Yo. I know the One Piece RAW came a bit earlier than expected, so technically, I should have taken a head start with this review, but I figured waiting a while for a better quality scan would mean prettier pics for the review and a better translation for me to analyze. The chapter is kinda pivotal, so let’s get right down to it. The pics are from the mangashare scanlation. The title pic is a piece by meiwren over at deviantart, so go take a peek.
in a few seconds, his brain will explode
This is not quite how I envisioned Enel’s side story to go. I guess I expected him to develop some affection as he helped Spacey out as he helped the little guy. Instead, he inadvertently fulfills each of Spacey’s deepest wishes while simply acting like the self-obsessed prick that he is. He is confused as hell right now since generally when he acts like himself and jolts people with lightning, they fear him and cower. Instead, he has been surrounded by a bunch of little robots who adore him for his “good deeds.” How will he handle this?
The Dead’s Memory
apparently, even the dead have working tear ducts
Last week, Chopper’s impassioned speech toward Cindry touched her so deeply that she became frozen by tears she couldn’t explain. Hogback is extremely confused by this and assumes that she is willingly producing the tears. As a doctor and a control freak, Hogback looks strictly at the observable aspects of people and leaves no room for emotion. He knows through his own research how he and Moria animate corpses and assumes that the soldiers bear full loyalty to him as that is all he has seen. Since he never put human emotion or the lingering will of the deceased into his calculations, he does not recognize that they would have any effect on his creations.
A New Class of Science
next, the Strawhats need a shrink
Chopper and Robin do notice this though and come to the conclusion that within the dead body of Victoria Cindry, there is still a small part of her soul lingering. As a doctor and archaeologist, neither Strawhat’s profession lends itself well to the idea of a person’s soul even existing let alone having an effect on the body after death. In Robin’s case, she admits that in all her readings, she has never come across a case like this. In her field of study, she observes the remains of what the dead leave behind. She acknowledges that each artifact holds memories of the past, but with that comes that assumption that the original owner has no hold over it. In Chopper’s case, the field of medicine as a whole is epitomized by Hogback, whose only concern is to fix the bodies of his patients. A doctor’s job is to determine physical injuries and illnesses, but many times ignores the factor of a person’s soul. The fact that two scientists like Chopper and Robin can accept a conclusion that defies the logic of their professions sets them apart from their peers. By seeing with their own eyes a feat that all medical and historical evidence refuses to accept, they obtain a deeper level of understanding than any of their predecessors and with this knowledge are one step closer to obtaining the dreams they seek.
Chopper didn't even get to show off his rumble forms
After a moment, the stolen shadow within Cindry resumes control and starts to comply with Hogback’s order to hold the pirates off while he flees. However, without the sheer power of Zoro and Sanji’s shadows, the surgeon and his assistant are far out of their league when pitted against Nico Robin. She uses her power to restrain Cindry while Chopper grabs the cowardly doctor. While Robin helps prepare a finishing attack, Chopper explains to his former idol what the difference is between them as human beings rather than doctors. Hogback says that Chopper is a monster who is not even human. For the first time, Chopper takes pride in his status as a monster. Nearly every member of the Strawhat crew is a freak of some nature by appearance or reputation, yet Luffy saved each of them from their own personal Hells and accepted them for who they truly are. If it is for Luffy’s sake, Chopper will bear any title and protects his captain’s ideals just as he knows his captain is doing the same for him. Hogback cannot make the same boast about the zombies who serve under him and does not deserve to play with the lives and honor of those whose shadows were taken and those whose bodies were desecrated. Hogback obviously wasn’t paying heed to the deer’s words as his only plea was a testament to his own arrogance. After all that has transpired between him and Chopper, he still expects his fellow doctor to place value on the vast knowledge in his head and pleads not to let such a brilliant mind go to waste.
i thought Luffy's shadow would take a bit longer tame
Before Chopper and Robin’s finishing move is completed, the scene shifts back to Luffy and Moria, who now stand before the towering figure of Oz. Just like with the other zombies, even Luffy’s shadow has submitted to Oz’s body and has become a loyal servant of Moria. I expected Luffy’s first meeting with Oz to be filled with sparkled wonder at how cool his zombie looks. Instead, Luffy looks genuinely shocked. This lack of enthusiasm is furthered as Oz admits his submission to Moria’s rule. Luffy knows he would never submit to being controlled and cannot believe that a being with his shadow would submit as well. This explains Moria’s lack of concern when Oz displayed Luffy’s independent spirit before. As a Shichibukai with a 320 million former bounty, he has a firm grasp on the workings of his devil fruit powers. He knew that even a shadow as rebellious as Luffy’s would be subject to the same trend as any other zombie as the shadow melds to the corpse. Luffy on the other hand knows virtually nothing about the zombie process other than that his zombie should have the same personality as he does. Although the shadows maintain the skills and habits of their original host, after melding fully with the corpse, they lose any sense of the original’s moral values. Without these the zombie is incapable of making its own decisions since people do need moral principles within themselves to make choices.
this is why Oda is supreme
The first order Moria gives to Oz is to thrash the Strawhat crew and return them to their ship. With his own version of gomu gomu no kane, Oz head-butts right through the wall and into the middle of Chopper and Robin’s fight. The Strawhats call off their deathblow attack to retreat for safety. After the attack, Hogback and Cindry end up on the floor below with the surgeon pinned beneath the rubble and both in the direct path of Oz’s feet. Hogback tries in vain to get his assistant zombie to save him as she stands motionless and unhearing to his cries. While Hogback continues to berate her with comments of her uselessness and her existence being the result of his genius, she simply looks up and smiles at Chopper before Oz tramples both former allies. The smile itself speaks louder than words how much the original Cindry appreciated Chopper’s concern. The small shred of her former soul that had died along with her body was able to transcend death and override the control of the zombie’s shadow in the final moments of her second life. Just like with Ryuuma, it seems that when a body’s original soul is strong enough, they can overcome the rule of a stolen shadow in the final moments of their zombie lives. In these cases, the link between the corpse and shadow is already weakened by the intensity of the body’s original spirit. In Ryuuma’s case, his spirit transcended time through his sword and the aura of his strength as a swordsman and carried his bushido with him even as his body was controlled by the shadow of the lighthearted Brooke. In Cindry’s case, her original spirit only acquired this strength through Chopper’s words, which emboldened her sense of self and she interrupted the shadow’s control from within.
check the couch cushions
As Sanji’s concentration is broken by the crashing of Oz’s foot to his approximate location, Absalom takes his chance and steals back Nami right from Sanji’s very arms. While Sanji is intent on finding Nami again, it seems impossible with Oz standing in his way. From the looks of it, Nami will get a chance to fight for herself this arc, which was seemingly denied to her when saved by Sanji. Since Sanji will be busy dealing with Oz, Nami will have to fight off Absalom on her own. Sanji’s fight was far too easy, so now Absalom is fighting against someone who he would actually present a challenge to. There are a few factors to this fight that are not currently accounted for. As I mentioned quite a while back, I doubt Nami has her Clima-tact underneath her wedding dress. While I wouldn’t be surprised if they appeared out of nowhere (like Usopp’s Kabuto), She may be faced with recovering her weapon first. The other big factor is Lola. She might come to the aid of her new friend and continue her new tactic of trying to knock out Absalom to hold the wedding while he sleeps. On the other hand, she might fight against Nami for lying to her. Either way, I’d say the chances of her reappearing in this fight are good.
how does a guy with legs that short run that fast
While I hate admitting I was wrong, in this case I must. I’ve long believed that Luffy would be fighting Oz as the main battle and that his defeat of Moria would be more symbolic. The two big reasons for this are the opportunity for Luffy to perfect gear 3 and Moria’s habit of letting others fight for him. It seems I was wrong though as rather than battle the rampaging Oz, Luffy is intent on beating up Moria. While I was also concerned with Moria’s ridiculous appearance compared to other major enemies of Luffy, I suppose we’ve all had time to get used to the shichibukai’s odd look and its not as big a deal anymore. Now the only issue is how this fight will play out to not look pathetic in comparison to Luffy’s other ass-kickings. I don’t even really want to guess as to how this fight will play out as Oda always comes up with some unexpected twists for these things. The only idea I can come up with is that Moria will use a number of spotlights to create multiple doppelgangers. Beyond that, I’m clueless.
all i can say is good luck
Along with the fall of my Luffy vs. Oz theory, the question of what happens to Oz becomes a major concern. Apparently, while Luffy duels Moria, the other Strawhats (minus Nami and with the help of Brooke) will try to defeat the legendary island conqueror, Oz. Just like with Luffy’s fight, I cannot make much of a prediction on how they will pull this off other than it will be stellar. In keeping with the need for suspense at the end of a major battle, I think it’s safe to assume that they will beat Oz and return Luffy’s shadow just before the morning sun hits him. This also means that at some point during the fight, someone has to finish off the zombies of Zoro and Sanji. My guess is that this person will either be Brooke or Nami. Brooke has a large debt to Zoro for the recovery of his shadow and he’d jump on an opportunity to repay the favor. On the other hand, Since Nami is the only one of the crew besides Luffy separated from the fight with Oz, she could purify the zombies without interrupting the flow of the larger battle. However the biggest problem with her being the one is that she was not present when Franky explained how to purify zombies. This knowledge could be obtained though if she allies with Lola or if Absalom lets it slip like an idiot.
While the chapter as a whole was incredible as it changed the direction of the arc, there was one thing that kind of irked me. In Chopper’s battle, while the emotional aspect of connecting with Cindry was beautiful and all, the fact that the final attack was interrupted by Oz made the battle seem incomplete. I love the emotional scenes, but in this case, it cost a lot of action for the battle. Other than that, I’m pleased with the chapter. I am a bit frustrated that Luffy won’t be fighting Oz, but the biggest reason I like Oda’s work is the very fact that it is hard to accurately predict. I liked the idea of Luffy fighting Oz cause it seemed to work better in my head than Moria. However, Oda has proven my logic wrong in a way that I like even better. The idea of all the Strawhats cooperating gets me giddy for next week.
nice review, once again. while chopper's emotional speech got me, i am somewhat disappointed by his fight with hogback. just like you, I am looking for his fight, thinking that he might come up with a new fight move that will give him a chance to step up as a fighter. but his fight ends up with just an exchange of speech, allowing Robin to do more of the walks while he does the talks. But now that Oz is on the move, I can't wait for Luffy and Oz fight.
On the other hand, it seems that Zoro is not even intimidated by Luffy's shadow, Oz. It seems that he is even more excited with the fact that he gets to face this monstrous creature. The last panel, with his confident smile drawn on his face is a proof of it. But somehow, I am not really surprised by this, knowing that he has a competitive and confident spirit as a fighter.
Your reviews really help me to understand One Piece chapters. You have great analysis and understanding towards the story and even the characters. I hope you keep this up!
while i too would love to see an Oz vs. Luffy fight (in fact i've wanted it for a damn long time now), the way the story has turned is making it look like Luffy vs. Moria while the Strawhat crew (with Brooke temporarily replacing Nami) takes on Oz, which to me looks even better if for no other reason than that it finally gives Franky something to do and with Nami removed from the rest, she can abandon the "damsel in distress" status she had while Sanji saved her and she can fight for herself.
As usual, Zoro, Sanji, and Franky are undaunted by the gigantic beast (albeit for different reasons). this will be one of the rare opportunities to see a mass cooperative effort from the Strawhats