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sahugani
December 16, 2007, 09:27 PM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 482

http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/9899/monkeydluffy000byshadowqw7.png (http://shadow-chaos00.deviantart.com/art/Monkey-D-Luffy-000-71765442)
The arc is finally coming to a close. What's next?

Hi guys. Winter break has finally started for me and while that does mean I have more free time, it came at a price. Already, I’m missing both my desktop back at college with its speed and my full manga library. So now I have to work off of my family’s slower computer and without my older chapters to reference. Oh well, at least I have my PS2 back to make up for it. Not that that really matters at the present time as after this, I’ve got five chapters of Bleach to catch up on reviewing. The pics from this review come from the Franky House scanlation and the title pic is a piece by Shadow-Chaos00 (http://shadow-chaos00.deviantart.com/) over at DeviantArt, so after you read this, check out his gallery.


Complete Fear

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Zoro's good at those types of speeches

As of last week, Moria had absorbed the shadows of every remaining zombie on the island to become a being more powerful than Oz. On top of that, the sun is starting to shine through the wreckage of the Mast Castle. Understandably, the shadowless pirates are afraid for their lives. They try to convince both Lola and the Strawhat pirates to run as well but to no avail. Lola has already made her choice and decided to bet her fate on the Strawhats’ victory. The events that have unfolded since the Strawhats’ arrival have given her so much hope already that to return to her previous life of fear and cowering from the sun would be an even more painful existence. She will either live again together with her shadow or die knowing her last actions were not of cowardice. As for the Strawhats, Zoro speaks for the whole crew as he tells the frightened pirates that this battle has already ended in victory. He claims that Moria has already realized that he has lost to the Strawhats. All he is doing now is making one more desperate effort to destroy them in the process. No matter how this final clash ends, Moria’s efforts up till now will be void. If Luffy finishes him off before the sun rises, the shadows leave him and return to their masters, making the Strawhats victorious and leaving him in utter defeat. If he succeeds in holding off Luffy till after sunrise, the light will kill all of the shadowless people on the island, which would in turn kill their shadows within Moria. In the latter case, he can at least cause the Strawhats to fail along with him.


Gear 2

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Shot to the Breadbasket!!!

Luffy makes it official as he announces the activation of Gear 2 and starts his legs pumping. While Luffy is in this form, he has the speed to dodge Moria’s Nightmare form and enough power to do significant damage as well. Upon each hit, shadows begin to spew from Moria’s mouth. As he is already severely weakened by Luffy’s previous assault, he barely has the capacity to maintain this Nightmare form, so when Luffy hits him, he loses control of a number of shadows and they escape. Now I’m going to go on a bit of a tangent. I know in my last review I was a bit irked by the appearance of Gear 2, but I’ve since come to terms with it. The fact is that even for devil fruit users there is a basic limit of the human body. Unless a person trains their bodies to the extent that the CP9 did, their regular attributes of combat such as strength and speed are limited by their human body. Now that Luffy has come this far in his journey, he will be running into more and more people who have learned to surpass these basic human limits. Some will have achieved it by the same tireless efforts as the CP9 while others will have done so by mastering alternative uses of their devil fruits like Moria. In either case, Luffy will need Gear 2 to raise his basic combat potential to their levels.


Locked Away

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no cage can hold the future Pirate King

Upon realizing that even with the aid of a thousand shadows, his regular combat abilities are still inferior to the speed and power of this Gear 2 Luffy, Moria changes up his tactics a bit. Using his black bat technique, he forms a shadow box around Luffy. I assume these shadow bats came from his own shadow rather than using the ones he absorbed or the ones that are escaping. As I explained in a previous review during the time when Moria was inside Oz, while Moria can control stolen shadows and can manipulate the shape of zombies’ shadows, he cannot materialize them for any actual attacks like he can with his doppelganger. However, due to his own size increase in the Nightmare form, his own shadow too has increased in size proportionally, allowing him to use his shadow for much larger scale tasks. Unfortunately for him though, due to the immense strain of attacking with his already battered body and trying to contain a thousand shadows within him, I doubt he has the mental concentration to pull off anything major with his own shadow. If he were less exhausted and had absorbed a slightly smaller number of shadows, I have no doubt that he’d be capable of using his doppelganger as an ally to double his regular fighting strength.


Durability

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Sticks and stones can break my bones...oh wait. No they can't

With Luffy trapped in the black box, Moria proceeds to smash the box into walls and then stomp it in an attempt to pulverize Luffy while mocking his naivety for challenging a Shichibukai and playing hero. Unfortunately for Moria, Luffy escapes the box unscathed. As explanation for surviving so many blows that had previously split an island, Luffy simply says that he is rubber. This durability highlights the true defensive capability of Gear 2 and the Gomu Gomu no Mi as a whole. During the course of the series, we have seen countless examples of Luffy sustaining zero damage from blunt attacks due to his rubber body. It has never been fully explored how much blunt force his body can take. We know internal damage such as an impact dial or Lucci’s Rokuougan can damage him and logically there should be a point where the external blunt damage should be so extreme that the body systems cannot take the strain even if the bones and muscles can. I guess we have no real way to tell at this point if Luffy has this kind of durability in his natural form, but with Gear 2 activated, it is likely that the elasticity of his bones, muscles, and internal organs are enhanced to such a degree that no known power in the One Piece world can crush him with a blunt attack.


Cross-Gear

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You try to resist puking after a couple of those

Here’s another one of those things I said I highly doubted would happen but Oda has slipped right by me. I’ve long held that we wouldn’t see Luffy combine Gears 2 and 3 because I thought it would be better story-wise to leave Gear 3 with the natural flaw of being slow. Thankfully, the way the gear fusion is presented in this chapter doesn’t really irk me that much. Rather than being considered a new gear form of its own, this fusion is treated more like a technique. While gears 2 and 3 can each be used continuously and the effects can last through a series of attacks, this form is much more finite and much more dangerous. Gear 2 is used to increase blood flow and allow Luffy to amplify his general combat attributes. Gear 3 uses compressed air in his bones to enlarge his limbs and make them many times more powerful. The problem with mixing the two processes is that by enlarging his limbs, he creates a much larger area to pump the blood to, which would cause the effects of Gear 2 to be pushed beyond what Luffy’s body can take in order to get blood to such a huge body mass. Probably due to this strain, he uses the most basic and straightforward form of attack to make use of this form with minimal effort, a headbutt. His new Jet Shell technique uses the speed and power of Gear 2 (likely in combination with soru) to simply hurl his gigantic body mass directly at Moria gut. While normally, he’d use each form individually to enhance techniques from his regular skill set, this is a move that is both most effective when used with Gears 2 and 3 combined and is really one of if not the only technique the combination can handle. Due to the strain of moving blood rapidly across a large body mass, I doubt Luffy could use the effects of Gear 2 effectively while shifting his mass from limb to limb. I also doubt that Luffy could really move his body at high speed if its weight was off balanced like if he had his limbs enlarged at the time. This technique centers his large body mass of Gear 3 into his torso and uses all the power amplification of Gear 2 for the sole purpose of rocketing him forward and he becomes nothing more than a high velocity heavy projectile but is incapable of using normal fighting techniques.


Losing Control

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i'd take puking black stuff as more of a fatal condition

With these final hits to Moria’s gut, the Nightmarish shadow man can no longer maintain the shadows he has absorbed and can only cover his mouth to keep them from escaping. In a final desperate plea, Lola and the other shadowless pirates call out to their shadows and ask for them to return. Without being attached to a body and with Moria being too weak to command them, the shadows likely begin to regain their own wills that mimic those of their original masters. As such, they become more and more capable of leaving his body on their own and as they hear their original masters’ voices, this capability grows further still. As Moria continues to try to hold them in manually, Luffy gives one more shot with Jet Shell and the floodgates open. Moria no longer has the strength to resist the escaping shadows and they spew from his mouth. In his final words before the shadows leave, Moria tells Luffy to experience the horror of the New World for himself. It is this very instant that the sun finally shines through and hits the shadowless people head on. All that remains is to see if the shadows can reach their original masters in time to save them. Undoubtedly the shadows will arrive in time and due to the fact that I cannot envision Oda scarring Robin’s beautiful face, I doubt that the burns from the sunlight will last after the shadows return.


Overall

I think we can be reasonably sure this time that the Thriller Bark battles are over. Unless Moria somehow gets back up, the only remaining enemies on the island (if they survived) are Absalom, Hogback, and Kuma. I doubt the two that were beaten up already have the strength to do anything more at this point. Kuma though still has purpose for being here. There is a chance that he would try to fight, but I doubt it. He was not given the order to fight and his role now is to simply clean up and deliver information. As I’ve said before, I think there is value in the fact that he did not announce Ace’s defeat to Moria along with the news of Blackbeard’s appointment. I still predict that Kuma will come down and announce Ace’s defeat (and will likely state Ace is dead whether or not that is the truth) and may collect the body of Moria to take back with him to the Marine Headquarters. Whew! Now that this is done, I’ve got quite a task ahead of me catching up on my Bleach reviews.

Timeless
December 17, 2007, 03:35 AM
Spectacular review, as always! I seriously doubt Moria will get back up after this - his little comment about Luffy going to the New World and seeing for himself practically means that he admits his defeat. And since Hogback is worthless without his zombie minions and Absalom is a relatively weak coward, I'd definitely say that the fighting in Thriller Bark is over now (though Oda might have something unexpected up his sleeve, but all the big fights should be over. We need some room to breathe.;) )

This also means that we'll finally be getting the long awaited answer to the Brook debate! :D

sahugani
December 17, 2007, 04:22 AM
@Timeless - haha. i agree on all points. i think we'll probably have to wait until at least 2 chapters though to settle the Brooke issue. Before Oda can get to that he has to finish up with Kuma (unless Oda does things the other way around and Kuma appears on the Sunny as they're leaving). As for Brooke's fate, I'm still betting on him taking Thriller Bark to meet Laboon with Lola's pirates as the crew

Yashi
December 17, 2007, 07:33 AM
Very interesting read about Luffy's gear techniques there Sahu. Lucci would have been pancaked right there under Nightmare Moria's foot, up until there I could see Lucci actually having a chance if he were fighting. With the theory about Gear2 being capable of stopping any blunt object attack, Luffy is certainly moving up a few classes. His defense improves even more than his offense, combine that with gear third and you get a really fast giant pantser tank, compared to the Enies Lobby fight where Luffy was a mere fast small tank lol, he's already gotten so much stronger.

ps. BROOK WILL JOIN!! THE STRAWHATS NEED AFROPOWER TO BOOST THEIR POWER! ELSE THEY WON'T SURVIVE THE NEW WORLD! <- proof

fenix2012
December 17, 2007, 02:55 PM
I wonder what will happen to Moria, I mean the guy has 2 be dead.(Thow i've never seen Oda kill any of villans, and please correct me if im wrong).Good point there that he will
probably be taken by Kuma , but i hope that dont happen.Now what really interests me , will there be any gear 4 , and will Sanji and Zorro have a different 'super move' along theese series or will they just improve what skills they have (Devils Leg and Asuma), just
for notice i think Oda sensei hasn't added a new move for because this ark is not 'major' enough, cause from what ive seen he adds spectacular attacks in them.
P.s SUPERB REVIEW SAHUGANI, BASICLY AS ALWAYS , BUT JUST HERE YO TELL U 2 KEEP UP THE MASIVE WORK U DOIN (WITH QUALITY) , W8TIN FOR THE BLEACH REVIEW (im)PATIENTLY )))
P.s.s Happy HOLIDAYs everybody , may the New Year bring U greater ,dreams ambitions and hights,strong health,happiness.... and great mangas ))).(this is defenetly not related 2 any reviewing but just thought i'd say it)

Absolutio
December 17, 2007, 06:38 PM
I doubt that Luffy is immune to any kind of blunt attack.. That will make him invincible to many many strong people, despite their strength. Other then that.. Nothing else to say.. Great review!

sahugani
December 20, 2007, 03:18 AM
@Yashi - Luffy certainly has reached a new plateau in terms of both offensive power and defensive capability. as for Brooke, while i'm still doubtful that he will join, i would love to see the return of afro power to the crew

@fenix2012 - you're right that Oda does not kill Luffy's enemies. i think he even said in an SBS (correct me if i'm wrong) that Luffy conciously decides not to kill them and rather wants them to live and see their evil dreams crumble. plus that way it leaves them open for future cover arcs. as for the chance of more gears, i think that at most we'll get one more gear form and IF we do get that gear 4, it will be a long way off. p.s. - happy holidays to you too

@Absulutio - well i think that even if gear 2 does allow him full iperviability to blunt attacks, the fact is that most of Luffy's past and future enemies dont specialize in that attack form and so they have other ways to damage him

Mooncrow
December 20, 2007, 01:29 PM
you are correct about the SBS, in volume 4:

"D: Why doesn't Luffy ever kill his enemies? If you look back, he didn't kill Mohji, he didn't kill Helmepp or Captain Morgan, or anyone. Well, Zoro was the one who beat Morgan, but still. Why?

O: Ahh, good question. First of all, Morgan is still alive. His former subordinates put him in prison. So why didn't he kill him? In this era, people put their lives on their beliefs and convictions, and fight. Luffy goes into battle and destroys others' beliefs. When these enemies' beliefs are shattered, and they lose, they feel a pain as great as dying. I think that for these pirates, killing or not killing is secondary to winning or losing."

from AP

sahugani
December 20, 2007, 01:43 PM
@Mooncrow - thanks for finding that

Jannic
December 20, 2007, 07:40 PM
Well, excellent review - your selection of Zoro's speech out of context (after reading some Detroit Metal City the other day) made me think (quite hysterically) of Fist of the North Star..."Omae wa mō shindeiru!"

I think that you're right, and that essentially Luffy's never been at all afraid of blunt attacks - I mean, how many shigans did he take without too much damage until a sharp point (Lucci's claw) took over? And he mentioned, elsewhere, that the only reason impact dials hurt him so much were their detonation within his body...I think he at first completely ignored the possibility it might hurt him, since it didn't have a cutting edge, which supports your theory.

I still wish I knew exactly what those 'fists of love' that his Grandad can hurt him with were, exactly - the total shock on Zoro's face when he got hurt suggests that this will later be more important than a throwaway gag. If it means that family can touch him, this bodes ill considering Grampa and the undoubtedly ultimately antagonistic (if not the 'End Boss') Dragon still are around.

On another note - where do you think that the next Big Bad is coming from? Merman island suggests that Jimbei shichibukai, but 2 of those in a row seems somehow off - especially since that'll also make 3 Government assets torn down in a row (Crocodile/Moria/CP9+Enies Lobby), and, with Dragon currently attacking them elsewhere, unless the balance of power between the Three Great Powers is to be broken way too much in favour of the Pirates, to have the Straw Hats do more damage seems not so cool.

I sort of feel like Luffy being Pirate King is starting to look absurdly reasonable to certain people - if only in a 'with some more time this kid could do it' kind of way - and so I'd normally say that he'd meet and take out the 'weak one' of the Four Emperors - but they're all meant to be roughly equal to Whitebeard and Shanks, both of whom are godly and for the end of the series only...what do you think might happen to resolve this seeming imbalance? I mean he hasn't fought an honest-to-god PIRATE pirate since Foxy, of all people.

Mooncrow
December 20, 2007, 09:01 PM
Considering Nami can also damage Luffy pretty badly, and that Oda gave the exact same reason in another SBS ("it's because of her heart"), I doubt there is any real reason for it aside from allowing Oda to pull some hilarious physical jokes off without his crew and family being forced to break out weapons.

So, significant perhaps, but not really important.

Oh, and also, thanks for the great review sahu, since I forgot in the last the last post :p

hollowfied
December 24, 2007, 01:36 AM
There is a chance that he would try to fight, but I doubt it.

I lol'ed.

Oh the irony.