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sahugani
November 12, 2007, 12:06 PM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 478

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/8206/afroluffybylimandaoro6.jpg (http://limandao.deviantart.com/art/Afro-luffy-42784676)
A tribute to the other great form

Sorry to make you guys wait for this. I had a reason for doing Bleach before One Piece despite the awesomeness of this chapter before realizing that that reason was stupid and I got caught up with other shit. Anyways, I just wanna get started. Before that though, once again, JuniZorofan (http://youtube.com/user/JuniZorofan) has an AMV for us, Die Another Day (http://youtube.com/watch?v=gShygiU9o7c). While it is made from clips from the various movies and thus pretty much all of it is non-manga material, it does mean an even more cinematic presentation that is just stellar. The pics for this review come from the OPHQ scanlation and the title pic is a piece made by limandao (http://limandao.deviantart.com/) over at DeviantArt, so head on over to his gallery.


To the Breaking Point

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Doesn't he get dizzy?

The chapter picks up where it left off last week with Oz towering over the figures of Zoro, Nami, and Usopp. The other four Strawhats on the scene as well as Brooke have been picked off by Oz one by one and lie unconscious even if all logic says they should be dead. Despite Zoro’s proud declaration at the fight’s start to beat Oz before Luffy could beat Moria, even he now sees the direness of the situation. Up until this point, their strategy in the battle was to cripple Oz to the point where the could easily get the salt into his mouth. With only three people remaining, that type of strategy is no longer effective as Zoro is the only big damage dealer left and even before it took strategic combination attacks to cause injuries. Zoro’s only option at this point is to take a gamble at getting the salt into Oz’s mouth in a much less surefire method. He will sacrifice himself as a distraction so that Usopp can launch the salt into Oz’s mouth. However, even within this tactic, Zoro’s actions are in support of a backup plan. Rather than simply leap up to Oz’s arm and run to the head, which would doubtless be much faster, Zoro uses a technique that turns himself into basically a spiked wheel that leaves gashes in Oz’s arm shaped like crow’s feet. While it is unnecessary for this role as a distraction (other than as a simple way to demand attention), it also fills the role of causing more extensive damage to Oz’s already battered right arm. So far, in addition to the frostbite damage from before, the arm has suffered a powerful combo attack from Sanji and Chopper, which likely caused a bone fracture or some other arm injury, and this new attack from Zoro, which caused muscle damage and bleeding. They say that the third time is the charm, so with one more attack from Luffy, I’m betting that Oz will finally feel the effects of the repeated attacks on the arm. This may come in the form of the arm becoming limp or the much more visually awesome effect of it actually falling off.


Moment of Triumph

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Open wide

While Zoro fills his role perfectly, that also means that after getting Oz’s attention, he is not only moved to the top of Oz’s hitlist, but is also in the best position for a beating, which Oz does indeed deliver. Even though Zoro becomes the 5th Strawhat to fall (6th overall in the fight) his efforts are not wasted as Usopp does indeed get his opportunity to launch Brooke’s bag of salt into Oz’s mouth. Nami is confused as she was with Absalom the whole time and thus never heard about the zombies’ weakness to salt. There is a question of why Usopp never simply launched the salt into Oz’s mouth before as there have been plenty of distractions throughout the fight that he could have used and with his aim, I doubt he would have missed. The truth is that this kind of strategy was a last resort. Between Oz’s speed and Moria’s handling, there was too much uncertainty for success. They learned early on through Franky and Usopp’s techniques that most long range techniques would be ineffective and since then any such attacks have been modified to increase the odds. However, the chances of success were never good enough to risk losing their only shot at purifying Oz. That is why up until now the strategy has been to cripple him, in which case they could insert it directly down his throat.


Crushing Hope

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Moria has surprisingly good aim

While Usopp’s projectile at first seems successful as a black blob assumed to be Luffy’s shadow is pouring out of Oz’s mouth, the mood quickly deteriorates as the blob turns into Moria’s shadow holding the bag of salt. He had sent his doppelganger into Oz’s throat to block the salt and carry it out of the zombie’s body. He then throws it at Usopp and mocks him for being idiotic enough to believe he hadn’t seen this coming. The zombies’ weakness to salt is a fact Moria has been well aware of for probably as long as he has had his devil fruit power. His entire purpose for being in Oz’s stomach is to support the giant, so logically, that would include defending against attacks as well as enhancing his own. Being that Moria has displayed a mastery of his devil fruit powers that is so far unmatched in the One Piece world, he is clearly not foolish when it comes to defending his power’s weaknesses. In any case, Moria has now not only shown them the futility of trying to feed Oz salt but has even broken the bag and the salt is now rendered useless. With the salt gone, a new way must be found to extract Oz’s shadow. The only way left seems to be to get Moria to give the order for the shadow to return. Unfortunately, getting Moria to admit defeat means first beating Oz, which creates a cycle of impossibility. There is one shred of hope though. If Oz becomes crippled to the point that he can no longer attack, Moria will be forced to admit defeat and call the shadows back to their masters.


A Savior

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You wouldn't like me when I'm angry

At this point, the only ones left are Usopp and Nami and both of them are still in grief over their last attack failing. Moria command Oz to finish them off as well, so the giant starts bashing them into the ground with a flurry of stomps. However, he is just crushing the stone as both have been rescued and brought up to a hole in the castle wall by the new Nightmare Luffy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Nightmare Luffy is sheer awesomeness and the coolest thing since the afro. He has tripled in height and become more hulking than Franky or Chopper’s heavy point. This appearance is probably at least partially due to his rubber body. Normally, putting a shadow in a person only alters their mind’s composition to include new skill sets and personality traits. However, these different styles each call for the use of different muscle groups and when in its original owner or a zombie, their body unconsciously tenses those muscles specifically. Normal people pass out with multiple shadows not only because the multiple personalities stress the mind but because the conflicting body changes restrict needed processes. Luffy’s will allows him to deal with the mental aspect and his rubber body allows all the changes to occur in his body with unlimited growth that doesn’t block any bodily functions. Anyways, He is here now and due to the changes to both his body and his manner of speaking, not one of the people present recognizes him at first. He is also carrying with him a huge sword so that he can use his new abilities as a swordsman. Unfortunately, that is the only weapon he has brought with him even though with 100 shadows there are likely numerous weapon masters.


Force

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thats not how momentum works

When Moria hears it is Luffy, he assumes Luffy must have some sort of transformation ability. As Luffy is a rubber man, his body can stretch to different proportions and as Moria himself is a master of using devil fruit abilities for a multitude of unconventional uses, he knows that for a rubber man, changing the shape of his body to a new form is not out of the question. He also seems to suspect another possibility, which is likely that Luffy absorbed shadows. He has studied his own powers to a large extent and so I seriously doubt that he is clueless to the fact that shadows can be absorbed by living people. It is just that up till now, the short time-span of the technique’s use as well as the relatively low number of shadows most people can hold has made it a very minor issue to him. Since he does not think this is likely, he does not really concern himself with it and simply has Oz attack under the assumption Luffy is still fighting with his own comparatively weak strength. However, after hearing how the other five Strawhats and Brooke have been knocked out by these two, Luffy stands unwavering and displays enough raw strength to stop Oz’s gomu gomu no rifle completely. He then proceeds to smack Oz hard enough to launch him into the forest. This power seems unnatural as technically, shadows shouldn’t actually grant physical strength to the body. While it is likely going to be a matter that we are supposed to just accept at face value, I’m really hoping we get an explanation for it.


Payback

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Oz doesn't have much luck with being flipped on his head

After being thrown from the castle over the heads of the zombies in the forest, Luffy follows Oz and delivers a powerful suplex attack. As of this moment, Luffy clearly has the advantage and he hasn’t even used any of his own devil fruit powers. While in the next chapter we can probably expect Oz to cause Luffy a little bit of trouble, we can assume that for a large majority of the time that Luffy is using the shadows, he is going to remain the superior warrior. As I’ve said in a previous review though, the nightmare form’s time limit is ten minutes while the time before sunrise is twenty minutes and dramatic timing in a series like this does not allow for that much of a cushion for time. The fight will clearly continue past Luffy’s time limit and at that time, Oz will regain the advantage. While I still believe Luffy will deal the finishing blow in gear 3, I don’t think it will be so simple now. Initially, this fight was one of the Strawhats minus their captain (and navigator) fighting against Oz, who bears their captain’s shadow. I doubt that they are truly finished as they were part of this fight as well and have a duty to be part of ending it. Due to Nightmare Luffy, they have a bit less than ten minutes to rest and recover before their captain will be in trouble. Unlike other arcs, their role is the same as their captain’s this time and so I believe that the final attack on Oz will be an ultimate combination of the Strawhats’ strength.


Overall

While this chapter was much more combat heavy than most, it still kept with the regular pace of the series perfectly as it always does. Along wit the fall of another crewmember and the failed attempt at finally trying to use the salt, this chapter also revealed one of the most awesome sights ever, Nightmare Luffy. In addition to being the strongest form he has ever taken, the form just looks incredible. Just think if we stuck an afro on this form.

Timeless
November 12, 2007, 01:46 PM
By now, Thriller Bark has officially become my favourite One Piece arc ever. :D Nightmare Luffy is completely awesome! If you put an afro on him, the universe would most likely implode from an overload of pure Kickass. @__@

Great review as always. :)

Absolutio
November 13, 2007, 08:09 PM
Great review.
About your point of added shadows and enhanced muscle-power, well, you did say that all of those shadows skills and fighting techniques are the ones who changed luffy's body since it tensions different part of his muscles in different kinds of ways, so its the same of his power, maybe with all of those 100 fighting styles he could've mastered the usage of his muscles (it is a known fact that people only use 5% of their muscle power, or something like that :p ), thus the enhanced power.
The only thing that disturbed me in this awesome chapter was the "gomu gomu no rifle" of Ozz. His rubber-like powers are supposed to come from Moria alterring his shadow, but a normal arm and a very tens springed arm are supposed to have the same kind of shadow, so how comes Ozz is able to use that technique? O_o

Imitorar
November 13, 2007, 08:38 PM
Moria probably just twisted the arm of the shadow up. It would have hurt, since the blood vessels and bone and stuff where being twisted up, but Oz can't feel pain, so it wouldn't matter. And yeah, Absolutio's right about how Luffy being able to use his muscles in new ways now being the explanation for his super strength. That and probably some of those people were very good martial artists, so having their shadows makes Luffy's attacks more powerful. Anyway, thanks for another great review, sahugani!

ANBU4U
November 17, 2007, 01:35 PM
You forgot to mention Brooke/robin/nami/Ussop drilling a hole in Oz's right arm.