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Hello everyone. Sorry if this took a while to get out. I’ve been going a bit manga crazy lately. Bleach is finally picking up big time, I realized that I’ve been kind of been putting Naruto to the back of my mind, I’ve started a habit of coloring Fairy Tail in Photoshop to pass the time, I read through all of 666 Satan to expand my manga library, and my intention of doing the same for FMA has been put on hold due to the other distractions. To put all that on top of school, things are a bit nuts. Luckily, when it comes to One Piece, I do have one pretty good method to clear my head: AMV’s. JuniZorofan’s little 7 year old brother is looking like a prodigy. He created THIS AMV with the assistance of his sister for computer effects. If he’s this talented now, just imagine what he will become under his sister’s tutelage . The pics in this review come from the Mangashare scanlation and the title pic is a piece drawn by brandokay over at DeviantArt so sneak on over there after you’re done here.
Target: Nico Robin
this is Robin's murder face
As we left things last week, Robin had pinned Moria with her ability, apparently robbing him of his ability to control Oz’s rubber abilities. In retaliation, Moria removes his own shadow from Oz’s and splits it into the same bat attack he used against Luffy. It seems that controlling his own doppelganger shadow works very differently than using a shadow invaded by said doppelganger. While he can control his own shadow without moving a muscle, it seems that the same cannot be said for his ability to manipulate Oz’s shadow. Moria and his shadow can be thought of as one being and so his thoughts alone can control his shadow just as he can control his own body. However, Oz’s shadow is that of a separate being and so any influence Moria has over it would be likened to the relationship of a puppeteer and puppet, in which case Moria needs full concentration and control. Robin’s hold prevents him from manipulating Oz, but he is still capable of utilizing his own shadow to its full power. He removes it as it is no longer aiding his control over Oz and assaults Robin first in the form of the bats and later as his fully reformed doppelganger. As Sanji tries to protect her, she stays focused on her goal and uses her clutch technique to snap Moria’s spine.
As it turns out, beating Moria is not as easy as Robin made it seem. He can switch places with his own shadow at any time. I figured he had some ability to merge with his own shadow for travel (like Kage for any Fairy Tail readers), but this was unexpected. At least this explains how he got inside Oz. Amongst the confusion, it would have been easy to merge his own shadow with Oz’s and materialize it in the stomach room before switching it out for his own physical body. Due to Kuma’s apparent teleportation powers, it was easy to assume that the other Shichibukai had put Moria in there, but as he had not planned on joining the fight, this idea seemed somewhat flawed. This new development also shows why Moria received such a high bounty and was considered worthy of the Shichibukai title. Up until recently, the combination of his power’s nature and his own personality have been somewhat at odds with his status. It seemed strange that someone who passes his work to subordinates and whose ability seemed far weaker for combat purposes than most other devil fruits should have such a feared reputation. The reason seems to stem from the level of mastery he has developed over his devil fruit powers. Most devil fruits offer quite straightforward abilities and most users only apply the more obvious abilities. With the exception of Chopper’s rumble, the zoan abilities are hard to alter for different purposes. Logia abilities are quite direct and most manipulations are merely to the shaping of the element. Paramecia powers though have a much wider range but few use their abilities to the full potential. However, Moria has been able to apply his paramecia powers to such a diverse range of tasks that seem completely unconnected. If anyone else had received the kaga kage no mi, they would have likely stuck to either the creation of zombies or manipulation of his own shadow and would have had no knowledge of the other aspect to their power.
Absalom should be grateful Sanji held this back
With his real body taking Robin by surprise, he pulls out his scissors and removes her shadow, causing her to feint and thus removing her threat from the fight. Out of rage, Sanji pulls out his diable jambe, marking the first time this arc that we’ve gotten to see the superforms from the CP9 fights. The CP9 fights really marked the most prominent use of the DBZesque form upgrades to win battles. Between Luffy’s gears, Zoro’s ashura, Sanji’s diable jambe, and Chopper’s monster point, there was definitely some fear that these forms would end up over-used as their enemies will only get tougher in the future. Luckily, this arc has very much been used to soften the impact of these worries. Zoro, Sanji, and Chopper were given battles that were personal rather than out of necessity like in the CP9 fights. They didn’t really have to use these skills to win their respective fights because although their opponents were technically weaker than those of the previous arc, this is made up for by the character growth each gets by fighting them. Sanji uses his flame leg now as more of a last resort and even then it is only used to deflect an attack rather than cause damage. The idea is that it is being considered as a normal skill in his repertoire now rather than a power-up he can turn to if he’s ever in trouble. These forms are not meant to be used the same way as the super saiyan status was in DBZ where they repeatedly find new forms to amplify their power. They simply use these forms for short periods to perform one attack that calls for it and then revert back to normal to use a completely different technique that does not require the form to enhance it. I think we can probably expect a similar use out of Zoro’s ashura. His techniques are based around techniques that use varying numbers of swords. While he may have one or two attacks that he can use nine swords for, it is not a way to make his entire repertoire more powerful. In Luffy’s case, both of his gears have side-effects, which limits his ability to use them for extended periods. Due to the nature of fighting Oz, I still expect him to use gear 3 to finish the fight, but in no way do I think his gears will become a constant in his future fights.
Cause of Death
Luffy's shadow fits him surprisingly well
As I have mentioned in previous reviews, Chopper’s presence in this fight has been minimal compared to the others. In this chapter he makes up for it as he has snuck onto Oz’s shoulder and located the wound that caused him to die in the first place. I’m guessing that near the start of this fight, Robin at least briefly explained to Chopper what she knew about Oz from the legends. Aside from her, no one knew who he was, so she had to have at least told Chopper Oz died 500 years earlier for him to have known that. In any case, he has located a frostbitten shoulder joint, which proves he died of extreme cold due to wandering around an ice country wearing only his usual loin cloth. The feared Island Conqueror faded into history because he had idiotically chosen to attack the wrong island and somehow got stuck there. The translation for this scan says its not Oz’s original right arm but using logic, I’d say that it’s probably misinterpreted that the joint is not original or that the arm had been reattached. Even if it is Hogback, I doubt he’d be able to find a replacement arm big enough for Oz. I think the basic idea is that due to the frostbitten shoulder, the right arm had likely fallen off after death and had to be reattached by Hogback. However, due to this ice damage, the right arm is still weaker than it would have been if originally undamaged, so a good enough attack there might rip off the arm.
take one and call me in the morning
As Oz decides Chopper had spent enough time on his shoulder, he strikes at the reindeer, but the brain point is small enough to fit inside the grooves of Oz’s hand, making the attack ineffective. Chopper finally pulls out his rumble ball and with Sanji’s help performs a very powerful strike on the weak point he found. While Oz doesn’t feel the pain of the attack, Chopper makes a prediction that foreshadows a twist in the later stages of Oz’s battle. Chopper correctly says that pain is a signal to protect the body. When a person feels pain in one part of their body, they instinctively remove that part of their body from the cause of the pain and alter their actions to prevent further damage. A person who feels no pain will continue to use that part of their body as if nothing happened. Doing this causes the body to accumulate too much damage before it becomes overstressed and eventually is ruined. Chopper knows that while his attack may not have disabled the right arm as he intended, he has at least given the bone a deep fracture. As Ox continues to use that arm for powerful attacks, the force of his own blows will strain that injury until it eventually snaps, making it useless. This issue of zombies feeling no pain also brings up the issue of their fear of fire. According to this info, they don’t feel pain from it, so the only reasons they should fear it are that it could purify them or that it is an impulse reaction from their stolen shadow. Due to Moria’s comment a couple chapters back, I’m tempted to say the latter, but they have overcome fears of other types of death, so why just fire? Between this, Moria’s comment, and the method Zoro used to purify Ryuuma, this is one matter that Oda has left pretty unclear with all the contradictions. Its hard to come up with a theory that fits all the info.
And There Were Three
After completing their combo attack, Sanji and Chopper are left completely open to attack from Oz. Since the zombie feels no pain from the attack, he shows no hesitation before launching an assault on the two Strawhats. Moria mentions that the fourth and fifth are now down, leaving only Usopp, Nami and Zoro. This marks them as the 3/8 referenced in the chapter’s title. The number 8 is of course the number of Strawhats including Brooke but not Luffy. I do not look at this as a sign of Oda counting Brooke as a Strawhat, though I’m sure many of you do. I think it simply refers to the final lines of Moria as since he told Oz to take them down one at a time, he is merely keeping score of who he has eliminated among the current competitors. As for what direction the fight will now take, it seems to be a matter of holding him back until Nightmare Luffy arrives. We can probably expect Luffy to appear at or near the end of the next chapter as one or more of the remaining three is taken down. We may see Zoro use ashura to the same effect as Sanji used diable jambe to defend against an attack or make a failed attempt at dealing damage. Of the three I don’t expect Nami to take too much damage since as we know Zoro and Usopp are both damage magnets and are more likely to take the force of the attack.
Blarg!!! Oda had given us a teaser of Nightmare Luffy last week and we failed to see him this week. Oh well. At least we got to see the extent of Moria’s skill with his devil fruit. As for how the chapter ends, this is a clear case of Moria using the “darkest before dawn” scenario to build up for Luffy’s reappearance. For a long time, while I loved this arc overall, I had felt that Moria was a bit of a let down as a final opponent when compared to Luffy’s previous victories, but lately I’ve finally been able to see him as a more than decent villain.
Thanks very much for the review.
This arc really shows how much the SH need to become stronger. Even a strong move like diable jambe may not be powerful enough.
I just wanted your opinion on the following points: If Oz wants to use gear 3 move like giant pistol, would Moria be able to enlarge the shadow of Oz to make it bigger?About the bat move, would moria be able to do so with Oz's shadow? Also even if Moria is defeated, do you think he will really release the shadows, knowing that 10-20 minutes later, sunlight would burn the strongest SH?
nice review as always. it is most likely that luffy will be the man who ripps off oz' arm with the new power he has archieved fromt he shadows. after thatw e will have a one-armed giant and a rubebr-man performing gear 3 (imagine a 2 page panel showing oz and luffy striking thier final punch, luffy with gear 3 and oz with...full power. that would be dramatic. "the battle of the giants fists...but who will it end?") *dreams*
what are your opinions about that?
@noonethere - i don't think Moria could help him pull off gear 3. Moria can reshape Oz's shadow, by he can't increase its size to that degree. i also don't think he could pull off the bat technique with Oz's shadow. he can manipulate his own shadow to a huge degree due to the fact that he and his shadow are part of the same being. however, Oz's shadow is simply a vessel that Moria's shadow has invaded and while he can reshape it he is incapable of breking off pieces to attack. as for the last question, i think Moria lied when he said that to release the shadows he had to give a direct order. i think if Luffy knocks him out, the shadows might release automatically. and even if this isn't the case, Luffy would have to eliminate (aka purify) Oz in order to get to Moria
@Helltroll - i've had that visual in my head from the moment we laid eyes on Oz (well except for the one-arm part).it really is the best way to end the fight
Ah, finally! It was worth the wait, very good as always! It probably doesn't mean anything but isn't it kind of cool the first three nakama are still standing? Zoro, Nami, and Ussop have been there the longest so now it's their job to protect the newbies! And handicap/behead Oz! ^^
@Yashi - i don't know if thats coincidence or not, but it is interesting now that you mention it
I believe Zoro, Nami and Ussop gonna defeat Oz before Luffy show up, or they'll team up with Nightmare Luffy. Why? For the title when start the vs Oz battle "Oz vs Strawhat Crew". It's already stated, so, the remain of the Crew gonna win, and not, at least, Luffy alone. Then, Luffy gonna fight againts Moria.