And that’s the Lego Maniac’s…: One Piece 521 Review!
And a fine how do you do to all out there in computer land on this weekend day. Retro-sama coming at ya with yet another One Piece review. And brother does this chapter reveal some interesting tidbits to the story. So let get our fangs into this meat neh? Comments, critiques, and opinions are always welcome on my reviews. And special shout out to Franky House for their scanlation of this week’s chapter.
(Note: If the pics too are too big, photobucket is still processing the edits I've made. Please pay it no mind)
Now where were we?...
CP9 Mini-arc: The former agents returned to their homeland and see future generations training in their martial arts.
Main: The fight in the Kuja arena continued as Marigold and Sandersonia once more took on Luffy despite his unknowingly unleashing Haoushoku haki over the area. Now in Gear 2nd mode, Luffy quickly turns the tables of the battle and eventually managed to subdue the Boa sisters. During which Sandersonia accidentally exposes the mark on her back but Luffy helps to keep it covered despite the fighting that recently occurred between the two. This act surprisingly moves the usually selfish Hancock that she actually sheds tears for some unknown reason.
One Piece 521: Hoof of the Soaring Dragon (Or Mark of the Slave to Mark of Freedom)
CP9 Look In: Capture Force A-Coming :
Very Good (or Berry Good as he sometimes called) and a group of marines, having apparently tracked down the former CP9, deploy to capture the group. Guess the ruckus in Poplar reached their ears. I was wondering when the marines would come back into play after the agent’s defection. Though this could be a party just to bring them back to the WG probably only deployed if the former agents were gonna go rouge on them, could go either way. Nice to see Very Good again too.
The chapter begins with Sandersonia and Marigold apologizing to Hancock for losing to Luffy as well as having to be saved by him (Seeing as how it was a man in a woman’s only land, suppose that would be a bit of disgrace). Luffy asks Boa if she gonna tangle with him next. Hancock, perhaps wisely, denies it citing that that the mood changed and she not up for it anymore (heh sorry to all who were hoping for it. I was too). Luffy shrugs it off and checks on Margaret to make sure she wasn’t chipped during the fight.
He then asks that Hancock change Margaret and her friends back to normal since all they did was just help him, thus undeserving of the punishment they were given. Hancock tell him she indeed has the power to reverse her power’s effect. However she gives him a choice: Either she’ll revert the three girls to normal or he could have a boat and leave the island. Basically a final test of Luffy’s moral. Course we all know the answer, Luffy chooses the girls over a chance to leave the island and find his crew. Even bowing to Hancock in the process of answering much to Boas’ and Nyon's (whose never left the stands) surprise. Heh that Luffy for ya, always one to put a friend’s need over his own welfare even at his own expense. He has done it before many times and this time no different. Sorta foreshadows what might happen once he does reach One Piece.
And their alright, ladies and gentleman!
The scene then cuts to Margaret, Sweet Pea and Aphelandra leaving the arena, back to normal much to the joy of the Kuja warriors. Being in stone, they don’t have much memory of what happened before the fight. Only that Luffy was by their side, glad that they were back normal. Luffy even comments he wouldn’t know what he would do if they were destroyed. Another aspect of Luffy’s personality here, after all he did blame himself after Kuma had sent his crew away. So of course he’d feel guilty if something happened to the only people that were willing to help him on this isle. Good on him. (Also seriously you think that hyena cackling Kuja would be a little more grateful. Luffy did save a friend of her after all.)
Finally, the mark revealed
We then go to the Kuja Castle as Luffy sits in the Empress hall with Sandersonia and Marigold before Hancock's veiled throne. Luffy going on about food as usual (He did just come off of Gear 2nd. So of course his stomach would be tapped out) while the sisters thank Luffy for keeping their secret safe, looks like the two have done a bit of 180 on him here so more allies for him. Hancock tells him to enter the vel to which Luffy thinks he going to be fed only to find a semi-naked Hancock. Course Luffy more disappointed seeing there no food then a naked woman men would kill to see before him (XD Oh Sanji seriously going to explode with envy here should he find this out). Hancock turns her back and shows the mark once again asking Luffy if he seen it before. After a bit of observation we find out that it was the same one Hachi had on his head. Only his was more in the shape of sun, so this is Luffy first time seeing this mark. Nyon then suddenly come in, much to Hancock’s annoyance (must really be a real security issue among the castle), telling the Kuja empress of Luffy actions on Sabody i.e: Slugging the World Noble via the newspaper she was given and finding it odd that Luffy appeared on their land so suddenly after only two day since then (Ah so this is the third day then. Guess Sentoumaru miscalculated on that account). Luffy explains once more of what had happened; even stating that he didn’t regret punching Charloss (As well he shouldn’t ). Once Hancock find this out, she break down again. This time at the thought of yet another person willing to “challenge the heavens” without a thought for his own life. Thus she decides to explain the story behind the mark.
A slave’s tale
Hancock reveals that she and her sisters were captured at the age of twelve from a Kuja ship and quickly sold into to slavery (apparently someone snuck aboard and grabbed anyone they saw. The manga not really clear on this, must’ve been time constraints). The mark on their backs were burned into them, signifying that they were “less then human” in the nobles eyes. Afterward they witness horrors which apparently are too horrible to describe, Sandersonia in fact even start to freak out from the memories of it as the story goes on which is indeed saying something of what they had to endure.
Freedom and Symbols
After four years stuck in that hellish existence wishing for death, a fishman called Fisher Tiger suddenly broke into Marjories and raised hell around the land. Originally he wanted to just free his fellow species. However he took pity all the slaves there and freed them as well including the Boas who didn’t waste the opportunity to escape, declaring they owe their lives to him. However the mark would still be branded on those that were marked as slaves. Fisher took those fishman slaves aboard in his crew and modified the mark into a sun. Thus the Sun Pirates were born.
So the deceiver has a reason
Luffy then asks if that meant Hachi was a slave too but the Boas reveal that isn’t the case. The symbol, while meant to keep those that were once slaves hidden, also means that he was just part of his crew for a time. Meaning that Hachi (and probably Arlong by extent) been through a lot. Nyon reveal that Fisher has long since been dead and most of his crew has split into different fractions. We also find out that the Boas’ power were given to them during their time of slavery, fabricating the gorgon’s tale and using their power to make it seem real so as not to tell the Kuja’s of their shameful past, even if it means acting spoiled and deceiving the a country. Wow a…pretty good reason though Hancock kinda takes it a bit too far though. Guess those years really did affect her as she does state that the act was just to keep her guard up since she didn't want to be controlled anymore. What more we find out that it was Nyon who guided the sisters back to the island and raised them even though Hancock seem to be ungrateful to this even still calling her a traitor to the country. Heh guess even their “surrogate mother” can’t break that attitude of theirs.
We are OUT OF HERE!
After listening to the tale, Hancock asks if Luffy still scorns her. Luffy tell her no, hating the Noble more. And just like that he buries the hatchet, no fuss no muss. Which is enough to finally win over Hancock and allow Luffy a ship to finally leave the island, WOOT! Guess she not a bad b***h after all ^_^.
And so…: Margaret and her friends are back to normal. Mark on Hancock finally revealed as a slave symbol and that she and her sisters are in fact former slaves. The origin of the Sun Pirates revealed. Explanation on why Hancock acts the way she does, that the sister's powers are indeed devil fruits and finally Luffy has transportation off the island. Straw Hat crew here we come!
Mmm a bit on the slow side since this is one of those informational chapters, hence a lot of talking. But it does indeed reveal a lot in one sweep to finally get it out of the way and keep the arc moving with no loose ends. What more it seem to solidify Arlong’s actions way back then since he was probably in Fisher’s crew, something tells me we might be seeing him again soon. It looks like Oda pushing Luffy ever closer to the conflict with the WG, adding yet another reason for doing so. And should Luffy ever find out what about to go on with his brother well…. But am getting ahead of myself, there still the subject of what Hancock going to do about her Shichibukai status, And what Momonga plans to do if she does indeed ignore his warning or if he finds Luffy on the island. Someone who can slice up a sea king is definitely someone to look out for. And if Haki was will be explained in context to Luffy (not that it might help, he more of a person who learns by example) or if Luffy will even adapt it to his fighting style. So many questions, so much more that pop up and so few pages to answer them all in. But hey it why we read comics and manga in the first place, overall a good informational chapter. Till next time, ya'll!