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Aikyet
August 08, 2009, 05:17 AM
Seven Moments of One Piece
Chapter 553:
Decisive Battle of The Mightiest


Hallo MangaHelpers! :)
Another week has come and brought us a new One Piece chapter – what is more pleasant about it, it was an early Thursday release. Moreover, this is the first chapter with the war officially begun – the waiting is finally over.
But what is really awesome – for me that is – my favorite time of year, month of August, is once again here. Summer at its best. In addition to it, next week I am going on a trip across Germany to see me some nice sights, to drink some beer and to pick up some natural blondes. Well, two out of three isn’t that bad, right? Of course, those are puny sixty six percent but it could have been worse :D
And in another addition to it, next week we don’t have a chapter since this week Weekly Shounen Jump has a double issue. That means I won’t miss a review which I probably would have wanted to do – I think I begin to enjoy them.
Awesome scans com from awesome Binktopia (http://mangashare.com/dl/One-Piece_550/11800).
So now, what in the world can stop me and my summer mood from beginning this damn review? :)

Moment I

http://i27.tinypic.com/e63vpe.jpg
Be careful, your brain might be not the only one to freeze there
Color spreads are a real pleasure Oda treats us to every 5-10 weeks. And this time it isn’t different because Oda clearly has captured the right mood – summer!
Even for a short moment it is nice to see all the Straw Hats together at the beach, having fun and eating the very essence of summer – ice-cream.
The highlight of the spread is Nami sitting in the foreground. With cream of ice all around her, wet to the top, name wears a bikini like a simple formality. Sometimes Oda can make it lewd.
And in contrast to Nami, Robin is wearing a shirt. Must be like Skypiea all over again for Sanji. Or not – with his newly found way of shaved-legs-life, he stares at something else in the left. I hope it isn’t Zoro…
Apart from my disturbing associations, have you known that Oda colors his spreads with Copic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copic) markers? I really should get me some of those.
And some ice-cream, too.

Moment II

http://i27.tinypic.com/99flua.jpg
Batman in the sky!
So, let’s get to the chapter itself.
If I recall correctly, the War has started and a colossal tsunami is closing down on the Isle of Marinford. Whitebeard, together with Doflamingo, can’t help themselves but laugh at the most entertaining performance by the forces of nature. However, not everyone enjoys this kind of humor, and Aokiji, in his bitter disappointment in the overall mediocricity of the show, jumps high into the sky and quietly freezes both huge waves. We have seen Aokiji playing before and even witnessed the impressive Ice Age, but this time he does something else – he stops millions of tons of water moving at quite high speed. If you are interested you can do the calculation of physical values, while I will add that Aokiji has also displayed some impressive physical abilities, jumping several dozens of meters up in the air. Geppou, anyone?
But Aokiji isn’t over with expressing his disappointment as throws some Ice Partisans at Newgate. However, Whitebeard isn’t open to critique too much, and to answer to the admiral, he quakes the air, the icicles and ultimately Aokiji himself, sending him to the bottom of the bay. And Aokiji as a logia user being not too fond of open water, freezes the surrounding haven and ships in it, this way ending their debates with Whitebeard for the moment.

Moment III

http://i27.tinypic.com/osvo8n.jpg
It’s a sale in Harrods!!!
However, the last argument of the admiral was a little double-sided since both the pirates and the Marines could use it for their benefit. Marines have gotten themselves a few static targets to bombard – not that they will be able to faze the great Moby Dick flagman, but still.
And pirates have lost the need to set on shore because the shore has come to the ships. Especially happy must be the fruit users who aren’t now in the immediate danger of drowning. And with the first explosions blown, the Whitebeard Pirates begin their attack. They are one bizarre crowd – who prove that Straw hats won’t stand out way too much in the new World. It is really good to see that under the banner of Newgate, united stand all people of Grand Line from humans and longarms to fishmen, giants and women. It is true that diversity is the key to success – everyone will find at least one appealing face or mug among these hordes – you name it! I won’t needlessly name them all but I will note that my own favorites are Lafitte’s older brother who has both a hat, a cape and a moustache to be awesome; the dreadlocks in Scottish pants with a pacman kusarigama; and Barett with a poodle boa.
Also, I think you ought to have a moustache to be a real man on Moby Dick.

Moment IV

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Tonight we’re pimpin~
And while Marines have found their static targets only with the help of Aokiji, New World Pirates had such targets all along – a castle and its fortifications are quite immovable objects.
However, their attack was countered as well. How you all know, the best countermeasure for a cannonball is a sharpened blade. So, a special sword armed squad of Marine Vice-Admirals rushed to the frontlines.
And take a look, what a fine squad that is. Most of them are familiar to us. The first one is a dandy looking gentleman with a moustache who appeared way back in chapter 234 being strangled by Doflamingo via his colleague who hasn’t appeared yet. To the both sides of him are the Buster Call Vice-admirals: Doberman and Momonga, Strawberry who has a pair of curved European style guard swords and always smoking Onigumo who seems to have an ability similar to Kumadori of CP9 holding his additional six blades with his hair. In the background we see some variation of Inu Inu no Mi Zoan User – who isn’t Garp, damn it – and the most awesome of all vice-admirals revealed so far except Garp – a huge, Viking helmet staring, long haired, chain swinging and even shirt over pants wearing mystery man. On the next page we get an appearance from the last Buster Caller – Yamakaji and Komir of the Ace side story. And Tsuru is among them as well – without any weapon in sight – looking sorrowful, thoughtful but not fearful.
Speaking of vice-admirals, where did Garp go? He hadn’t a single panel this chapter. If it isn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what it is.

Moment V

http://i32.tinypic.com/63tvy8.jpg
A sale? Why didn’t you say so earlier?
With vice-admirals on the frontlines, New World pirates burst into action as well. Not much can be said about such a primeval frontal attack without any tactical excesses – and for good – so I will look some more at their appearance.
You might like them, you might not like them – but you have to admit that Oda has done a good job as a creative and versatile designer. These pirates may be not really good looking but they are fun to watch. Aside from the giants, clerks and robots, you have to notice the captain of Cthulhu pirates wearing an octopus hat and four additional sword armed arms. Is he a Zoan user? Most likely not – I doubt an Octopus man would grow his extra limbs from the upper body as well as fell himself in place out of the water. The same goes for the Walrus man on the left.
Do you recall Mashira and Shoujo? Did they have any Saru Saru no Mi models?
I guess, no.

Moment VI

http://i27.tinypic.com/217z4n.jpg
The power of a smile can conquer anything!
With the main forces engaged in battle, all who are left are the real Powers of this conflict. The only party to remain silent were the Shichibukai – but not for long. As a reply to such a thought, the first of them finally makes a move. And what do you know, it is the most unexpected man –the calm, the reserved and the bored-to-death Mihawk who wasn’t seen in action since his duel with Zoro and even that was way back then. But now Mihawk looks intrigued – thinking that Whitebeard is too close- yes, around a kilometer away – within his range. And to find out the truth, he slashes with his elegant black sword. Yes, we have seen Zoro doing projectile blade attacks before. But have we ever seen him cutting through several hundreds of meters of meters thick ice? I think not. No wonder such a relaxed but insanely powerful strike makes it all the way to Moby…
... No, wait, it didn’t. Somebody jumped in to block the slash. What is that fool thinking, is he made out of diamond?...
…Well, apparently, he is. Joz, Commander of the Third Division, with a clear name “Diamond” blocks the attack of Mihawk with his diamond body. You have to admit, Whitebeard’s men have some useful abilities – presumably, a paramecia of diamond, most hardest material, is something to brag about –not that Joz does that, he is a modest man.
However, we have yet to see whether Mihawk cuts it up to Joz closely and personally or Joz shows us some rich moves. Considering the phlegmatic nature of the opponents, I can’t be sure.

Moment VII

http://i30.tinypic.com/2l91934.jpg
Hangover is a bad, bad thing. Marco knows that.
And as we witness the last, eighth double spread, the last offense of this exciting chapter commences. With the ice dust still in the air, a sudden flash of yellow light colours the sky and admiral Kizaru appears in it. With a light speed of a light man he launches numerous light rays towards Whitebeard who is that awesome to say Kizaru is only “hurtin’ his eyes”.
I like that Oda has given a certain attack pattern to such royal jerk logia: all of Kizaru’s attacks are named after Imperial regalia of Japan. Someday I should look that up - simply to know what else Kizaru can show us.
However, the light of Kizaru can’t reach Whitebeard – a dark silhouette covered in blue flames appears in its way and stops it resulting in a big, and, I suppose, colourful, explosion.
It doesn’t really take too much effort to recognize Marco, the First Division Commander amidst the flames. He does have some useful skills, you have to admit that, to stop a logia user. But what these abilities are, no one can say for sure. A blue flame logia won’t make any sense – since flames of different colours differ only in frequency and energy. But the dark silhouette makes me wonder – if these are wings – is Marco an Ancient Zoan user? However, the most logical idea of a flaming bird – a Phoenix – can’t be written under a real animal, right?
Now that is a dilemma.
Well, no one can say it better than Borsalino: “These Whitebeard Pirates sure are scary…”

Conclusion
Once more, we have a most high class chapter. Only the fact that out of 17 pages 16 make up 8 double spreads, 1 of which is in colour, makes you respect the amount of work. Especially when you consider that it would be more complicated to draw a double spread and to think out its panels. However, Oda once more succeeds.
Plot wise this chapter had development as well – the battlefield has expanded, the forces of opponents have engaged in battle and some majestic abilities have been shown. All you have to do – sit in your chair and enjoy the show, the actors are trying to d their best to please you.
What is going to happen next? I will take this risqué and say that we get a chapter, however in two weeks time :)
Until then – enjoy the summer, folks!

Bonus Moment
This chapter we have seen Joz reveal his diamond abilities:


http://i32.tinypic.com/nv1njd.jpg

Does it remind you on something? Perhaps, this?


http://i27.tinypic.com/sybbtg.jpg

Oda sure knows how to write a complex plot. I very much like this small reference to one of the best fights of One Piece manga.
And also, being a reference, it gives you something to consider. Will Zoro ever face Diamond man? Or will he move on, farther and farther away to the top? I suppose, everything depends, what will happen to the Whitebeard Pirates after the war - will they survive at all, and will they be hostile towards Straw Hats? With all the evnts happening at the moment, I can't see Zoro fighting Joz in the future. But, who knows.
Oh, and on a last note,to respond a "commentary" I have seen too much these last days. Yes, Mihawk didn't cut through diamond. But was he willing to do that? No! A projectile attack, as we have seen with Zoro's Pound Cannons are something else than an attack designed for the "cutting of nothing". If it was the close ranged combat, we would see Mihawk's ability to cut through nothing - and everything including diamond. But to judge The World's Invincible Swordsman from a single slash? Please spare me.

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

kastor
August 08, 2009, 03:47 PM
yeah the "r u goin 2 cut through diamonds" came 2 my m9d ... if oda thought that he will mk sch a opponent 4 zoro b4 meetin mihawk at tht time... well ...WOW
[hr]
btw likd yr moments :)

mask0
August 08, 2009, 07:34 PM
nice review 8D

bittman
August 10, 2009, 01:41 AM
Thanks again for the reviews. I can see you trying your hand at the comedic aspect, don't try too hard though else you might pull a muscle. Still, smily moby dick comment picture comment made me laugh a little.

Good review, many noticed the diamond thing but you put it well with the older picture.

And yes, Nami in a bikini...I would have ended my comments there...

P.S. I have no idea what muscle you can pull from trying to be funny, but I doubt it's my favourite muscle.

jung_dalglish
August 10, 2009, 09:46 AM
thanks, love to read your review.

Lord Rayleigh
August 12, 2009, 09:04 AM
Thanks. Still very good !
[hr]
About Onigumo.
I wonder what it could be ? At first I thought of a spider DF but the problem is that the rest of his body is totally human. So a zoan does not seem plausible (a logia either). A paramecia ? With Robin's DF, I find that a little repetitive and thus not really possible.
So, I forgot the DF idea and I thought about a kind of cyborg, like the Octopus guy in Spiderman.
But your idea could work too even if I find that a bit strange : that would meant a part of is hair is immobile on his chest whereas the rest hold blades.

Aikidoka
August 15, 2009, 12:17 AM
And in contrast to Nami, Robin is wearing a shirt. Must be like Skypiea all over again for Sanji. Or not – with his newly found way of shaved-legs-life, he stares at something else in the left. I hope it isn’t Zoro…
Apart from my disturbing associations, have you known that Oda colors his spreads with Copic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copic) markers? I really should get me some of those.
And some ice-cream, too.
Thought I might point out that "okama" doesn't mean gay, it means transvestite or crossdresser. The equivalent here would probably be metrosexual. So, not actually gay, just a straight person who acts like it. Sanji may have been "converted", but that doesn't mean his interests have changed any. He'll probably go on chasing Nami and Robin once the crew's reunited...just in less...conventional clothing.

nerothos
August 16, 2009, 12:57 PM
Thanks. Still very good !
About Onigumo.
I wonder what it could be ? At first I thought of a spider DF but the problem is that the rest of his body is totally human. So a zoan does not seem plausible (a logia either). A paramecia ? With Robin's DF, I find that a little repetitive and thus not really possible.
So, I forgot the DF idea and I thought about a kind of cyborg, like the Octopus guy in Spiderman.
But your idea could work too even if I find that a bit strange : that would meant a part of is hair is immobile on his chest whereas the rest hold blades.

what if he is just fishman? same with the walrus guy in the left...

HellooXD
August 16, 2009, 10:37 PM
great review, this chapter was awesome, i can now see how powerful whitebeard pirates are.