou have been introduced into the story, it makes sense that Oda would give us another hinted at unknown within the group.


Spider Mice’s Report

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Hogback seems very similar to Usopp in many ways

As Moria and the commanders begin to walk towards the new vessel for Luffy’s shadow, the spider mice arrive and Absalom orders them to take Luffy’s body back to the Sunny. The mice however first make the report that Talaran has been defeated and his shadow extracted by Hanauta. The mice, Hogback, and Absalom start stressing out because they remember the situation from 5 years earlier when Brooke stated rampaging on the island and caused all sorts of problems. Perona doesn’t know what the big deal is, which implies two things: that she entered Moria’s employ less than 5 years ago and Brooke has deftly managed to avoid detection by Perona’s network of ghosts. Moria is more concerned with finishing the 900 zombie and passes off the task of dealing with Brooke to his subordinates. However, the spider mouse also whispers something in Absalom’s ear that causes his worry over the seriousness of the matter to dissolve and has full confidence that Brooke won’t be as much of an issue this time. As that matter is dealt with, the spider mice take away Luffy’s body as previously ordered and the cowardly three inside Bearsy are left as the only Strawhats who are not on their way to the safety of Sunny.


Franky’s Emotional…Again

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What noble words did Brooke say...not that it takes that much to make Franky cry

The general zombie force including Captain John and Jigoroh (Zoro’s zombie) arrive at the site of Talaran’s corpse to find Franky, Robin, and Brooke gone. Franky and Robin were supposed to go to the Sunny as instructed by Brooke, but that does not seem to be where they are going. Logically, to get back to the ship, they would need to go down to the ground and make their way back to the forest, but they are going up stairs in the giant tower/mast behind Hogback’s mansion, so they seem to have a different plan than the one Brooke suggested. While running, Franky is once again crying (and denying that he is crying) about Brooke’s answer to Franky’s final question before parting ways. From that response, both Franky and Robin agree that Brooke is a great person, but we are let wondering what that answer was. The theory I’m going with for now is that Franky asked what dream he promised to fulfill for his nakama.


Clash of Flesh and Bones

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i can imagine a pretty girl walking in mid-fight and then in harmony "may i see your panties?"

While Franky and Robin left to go somewhere outside Brooke’s plan, the skeleton himself found his way to Hogback’s lab to face off against his zombie other, Ryuuma. As the two talk, it is quite evident that Ryuuma was indeed the one who beat Brooke 5 years earlier and caused the shame that made him run away. From the beginning, the chances of Brooke winning are slim to none. As his shadow is within Ryuuma, both have access to the same skillset and the only differences between the two are the strength of their bodies and the quality of their swords. As Brooke said, if a strong shadow is fused with a strong body, an even stronger zombie is born. As Ryuuma’s body is that of a dragon slaying samurai, I think it is safe to say that his body is of the highest grade. Brooke on the other hand has a body that lacks muscles, so while he still can use his skills as a swordsman from his first life, his body now is much more frail compared to what it was let alone that of a legendary swordsman. Another aspect in Ryuuma’s favor is likely the quality of the blades they use. While Brooke’s sword is cool in that it is a cane and is likely a much better blade than most, Ryuuma’s seems to have all the markings of one of the meitou. I believe Brooke will lose this fight and may aid Zoro by lending his sword to complete the santouryuu as the Pirate Hunter takes his place in the match.


The Body of the Devil

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that must have been a bitch to move

To finish off the long sequence of revelations that make this the best chapter of the current arc so far, Oda shows us the body which Moria intends to fuse with Luffy’s shadow to create the all powerful 900 zombie. The beastly corpse is uncharacteristically evil and menacing for the series, which is a sign that Oda is taking a new turn with the direction of the story. Now that the Strawhats are famous for their victory at the Judicial Island, all the major players from all corners of the world will take notice of them. Stronger enemies will appear and use darker methods to crush the dreams of the Strawhats. Okay back to the demonic giant discussion. According to Moria, this creature, Oz, was the leader of a country of criminals 500 years beforehand. I could not be happier with Oda at this point. Last week I mentioned my concern about Luffy’s final fight for this arc due to the fact that Moria was not a giant as previously thought, had a DF not suited for direct combat, and also looks somewhat ridiculous. In combination with Moria’s tendency to let others fight and act for him, having this beast as the vessel for Luffy’s soul creates an absolutely perfect condition for a good final fight. As the CP9 arc showed us, the main enemy for Luffy is not always the leader of the enemy force but could be a subordinate who the leader puts his complete faith in. A Luffy versus Oz fight solves every problem I saw with Luffy fighting Moria. Oz actually looks intimidating, so the fight can be taken seriously by fans. Luffy is facing for the first time in the Grand Line an opponent that lacks a DF ability, which I have wanted for a while now as otherwise it would imply it takes a DF to be powerful. I was disappointed that Moria wasn’t a giant because I thought my theory for Luffy advancing his use of Gear 3 had died. Now that we see the size of Oz, the theory is once again valid. Luffy can use the strength of a giant against an actual giant (or whatever gigantic thing he is). I’ll provide in spoilers why it will be Gear 3 that Luffy will use and not a new Gear 4 or something like that that has been theorized.

for a while now, people have theorized that Luffy will use a Gear 4 to beat whatever opponent he faces this arc. I think that this theory is just people getting carried away with their love for gears 2 and 3 after seeing them and wanting to see the next stage. Many see dear 4 as a combination of gear 2’s speed and gear 3’s strength despite the fact that the very nature of 3 is what slowed him down. However there are a couple things to realize before jumping to this conclusion. First of all, Oda pushed the DBZ connection to the limit in the CP9 arc with the rokushiki techniques and having each Strawhat win by pulling out a new form rather than a new technique. He’s a good enough story writer to not continue that trend for too long. Also, despite the fact that gear 3 was introduced during the Lucci fight, it was gear 2 that ultimately won the battle, thus leaving Luffy with an ultra-powered ability that is not quite battle ready. Gear 3’s appearance in CP9 is merely a teaser for what its power will be like when a situation calls for its perfection to help Luffy win. I’d say facing an opponent of Oz’s size fulfills that condition.


Overall

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true, but i think i deserve a break on my birthday

Thank you Oda for this chapter you have blessed us with. Last chapter you tested our faith with Moria’s appearance, but we endured and believed in you. Now our belief has been returned many times over with your love as you give us a better chapter than we could possibly hope for. These are the chapters I live for and is what makes Oda so much better an author than other manga writers. In each chapter he not only fits in more actual story progression, but he also gives us a perfect balance of humor, wonderment and suspense to keep us hooked. I’ve started my roommate on One Piece and we just finished the anime (I would have had him read through the manga first, but as he plays a lot of WoW, the anime actually forces him to pay attention). I cannot wait to see his reaction when he gets through the Water 7 wrap-up (though I want to see his reaction to that too) and starts Thriller Bark.

conan
May 20, 2007, 08:36 AM
amazing saguhani, great reviews, I have a few comments if you dont mind, first about the zombie salt connection, I didnt really go that far in analyzing it, it seems very acceptable to me for the following reason, the zombies are a very artificial thing, they are made by the power and knowledge of moria and hogback, most artificial things have a weakness of sorts, lets say an electronic chip, if you over heat it it doesnt work anymore and might be completely damaged, or a cd next to a magnet doesnt work anymore, thats how I see zombies, the interesting thing about it to me is that how the hell did brooke find out, I would think the possibility is that he most likely found out from a zombie who was scared of him after he'd beaten the weakling zombies, someone just opened his mouth to save himself, just like what happened when luffy asked about usopp nami and chopper and the zombies ended up heads down in the ground.

I like what you said about the identity of moria's defeater, and it seems most likely to be the truth, and about oz, I think he looks like barry the chopper from full metal alchemist, but he is a giant ofcourse, I just want to know how he will look like with luffy's personality in him, thats definately going to be funny, and they had to name him oz, thats my nick name my sister calls me by, but I assure you I dont have a 900 tatoo on my hand and I am not a frozen giant.

about the gear 3 and 2 thing, I think your absolutely right, gear 3 will have a priority here and be shown to its full potential against a giant instead of having a gear 4, I think there might be a gear 4 , but its not this time and not soon, it might be much later on in the new world, but then again oda has the ability to be creative when it come to power, first it was devil fruit and then it was the gear 2and 3 which I still can tbelieve he thought of, and maybe when luffy needs a power up to face the strongest of pirates its going to be something new and better.

wow I rambled, have to go now.

sahugani
May 20, 2007, 11:53 AM
amazing saguhani, great reviews, I have a few comments if you dont mind, first about the zombie salt connection, I didnt really go that far in analyzing it, it seems very acceptable to me for the following reason, the zombies are a very artificial thing, they are made by the power and knowledge of moria and hogback, most artificial things have a weakness of sorts, lets say an electronic chip, if you over heat it it doesnt work anymore and might be completely damaged, or a cd next to a magnet doesnt work anymore, thats how I see zombies, the interesting thing about it to me is that how the hell did brooke find out, I would think the possibility is that he most likely found out from a zombie who was scared of him after he'd beaten the weakling zombies, someone just opened his mouth to save himself, just like what happened when luffy asked about usopp nami and chopper and the zombies ended up heads down in the ground.

As i said alot of Oda's stuff must be taken at face value so that your brain doesn't explode. As for how Brooke learned about this, i think that it is another thing Oda won't really have the time to go into, but we may get some in-episode filler in the anime to explain it.


I like what you said about the identity of moria's defeater, and it seems most likely to be the truth, and about oz, I think he looks like barry the chopper from full metal alchemist, but he is a giant ofcourse, I just want to know how he will look like with luffy's personality in him, thats definately going to be funny, and they had to name him oz, thats my nick name my sister calls me by, but I assure you I dont have a 900 tatoo on my hand and I am not a frozen giant.

damn i knew Oz looked familar, but i just couldn't place it. he really does look like Barry the Chopper's armor. as for how that frightening demeanor will change with Luffy's shadow inhabiting it, in normal circumstances, i think we can expect alot of wonderment and sparkly eyes as he sees all this cool stuff around him. in battle though, he'll be a terrifying opponent for Luffy


about the gear 3 and 2 thing, I think your absolutely right, gear 3 will have a priority here and be shown to its full potential against a giant instead of having a gear 4, I think there might be a gear 4 , but its not this time and not soon, it might be much later on in the new world, but then again oda has the ability to be creative when it come to power, first it was devil fruit and then it was the gear 2and 3 which I still can tbelieve he thought of, and maybe when luffy needs a power up to face the strongest of pirates its going to be something new and better.

i agree its a possibility, but i still don't have much hope for gear 4 to ever be a possibility. we'll see.

wow I rambled, have to go now.[/QUOTE]


in most cases there is nothing wrong with rambling in my opinion

MDLatqp
May 20, 2007, 04:58 PM
Superb as always sahugani; you do us proud, lol. Thanks a bunch!

Ehllychan
August 18, 2007, 03:11 PM
I just wanted to say I just LOVE all your One Piece reviews! And I wouldn't be exagerating if I said I joined this forum because of them. It's just the truth.
I have just one comment about this one, when you talked about Perona not knowing about Brook, it's actually just because she was sleeping when he came to Thrillerbark 5 years ago. Yeah, it's stupid like that, and I think you problably already know this, but I you didn't mentioned anything on the review you made from the chapter where Brook's past visit to Thrillerbark is shown, so I felt like I had to point that out *points to avatar*.
Sorry if I just start posting like this, but I just gotta comment ^^ I totally adore Thrillerbark <3