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bittman
June 17, 2008, 07:00 AM
Bitts Presents:

One Piece – Chapter 502 Review
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You know...the mushrooms may explain everything in One Piece...

Introduction:
HEY MANGAHELPERS! =D

Stuff, things. That's how it is really. I'm late again, well, earlier than usual, but later than sahugani who is the Roger to my Rayleigh as we sail the magical rainbow sea of reviewing hand in hand. Aside from homosexual fantasy writing, I'm actually not that busy at the moment (don't let my boss read this) since I only have two uni assignments I don't give a shit about. I also got with another chick on the weekend, so maybe reviewing One Piece chapters is good for something other than making myself feel important and shooting down terribly disgusting theories that pop up (Super RogerDragon Bros 64!).

As another note, I'm going to be starting another One Piece review (or another 'type' of review which I may carry over to other mangas), which will be more serious (though sarcasm will prevail) and not based on chapters. As frightening as this concept seems, I'll hopefully have the first installment of this new type done before the end of the month (so far away = procrastination) and they will become weekly/fornightly/monthly/wheneverifeellikegettingoffmyass based depending on how long I think they will take.

I got this chapter from someone from the past who came out of my Basement claiming there had been a nuclear strike decades ago and he had been down there since. He Scans over the unchanged horizon slightly disappointed, but then I point him to Oda's magical mushroom land, and the world becomes awesome.

So without any further adieu:

Chapter Breakdown:

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“Ooooooo”? Are Luffy's knuckles in awe or something?

After a homage to Oda's illegal source of creativity on the double spread, we return to the scene to see Luffy has destroyed a large part of the stand and the (im)perfect face of one snot-nosed Tenryuubito pimp. Though the bear doesn't seem to care (zoom in, he didnt even turn to look), everyone appears to have caught the contagious snot-nosery (not a real word) and looks on with a shocked expression that is still secondary to the Enel shocked face when he found out that Luffy was bigger stronger than him. The fishies are also in disbelief with both Camie and Papagg exaggerating expressions of some form which I'm beginning to like more and more since Usopp is the only one who really does them frequently (though Sanji exaggerates love-faces best). Charles looks deader than Spandam (DEAD I TELL YOU).

However, out of all this what excited everyone was the reactions of Kidd and Law. For the once/still potential bad guys of this arc, they seem a litte to happy and impressed by Luffy's blatant disregard for the state of the world. Though we have depicted both Kidd and Law as less than nice people, this shot does give the impression that they are not the Strawhat's direct enemy. What's more, if we look into the Supernova's, their strength, attitudes and reason for pirateering and we may have more than meets the eye. Most powerful pirates we have faced in the grand line have either been weak, but fun (Foxy pirates are still one of my favourites) or shichibukai members. Throughout the entire Grand Line adventure, the harshest battle the Strawhats have had have been against world powers with 2 Shichibukai, one marine base and one battle against god rounding off the list for memorable battles. What I'm trying to get at in the most roundabout way possible, is that all the Supernova's may be true pirates each striving towards becoming the pirate king rather than pirates who are really just bandits at sea. Though there is in-fighting amongst pirates, after seeing Law and Kidd's acceptance of Luffy's attack it is possible that every single supernova may band together to repel any marine attack which appears to be inevitably coming this way. And this is not just because they like to fight, but because of the unwritten pirate code which can band them together for a common purpose (such as how Water 7 itself seemed to fight alongside the Strawhats againt the government).

The Strawhats (CONTINUING ON WITH THE CHAPTER REVIEW) are all actually rather pleased that Luffy pummelled the large-pocketed Tenryuubito. Luffy, in typical Luffy-fashion, aplogises for what he's done which will surely bring distress to the Strawhats. However, in atypical fashion none of the Strawhats even give a slight complaint or whack Luffy over the head to give him the standard comical bump on the head. It's a show by Oda that the Strawhats have really banded together since Enies Lobby. Though we recognised this in Thriller Park as they all fought Oz for Luffy's sake, it is nice to see the continuation to crew harmony which was so out-of-whack in Water 7 that it felt there would be an enormous change in the One Piece formula. Nami is the first to Hacchi's side in a theme that I still love, but know I will be sick of by the end of this arc while the rest of the Strawhats prepare for the fallout with a suprising amount of confidence considering their hesitance only a chapter or two ago.


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I'm sorry. The number you have called is currently unavailable. Please grow some balls, and try again.

Suprisingly, the Tenryuubito are the first to recover with Shalulia (*snorts* that's gotta be the funniest name. Say it outloud, my friend thought I was warming my tongue up...then he called me gay) making a comment of “never being hit by his own father before” which really brings back memories. If you remember, there was a similar line to this used by Helmoppo back in the Morgan arc and, until this was said, I had had a sneaking suspicion this character type had been shown before. Helmoppo's reliance in his dad and the Tenryuubito's reliance on the entire marine force is similar, excluding the massive difference in scale. After realising this, I hope Garp turns up with his two petty officers even more now since this nobody might actually get some more character development.

As Rosward shouts things about status and other things that none of the oblivious Strawhats would really care about to compensate for his actual lack of strength, the crowd erupts by either moving to attack the Strawhats or running away from the fight. Sanji and Zoro seem to take care of the large portion of the force, so nothing new there, while Chopper does very little...so nothing new there. Rosward keeps shouting about the threats while a panic erupts at a level that would make the buster call look like child's play. The Strawhats really had little to fear from a Buster Call nowdays, and the only reason it probably got as far as it did in the last battle was because they were largely exhausted from the CP9 and Enies Lobby forces. By comparison, one admiral would be a concern, but not by too much. However, if this admiral brings “his battleships” (that's plural) filled with captains and commanders of the marines then, by comparison, the 8 Strawhats will probably not stand a chance. A large scale battle is surely impending between the marines and pirates since the amount of marines which may come will need to be balanced by the power of the pirates, and it's very obvious Oda created all these Supernovas to be able to make a large scale battle in which they each get to show their strength and reason why they are a threat to the marines.

With all the Strawhats in battle, just in case you thought the missing three had more of a reason to be missing other than to be fashionably late, the remainder of the crew turn up on the flying fish. But no entrance, no not even Luffy's, could be upstaged by a Usopp Usopp no Butt Stomp! (see Oz for the better version) While Rosward continues talking to himself, because people seem to have stopped caring a while ago, Usopp's butt delivers a frightening blow which they should have provided a freeze-frame, three-angled shot in honour of. What cracked me up was how Usopp, more reserved than a gay man surrounded by rednecks, was what clued the guards to the craziness of the Strawhats. I hope (and predict) he gets a larger bounty than Sanji, since Sanji's bounty (or lack thereof) seems to have become a running joke.


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That bear...Pandaman? T_T IT'S BEEN SO LONG *runs to his embrace*

Before I begin this paragraph (though I've actually just begun it), if you don't know what Pandaman is be ashamed and http://www.thegrandline.com/pandaman.html. Ok, so we find that one of the Supernova's is actually a little more sociable than the rest who either pick fights or talk amongst themselves. While Usopp freaks about an Admiral coming, Law interupts the conversation by letting Luffy know the marines have arrived well before they are due. Either Law's power is the surveillance fruit or this guy is actually highly perceptive unlike many people who wear shocked expressions when almost anything on a higher scale than someone coughing happens.

Luffy naturally shows interest in the bear (which I hope gets a name), while Law might as well be talking to himself if Luffy is listening. Robin fortunately hears some of the conversation, so at least all that information won't go to complete waste. As smart and perceptive as Law appears, even he appears to be unaware Silvers Rayleigh is lurking in the slavehouse while the marines surveillance once again displays an unbelievable level of knowledge. Though it is said that “surely Rayleigh can bust through with spirit” or some crap like that, marines (though canon fodder for the Strawhats in Enies Lobby) would not grossly underestimate a legend of the pirate era to this extent, so I imagine they believe they have a hope of aprehending him. Whether or not the Strawhats are the ones to topple this equation remains to be seen along with what is giving the marines any level of confidence. The cloak shown is representative of a marine at at least captain level (if I remember correctly from data on the mass announcement to marines about Luffy's 30mil bounty back in the day) so either Garp has actually arrived, or there is another power (or dissillusioned) at work. Remember that man with an axe everyone thought was a bounty hunter? Wonder if he wears a marine cloak for his job...

AND THEN GIRL ON GIRL ACTION ERUPTS! Well, at least in a fanfiction somewhere it will eventually I'm sure. Shalulia (*snorts*) takes up a gun (which might have well just become the symbol of Tenryuubito over the last couple of chapters), shoots Disco Stu (but he will live on, in your souuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul~!) and takes aim at the mermaid with a line that is befitting of an assassin and faints at the sight of Rayleigh's Giant....what? Rayleigh got himself a pet giant. Thought I was gonna say penis didn't you? Well tough luck, the word PENIS will never make its way into my review. That said, I still admire the Tenryuubito bad guys who, though weak, are enough to want to take down rather than ignore. Disappointed a female was introduced without any cleavage or legs displayed. I think that's unheard of D=


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People who want your Giant-kun

YAY! GIANT-KUN ESCAPED! Oh and some old guy too. It seems that Rayleigh has not been really “keeping quiet” in his old age as you would expect and suddenly I wonder how the hell this guy remained hidden while being right next to WG headquarters. As I said earlier, the marines intelligence agency frightens me...for it's inconsistency. Though others probably don't care, I want this explained because I have a thirst for knowledge (*breaks bullshit-o-meter*). Naturally, the guards react, probably moreso to the giant who would typically be impossible to capture in normal circumstances let alone when he has not had his breakfast (bread ground from human bones according to fairytales, and we know Oda likes fairytales). Hachi recognises the stupid beard before the stupid LOL face of Rayleigh overrides it and forces me to laugh for reasons I'm still not quite sure of because it's not quite on par with Usopp's “Usopp Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah” attack, but like Shakkie he appears generally pleased Hacchi is around which makes them seriously due for a goddam flashback already (flashbacks usually do better character development than realtime events).

Rayleigh takes a quick look around and sees gay clowns to the left of me, joker's to the right and here I am~ Stuck in the middle with you~ With Rayleigh's one glance of the area, he takes in the complete scene without anyone so much as saying a thing. Though this might be true to a degree, Rayleigh might not be “the man who knows all” but just a smart character...dun dun DUUUUNNNNNN! I see it like this: Camie yells “Wait till Hacchin beats you up” in the back and...well actually the rest is pretty damned obvious to the point where I shouldn't need to explain how Rayleigh knows things. It should be comparable to seeing a pair of boobs and knowing they would be awesome to touch. Whether or not they're real and whether or not they're on a female are details that can surely wait.

Aside from the disturbing analogy, we move on to see Rayleigh use his Geass on the gay clowns and half-naked Dullahans to K.O them without having to resort to ear-biting. I didn't want to spend much time on the 'spirit/drive' ability, but since you guys make ridiculous comments on them....I won't spend much time on the 'spirit/drive' ability. I'll put it like this, Rayleigh is strong and he forces his aura out or something. I don't know why it's even a big deal when compared to how Zoro made a 6 armed, 3 headed illusion with rage alone so I'll leave it at that. Everyone should also remember that things in One Piece aren't complicated unless overthought. Weapons that eat devil fruits? A stream of water exploding an island 10,000 metres into the sky? A boat that can cry? WHO CARES! RAYLEIGH, FLASH ATTACK!

Rayleigh also recognises the Straw hat and Luffy (haha, thought I was done? It would have been a good finishiing comment too....) with a helpful chapter comment of “The Man who Knows All” and I must say “All” is a big word, but I take it on the same level as a man being the King of Pirates in a world with so many clashing pirate creeds that it makes mangahelper discussions look mild. What Rayleigh is, is both smarter than the average joe and a man who knows a lot about a world which few, if anyone at all, has visited every corner of. Shanks was famous for his strawhat while on Roger's ship (even Whitebeard remembered it) while Luffy is famous in his own right. To be a child that a Yonkou would sacrafice an arm on to bet on the new age is large enough, but I'd imagine Rayleigh and Shanks are probably more similar in terms of pirate creed than other known members of the Roger crew (the un-gay clown Buggy). As for why Rayleigh wants to meet him? If it's not related to Shanks I'll be surprised, but I'll be equally surprised if we find out why since Rayleigh will probably be distracted by Camie who wins the wet t-shirt contest every waking (and sleeping) minute of her life.

Main Chapter Points:

Kidd and Law gave genuine smiles which I feel I can put on par with the smile a murderer gets when someone bleeds
Usopp took out a Tenryuubito with his butt. That's some power...
The bear knows too much...Law too I guess...
Make Giant-kun welcome and don't give him a name because Giant-kun sounds funny
Newcomer: Rayleigh Silvers – The man who knows a lot (better, if lamer, description)


Chapter Rating:
Plot:
Actually pretty uneventful in terms of long scale effects, but Rayleighs appearance at the end was both necessary and well executed. The Strawhats unity was also rather admirable and the Tenryuubito remained evil until the end.

7/10

Art:
COLOUR SPREAD! Even if I somehow excluded that, the amount of crowded scenes that were still clear to the eye was astounding with only one camera angle used twice (Rayleigh coming from hole / Rayleigh spiriting), but to great effect to display changes.

8/10

Production:
I'm finding it impossible to give One Piece anything particularly low for production given how well the panels pace themselves and how the dialogue flowed well alongside it. I felt the sense of shock and the sense of panic and can imagine exactly how a true anime translation would work, though it got a tad too word heavy when Law spoke his mind.

8/10

Overall:
An excellent chapter, even if very little shock/awe happened compared to previous chapters. The balance worked better for me with nothing particularly wrong with the chapter, only let down by the fact it doesn't stand out enough.

23/30

Predictions:
So Rayleigh wants to speak to Luffy and I feel Rayleigh will be introduced as first mate if only to buy time until the end. Either way, Camie still needs to come out of her fishbowl and the marines are literally seconds away from attacking so the cliff hanger will probably be either the obliteration of the marines by SH, Rayleigh or a new force OR a shock amongst the marine attackers. It's also possible they just high tail it out of there asap and regroup at Shakkie/Rayleighs business, but considering Rayleigh hasn't gone back for a few years I expect something about that.

But all my guesses are most likely null and void since it's like Tuesday, and spoilers will be out tomorrow. Should just delay it and then go “SEE I TOLD YOU!” like I care whether you read any of this or not.

Kaja
June 19, 2008, 12:51 PM
Hehe, it's a nice review, you make a nice point about the mushrooms and Helmeppo, I knew they reminded me of someone ...

I really like how Oda changes the Strawhat's attitude toward Luffy's stupidity/occasional recklessness throughout the manga, especially Nami's. She's one of the characters that has changed the most since the beginning with Robin (leaving Franky and Brooke aside, obviously): first she asked Usopp for a weapon in the Alabasta arc, then in Skypeia she was the one who protected the ship and told Ener to stuff it, and in Water 7 she was the first to scream "LET'S GO ERASE THAT ISLAND FROM THE MAP", and that's a mile away from Whiskey Peak ...
But yeah, considering the SH's hesitation a few chapters ago, I was kinda expecting at least one of them to *face-palm* this week. I guess they were just waiting for Luffy's invitation to smash things.

As for Kidd and Law's smiles, well, I'm not really sure whether it's the "well that was badass" kind of smile or the "oh, so he's as stupid as they say" kind ... and I hadn't even considered the possibility that they might end up being allies at some point, even temporarily, but I now that I think of it there's a possibility ... but I'm not that convinced. They don't seem to be the type Luffy would like, especially Kidd ... not, actually, both, but then again, all they've being doing until now is sitting around and commenting on the Tenryuubito (and get in one fight in Kidd's case). Still, Law seemed rather unconcerned by all the events in the last chapters; I see him as a manipulative b*stard rather than a "let's fight together!" kind of guy.
And besides, Rayleigh still has to (accept to) coat the TS, right? With him at the SH's side for that long, I just don't see the point of a rookie alliance ><

Anyway I'm looking forward to that "other" kind of review; it will be nice to read something else than the chapter ones.

So, yeah. *trying hard not to go see the spoilers*

PS: btw, could you try putting smaller pictures next time? they're a bit large ...

PS2: as you may have noticed, English isn't my first language ^^

bittman
June 19, 2008, 10:00 PM
I really like how Oda changes the Strawhat's attitude toward Luffy's stupidity/occasional recklessness throughout the manga, especially Nami's. She's one of the characters that has changed the most since the beginning with Robin (leaving Franky and Brooke aside, obviously): first she asked Usopp for a weapon in the Alabasta arc, then in Skypeia she was the one who protected the ship and told Ener to stuff it, and in Water 7 she was the first to scream "LET'S GO ERASE THAT ISLAND FROM THE MAP", and that's a mile away from Whiskey Peak ...
But yeah, considering the SH's hesitation a few chapters ago, I was kinda expecting at least one of them to *face-palm* this week. I guess they were just waiting for Luffy's invitation to smash things.

You've gotta admire the character development of One Piece, even though it's illustrated as secondary to other mainstream manga for some weird reason. People read Naruto and go "OMG CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT" when someone dies then shun One Piece for not killing off 3 characters and 1 animal every arc but amazingly ignore the change a 500+long manga can reflect in main characters. If I was reviewing Naruto, I would say Sai's change was one of my favourite character developments, and no-one died there. Sorry, I lost my train of thought. Yes, Nami's development is probably one of the best of the series, but then Oda has been planning her since his early Romance Dawn prototypes. I still feel she's the real unspoken first mate of the Strawhats except that she's weak and has tits (not unrelated in most mangas).


As for Kidd and Law's smiles, well, I'm not really sure whether it's the "well that was badass" kind of smile or the "oh, so he's as stupid as they say" kind ... and I hadn't even considered the possibility that they might end up being allies at some point, even temporarily, but I now that I think of it there's a possibility ... but I'm not that convinced. They don't seem to be the type Luffy would like, especially Kidd ... not, actually, both, but then again, all they've being doing until now is sitting around and commenting on the Tenryuubito (and get in one fight in Kidd's case). Still, Law seemed rather unconcerned by all the events in the last chapters; I see him as a manipulative b*stard rather than a "let's fight together!" kind of guy.
And besides, Rayleigh still has to (accept to) coat the TS, right? With him at the SH's side for that long, I just don't see the point of a rookie alliance ><

Well recent spoilers seem to show the alliance, and thank god. When the arc started everyone was like "OMG BAD GUYS RIGHT THAR!" just because they gave scary expressions. If that was the case, Zoro would be the baddest guy in the history of One Piece. Remember, bad people are bad usually because they don't hold back in anything. I expect Hawkins and Drake to stick around and help too, however I do want all the Supernova's to stay after their hype (though Drake's chin can get fucked). A complete pirate alliance would be nice to put Luffy as pirate king or give him a rival, however you're right in looking at the progression.

Luffy needs a coating and I'm sure that takes time. As mentioned, this isn't a place Luffy can just rest after some insane battle unlike Water 7, Sky Island and Alabasta due to it's proximity to the WG headquarters. Though in retrospect, if a rookie alliance manages to beat a marine admiral, it's quite possible the WG will be scared to attack again while they are all together and then heavily work to pick off each supernova one by one. If this became the case, I expect the scenes Oda places between arcs (such as Ace Blackbeard fight) will showcase Luffy's new alliance members being captured or their progress in the new world. Truth be told, I'm getting sick of flashes to Shanks, Blackbeard and Ace as good as they are.


Anyway I'm looking forward to that "other" kind of review; it will be nice to read something else than the chapter ones.

So, yeah. *trying hard not to go see the spoilers*

PS: btw, could you try putting smaller pictures next time? they're a bit large ...

PS2: as you may have noticed, English isn't my first language ^^

Ah, we'll see about the 'other' review. I might just put it into Tree of Knowledge as a discussion topic with a very informative first post. I'm still concepting (not a word) the notion.

P.S. FINE! I'LL STOP USING PAINT AND USE PHOTOSHOP TO FEEL PROFESSIONAL!

Playstation2: Didn't see any problems with your writing. Don't put yourself down. BE MORE MANLY LIKE LUFFY!...you're a man yeah? Woman aren't on the net, so I guess so.