Hello Mangahelpers and welcome to the review of One Piece 600! The New Age is upon us, and we can certainly be excited about the developments that this will bring.
First of all my apologies that reviews of the past chapters didn’t arrive as promised, but I think even without my reviews One Piece was just as great…or maybe much better. Even if I don’t know which one is it, I decided to take a short glance at what happened in the past chapters as well, because it’s pretty hard to take out this chapter from the original context, and it is chapter 600, certainly a significant landmark number-wise.
But chapter-wise, I can definitely say that it wasn’t as great as it was expected. The gathering of the Strawhat Pirates is still underway, as half of the team haven’t met, yet.
Previously on One Piece
As this final saga is the last one, and for sure it will be the most exciting one, One Piece begins with the mobilization of the Strawhat Pirates, a notorious rookie pirate crew that made itself a great name in the Grand Line. As signaled by their captain Strawhat Luffy, the crew promised to meet two years after the great battle between the Whitebeard Pirates and the World Government, two years of hard work and training.
With a little mistake from Oda as admitted by himself as well(Zoro's scar), this is how the new characters look like. I definitely like Robin and Usopp, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are the most original, just take a look at Franky.
Designs aside, the abilities are pretty improved as well, and the last two chapters showed us a little of what these people can do. Zoro cutting a ship in a half, and Usopp and Nami pawning the feared fake Luffy, not to mention the obvious result of Luffy's Haki usage.
The plot is not as simple as let's meet and set sail, because we must remember that Marines are close by, and the addition of fake Luffy is not helping the situation.
So as expected the development of the members and their role in the plot is in strong relation, and this is the forte of Oda. He rarely handles one to the disadvantage of the other. I used the word rarely, because many of the fights are just focused on the fight itself, which is pretty normal for an action/adventure manga like this one. Chapter nr. 600 is no exception to this, and this time as well the plot is separated into a few parts, this time 3 major parts.
First two parts somehow mirror each other, because it continues the story of the two Strawhat groups assembling their members. One group or the other will escape this island to a great journey in the new world towards conquering the final island and One Piece.
And from the title we can be certain that the winner group will be the original Strawhat crew. And the place is fitting as well. This island was the place where they lost track of each other, where it was obvious that their current strength levels were no match for the dangers of the final sea. So it’s only normal for them to start things from where they left them.
So the first direction of this chapter is reserved to the original crew. As Chopper left in great hurry and disappointment to rescue fake Robin, he accidentally meets Usopp and Nami who are returning from shopping and heading towards Sunny. And then he realizes his mistake as it is explained, that there is a pirate crew whose members are pretending to be them, and that people indeed are in the belief that those ones are the originals. Of course the ordinary people can’t really tell the difference, but of course the slow guys from the original crew are in the same boat as well. And Chopper is definitely is one of the slow guys, and this time Luffy also tags along, in the same way as in the past, if we remember the Legendary Sogeking.
The joyful reunion is not much of a surprise and this time it shows a side of Chopper’s development. Almost everyone in the crew, grew in a physical way: Nami and Robin the obvious, Usopp became a little more muscular and longer hair, Sanji grew a mustache, Franky managed to build himself a totally new upper body. Chopper’s hat is bigger, but the main change is his deer form as noticed by Usopp as well.
It’s a pleasure to see that the personality of each member is mainly the same. Chopper being a little bit shy and naïve, Nami still thinking clearly and not appreciating the notoriety they have, and Usopp being as carefree as it gets, of course this being a pretty calm situation, without any dangers. I just hope or let me rephrase it, I’m pretty sure that they will show another side as well, in which we will be able to observe their growth as individuals.
Remaining in the same context, but with different protagonists, Zoro and Sanji finally meet, and in accordance to what I sadi earlier, they still preserve their dislike for one another. They immediately start quarreling and calline each other names, a conflict, which probably is expected could end up in a duel of those two. Until now the arrival of the original Strawhat Crew has been going pretty smoothly, so a duel would certainly create some major ruckus, but I think we can place our confidence in either Zoro getting bored or Sanji remembering that he should resume his shopping and concentrate on things Nami and Robin would need on the journey.
So I think there will be no major trouble, because I think Oda doesn’t want to complicate things with them. As we could observe the case of Chopper who set out to rescue fake Robin, and in the process getting entangled with the Marine and after that possibly fake Strawhat, things solved by themselves pretty smoothly. So I expect Sanji and Zoro to return soon and be on the ship by next chapter, and if it were some fight of some sorts, then we would see some little scars, like little cuts and bruises, accompanied of course by the opinion of the other members.
So the groups is getting pretty much assembled, but unfortunately time is an issue, because the Marines set out to capture the fake Luffy. This is why Dark King Rayleigh and Shakki a good friend of his arrive to the Sunny and they prepare the people to get started soon, and they relay the necessary instructions to the present members of the team, including the information that Luffy is already on the island, so it’s only a matter of time.
I mentioned that it looks like Oda is keeping all the members out of trouble, but I can say that doesn’t apply to Luffy as just his presence means that something big is about to happen.
Considering the ruckus fake Luffy created and this, I can honestly say that I agree with Robin there. Things are getting exciting that’s sure, and she doesn’t even know that Luffy actually made contact with fake Luffy and he is about to make contact again. As all the different members were presented and some of them actually met each other, Luffy is also shown with that huge bag of his, which could be considered as a trademark for the upcoming chapters. He meets Zoro and Sanji, but unfortunately and if I may say so for the amusement of us readers he doesn’t realize that the two are fake. The most obvious reason, which was noted earlier by Chopper as well, is the fact that those two are really friendly to each other, a change which Luffy attributes to the growth of the past 2 years.
What is about to happen is the root for the excitement. The two plan to lure Luffy to the meeting fake Luffy organized, where he recruited many dangerous rookies, who made themselves famous pirates of the Grand Line in the past couple of years. Seeing that Luffy doesn’t suspect a thing, we can certainly say that this will end up as another fight, though not just against fake Luffy and his recruits, but probably against the Marine as well, the most notable being Sentoumaru and the Pacifistas he brought.
What’s another interesting element, is Luffy’s instinct to put on the mustach Hancock gave him. It’s a clear sign that he considered that his performance earlier, where he knocked down everybody, by just releasing his vigour, namely using (…)Haki, could’ve brought some attention on him. But I can’t help to notice the subtle humor and contradiction Oda inserted here. Even if Luffy put on the mustache, the trademark which I mentioned earlier, which is that huge bag of his, is really something unique, and I think that was the reason why fake Sanji and Zoro recognized him in the first place.
Instinct or not, his fighting skills will sure make him invincible even if he will end up facing current great names of the Grand Line, like:
I believe these new faces will make the scene of a small demonstration of power from Luffy, and his first contact with the Marines in a long time. So this battle could seem insignificant at first, but I think this will be the wake up sign for the World Government and it will generate a significant reaction to it. Until now little things are known about the New World, so we don’t really know what kind of action does the WG have in stock for that territory, but Luffy’s presence and future departure will definitely make them boast their forces there. If not for just the menace Luffy represents to them because of the annihilation of CP9 and the mess at the prison, then for the afront that he brought to them with the beatup of the Tenryubito two years ago.
But other from that it will be a great sight to see what’s the result of the latest set of weird pirates that Oda presented us. Their bounties are pretty significant, and I believe that the super rookie brothers might even reached 100 million, though seeing them, it’s just probably there bounties combined, but I don’t really expect them to move alone, so the danger of 100 million is pretty much real here.
This danger is also reinforce by just their actions and their merciless attitude even in front of a poor Marine soldier. The little fodder guy was just about to report his findings about the gathering, but he is just slaughtered by Caribou. But he didn’t manage to react quickly enough though, as some of the information was already sent and the Marine is probably already one the move and ready for the big battle. Why big battle? Well Sentoumaru just advised all the soldiers around that Strawhat is not to be underestimated, and the fact that he is recruiting means only that strong fellows will be present.
As we can see strength of some is not the only issue here, the great number of pirates gathered will be a problem as well. This is why I think there will be a pretty great battle, if not because of some new abilities shown by the rookies, then because of the presence of the Pacifistas, who for me are always a great sight to behold. How will Luffy react in this situation is a little bit unclear for the moment. He could just use the battle as disuise and escape from there, but seeing the presence of the Pacifistas and that of Sentoumaru might be an obstacle.
And in this moment he was just brought before fake Luffy, so the situation is indeed complicated.
I considered this the second part of the plot in this chapter, though I’m not sure whether this will be united with the first part or this next third part I’m going to present now. In end all parts will have a common point, which means the reunion of the Strawhat Crew, that’s just normal, but what’s important, and interesting in my opinion is the order of these events, which by simple deduction will weigh a great deal on the plot.
Now the third part features Brook, and I separated him on purpose, because he had no contact with Luffy, nor he had any intention to meet with the rest of the crew, yet. But the main reason is that he is the voice, which announces the return of Strawhat Luffy and his words are just perfect for the situation and the meaning of the island.
Shakki tells us later that she already informed Brook of the situation, so the figure in the shadow on page 12 is Brook already receiving the information about the Marine closin in on them. But as a true musician he cannot refuse the demand of an encore, so he heads back to stage to prepare his last song. I must say that the atmosphere of the concert is so well constrcuted, that I kinda felt some chills during Brook’s entire performance. Oda first ends the concert in a total disaster, and we can almost feel the disappointment of the fans, as they were expecting another jewel from the Soul King. But the information that he was the captain of the Rumbar Pirates 50 years ago, and that he is member of Luffy’s crew is even more shocking for everyone.
It turns out that the one who acted as traitor here was Brook’s manager who didn’t want Brook to quit after this concert, so I guess Brook already planned out everything for this day. So that’s why he doesn’t quit and asks his entire band to accompany him one last time. The intro for this song is what I liked the most, as he speaks about the meaning of the island and he announces that Luffy is alive. Somehow I feel that something started now, which could be important until that last pages of the manga. The fact that Brook won the hearts of the ordinary people, and somehow with this message he extended this love to the whole crew. I don’t know whether or not Oda has something like this in mind, but Luffy was always praised as somebody who could move people, who could turn people into his allies. Concquering Grand Line will end in just defeating WG or just show the difference in power, but through influence would be gained only if the regular people are by his side as well.
And the best line, which somehow relates to this:
It doesn’t matter who the “Soul King” is. That’s right, music is our ally..1, 2, 3, 4!!New World!
I think this line is as simple as it can be, and probably on a real concert it would be considered as cliché, but in this manga, the idea of a concert like this is already unique, and if we consider the meaning behind this last line, then it’s truly brilliant.
“It doesn’t matter who the Soul King is” reminded me of Doflamingo’s words, where he said that there’s no such thing as pirates are evil, marines are good. Justice stands by the strong people, and in the end whoever prevails, will be revered as good and bringer of justice. But I think the reality is a bit more complex and we must put together both Doflamingo’s and Brook’s statements. So that’s why I think we should remember that it doesn’t matter if one is a pirate or not, because the victor who conquered the world, will become true victor if he conqered the people’s heart as well. In similar way the World Government probably did a very long time ago, and who were probably pirates themselves before they turned into World Government, or just did something horrible that scarred the world. The possibilities of this theory are pretty endless in the moment, but I think the secret of the WG lies somewhere around here, and they conquered the world by completing the two requirements mentioned earlier.
In present time though, despite meanings and interpretations, the concert, the meeting on the ship and Luffy meeting with fake Luffy is still underway, so I’m pretty curious when will this let’s restart commence. From the words of Shakki, Brook will escape the concert hall and will come to the ship in a short time, so that meanst that Luffy will be the last one to arrive. And Rayleigh’s words sound like the movement will commence next chapter, and finally these preparation chapters are over. The sound of action is very welcome especially since Luffy is the protagonist, and because somehow Brook confirmed my thoughts about Luffy not leaving in quiet.
Quick summary/ Opinions
This chapter was a pretty okay chapter. Nothing special happened, and it’s normal, because the slow, careful build-up for a grand event is specific to this manga. We could observe a common pattern in these last 3 chapters. Everything was focused on the meeting, so things were without events, but with Oda managed to show us a couple awesome scenes nonetheless. The performance of Nami and Usopp, then Luffy’s performance, and now Brook’s concert were little scenes that could offer a us a little taste of the awesomeness that’s about to come. This was cleverly done, by just inserting fake Luffy into the whole mix. So the appearance of one character, moved the entire plot. I swear Luffy’s power is so great that even fake ones can amazing things.
The art was as full of imagination as it always is in this manga. The cartoonish, yet original art Oda produces has the feat of leaving tons of space for imagination, so the boundaries for creating a new character, a new name or place are almost inexistent.
So the chapter gets an 8/10. The story-telling abilities of Oda are as good as always, but the problem is the pace here, and action was really missing. Of course the excitement is just further increased, but even that has a limit, and for some people it might work, but nor for everybody. Though I don’t really follow news about mangas, but I understood that this is the last Saga of One Piece. So there are 3 or 4 story arcs left to tell, so it’s understandable that maybe for this reason the pace will lack the usual speed is had before the time-skip.
Predictions/ Want to happen
Well what I want to happen for Luffy to mop the floor with everybody. That would be a generous display of his power, and I don’t think it would even be a full display. Defeating Sentoumaru would be a great step for him, and it would mean that he is a worthy pirate for the New World.
I don’t know if this will really go like this, but I think in the end we will all see Luffy running towards the ship chased down by somebody, and the Strawhat Crew will escape just in the nick of time.
So this is kinda it, I hope you liked what I wrote here. But whether you liked it or not, please share your ideas, because when a manga has a fresh start, ideas are just abundant. So let the discussion commence, but not before we say thanks to Binktopia for the great job they did this week as well. I’ll see you around guys, have fun!
Last edited by benelori; October 15, 2010 at 03:19 PM.
Nice review and analysis of the chapter! It was an enjoyable read :-)
I think Luffy will try to keep it low key, but at the end it won't happen. Just like what Brook says: Peace and quiet doesn't suit his departure.
Last edited by benelori; October 15, 2010 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Oh awesome review Bene, really like it. You should do it more often.
Just one thing that I don't quite agree:
About this, I may say that in the first time they were in Sabaody, the peace was really slow, but Oda is only using this to set up a huge turn of events, just wait and trust him.Originally Posted by Benelori
In that occasion was punching a Tenryuubito, Admiral Kizaru make his appearence and for the ultimate closure, Kuma scattering all the SH through the world.
My guessing is that: next chapter Luffy will be made prisioner, next Sentomaru arrive at Groove 46 to capture Luffy, the Fake Luffy gets beaten and it's revealed the he is indeed fake, and then Sentomaru points that the prisioner is the real Luffy, Sanji and Zoro appear out of nowhere, mostly because of Zoro getting lost, again. But in the end they kick ass, and clear state that the SH's are alive and making their way to the NW.
Great review benelori.
The only thing I missed in this review was the part with Franky, Chopper, and Usopp. How could you skip the SUUUPER-ness of Franky's male romanticisms being explored even further ...
Also (while we're on the subject of romanticisms), I'm a bit curious what you think about Sanji's eyebrows. Personally I think it's hilarious, the way the swirls on Sanji's eyebrows are both on the right side, and I can't help but thinking Oda just loves messing with Sanji . What do you make of this?
I agree with you when it comes to this chapter not exactly meeting up to the expectations one would have for the 600th chapter of One Piece. The 8 out of 10 certainly is a generous rating looking at it from that perspective, though as a chapter on its own it certainly deserves the rating you gave it.
The last thing I want to comment on/ask you about has to do with Brook. You already gave an interesting comparison of Brook's words to those of Doflamingo, which I hadn't thought of, but I'm curious what you make of the words after that. The part on "The music is our ally...".
Do you think this could have anything to do with any new abilities for Brook? I thought he might have somehow become able to use his music to move other people's souls. Same as his own devil fruit managed to move his own soul back to his dead body, though in a more figurative sense. The ability to move the audience's souls (hence soul music), to have them do his bidding as it were. What's your take on this?
Do you really think Luffy will let himself be captured? The way I see this fake Luffy, he is pretty flashy, so there will be a little show or speech, before he actually gets to do something to Luffy...by that time, Sentoumaru is bound to appear...now I don't know who will point out the real identity, my guess is Sentoumaru as well, but Luffy until now seemingly wants to evacuate to island in silence...
But I like your idea of Zoro and Sanji coming to the rescue...and it's very likely since they are not at the ship, yet...so the possibility of the three strongest to clash with marines and pirates is high...which enforces your prediction thought is something else IMO...
When Rayleigh approached Luffy with the idea of training he questioned Luffy's strength and asked him if he really wants to go back and get his ass kicked again...this somehow points to unfinished business as the people who were mentioned then were Sentoumaru and the Pacifistas...
So a rematch is quite possible, I would certainly love if your prediction were to become true, because that just means more action...and I really like to see Zoro in action honestly
Well I think the reason I missed many of the hilarious parts, because I really liked Brooks performance and wanted to talk about that instead...but humor is humor, and what I liked the most was Chopper's enthusiasm...I really like when Oda draws these people with shiny eyes like that it's hilarious...I remember that the one I liked the most was when Luffy received boxing gloves and boots from Mr. 3(?)...
I agree that Oda likes to mess with his characters, and not just the main ones...he just loves to let his imagination loose...Sanji's eyebrow and the fact that Franky still doesn't have pants is one hint...I didn't notice that inverted swirl good take on that, but honestly didn't really take a good look at the changes in all the characters...though there are people who caught my attention...Usopp and Robin()
Good question about Brook...I can't really decide if it's really a power or not...Mighty Buggy went and conquered the hearts of several inmates with just coincidence and well placed words...Brook's music could be really something that people just love...also Brook's looks and now the fact that his identity is well known could be of more impact...
I've been wondering about what upgrade will Brook receive...after he was sent flying, he ended up as circus animal, a tool for show and entertainment...maybe during that he managed to develop an ability to conquer people's hearts, entertain and influence them? Quite possible, though I think it's up to discussion if it's a power like DF or Haki, or just a talent, like in Buggy's case...
The high mark is definitely Brooks fault and the impression he made this chapter...I might be stretching with this underlying meaning I described, but that was just to justify my theory about WG...the only minuses were the lack of action, which let's say can be compensated with the cliffhanger(Luffy meeting fake Luffy and Rayleigh's words), but the pace is definitely a minus, though I always look at the circumstances when judging the pace...and this saga being the last probably and it's after timeskip...authors always try to maintain excitement and Oda managed this pretty well IMO...though I was pretty disappointed when I read the spoilers
Thanks for the input guys...I'm glad you liked the review, but don't forget to share your ideas, opinions...cheers
Last edited by benelori; October 19, 2010 at 05:54 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
Even though i dint read a word , i ll say its a good review [coz u wrote so much ... thats hard work;p]