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sahugani
September 08, 2007, 05:26 PM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 470

http://img526.imageshack.us/img526/3266/untitledsk0.png (http://e1n.deviantart.com/art/ONE-PIECE-DECADE-ANNIVERSARY-60488206)
Brooke is a filthy man

Hello all! I hope you’re happy wherever you are and at whatever time it is in your zone. I’m always in a good mood after RAW day and especially since last night I fell asleep watching stand-up. Since this chapter was a bit fast paced, I’m gonna move right along. The pics in this review come from the Franky House scan, so thanks guys. The title pic this week is yet another great piece done by e1n (http://e1n.deviantart.com/) over at deviantart, so take a peek at the rest of his gallery.


Lunar Aztecs

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look at Enel not zapping people...progress

Once again, we return to Enel and his lunar adventures. For the first time in a while, we actually see him standing next to Spacey civilly. He and the earth-raised robots brothers read the illustrated history of the people who built this subterranean metropolis. The style of the artwork definitely is a reference to the Aztec culture. Should Oda make this culture important later in the storyline, it is worthwhile to note Oda’s use of fallen empires in reality as basis for fallen empires in his story. It is clear that the country that Professor Clover talked about in the Lost Century is highly based on the Lost City of Atlantis. It was supposedly a nation far superior to anyone in terms of technology and progress, but it disappeared mysteriously and left only rumors of its former splendor. This Lunar civilization is similarly connected to the Aztec Empire that extended through Mexico, though their decline actually does have documentation. If Oda holds to historical reference, they were wiped out by invaders. Another thing to note is that in Oda’s story, this civilization had the technological superiority to make robots that bear human emotion. There must have been some great catastrophe for such a bright race to go completely extinct.


Roles Decided

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he should have fit in an "I'm gonna kick your ass"

As we left things last week, Luffy was chasing down Moria and Oz had been given the order to decimate the Strawhat crew. This week, we start on the same note. Moria is still running from Luffy, which at first seems strange as his Shichibukai status should make him a bit too proud to run. There are only two real reasons for him to run. The first is to prevent Luffy from taking a deadly blow from Oz since if Luffy dies, so does Moria’s greatest zombie. The other reason is that Moria knows that under normal conditions, Luffy’s physical abilities outmatch his own. He is simply relocating to a place where his shadow powers can be used to their full potential. Meanwhile, the three groups of Strawhats take notice of each other and face off against Oz. While Zoro and Usopp engage in some long distance bickering, Sanji attracts the attention of Oz, who is at the moment standing between him and Nami. In true Luffy fashion, Oz politely announces his name before beginning his assault.


Recognized

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this feat takes either a genius or moron

As Sanji is the first to catch Oz’s eye and is also the Strawhat with the biggest reason to attack impulsively, he is the first to receive the behemoth’s blows. Oz apparently has the wanted posters of each Strawhat pasted to his forearm so he knows who his targets are. He then pulls off a feat that nobody else on Moria’s crew could, he recognized Sanji by his wanted poster. Sanji has been underestimated by Absalom, who thought Sanji was a mere underling with no bounty. His shadow was put in a mere wild zombie because his captors could not tell that he was the blonde bounty head Moria told them to find. It takes a mind as simple as Luffy’s to actually make the connection between the drawing and the actual pirate. Anyways, with his target’s identity confirmed, he begins his relentless attack on the Black Leg. While Oz prepares his first attack, different Strawhats focus on different parts of the beast’s words. Usopp, Chopper, and Zoro are terrified by the fact that Oz still prefixes his attacks with Luffy’s signature “gomu gomu no.” None of the Strawhats have seen Oz attack before and there have been no zombies they have met whose shadows are from devil fruit users. They have no reason to think that the devil fruit powers would not transfer over since it is part of the fighting style and the workings of the fruit are still shrouded in mystery. They find out that while Oz’s attacks are only rubber in name, the size of his arm and the strength that he wields makes the attack deadly nonetheless. Meanwhile, Robin is concerned only with Oz’s name. As a historian, there is no way she wouldn’t know about a legendary savage known as an island conqueror. With this in mind, she alone grasps the full truth of the strength this particular corpse wields.


Combined Effort

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how would you react if your hair caught fire?

Even though Sanji is able to dodge Oz’s first strike, the giant comes back with a vengeance and shows off the stunning speed for a creature his size. There are a couple explanations for this speed. First of all, the corpse is that of one of the most legendary warriors in history, so even for his size, he is most likely in peak physical condition (don’t let the gut fool you). Also, remember that Luffy had learned soru from watching Bluno but unlike the rokushiki users, Luffy never called it by name when using it. Since it was still in his repertoire when Luffy’s shadow was taken, it is in Oz’s as well. After a couple attacks, Oz has beaten Sanji to a bloody pulp and prepares to deal a finishing blow when Usopp comes to his Nakama’s aid. He sets fire to Oz’s head, which against nearly any other zombie would be a cause for panic if not a death sentence. The zombie tosses Sanji to the ground, shakes off the flames and turns his attention to the bounty heads in Usopp’s direction. While it was easy enough for Luffy’s simple mind to recognize Sanji by the crappy drawing, Luffy was one of the only two people who did not recognize Sogeking as Usopp. This trait is passed onto Oz as he only notices Chopper and Robin while not even considering the actual damage dealer among his enemies. In an effort to save the new targets, Zoro and Franky make their presence known and call the attack towards themselves.


One Sword Down

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literally staring death in the face

While watching Zoro’s part of this fight, I noticed that Yubashiri is gone. He has completely replaced the broken sword with Shuusui, which irks me. There is a chance that this is just an instance of Oda making presently non-relevant objects disappear temporarily and I really hope that is the case. While Zoro’s reason for taking Shuusui was to replace Yubashiri as his weapon, I was really hoping that we would get to see some showing of respect for the discarded sword. I guess we already got a bit of that in the post-CP9 arc, but I wanted to see something more when the sword actually left his side. With any luck, after this arc is over, we’ll get some short scene with Zoro either putting Yubashiri away in his room or possibly laying the sword next to Ryuuma as a sign of respect to let a swordsman and sword rest in peace together.


Not Enough

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oh shit

Back to the fight itself. After Franky lures the giant towards his group, Zoro takes the offensive and after pumping up his muscles becomes the first one to do a hint of damage by cutting off one of Oz’s lower fangs. However, Oz’s speed is incredible enough that even with Zoro’s blades mere feet from his face, the zombie is able to dodge and counterattack, kicking Zoro high enough into the air that the fall would kill him. Given that numerous characters in this series fall from extreme heights all the time with minor or no injury, it is somewhat strange to hear this. With Sanji and Zoro incapacitated, it is up to Usopp and Franky to attack as they are the only ones with long range capability. Oz seems to dodge every one of Franky’s weapon left attacks as they are quite loud and visual and with his speed he can dodge them easily. When Oz takes down Franky and Brooke by smashing them with a tower, the fight falls to Usopp, Chopper and Robin. Robin concerns herself with catching Zoro to save him from a deadly fall, although technically, the speed at which he would hit the net would be too much for her and it would be hard to keep his drawn swords from cutting her. Usopp attempts to purify the zombie by launching salt into its mouth, but apparently it is not enough for the large body. This simply adds to the invincibility of Oz. Not only is he a combination of an insanely powerful body and shadow, but his sheer size for the most part negates the weakness of zombies to salt since it would take a massive amount to purify him.


Demolition

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Oz wins at life

With a final strike to Usopp’s group, Oz has decimated Brooke and all of the Strawhats save Luffy and Nami. Victory against him seems pretty hopeless. Not only has he proven himself physically superior to the combined force of Luffy’s nakama, but he would need to eat a lot of salt to be purified. Assuming Moria’s word can be trusted, Luffy’s shadow might not even return after the Shichibukai is beaten. There are only two ways I can think of to actually beat him and neither seems likely at this point in time. The first is to use Usopp tactics and trick Oz into eating a salty meal since while he may have lost Luffy’s morals, he still has the impulses, so an insatiable appetite is a viable route for victory. The problem with this is that while silly solutions might work well for Usopp’s fights and minor battles in the middle of the arc, it doesn’t work this late into an arc. The Strawhats’ duel with Oz is comparable to them finding the bomb in Arabasta or protecting the getaway ship at Enies lobby. While we may get a few small jokes incorporated, the way in which they achieve victory must nearly match the emotional momentum of Luffy winning his fight in the chapter or two afterwards. The other idea is the same one I had before Luffy started chasing Moria. That is that Luffy would use his gear 3 to pound on Oz. If Luffy used this as an opportunity to work out the kinks in gear 3, he’d have the strength to knock Oz around and force feed a large amount of salt. The problem with this is that Oda has set this up like Arabasta and CP9 where Luffy deals with one problem while the crew handles another. If Luffy took on both jobs now, it would be like saying Luffy is tough enough to do everything on his own. It would depreciate the value of the crew and this goes against the very values of the Strawhats as they all trust each other to come through for them. At this point it is important to remember the position Nami is in. She is separated from the battle and in the arms of one of Moria’s commanders. Being the manipulative little thief she is, she’ll be able to learn some way to beat the giant. After she beats Absalom with or without Lola’s aid, she’ll rejoin her nakama and act as strategist to topple the giant.


Overall

I can never say I dislike a chapter of One Piece and while it was still fantastic, I was a bit irked by how short it felt. I have grown accustomed to chapters that have quite a bit happening with a lot of plot development, but this chapter simply showcased the Strawhat crew getting there asses handed to them rather swiftly. Part of it is just the nature of chapters at the end of an arc. As Oda sets up two or three parallel storylines, he has to make the overall plot more drawn out to build up tension for a big finish. The chapter really had to be like this because its real purpose is to highlight exactly how dire the circumstances are. Coming out of the crew’s victorious duels, we need a chapter to seemingly crush the momentum of hope. From here on, we’ll see the crew barely hold their own against Oz’s onslaught. We’ll watch as Nami figures out how to escape Absalom and help her friends. We’ll witness the start of Luffy’s final confrontation with the Shichibukai Gecko Moria.

Helltroll
September 09, 2007, 11:19 AM
Great as always sahugani. I'm also hoping for Nami getting a fight, especially when she founds out that Absalomw as the bathroom pervert :)
Also i want more Robin/Franky Action but i think this won't happen...again.