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View Full Version : Review Haruka's One Piece Review: Chapters 528 and 529



haruka9
February 03, 2009, 09:49 AM
CHAPTER 528: JIMBEI, KNIGHT OF THE SEA

…. Back to make up for missing two previous chapter reviews. This is a double post just like my most recent review. This will cover Chapters 528 and 529. Hope you enjoy reading this.


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After the agents vow to come back and after the father-and-son force to make such a “cunning” plot to bring them down, the former CP9 employees finally sail off and begin their real journey. I was wrong to assume that they will settle in their homeland and Lucci and the others were also wrong that they can start anew with simple and serene lives. Since these former CP9 warriors grasp the essence of humanity and protection, they probably thought that it is best to leave their homeland to prevent the forces of the World Government from disturbing the peace in this land. Besides, if they vow to come back and prove that there is no amount of power that can bring them down, they have to face their enemies just like the way they embrace their new-formed lives. But before that happens, perhaps Lucci and his nakama will embark on an excitement-packed marine journey just like our favorite Strawhat Crew. I like the idea of them leaving Captain Very Good’s split and rounded parts spread all over the place, denoting the Marine’s total defeat. They also left the Candy-inspired ship of the beat-up candy pirates and use the Marine ship instead. It is in fact a symbolic gesture that represents the CP9’s promise to become warriors of justice – real, moral justice – and preserve them by protecting not only themselves but the people who surround them. And they have taken the first step towards the fulfillment of this promise by taking this Marine ship.


Legendary Beast
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The second level of Impel Down is dominated by actual beasts, only that these beasts are crazier than what we all imagined. The first one which haunts Luffy and Buggy is this Gaoler Basilisk, of snake-origin but somehow comes out and grows up looking like an insane chicken. This gigantic mutant becomes much scarier since his appetite longs for human flesh. His habit of chasing fleeing food potentials and devouring them afterwards has deprived him from freedom. Of course, the human gaolers such as the prison guards and higher officers never want to become victims of their fellow gaoler, especially if they are supposed to hold unbent power over the notorious inmates. That’s why gaoler beasts/mutants are kept within the Second Level of Impel Down where their movements are limited. This also saves the human officers from worrying about the security since they are certain that no prisoner is idiotic enough to think that escaping even from his cell would assure them an ounce of freedom. Perhaps being locked up inside is way better than being devoured by hungry monsters.

The person responsible for the security design/plan for Second Level (and even for the entire Impel Down) is really a clever strategist. I don’t know if the guy behind this is Chief Mazelan, but I definitely give a boxful of credit to whoever he is. It is perfectly appropriate that these man-eating monsters are placed in Level 2. The arrival of the guests and other Marine forces, their inspection, and other torturous rites are done in Level 1. Of course, they never want a crazy-looking chicken like this Gaoler Basilisk to roam around and disrupt their organized system. On the other hand, placing them in Levels 3 and 4, down to Level 5 and this rumored level will never ascertain the security of their areas. People who are locked in these levels are fighters of high caliber, capable of beating these monsters with their bare hands. Since these gaoler mutants devour any human they spot, the Impel Down officers are hidden in a tightly-secured room to avoid the dangers of becoming an instant food. With this Level 3 prisoners can flee. So, it is best that these chimeras are placed in Second Floor, where prisoners do not possess sufficient amount of power (and even guts) to stand against them and beat them.


Big Boss
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So this is the man behind the infamous Impel Down. The big boss. The guy who takes the position Vice Chief Hannibal has been longing for. And just like the interesting fusion of ancient and modern references to highlight the character of Vice Chief Hannibal, Chief Magellan is also a fine mixture of historical icon, myths, and allusion to pop culture. First, the name Magellan: Every Filipino, like me, grows up studying and knowing Magellan and his historical contributions not only in the country, but around the world as well. This world-famous explorer is known as Ferdinand Magellan, born with Portuguese roots, but got renowned serving his nation’s number one rival, Spain. He is best known for giving further glory to Spanish royalties by being the first explorer who is able to complete circumnavigation. His success in this field gives birth to the country’s name, Philippines (named after King Philip II), brings and broadens the Spanish culture in this young land, along with its nationals. The fruit of his labor ends as he is defeated and killed by Lapu-Lapu, a Mactan Leader, threatened that the Spaniards would steal the riches and the lands of the nation. Before the history geek in me comes out completely, I will start discussing other possible allusions to OP’s Chief Magellan.

His physical appearance is as striking as Draco/Jangal Rui of Voltes V. Really…. His horns, huge size, and scary face are so similar to Draco’s that he immediately pops in my head the first time I see Chief Magellan. On the other hand, his similarity to the popular depiction of Lucifer is also outstanding. Along with his gigantic wings, his two pointed horns are strong allusions to Lucifer, who, for so many times, is portrayed as someone bearing horns, wings, tails, and owning a trident. This icon is also known for being the leader or the king of Hell – a suitable reference for Chief Magellan since he is the Chief of the prisoner’s Hell known as Impel Down. Or perhaps, his pointy horns are derived from a horned-sheep, an animal that is also powerfully related to Lucifer’s myths. His habit, on the other hand, doesn’t show his good leadership points. In fact, he appears more like a slacker, rather than a leader. He spends his time in the comfort room, perhaps due to his urinary problems caused by the heat, and sleeps for few hours – a result of overconfidence that no one is stupid enough to break out from his hellish territory. And just like any other guys he falls for Hancock charm, something that she can use to manipulate this Doku Doku Man who speaks like Brooke. While his leadership and strength are still doubtful, it appears like these will only shine through once a severe situation occurs.


Spotted!
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After several funny scenes immensely contributed by Vice Chief Hannibal, the state of affairs turns in its normal, serious pace where Luffy’s appearance is finally traced by the surveillance gaolers. Hancock immediately realizes that this intruder must be her apple of the eye and since she’s helpless with her current status (restrained by kairoseki handcuffs and being surrounded by powerful icons), she uses her seductive prowess instead to manipulate the Chief. Of course, her beauty wins over urgency. Chief Magellan cuts out his contact with the panicking gaolers – a manifestation of the idea that he must have kissed Hancock’s a** and brings them to Ace’s location instead.

The result of Luffy’s Gear Third turns almost half of Level Two into a complete havoc. That crazy-looking basilisk is finally down and the surveillance team has also fallen into the Strawhat’s strength. Buggy is left surprised, bewildered from the gigantic gear that he used to know as ever-stretching, rubber-like, power-punching hand of his teammate. Even chibi Luffy makes him confused. As their spectators perceive them as “gods of salvation,” they turn their plot into a bigger mesh of trouble by freeing their new fanboys. I doubt these two captains have contemplated the possible effect of their gesture. It’s true that freeing these inmates is just their act of charity, but in reality, a sudden massive break-out of Level Two inmates would cause further confusion and destruction. Hmmm, if there were two gaolers who need to act and shine in this new scenario, they would be the big bosses of Impel Down. This is the perfect time for Chief Mazelan to prove that he is not just a poison-breathing slacker and this is the best opportunity for Vice Chief Hannibal that he has more up to his sleeves than his ever-ambitious desires.


Fiend from the Past
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Mr. 3 officially enters the center stage. Ha! So this proves that charging at Impel Down is not just an upbeat adaptation of Ennies Lobby intrusion, but it surely is tantamount to a memory lane of arc villains. Now that the cunning Mr. 3 will start to play his cards, it is highly plausible that he will join and use Luffy just so he can escape conveniently. Hmmmm, looks like Buggy finds a mirror image of his. And just like the red-nosed captain, Mr. 3 will take advantage of Luffy’s gullibility, use him as a shield, and take off whilst the Strawhat Captain gets busy with his brawling. His determination to tag along with the unthinkable team of Luffy and Buggy clearly shows that the next events will cover a three-man team which will travel the depths of Impel Down. Mr. 3 and Buggy might lend a helping hand in case they encounter another beastly creature in Level Two, if not, they might just stick with Luffy and go with the flow as they try to find the best way to carry out their devious plans. The former idea, though it is more unlikely, will create very interesting scenarios where the three devil fruit users can exercise their devil fruit ability in many different ways. If these guys weren’t enemies, they would actually create such an effective team. Luffy could provide the front-line attack against the charging Blugoris, Mr. 3 on the other hand could support him by giving a back-up defense system through his Doru Doru no Mi, and Buggy could assist a more speedy escape while the two are busy fighting. But we are fully aware that these two are plain canny and ridiculous, so we can all just daydream that such a thing will happen. One thing we can truly expect though is Mr. 3’s mischievous plan. Somewhere in his whimsical hairdo and pessimistic side comments is an impish antic – just waiting for the right moment to be carried out. He has thought of it, right before he showed his presence to the two. So he must have formulated a plan to escape while Luffy gets all the attention from the gaolers. But just like Buggy, his so-called mischievous antics might just back-fire, especially with his idiotic tendencies. This Strawhat is just too preoccupied to Ace’s condition to worry about a betrayal from a new teammate or suffer from the gaolers’ might alone. This means that Luffy will remain unaffected by any shrewd gig done by Mr. 3 or by Buggy nor he will care about their disposition afterwards. And for all we know, Mr. 3 might also unintentionally escort Luffy down to Level 5 – just like Buggy.


The Knight of the Sea
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It’s not just Mr. 3 who makes an official appearance in this chapter. The man who takes this release’s title, the Knight of the Sea, makes an arresting debut at the last page, echoing some words of justice to show the kind of man he’s made of. From a chibi-looking shark who knows how to manage his curls, Jimbei actually looks like a huge daruma, a traditional Japanese doll. I was surprised to learn that he shares the same prison cell with Ace; I was under the assumption that the Fire Fist Commander is alone with his cell, given that a maximum security is specially presented to him. Perhaps both of them have established the same level of threat against the World Government. Ace is to be executed and to be rescued by the most notorious crew in One Piece and the soon-to-be most notorious captain (Luffy) while Jimbei is a Shichibukai who contends to fight the Marines for the sake of justice. But what is truly surprising in this scene is that he and Ace seem to have a shared sentiment towards one thing. This thing is still clouded in mystery, but no matter what, Jimbei is surely prepared to give everything, even his life, at the cost of its protection.

Another astonishing matter in regards with this Knight is his bounty. A staggering amount of 250,000,000 belli is placed on his head back to his pirating days. Apparently, he was waaaay more infamous than his former partner, Arlong, who was labeled as a 20-million belli Fishman. The massive gap between their bounties can indicate the reputation they have created during their fall-out: Arlong must have set to calmer seas (probably in East Blue) to build an empire where he and his fellow Fishmen could rule and Jimbei must have continued his pirate life which later brought him glory and title of Shichibukai. But just like any big-time pirate, I am quite curious about the extension of this 250,000,000 – the power that he can wield, the skill he can show under water, the kind of resolve he can muster especially in times of despair. Though his issues are vague, the kind of justice that he promotes and the risk he’s willing to take for its protection clearly shows that he is a man of honor. A guy who is placed at the polar opposite of Arlong. Jimbei is justice-exuberant whereas Arlong is greedy and power-hungry. Their differences in personalities might be the cause of their team separation.

The Spectacle:http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/7476/thespectaclebg2.jpg

Jimbei’s debut is as exciting as Mr. 3’s impeding inclusion in Luffy’s whimsical team. Mr. 3 will absolutely add to the already hilarious tour of Luffy and Buggy in Impel Down. His idiotic tendencies and innate silliness will increase the altitude of funny meter. But that “laughter factor” is not the sole element of this chapter. In fact, balance is well-created in this release as Jimbei brings seriousness to this story, specifically-delivered by the justice he strongly promotes. Naturally, he’d be expounding his issues at the next chapter since he makes his debut at the last page. Hopefully, we get to learn what really drives this Knightly Shichibukai to risk his title and his life for this justice.

I also adore how this side-arc theme’s is established. From the flowers, snakes, fairytales, Greek myths, and all-female community of the Kuja warriors, Luffy’s special arc then introduces Egyptian icons and hell-related ideas as soon as the tower of Impel Down is shown. This hell-ish theme is officially welcomed when the characters perceive and contend that Impel Down is anyone’s hell – a metaphorical description of a prisoner’s sentiment. However, this statement gets polished as hell-related items occur one by one. Another thing I notice from the Blugori’s appearance is that he strongly resembles that of an executioner’s back at old times. His mask cloth and axe (his weapon) are the focal points of this comparison.

The Downside:http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/7214/thedownsidefh2.jpg

Frankly, I lack the ability of making a fine, credible remark in regards with the technicality of manga. The judgment I form in terms of art, construction and delivery of the story, conflict, and character development are purely based on my observation and analysis. This is why I review only the contents of the story and the impact it creates, not on the manga itself. However, for the sake of filling out the space of this section, along with my risk to share at least an ounce of my ability in observing the technical aspect of this chapter, I will impart a thing that bother me…. Just a bit. This is in regards with Jimbei’s introduction. Panels for his restrained feet, chained body, bleeding head, blood-stained spiky club, and bullish prison guard (yes, he even makes another appearance here) make up two pages of this chapter…. Pages, which I think, should be filled out by more meaningful things. Perhaps this is to create an arresting introduction of the Knight of the Sea? Or maybe this is to show that he is constantly punished for turning his back against the call of the Marines? Anyway, 11 panels are dedicated for it; these should be of further use only if it were done to elaborate Jimbei’s issues or to put more interactions between Mr. 3 and Luffy (after all, so many chapters have passed since they last beat each other). It’s not that these 11 panels are in “so-so” quality; heck, I even think that it sets an effective impact to whatever the message it wants to send (to show Jimbei in a notorious fashion or to showcase the punishment he’s undergone for the sake of protecting his sense of justice).

Final Notes: http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/3172/finalnotesuu9.jpg

Three immense appearances have created such an impact to this chapter. Chief Magellan offers such a promising contribution for this arc in spite of his slacker attitude and “poisonous attraction” to Hancock. Jimbei’s issues will absolutely give depth to his character – the kind of which will create a group of fans who look up to his morals like the way we perceive Kuma. And expect many bits of hilarity from Mr. 3.

In regards with my Chapter 529 review…. Please scroll down and read the ideas, the analysis, the speculations I have created on this chapter. Hope you enjoy reading it.




CHAPTER 529: BEAST HELL


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So it’s really goodbye to CP9 agents. The parting imagery they showed last chapter is perfectly suited for their last special appearance. Now it’s Luffy’s turn to share his fun aerial ride with the coolest Atlas he so longs to catch in Jaya Island. Perhaps this is the beginning of the Strawhats’ special, solo adventure.


Softness
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What truly lies in Jimbei’s sudden rampage in Marine’s office is his soft spot towards the man he’s perpetually grateful for. This daruma-looking, pirate-hating pirate surely knows how to give credit to a person he sees worthy of his respect and admiration. Being a resident of Fishman Island who has seen and perhaps fought many pirate crews, his perception towards the good and the bad becomes much keener, granting him the ability to distinguish pirates possessing pure soul and great honor and scumbags emitting bad spirits and massive greed. So this means that the Whitebeard Pirates, the crew whom Jimbei addresses as “soft spot” and “different story” must have created such a huge change in his life. How huge this change might be? Just look at his current disposition in this prison cell and you’d get how he’s thankful for that change.

Two panels after this one also brings us to a brief, but meaningful trip to their past. These two blood-filled fighters acknowledge each other’s strength by admitting that they almost killed each other back to the time where they fought each other. Perhaps Jimbei was the one whom Ace fought when Newgate invited him to become part of his crew. I remember expressing some concern towards the guy who fought Ace back in my earlier review. And Jimbei responds to that concern. Despite the lack of specific indication that Jimbei was the one who left Ace half dead when Newgate acknowledged his strength and stupendous potential to become his new Division Commander, the subtle reference they both create is enough to give us the idea that it was thanks to this justice-loving Fishman that Ace is now part of Newgate’s crew. Furthermore, Jimbei’s words expressing his desire to be of help towards the Whitebeard Captain signifies that he must have acted as Newgate’s instrument to test Ace’s skill and strength. Perhaps this Whitebeard has already seen his potential and wanted to ascertain if the latter is indeed worthy of the place in the crew. And being able to survive a 250,000,000 belli worth of power, and not to mention being able to leave him half dead, granted him a prestigious spot in Whitebeard Crew.


Fishmen's Hero
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Jimbei finally reveals the changes that Newgate has made on his life…. Oh not just on his life, but on Fishman Island as well. Imagine what he has to endure looking at the island he treasures as his home – places being devastated by power-hungry pirates, fishmen being killed by rude racists, mermaids being kidnapped by wealth-aspiring gluttons, and pirate-seizing Marines. The physical and psychological destruction that the Grand Age of Pirates has cast on this island is too much, way too much for Jimbei’s strength. His 250,000,000 belli worth of fighting skill could no longer handle the pressure and much to his dismay his fellow fishmen continued to be caught between the war of the Marines and the pirates. So imagine the relief and the gratitude he felt when Newgate appeared in that ocean floor to save them from the pits of devastation. What’s more admirable to the Whitebeard Captain’s act was that he didn’t do it to show off his power, but to give the peace that the fishmen have longed for. This is why Jimbei’s desire to save Ace is unbent. He knows that the execution the Second Division Commander will eventually lead to the death of the Captain – the thing the World Government truly yearns for. And he can never allow that. Even though he is quite aware that his Shichibukai status will be removed due to his rejection to the calls of the Marines, and that it will put Fishmen Island in danger as well, he is willing to sacrifice everything he has just to assist the man who once helped them gain peace. In his eyes, it is truly unjust to kill the person who can save as many people as he can, the kind who holds power not to dominate the weak but to aid them.


Silver Medalists
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Of course, many pirates want the Whitebeards down. Since Edward Newgate is known to be the sole person who can go head to head against Gol D. Roger, he is absolutely perceived by the world at large as the “next best thing.” The strongest man alive and the pirate who is closest to the title of “Pirate King” has been sailing the seas long before the Grand Age of Pirates began. Aside from Sengoku, Garp, and members of the Jolly Roger crew like Shanks and Buggy, Newgate can distinguish the characteristics of the veterans and the qualities of the New Age pirates. He probably is the sole remnant of the old times, and as long as he rules the sea, pirates of the new generation cannot take over – only if someone stands out and is able to take him down. On the other hand, Newgate’s title as the “Strongest Man” in One Piece is not just crafty decoration to his age. His reputation manifests the kind of pirate that he is, as clearly shown in his brief fight with Shanks and the strength he wields, physically and morally, is not something you can just beat. And that is why pirates who can do nothing but indulge in the reverie of defeating him, the ones whom Crocodile call as “Silver Medalists” support the World Government’s campaign to execute Ace and bring down his entire crew. And if this organization succeeds, the New Age officially opens and it’s gonna be “anybody’s game” from then on.

Whilst Crocodile stands as the voice of those who are frustrated over Newgate’s reign on the seas, the other gigantic prisoners who occupy similar Level with Ace and Jimbei are as hungry as the Marines for Newgate’s downfall. Since these inmates are of similar caliber with the two, they never lose hope to go by the direction that will point them to naval domination and the access to this goal is the Whitebeard Captain’s total defeat. This long line of Silver Medalists will certainly take advantage of the only chance to take down this “access” once Ace’s crew charges and bombards Impel Down. And this means the Marines will be troubled not only by the Whitebeard’s might but also by the raging Silver Medalists and inmates hungry of freedom and reign. Whatever the preparation Impel Down does for this moment and no matter how the Marines implement them, the havoc that the pirates (both the Whitebeard crew and the Silver Medalists) will shred it into pieces. Not to mention the “chance” or the “hope” that Jimbei is waiting for is just few floors away from them.


Horrible Speakers
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After One Piece’s adaptation of the legendary Basilisk, who happens to look like a crazy chicken hungry of devil fruit users’ flesh, another whimsical creature appears. But this time, it’s not just a single beast, but almost a dozen of ‘em chases after Luffy, Buggy, and the newly “recruited” Mr. 3. This chimera, according to Mr. 3, is called Manticore. They are hybrids of lions possessing human faces and ability to speak, though they lack the intelligence to understand their own language. The basis of this Manticore, on the other hand, goes back to Persian Myth and is a counterpart of Sphinx in Egypt. The difference is its other physical quality, where its tail is described to have spikes, poisonous enough to paralyze its target. Its appearance is similar to that of scorpion’s or dragon’s and sometimes, the Manticore’s body has wings or horns. In One Piece, though, the Manticores look like a simple fusion of lion and human face, only that their faces are quite similar with the pink-loving okamas who chase after Sanji. They are not gigantic enough to intimate the three-man team but their appetite for human flesh and bones is the thing that really scares them.


Beastly Boss
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Of course, the equally legendary Sphinx is also featured in this chapter. And this time, this Sphinx is the boss of Level Two chimera gaolers. Its characteristics is quite similar to the Manticores’ – human face, lion’s body, the ability to speak but lacks the understanding of language – but its difference lies in the body size and the terror it can spread. In fact, this Sphinx is horrifying enough to even scare the Manticores away. Oh yeah, its feathers, dark complexion, and geezer-looking face make it more terrifying. Its destructive powers can amount to Luffy’s Gomu Gomu no Bazooka – something that they shouldn’t ignore; once they got hit by that pointy nails and huge pad, the inmates might as well say goodbye to their pathetic world. Really, it’s tantamount to suicide.


Highly Possible
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Now this is quite thinkable. Buggy and Mr. 3 officially introduces their new team called “Jailbreak League.” Since they have similar line of thinking and have the common desire to use Luffy as bait, they decide to just use their cunning abilities and fruit devil strength to carry out their plot. Both of them possess information about Impel Down, only that Mr. 3 knows more vivid details since he is a resident of Level Two. But no matter what, they are going to use Luffy for their convenience. Perhaps they will tell the Strawhat Captain about the direction towards Level Three as their token of appreciation, but after that, they will head their way towards Level One and use the havoc that the latter creates to distract the gaolers. In the midst of this confusion, I wonder how these highly howler-susceptible clowns will manage to execute their plans without falling into their own trap. Buggy has proven that in spite of his clever mind, he gets into Luffy’s troubles without finding a way out of it. And Mr. 3’s membership to this so-called “Jailbreak League” might not be of help. I’m not underestimating Mr. 3’s ability, but due to his tendencies to ridicule (like Buggy), it’s easy to foresee that his presence is a mere increase in number and that he too, will get into Luffy’s trouble. In short, Buggy and Mr. 3’s combined forces will only give more episodes of silliness and humor.


Literal Downfall
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I knew it. Buggy and Mr. 3 will eventually get into trouble. In fact, it only takes few panels in order to get confirmation for this speculation and that is thanks to Mr. 3’s Doru Doru models and Luffy’s child-like idiocy. Personally, I was first impressed by Mr. 3’s Candle figures; it just proved the potential he had to achieve their plan of breaking out, only if he were not ridiculous. If he combined not only his cleverness, but his Doru Doru ability with Buggy’s intellect and Bara Bara techniques, they would be able to execute their plot with easiness. And Luffy’s blatant brawling and destruction will help them sneak out. But like what I said, they would eventually fall into their own trap given their susceptibility to stupid mistakes and misfortune.

Mr. 3’s new version of whack-a-mole paves way to the destruction of Level Two. Since the Sphinx’s strike is as strong as Luffy’s Gomu Gomu no Bazooka’s, each candle model that they “whack” brings demolition to Level Two. And after Luffy and the Sphinx finish their whack-a-candle model game, the floors of the Beast Level is entirely demolished, causing the two, and even the members of the Jailbreak League to literally fall to Level Three. What a shortcut!

The Spectacle:http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/8900/thespectacle2ds0.jpg

Mr. 3 is officially part of Luffy’s three-man team, though I wouldn’t say that this team has a genuine camaraderie for it has a sub-team called Jailbreak League, the real color of this group. Its members are the two devious pirates named Buddy and Mr. 3. After their official announcement of the name of their team and their shared vision to get out of Impel Down using Luffy as their cover, they fall down to Level Three. It just proves that their mischief and silliness and is nothing compared to Luffy’s idiocy and determination to save Ace. And now that they all have fallen to a more terrifying level in Impel Down, they have to use their skills and deal with new agents and even beasts of this hell if they want to achieve their goals. Expect Luffy to be the primary source of brawling and confusion here. But what will make of this new-formed Jailbreak League? How the heck they will carry out their plan if they encounter the same situation again and again and again? Will they finally manage to get out of Luffy’s trouble? Are they that unfortunate? Or are they just that stupid?

Anyway, Jimbei’s confession proves that he is not a typical Shichibukai whom we once perceive as villain. In fact, Jimbei is one heck of a good guy. A fishman possessing pure heart, honor, and sense of justice. He is like Kuma, very likeable and keeps his set of morals firm (only that Jimbei is more straightforward and clearer with his intentions whereas Kuma is quite unpredictable).

The Downside:http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/4331/thedownside2sq8.jpg

Luffy continues to struggle against the forces of Impel Down. He didn’t exert effort to beat those Blugoris back in Level One, nevertheless, it takes away the idea that it will be the same in Level Two. In fact, he started to use his Gear third to defeat the Basilisk and it’s something he shouldn’t take lightly for. Back then, Chopper and his other nakama expressed their concern in regards with his usage of Gear Third and Gear Second since it causes him extreme exhaustion to the point where his life span decreases. And now that his intrusion in Impel Down goes deeper, his effort turns larger and he’s going to need more Gomu Gomu techniques and even Gear Third’s just to defeat crazy enemies. Luffy’s continuous brawling is going to cause him to tire out (even if he only fights weaklings, their high number can still cause him weariness) and when he reaches Level Five (or the rumored level), he is already weakening and he may no longer utilize Gear Two to its fullest. What is more troubling here is the inmates locked in that level and gaolers who guard them are of high caliber. That means further, crazier, bigger trouble for him. Tsk tsk tsk tsk…. Luffy needs to think more. How, where, and when he’ll be using his stronger techniques should be thought of more meticulously, otherwise, his health will perish.

Another conflict that can be spotted here is the growing number of Whitebeard’s enemies. Yes, it’s not just Ace’s safety that he should worry about. The system of defense that Newgate will use is of utmost importance; saving Ace will turn useless if their defense scheme is ineffective. Of course, Newgate and his “sons” are prepared to fight since they are certainly aware that the Marines have also prepared “big guns” for this fight. However, they should also be prepared with the Silver Medalists who crave for his downfall. His mere presence will cause rampage for this Pirate King-wannabes – a type of rage that can even add further havoc in Impel Down. And it will be one hell of an “epic chaos.” Just imagine: Luffy goes to Ace’s cell, along with his unwilling buddies and tail of destruction - the inmates go wild and may have gotten out with their cells as well - the gaolers chase after them - Newgate and his “sons” enter the scene - the inmates produce wilder rampage - and the bigger and stronger Marine officials start to arrive. Add the fact that each of them has his own goal and the determination he can muster just to accomplish it. The imagery of this scene absolutely transcends madness. I’m certain that Oda-sensei has bigger and better plans for the climax of this arc, something that he will carry out at the right place, at the right time. But just imagine the crazy stunt these characters will (or can) pull just to achieve their own goals.

Final Notes:http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/4197/finalnotes2fv3.jpg

The actions and revelations are packed in these chapters. Many issues are cleared and controversial characters start to appear. You have Chief Magellan, Beasts of Level Two, Mr. 3, and Jimbei. The qualities of the new characters are quite colorful (Chief Magellan’s poison passion, his slacker tendencies, his “fatal attraction” to Hancock, the things the upscale beasts say, the mixture of mythological icons, et. al) Above all, Jimbei’s story and determination are deeply moving. One thing I notice though. Each Level in Impel Down features a villain of the past. We encounter Buggy in Level One and Mr. 3 makes his appearance in Level Two. Does that mean we will encounter more previous villains as Luffy plunges to the depth of Impel Down? We already see Crocodile, but his appearance is quite brief, like a teaser. And if my speculation is correct, perhaps we should start anticipating for the return of Mr. 1 and Mr. 2.