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haruka9
August 30, 2008, 10:14 AM
CHAPTER 512: ZORO, VANISHED


Hurray for CP9
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Last chapter, we saw Lucci taking the first move to beat the pirates, with Califa assisting him. But now, we get to see the entire CP9 agents fighting for the welfare of the people instead of fighting for the “clean” images of their bosses in the World Government. And if they used to fight in the shadows, we now see them getting into action with the entire island cheering for them. This is the perfect time for the former CP9 agents to show their new sense of justice.

Disgraceful Consequence
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Kizaru proves to be, by far, the most loyal among the other World Government officials. In this panel we see him commenting about the disgrace he might bring once he fails in his mission. The tenryuubito, despite being total ass****, holds such nobility in Mariejoia. Imagine how they’ll despise the Marine officials when the yellow monkey gets beaten by a rookie pirate who is the main offender of the tenryuubito and by a senior pirate who has been living in the island for a long time. And this is not just about being mission-oriented, showing off his power, and keeping his image honorable. His sense of responsibility gets firmer as the series of events become more serious. He has to capture the pirates, beat and capture the Dark King, and meet the other Marine officials for Ace’s pending execution without suffering from any physical wounds and disgrace. With all this in mind, I don’t think the pirates are the only ones who are in a pinch.

Time to Escape
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This is one powerful line coming from Luffy. While it sounds like a simple line, it absolutely showcases his strength in terms of individuality and leadership. Despite being a famous idiot, he is fully aware of the extension of his power and its boundaries, knows the thin line between risking his life and just being plain careless, and when to break a rule and when to stop fighting. This line encompasses all of these ideas. An essence that displays firm sense of responsibility, unparallel will, and also, humility.

On the other hand, there might be a trigger for this: his nakama. Luffy has never seen his nakama in such a tight pinch where they are in a point of actually wanting to escape rather than fighting (which they usually do, even when they are feeling weak). The emphasis of this thought is Zoro. Next to him, Zoro has displayed an incredible and overwhelming strength in physical power and will, and seeing his first mate in such a situation brings Luffy to realize that this is the time to admit, for the lack of better term, “defeat.” He can no longer let his nakama risk their lives, otherwise, they will all find themselves either in Impel Down or in the underworld. But…. I guess, if none of his nakama is in actual risk, Luffy might fight against these guys, despite the awareness of their difference in power (like what we witnessed when he fought Crocodile, Enel, Ao Kiji, and Lucci).

Senior Slash
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I guess have to stop thinking about Haki being the possible technique against Kizaru’s logia ability. Though we haven’t seen him use an actual technique, stopping Kizaru for a couple of times is enough to state that Rayleigh possesses a brute strength so great that he can deflect any kind of powerful technique without having so much difficulty. Before the admiral can even reach Usopp, we see him wield a sword and slice the former’s pika pika no mi. This is comparable to a rumor about Mihawk, saying that he can slice any kind of element to emphasize the greatness of his swordsmanship. However, I doubt Rayleigh is a swordsman. Maybe, he is similar to Shanks who is skilled with a saber, but doesn’t identify himself as swordsman. If Rayleigh’s source of ability is just pure strength, then it means that Luffy and Zoro still has a very long way to go in order to gain the title they’ve been dreaming of.

Impressions and Strategies
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We now see Sentoumaru taking a small amount of time to witness the battle between the Dark King and the Yellow Monkey. Even he, who must be knowledgeable about pirates, other Marine officials, and other strong forces lurking around the sea, is quite awed by the strength that the Dark King is showing. Rayleigh not only makes the admiral wield a weapon, but he’s able to scratch the latter as well. This gives me some validation that maybe, Rayleigh is just so darn powerful, as Sentoumaru sees his “uncle” becomes worked up without using any devil fruit power or scientific modification.

In spite of being awed, he is able to switch back to the actual situation, where he orders PX-1 to catch Zoro since he has the weakest state at this moment. This brings me back at one Alabasta fight when Mr. 1 and Ms. Doublefinger stated that targeting the weakest is a very effective strategy for assassins. I guess Sentoumaru applies the same principle as well. Moreover, aside from being the easiest one to catch, Zoro can be used as bait for other Strawhats.

A Man's Resolve
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Zoro, without a doubt, no longer has the strength to fight, yet, he amazingly volunteers to be left behind in the hopes for drawing their enemy’s attention to him. He is willing to become the bait and in that way, he is still able to save his nakama from any danger. It is just a simple line and yet, it is a powerful way to show the strength of his character as an individual, as a nakama, and as first mate. What he wishes right now is similar to what he asked for Kuma. He wanted to become the instrument to save his captain because he strongly believed in Luffy and his ability to become the Pirate King. Now Zoro is fully aware that he might end up dead or eternally locked up in jail once he gets captured, but he is still willing to perish as long as his nakama gets to sail freely and achieve their dreams.

Once again, I get another flashback at Alabasta when I read Brooke saying this line. This brings us back to Usopp’s fight when he decided to engage in a direct combat against Ms. Merry Christmas and Mr. 4. I remember him saying such words to Chopper (without the laughing at one’s dream part), displaying his firm resolve when a nakama is in a pinch. And even when Brooke knows that he is no match against a Pacifista, he chooses to face him instead so their group can have an opening. And just like Usopp’s situation in Alabasta, the afro skeleton shows his respect to Zoro by standing up and becoming a real man. On a personal note, I was deeply touched and was at the point of even shedding a tear upon reading his strong line, when he suddenly manages to play another bone joke. It was both touching and funny.

Rescuing Marimo
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Brooke is down and no one is left to give Usopp an opening to save Zoro. Sanji then decides to buy them some time by putting all his strength to kick PX-1. I really like this part because this is another showcase of character development in this chapter. While this flirtatious chef loves to protect Nami and Robin, he entrusts the role to Franky and dashes to Usopp’s direction mainly to save Zoro. While they always bicker about the tiniest things, Sanji presents a great deal of respect and concern for his marimo nakama.

Chopper's Desperate Point
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After the realization of his fading strength, Sanji takes a direct hit from the Pacifista. Brooke is unable to move and Usopp also gets a hit from PX-1’s “beam.” Luffy is continuously attacked by Sentoumaru and Franky has used all his cola to fight. As Chopper witnesses his nakama go down one by one, he finally reaches his breaking point and succumbs to his last resort: his monster point. Robin instantly realizes this but her plea remains unheard as he finally turns into a powerful monster. This is a very emotional part on him, because unlike in Ennies Lobby (where he only decided to put himself into Monster Point because he knew he wouldn’t be able to defeat Kumadori), this incident triggers him to think that he doesn’t have enough strength to protect his nakama.

Sadly, this is the reaffirmation of my speculation on my last review: if the Strawhats gets into a fight they may either use their creativity and resourcefulness to deflect an attack or use their strongest ability but the consequences are fatal. Since their top priority is to escape and they definitely have no time to strategize, the Strawhats instinctively decides to use their strongest technique. Now Sanji receives a grave wound from the “beam” and his legs are at the point of nearly breaking, Brooke experiences a “bone-crashing defeat,” Zoro is powerless, Franky has no cola left, and now, Chopper uses a monster point – where the consequences can be lethal not only to him but to his nakama as well. I doubt Robin’s hana hana no mi, Franky physical strength, and Nami’s Clima Tact can do something to create an effective defense.

Finally!!!!
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When I read the chapter title, I instantly thought of Bartholomew Kuma. And even when I already predicted that Kuma might be appearing in this chapter, I still found myself blown away. Usopp, being unconscious about the Shichibukai’s real strength back in Thriller Bark, thinks that the one that he sees before them is another Pacifista. On the other hand, Zoro knows full well about Kuma and the acknowledgement of his presence is shown as the former tries to stand up and talk to him. This small gesture (once again) shows us Zoro’s resolve since he made an agreement with Kuma back then. Any sign of faltering might be a mean that he is not capable nor worthy to hold such a deal…. And that might give Kuma a reason to break their agreement and catch Luffy.

While Kuma’s surprising appearance means “trouble” to the Strawhats, I strongly believe that Zoro is safe somewhere. His earlier line, saying that “he manages to live” is an acknowledgement that Zoro is strong enough to survive from a “living hell” and is man enough to be honored, respected and praised. As a proof of this idea (and even as a reward), Kuma’s deal with him in Thriller Bark might be extended in this archipelago as he helps the swordsman escape, by putting him somewhere with his “teleporting” ability. Besides, we know that this Bartholomew Kuma is a gentle giant who shares some similarity with Ao Kiji, especially in terms of moral justice.

Overall:
One Piece reaches its most breath-taking point with this chapter. There are lots of character development shown in a simple, but powerful way, some touching moments, and funny jokes. And what this chapter makes more powerful is the breaking point the characters have reached. It shows their cool, sad, touching, and strong sides during such times and the conflict they are facing right now is something that define their characters further. Oda manages to put another twist by adding a surprise “visit” from Kuma in this chapter. One Piece stands out because of his ability to write a story and wow his readers with every panel he draws.

ninjaa
August 31, 2008, 02:15 AM
Hey, good review! I think your analysis on Kizaru's pinch is really interesting. I think he is really a good guy, and believes in what he is doing. I think this foreshadows a lot of upcoming events in the manga. Because this is almost officially the halfway point of One Piece, the events coming up are going to be more epic and on a world-scale. If you think about Kizaru's situation, he is fighting with Rayleigh due to the reputation of the Marines in front of the Tenryuubito even though there is going to be a big war with Whitebeard going on soon. If he gets injured, the Marines will lose a great military asset and might end up losing an important battle against Whitebeard because of it. This will lead to the World Government to find out Garp was hiding his location all along. What if something happens because of it? What do you think?

Raysen_ht
August 31, 2008, 05:23 PM
Great review again!!! Even though sahugani made his one this week, you managed to write something as good as him! (thats a BIG compliment) I loved the way you focused on the litlle lines that showed great caracter development! I really liked the way you analised Kisaru's situatiuon... i hadn't thought of that, and it really makes sence!

Do you think kidd and Law might apeear next chapter? I think they might show up to help (more like i hope they will).

Do you think Kuma might have send Zoro to Mihawk? Cuzz he asked *where would you like to travel to*, and Zoro would have chosen *wher i can fullfill my dream* And that, is wherever Mihawk is!

GREAT JOB :thumbs hope to see many more reviews from you!

Btw... if you had a lot of trouble to put the pics, i dont mind if you cut them out and do as you did last review...

haruka9
September 01, 2008, 12:18 AM
Hey thank you guys!!!! I am really glad that you like my review.

@ninjaa: I completely agree with you. In fact, that's the same point that I thought the moment I read the line. If we just think about it, Kizaru, like you said, seems to be a good guy. It just so happens that he is fighting against the Strawhats that we want him to get beaten. But we look closely, he is really doing his job as a Marine official. I also agree that the following events that will take place will be more epic and on world-scale. The plot in One Piece has started to thicken. What started as a fun adventure will definitely turn up to be a grand event that will blow us away. As for Kizaru.... He really cannot afford himself to get seriously injured, otherwise, the World Government will be impaled. His strength and his position is of grave importance to Ace's execution. As for Garp's "little secret about Rayleigh".... there is a chance that such information will leak out, but I don't think the consequence for him will be big. After all, Sengoku must have known that Garp tends to be stubborn, so he might just end up being scolded....^_^

@Raysen_ht: Thank you for such a compliment!!!! Really, I am glad with your impression. Sahugani's really a great writer, so thank you if you find my review nice. I also replied on your comments on my last review, it just took me some time to do so because of the things going on in our home. Anyway, I have been hoping to see Kidd and Law. I really miss those guys! And just like you, I hope we get to see them next chapter. There are chances that we might get to see these supernovas; Oda has a way of leaving his readers hanging from a big event like Zoro who suddenly vanishes. So, we might get to see what happens to them.... if the next chapter is not entirely focused in them.... at least we might get some glimpses of them. But, just like you, I do hope they will appear next chapter.

About the location of Zoro.... I thought of such possibilities that he might be on Mihawk's location. After all, Kuma does know that Zoro dreams to become the greatest swordsman, and in order for him to reach such goal, he needs to beat Mihawk. And if really is sent to Mihawk, I don't think there will be a duel that will take place. Maybe they will just have some little chat. Zoro is not in the position to fight; he can't even stand up properly. And seeing that Mihawk is a swordsman with a great reputation, it will be too shameful on his part to fight Zoro, even when the latter wishes to fight him. On a personal not, I hope that he is just somewhere random. The last time I saw Mihawk facing Zoro, I got the feeling that their next meeting will be on the duel that both parties are waiting for. Mihawk said something that "he will wait in his strongest form" and "surpass me, surpass this sword, Roronoa Zoro!"(something like that). And for me, it will look Zoro really pathetic and shameful when he faces Mihawk, who "is waiting in his strongest form" while he on toher hand is seriously wounded. It will also somewhat an insult for Mihawk. But, I am not closing my thoughts on the idea that he might face Mihawk as he vanishes out of the blue. Some meaningful conversation that they'll share is the most plausible event that might place.

Again, that you very much. I am really happy that you like this. ^_^

ninjaa
September 01, 2008, 02:14 AM
You know, I'm really looking forward to what will happen to Zoro in the upcoming chapters. This is the perfect opportunity for Oda to really develop Zoro as a character. Throughout the entire series he was always a part of Luffy's crew, but now, for the first time since the beginning, hes on his own. Everyone else in the crew got their time in the spotlight, why not Zoro? Zoro, being the first mate, is one of the more important members of the Strawhats, yet we honestly don't know too much about him, especially compared to the amount of time he was in the story. What do you think about that?

haruka9
September 01, 2008, 08:52 AM
I agree. I want to see more of Zoro too, especially with all the things that's happening around. He poses as the "cool, tough guy" among the crew, but other than that, we haven't really seen him in the spotlight. We already saw Nami, Usopp, Robin, and even Chopper take the center stage. We have also seen the soft side of Sanji, Brooke, and Franky. The only time we saw Zoro being the focus of the story is during back story and back in the Thriller Bark. The other ones are just his fights where he transcends as a swordsman, not as a person. I guess there isn't much to change about him since he's already confident and strong, but still, just like you said, there are still lots of room for his character development. Now that everyone is doing their best to save him and that the opponents is targeting him, it's time for Zoro to reveal his other side and to show development of his character (not as a swordsman)