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The birdcage taken down somehow...
Zorro vs Pica
Luffy vs Bellamy
Law getting his hand back
Epic manliness of Sanji/Kyros/Franky
Nico Robin the goddess
Anything, let's just end this arc already
Welcome ladies and gents of MH, beneland here!
Let's start again!
Welcome to the review of the 776th chapter of One Piece. It's been a while since I've reviewed anything, so forgive me if my writing will be rusty a bit, I need to get back into shape
This week is all about beautiful hands, protecting hands, and lots of flowers and confetti.
Let's start however with summing up the latest events in the world of One Piece. As seen in the image above, this week's chapter starts up with the conclusion of last week's fight.
Franky and the Indomitable Tontatta Army are finally tearing down the monstrous factory. Last chapter we were witnesses to an epic and manly brawl between two top fighters of the conflict. But as the saying goes, even the manliest of men usually have a woman as their driving force(as we can see in this week's chapter as well)...
Reading the title, I think everybody got a good sense, which is the battle that will be the focus of this chapter.
The first assumption that comes to mind, that the Hero of the Colosseum is Diamante, who actually holds the title itself, and he's rather proud of it. But judging from his portrayal by Oda, and his relationship and past involvements with Kyros, I think that he is very far from actually earning that title, unlike the true Hero of the Colosseum, Kyros.
Not only he was revered as the best fighter in the arena, but he subsequently became a great general, establishing himself as the hero of the country, and afterwards he was Scarlett's and Rebecca's hero as well. I think we all agree here, that he earned the Hero title, and of course he will live up to this title at the end of the chapter.
The way Oda set up these two characters is really great. If we take a closer look, they are total opposites of each other. Diamante is a smug, cruel person, who takes pleasure in the pain of his victims, while Kyros is humble, rejecting titles, and a person who can acknowledge pain and is willing to do something about it, even if it comes to sacrificing himself in the process.
But the distinctions don't end here. When it comes to their individual abilities, Diamante uses any means to hurt and suffers from "villain arrogance" syndrome, while Kyros fights straight up and is the embodiment of strength and tenacity.
The fight itself clearly underlines all these points. As we can see throughout the chapter Kyros is the one who is constantly down, but keeps getting up to the point where there are some signs of despair on Diamante's ugly face.
So, the parallel is pretty clear and it manages to maximize the tension between them, beyond the events that happened in the past. But there can be only one hero:
When I got to this panel, the first thing that popped into my mind was the following question: "When was the last time I saw a character who was just oozing strength, was a great father and who just stood like a rock while getting so much damage?"
I don't think I have to actually name the character, because it's fairly obvious, but I'm still curious how many of you will guess it.
That panel was the moment, when the Hero of the Colosseum title earned a broader meaning, when it became both a mocking tool against Diamante, and a clear acknowledgment of Kyros as the true bearer of the title.
But as much as Kyros dominates the chapter with his sheer strength and great lines, I will take this opportunity to argue that he is in fact not the central character of this chapter. Let's take a look at the cast of this chapter:
Rebecca is the first one, whom I would like to highlight. She was the champion of non-bloody fights in the Colosseum, blending her mother's wish and her father's early life into her own way of living. She inherited her father's tenacity and plain stubbornness, but it was someone else that left the bigger imprint on her heart and hands. S...*cough*
<3 Nico Robin. She is awesome. Let's move on. <3
Kidding aside, there's one thing I would like to say here. As predicted by earlier reviews (OP 773 review and OP 774 review) Robin took a defensive stance, recognizing the bad blood and unfinished business between the two swordsmen. But the reason for her presence isn't just the probable fight againts Trebol, or the necessity of her being witness to reveals about the history and impact of D on the world, as said in those earlier reviews.
One of the main reasons is that she fits the theme of the conflict. Her ability, the flowery field she's in and how she manages to protect Rebecca from harm, made me think that she is taking on the protective role of someone temporarily. Hands. Flowers. S...*cough cough*
Kyros himself, the sacrifices he is willing to take, aren't just to protect a person, they exist to protect a legacy.
With these in mind, I think it's okay to say that the central character of this chapter is someone who is not even present in it, and it wouldn't be such a stretch to say that for Rebecca and Kyros she is the real hero. Yes you guessed I'm talking about S...*cough* damn those cigs, I need to quit
Such a great and emotional chapter, It's always a treat to see how Oda writes his characters, and how he sets up the places and themes when there are high profile battles going on. Those battles are usually spectacular and action packed art-wise, the dynamic of the chapter is great and while reading it I got a reading experience that was very exciting for a healthy period of 3 minutes....much like sex.....oh wait
But this has its shortcomings unfortunately. The plot development slows down a bit, sometimes to still enjoyable levels, like the previous chapters, but sometime it feels like it's close to just stop altogether. This chapter is still a good continuation of the previous chapters, when it comes to overall pacing of the plot, as we are closing in on the climax of the arc. Hopefully Franky's prediction will come to be as soon as possible
I usually end my reviews with a general rating of different facets from a chapter: characters, plot, action, art. Sometimes I tend to add to those with something I particularly liked in the chapter, like humor or a great quote. I won't do that now, but if you're curious, then you can find it out by asking in the thread
Kidding aside, the setting of this fight is what really impressed me, and how Oda managed to do little things like using flowers to protect Rebecca, or how he chose the actual place for the battle, or even the half-moon looking speech bubbles, that were used when Diamante was actually performing Half Moon
Sometimes little touches like that appeal to me soo much So in that light let's thank Oda for the really awesome chapter that hasn't even appeared yet in Japan, and thanks for MS for getting our OP fix this early
So are you willing to take some risks and guess who are the 2 mysterious characters I mentioned in the review? Or do you have some other thoughts or criticism regarding the review and the chapter? Did you have a great breakfast today?
Feel free to share these, along with your predictions and/or other thoughts below and happy WSJ day to everyone. See you guys around!
Last edited by benelori; February 14, 2015 at 06:18 AM.
Awesome review, benelori
I really enjoyed reading it. Concerning Kyros I think you were referring to Whitebeard when you talked about a father taking all that pain and standing. Did I guess it right?
What you said about Scarlett being the hero is interesting. She definitely had a big impact on Kyros and Rebecca
I don't know what to do with Jinbei's cover story anymore. To me it looks like it's getting nowhere.
Thanks for the excellent review
Bene, you do this quite well.
Well you were referring to whitebeard and Scarlett.
Frankly, we hardly see protagonist non-SH's fight so hard and keep getting back up. Even among the SH's its usually reserved for the monster trio. Kyros oozes strength and brilliance. It was amazing to see this and refreshing that it was even from someone not in the crew.
I also admired the fact that Rebecca was willing to rush out and help her father. Since diamante cunningly and proudly confessed to killing her mother, she has been understandably demotivated but she was ready to jump into the rain (of spikes) for her Otou-sama. It was reckless but very cute. One of the important highlights of the chapter for me.
Thx for the Review!
I love One Piece, but the quality of story telling has been lacking as of late. I don't know if it is just me, but i'm missing the emotional connection that Oda seemed to effortlessly build between the reader and the story's characters.
Even the fate of a random guy in a treasure box (Gaimon) had more weight than the fate of all of Dressrosa. I want to feel for the characters, i want to root for them, but it's been really hard to do that recently. It's s hard to feel for the characters, even with all the flashbacks.
Most scenes containing dramatic or emotional storylines during this arc feel staged. But it might just be me. The reason, for me, why One Piece always surpassed other Shounen Mangas, was its unique ability to create empathy for the most minor characters. Naruto and Bleach were able to do that as well, at least in the beginning but lost that at some point. One Piece seemed to not fall victim to the same effect until recently.
The authenticity is lacking and so only cheap drama is borne.
To be honest, I liked this review much more than the chapter, which is something I don't usually feel .
Well, you highlighted things most of us overlooked, and helped me appreciate the chapter more. However, I must tell the truth, hoping a constructive criticism may be accepted .
As the dude above stated, I, too, have lost all of the "katarsi" which reading this manga used to give me. Yet, this saga, despite having the coolest villain till now, and so many possible cliffhangers (sabo, an admiral, 2shichibukai, the D. issue...), was actually wasted behind childish events (tontatta above all). Of course I did love law's flashback, and so did I with other parts in this saga, but its true potential was so heavenly that witnessing how bad oda portrayed it made me feel sorry for him.
Oda himself stated he is out of idea, therefore we can't deny the manga got worse, as the author himself admits it. The main point is that I remember Oda replying in a SBS that no matter if we age, OP will always be referred to a younger public, and that's its biggest flaw. As 2 years passed and the characters became more mature, I'd have expected the plot to get more serious as well.
In this arc we had so many wasted chapters, especially with the colosseum fighters who were dealing with simple soldiers (whereas Chinjao's CoC alone should have been able to knock all of them down at once), and all of a sudden they started one-shotting DD's executives. Diamante should have been incredibly strong too, instead he is defeated in the same chapter he starts fighting (even wasting time with confetti ). Kyros, without a leg and exhausted, falls down because diamante shoots him, yet he stands up and only to get injured again by those confetti, and when he and Diamante finally clash their sword, diamante is owned with a single strike. to think diamante wasn't even afraid of luffy and chinjao's haki, and now he is stomped by a dying-man, that's really bad writing, let me say it .
I don't know the reason most of the authors become unable to keep their pace and quality (in Naruto the author even forgot what he was writing , and bleach has been falling down in selling for years),and I fear the same might happen to AoT (which is now incredibly good!),although the author seems "smarter" than the others. I just hope Oda can find himself and improve his own writing...
Therefore, as I mentioned above, I consider this as one of the worst chapters of OP, and as you suggested, Bene, I'd like to know your own judgement for this chapter, after reading the weaknesses we pointed out . Thanks again
OP is mostly a manga read by kids or the younger generation. Most of the readers on this forum started reading it as kids and they grew with the manga. With that in mind it is unlikely that the manga will adopt a more serious tone if it wants to appeal to the young generation.It's all about getting new fans to read it, so clearly there's a choice to make and the one Oda did was to keep it accessible for the younger generations. Also while it does appear to be childish, it still has some pretty dark moments, maybe not like SnK but still it features some pretty sad themes like slavery. So in the end maybe it's a matter of perception and personal preference.
The purpose of the reviews is to point some things up that might not have been discussed in the chapter discussion. We also want more people to share their ideas, and while I am making the reviews for example I find myself liking the chapter more than I originally did, especially after finding some interesting trivia or making theories .
I don't really bother to focus on the cover story, it's something that Oda does because he received feedback that he should do it, and not really because he wants it and has something to say Or at least that's how I read at some point in time...someone more knowledgeable might even back this up and post a link
---------- Post added at 11:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:45 AM ----------
The Rebecca scene is not so surprising to me...there she had a really good friend for yeears, who turned out to be someone whom she totally forgot, and not just anybody either, but her own father...I think the desperation to save him and clinging to him was a very natural response, that's why I didn't mention it at all
---------- Post added at 11:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:49 AM ----------
Fatigue...this manga has 776 chapters until this moment, and it still has a long way to go...the first part of the manga was always evolving, showing new people, each arc was more and more exciting and the reader had the feeling that it was building up towards something, always adding more and more excitement...CP9, then Auction arc with all the little arcs inbetween, etc...what a great ride it has been
But everything was reset with Part 2, and readers feel it, and when you say the storytelling is not that great, I think you are influenced by this, along with some of the nostalgia that has been carried over as you've read part 1
If you actually compare some of the arcs though...you will notice lots of similarities...the story was often dragged on in part 1 as well, not to mention that unnecessary long fights, and there were some very uninspired villains back in part 1 as well
---------- Post added at 12:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:55 AM ----------
If anything, the art style itself will never allow this manga to get more serious
For me personally this arc has been one of the best in all OP...the reason why OP appeals to adults as well, and not just the younger audience is the adventure part I think...and this arc has delivered on that front IMO
Is that really bad writing? If you really consider that, then I suggest you reread OP from the beginning, and when you get to the parts where Zoro or Luffy gets up for the 100th time after being knocked out, and they continue going, and then in the end those said enemies will be owned by a single stike, then come back and tell me how that was good or bad writing in comparison to what you saw during this chapter...Quote:
Dofla's portrayal in this arc was really good...it showed everyone that he is fundamentally and mentally ( ) flawed...he is strong and he is dangerous because of his ability and skills, but he is easily duped and he still retains that some of the childish naivety of a shitty, spoiled brat...
But somehow his decisions, his confidence in his men and even his own men are still credible, when most of these guys achievements were in fact results of deception and not outright overwhelming power...
The confetti attack transformed into spiked iron balls...that's the nature of Diamante's attack and it's a pretty frightening one, because he can easily produce lots of massive damage at once with such area of effect attacks...so it was a really strong attack and it speaks about the nature of Diamante as well, as I mentioned in the review, but that dying man (who in fact is probably nowhere close to death) is a person who was undefeated in the Colosseum, whose savagery and strength was legendary even among pirates and bounty hunters...how is this guy different than Zoro or Sanji for example, when it comes to strength?
I liked the chapter a lot...it was refreshing to see that the fight wasn't dragged out even more...I mean we all know it, the good guys always win, and there's no way a freshly reunited father and daughter will be made void, so Kyros's victory was decided even before the battle started...Quote:
However I stopped thinking in terms of power levels when it comes to these mangas...while these power levels are good to give some consistency to it, I noticed that the authors don't actually give it that much thinking...so I don't actually care if Diamante was shown really strong, or if it was just implied, and I don't care about the executives of DD who showed up from nowhere and then started flaunting their strengths...
But then again...I also don't read One Piece every week, sometimes I skip even more than one, that way the experience is much more fluid and rewarding...my brother does it best I think, he just reads once an arc is done ...but if I would do that, I wouldn't be able to write reviews so that won't happen
---------- Post added at 12:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:26 PM ----------
I'm a fan of occasional rereading of mangas...while I agree that nothing will ever beat nostalgia, rereading will provide a better mindset for accepting and understanding why the author does the little changes to his style, or why he insists on doing thing A over thing B...doing this it's easier to think of the current chapters as part of a greater manga, and maybe it will be more enjoyable, than waiting week after week for them
---------- Post added at 12:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:38 PM ----------
Thanks for the awesome feedback and replies guys! I'm glad you guys enjoyed the review and started the discussion...this is what's it about
Last edited by benelori; February 14, 2015 at 06:07 AM.
Diamante is somebody who uses a lot of flash and cheap tactics and brags about how good he is. Kryos is someone who has no flash, doesn't boast and is straight up tough. I'm kinda reminded of they wrestleling heel champion vs former face champion dynamic. Once the face gets past all the heels cheap stuff, it's over for the heel.
As for the accusations of a drop in quality, I think Arc Fatigue is playing a big role in things. Simply put there was too much going on this arc, too many characters, and too much jumping in between all of them. Individually they were all good, but put all together they were just too much.
Rereads can definitely help with Arc Fatigue
One of the things that impresses (and touches) my heart is the way "love" is being portrayed in the story, which is a strong theme in the manga.
In the current chapter, we see a family bonds together, parents' love for their children and vice versa. Kyros' love for his wife and daughter is undeniable and how he has been keeping true to his wife's words and keeping his daughter safe, which is why he teaches her on self-defence in protecting herself from harm and harming others. Despite being in such a dire situation especially in terms of her family lineage (royal blood) which has been condemned by (most) Dressrosa's citizens, Rebecca has been adhering to her parents' teachings and more so, she even remains "bloodless" on her hands in trying very hard in protecting the gladiators in the Colosseum. At the end of it, she becomes a great "saviour" to these extremely-wounded gladiators.
With the short flashback, I also see Kyros and Scarlet - their love affair and how it didn't fail despite being apart through the death of one of them. It would make a nice love story if this is a romance manga.
The next focus is Robin. She has one of the toughest job "assigned" to her - Kyros asks her to protect Rebecca. I always recalled the time when I was babysitting my neighbours' baby for an evening. Every time when the baby uttered a sound, I would go and check on her and see if there was anything wrong with her. I just couldn't let my eyes off that child, with the fear that if anything would happen to the baby. I would cuddle her, talk to her, check the diaper if it was wet, or if the baby was hungry and I would have to prepare the milk and such. All in all, I would make sure that the baby was well taken care of and stayed safe till the parents came back.
I guess for Robin, when the request from Kyros came, she started to bear the responsibility (so to speak) of looking after Rebecca while the father was "busy" fighting the enemy (Diamante). With Robin's flowery hands, she lived through her stature of trustworthy, or someone whom one could depend on and be entrusted with. From the drawings, I can see that she is trying her very best to protect Rebecca and honour her (unspoken) promise to Kyros in keeping Rebecca safe. (Again, Nakama-ship and love - the main theme of One Piece.)
For Bene, thank you for your wonderful review and interesting thoughts, as well as taking time to participate in the review project. It is very much appreciated.
All of this to say what? Brilliant chapter. Perhaps, the best one of this arc. And the one I was looking for the most, all along. Kyros and Diamante, they're what you would call natural enemies. Kyros was a man born from despair, and lived his entire life in despair, until he found a reason to live in Rebecca, Scarlett, King Riku. All of those, that were taken away in a flash. And the most incredible sentence by Oda this arc: "It's too unfair not to be able to feel your warmth as it fades away". This is pure poetry... As for Diamante, the one who killed Kyros' beloved one, made Rebecca pass through hell, called himself "The Hero of the Colisseum", without even having challenged its true hero. What brings us to the chapter title "The Colosseum's Hero". It's amazing how you can use these three simple words name the chapter instead of "Kyros vs Diamante". "The Colosseum's Hero": it's referring to both of them. One selfproclaimed, the other proclaimed by others after 9 years of showing skill. And here it his the concluding moment, that decides who the true Colosseum Hero is. And to decide that you don't need more than a sword swing, beacause Diamante's sword swing was never more powerfull than Kyros'. What does Diamante knows about being a hero? A hero is a person who loves and is loved, unselfish, kind yet powerfull, who understand the needs of the week, and lends a hand to help them; who is willing to sacrifice anything to defend what he believes in.
And, finally on a personal note, Kyros went through hell. Yeah, you can think: that's true, his pass his really sad. Well but what good does that do? We're looking at it and we think, it must be really painfull, but we are not feeling. When you're trying to convey really important and difficult to undesrtand things, you don't go for visual references, you go for references about others senses: taste, smell, touch. "It's too unfair not to be able to feel your warmth as it fades away". Did you even realize that Oda tagged this senteced, AGAIN, in this chapter, after having doing it before? And that last scene in which we see Kyros as a toy soldier charging... That's philosophy people...
Oda isn't going to change his style... When you get to his age, you understand there's more than being acclaimed through the world by the masses. There comes a point in your life, in which you already gain fame and glory, that you understand that being praised by only a selected few is more sellfullfilling than being praised by the masses
No I didn't get it backwards, I was merely stating the fact that OP is mostly a manga for kids/teenagers even these days. I also think that the manga got more serious, let's just take Luffy as an exemple. In before he would just do what he wants and don't really care about things like saving a country unless he's really involved with that person (Vivi). Now we see him care more about other people and "saving" countries, while he still does what he wants he is taking things more seriously. Although that doesn't necessarily mean that he'll KO the main villain right of the bat Also because we're in the NW there is much more at stake, so the manga did get more serious in that regard.However I hope that the SHs can still have fun adventures and that they don't take things too seriously, kinda like what they did in the first half. So in short yes the manga did get serious, but not too serious or dark like other shonens(AoT). There isn't really a sense of helplessness, the manga is still about making nakamas and not losing hope.I don't see OP become more like a seinen, it would take out one of the main charms the manga has in my eyes.As for the character development, it's one way to make the manga more serious, without having to resort to killing off characters left and right.
I understand that fatigue sets in naturally with almost any author and the audience's expectations (teenagers) need to be met as well. However what I am missing are not new characters, or new landscapes and whatnot. We have ALL THAT One Piece!
If at all, I believe that Oda's story is overflowing with new and crazy and creative elements and characters.
THAT IS its strongest aspect right now. One Piece currently lacks the emotional depth and authenticity it used to have! While there is some cheap drama and an attempt to create empathy for the new characters, it is rather superficial. Yeah there has been cheap drama before but the emotional depth was always there for at least parts of the story. The reason why we all get so happy to finally see the Straw Hats fight is the longing for real, palpable characters. And fatigue can't be the reason for the lack of emotional depth. It's usually neglect and selling out, that kills the story.
And I also disagree that the tone of the story became lighter. It stayed pretty much the same since its debut.