View Full Version : Haruka's One Piece Review: Chapter 534

March 11, 2009, 03:19 AM

Hooray! One Piece is finally back and the much-awaited fight between the notorious Chief and the insane intruder takes place in this exciting chapter. Can’t wait to discuss the action one by one….


Another special cover showing the members of the Strawhat Pirate. It appears that their appearance on the cover features either a regular animal or an insect. Anyway, Nami looks quite sophisticated with her sleek, black gown. Her hoop earrings look good on her and that symbolic tattoo works like a magnificent accessory. The man of the hour on the other hand is not literally a man, but debonair ant who looks posh in his suit.

Devil Fruit Orientation

The most important men in this chaos stand face to face, introducing themselves in a peculiar fashion. It’s Bon-chan who tells Luffy that the giant before him is the infamous Chief Magellan, the man whose name gives shivers to even formidable prisoners like him. Fortunately, Luffy’s “idiot power” isn’t working, thus allowing him to decipher the Chief’s devil fruit power. In spite of the latter’s gigantic potential to bring him down, Luffy remains concerned with all the food stored behind that door. Bon-chan freaks out, Chief Magellan is oozing with poison, the prison guards suddenly become panicky, and the first thing that Luffy expresses is his concern with the food. Sigh. Anyway, it clearly shows that he won’t get the chance to get want he craves for, given that the chief is all ready to capture the pirate responsible for the dishonor of his gaol. And speaking of Chief Magellan…. He is sweating with poison and a drop of it is powerful enough to knock someone out, tsk tsk tsk tsk.


The chief and the pirate’s meeting illustrate two outstanding characteristics: (1) Chief Magellan’s commitment to his job; (2) and Luffy’s dependability. Let us first talk about the chief. His simple, but powerful line saying “as Chief Warden I take it as a personal insult” reveals the level of his commitment towards his work. He regards Impel Down as his real home, and he cannot help but feel degraded as someone tries to destroy it for some personal desire. Though Luffy’s intention is in fact, heroic, Chief Magellan still perceives the act of charging at his gaol decadent; a pirate can never earn the right to besmirch the reputation he’s so devotionally built. And this explains why he risks the lives of his own subordinates just so he can capture the intruder. He is absolutely pissed off! He can never forgive Luffy for destroying the home he protected for who-knows-how-long. If Chief Magellan were just a mediocre Impel Down chief, he wouldn’t have said those words. He wouldn’t take it as a personal insult nor get as mad as hell. And most importantly, he would seize the pirate (out of pure business) only to do his job, and not to end this poignant humiliation.

The second one is Luffy’s dependability. Despite his immense idiotic tendencies Luffy can evaluate the safety and the danger of a certain scenario. He may not be able to actually explain its possible consequences but he can certainly analyze the impact of that situation. A Shichibukai harboring an infamous pirate captain so he can create havoc inside the gaol and free its most important prisoner will clearly lead not only to Hancock’s harm but to her island’s destruction as well. And this is where Luffy’s dependability comes in. He is sure as hell that Hancock will be severely punished once their secret is exposed. With Chief Magellan’s firm words, it is such a no-brainer to guess that he will use some tactic (either he applies the “brute strength” approach or does blackmailing) to force Luffy to spit out the identity of his co-conspirator. On the other hand, The Strawhat Captain remains dependable, preferring Hancock’s safety over his own protection.

Attack of the Dragons

So Chief Magellan reveals the fundamentals of their plot to capture the intruders, in the hopes of discouraging their will, which will eventually lead them to raise the white flag since fighting and escaping are futile. The introduction and the revelation are followed by the chief’s utilization of his venomous Hydra. This is technically the second time he uses it, but Luffy and Bon-chan look astounded as they witness his Doku Doku prowess for the first time. Fortunately, we see more to his Hydra than a bunch of dragon heads and poison chunks. Rather than a regular poison which obliterates its target upon touching his skin, Chief Magellan’s Hydra has its own system of impaling its victim. Unfortunately, I am not educated enough with the complexities and varieties of poison, but in One Piece universe, Hydra creates torturous impact by impaling one’s body. It then proceeds to his nervous system which will cause pain so strong that it will lead him to his destruction. Based on Bon-chan’s explanation, the Hydra must have attacked the Motor Neurons first. This area controls one’s muscle (directly or indirectly) which allows Hydra to weaken the gaoler’s muscle, causing him to fall over. Then it charges at his Sensory System, telling him that the attack is physically restraining and painful. (Those who are expert on Nervous System are welcome to discuss about this. I’m sorry for the lack of detailed explanation T__T).

As another sphere of luck strikes at Luffy’s path, he “unintentionally” beats one of the dragons when he grabs this hot spiky thing that hangs from the ceiling (forgive me, I don’t know the term for that one T__T). That simple coincidence (which usually happens to Luffy, by the way), turns out to be more meaningful as it reveals Chief Magellan’s weak side. His gigantic sensitivity to the heat, to the point where his Hydra can be defeated, is shown at the first page of this chapter as a prelude to this revelation. The small puddle of poison coming out of his body looks more than big drops of sweat; it appears like he is melting like Mr. 3 does – well, not to such extent, but the point is, his poison fades as he is exposed to extreme heat.

Ball of Breath

Another poison-inspired attack is wielded by the confident Chief Magellan as his fight against the Strawhat Pirate goes crazier. He may not show another legendary creature, but his next attack is as intriguing as the Hydra: Chloro Ball, which comes out from the chief’s mouth, can set off a huge ball of smoke capable of making someone sneezy and his eyes itchy. (And perhaps this is a “private joke” implying that Chief Magellan has a horrible breath o.O). The concept of this technique might be based on Chlorine, a gas green in color, which leaves a powerful, distinctive smell.

Mr. 1 makes another brief appearance upon the outburst of the chief’s interpretation of “tear gas.” Perhaps this former Baroque Works member breaks the pattern established during the earlier chapters where an old enemy joins the ruckus set by Luffy and eventually contributes significance/development in the story. But I haven’t given up yet…. I still have faith that Mr.1’s real spotlight will also be showcased like how the other foes make a “dashing” participation to this madness.

Smooth Ride

Anyone who had an instant remembrance of Zeno’s Dragon Dive upon seeing Chief Magellan’s Venom Road? Well, that was the first thing that pops in my mind as soon as he applies this technique to reach Luffy. Yes, the chief’s dragons have their own sense of peculiarity but the resemblance is present. Both dragons are capable of long-range attacks and both can be used as a means of transportation. The different of this instant vehicle is that Zeno can “surf” on top of the dragon whereas Chief Magellan is literally being “spit out.” Anyway, this Venom Road may look confusing in terms of its nature: is it Paramecia or is it Logia? At first glance, it looks like a Logia-oriented type of attack, especially when you use Kizaru’s movement in Shabondy Archipelago as the basis of your judgment. The chief reaches Luffy’s location in a manner in which he uses another variety of Doku Doku no Mi – very similar to the admiral’s method of chasing after the fleeing Apoo (he wielded another technique of his named Yamata no Kagami to reach the latter). But bear in mind that Kizaru’s Yamata no Kagami functions like an “extension” of himself, given that his Logia nature can turn himself into a light whereas Chief Magellan uses Venom Road only as a variety of his Doku Doku no Mi attack. Furthermore, he rides it by placing himself inside it, illustrating that Venom Road is a separate unit, not an extension of his body. I for one, thought that the chief is a Logia-natured user, thinking that the “jelly poop” who appeared before Luffy last chapter was an extension of himself. But it’s thanks to Max_Cola_Power's comments that I got to understand the technicalities in regards with the chief’s surprising arrival (thank you Max_Cola_Power for shedding some light ^__^).

Aside from Chief Magellan’s impressive method of transportation, his horns also create an equally notable item from his extraordinary catalog of Doku Doku skills. I doubt these horns are purely made of venom; it is first shown as an accessory which can also be spotted at Vice Chief Hanyabal’s headdress, leading us to think that top officials in Impel Down wear this to signify their authority. It turns out that these horns are more than a hell-inspired accessory – it can be worn like a glove possessing sharp edges which makes it even more threatening. Add the idea that his entire body is soaking with poison and you’ll come up with a conclusion that these horns act more efficiently as a weapon rather an accessory which can brighten the chief’s gloomy sense of fashion.

Okama Flight

While Luffy chooses to heed his inner voice to fight, Bon-chan finds his safety with “flight,” not that he betrays his Strawhat friend, but his cowardice and weak resolve have overpowered his Okama Way. It even appears that Chief Magellan’s presence is too much for him as he describes the latter like he’s the harbinger of gloom and doom. Perhaps this is the result of the chief’s well-earned reputation for being the man who flushes the dreams of big-timers onto the quicksand. Furthermore, Bon-chan is not truly aware of Luffy’s promising talent – that he has all the means to squash that reputation like the way he charges at the so-called impenetrable fortress. But this is definitely not the end for him. Just because he gives in to his insufficient will doesn’t mean there will be no more Okama way. Perhaps he will do little “hidings” in the corner, look for the best opportunity to get past the watchful gaolers without being noticed, and maybe, regenerate himself with food and beverages (in case there is another food storage lurking behind the scorching walls of Level 4), and hopefully bump into Buggy and Mr. 3 along the way. Their promising reunion will be another episode of ridiculous bickering, but hopefully, they will help each other out, especially when they no longer have a companion as powerful as Luffy to back them up. In case he finds a gigantic fridge filled with energy-giving meals and will-encouraging drinks, he might go back to the Pot of Blood and help Luffy. This is very plausible since his teary face, though very funny, shows his forced decision and guilt to leave his friend behind. As his resolve gets a huge boost, he might also conquer his fear towards Chief Magellan and fight him without trembling knees. Another possible scenario that may arise from Bon-chan’s flight is his encounter with Mr. 1. Yes guys, I’m still not giving up the idea of Mr. 1 giving his contributions necessary for the development of this arc. While these two had a little feud back in Alabasta Arc, Bon-chan might still convince Mr. 1 to lend his hand for Luffy’s survival from the chief’s might in exchange for the latter’s freedom.

Plot and Preparation

Buggy and Mr. 3 are reappearing like a zit on someone’s face. On the other hand, their brief presence in this chapter opens a door for exciting ideas and speculation. He may lack physical strength at the moment (he is still suffering from the intense environment of Level 4), but he surely makes it up with his keen mentality. His argument concerning their next (and best) move provides solid logic. Impel Down’s primary concern is Luffy and the three of his “accomplices” are just a secondary matter. All of the key officers, together with the mediocre gaolers focus on the Strawhat, which give Buggy and Mr. 3 some opening. The three demon guards, who perhaps possess extraordinary speed and strength like Minotauros, and Sadi-chan whose sadistic nature is terrifying, are preoccupied with their little Sake Party in Level 5, just waiting for the arrival of the Strawhat Captain in case he manages to sneak out. This group is possibly what they should be most anxious about since the two clearly don’t have an adequate strength to even squash one of their limbs. Because of their absence at the upper levels of Impel Down, Buggy and Mr. 3 can at least let out a sigh of relief since they won’t be dealing with snotty animals with surprising strength. The only problem they have to deal with is the Vice Chief. The gaolers, like Mr. 3 states, should not come as a major issue in spite of their growing numbers since they can be taken out with a single Muggy Ball. Once these weaklings are wiped out, they have to stand face to face with Vice Chief Hannyabal. The two seem confident as they prepare themselves to deal with the latter, despite their lack of knowledge about his abilities. Or perhaps, they are just being conceited. I perceive Vice Chief Hannyabal as a force to be reckoned with. He may not be as intimidating as Chief Magellan but this guy won’t be in his position for nothing. Yeah, his unlimited ambitions may help him a lot, but his strength must have contributed more to put him in that power. Confidence or conceit, the two’s anticipation with a battle against the Vice Chief stirs our idea that the latter’s much-awaited power demonstration will be finally shown. And Buggy and Mr. 3 will become the instrument for this. It is highly possible that they will actually fight Vice Chief Hannyabal, and thus, the revelation of his devil fruit power will be illustrated. I expressed back at my earlier reviews that the Vice Chief might be presenting remarkable involvement as the climax of this arc unfolds. As the leaders of the Jailbreak League commence their plan, I can’t help but think that this “involvement” will take place. Like Mr. 1, Vice Chief Hannyabal hasn’t taken the (real) spotlight yet. I can’t wait to see what this ambitious Vice Chief can really do.

Poison and Punch

After Chief Magellan’s three consecutive Doku Doku-inspired attacks in the hopes of showing off his capacity to bring down even a mad pirate like Luffy, the Gomu Gomu-natured Strawhat finally starts to take this fight seriously. He realizes that he cannot apply his “dodge-and-escape” tactic against the vigilant gaolers and more importantly, he can’t just play around an angry Chief whose techniques can even hurt his rubbery skin. Apparently, the kind of attack that will only work against Chief Magellan is his Gear Second. This is perhaps the strongest technique in his repertoire. But, will it be efficient enough to actually defeat his opponent? It’s too early to conclude that Gear Second will be Luffy’s sole foundation towards his victory. It’s plausible that Gear Third will also be activated to double the strength of his offense. Yeah, at the last page of this chapter, we see him sacrificing his hand just so he can land the powerful Jet Bazooka at Chief Magellan. It clearly looks that the latter is hurt from the attack, but it doesn’t seem like he’s going to give in to the pain. No, not yet. With this idea, it is safe to at least presume that the battle will take longer and crazier – with Chief Magellan showcasing a new technique and Luffy applying his Gear skills to keep up and fight decently.

Another so worthy of discussion is the significance of Luffy’s poisoned hands. Its impact is so powerful that it can bring us to two equally crucial things: the first one implies his determination to save Ace – that will absolutely help him to endure the hellish surroundings of Impel Down and beat his opponents; the second one will be discussed at “The Spectacle” section of my review.

Character-wise, his poisoned hands illustrate another development in the Strawhat Captain. The resolve he shows here is neither the first time he sacrifices himself nor the first moment he displays such an admirable strength of character. However, what he does in this scene manifests a much remarkable determination as he actually sacrifices a vital part of his body – a part that can help him to win. Luffy’s hand is perhaps one of his strongest assets in fighting since the power it can wield is legendary. Yeah, his feet can also produce similar amount of force, but his hands play more vital roles in his triumph; almost all of his major enemies fall to those Gomu Gomu Hands (Enel was punched towards the Golden Bell, Crocodile was beaten from Gomu Gomu no Storm, Moria and Oz were terribly punched, and Lucci experienced downfall from Luffy’s Jet Gattling). So how will Luffy beat the poison-natured Chief Magellan if he’s just lost such a vital asset in fighting? What makes this even more frightening is his impeding suffering during/after the battle. The Chief appears to be a powerful opponent who can possibly put him in a “veggie-state” - like how Lucci beat his ass during Ennies Lobby Arc. Since there will be no Usopp to cheer him up at the verge of his defeat, Luffy will need his resolve more than anything to keep himself going forward. This will probably the major root of his victory and even survival especially that he has put his hands in horrible state. Another notable thing I want to impress here is his absolute certainty to give up his hands to strike. He doesn’t even blink his eye at the thought of losing an important feature for his victory nor turn tarnished after his hands gets saturated with poison.

The Spectacle:http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/9806/thespectacle.jpg

The second crucial implication of Luffy’s poisoned hands (which I mentioned just earlier) is the beginning of his maturity as a fighter. His hands has paved way to so many possibilities that it will demonstrate how far he’s grown since his separation from his nakama in Shabondy Archipelago. The fact is, its consequences will open doors for his transcendence in terms fighting technique. If my first explanation primarily deals with his poisoned hand’s embodiment for his resolve (and its huge contributions to his triumph and survival), the second one expresses its influence on the development of his physical strength. We already know that his hands are often used to beat his opponents. Since it can no longer be used due to its suffering from the chief’s Doku Doku body, Luffy has no choice but to stretch his limits and use his other body parts as his weapon. The usage of his feet and legs as a succeeding offense will prove effective. Plus, it will show how he can reaaaally make a full use of these parts during battles (which he hasn’t truly done in the previous arcs). His poisoned hands also open the possibility of his adaptation of the ever-controversial Haki – whether he has learned how to incorporate this in his technique in his whimsical way. Because Chief Magellan proves that he is one hell of a tough guy, Luffy has to upgrade his strength, especially when he only has to rely primarily on his feet and legs without suffering from the same casualty, and perhaps, Haki will help him achieve that.

Though Buggy and Mr. 3’s reappearance is usually brief, the plot that they about to commence promises a fight against Vice Chief Hannyabal. The two will practically serve as the instrument for the Vice Chief’s power performance. Bon-chan’s flight on the other hand creates a potential encounter with his old ally Mr. 1 and hopefully, the latter will also play an important role to this arc.

The Downside:http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/7125/thedownside.jpg

As much as Luffy’s poisoned hands promises development both in terms of his character and physical strength, the loss of such important body part will (somehow) impede him from fighting decently. The look on Chief Magellan’s face may express pain and surprise from his sudden strike, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the former will falter. Perhaps, this will even drive the chief to upgrade his fighting style, forcing him to wield the strongest skill in his repertoire. With this, Luffy has to hasten his adjustment and improvement if he doesn’t want to end up behind bars. But I wonder how he’ll cope with this. He can no longer afford to sacrifice another body part to hit his opponent, and surely, he can’t just dodge a series succeeding attacks from the chief.

Final Notes:http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/1912/finalnotes.jpg

Buggy and Mr.3 are keeping up with the pace, and I say that they are doing it very well. Mr. 3 is especially leaving good impressions as his keen observations save their cute little team from being captured. Hopefully, the two of them fight Vice Chief Hannyabal. I can’t wait to see the spectacle that this ambitious officer can present. The only sad thing about these two is their expectation of Luffy’s downfall. Perhaps they still possess some dab of animosity towards their old foe, if not, they are probably just too intimidated with the power of Chief Magellan to believe that the Strawhat Captain has the strength to beat him. Luffy, of course, makes such an admirable demonstration of his resolve as he sacrifices his hand to hit the chief. This also shows the strength he has mustered over the past chapters as he gains the opportunity to really show the other wonders he can do in terms of fighting. And it’ll be way better if he wields a new technique – something that will leave both Chief Magellan and the readers extremely surprised.

Robotic Red
March 11, 2009, 03:28 PM
I think the bug dancing with Nami is actually a grasshopper (parallels to the fable of the grasshopper and the ant?).

*goes to read*