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haruka9
October 26, 2008, 04:56 AM
CHAPTER 519: KING'S DISPOSITION

After a week of hushed exchange of ideas about the latest chapter, we gather once again in this bright corner of One Piece Reviews. As much as I wanted to know the next events in Amazon Lily, I was somewhat relieved to learn that there wouldn’t be Chapter 519 at that time. I was so relieved because I would have time to write my other set of chapter reviews in Hunter X Hunter, only to find out that I would be stuck with more work. My siblings had these sets of exam and projects and I had to help them. Fortunately, I finished all of it before the latest One Piece chapter was released. Well, enough of my ranting…. What matters is our well-loved pirate adventure is back on the circulation.

Before I get down to business, I will take this opportunity to express some changes in my chapter reviews. Well, it’s not really a big deal but I guess it will be more prudent to explain about the additional corners that I’ll establish. I got this idea from writing my Hunter X Hunter reviews, and I thought it would be more fun to add similar specks of idea here. The first “speck” is “The Spectacle” corner, where I will emphasize the best point of the current chapter. It can be a moving panel, an impressive character development, a bad-ass action scene, or a prologue to a One Piece epic. The next one is “The Downside” corner. As the name suggests, this section will contain the glitches/weakest point of the chapter. I am no mangaka, so I cannot discuss the technicalities of it such as panels, shadings, angles, etc. What I’ll do is to express my personal idea in case I spot a weakness in the current chapter. “Final Notes” will be the rap up of the entire chapter. I would have wanted to add and post my favorite page/panel in previous chapter. But, I don’t see it fit, since there is already a feature of previous characters’ arc at the first page. Because I am very prone to making long chapter reviews and to constructing long sentences, I’ll do my best to write in a more casual way. This way, it’ll appear like it’s a chapter discussion/conversation. I hope you appreciate my new-established corners in my reviews.


Rokushiki Heir
http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/5722/firstta6.jpg

After embracing a new set of life, the CP9 agents go back to their homeland. This gesture signifies their vow to begin a new life with the inclusion of retiring from their old job. We haven’t seen them since they arrive at their old island, but we get to have a preview of the future Rokushiki masters. These snotty, perky kids will be the heir of their career, and hopefully, they won’t follow the footsteps of their predecessors. Judging from the air that they project, it seems that they have a much promising life ahead of them. I am not stereotyping, but the characteristics of these kids – snotty, dirty, vivacious, and determined-looking, usually display strong fighters with good heart. Besides, if they do end up being a set of fighters filled with a belief of absolute justice without a sense of humanity, the former CP9 agents are there to watch them – just like what they’re doing in this chapter. I guess this is the kind of life that they’d embrace – Roukishiki masters in the shadows and ordinary people with lots of faith in their heir.


Snake Sisters
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/736/secondnn4.jpg

Okay, I admit I am embarrassed for even thinking that there is another “curse” running in the veins of the Gorgon sisters. I guess this is the result for being so absorbed with another potential controversy in One Piece that I forget one of the most distinguishable elements in this series. If it weren’t for the readers who commented on my last chapter review, my head wouldn’t get banged and I wouldn’t have realized that this curse is simply a devil fruit (so thank you very much for informing me, Max Cola Power and Raysen_ht). Anyway, this brings me back in the earliest chapters in One Piece. People from East Blue regard devils fruits as “cursed fruits.” In line with the current events, Kuja women refer the Gorgon sisters’ devil fruit ability as a “Gorgon curse” due to their lack of information outside their island. They think that these girls obtain their extraordinary abilities by defeating a Gorgon monster, where in reality, they merely ate a devil fruit. This confirms our speculation that the rumors about the eyes at their backs and the ability it wields are simply…. rumors. It is a story that the sisters made up to cover the flaw of this “epitome of beauty.” Taking advantage of the Kujas’ innocence about the outside world, they sensationalized it with some nasty “Gorgon monster” bestowing curses and bizarre eyes upon them, so the vain sisters will have a reputable excuse for looking different from normal girls. Furthermore, they receive more enormous glory by adding the idea of this evil monsters’ defeat.

Both the younger sisters have a Zoan model of Devil Fruits – with Marigold having a Snake Snake fruit, Model: King Cobra and Sandersonia having Snake Snake fruit, Model: Anaconda. With the showmanship of two specific species under one type of Zoan fruit, it only means that there is indeed a huge variety of Zoan models. From a prehistoric model (Drake turning into Tyrannosaurus Rex), we get to see two famous snake species falling into the bodies of the two younger Gorgons. If I get to see a mythical model next time, like a Dragon or a Phoenix, I wouldn’t be surprised (well, I can still be astonished, but, oh well….). Being known for its most dangerous poison, the model of King Cobra allows Marigold to spit venomous saliva where anything it targets melts. Sandersonia, on the other hand, follows the real characteristic of her devil fruit model where she can lock and strangle the opponent using her Anaconda-like body.


Reminiscence
http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/5628/thirdkr8.jpg

Luffy’s continuous utter of his nakama’s name is very palpable. Since he landed in Amazon Lily, he has started to show signs of his misery. He first showed it by eating mushrooms, pretending that he’s eating a real laughing mushroom and that makes him cheerful even if he’s alone. And despite his new-formed resolve, it can’t hide the fact that he misses them so much that he tells himself his nakama’s skills and his memories with them whenever a similar circumstance occurs. His behavior is very understandable, especially when he faltered and reached his breaking point before he departed with them in Shabondy Island. I guess we will see more of his recollection in the next chapters with mention of his other nakamas’ names like Brooke and Zoro.


Haki Attack
http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/8638/fourthpu1.jpg

Again, another showmanship of Haki. One of the things that make this side arc interesting is the variations of Haki. It has been wielded in many ways than we imagine. Aside from putting this Haki into the weapon (done by Margaret) and possibly synergizing it with an attack (Hancock’s Pistol Kiss), it can also deflect strong attacks like Luffy’s Gomu Gomu no Stamp. By incorporating and compressing Marigold’s Haki in her hands, her defense becomes tighter, thus deflecting Luffy’s Stamp, like the way a rubber ball bounces back from a wall. This can also mean that Sentoumaru’s defense when he was fighting Luffy, has something to do with Haki. But this is just another form of speculation. Anyway…. Marigold also puts her Haki into her club-like weapon, hurting him big time. It is similar to Margaret’s attack back then, but it seems that Gorgon girl has a stronger version, given that her devil fruit ability and the effect of a direct hit make it more powerful.


Haki Defense
http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/9615/fifthqt5.jpg

Right after Luffy expresses his bewilderment aloud, Sandersonia realizes that Luffy has this “curse” as well. But I don’t think she will ever share the information to another person, aside from her sisters, to preserve the reputation they’ve built amongst the warriors. More importantly, she hints Luffy about the usefulness of Haki. Sandersonia saying, “Those who come from outside this island wouldn’t understand…. That’s why you’re weak” only means that Haki must be most widely used in Amazon Lily. In fact, the knowledge of it helps the Kujas to become strong and in par with other fighters. Because they seem to mostly rely on it, the usage of Haki has allowed them to wield it in various ways – which is why it is specifically featured here. It emphasized not only the spirit technique itself, but also the place where it is treated like the most fundamental skill of a Kuja. If it were shown by Sentoumaru or Rayleigh, it would have defeated its purpose of showing how the residents of Amazon Lily exercise Haki to its fullest.

On the other hand, it seems that Sandersonia can also use mantra. It’s been a while since we’ve encountered an individual who can use it such as Enel, the four priests, and Aisa. I once thought that it would be exciting to see another person with such ability in Grand Line and I never expected that my little wish would be answered. But then again, I contradicted myself in regards with this mantra, given that Haki is specially emphasized in this chapter. In the later panels, we see Luffy being “snake slammed” by Sandersonia, but her attack isn’t painful for him, which can only mean that hers is just a normal one (without Haki of course). Then, she uses her “snake dance” to avoid his Gattling Gun, followed by a comment from another spectator, “with the power of her Haki, there’s no attack Sonia-sama can’t avoid.” With this, Sandersonia’s Haki is another variation of this spirit technique: a defense one. So far we’ve seen an attack type of Haki, be it a direct hit (Shanks and Rayleigh), a weapon (Margaret and Marigold), or strengthening one’s power (Hancock). Sandersonia’s Haki version is very similar to Mantra, but its reinforcement seems to be different. Aisa’s mantra is a gift, whereas Enel and the four priests’ is an exercise of some art. However, this Gorgon gal can be using her spirit to sharpen her instincts to the point that she can predict one’s move. She can also extend her spirit around her body so she’ll immediately sense a predetermined move. (For Hunter X Hunter readers, this type of Haki is similar to En). But since it’s just a defense type of Haki, her attacks doesn’t seem to be that strong – or at least in Luffy’s point of view.


Spirited Scream
http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/2148/sixthqr8.jpg

While it hurts Luffy to be away from his nakama and it even becomes more troublesome being in such a pinch, it doesn’t seem like he’s taken a real step to defeat them. Maybe this is just because of his pace, or maybe, he’s still hoping that it wouldn’t end in a beat-or-get-beaten manner since he sees them as his primary source of help. But the thing is, once Luffy is triggered by an event that is really important to him, he gets reaaaally serious. In this case, this important event is triggered by Margaret being an instrument for his “despair.” With what happened in Shabondy Island and with his new-found will, he will not let anything get in his way – especially if it is about the safety of the person he cares about. And now that the sisters are taunting him and threatening him in a different scale, Luffy starts to become a frightening fighter who has intimidated even unparallel opponents like Crocodile and Enel. What he doesn’t know is that something that he’s done also becomes the trigger for the girls, especially the Gorgon sisters to take him seriously. But more on that later.


Royal Haki
http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/7333/seventhyd8.jpg

There is something that Luffy has done that makes Sandersonia and Marigold to really listen to him. He not only stuns the sisters but the entire spectators too – well, the only ones who remain conscious. Luffy doesn’t know it yet, but he can already wield a well-known Haki technique called Haoushoku Haki, or “King’s Disposition.” Having a title of “the Haki of the Chosen Ones” it means that such technique can only be used by fighters who have an entirely different scale of fighting. They are the people who must have established a reputation in the “pirate summit.” A proof of this is its rarity and the difficulty of wielding and mastering it. It seems that no other person in Amazon Lily, which is filled with individuals who can use Haki in various levels, can use it, except Hancock. But even she expressed uncertainties regarding King’s Disposition because she hasn’t mastered it yet. This makes me think that there is a real power that lies in this vain Shichibukai and that power is her skill in Haki. If my presumption is correct, and Hancock hasn’t even mastered it yet, then it means that King’s Disposition is a bigger and more powerful than any one-heck-of-a-technique there is.

The real essence of this event is Luffy’s ability to use it in a whim. In fact, he uses it without him knowing it. He already did it when he encountered the Rosy Life Riders, and he unknowingly wielded it as well. This time, he stops being the source of entertainment and the laughing stock of the Kujas. The realization of him being “one of the chosen few” urges the women to take him really seriously. On the other hand, I don’t think Luffy will be able to comprehend the strength of what he’s done. Even if the Gorgon sisters or even his new buddies (Margaret, Sweet Pea, and Aphelandra) spend the entire time explaining Haki on him, Luffy will just end up calling it “the mystery technique.” Being a famous idiot that he is, he usually understands the seriousness of the matter by seeing its effects rather than understanding its principles. He’s similar to Naruto who learns the application of the ninjutsu faster than understanding the how’s and the what’s.


Prelude to Luffy's Epic Transcendence
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After also realizing the Snake sisters are stronger than he expects, Luffy positions himself into Gear Two. This is one of the rare moments when we see him so bad-ass. His facial expression really complements what he says, and this is the time where we should expect something cool from him. Of course, he will shift his form into his Gear Two (with such position). But what I expect is a new flavor of it – like a new move or incorporating higher-powered form of offense and even defense. This reminds back in the discussion in One Piece Mega Convo. Andonan shares his idea of Luffy possibly wielding Gear Two with Haki (thank you for sharing your idea Andonan. This also helps me to think about the situation better). With Luffy acquiring the usage of Haki closer (in his own way of course), it is very likely that he will incorporate his strong spirit/aura with his “Jet attacks.” After all, he vows to defeat his powerful opponents with his unbent will, so that kind of resolve will surely help him adopt this Haki much faster. This is something that we should absolutely watch out for.

The Spectacle: http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/4434/spectacleve9.jpg

I think there are two best things here in this chapter. The first one is the existence of what seemingly an unparallel technique called “Haoushoku Haki.” Also being called as “King’s Disposition,” the prestige it has established constantly impresses even the stronger warriors. I bet it takes a hell lot of power and will in order to wield it. The other veterans in piracy such as Shanks, Rayleigh, and Edward Newgate, must have known how to use it as well. After all, the former two have initially shown us its basic usage, and being marked as “the strongest man in the world,” Newgate must be able to wield it. Since Luffy, who is even unaware of existence, uses it in an impulse, it gives us a notion of him acquiring and using Haki in Amazon Lily in the next few chapters. If this notion turns accurate, then it will help him prepare for any possible fight that he’ll face in the Shabondy and even in the New World. He really needs it if he doesn’t want to happen this “forced nakama break-up” again.

This leads us to another best thing in this chapter, which can be seen in the last panel: Luffy prepares himself to shift into Gear Two. I really like it when Oda puts this scene in the last panel. One of the important things in storytelling is the transition of the story. You don’t put “this” in some chapter because you feel like it. Putting conflicts, character developments, and solutions must be done very carefully so your story will make more sense. The significance of this chapter’s transition is the huge possibility of Luffy incorporating Haki in his Gear Two. Since Luffy wields the “King’s Disposition” first before positioning himself into Gear Two, it appears more likely and more logical that he will combine the two. I believe the last panel is not just displayed as a bad-ass cliffhanger but also as a prelude to Luffy’s epic transcendence.

The Downside:http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/7107/downsidecx6.jpg

I find it difficult to look for any glitches in this chapter since Oda keeps the flow of his storytelling very consistently. I guess the only thing that I can say in this corner is that this “mini arc” may take so long that the other Strawhats might not find the same limelight that Luffy acquires. Don’t get me wrong, I do know that featuring Luffy’s own arc is very necessary, especially with the emotional breakdown he experiences in Shabondy. However, I also believe that the other Strawhats also need to show their character development and transcendence. Chopper should be specially featured because he experiences the same breakdown as Luffy’s. There are more unspoken issues that should be addressed like his Monster Point. His captain finally finds a way to make up for his weakness (Haki) and Chopper should also find to make up for the lack of powerful ability so he won’t be forced to resort to his own version of Gokou’s Gorilla Point (which reminds me of my childhood. I once thought that looking into the full moon would turn me into a gorilla. I even advised my friends not to look at it so they won’t rampage and turn into a gigantic primate). However, I doubt that the other Strawhats wouldn’t star in their own chapter. If they get featured, maybe they’ll share some of their progressive moments in a singular chapter. But who knows, I might be wrong and Oda might find a way to surprise us once more.

Final Notes:http://img361.imageshack.us/img361/1517/finalnotesav4.jpg


We finally know the name of the spirited scream that Luffy has used. And hopefully, the possibility of the idea of combined Haki and Gear Two will be correct. What I like in this chapter and even in this entire arc is that it showcases Luffy’s transcendence. It is very rare to see him display a new set of technique. Yeah, it’s quite impressive to see him beat far stronger opponents like Crocodile and Enel, but it’s seldom that we see him to display a new set of more powerful abilities. The first thing that I see him transcend in terms of fighting is his showcase of Gear Two and Gear Three. After that, we see him abusing himself to save his crew. It’s usually Zoro who shows us brand new techniques and that his progress as a fighter is much more palpable compared to other Strawhats. If Luffy aspires to become the Pirate King, then his progress is very essential. Oda finds a way to show it by Luffy landing in an unknown island filled with new things and interesting culture. What makes it more impressive is that he incorporates Luffy’s transcendence with more vivid showmanship of Haki and its variations, and of course the seventh Shichibukai.

Raysen_ht
October 26, 2008, 02:15 PM
Awesome review haruka!!!
First let me say that i liked the new "sections" of your review! they are usefull!

I agree with you on the fights and on the aplications of haki that you mentioned, also, i agree about luffi state of mind (he keeps saying his nakama's names...) but i have to desagree with what you considered the most important part of the chapter...

For me it was the fact that we discovered that Haky isnt a generic power that increases ones overall power (like "Ki" or Aura in other mangas..) but that it has diferent aplications that vary from one person to another!! The only other manga i've ever found something like this was on HxH's Nen (and for me that is the most awesome fighting ability of all time, cuzz it doesnt matter who has the "strongest" nen, but how you aplly your power... experience is a huge factor!)
I am surprised, but in a VERY good way by this new development that Oda has given to us!

Im preety sure we wont have seperate arcs for all the crewmenbers... im guessing that Kuma sent some of them to the same place... what do you think of that?

MAX_COLA_POWER!
October 26, 2008, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the shout out Haruka! I know I speak for Raysen when I say that you are very welcome^^. About Luffy's Haki, I think this can very well be the Elixir that Gear 2 needed to stop being life-threatning to Luffy, or maybe he'll develop a new gear based on Haki, kinda like 2 is Soru, and 3 is a variation of Tekkai to a point. Also, epic transcendence, very well put^^. I truly think that we'll get like 2 or 3 more character arcs, cause If I remember right, I think I saw like 6 comets flying out of Shabondy, meaning that Oda-sama will only focus on those characters who REALLY need the power-up. Here's hoping that Margaret becomes the new member of team child-like curiosity (Luffy, Usopp, Chopper, and Brook)^^.

haruka9
October 27, 2008, 12:24 AM
Raysen_ht: Thank you very much. I also agree with you in regards with Nen. It's the best tehcnique ever invented! It has "the sky's the limit" variations and the special Nen techniques are very unique and very crazy. Oda's showcase of Haki, like what you said, is impressively surprising. I once thought that it might just be a power-up technique. But now that we've seen many variations of it, it only means that Oda has still lots of extraordinary, creative, and even crazy things up on his sleeve. All of us are surely looking forward to the next showmanship of Haki. I wonder what will they be. About the other characters.... Well, I don't mind if some characters don't necessarily get the limelight like Nami and Robin because they don't have current issues that should be addressed. What I am actually looking forward to is a focus on Chopper and Zoro because their character developments are of the essence in the entire arc. And if Kuma sent some of them to the same places, well, these Strawhat members must be the ones who don't necessarily need progress (like Nami and Robin). Kuma seems to have a good character judgment so just like what he did to Luffy, he must have sent the others to a certain place alone, so they can figure out what they lack and what they need (Chopper and Zoro).

Max_Cola_Power: Well, it's really thanks to the both of you that I finally grasped the reality of the curse simply by being Devil Fruits, ^__^. And just like what you said, I do hope that the usage of Haki in his Gear Two will help him to wield it without his life span being lessened. For sure, Luffy will use his Gear Two more often in the next arcs considering that they're about to face much powerful opponents. And if he uses it without this "elixir" then it will appear like he's stabbing himself with a knife. It's a suicide. I am not actually considering Margaret to become part of their crew (I don't even know why. I can't support my idea with logic ><), but it will be absolutely fun to see her become a member of the crew. I guess we need more female crewmembers and a female innocent version of Chopper. It will surely add more gooffiness to the series.