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sahugani
December 10, 2007, 11:54 PM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 481

http://img146.imageshack.us/img146/3006/monkeydluffybyellinor87lp9.jpg (http://ellinor87.deviantart.com/art/Monkey-D-Luffy-69963321)
i don't know what i'd do without reviewing

Hi guys. This review is a bit late because I wanted to get my hard final out of the way first. Now I get to relax and review a bit. There’s quite a bit to say about this chapter, so I’ve been looking forward to this. Before that though, I have three AMV creations to announce from the brilliance of JuniZorofan (http://youtube.com/user/JuniZorofan) over at YouTube. The first one, Move DGF (http://youtube.com/watch?v=tXazRL-0ZSY) is incredible and I forgot to mention it last week as it came out early during the manga hiatus and slipped my mind. The second vid, Rock This Party (http://youtube.com/watch?v=U70fQSPagtg) is just plain fun. Finally, her brand new AMV, Dr Tony Tony Chopper (http://youtube.com/watch?v=gVDY6oxmJQE) is made with a tune sung by the actual cast. The pics for this review came from the Mangashare scanlation and the title pic is a piece by Ellinor87 (http://ellinor87.deviantart.com/) so check out her gallery when you’re done.


Disbelief

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CINDRY-CHAN!!!

As we left matters last week, Luffy had cracked Oz’s spine with the sheer force of his Gear 3. As this chapter starts off, the focus turns to the zombie masses who simply stand in awe of the spectacle they have just seen. The knowledge that a zombie cannot die combined with the faith in Moria that comes with their obedience has given them a sense of invulnerability. With Moria and Oz toppled by a pirate crew, they ask a very good question, “what’s gonna happen now?” Without Moria, the zombies have no purpose in the world. While they may have shown the capacity to bear their own goals and dreams at the early stages of their second lives (even if those dreams were merely copies of the dreams of their shadow’s original master), that capacity left them after their shadows submitted to the new bodies and swore to serve the Shichibukai. However, there are a select few who over the course of the Strawhats’ invasion have been able to regain some human character traits. The apparently alive Cindry offers a silent acknowledgement while Lola and Hildon actually praise the Strawhats. If left to live as zombies, Lola and Cindry could have gone on through some further development as they might have offered us an amusing cover arc. Unfortunately, as their existence means a person is living without a shadow, it wouldn’t be right to leave them alive while their counterpart suffers.


Aftermath

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who's cuter, Chopper or Chibi Luffy?

In contrast to the bleak and ashen faces of most of the zombies, the shadowless crew celebrates the Strawhats’ victory. They realize though that after that final blow, both Luffy and his zombie counterpart, Oz, are left in a useless state. Luffy has once again become the always adorable Chibi Luffy due to the side effects of using Gear 3 and the new look gets some shocked stares from Lola’s crew. Oz on the other hand, is still fully conscious and without any pain from the attack, but he can’t move an inch. The only way to truly finish off a zombie is to purify him. However, they have crippled him beyond the point which even a zombie can move a limb and due to his inability to feel pain, he could neither feel the damage building up nor can he understand why he is incapable of movement. Chopper comments on this from an ethical standpoint. Moria and Hogback had toyed with the corpses to the extent that the zombie continues to live after blows that are far past fatal. Their only concern was making soldiers that last longer without any concern for the disrespect the dead bodies are being subjected to. To finish off this list of reaction shots, Brooke makes a comment that can be interpreted as either celebratory or ominous. While the shivering sensation he refers to may be (and likely is) the tingling thrill of victory, hope, and friendship, it could be seen differently given the next set of events. He may have been setting the scene for Moria’s awakening.


Not Over Yet

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Why do they always get back up?

Franky and Usopp are quick to point out that there is one more item of business to attend to. They still need to get Moria to command the shadows to return. Lola and her crew quickly halt their celebration and get serious, but are too late as the Shichibukai has already awoken on his own. It makes sense that he is not finished yet as he is the main foe of the arc after all. Even if Oz was supposed to be his ultimate creation that would give him the strength he needed to beat Kaidou (whoever that is), he still had to be fearsome enough in his own right to achieve the bounty of 320 million before he took his government post. Upon seeing Lola’s shadowless crew, he comes to a realization of how Nightmare Luffy got the immense strength that was seen earlier. As both Luffy and Lola command him to give the shadows back, he still laughs in their faces. Even after Luffy tossed Oz like a rag doll in his Nightmare form and then crushed the legendary giant’s spine with a technique of his own, Moria still shows no fear of retribution as he mocks their cries. This is what sets pirates of his class on a different tier than the average captain. Even when his dreams have been shattered before his very eyes, he is not swayed by fear and remains in control of his emotions and his priorities.


Experience

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save it for after he kicks your ass again

This arc we get something that was somewhat left out during the previous one, an impassioned monologue about motives from the main opponent (Lucci wasn’t the sharing type, but we did get a bit of history from one of the Vice Admirals). Moria compares Luffy’s crew to his own in the past and claimed that Luffy is not yet ready for the New World just as he himself wasn’t. Moria himself had traveled to the New World with a formidable set of nakama, but his entire crew had died during the journey (possibly at the hands of Kaidou). He rationalized the deaths of his friends through the thought that they died merely because they were alive and capable of dying. He figured that the best way to redeem himself and reenter the New World was to build up a crew that could not die and thus recruited the mysterious three and started making his zombie forces. The thought behind his actions is that if his nakama were already dead, he could not again experience the pain of losing them. He could create an army that was invulnerable to pain and that if defeated could be easily replaced. This makes his statement earlier about not fearing death somewhat ironic because in truth, it seems to be his greatest fear. He experienced the deaths of his friends and rather than move on or wish for death himself to join them, he instead sought to control death itself. He fears the act of dying and so surrounds himself with people who already died, thus bypassing any chance of having to see another ally actually die.


Ultimate Power

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is it odd to feel sorry for zombies

As he finishes his speech, Moria sends out his shadow in innumerable threads in a technique he calls Shadow Asgard. With this, he removes the shadows of every single zombie on the island and feeds them directly to his body. The technique is significant in two main ways. First of all, it clears up any question of whether or not Moria knows how to boost a living body with shadows. Since he did not recognize the true nature of Nightmare Luffy, we assumed for a while that he in fact did not and it was supported by his personality being so against the use of such an ability. However, he proves this wrong as this was clearly an aspect of his devil fruit power that he did indeed research, thus forcing me to reiterate that I believe him to be the DF user with the best knowledge of his own abilities of any we have yet seen. The second big implication of this ability is that it draws all the shadows into one place. While we knew that the only way to release the shadows was for Moria to give the order, it was still somewhat doubtful that a Shichibukai would give into any demands instead of fighting to his own bitter end. This twist lets us bypass that difficulty as Moria absorbing every single shadow not only saves the Strawhats the trouble of searching down all the zombies to purify but also offers them a way to release them en mass without asking Moria’s permission. After Nightmare Luffy’s time was up, the shadows let his bodies and due to the fact that a number of them seemed to leave the island, it can be assumed that they returned to their original masters just like Brooke’s did upon purification. While Moria’s power over shadows likely lets him overcome the time limit Luffy had, we can still assume that if the Strawhats knock him out, the shadows will disperse on their own.


A Greater Threat

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AHHH!!! he has legs now

After absorbing all 1000 shadows, Moria becomes roughly the size of Oz (size is a bit of a fluid concept in this manga) but he is severely out of proportion and a good deal stronger. While Oz was clearly capable of destruction on an unheard of level, Moria’s power surpasses it as with a single hit to the ground, the island splits in two. This is the type of strength that gained him his powerful reputation. Before losing his nakama, he likely fought more battles himself and made good use of his ability to absorb shadows to fight. I doubt he had quite the same number of shadows on any of those occasions though, so I’m betting this is the single greatest show of force he has ever displayed and is thus far beyond the 320 million bounty his head carried prior to his WG position. If not for Kuma’s presence though, the island’s hidden nature would have hidden the events of the island from the government’s eyes. I have held for a while that Luffy or the others would not get a bounty increase for a while, but after this it may be unavoidable. I guess our only hope for some more time after the last one is that the next arc takes place over a short time span so that by the time the Government does issue the increase we’ll at least have a 2 arc cushion.


Conviction

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i wonder if the burns will stay on them after their shadows return

In addition to the immense physical danger of staying in the area now that Moria has started his own Nightmarish rampage, the sun has also started to peek through the now crumbling mansion and is starting to evaporate the shadowless pirates as they flee to the forest. However, much to the surprise of her nakama, Lola has decided to stay put and watch the curtain fall on this island. Despite the sun and their seemingly inexistent odds of victory, the Strawhats still hold their ground against the monstrous Shichibukai. Time and time again these Strawhats have proven themselves capable of acts up till now she had thought impossible and she ran in fear. This time she has decided to put her faith in them even if there is seemingly no hope because she believes they can pull off another miracle. Even as the sun hits the side of her face and starts to burn her she stays put to cheer on the island’s saviors.


Standing Their Ground

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i didn't want to believe it

Blarg!!! From the looks of it, Luffy is doing the one thing we feared he’d do ever since he beat Lucci. When we had the first RAW (the one that was unusable due to the watermark), I could fool myself into not believing it as I couldn’t clearly see Luffy’s pose or read what he was saying. I could attribute the smoke to the sun beginning its evaporation of him. However, after seeing the scanlation, it is pretty clear the Luffy is now using Gear 2 to beat Moria. The pose is unmistakable and he says he’s going to get a bit wild, which is all the evidence I need to jump to the conclusion. I have no doubt that Luffy using Gear 2 will provide us with a spectacular fight, but it confirms the fears many of us had that the ability would become One Piece’s “Super Saiyan” type skill that Luffy would invariably turn to in tough fights rather than come up with a more original method of winning. Knowing Oda, I’m hoping and expecting that within this form he will include something original, but I still would have been happiest if the Thriller Bark battles ended with Luffy’s Gear 3 fist. In any case, the situation isn’t really all that bad as unlike DBZ, Luffy’s normal set of attacks that are enhanced by the form are quite a bit more numerous and thus lead for quite a bit more customization from Oda. As for which “jet” attack I’m expecting to deal the final blow, if it’s not a new one (which I’m hoping for), I expect one that has a huge deal of power in its original form, but we haven’t seen used as a final blow yet. The one that comes to mind is Gomu Gomu no Cannon.


Overall

While I still love the chapter as I do every one Oda gives us, this is the first in a while that had a hint of disappointment. While I did absolutely love the method Oda created to make the collection of shadows simpler, I did not want Gear 2 to pop up during this arc. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Oda does with it before we can start up with the criticisms though. Knowing him, he’ll probably make it so that by the end we don’t care about that minor disappointment anymore.

Serpent
December 11, 2007, 04:57 AM
WOW great chapter :spaz
it;s kinda' hard to make predictions at this time but the thing i would like to see is a Giant Jet Gataling Gun but i dont think its gonna happen :( , ohh well just have to wait and see

btw thanks for the review :)

ANBU4U
December 11, 2007, 11:49 AM
Meh, I dont really see this Gear 2ed thing as a problem.

All it does is make his normal skill set a lot faster, and correspondingly, more powerful.....

Thus all the weird inventive things Luffy does to pull off fights....can still be done, it just now all of his enemy's are so powerful he needs to be in gear 2ed while doing them to have a shot.

Its a device Oda's using to get across a very simple message: "All the opponents on this half of the grand line are in another league from those before."

And its working, no one can debate whether someone Luffy needed Gear 2 and a bunch of clever tactics to beat could have been beaten before luffy learned Gear 2ed. Thus you have a linear progression of power.

Something Kishi's having difficulty with btw.

But yea...worry not. We'll never see Luffy beat someone with PURE gear 2ed (like Lucci) again. The rest will be new techniques developed IN Gear 2ed, or used along side Gear 2ed.....mark my words something will be stuck to his arm again soon.

Yashi
December 11, 2007, 12:06 PM
Great review and insight! Pure beauty hehe.

fenix2012
December 11, 2007, 05:06 PM
i was thinking... what if in the next chapter Oda enchantes Luffies gear 2 , to a different extent perhaps 4th (he said he was gonna go wild). And i supose Luffy doesnt use gear 3 beacause it's the "finishing blow", the guy shrinks after using it , so just imagine what a Moria would do agains the shrinken Strawhat Captain (that if we totally deny the rest of the crews actions which will nevere happen).

conan
December 13, 2007, 02:55 PM
heven't replied to one of these in while :) but Ih ave to say your reviews are as good as always, quite brilliant, nothing much to comment on really except I am not dissapointed in the gear 2nd thing as much, I do dislike powerups and like the originality in the fighting scenes in one piece more than anyother manga but what really happened is that they didnt have time, zoro said himself that they were winning and would have done so eventually but the sun is out and he has to bet it all in one move, I dont think luffy had a choice really except to give it his all at this moment, other than that, he would have won without, yet still like you said again even with gear 2 the fights probably still going to have some originality, and up til now in the manga oda never disappointed.

sahugani
December 14, 2007, 12:28 AM
sorry it took me a while to respond to these. i've been a bit busy

@Serpent - i've never been a huge fan of the idea that Luffy would fuse gears 2 and 3. i think it is better for gear 3's speed deficiencies to be dealt with due to situational factors (like Oz being pinned) rather than actually adding speed to it. it is supposed to be a finisher more powerful than any single attack in gear 2, but as it is less detrimental to his health, it needs that flaw in it

@ANBU4U - Ya. i agree that using gear 2 isn't as much of a problem in the long run. i think a good portion of my distaste for the idea comes from my long held desire for this battle of Thriller Bark to end by Luffy using gear 3. you're right. as Luffy's enemies are more powerful, Luffy himself needs to take his skills to another level to combat them. and in heinsight, the real problem is not in the use of a "super" form in all fights after a certain mark in the story. the problem would be if Oda continued creating more and more gears to act as powerups rather than use new skills. i think that AT MOST we may get one more gear and if we get it it will be a long ways off, so as you said, using gear 2 is really no concern

@fenix2012 - as i just said, i think if we do get a new gear in the series, it will be a long ways off from now. And yes due to the side effects of gear 3 (both slowness and the shrinking afterwards) it really can be classified as a finishing blow and should really only be used when he can guarantee a hit. As for going wild, i suppose he just meant gear 2. the form is still tiring for Luffy to use but with it, his battle potential will be insane

@conan - welcome back :D. as i said to ANBU4U, i've finally come to terms with the idea of using gear 2 as well. as i said in my response to him, the thing that would actually be detrimental to the series is not the overuse of a single powerup but the creation of too many powerups in lieu of actual techniques, which is one thing i can't see Oda doing. the fact is that due to the skill of Luffy's opponents from now on, he needs to take his skills up a notch and gear 2 is the best way to do that