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sahugani
December 01, 2007, 03:37 PM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 480

http://img115.imageshack.us/img115/1749/marioxonepiecebytokichuti9.jpg (http://toki-chu.deviantart.com/art/Mario-x-One-Piece-65552782)
Blarg! Now I have the Mario tune stuck in my head

Hiya!!! We’re back from the long two weeks since the last chapter was released. While it is annoying to wait that long, I think it’s worth it to keep Oda happy with a short vacation. He has earned it. On my end, it was just my luck to run out of my reviewing fuel (Dr. Pepper) on a RAW day and the day of the first really heavy rain in a long ass time, but I walked through it to get my “nectar of the gods” and am now in a good mood to review. The pics in this review come from Franky House’s scanlation and the title pic is a piece done by toki-chu (http://toki-chu.deviantart.com/) over at DeviantArt, so go check out her gallery when you’re done.


Down for the Count

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hahaha!!! you fail at life,,,or death i guess

As of last week, both Oz and Moria seem to have been defeated by Nightmare Luffy’s Gomu Gomu no Storm, which is completely understandable given that even in his normal form, that attack was enough to demolish the solid bedrock between the surface of Alubarna and the underground cavern in Arabasta. Add to that the strength that Luffy wields in the nightmare form and it is without a doubt the single most destructive show of force we have yet seen in the series. The cost of this power is that after the ten minutes are up, Luffy faints as the shadows leave his body. Once again, Lola’s crew apologizes to Nami and Usopp for doing this to the Strawhat captain. Even though his body was strong enough to handle the initial process of absorbing 100 shadows, since the body itself doesn’t actually get any direct power boost from the shadows, the strength we saw in the Nightmare form was basically Luffy’s strength breaking its own limits and applying far beyond its max output for a ten minute time frame. Needless to say this drains his energy pretty dry.


Recovering What Was Lost

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This is what is left in the wake of the Shichibukai Slayer

The next matter on the agenda is recovering all the shadows before the sun rises. Since the process of recovering them is quite obviously not automatic upon knocking Moria out, Usopp asks the Risky Brothers how they are to go about getting back the shadows for half of his crew. Apparently Moria was indeed telling the truth to Luffy way back at the start of their fight as one of the Risky Brothers confirms that the only way to quickly release all the shadows is for Moria himself to give the order to return to their original masters. The problem now is that in order to get Moria to give that order, they need to wake him up first. It would have been best for Luffy to make Moria give the order as Luffy could stand a chance against the Shichibukai should he retaliate upon awakening. Even Zoro or Sanji would have worked for this purpose as Moria is pretty damaged to begin with. However, all that is left is Nami, Usopp, and Lola’s crew. If they were to wake up Moria and try to force the words out of him, they could end up defeated rather quickly if he turns out to have any remaining strength to fight.


Immortal Corpse

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Dude, i got a crappy feeling about this

Besides that apparent obstacle in the recovery of their shadows, another one quickly overtakes it in importance. Oz once again rises to his feet. Moria is still unconscious due to Luffy’s pummeling, but as Oz is a zombie, he will keep on getting back up over and over again despite the damage he has taken. I guess it was pretty easy to see this coming. We have seen time after time during this arc that unless a zombie is purified, it will keep reviving time after time. They were dead bodies to begin with and the shadows merely animate them rather than actually give them life. As they can’t feel pain, they also cannot feel exhaustion, so they can fight continuously as long as their body still has its structure. Attacking the flesh is useless as zombies operate without blood flow and thus blood loss cannot weaken them. Attacking the nervous system is useless as the anatomy of the body is controlled by the stolen shadow rather than the brain as in a normal person (there was even a zombie who could remove his own head and still operate completely). There are only two ways tom defeat a zombie and neither of which has been completed on Oz. The first is to purify the body with salt, which removes the stolen shadow and thus takes away the entity that allowed them to override the dead nervous system and move. The second way will be discussed later in the review.


Resurrections

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the badass returneth

Oz is not the only one who suddenly revived. As Lola’s crew begins to run in fear, they first encounter Zoro, who has gotten back up after Oz’s beating and shows no fear in confronting the goliath again. They also notice that all of the other Strawhats plus Brooke who were either unconscious or standing among them are now gone. One by one the pirates reveal themselves and get in position to set up a final show of force. This pleases me greatly as given the way the latter part of this arc had built up, a group effort is really the best way to finish the fight. As I’ve said in earlier reviews during the first part of the Oz fight, there is great symbolic meaning in the Strawhat crew taking down Oz and I was a bit disappointed when the story turned to imply Luffy would win on his own. Due to the fact that they were facing Luffy’s shadow, the crew’s victory would be representative of the faith Luffy puts in them as he cannot fulfill his goals by himself. Up until now, at the end of most arcs, Luffy would be tasked with taking down the final enemy while the crew is responsible for some alternate task that is vital for Luffy’s victory to have any meaning (such as saving civilians or securing a method to escape with their lives). Given Moria’s philosophy of handing work to subordinates and creating zombies to use as expendable soldiers, the highlighted aspect of the Strawhat crew which opposes this is that they each put their trust in one another and fight to protect their own ideals and those of their nakama. With that in mind, it is only right that Luffy fights alongside his crew for the final stage as his crew puts just as much faith in him as he does for them.


The First Stages

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Ice, ice, baby!!!

As Lola’s crew flees, the Strawhats begin their final combo attack with some preparatory measures. Robin creates a set of footholds along the side of the demolished mansion and as Luffy is too exhausted to run up them himself, he gets a ride from Brooke, whose light body allows him to leap quite easily up Robin’s ladder to the top. Meanwhile, Nami uses her weapon to create a series of rain clouds around Oz’s torso. To finish off this initial part of the plan, Franky and Usopp have tapped into the giant freezer’s coolant system and constructed a gigantic cold air hose which they blast at Oz to freeze the rain created by Nami’s clouds. Thanks to these efforts, Oz is unable to move his legs and thus can’t dodge any attacks. It is also somewhat fitting for freezing to be used in this victory as frostbite was the way Oz was initially defeated during life. In any case, due to Oz’s strength, if he had a bit of time, he could probably beak through the ice if he tried, but the Strawhats don’t give him the opportunity as Sanji quickly loops the chain from the ship’s rudder control around the giant’s chest.


Right Where They Want Him

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Chopper hasn't had to do much physically this arc compared to the others, has he?

With the preparations complete, Chopper reveals his part in this plan. While he is really the only one not physically participating in the assault, he is the brains behind the entire plan. As I said earlier, there are 2 ways to defeat a zombie. While the first is the quite obvious method of purifying the zombie to release the controlling shadow, the second is to destroy the structure of the body itself (basically the skeletal system). While a zombie can shrug off flesh wounds due to the uselessness of blood loss and can bypass pain and exhaustion due to the shadow bypassing the dead nervous system, the only thing the stolen shadow really needs to function is the body’s structure. As Brooke clearly demonstrates, a soul (or shadow) can recreate human movements without tissue as long as the body is still in one piece. As the headless zombie shows, a zombie can control both parts of a body broken in 2 pieces, but each broken piece is only capable of the human movements it does naturally. If a zombie’s head is removed it needs the body to go pick it up. If a zombie’s arm is broken, he can still control the hand movement, but the arm will simply dangle from the body as it can’t raise itself. While that second example comes up later on, the true goal of Chopper’s plan lies in Oz’s spine. All of the preparatory efforts by the Strawhats were to straighten Oz’s spine, which would allow a direct attack to shatter the vertebrae. Following the same logic as the previous examples, while this damage alone would likely not finish off the zombie, it would make him completely unable to attack as his upper half is no longer supported by his legs. This would leave him completely open to purification or at least give the Strawhats easy access to Moria in Oz’s gut.


Final Judgment

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HALLELUJAH!!!!

After a final attack from Zoro and a tightening of the chain from Sanji, Oz’s back is finally in position for attack. Brooke has launched Luffy into the air, where the rubber man has activated Gear 3 in both arms. Unlike his Gear 2 ability, Gear 3 is more or less unaffected by Luffy’s physical exhaustion. It merely relies on his ability to blow air into his bones, so even if he is too tired to run up Robin’s steps himself, he can still pull this form off. As he launches his Giant Bazooka, Oz attempts to counter with his own, but finds that his right arm has finally succumbed to the repeated attacks by the Strawhats and I’m guessing the bone breaking is what finally made it become useless. This is the final blow I have dreamed about since we first saw Oz (well technically it was since we first saw Moria but back then we thought he was a giant himself). During the Lucci fight I thought it was a bit odd that Oda would introduce Gear 3 but would then revert back to Gear 2 to finish off the fight. During the giant form’s introduction, it was heavily implied that it was imperfect as it sacrificed speed for brute strength. When I learned that the enemy in this arc was a giant or larger (Moria first mistakenly and then Oz), it was clear to me what Oda’s intentions were. Failing to use it effectively against Lucci foreshadowed that in a later arc, Luffy would either find a way to perfect it and fix its flaws or will have an opponent who it would be effective against in its raw form. In going against a gigantic enemy, Oda had his method of redeeming the technique as it is the best way for Luffy to match Oz’s strength.


Overall

What can I say? I absolutely loved this chapter. It feels like I had my cake and ate it too. Since the start of the fight with Oz, I’ve been in a constant indecisiveness over whether or not I would rather have the Strawhat crew beat Oz to give me the beautifully symbolic victory or whether I would rather see Luffy destroy Oz with Gear 3 as I have predicted for so long. I thank Oda from the bottom of my heart as he has merged both of the endings I wanted into a single method of victory. As for my other long standing prediction, you Brooke recruitment supporters probably got a thrill from the fact that the skeleton was part of the final attack, but I wouldn’t read too much into it.

Helltroll
December 01, 2007, 04:37 PM
once again a nice review sahu. glad to see you back at work. :)

Kansas_Mac
December 01, 2007, 05:56 PM
Heh, as soon as I saw Luffy doing Gear 3, I said to my self "sahugani's probably freaking out right now". Excellent review, as always.

I hate it when there's a two week gap between chapters. It feels like we were waiting forever.

sahugani
December 01, 2007, 07:08 PM
@Helltroll - it feels good to review again. i'm a bit unsure of if i'll be able to catch up on the Bleach reviews this week though or whether i'll need to put it iff again

@Kansas_Mac - :rofl you're right there. haha. i've been giddy to start this review ever since i saw it in the spoilers. as for the gap, ya its a pain, but we've suffered longer gaps and i think Oda deserves time off

Yashi
December 01, 2007, 09:43 PM
I stayed up for this (no kidding), thanks again for the wonderful reviews! Hell yes it bothered me to no end that the straw hats were beaten by Oz, seeing Zoro use his three thousand worlds move bothered me a bit too, since I thought we'd see this particular move crazed up in the Zoro vs Mihawk fight. I can't believe how Oda did this entire fight, climaxing, anti-climaxing, up and down each chapter, and then everything results into this awesome combined killermove by the whole team.. Incredible!!:D Btw, do you suspect the next cover story to be about Foxy/CP9 or maybe Ace?

sahugani
December 02, 2007, 02:10 AM
@Yashi - hahaha. thats amusing. i couldn't agree more with you about your comments. it was kinda nice to see a return of the 3000 worlds, but given the context it was used in before as an attempted finisher in the Mihawk fight, it would have been better to see it used in a solo fight of his instead of as a mere part of a combo. that way we could better appreciate its awesomeness. as for who i think will get the next cover arc, i actually think it will be Kumadori. he was the only CP9 member who was not in the tower at the time of the Buster Call (technically Lucci wasn't either but i highly doubt he'll get one). this means he had a higher chance of survival than the others. Kalifa was even in the upper part that got blasted into the abyss right at the beginning. In addition to this survival, Kumadori has one of those personalities that would be great for a cover arc

Serpent
December 02, 2007, 01:31 PM
tks 4 the great review :)

omniscientone
December 02, 2007, 02:55 PM
Great review, but u think now with Kuma interfere or just let them go ahead ? Any thoughts on whether we will learn about Ace's fate. Also, I wouldn't say Luffy failed to use Gear 3 effectively against Lucci, he did use it to get in a major hit against Lucci, which prolly helped turned the tide back then.. Atleast, thats what I remember :D

sahugani
December 02, 2007, 03:14 PM
@omniscientone - as for Kuma, he won't take over the fight, but he will make his presence known in a chapter or two. one thing i'm pretty sure of is that he'll give Luffy the news about Ace. He'll probably say Ace is dead even if in actuality he is merely in WG captivity as i suspect. i don't think this will immediately deter Luffy's journey as it is too soon for another fight with the world government.

Kuma may also collect Moria's body and bring it back to the World Government. As Moria was not going directly against the World Government as Crocodile was, Moria can still be used by them as a Shichibukai. they may try to keep this Strawhat victory secret as news of Luffy beating a second Shichibukai would be problematic. Also unlike Crocodile, Moria's hidden position among the fog makes it alot easier to keep secret as the public was not aware of his existance there to begin with. that may also explain why Moria's former bounty was such a small amount above Luffy's. as we just got a major bounty increase last arc, that small difference makes an increase less neccessary and the WG trying to hide their loss provides a good excuse for Oda to avoid another increase so soon

as for Gear 3 and Lucci, i agree that it was effective in damaging Lucci, but it wasn't so in beating the big cat. Gear 3 is supposed to be a step beyond Gear 2 and is to be used if Gear 2 isn't doing the job. after the single hit, Lucci found the flaw in the technique and Luffy had to resort back to Gear 2

Jannic
December 04, 2007, 08:17 PM
I really hope Robin decides to persuade Moria to talk like she did to get Franky to join, but on a massive scale - "Mille Fleurs...Donkey Punch."

About the combat, didn't Gear 3 do enough damage to Lucci that later his legs gave out when he was about to put Luffy down (which is where he admitted the attack wasn't all for show) which allowed Luffy time to get back into Gear 2 for the last and crucial time? Yes it's unfinished, but for those without mad speed (Lucci's Uber-Soru) it's still going as fast as Luffy's normal Gomu Gomu attacks - no Jet Rifle but still niftily quick. Recall that Oz has Luffy's new post CP-9 speed (i.e. vs. General Zombies) and the attack still hit him when he saw it coming, chain or no chain, he didn't even have a second to switch arms (his other one still being in the middle of disentangling itself from the chain). I personally feel that it will stay mostly as it is, for crowd control and giant obstacles, but will eventually somehow combine with Gear II (Drool...Giant Jet Gatling...) but I think that it's a fairly legit and polished form in its own right with different, not inferior, applications to Gear II.

My only question - when did he ever get to practice all these stuck on a ship? Or did noone seem to mind his bouncing around like a mad thing in Gear II or notice him turning gigantic for III?

Regarding Brooke...you're right that he's not a sure thing, but I feel that he's very close - he's at least as useful with the intel and the salt as Franky was for most of Enies Lobby, and if he didn't take out a big big Bad he got that Spider Guy and saved Robin/Franky - plus we got a set of moves for him in an organized combat system (remember: Shonen manga!), which has tended to follow most people's ways of joining (Sanji's early set of Cooking moves, Chopper's Points, etc.) vs. the only other real possibility - that he's like Vivi, who only really had one, fairly crap attack that was (if I remember) never especially elaborated. He has humor potential, he has a reason to travel and not to stay, he must be fun to draw, I still can't see Luffy letting a musician out of his clutches...I feel that him basically bumping and setting Luffy for the Spike here is very telling about his general, organic inclusion into the Straw Hats' plans.

Plus, I feel that he's nicely different - with Devil fruit users, naturally strong humans and weak tricky guys all covered, an Undead scout/quick-draw expert/musician means that all the crew needs is a Fishman (next arc?) and they'll cover almost every possible type of character...which suits the motley arrangement Oda seems to prefer. Plus I feel like the Manga needs to stop adding new characters soon or get bloated, so Oda might be trying to get them in so he can start concentrating more on his end-game.