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sahugani
July 16, 2007, 12:00 AM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 463

http://img117.imageshack.us/img117/8260/sanjibyvashperadosp9.jpg (http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/29736763/)
"You get an F in efficiency, but i have to give you an A+ in dramatic timing" - Sarge

Okay. After a few hours of my favorite game ever, Suikoden II, I’m fully psyched to start picking apart a good storyline. Oda has once again blessed us with a fantastically awesome chapter this week, so lets just get down to it. The pics this week come from Bludshock’s scanlation. This week’s title artwork is from the gallery of vashperado ( http://vashperado.deviantart.com/) over at deviantart, so click the link and admire the rest of his works at his page.


Evil Hero

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the wrong way to treat your admirers

First of all, raise your hands if you called this. Yes, the people who predicted that Enel would attack Spacey were right. He doesn’t quite know how to deal with genuine praise, so he responds like he does to anyone who annoys him by zapping them. Also, just while I’m thinking about it, since the space pirates are pretty much out of the picture, Enel and the little guys form the 5 people that Enel wanted for the populace of Fairy Vearth. Before he can live peacefully with them, they’ve got some issues to work out. Spacey’s guys won’t die, so some people may have been right that as they are robots, Enel has just supercharged them. I guess we’ll see next week.


True Victory

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Guess what's missing

So far we’ve seen Chopper, Robin, Usopp, and Zoro mark their targets. While Luffy and Sanji may have run into their targets already, the act of claiming the duel was saved for this chapter. We start off with Luffy as he faces Gecko Moria in the cold storage. When Luffy mentions his desire to get everyone’s shadows back, Moria laughs and reveals to us the true nature of his power. If we can trust that he is telling the truth, then as the one who commands the shadows, to return them to the original bodies is to have him personally command them to do so. Luffy was a bit too trusting of the old man’s words and so getting the shadows back won’t be as easy as Luffy thought. We don’t even have any evidence to support the idea that the salt-purified zombie shadows return to their masters after being freed. They most likely either remain in limbo till Moria gives an order or return to Moria himself. It looks like Luffy is going to have to beat up Moria to the point where he can still give the order, but can’t fight back. To me this is just more evidence that Luffy’s fight with Oz will be the major one and Moria’s final beating will come afterwards and will be more symbolic. When it comes to the major fights, Luffy beats them unconscious (or blows them away with gomu gomu no bazooka in the case of the comedic enemies). I can’t see Moria being a final fight which Luffy leaves half done. He’ll beat Oz 100% then he’ll kick a scared shitless Moria into giving the order.


Doppelganger

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This blows kagemane no jutsu out ofthe water

When Luffy tries to beat the command out of Moria, the shichibukai reveals the abilities of his kage kage no mi as they pertain to personal combat and I must say they are quite fitting for his character. He can manipulate his own shadow into becoming a doppelganger of himself to fight for him. He has taken his policy of passing work to subordinates to such an extreme that his own personal form of combat is based around letting his shadow replace him. The shadow is even strong enough to stop one of Luffy’s punches, which would not be an easy task for most fighters. It can even break apart and reform into (I’m assuming) any shape Moria desires. In this case, Moria transforms his doppelganger into a bunch of black orbs to block Luffy’s gatling attack and then into a bunch of black bats to bite him. Moria uses his shadow in a very different way than he does with the stolen shadows. The stolen shadows have no strength of their own and simply mimic the form of their original master till they are given a new body. Moria’s not only has a definite and strong physical form, but Moria can shapeshift it at a whim. His devil fruit ability is the power to break and rebond the links between a shadow and a body, but there are special properties regarding his own shadow. We know that if a shadowless person dies, their shadow dies too because the two are still connected. The same applies to Moria’s shadow, but the fact that he uses the fruit allows him full awareness and control of his shadow even when separated from it. He likely removes his shadow from himself the same way he does to any of his victims, but his ability to manipulate shadows lets him freely control the form and actions of his own.


Surprise

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Something tells me he won't land well with legs that short

When Luffy can’t seem to get past Moria’s shadow doppelganger, he resorts to a quite ingenious move. He jumps below the ledge and kicks Moria from underneath and sends him falling down the long drop. This points out a number of flaws in Moria’s fighting style. First of all, his shadow is very likely just as mindless as any other stolen shadow and relies on Moria’s own thoughts to control its movements. As Moria is not in the heat of battle himself, it is difficult for him to accurately gauge his opponent and can’t see from the point of view of the fight. This is more of a minor concern as Moria has used this style enough to probably hone his observational skills to allow him very accurate movement of his shadow substitute. Another possible flaw is that as the shadow is the one doing all the work, Moria’s real body is left defenseless. If an opponent happens to get an attack past the doppelganger, Moria won’t be ready for it and would take more damage than an average fighter. This seems to be exactly what happened in this case. Moria did not expect Luffy to attack in this fashion and so was completely unprepared for an attack that evaded his shadow. Finally, there is the issue of the shadow itself, which I am really just theorizing on right now. First of all, we don’t know how well a shadow like Moria’s doppelganger can exist within another shadow like underneath the platform. It is possible that if Luffy fought Moria in the dark, where he could not produce a shadow, Luffy would be able to fight the real body freely. Also, if Moria’s shadow is truly separated from his real body as I suspect, he would probably be just as susceptible to direct sunlight as any other shadowless individual. If in direct sunlight, he may need to recall his shadow to save his own life, though it would be detrimental to Luffy to fight in direct sunlight, so I’m not sure this will be an issue.


Saving a Damsel

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Yes, the goddess of greed and manipulation

As Moria falls to the bottom of Oz’s chamber, the story turns to Sanji, who has finally found Nami. He blows right past Absalom and happily dances to save her from the arms of a zombie. Upon saving her, he mistakes her for a goddess as her beauty in the white dress transcends his comprehension. This joke runs multiple times through the chapter and helps to form a similarity between Sanji and Absalom, who mistakes her for an angel while distracted from his anger towards his new enemy. This little conversation forges a bond between the two as both reveal their weakness to women. The sight of a beautiful woman is enough to stop both in their tracks and they forget how much they hate each other. In a way, this fight is very similar to Chopper’s duel with Hogback. As I’ve said many times before, Chopper’s issue with Hogback is that the surgeon lacks any form of ethical or moral boundaries when it comes to medical science. Sanji’s issue with Absalom is very similar. Both are extreme lechers, but Absalom lacks any form of respect for the women he desires, so Sanji will beat some manners into him.


Reckless

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Absalom needs to work on reading body language

In addition for lacking respect for a woman’s right to decline his love, Absalom also bears no qualms about the woman’s wellbeing while in his care. When he comes out of his daze admiring Nami’s beauty, he attacks Sanji with his invisible palm blast without thinking about Nami’s safety. This disregard snaps Sanji out of his own daze (though it still goes on and off later on in the chapter). As Sanji sets Nami down away from the line of fire, Absalom starts ranting as he recalls facing Dogpen and bases Sanji’s strength on that experience. He claims that Sanji’s shadow couldn’t even be put into a general zombie and so assumes that the shadow must not have been strong enough to handle it. From this he assumes that Sanji is a mere underling of Luffy who is extremely weak. I think there were a couple interacting factors that may have prevented Sanji’s shadow from being accepted by a general zombie corpse. First of all, Sanji’s style is extremely unique, so I doubt there were very many general zombies with the leg strength to put Sanji’s style to much use. In addition to this, it seems that they did not recognize Sanji as the Black Leg from the wanted poster (which I predicted a long time ago had happened) and so they did not look around for a general zombie to fit him. As they thought he was a nameless underling, they simply tested his body in a general zombie that didn’t work well for him and then called it a failure and put the shadow in a random wild zombie. Zoro was easy to recognize and so the specially selected a swordsman corpse to handle his style.


Ass-whooping

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This is the point where your life flashes before your eyes

Absalom continues his rant as he praises himself, assumes Sanji’s weakness, and complains about all the hardships he has been through in the last couple minutes. When Sanji has heard enough, he shuts up the beast man with a swift kick to the face. According to the zombies watching the attack, Absalom weighs 300 kilograms. As it was already pretty clear, Absalom’s body is a result of Hogback’s surgical modifications. In addition to giving him bestial strength, he gave the zombie commander a much heavier frame. Since he hasn’t really had much close combat, I can’t see the heavy body being used to amplify his punches. My guess is that his long range attack, now known as Dead Man’s Hand, has a lot of kickback and that extra weight allows him to use the powerful technique effortlessly. Regardless of the immense weight, Sanji has no trouble whacking him across the church and despite the power of the dead man’s hand, Sanji is fast enough to evade every use of it. Even after Absalom realizes the danger he’s in and tries to escape by becoming invisible, Sanji locates him with Usopp’s salt balls and gives him what appears to be a final blow (and this also proves once and for all that Absalom is a surgically enhanced human and not a zombie as otherwise the salt would have released a shadow). Not since the very beginning of the series has there been a fight where the Strawhat side displays such a distinct advantage from the very start. That was way too fast for it to be the true battle. As Absalom has already pulled out all the cards we have seen thus far, we can expect to see something completely new from him in the coming chapters to complicate this duel.


More to Come

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he doesn't even need a lighter anymore does he?

After getting his ass handed to him by Sanji, Absalom is shocked that a bountyless pirate could be so good, which confirms my theory that he was not recognized as the Black Leg from the wanted poster. While he tries to figure out how this pirate’s strength is physically possible, Sanji releases the full power of his flames of passion as he explodes in anger. He has already beaten Absalom thoroughly, but his anger is still out of control. He claims that there is one more problem he has with the beast man, which proves that despite the sorry state Absalom is in right now, this fight is far from over. Sanji still has more reasons to beat this guy up, which gives Absalom the time to pull out something new to even the playing field. As for what Sanji’s other grievance is or what Absalom has been holding back, I really have no clue. Sanji has already issued all of the reasons to hate Absalom that relate to his mistreatment of Nami and Robin, so I can’t really imagine what else there is for Sanji to get revenge for. As for Absalom, we still have no clue as to the source of his powers, so it is hard to theorize on what else he is capable of. I am stumped.


Overall

Despite the fact that we have all been hoping to see more progress on Zoro’s fight, we know that his duels are usually the last ones shown before Luffy’s and Sanji’s complete destruction of Absalom was enough to make up for it. As in all his fights, the cigarette is back, which isn’t really all that surprising, but makes us smile (WARNING: don’t smoke! It’s bad for you). Both Luffy and Sanji’s fights obtained success far too quickly, so the fights are far from over. Luffy’s successful hit against Moria is just another violation of the “untouchable rule” of Luffy’s opponents in the history of the series, so I’m still pulling for Luffy vs. Oz in the future. Its probably quite a few chapters away though, so I’ll worry about that then.

haruka9
July 16, 2007, 12:44 AM
As I expressed in the past discussion, I have been suspecting Moria's confidence in his ability and lack of threat from Luffy's appearance. Good thing this chapter finally answers my suspicions. But I am not convinced that he's that strong since he merely relies on his subordinate's actions and just takes advantage of his shadow-manipulating ability that has lots of flaws. I agree with your ideas regarding the shadow's flaws. Since Moria doesn't seem to be an intelligent and strong one, it only takes a good strategy in order to beat him. Bad thing for Luffy, he doesn't have a sense of strategy so the best way he might think to beat down Moria is to kick his ass.

Ever since I learned that the villain, Moria, is manipulating shadows, I thought that the absence of light is one of the ways to beat him down since there wouldn't be any shadow without light. But I wonder if any of our lovable Strawhat Pirates would ever come up would such an idea or strategy to use this fact against the villains.

Sanji's fight is also hilarious. We haven't seen the real seriousness of his fight yet but I really appreciate that his sense of chivalry is emphasized here. The "last" problem might be something lame since his flame of passion is rooted on his weakness to women. But I am also considering the point that it might be something crucial and serious like an issue regarding Brooke's shadow (but this seems vague because Sanji appears to be more focused on Nami and women's welfare than Brooke's issues) or a serious matter regarding women. In short, this "last problem" is either something lame and funny or serious and crucial. But as my instincts tell me, it might have something to do with women (since that thing links Sanji and Absalom).

As this Thriller Bark series makes progress, I doubt more that this arc would be longer. There are lots of issues that aren't solved yet. Apparently, Sanji's fight is not over yet. The other Strawhats are not even starting to make a move. Zoro just appeared before this legendary samurai and we haven't gotten to see the real past of Brooke. I doubt that the Strawhats would have an easy time dealing with their enemies despite the lack of threat that they impose.

I also noticed that the main commanders of Moria (Perona, Absalom, and Hogback) are not really zombies (as what the result shows when Sanji throws salt at Absalom), but humans that are stitched with animal parts. Absalom is like a stitched lion while Hogback looks like a stitched Pengiun. But Perona looks like a normal person without any stitches in her.

I also agree with your theory that Luffy and Oz fight would be the major one here. Their fight's conflict must be fighting against your own shadow. I guess this is one of the essence of using a shadow as the enemy's ability because you get to fight your own abilities and personalities which are quite hard to solve. It's an issue fitting for Luffy as his Gear 3 would be more emphasized rather then Gear 2 (which was impressed on Ennies Lobby arc) and an issue as to how Luffy would be able to handle his own ability.

I also like the fact that the Starwhat's personal ethics and personal issues are mopre addressed here: Zoro is fighting a smaurai which would enhance his swordsmanship; Chopper is addressing his ethical standards as a doctor as he'll fight Hogback; Sanji is fighting Absalom as he addresses the proper way to treat women. There are other issues here that needs to be addressed, especially on Brooke's side because he's the main catch in this arc. Apparently, this arc would be quite long, as there are tons of things that should be addressed and solved.
[hr]
oh by the way, i'm sorry for the words that are wrongly typed. And great review as always

KeIRo
July 16, 2007, 02:14 AM
hmmm... :?

Luckas
July 16, 2007, 04:48 AM
Just a thought: couldn't be that the problem Sanji is referring is that none recognized him as "Black Leg" and his shadow wasn't put in a general zombie meaning he was considered by his enemies weaker than Zoro?

sahugani
July 16, 2007, 05:54 AM
As I expressed in the past discussion, I have been suspecting Moria's confidence in his ability and lack of threat from Luffy's appearance. Good thing this chapter finally answers my suspicions. But I am not convinced that he's that strong since he merely relies on his subordinate's actions and just takes advantage of his shadow-manipulating ability that has lots of flaws. I agree with your ideas regarding the shadow's flaws. Since Moria doesn't seem to be an intelligent and strong one, it only takes a good strategy in order to beat him. Bad thing for Luffy, he doesn't have a sense of strategy so the best way he might think to beat down Moria is to kick his ass.

Ever since I learned that the villain, Moria, is manipulating shadows, I thought that the absence of light is one of the ways to beat him down since there wouldn't be any shadow without light. But I wonder if any of our lovable Strawhat Pirates would ever come up would such an idea or strategy to use this fact against the villains.

Sanji's fight is also hilarious. We haven't seen the real seriousness of his fight yet but I really appreciate that his sense of chivalry is emphasized here. The "last" problem might be something lame since his flame of passion is rooted on his weakness to women. But I am also considering the point that it might be something crucial and serious like an issue regarding Brooke's shadow (but this seems vague because Sanji appears to be more focused on Nami and women's welfare than Brooke's issues) or a serious matter regarding women. In short, this "last problem" is either something lame and funny or serious and crucial. But as my instincts tell me, it might have something to do with women (since that thing links Sanji and Absalom).

As this Thriller Bark series makes progress, I doubt more that this arc would be longer. There are lots of issues that aren't solved yet. Apparently, Sanji's fight is not over yet. The other Strawhats are not even starting to make a move. Zoro just appeared before this legendary samurai and we haven't gotten to see the real past of Brooke. I doubt that the Strawhats would have an easy time dealing with their enemies despite the lack of threat that they impose.

I also noticed that the main commanders of Moria (Perona, Absalom, and Hogback) are not really zombies (as what the result shows when Sanji throws salt at Absalom), but humans that are stitched with animal parts. Absalom is like a stitched lion while Hogback looks like a stitched Pengiun. But Perona looks like a normal person without any stitches in her.

I also agree with your theory that Luffy and Oz fight would be the major one here. Their fight's conflict must be fighting against your own shadow. I guess this is one of the essence of using a shadow as the enemy's ability because you get to fight your own abilities and personalities which are quite hard to solve. It's an issue fitting for Luffy as his Gear 3 would be more emphasized rather then Gear 2 (which was impressed on Ennies Lobby arc) and an issue as to how Luffy would be able to handle his own ability.

I also like the fact that the Starwhat's personal ethics and personal issues are mopre addressed here: Zoro is fighting a smaurai which would enhance his swordsmanship; Chopper is addressing his ethical standards as a doctor as he'll fight Hogback; Sanji is fighting Absalom as he addresses the proper way to treat women. There are other issues here that needs to be addressed, especially on Brooke's side because he's the main catch in this arc. Apparently, this arc would be quite long, as there are tons of things that should be addressed and solved.
<hr noshade size="1">
oh by the way, i'm sorry for the words that are wrongly typed. And great review as always
From the way Luffy's fight is going so far, Oz is going to have to take over to keep Luffy busy long enough for a decent fight. Luffy's already found an angle to work off of and so i highly doubt he has much to fear from Moria. I just can't wait till Oz shows up

As for Sanji's issue, the only things he would take that seriously are women and cooking. However, he seems to have already dealt with the women issue and i doubt Absalom has done anything to insult him as a chef. i really have no idea at this point

i agree with all your other points and don't really have anything to add


hmmm... :?
... ... ... ... huh?


Just a thought: couldn't be that the problem Sanji is referring is that none recognized him as "Black Leg" and his shadow wasn't put in a general zombie meaning he was considered by his enemies weaker than Zoro?
While this is a possibility, i doubt it. i can't see a minor issue like his rivalry with Zoro being kept in suspense like that. As i said before, the only issues desrving of that much attention are women and cooking. it is probabl an extension of the women issue and may have to do with the wedding itself. while he was kicking Absalom's ass, he read through the list of all Absalom's offenses towards women except forcing Nami to marry him. Now that i think about it, he was probably saving that punishment for the grand finale. It is also an issue that might reignite the fighting spirit in Absalom to kick off the real fight between the two