Whoa! Bleach and OP Comments in the same day! That's a first for me, guys.
First off, I would like to thank Harrmd for his quick MQ scanlations of OP these days - they're definitely good enough to keep us satisfied until the high-quality scanlation groups catch up. Last week was a treat with Fnuckale providing HQ images, but I don't want to take up his time too much. He's been fasting this weekend, after all, don't want to get him too cranky. He did provide the header this time around, though. Thanks, Fnucky
Finally, just a warning here, but I won't be able to keep this up forever. I've had tons of fun doing Bleach and OP for the last month and so, but I'm much more likely to eventually neglect reviewing both these manga than Naruto, especially when winter gets here. If anybody would like to do their own weekly reviews on either Bleach or OP, please go ahead and post 'em in the Mangaverse main section. I won't mind at all. I know we have plenty of insightful members here!
Anyway, have fun and feel free to comment as always!
* * * Gold Knight's Ten Comments on One Piece Chapter 429: Total Defeat! * * *
Where's my adoring worshippers...?
1. Moonstruck Part II. Didn't expect a follow-up to last week's glimpse at Enel's ship. Guess I already said it all last time, though - but looks like there's no green-skinned aliens greeting Enel, after all. Or maybe they're just hiding...
As for everybody who says, "wait a minute, Enel's on the moon without an oxygen suit!?" Well yeah, the dude's made of lightning. However... according to wikipedia, lightning requires the electrical breakdown of gas, so it cannot exist in a visual form in the vacuum of space. Hmm. Oh well, maybe Enel's full of gas.
Oh yeah, that's why they're not firing...
2. Protect Nico Robin At All Costs...! Heh, must be frustrating for the Marines to have to lay off firing at Luffy's ship just because one of his crew is so important.
Alright, I get it now, finally - after weeks of confusion! Sorry, guys. But, yeah, thanks to ironthought's post last week, I now see the light...! The reason the Navy/Marines wanted to keep Robin alive was because of her ability to read the ponegylphs necessary for finding Poseidon, which did skip my mind all this time. That's why they held off on firing all this time, so that explains that.
And here, Oda himself finally remembered to remind us that the Marines actually didn't want Robin to die... yet. (Wonder if he reads my Comments.) Although, no, he didn't explain why again, but luckily, ironthought already did for me. Thanks.
That's one thing I'm not too crazy about while reading OP, though, is Oda's tendency to make his storylines so complicated that half the time the casual reader (and yes, I do count myself as one) can completely forget exactly why events are taking place.
Anyway, that just goes to show just treacherous Spandam can be. He was willing to defy the World Government himself just to appease himself on the little matter of getting rid of the "last Ohara demon" that eluded his father (by executing her with the Gate of Justice).
Ah, well. Of course, this is the same guy who wanted to use the weapons for his own benefit instead of the government's, now that I recall... so it's nothing new, huh!
Welcome back, Robin ^_^
3. Mission Accomplished! Well, Luffy's crew finally gets Robin back. She's one of my favorite characters, so I'm glad that all things ended well in this case. Pretty cool, too, that such a minor villain (as Robin used to be with the Baroque Works) would have turned into such an enduring supporting character. I hadn't realized until the Water 7 arc just how much I liked her, and how disappointed I was when she left by her own will. Guess that's one thing I can't fault Oda at, is giving us plenty of unexpected twists. He's great at that.
Robin's gesture of gratitude here to Luffy's crew was a powerful scene, because it showed that for the first time in the entire series, Robin has finally genuinely accepted them into her life as friends. Pretty similar to Nami after the Arlong arc, but still different too. Unlike Nami, who was more confident and full of bluster, Robin was much more reclusive and uncertain of herself. Somewhat reminiscent of Rukia from Bleach, too, but I won't spoil details on that.
Sidenote: Just gotta say, but Chopper's delighted face here makes the whole panel work well, I think.
How does he even have any teeth left?
4. Harder to Kill Than A Cockroach... Just gotta say, Spandam, for a guy with less physical gifts than the average Marine, sure can take a beating. How in the world is he still able to get up and yell after being flattened by an elephant? Tsk. Ah well.
Even so, in a way, Spandam oddly reminds me a lot of one of the first antagonists (though minor) in the series, Helmeppo, heh. That's pretty much the same sort of pathetic villain he was, except he was actually wielding some nasty weapons. Of course, in this case, Spandam's father was dead... - so that was no longer an option for him, after all.
Also, why in the world did the Navy/Marines believe Spandam? Oy!
5. Look at the Pretty Fireworks!!! Well, whatever the reason, I still got a kick out of the ships finally firing at Luffy's ship. Yeah! Finally! Blast 'em out of the sea! Wait... sorry, am I cheering for the bad guys again...? >.>
Of course, even when firing, the Marines STILL fail.
Sorry, but the Marines lately have not impressed me in the least. Depending on a group of assassins to take care of their dirty work, then having 400 of their best captains being taken out by Luffy's crew, being misled by a power-hungry sycophant, and being dumbfounded as to what exactly to do about a little ship when all their own battleships are surrounding it... yeah. No wonder pirates are taking over the world.
6. No Justice in the World...! Alright, I have to give Oda serious props for this. I had no idea how Luffy's crew would have gotten out of this one, so Sanji going to turn the lever in order to close the Gate of Justice and thereby causing a series of whirlpools to cause havoc to all the Marines.,.. that was a highly ingenious storytelling move. Yup, I'm impressed. As complicated as Oda's stories can be, he does tend to know exactly how to tie up all the loose ends up perfectly.
And this was Sanji's victory. His quick thinking pretty much did save all their butts this time around. What made it all the more impressive was that he had no idea that their initial ship would have been destroyed, and this move would have still saved their butts regardless - by distracting the ships so badly that they could at least get some better footing and perhaps find an escape route.
Merry's arrival was just icing on the cake.
7. Who's Worried About Luffy? Okay, that was a comedic moment, seeing Luffy being used as a rubber trampoline for an incoming cannonball. Especially after all the hell Luffy's been through with Lucci in order to give them a chance of escaping. And here I thought his crew was worried about him!
Alright, alright, they knew that they had no other option, really. Still funny all the same, how they treat their tired, worn-out idiotic captain, eh?
8. Sayonara Spanda! Well, at least Robin finished the job on Spandam. Would've hated to see the guy get away only to haunt Luffy's crew again! I was truly tired of him by now. (And Spandam probably won't get his position back, considering he just effectively blew up Enies Lobby and will draw the wrath of Aokiji for lying about his orders.)
Wonder if Spandam managed to survive that one, too.
9. Narrow Escape...! Once again, Nami proves her extreme usefulness by navigating Luffy's ship through all the whirlpools, and getting out of all that mess.
In all of manga, I can't recall a female character that has been so essential to the plot. Not only does Nami have the means of actually steering her friends to victory through being both a highly skilled navigator and able cartographer, she also is now a formidable opponent with her Climatact. And to round it all off, she's also a pretty good thief and has a fun, sassy personality. Other mangakas do need to take a cue from Oda on just how to develop their female characters (Kishimoto and Kubo, you guys listening?)
Odd, though, how Nami seems to be the least popular of the Straw Hat Pirates regardless (she ranked 7th on the latest popularity poll, below all the others). Wonder if that'll change with these recent chapters (though I still expect Robin to be more popular).
You can say that again...!
10. Guess Who? The one and only Aokiji returns. I was wondering when he'd show up! Luckily for Luffy's crew, he arrived too late - probably because he was just biking across the seas (always a funny sight) instead of being on one of the Marines' ships. Otherwise, he'd probably have put them all on ice...
Just so you guys know, I like Aokiji. Don't really know why, but I've liked his character ever since he first appeared. He's also pretty much the only dude to ever beat Luffy as far as I know, right?
Well! That's that, then, the end of the Enies Lobby arc. The only thing left is for us to find out how exactly Merry was revitalized enough to arrive at Enies Lobby in time to rescue Luffy's crew. I still think we'll meet the Klabautermann (spirit of ships) soon enough.
After that, what lies next for Luffy's Straw Hat Pirates?
Wonder if they'll be returning to Water 7 first or going to a new island - well, I suppose they will have to, considering Franky probably isn't ready to say good-bye to his comrades just yet, and agree to join Luffy's crew (if he is going to do that, in fact). The mayor, Iceberg, probably also wants to talk to them first, too.
RATING: 4 out of 5 stars. Still feeling like a rather long epilogue, but how Luffy's crew got away from the Marines was a great writing accomplishment on Oda's part.
Predictions: We'll find out how Merry got there. I also predict a big celebration comin' up and some quiet moments. It'll be brief, though, as the Marines are probably going to chase right after Luffy. I also wonder if we'll be seeing Smoker soon. Oda's not one to forget that Smoker is still somewhere in the Grand Line, too.
Credits: Huge thanks to Harrmd for continuing his great MQ scanlations on a weekly basis. Thanks to Fnuck, also, for the header, and Pocketmofo for his translation.
Looking forward to seeing what you think!
VICTORY IS OURS!!! Comment <3