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Translations: Gintama 507 (2)
Hi there. I hope you enjoy this review and find it useful in the reading of this chapter.
Chapter 686: The Snow Woman Of The Biscuit Room. A review
In the cover we keep watching the rescue of Caribou, who is the only person, apart from the “good guys”, that knows that Shirahosi is Poseidon. Clearly Oda has a plan for him and for the information he holds, and it would be interesting to see how this ministory will end, because surely we will see those brothers again.
The chapter present us a very vivid portray of the relationships between the kidnapped children, Caesar and Monet. We can see that, when no tears were necessary to keep the children in the lab, the malevolent diva of this arc took the time to make his act in front of them. The kids that were sharing some food in the previous chapter, were, in this one, worried about their health and the adult’s one. Mochya's memories have shown us the contrast produced by the drug created and administrated by Caesar … and of course by Monet…
Title chapter is about her. She is the loyal and evil subordinate of Doflamingo, and the chapter seems to show us more of that picture. But this chapter also shows us a new facet of her.
There is something wrong with Monet’s mind. She talks as a good nanny who cares a lot for her children. In fact, the chapter shows us Monet getting mad about people that try to steal her children,
…pretty much as a normal parent would do. Notice that she talks about forgiveness; so that she feels herself aggravated. But of course she knows that Caesar and she are using those children as guinea pigs and lengthy murdering them. Isn’t it weird? How to interpret it?
Of course, it could be the irony of a pure evil person. But I would also like to suggest a different reading here: this behavior resembles the conduct of a person under a hypnotic trance, someone that is absolutely obedient to a certain command, and that ignores any other kind of self-regulation. In such a condition a person has no sense of good and evil, and so is not capable to judge the moral value of his/her actions, only does what was asked to do. Monet behaves this way.
What evidences do we have to admit such a possibility in the current plot? Well, we ignore how Doflamingo’s devil fruit works, or if Monet is under some kind of spell, as we also ignore why Momonosuke hallucinates with Doflamingo. Anyhow, it’s Oda who is calling our attention over the way Monet refers to her mission in these panels:
Why those quotation signs (in red bubbles)? I mean, us, OP readers, already knew Monet had that mission entrusted her by Doflamingo… so what for he uses those signs? We still ignore it. But, in the possible curse of events suggested, those signs could be hinting the main command that keeps over her a spell that gives us another explanation of his weird behaviour. Only future chapters could show us if that is the case, and I hope Oda will show us what has happen between Monet and Doflamingo in the past, and why is she so loyal.
Monet pointed Zoro is not counterattacking her. Why he does it? It is a difficult question. About it, I would advice the reader to not choosing an explanation until new information would be available. I will include elements to rule out some possible explanations.
Is it that Zoro doesn’t manage enough Busoshoku Haki so that he just can stop Monet but not beat her? This explanation contradicts Luffy’s express assessment about Zoro being capable of fight a very dangerous rival as Caesar, another logia user. It also challenges the logic development of a swordsman that swore to be the best, and we would have a huge hole in One Piece plot if it comes to be true.
Is it because Monet is a woman? This would be a hole plot even bigger then the previous one. In Chapter 5, which is a good reading now, little Zoro meets a girl that beats him 2001 times and that shames about the fact that she will be surpassed as a swordman by him only because she is a woman. Zoro gets angry about it and makes the point that being the best doesn’t have anything to do with being a man or a woman. That belief is the basis of the promise that will mark Zoro’s destiny:
It would be the worst plot if we find Zoro now hesitating about fighting a woman because her gender. It would be the same as if Luffy forgets that he wants to be the king of pirates.
Anyway, up to now, despite Monet's attacks, children and straw hats go freely in their way to R section and none of Zoro’s actions means a lost against Monet. From this perspective, Zoro’s behavior could be not a big deal.
Tashigi is taking the turn against the harpy. Also now, chapter 100 is a good reading: the pirate hunter defeat Tashigi in a duel in which, once he has disarmed her, he turns around, and she, mad about it, asks him if he doesn’t kill her because she is a woman, and express his desire to be born a man so that she could get an honorable treatment.
Of course, Zoro hasn’t changed his mind, but instead of going over philosophical thoughts about war, men and women, he complains about Tashigi copying his late friend. So, and this is important, she goes away with the idea that Zoro believes in the differential treatment. That’s why she says in this chapter “I’m need here”. Notice that Tashigi wasn’t there when Zoro didn’t attack Monet, so the base she has to say this, is not what just has happened in Biscuit Room but their previous past meeting. A logical continuation in next chapter would happen if Zoro complains about it: “stop saying that!”
Finally, coming back to Monet, she also makes the conjecture that Zoro believes that wmone should be treated differently. Instead of asking for an honorable treatment, like Tashigi did, she thinks that she can take advantage of that belief. That’s why she says that maybe she can beat Zoro. But, again, the fact that Monet thinks that way, doesn’t mean anything about Zoro’s beliefs.
A difficult chapter to read, that increases the tension and leaves us some questions we should wait to answer.
Credits: All images of chapter 686 taken from mangarule. Images from previous chapters taken from mangareader. As usual, thanks to everyone that participates in the thread discussion of the chapter.
As a non native speaker, I will deeply thank any grammatical correction. (Please pm me for this).
Last edited by ukimix; October 28, 2012 at 09:55 PM.