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Aikyet
August 02, 2009, 01:08 PM
Seven Moments of One Piece
Chapter 552:
Ace and Whitebeard

Hallo MangaHelpers! :)
This week it took me some more time to write this review. Something wasn’t right, so I had to change it for the better. And yes, I don’t know what I am talking about.
So as not to look for excuses anymore, I think I shall begin this weak review.

Like usually, I support Binktopia (http://mangashare.com/dl/One-Piece_550/11800) – so I use their scans.

Moment I

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Deer Hunter: Reindeer Edition

While I am trying to come up with a decent introduction phrase, One Piece Chapter 552 is already out there. So as not to waist anymore time on my meaningless frustration, let us take a look at the newest cover story, where we see Chopper making a run from his aboriginal captors of the Torino Island, who quite logically consider him to be food. I mean, it doesn’t really take too much thought to prepare a reindeer stew instead of launching a huge and unnecessary merchandise line of the same reindeer. Chopper looks a little scared and desperate, and the Torino people are cheerful and charismatic as ever. Please note, that their spears are actually shooting their blade tips as projectiles – a neat technology for a primitive tribe.
This side story certainly resembles the one of Franky – so it won’t be too farfetched to assume that next issue we will see Chopper getting some aid or finding someone or something. And bah, name must have gotten my money since I bet on her cover story being next. On the other hand this way Oda has left the best – Nami and Zoro – no, no hentai- for the last. I guess it makes sense.

Moment II

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Learn, Sengoku: this is how you reveal secrets

But the actual chapter lies ahead. And it starts with an already traditional quick glance at Luffy’s new crew’s advancement. Having passed through the Gates of justice, Ivankov wonders out loud whether Dragon is going to appear in Marinford or not. Little does he know that Dragon is responsible only for the birth of Luffy. So Luffy drops another bomb on Ivankov revealing to him that Gold Roger was the real father of Ace, doing so in a familiar Monkey D. manner. After such moments you can’t even doubt that Luffy is his own grandfather’s – Garp’s – grandson. And I really like how Oda once again emphasizes that Luffy doesn’t care much for those conventionalities – he simply is Ace’s brother and nothing is going to change that.
No wonder Ivankov freaks out – he has gotten himself in quite a mess – not only has he left Impel Down without any orders but also he did so in order to rescue a man with no relations to Revolution. Tough luck. But, I suppose, everything will turn out for the better.
And on the other unrelated note, I still believe that Dragon will appear – sooner or later but he will.

Moment III

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Literally BREAKING the air

Nonetheless, although Luffy might be the protagonist of this manga, but there are more important and pressing matters, and these matters unfold in Marinford. We are at the same place and same time where the last chapter has ended with Whitebeard’s armada having emerged from the dark and cold depths of the ocean. And now, smiling ironically, Whitebeard and Moby Dick play a quick game of staring with Sengoku.
However, it seems that Whitebeard is a man who would prefer to work rather than talk. And with no more unnecessary discussion, Newgate thrusts his mighty kwan do bisento staff into the Moby Dick, swing his arms, gives quite a suggesting smile and with one hit literally breaks the air around him. As the usually peaceful atmosphere continues to crack and shatter surprised by the unexpected attack of the Yonkou, a fearful and terrifying explosion bursts out down below the water surface. Even space all around the battlefield begins to distort when two colossal waves rise higher than the clouds on the both sides of the isle of Marinford caused by this monstrous quake.

Wait, wait, what did just happen? Can someone explain it to?..

… Oh.

Moment IV

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You shall not pass!

And right in the middle of this astonishing action scene of monumental proportions we hear Luffy crying to Ace begging to hang in there. And as this far cry reaches from the present into the past, a flashback in the best traditions of Oda Eiichiro finally begins to unfold. It opens a new chapter in Ace’s life as he leaves Fuusha village and bids Luffy his farewell. You could notice that Ace was seen of only by Luffy and not the whole village population – a strange detail
And just like Luffy 3 years later, Ace begins to rapidly rush to the top. Having gathered a pirate crew of his own – Spade Pirate Crew – and also gotten his hands on a logia devil fruit – Ace soon enough catches the attention of Marine Headquarters - and Garp who surely isn’t pleased with his “grandson’s” carrier choice – and even Yonkou.
But unlike Luffy, Ace seemed to have a plan to make his dream a reality. And after he had met Shanks, who for the first time was seen wearing heavy winter boots, Ace proceeded to look for a fight with Whitebeard himself. However, the path to the Strongest man in the World was blocked by non other than Jimbei. It was then the famous five days long duel between the two had taken place. Makes you once more wonder about Jimbei who fought on shore where he isn’t especially strong. Five days later both were exhausted – while Whitebeard was bored –so he came to see this promising rookie himself. Of course, Ace tried to make a futile heroic effort in order to secure his crew and to fight against a Yonkou – but even a fire logia can’t be compared to the power of Whitebeard. And even in spite of Newgate’s – who has seen Ace’s potential and determination – generous offer to join his crew, Ace has continued with his meaningless attempts. And as a logical result to such an eventful week he got himself knocked out and taken captive.
This way has begun the life of Portgas D. Ace on the ship of Moby Dick.

Moment V

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So you're telling me that in several months you are going to kill me mercilessly?

Probably, here on Moby Dick, Ace for the first time understood what pirate life really is about. No wonder people call you “grumpy” when some blond guy with a dyed beard welcomes you in such an ironic manner.
Ace didn’t really appreciate the kindness of Newgate who has given him and his crew a new home on board of his ship. So he continued trying to take Whitebeard’s head – effortlessly of course since Whitebeard doesn’t even need to get up from the bed to brush aside a fire logia user. You could say that a desperate Ace is pretty low and uses underhanded tactics – but I would say those hundreds of attempts of Ace had more of a comic relief purpose.
However, while he was staying on Moby Dick, Ace has seen what a man Whitebeard is and how he treats his crew – like father whom Ace has never had. And last words of persuasion by Marco – who got some nice personality development this chapter - finally broke the stupid stubbornness of Ace and he became a true son of Whitebeard.
From that day on, life became much more fun and easy for Ace. He grew both in power and fame, and finally became the Second Division Commander. A nice touch by Oda – we see Teach happily declining to take this post and hiding his true ambition.
Another appealing detail about Whitebeard – like Luffy he doesn’t care about blood relations –as he simply laughed at Ace due to him being the son of Roger.
But finally, this flashback came to an end, as Ace despite all the warnings of his crewmates and Newgate, has set out to search for “brother” killer Teach. Ace who considered Whitebeard’s crew to be his true family can’t sit idle when such a thing happens – he has to clear the shame from his own house.

Moment VI

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Touching, isn't it?

As this most important for the plot flashback is over, we return to the present where Ace confesses his stupidity and fault and insists on his guilt.
However, in response to him, a most amazing event happens. Whitebeard himself denies Ace’s fault and covering up his deeds, claims that it was his dangerous orders that Ace has followed and that it is he who is actually the very reason for this war. And with support from Marco and the whole crew, they shout in the face of the world via Marine Headquarters what Whitebeard Pirates are all about.
What amazing character development, really.

Moment VII

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When the world ends, I want to see something similar, you know

And as the echo of Whitebeard Pirate’s oath roams above the Marinford, another rumbling sound catches the attention of all forces present from Admirals to Shichibukai. These are the coming consequences of Whitebeard’s power exposition in the beginning of the chapter. Monumental tsunami waves higher than the sky itself close upon the castle and all the forces of Marine Headquarters. A force of nature cause of which lies within the user of a devil fruit – Whitebeard – who is able to destroy the very world.
Yes, Whitebeard is a Quake man, Gura Gura no Mi no Noryoku. Many of readers have hoped that Newgate rules through his physical strength alone and doesn’t possess an Akuma no Mi. But after seeing a display of such a majestic paramecia fruit powers how can you not be amazed by its out of this world abilities. These ones are truly suiting a Yonkou, The Strongest Man In The World.
And how can you complain if this fruit was always forshadowed by Oda? Just listen to the laugh of Whitebeard: Gurarararara!

Conclusion
This chapter was very good – even by Oda standards. We have discovered the true majestic power of Whitebeard. We have seen another flashback of Ace which covered his all of his life before his actual appearance in the plot and has actually explained most of his thoughts, actions and reasons. Whitebeard Pirate Crew was also established not only as a power to reckon with, but also a family in its true sense. And of course, Whitebeard himself who had quite a major development this chapter, being seen as a true proud and caring father of the children of the Sea. Excellent work, Oda.

A heavenly tsunami rises upon all the Marine Headquarters. These are the curtains raising from the Scene of the War. The War which is finally beginning. This feeling was already there the last chapter – but this chapter Oda states the fact himself – and the event we all have been waiting for since Chapter 441 begins to unfold before our very eyes.

Hell yeah, I would say.

Bonus Moment
This week I haven;t found anything too intersting to put here. No Pandaman, no pwngoat, no nothing.
But I have to write something here, I guess.


http://i25.tinypic.com/2vs3ric.jpg

So how about this: three years ago Ace was invited to join the Shichibukai but he rejected the invitation. Fine, we alredy got your forced coolness, Ace, fine.
But this moment reveals something more important: three years ago Wold Goverment had a spare Shichibukai place. And because now there are seven of them, it means that the newest addition was added three years ago or even later. So who could it have been?

Jimbei: he was made Shichibukai when Arlong went to East Blue. That was around eight years ago, if I am right.
Dracule Mihawk: no data about him is known, but his bored look gives you the impression that he has been in this job for a long time.
Sir Crocodile: his bounty is one of the lowest among the Shichibukai, so he must have been invited early in his pirate career - and that was some time ago. Furthermore, his Pluton plan was going for more than five years.
Bartholomew Kuma: a reputation of a Goverment dog has to be earned in the long years of a devoted work.
Donquixote Doflamingo: He seems like the kind of guy who was out doing his own thing for a good while before being recruited.
Gecko Moria: he was a Shichibukai when Hogback joined him and it was ten years ago.
Boa Hancock: has it for eleven years since her first campaign when she got her lowest bounty.

Interesting moment, isn't it. So yes, I would guess that Doflamingo became Shichibukai three years ago. Probably, his invitation had to do something with the Slave Trade.

Obligatory P.S. As you can see, I am not a native English speaker. Fell free to bash me for my mistakes :)

NANLIT
August 02, 2009, 03:36 PM
Good review. And another thing that the "Ace declining a Shichibukai spot" put into question is who was Ace to replace and what happened to that ex-Shichibukai? That's something else I'd like to know.

Raysen_ht
August 03, 2009, 06:26 AM
Awesome review as usual!!

A couple of things id like to point out though...

I got the impression that you think the fight with WB took place right after the fight against Jimbei. I dont think thats possible... the in between part of the flashback was probably "Fast Fowarded" to optimize the space usage...

Another thing id like your opinion on:
What the hell did Ace do to be summoned to be one of the Shishibukai?? Do you think he did more outragious stuff than Luffi??

And why do you think the WG only uses 7 pirates as the Shishi? Why not 6- or 8+??

Last but not least What do you think of this:

I dont think Ace will survive this one... I mean, if the marines have any brains at all, someone is just going to slit his throat and be done with it! Its not like he has any value to the marines (like Robin had to Spandam). Its like he is a hostage, and in case of an attack, the hostage is allways the first one to get shot! The time of the execution dont mean a thing anymore, its a fuc*** war??

good job

Aikyet
August 03, 2009, 10:48 AM
Once more, thank you people for reading and commenting :amuse


Good review. And another thing that the "Ace declining a Shichibukai spot" put into question is who was Ace to replace and what happened to that ex-Shichibukai? That's something else I'd like to know.

Yeah, I head that thought but a bit later so I didn't add it to the review.
There are some possibilities to it: either the ex-Shichibukai was stripped of his title for some reason, or that person went on with his career - joined back the pirate lines or even the Revolution. And of course, it can be that the last place among Shichibukai was never filled - sothe Goverment was looking all this time.



I got the impression that you think the fight with WB took place right after the fight against Jimbei. I dont think thats possible... the in between part of the flashback was probably "Fast Fowarded" to optimize the space usage...

Yes, and I am quite sure of that - because Ace is already exhausted, battered and bloodied when he faces newgate. And another thing that supports this - he wears the same shirt.
Therefore, I don't believe any fast-forwardinf took place.


Another thing id like your opinion on:
What the hell did Ace do to be summoned to be one of the Shishibukai?? Do you think he did more outragious stuff than Luffi??

And why do you think the WG only uses 7 pirates as the Shishi? Why not 6- or 8+??

While I don't really care about that, and don't think that it will be mentioned later, it must have been either due to some horrible incident, or simply to due to the rapid advancement of Ace through Grand Line, which I would find more than likely.
On the second point, I am quite sure that Oda simply created the number Seven to Shichibukai on his whim - with no logical ground to it. It could have been Gobukai or Kyubukai as easy as that. Themost likely possibility is that by the first mentioning of this World Power Oda had personality drafts of sevenpirates - and based the decision on that.
I don't think he chose the number to give birth to the ridiculous amount of "Shichibukai = Seven Sins" theories, right? :facepalm


I dont think Ace will survive this one... I mean, if the marines have any brains at all, someone is just going to slit his throat and be done with it! Its not like he has any value to the marines (like Robin had to Spandam). Its like he is a hostage, and in case of an attack, the hostage is allways the first one to get shot! The time of the execution dont mean a thing anymore, its a fuc*** war

When I consider what Sengoku said, your theory sounds probable. But for it to be fullfiled - I can't believe that.
While your thoughts have quite a logic in them, I think you are forgetting one thing - how awesome it can be, One Piece is still a masterpiece of a shounen fiction in the best traditions of japanese manga. Therefore logical real world decisions are not as likely to be taken.
If Ace's death takes place - all the efforts of Luffy will simply go to waste. Impel Down arc will lose its meaning. Moreover, such a loss will be a very heavy on Luffy - he might suffer a severe psychological wound - and won't be the same happy-go-lucky protagonist as we know him. He simply might lose it - the will to go on, his dream or something similar. However, it can be interesting to see Luffy's revivel from such a state. But I don't see Oda making this step to do such a drastical change to his hero.
With all that said, I can guess that after countering the first attcak of the pirates, Marines might order the quick execution to start. And precisely then might start the last run for Ace's life - lets say, by Luffy. How about that? :)

Raysen_ht
August 03, 2009, 12:31 PM
Thx for the answears



Yes, and I am quite sure of that - because Ace is already exhausted, battered and bloodied when he faces newgate. And another thing that supports this - he wears the same shirt.
Therefore, I don't believe any fast-forwardinf took place.


You are right... i was reading the chapter again, and on this page http://www.onemanga.com/One_Piece/552/08/ right below the Moby Dick (middle panel) we can see a huge shadow (Jimbei) and a smaller one (Ace) on the ground...



When I consider what Sengoku said, your theory sounds probable. But for it to be fullfiled - I can't believe that.
While your thoughts have quite a logic in them, I think you are forgetting one thing - how awesome it can be, One Piece is still a masterpiece of a shounen fiction in the best traditions of japanese manga. Therefore logical real world decisions are not as likely to be taken.
If Ace's death takes place - all the efforts of Luffy will simply go to waste. Impel Down arc will lose its meaning. Moreover, such a loss will be a very heavy on Luffy - he might suffer a severe psychological wound - and won't be the same happy-go-lucky protagonist as we know him. He simply might lose it - the will to go on, his dream or something similar. However, it can be interesting to see Luffy's revivel from such a state. But I don't see Oda making this step to do such a drastical change to his hero.
With all that said, I can guess that after countering the first attcak of the pirates, Marines might order the quick execution to start. And precisely then might start the last run for Ace's life - lets say, by Luffy. How about that? :)

That seems plausable! Preety good way to avoid the "Ace only survived cause no one tried to kill him in the first place" argument

Aikyet
August 03, 2009, 12:37 PM
You are right... i was reading the chapter again, and on this page http://www.onemanga.com/One_Piece/552/08/ right below the Moby Dick (middle panel) we can see a huge shadow (Jimbei) and a smaller one (Ace) on the ground...

Oh, I missed them. Really, it is Jimbei and Ace. Love Oda's attention to details :amuse

Lord Rayleigh
August 12, 2009, 08:45 AM
Very good. I did not think about the ex-Shichibukai.

When I read that, the first thing that came to my minde was Shakkie, a Shichibukai at the Shabondy Archipelago. Indeed, she has been living there for many years as she knew Hacchan even when he was a kid. She was said to be a pirate 40 years ago but who believes she has only been a barwoman for 40 years there ?
Besides, she must have had a bounty as she was chased by Garp. Nevertheless, she does not seem to have problems with the marines anymore. The question is why when we know she does not hide and as a bar in an archipelago which is said to be very watched by the marine.