View Full Version : sahugani's One Piece Review 490-491

March 08, 2008, 07:02 PM
Sahugani’s One Piece Review 490

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/2057/hachiwondersbynamelesshjf8.jpg (http://nameless-hero.deviantart.com/art/Hachi-wonders-41625980)
the return of an old buddy is at hand

Hi guys. Well I’m back with another double to make up for last week. There are a couple things to note before I get started though. First of all, with the latest chapter, it seems that a new cover arc is starting with the initial chapter showing the rubble of Enies Lobby. I’m not going to have a section on it this week as there’s not much to say, but after we get a bit more in to it, I’ll be back to analyzing the covers. Let’s see if my prediction that it is about Kumadori holds up. In other news, we finally have some new material from my favorite AMV artist JuniZorofan (http://www.youtube.com/user/JuniZorofan)!!! There is one of her own creation that is indeed a true masterpiece, To The Sea [Spirit never dies] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FQ1gklcn_s). The other new one yields the results of an AMV competition, The proud AMV contest results! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvZ0LiF5D4o&feature=related). Be sure to check out the winners such as the incredible Sund43 (http://www.youtube.com/user/Sund43) as they truly deserve it. Now let’s get this started. The pics in this review come from the Ashura scanlation of 490 and the Binktopia scanlation of 491. The title pic is a piece by nameless-hero (http://nameless-hero.deviantart.com/) over at DeviantArt, so stop on by the gallery later.

490: Onward Once More


cue the creepy music

Now that the Thriller Bark arc is officially over along with its wrap up section, the Strawhats along with their new musician decide to set sail. As the crew and Lola’s gang yell good wishes to each other, Brooke’s comment not to get annihilated stands out as in the context of the next few pages, it seems quite ominous. The narrative text hints to the reader that there is more to the mystery of the Florian Triangle than we thought. It was said before the Thriller Bark arc that more than a hundred ships a year disappear in that area. After we found out that Moria would abduct ships and make the crew into zombies it was easy to assume that this was the reason behind the legend of the Triangle’s mysterious properties. It certainly does fit the description nicely as it does make people mysteriously disappear. Add to that the fact that if the victims die from sunlight rapidly it would account for the high number of victims that would be needed to maintain a count of a thousand zombies. However, the appearance of a silhouette in the mist that dwarfs Thriller Bark implies that that the legend goes back farther than the ten years since Moria made his base there. It is likely that the legend of disappearing ships did indeed exist beforehand and Moria’s decision to make the Triangle his base is because the legend would group his abductions with the preexisting superstitions and prevent public investigation. He probably thought it was a baseless legend though and that the disappearances were merely due to people getting lost and confused in the mist and thus being unprepared for the regular deadly situations such as Grand Line weather and sea kings. However, this new shadow in the mist gives validity to the original superstition. In any case, it is probably safe to say that the number of disappearing ships was originally lower and it was Moria who raised the number to a hundred ships a year. As for what the huge shadow is I have two basic ideas. The first is that it is an island not unlike Thriller Bark in that the log pose does not react to it. The shine at the top is some sort of signal light. The second idea that I like better is that it is a creature as the shine at the top is clearly meant to imply. Oda likes to base many themes of his story on realities or legends in actual culture. It would not be beyond him to add in a variation of the Loch Ness Monster myth. Since he has already created sea kings and made knowledge of their existence well known, he would need to make a Loch Ness Monster type of creature even more unique, awe inspiring, and intriguing. A creature (or multiple creatures) of this size would certainly fill that description.

Separate Journeys

Ace will be fine. don't worry

Turning away from the remaining mystery of Thriller Bark, we return to the Strawhat crew aboard the Sunny. Here Nami expresses concern for Ace to Luffy and the entire crew says that they would have no qualms about making a detour to help their captain’s brother. Luffy rejects this idea though. There is no doubt that Luffy cares about his brother, but he knows that doing so would be against both siblings’ desires. As brothers and as pirates with conflicting dreams (Luffy wants to be Pirate King while Ace wants to lift Whitebeard to the title) they have immense respect for each other’s character and strength. Luffy and Ace recognize that their journeys are separate and must remain that way. They can enjoy the other’s company as brothers but when it comes to matters of their lives as pirates, they must not interfere with each other. If Luffy went to save Ace, two negative things would happen. First of all it would be shameful for Ace to be saved by a rival pirate crew (not to mention his little brother’s). Secondly, it would detour Luffy’s journey, which would mean Luffy is putting his dream on hold to compensate for Ace’s weakness, which would hurt Ace’s pride further. You must also consider that Luffy has faith that Ace will survive using his own power. While there is a chance that Ace could escape single-handedly, I think the use of one’s own power in terms of this series is meant to include the power of one’s own nakama. Luffy says Ace doesn’t like to seem weak, but I don’t think this would be as much of an issue if it was Whitebeard pirates who save him as opposed to Strawhats. The theme of nakama in the story is defined in many ways, one of which being a group of people who you entrust your life to, who compensate for your flaws, and who help you when you fall. Ace has found this in Whitebeard’s crew and so these are people who he would trust with his life and would be grateful if they tried to save him. While it doesn’t seem that we’ll get an Ace rescue arc from the Strawhats, I think an attempt by Whitebeard is not unlikely. We will just have to wait an arc or two to see the great pirate’s response to his subordinate’s imprisonment.

The Opposition

i want a grandpa like Garp...except for the nearly killing you while training part

One minor disappointment I had about the wrap-up segment of the Thriller Bark arc is that we didn’t really get much of a view into what I call the global conflict. At the ends of previous arcs we saw Mihawk meet with Shanks, a Shichibukai meeting, Shanks at various stages of communication with Whitebeard, and the world changing fight between Ace and Blackbeard. At the end of this arc the only bit of it we get is a conversation between Sengoku, Garp, and Kuma that while amusing isn’t as illuminating as other peeks have been. I guess that this was due to the fact that many of the issues were covered within the previous arc. Kuma brought with him the news of the new Shichibukai and his duel with Zoro revealed quite a bit about himself. Anyways, regarding the conversation this chapter, the big issue is that Sengoku is frustrated that Kuma came back empty handed. He also issues concerns that Kuma showed pity or mercy to the pirates, implying that Kuma has done this before. If this is the case then Kuma just fits all the better into my initial analysis of him. While he is willing to go on any mission the government assigns to him, he decides what actions to take based on his own moral compass, which is a troublesome trait when dealing with noble pirates the government just wants to silence. Throughout the conversation, Garp continuously interrupts with statements praising his grandson. Garp’s words are meant to tell Sengoku that the matter of stopping the Strawhats is less serious than his superior wants to admit. Garp knows that Luffy is not the kind of person to brag about his exploits or aggressively seek out trouble so there is little need to worry about the Strawhats unless the government directly interferes with their journey. On a final note, Sengoku also mentions that the Strawhats’ log pose will bring them close to Marine Headquarters. This won’t occur for a while though as there should be a good deal of time between the events of Enies Lobby and then. When that time does occur though, any actions by the Strawhats should be considered a big deal since it is a stronghold of one of the three great powers. That will likely be the event that drags the Strawhats into the global conflict and from then on they will be in the realm of the Yonkou, the Admirals, more Shichibukai, and Dragon.

The Barrier

here's to another decade of One Piece yet to come:beer

We return now to the journey of the Strawhats as they make their way from the Florian Triangle to the undersea paradise. Along the way they experience some more of the oddest conditions the unpredictable Grand Line sea can produce. These include candy raining from the sky, serpentine sea currents rising from the ocean, circular rainbows, and a sea tanuki. I can’t even begin to analyze these because they are merely ridiculous ideas Oda has found amusing and wrapped up in the generality that nothing is impossible on the Grand Line. Eventually though they do reach the Red Line and each Strawhat has a different reaction to it. As Chopper is the only member of the crew who has never seen either end of the Red Line, his reaction is the expected awe. The rest start to reminisce about their experiences crossing the other side of the Red Line to come to the Grand Line, which gives us a bit of history on the members who were not in the crew when we saw the Strawhats sail over Reverse Mountain (and Brooke who we saw cross it in his flashback). Through this we find out that Robin came to the Grand Line from West Blue a mere five years ago. This is understandable as going to the Grand Line put her at greater risk of capture than if she stayed in West Blue since that is where the more high powered military officers are located. We also find out (in one of the translations at least) that while Franky was too young to remember the journey when he took it, he was born in South Blue before entering the Grand Line. With Sanji being originally from North Blue, this means that all corners of the globe are now represented within the crew, which is a little fact that makes me smile. Other than the crew’s reaction to the massive rock barrier, the appearance of the Red Line means something far more important to the story. This marks the exact halfway point of their journey through the Grand line. Oda said (I believe last year) that he had just reached the halfway point of the story and this is just more proof of that. After passing through this marker, the Challenges of the New World promise to be of a whole different scale just as the transition from East Blue to the Grand Line was.

Under the Sea

Franky needs to install some weaponry on this bad boy

Now that the Strawhats have reached this mountain, the issue of how to reach their next destination becomes an immediate concern. With Nami being as intelligent as she is, she has likely already made the connection that Fishman Island offers a way to cross the Red Line by going underneath it as opposed to going over it like Reverse Mountain allowed them to do. For the first time in the manga, the Strawhats whip out the submarine Franky invented and ironically allow three of their devil fruit users to pilot it under the ocean. Meanwhile, the number four dock is temporarily used to support a branching kiddy pool for the amusement of Usopp and Chopper (who’s using an inner tube to keep himself dry enough to avoid drained strength from his devil fruit. Anyways, the ones in the sub are Luffy, Robin, and Brooke, with Robin obviously doing most of the work while Luffy looks out the window and Brooke panics. Franky’s big on letting others enjoy the fruits of his genius, so it’s not really unsurprising that two such irresponsible members such as Luffy and Brooke went. Robin’s inclusion is merely to have someone who could actually operate the vehicle while. While Franky passes on instructions to Robin, Nami expresses concerns over how to get to Fishman Island. Kokoro wouldn’t tell them what to do and they forgot to as Lola, who had been there before as well. The problem is very similar to Sky Island as the log pose points in a direction that a ship cannot normally go. The difference is that unlike Sky Island, Fishman Island is known to be real, so definite ways of reaching it must exist. The most logical explanation I can come up with is that Fishman Island is within a hollowed out cavern in the center of the Red Line at sea floor level. This would mean the entrance to the cavern is a downward tunnel through the stone of the Red Line itself. If the Island is inside the Red Line it would explain why the Strawhats can’t find it with the sub since that only sees outside of the stone. It would also explain how there could be a place below sea level that is not submerged itself (otherwise how would humans life Lola breathe). By regulating the flow of water from either side of the Red line into the cavern, they create a small enclosed sea within the stone in which there is a mixture of land and water so that Fishmen and humans can survive.

Another Face

possibly the most unique facial expression in the series

After fleeing the mouth of a hungry beast of the Grand Line, Luffy, Brooke, and Robin emerge from the submarine with no answers for Nami as to how to proceed. However, they realize that the beast from before, a gigantic sea rabbit, followed them and leaps for an attack. His assault is short lived though as Luffy knocks him out with a single hit of my favorite attack of his, the gomu gomu no rifle. The impact of the hit launches from his mouth two beings that seem familiar to anyone who has read all the old cover arcs. Much to the delight of Sanji, the mermaid, Caimie, lands on him. She and her Starfish companion were featured in a cover arc starring Hachi, the octopus fishman from Arlong’s crew. As this incident as well as her earlier rescue by Hachi supports, she has a long history of being eaten by sea creatures. I know many think that she very well could be a Strawhat in the making, but given that my last prediction on this type of subject matter did not turn out as I thought it would, I’m going to hold off on an opinion until I see a few things. On one side, I’ve long been against the idea of a mermaid, fishman, or giant entering the crew. When Oda goes for unique members he goes all out such as a cyborg, a skeleton, and a reindeer. The aforementioned species are indeed considered odd in comparison to the human members, but their species are recognized already and thus not considered weird by Strawhat standards. Also in the same light, the crew just got a cyborg and a skeleton, so I’m pretty sure that the next member will be a normal human and have a down to earth personality much like Robin in order to keep the crew from getting too insane and to help push along the plot. One big thing though is that she was already introduced through a cover arc. If we meet them beforehand it takes away from getting to know them through their supposed recruitment arc, but this is by no means a definite idea. On the other hand, Caimie does present quite a few features that are quite characteristic of Strawhats. First of all, she is identified to be interested in work as a designer, which implies that even though she is technically still studying under a master, she is likely a prodigy in the art much like Sanji was to cooking or Robin was to archaeology. Since Brooke’s position on the ship as a musician is not a defined or necessary role for a crew nor is it beneficial for the story like Robin’s archaeology, the inclusion of other such roles like a designer are not out of the question. One thing that she must establish in order to join the crew is some at least basic fighting potential. Having only seen the two instances of her being saved from being eaten, we have not really seen any opportunities where she would use her strength if she has it. Being that there are other instances of this that she might have survived with her own power, the chance that she her self is strong is not a bad assumption. Given the circumstances of her oddly happy personality and the fact that she is the victim so often, I’d assume that if she does have strength, it manifests itself in a split personality that she enters when in peril.
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491: Flying Fish Riders

Haunting Memories

Sanji does not fear te pain of death...only old hags in shell bras

As the chapter starts off, Sanji celebrates that his dream of meeting a beautiful mermaid has come true. However, his pleasure is abruptly halted when Usopp reminds him that Kokoro was also a mermaid. To Sanji, the knowledge that the first mermaid he ever met was the aged and odd looking grandmother was an extremely emotionally scarring experience. We also find out that Luffy was never informed about Kokoro’s race due to the fact that he was fighting Lucci when it was revealed and somehow remained oblivious throughout his stay on Water 7. Like Sanji, (to a lesser degree though) Luffy is disgusted by the idea that Kokoro is a mermaid. Continuing the conversation, Brooke is the next to approach her, prompting the very expected reaction of terror when talking to a skeleton. However, she quickly adjusts and comes to accept him as normal, making her a lot more open minded than the average person. Next Luffy presents her with the same poop question he gave Brooke at the start of the previous arc. The question is just as valid now as it was then and it is still equally inappropriate. With Brooke the issue was the lack of a digestive tract but with Caimie the issue is where the end of the digestive tract is since her lower half is that of a fish. Before she can answer, Sanji interrupts and prevents her from answering the question. He does not want to hear anything that would dirty the pristine mental image he has of mermaids. He only wants to see their beauty and not about the disgusting little truths.


i'm feering so ronry

While the crew pays all its attention to Caimie, her companion, the starfish, Pappagg, sulks against the wall. Apparently he is her master in the design business and is also Caimie’s pet. Although he is the designer of an extremely popular clothing line on Fishman Island, he stays with Caimie because she feeds him clams. There is most likely a deeper reason that he follows her but it is too early in the arc to reveal that. He loves attention and is depressed by the fact that despite all of the work he has done to make himself successful, it is Caimie that gets all the attention while he is ignored. In truth he really is quite unique as he is a starfish who taught himself to speak human language through mere hard work and continued on to become extremely successful in the clothing industry. For a guy with his personality and with his degree of success it seems out of place for him to be traveling with Caimie, who seems to be quite prone to dangerous situations. There is obviously more to their bond than he is revealing, but we’ll find out eventually.


it sounds like someone belongs on the special bus

After Pappagg finishes his little tale, Luffy drags the conversation right back to what he feels is important, the takoyaki Caimie promised him. Since it is the octopus fishman, Hachi (though she calls him Hacchin), who ironically runs the takoyaki stand, she attempts to contact him. To her surprise it is not Hachi who picks up the den den mushi but the Makuro gang. Since the fishman talking refers to his own group as idiots, it’s safe to assume that these guys are a step below even Hachi in terms of intelligence. The name Makuro is likely a derivation of mackerel, a type of fish that encompasses a huge number of species. Many species under the classification of mackerel are popular game fish, which fits in with the gang’s career of kidnapping and selling. As we saw in the cover arc, these guys are no match for Hachi’s strength, so Caimie is surprised by this news. The kidnappers explain that they got help from the flying fish riders and that’s how they succeeded in beating Hachi. They threaten that they will sell him off soon as a way to lure Caimie into a trap. Apparently these idiots have been after Caimie for quite some time as we saw in the cover arc as well. If it hadn’t been for the fact that they are morons, I’d say that their continued persistence on this single target would imply something special about her. If they had any form of intelligence, they would have realized that Hachi’s protection made catching her too difficult and they would move on to a different target. However, since they are idiots, their insistence on catching Caimie is most likely just a result of frustration that Hachi beat them up and they want revenge even if it costs them other business. After hearing the situation, the crew agrees to help her, though different members have different goals from the deal. Nami agrees to help on the condition that Caimie shows them the way to Fishman Island, which is a surprisingly reasonable deal for her as normally under these conditions she would try to extort some money out of the deal as well. Luffy on the other hand reacts to the statement that Hachi makes fantastic takoyaki and he must be saved so that the food can be served even if he dies in the process.

Fish Power

all Luffy sees is a bunch of sushi

Once the Strawhats’ aid is confirmed, Caimie reveals a special ability she has as a mermaid, the ability to talk to fish. We have seen Chopper talk to animals but not fish. This is likely because Chopper is able to understand the audible sound of animals but fish don’t really communicate through auditory signals and so don’t really have a voice to reach his ears. Caimie’s method is visually depicted by Oda as sonar waves coming from hers and the fish’s mouths. Apparently this method of communication is also capable through different mediums such as when Caimie is above the water’s surface while the fish are beneath it. Using this ability, Caimie summons a huge group of fish to the surface. Luffy comments that if they had Caimie with them, they could catch as many fish as they wanted, which angers Sanji because it is insensitive. There is a hint of truth to the idea though. Since Caimie works at a takoyaki shop and feeds clams to Pappogg, it is clear that sea food is not off limits for mermaids and fishmen to kill and eat. Caimie’s ability to talk to fish implies that she has a friendly relationship with them, but the idea that they eat clams and octopus but not fish is kind of ridiculous due to the availability of the latter. This seems kind of messed up though as they like her enough that they are willing to help her yet she eats their brethren. Anyways, to the surprise of the Strawhat crew, the fish organize into the shape of a gigantic arrow to point the direction to Grove 44.

Big Business

not exactly the cream of the crop are they

Before setting off, Pappogg warns Luffy of the dangers of the area and the industry of kidnapping and selling people. There are a number of groups engaging in this act. They kidnap people be they humans, fishman, or mermaid and sell them off to the highest bidder likely in a manner similar to slave auctions. Mermaids are particularly in demand at these markets and so the Makuro gang has been after Caimie for quite a while in order to catch a big reward. Pappogg and Caimie explain that while Hachi is kind to a fault, his simple minded nature probably made him think the Makuro gang had kidnapped Caimie and he went to save her. With every new bit of information they receive about Hachi, the Strawhats keep remembering their experiences with the octopus fishman of Arlong’s crew but refuse to admit to themselves that it could be the same person. Pappogg continues to explain that Hachi would normally be able to kick the Makuro gang’s asses pretty easily but the interference of the Flying Fish Riders likely proved too much. According to Pappogg, they are a relatively new gang of kidnappers that have appeared recently and have proven themselves extremely capable.

Hell’s Fish

think Oda might have named one of these guys Harley?

After sailing for a while, the fish leading them suddenly run away. From the sky descends the Flying Fish Riders, who are quite aptly named as they are riding fish that are actually flying. The fish are outfitted to make their riders resemble a motorcycle gang, which is something we have not seen before. The way the fish fly is intriguing as well. Since the manga format only allows us to see them in still frames I cannot be certain, but I’m guessing that these fish lack the ability to hover. I could just be overanalyzing, but since the “wings” are up front, you would assume that the back end of the fish would droop if they were hovering. Also, we learn that they can only fly for five minutes after jumping in the air, which says to me that they lack the strength in their wings to maintain a hovering position and instead glide for the most part at high speed. This is also the way that real flying fish stay in the air. They take off at high speed from the water’s surface and glide in the air. Due to the decreased resistance of the air compared to the water, their speed also doubles while airborne, allowing them to glide for extremely long distances. However, their inability to turn in midair basically makes them fish missiles to people on boats. While it seems these versions of flying fish have overcome both the inability to turn and the direct reliance on gliding to fly, the aspects of the original’s flight is still quite present. In order to attack the Strawhats, the gang darted at high speed toward the sunny and released an explosion at close range. With the inability to hover, it is difficult to use long range attacks effectively from the moving position. To fix this, they attack close range to ensure a hit and avoid damage themselves as their speed lets them get out of counterattack range extremely quickly. I think there is a decent chance that these flying fish may inspire a creative thought for Franky. He has already made a submarine to travel under the water. For his dock 4 invention he may create some type of airborne craft such as a glider.

Iron Mask

I sense a disturbance in the force

After realizing that their victims are the Strawhat Pirates, the gang backs off to deliver the good news to their boss, who we are told has been looking for a certain ship for a while. After his men deliver this news, the boss of the gang, Duval, announces that he has finally found the ship carrying the man who ruined his life. This leaves quite a few options for his identity though it can be narrowed down quite a bit. Due to Robin and Nami being women, Usopp and Chopper being easily overlooked and unoffensive, and Brooke being unknown as a Strawhat, we can at least be certain that the man Duval hates is Luffy, Zoro, Sanji or Franky. Sanji and Franky didn’t make friends well and Zoro and Luffy have histories of ruining the lives of villains. Due to Oda’s habit of bringing back old characters though, I’d be willing to bet the grudge is against Luffy. This leaves a list of boss opponents Luffy has faced, but I’m betting on it being Axe-hand Morgan. It’s not likely any of the enemies from the Grand Line as Lucci was only recently beaten, Enel is on the moon, Crocodile is in Impel Down, and Wapol is a businessman. This leaves the East Blue enemies: Arlong, Krieg, Kuro, Buggy, and Morgan. Buggy is too much fun as himself for Oda to recreate his character. Kuro doesn’t seem the type to seek out vengeance or the type to wear armor. Arlong wouldn’t hinder his fishman underwater abilities with armor and he’d recognize and punish Hachi if they met. This leaves Morgan and Don Krieg, both of whom escaped or avoided marine custody and both of whom I could easily envision taking up an armored alter-ego. The reason I say it is Morgan over Krieg is that the latter already had an arc to establish himself as a villain. We saw his cruelty as well as a fully developed set of skills. Morgan’s arc was more of an introductory arc for the story as Luffy got his first nakama and attention was split between him and Helmeppo. All we saw was that he was a power hungry officer with an axe for a hand. We didn’t have any reason to hate him other than the basic knowledge that he was a prick and was indiscriminately cruel. His defeat at Luffy and Zoro’s hands gave him something to direct his rage to. Oda is too creative to simply revive an old villain like Kreig, but since Morgan didn’t get developed back then, he is open to it now. That said, I’m not even certain that this Duval character will end up being the main enemy of the arc. There is a good chance that a larger threat will emerge from the woodwork of the plot Duval is creating.


It’s the start of a new arc and I’m loving it. I don’t quite know how to describe it but it feels more colorful than previous arcs. Possibly due to the fact that we are dealing with mermaids I envision brightly colored coral reefs and all the tropical fish that go along with it. It is certainly more colorful than the previous arc, which took part at night, hidden in the mist, and was centered around shadows and zombies. I’m also thrilled that Oda is bringing back Hachi from his cover arc along with the individuals he met within it. Oda has done this before with Coby’s cover arc and Buggy’s as their experiences led to a return to the storyline. This makes me even more certain that in the future we will see something related to the ruins Enel found on the moon. Whatever happens, I trust Oda will make me happy.

March 09, 2008, 01:43 AM
Wonder if Oda-sensei has seen FInding nemo, the fish for directions seems right out of it.... Great review.

March 09, 2008, 06:09 AM
Splendid review, as always, sahugani. :)

I agree that Duval, if he's an old enemy, would most likely be Morgan - though I personally would prefer it to be otherwise. Not to say I don't like the idea of ol' Axe-Hand "who are you again?" Morgan, but I think it could get more interesting if it was someone from one of the male members' distant past.

One of my thoughts after reading these chapters though is "we'll meet Franky's parents" (or something to that effect). About a year ago, his adopted family just named him the son of a pirate completely out of the blue, and him reminiscing about his entry into the Grand Line as a kid got me remembering this. Since I don't think Oda would drop something like that just for kicks, we should get more on this subject sometime in the future. ;)

...one thing that popped into my head at that stage, though, was:

"Hey, what if he's the son of Lola's mother?"

That one gave me nightmares. XD

March 09, 2008, 07:54 AM
Thanks for the review:)

By the way you forgot Bellamy and Foxy in the list of people Luffy defeated in the Grand Line. Foxy is quite a farfetch assumption but Bellamy(if he is still alive) is a viable option.

March 10, 2008, 02:38 AM
great reviews yet again sahugani!

i like your solid takes on where the new arc is going, with thankful full knowledge of the past chapters and cover stories of OP. i don't mean to complain, but i'm sure you've seen the endless ramblings on the other forums about duval's identity that come from little to no knowledge of plot or deductive reasoning (which has thankfully taken from the OTHER big debate that will haunt us for months to come: will caimie join?!?!).

anyway, i too think duval and the riders will just be the window into the much bigger arc, much like bellamy and jaya were to skypiea.

can't wait to see where oda takes us (and to read yr thoughts of course) !!

March 10, 2008, 03:15 AM
@omniscientone - haha. i wouldn't doubt that he has seen it. Ellen DeGeneres' character seems like a character he'd get a kick out of

@Timeless - i agree fully. while the setup does seem to scream Morgan's return, i'd love for it to really be someone from Franky's past. on the other hand, its not out of the question that even if this is Morgan, it doesn't mean he's necessarily the boss of this arc but merely a lead-in baddie. back to Franky though. since his pirate father came from the same direction as the Strawhats and left his son on Water 7, he likely went through Fishman Island as well and other locations on the same log pose route, so i'm pretty sure we will see some plot revolving around Franky's daddy at some point. and yes the thought of him being Lola's brother is terrifying

@noonethere - you're right i did forget them. oops. as you said though Foxy is highly unlikely due to personality and body shape. as for Bellamy, he was presumably killed off by DoFlamingo or is at least severely injured and serving under him. also, all that armor would hamper his devil fruit abilities

@captainjustin - unpredictability goes hand in hand with One Piece, so such discussion in the prediction threads is to be expected. i maintained from day one that Brooke wouldn't join and had good solid evidence to back it up but Oda still pulled a fast one on me. while we can make educated guesses, we really can't rule anything out in this series. as for Duval having a role similar to Bellamy, i couldn't agree more. with the current notoriety of the Strawhat crew, they can't really get away with low powered enemies which Duval certainly seems to be in comparison to Shichibukai and CP9. add this to the fact that Caimie isn't leading them to Fishman Island until after the kidnapping is dealt with and it definitely seems that this kidnapping arc is an intro to Fishman Island like Jaya was to Skypiea

March 10, 2008, 05:25 PM
@noonethere - you're right i did forget them. oops. as you said though Foxy is highly unlikely due to personality and body shape. as for Bellamy, he was presumably killed off by DoFlamingo or is at least severely injured and serving under him. also, all that armor would hamper his devil fruit abilities

Actually, if he was Bellamy,he would avoid using his DF powers since some people might recognise him. I have to admit Dupal is more likely to be Morgan than Bellamy due to the presence of the former in a cover arc and the fact that we did not see his right hand.

March 10, 2008, 05:43 PM
Great review dude!!
I don´t think the man Duval wants to kill is someone of the SH crew.
I mean, he said that he was looking for the SH ship so that he could
kill the "man who ruined his life", but i think that means he saw the SH
achievements and realised that he wold need theire help to defeat someone...
I think he is a bad guy but he is fighting someone worst than him

March 10, 2008, 07:12 PM
@noonethere - on a final note about Bellamy since we both agree its probably not him anyways, he is a very impulsive and arrogant guy and i doubt he'd be thoughtful enough to disguise himself and plot revenge. as for the right hand thing for Morgan, that was one of the first things i checked as well once the idea entered my head

@Raysen_ht - that's certainly a possibility as we've seen apparently bad men team up with the Strawhats before. however, Duval's career as a kidnapper and slave trader doesn't exactly make him a good candidate for a character who Luffy would be willing to help

March 12, 2008, 05:41 PM
well, a person who was willing to risk an entire country just for the sake of reading a stone, or a person that beat the hell of out a nakama and stole 200m belli doesn't seem like a good candidate either.. :s as you said earlier, you just can't rule out anything in OP.
Another option of Duval's identity that I thought about, other than Arlong or Morgan, is a completly unkown person who had some past experience with one of the SHs. This could turn out to be a completly hilarious situation.
And I too think that this kidnapping is simply an introduction to the merman arc. It's only the start, and I'm expecting some expressions from the strawhats, when they enter fishman island, like when they entered Water 7.
Can someone explain me why in this page: http://www.onemanga.com/One_Piece/490/14/, ussop franky and chopper make those face expressions?
And Sahu, about your question of the flying fish's flying: http://www.onemanga.com/One_Piece/491/18/
I guess they're just like dragons and such, flip their wings, use their tails to maneuver and dive a lot. :s

March 13, 2008, 12:28 PM
If you look, they were eating the horror-pears too. And spiders and stuff were crawling out. Nami was apparently too distracted to notice...

March 14, 2008, 08:56 AM
or sanji took care of Nami's pear , and forgot about the others