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bittman
August 23, 2009, 10:46 PM
Bittman Presents - Chapter 554 Review

Introduction:


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Bah! Drama Queen, my reviews aren’t that bad.

Hey Mangahelpers =D

It’s been a while since we’ve talked like this, how have things been? I’ve been good thanks for asking (yeah right, as if you care). Been an Oars-sized delay between this review and my last review, but when you’re working a boring job, procrastinating and lurking on mangahelpers, it’s quite hard to find the time to write these things. A trip to Europe and making an independent game may have also featured in that, but whatever.

So reviews should be back to their normal affair of things, how normal I’m not sure. Weekly would be nice, twice weekly would be better (work that out if you can…and you’re not a moderator who already knows my devious plans). Remember, my reviews are a probably quite wordy and I get lost on tangents. Oh, and I might swear and make sexy time references. But don’t let that distract you, some people tell me I have a serious side…somewhere…

Using a scan from “SUKIKIM SCANS” and it’s the first time I’ve used them, but for the first release I saw they had pretty good quality. And I read it as “suck’im” because I’m immature, but don’t let the ladies know that. And do give your reviewers some love, thanks and comments go a long way, not just for me, I don’t care, but for the other reviewers that take their time to analyse a chapter. That said, I really felt the love of getting 7k views for my last review, so if you could all refresh a lot that would be great.

And a quick FYI: Just trying to get back into the swing of things this week. Next week the images will be better, text prettier, comments funnier, etc. Until then, enjoy my walls of ugly text whilst listening to sounds of nails on a blackboard if it pleases you.

Alright, time to get weird:

Review:


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Yes the rumours are true. He’s still a virgin. Pity and marginalise him.

Firstly, small note: I’m ignoring the cover arcs. And that’s not because they’re being ignored, but once they’re done I’ll probably compile and make a review on them alone.

So our chapter properly begins where it left off last chapter, as they do, with random marine #565 to #557 shouting things like people care about what they’re saying. In fact, a lot of shouting goes on, but I guess in all this it’s a struggle to be heard, or Oda enjoys spiky bubbles. So Marco is revealed to be a Phoenix, meaning quite a few people actually predicted this last week, though I didn’t because I totally thought he’d be a stoned Dragon rather than a stoned Phoenix.

Marco’s ability intrigues me though, for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s a “mythical” type Zoan, adding on to the recently introduced Ancient Zoans (Drake’s Jurassic Park rip-off) and awakened Zoans (Impel Down gaolers including an aggressive Koala, as an Australian I felt the fear). We can guess that there’s a couple out there, but as I’ve said I expect the numbers to be 2-3 by the end of One Piece. If they are really rarer than Logias, of which we can still count easily, then there won’t be many and I’m sure they’ll be all quite powerful, maybe more so that Logias generally. Can you imagine the power of a Unicorn that spews rainbows? Secondly, Marco appears to really take any attack. Unlike logias they don’t simply pass through him, else Marco jumping in front of Whitebeard would have been as useless as clothes to a hooker.

Still, Kizaru does not disappoint with his playful monkey persona showing through in reciprocating Marco’s words despite the fact it hit him. Yes, we just saw a logia get directly hit, though I won’t go into that freaking annoying Haki debate over it since for all we know Kizaru took the attack to return to the ground or Marco’s girly sandals surprised Kizaru enough to forget intangibility. Regardless, Kizaru is an enjoyable antagonist to the manga without being over-the-top. Cool, calm, collected and cheeky – our pika pika(chu) no mi admiral is a great character who I hope features as more than a new years light show.

And then some giants appear. Not much to say here about most of them, doubt we’ll seem half of them ever again except in the background for really important characters (like Buggy) to run away from. Still, we may see a lot of them again given the Elbaf arc that we know is one day coming. Educated giants vs barbaric giants would be my predicted theme for the arc, but that’s getting ahead of myself. Also, there are Giant boobies in the mix. Just throwing that out there, but I wonder what poor sweatshop produces her underwear. These are the things that keep me awake at night.


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Joz plays a game of catch with his friends.

So with some more Giant-kuns ready for aerial attacks (meaning they have to stop looking down on people [/double entendre]), Joz “UOOOOOOOOOOO”s his way into the Guinness World Records for the 7000 tonne Hammer throw with a mighty iceberg. This is an Iceberg that does not cancel all its appointments on a whim however, and schedules the crushing of five thousand marines before knocking off for lunch. And let’s not dwell on physics again, because honestly there’s no way anyone could take out an Iceberg sized chunk from a sheet of ice that’s probably only a few metres deep at best. We already know this is a manga less realistic than actually being a teenage guy in school that every girl on the face of the planet falls for…but it’s pretty close…

And finally we get to see the true face of Akainu, and I have no hesitation in saying that it would have been better if he’d kept it under that cap or perhaps gave some serious thought to Botox. Apparently the guesses are that Bunta Sugawara (http://dvdtoile.com/ARTISTES/80/80609.jpg ) is the model for Akainu, and I’m also told (thanks to some wiki) that our introduction to him as “Vice Admiral Sakazuki” seals the deal since three movies this guy was in had Sakazuki in the title. Still, he’s no looker, but then again none of the admirals have had a Tom Jones reaction of throwing panties at their images.

And once again Oda was somewhat predictable with Akainu’s Devil Fruit revealing magma as his power, though perhaps we could argue volcanic phenomena are more in line with his fruit because, for all we know, he’s half a second from pulling out poisonous gases and ash attacks. It’s also unconfirmed that he’s a logia at this current point as his GREAT ERUPTION forces it’s way into the wet obstacle to victory, leaving naught but a cloud of steam, a lot of mess and some aftersex regrets. I’d like to hazard a guess that Akainu is simply a logia and magma magma man since giving him powers of smoke and ash might get too close to some Smoker abilities.


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Goodness! Gracious! Great balls of fire~!

So as Akainu’s GREAT ERUPTION rains down…well…a “Reign of Fire” upon Whitebeard’s ships, we see a bit more of Whitebeard’s arrogance on display against Akainu’s own self-arrogance. Whitebeard loses one of his four Mobys (or Dicks) in the resulting firestorm whilst Whitebeard takes one of the rocks as a smoking extension to his pole whilst carefully avoiding setting his enormous moustache alight. Again, we can here argue that perhaps Akainu is a volcano man, since volcanic projectiles (i.e. rocks on fire) strike rather than magma itself, but since magma is just melted rock, I simply presume the rocks come from a mixture of exposure to air and melting the iceberg. Either way, it’s nice to see some red fire to accompany the blue fire. Perhaps a dragon will turn up and make a rainbow of fire for us, and then we can totally call this One Piece: The Last Airbender.

And just quickly: Whitebeard’s stab gave a little bit of a grimace. I don’t want to spend a lot on this because it could just be showing that he’s angry, but I’ve already seen him grimace only one chapter ago when he had to strike Aokoji out of the air. I’m going to tentatively put that grimace down to a show that he’s not in his prime and actually needs to expend effort on things that he probably used to do without a lot of hassle. And while I’m on Whitebeard, he sure is cocky. All admirals have thrown something at him, yet each time he’s simply come back with a jest and grin, all assisted by that enormous white-beard-that’s-not-really-a-beard.

Oda then spends the next double spread really kickstarting the action. No longer are we dwelling on single attacks and defences of the major players, but the close combat between fodder marines and fodder pirates. Most people don’t give the pages 13-14 a lot of attention given there aren’t really any major characters in this, but it’s all about setting. If I was directing One Piece as a television series or movie, I’d take this double page and expand it into a scene of chaos and panic. Giants are axing the ground, canons are exploding everywhere, swords are being broken and hammers are rapidly enlarging. It’s scenes like these, with a lot of faces that look important in any other chapter, but here are discarded, which are making the current war. Unbridled chaos at it’s best to the point where it’s almost hard to tell what’s going on. Makes running of the bulls seem a bit dull…unless you get gored, then it gets interesting.


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The obesity rate for these guys makes America look skinny.

And as we come to the end of the short, but nonetheless packed chapter, we’re finally given a taste of the true Oda unpredictability clause. No matter how smart you think you are, or how well you know One Piece, this is what we call unpredictable. Oars Junior appears complete with clothes, sword, an uncanny resemblance to his ancestor and a properly romanised name which is not Oz. Oars is a strange name, the fact we don’t see his eyes is also a bit strange, but at the same time I get the feeling of size when you see the Vice Admirals (including the spider man, ta-da we guessed that right too actually) looking far up yet still feeling like they can’t even see his entire face due to his size. I also think the scan I’m using mixed the speech bubbles up a bit, since I’m pretty sure a marine isn’t saying “Ace-Gun’s a nize guy!!!” and Tsuru is probably saying “So he is the descendant of “Land-pulling Oars…” in her typically calm fashion. Not much to say about Oars Junior, I expect he’ll be used as a bit of fodder to show the level of difference between Luffy and <insert opponent here>. I almost expect Garp on that note, but a Shichibukai would be just as good – leading me into:

Finally, the Shichibukai. Sure we saw some Mihawk last week being completely useless against a diamond man to mixed reviews. Since I did nothing last week…well I can’t be bothered doing anything on him this week, but the point is he did it through the air and didn’t seem to try too hard, but then again I’ve never seen him do anything other than grimace. Moria goes back to some of his crazy talk of corpses, a stage I’d actually hoped he’d surpassed after losing to Luffy. But like any good villain, losing to some rookie doesn’t mean he will suddenly become a good guy and see the light – way too Shonen.

It’s Doflamingo in this final scene that has got me excited, though all the Shichibukai do to a point. I expect a lot of them to quite frankly mop the floor with a ton of new world pirate fodder. All of the Shichibukai we know the powers of have the ability to take out many enemies at a time, Doflamingo perhaps being an exception. However, an exception I’m sure we’ll forget if his power is anything near as strong as many predict. Of all the Shichibukai, he is most definitely the next in line to have the Strawhat’s kick his ass, but his build up is still continuing. Between Bellamy’s crew and the Slave Trade House, Doflamingo should easily have Luffy going into a rage that makes his attack on Blackbeard look soft. However, I don’t believe Luffy is ready for, what looks like, the last “truly bad” Shichibukai. Nevertheless, prepare to be amazed as Doflamingo gets some of the fiercest pirates to sail the seven seas to dress in drag and do the hula!

Summary and Rating:

So, I know a lot of people were disappointed in this chapter when you compare it to the standard 19 pages of One Piece we get a week, but the double pages were used to get across the “epic” feeling of this battle, and it has worked on me. I would not be nearly as excited if there were simply filler pages or some random talk here and there, the war has kickstarted a pace more furious than a Chihuahua in heat. Only disappointments are really that Luffy and co are left in the dark, heck it’s probably the first chapter without a Strawhat in it for over 100 chapters, and that a chapter named for Admiral Akainu…had very little Admiral Akainu.

So all in all I’d have to give this chapter a *drumroll*…


7/10

Not a bad chapter, but certainly lacking a magical flair that One Piece’s story is generally known for.

Predictions:

Well this week we’re going to need to bring out some more rocket scientists rather than last week where we brought out some plain logic. Given the last line of “The Shichibukai make their move”, I expect to see some Shichibukai glorification not limited to Doflamingo taking over Oars Junior and wrecking a whole lot of havoc. I feel like Kizaru v Marco should continue, but at the same time Kizaru can’t exactly fly so I don’t know if that would work so well. I can’t really imagine who a good Marco and Joz opponent would be in this mess, let alone who should personally take on Whitebeard.

But all in all next week should be much of the same as this week, just Shichibukai and New World captains being glorified rather than division commanders and admirals. Of course, that’s only until Smoker starts giving out some free lung cancer and Sengoku transforms his goat into a giant mecha.


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Fufufu…Maybe I’ll be more useful next week?

Raysen_ht
August 24, 2009, 02:47 PM
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thx for this Bittman! great review!! I had to supress a Gag (cause i'm at work atm) when i read the end of the review... The "goat into giant mecha" coment... so funny! :rofl :rofl :rofl

I dont have time right now, but ill be back to give a proper coment latter (or tomorrow...)

Tsukisama
August 25, 2009, 07:03 PM
Very nice review, bittman! On your point about attacks not going through Marco, I wouldn't have expected them to go through him. Since he is a phoenix, his seeming invulnerability likes stems from the phoenix's mythical powers of regeneration.

Sarmad
August 31, 2009, 05:06 PM
Hey bittman, fantastic Review!! I really waited for you to do this again, since Sahugani left this big whole, although the Lonelobo and Aikyet do an awesome job, but you got the same style Sahugani had or at least something in your Review is somewhat compareable that i really like! ;)
I may not always respond, well it also depends on the chapter itself, but i'll try since i'd like you to do this every week from now on :P
So keep it up, it'S fun to read!

beastboy
August 31, 2009, 09:12 PM
AWESSOM REVIEW HAHAHAH
that subtitles under the imgs were really funny..

zerooo
September 01, 2009, 07:14 AM
These are the things that keep me awake at night.


and keep you out of the really good schools?

bittman
September 01, 2009, 07:51 AM
Thanks for all the positive comments, figured I should just thank you guys before I post the new one so to show you weren't forgotten. Obviously I need to work on generating some more discussion though, ah well maybe if I wasn't only moments before spoilers...

And hey I resent that. I'm in all the "special" schools.

zerooo
September 01, 2009, 08:10 AM
And hey I resent that. I'm in all the "special" schools.


I was just kidding, the comment reminded me of a George Carline Qoute, or rather the first part of it....

Lord Rayleigh
September 01, 2009, 04:00 PM
Good good review. Go on !