Okay, so it's not exactly all fun n games this week...
Here you guys go, my thoughts on the latest installment of One Piece. Looks like we may not be getting a OP chapter this week, so that's partly the reason I waited a bit to do this. Hopefully nobody minds.
Thanks again to Harrmd for his bang-up MQ scanlations of OP these days (only things he needs to work on is the greys and cleaning all the dust out), and especially to pocketmofo for keeping us alive with OP translations. With all the popularity of OP, I'm really puzzled as to why we don't have more translations, but either way, pocketmofo's been a savior to OP fans here lately. If anybody else is interested in translating OP on a weekly basis, we'd love seeing more around here. Thanks!
Anyway, phew, what a solemn chapter, huh. Guess we might as well get started. Feel free to comment as always!
* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on One Piece Chapter 430: The Falling Snow of Reminiscence * * *
Hmm.. maybe I need to take it easy with my thunderbolts...
1. Moonstruck Part III. Or "Enel's Great Space Adventure," I guess, as Oda's calling it now. Looks like this will be our current mini-storyarc for a while.
So it seems Enel is currently surveying his lunar surroundings, and he's probably rather mystified right now. Could be that he may eventually come to the realization that he's come to the wrong world.
Might he be an opponent for Luffy sometimes in the future again? I tend to doubt it, but I'm sure his fans would be delighted at the idea. Enel was a pretty formidable enemy, no doubt about it. But I think Oda's got something else in mind for him, probably intending for him to stay on the moon. Because if Enel does come back to haunt Luffy and co., I think it'd just be more of the same of what happened in the Skypiea arc, to be honest. Not that it wouldn't be an epic battle, but we've already seen it.
And Oda doesn't seem to me the type of writer who'd just rehash old stories and recycle villains for later conflicts. Buggy the Clown was an exception, but so far, the only one, and he did bring along with him a new crewmate. (Well, to my recollection, Buffy was the only one anyway... feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)
Which I suppose brings us to the poll I decided to include this week. I thought it'd be interesting to see which villain you guys wanted the most to come back at some point in the series. So, vote away.
They'll probably never realize it, Zoro.
2. Usopp's Mysterious Disappearance...! Heh, so we see the return of Sogeking sooner than expected. Ugh, I agree with Sanji and Zoro, though, for Luffy to STILL not have realized that Sogeking was Usopp (as well as Chopper), they are something dense!
But at the same time, I was appreciative that Luffy did acknowledge that Usopp should probably have ownership of Merry Go, because he did have more faith in the ship than Luffy did. Ever since Merry Go unexpectedly appeared, I was saying that. So because Luffy did think along the same lines, my respect for him actually went up here for admitting that much.
Of course, as we'd soon find out, that wouldn't be the case that Merry Go was alright. Just as well, because it did validate that Luffy had made the right decision after all.
Note that Zoro and Franky seem really, really disturbed... XD
3. Just Hearing Things? Well, looks like Zoro and Robin heard Merry Go's voice, after all. I (and a few others) had surmised a couple of chapters ago that only the most child-like characters in Luffy's crew (including the captain himself) were able to hear the ship, but not the others.
But guess we were all mistaken, because they sure don't get any more mature than Zoro and Robin.
But note that Kokoro didn't hear it. Or at least seemed like she didn't.
What does this mean? Eh, just that every single crewmate of the Strawhat Pirates had a meaningful connection to that ship, I suppose. Which makes enough sense on its own. That's why they, and only they, heard the voice then. And there's some in truth in that people sometimes do tend to think of inanimate objects as having human-like characteristics, and maybe that's the case here with the Strawhat crew and their ship. Only, of course, in Oda's world, that sentiment would seem to have had some truth to it.
Ahoy, Cap'n Iceburg? XD
4. The Return of Iceburg. Well, so that was how Oda solved the problem of having Luffy continue his adventures without having to go back to Water Seven. By having his crew meet Iceburg's Galley-La Company ship in the seas. Guess it was good timing, though, as Merry Go was about to give up the ghost, as we saw shortly afterwards.
I've gotta to say, though, I was pleased to see Iceburg. I'm more than ready to get this storyarc over with and move on to something else, and Iceburg's appearance would seem to signal the end of this one, now. Of course, I didn't expect an even more dramatic finish!
Sidenote: Is it just me, or does Mayor Iceburg look like he would make a pretty good pirate captain himself? Heh.
Time to rest.
5. End of the Line... Well, you did get a sense that Merry Go was trying its darnedest to keep itself together at least until it could get Luffy's crew to shore safely. Nice that Iceburg and his boys arrived just in time to help out.
I mean, Merry Go had already done more than it was supposed to do, considering it was able to take Luffy and his friends as far as Water Seven after being so critically damaged. Guess it took after Luffy's crew in its persistence, huh?
So I guess that's what a ship with a broken keel will do... fall completely to pieces. Poor Merry Go. Guess Iceburg, Paulie, and Lucci really weren't kidding when they said that the ship's lifeline was close to its end.
Assuming shipwrights could work on it while at sea...!
6. A Captain's Distress...! How quickly we forget, eh? Of course, I'll cut Luffy some slack since he did just survive a tough battle with the CP9 and just barely got out of Enies Lobby and away from the navy, mostly thanks to Merry Go's timely arrival.
But he WAS acting a bit too silly here. The shipwrights HAD already told Luffy that Merry Go's time was nearing its end. Kinda got the impression that a child's favorite toy boat had just broken and he was begging his father to fix it.
I suppose that the shock of seeing Merry Go come to their rescue might have made Luffy feel like there was still a lot more gas left in its tank (figuratively talking). Oh well, I suppose being a pirate captain, it's a good thing he did gain an appreciation for ships after this experience. He'll probably take better care of the next one.
Wow, my head injury's worse than I thought...!
7. A Ship's Plea for Help. Now we know that no ship spirit was behind the temporary repairs of Merry Go after all, but none else but Iceburg. Must've felt pretty silly while he was trying to fix a ship as badly broken as that all along, but I can see it happening in real life, actually.
Sometimes we just get a feeling that there's something good that can come out of doing something that could get us accused of being insane veeeery easily. At least Iceburg could always fall back on his head injury as his excuse. Being a shipwright, though, he probably has a sense for these things, and that's the reason he heard the "plea for help" despite having no previous connection with it.
And boy, was he lucky to have gotten out of there before that wave hit. Wouldn't have been good if Iceburg actually lost his life trying to get that ship afloat! Oh well, at least the boat said thanks.
Way to calm down the boat, Luffy.
8. A Viking's Burial. One thing I did know about Eiichiro Oda is he's always had a great fondness for vikings, part of the reason why he wanted to do a pirate manga. He probably did have this in mind all along, just so that he could draw a doomed ship being burned at sea...!
Merry Go, as shown in this chapter, was a very smallish ship, also. Just compare it with the one the Gallery-La shipwrights had. So, I think that Oda did a good job in showing that the Strawhat Pirates could probably benefit from having a bigger ship at some point, especially if he planned on having a few more people join his crew. The changing of ships will probably make the fans feel better later on. But that doesn't really diminish the solemn farewell here, though.
Cue the sad music...!
9. Remembrance. Okay, I'll admit it, I think Oda made the scenes a little too sappy at some points (just how many times are we going to have to watch Luffy, Chopper, Usopp, Nami, and now apparently, Franky cry in the series?)
But I did find some scenes really nicely drawn. Especially the Sanji bit. Where he's just looking at the ship with a little frustration on his face, remembering the adventures he thought he'd have on it. Then we see him in shadow, standing next to that rabbit. I think that was actually the best emotional part of the whole manga. I know people will probably disagree with me on this, though.
But Usopp's crying I already expected, even after his brave speech of saying that was no place for tears in men's farewell (complete bull, by the way.)
Although Zoro's and Robin's silence and refusal to cry over the ship's death, even though they also probably had some feelings of uneasiness over watching it being sunken to the depths, reminded me of why I liked them so much, though. It's not that they aren't as bothered as everybody else, but somebody on the crew sure as heck needs to be able to handle their own emotions. They're both obviously strong people, and they're able to be level-headed at the right times and not add any fuel to the fire. I tend to like these type of characters the best.
As for the "snow," nice touch, but I've seen it before. (Zabuza's and Haku's death, anybody?) Heh. The viking's funeral would have just been as effective without that little touch, instead, I think it just added to the overall feeling of sappiness for me. :/
10. A True Nakama. Although I thought the scene of a "talking ship" while it was engulfed in fire and was dying was a bit too much for me, I can appreciate the whole point of the dialogue. The ship did not believe that its crew had treated it badly. It did not demand their attention, it did not wish for anything more but to travel with them. For that reason it was a true friend to them, and it was happy.
I tend to think friends and families who believe that as long as they have each other, nothing else matters, are the ones with the most rich lives. So Merry Go, it would seem, went down believing that it had "lived" well.
But at the same time, I don't think I was very emotionally charged by the scene at all. Maybe it's because I knew Luffy and his crew would move on, and probably get another ship. I used to read this TSR/DC American comic called "Forgotten Realms," where the crew had a flying ship called the "Realms Master," and when the series was eventually cancelled, they gave their ship a similar funeral as well. I really liked that comic, so I was really emotional over that last issue, because I knew that was truly the end. This, in comparison, was nothing compared to that. So, I guess I'm just experienced with this sort of thing or something.
But my point is, there'll be more OP stories, so Merry Go's passing didn't really affect me all that much.
RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. While a bit sappy in some parts, still a touching chapter nevertheless. As far as story developments go, this would certainly seem to be a turning point, and Oda deserves a lot of credit for deciding to go into a little bit of a different direction.
Predictions: We'll probably see Franky officially decide to join Luffy's crew and make sure that their next ship, whenever they get one, will be well taken care of.
Credits: Harrmd and pocketmofo deserves all the credit this time around.
Looking forward to seeing what you think!
See that little hamster there...?
It's hungry for some comments!!! Feed him!! XD