sahugani's One Piece Review 448

sahugani

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Sahugani’s One Piece Review 448


i need to ask guys on deviantart for permission to use their original WP cause i'll run out of Oda's

Damn, I think Oda is starting to have an effect on the other manga writers. For those of you who read Bleach and Naruto, there have been recent twists that are nothing short of bizarre. It made me realize how Oda has made One Piece so strange that if similar events occurred they are taken as completely normal. Anyways, the day I did this review last week was the first day of my bout with the flu and luckily, it has subsided enough by now to allow me to once again release a review this week. Also, big thanks to the guys at Franky House for the Edited Manga.

Spacey’s Birth…er…Assembly


who knew robots were so cute

Lately the Enel cover arc has been pretty central on Enel’s rage, but now we get to take a step back to look at the cute little guy who will soften the egotistical bastard’s heart. Well first of all, HE’S A ROBOT!!! It did seem a little bit strange for there to be life on the moon, but it is One Piece, so I didn’t really get too hung up on it. What is interesting to me is the guy building him, who looks like a nice old man. Spacey’s original design did not seem to be for combat either. From the technology seen with the space pirates earlier, my best guess is that the space pirates have kidnapped that scientist and all his loyal robots are now trying in vain to save him. This bodes well for Enel’s transformation into a useful member of society as he could generate endless power for the scientist’s machines. I can’t wait to see more of this.

Fallen Curtain


Now that Sanji has his own room on the Sunny, it probably looks similar with Nami's pics

As the trio has fallen into the shrine to Cindry, they begin to uncover her past and we are left to wonder her importance to Dr. Hogback. As Nami points out, the room is clearly not Cindry’s and was more likely set up by Hogback. He has strict rules about entrance into his lab and we found out last week when the trio arrived there that it is a room in the lab’s hallway. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cindry did not even know about the room’s existence. The history we were given for her differs greatly from the one Nami read about and was likely a fabrication created by Hogback. In hindsight, we were even told the history by him as if he was also simultaneously reassuring her that it was her true past. The new history we receive is of a very happy life with an abrupt and unexplained death. That kind of fall could be devastating for her and so Hogback probably told the lie in order to shield her from the pain of knowing she had died before. This image of Hogback makes him highly sympathetic and (as I have said before) goes to the purpose of convincing Chopper that his actions are just.

Treasure Chest


and you wonder why those toys terrify some children

As Usopp tries to get the idea of reviving the dead through his head, he trips over a box that makes Nami’s eyes shine with the prospect of money. Of course, there is no treasure inside and instead there is a terrifying zombie jack-in-the-box, making the trio run outside again to the zombie picture hallway. What is interesting about the jack-in-the-box is that he implied that there is treasure elsewhere in the castle. Seeing as Hogback and Absalom were discussing bounties last week as if it was their regular business, it is easy to assume that he has lured other pirates in to be trapped in his home like the trio has been. In that case, pirates would normally look around for treasure to steal. The jack-in-the-box’s message makes it seem like a game that is leading the crew to their demise at the end.

Ronin Guardian


finally, a dark character draped in tattered shrouds

After the trio clears the hallway, we witness the entrance of a mysterious swordsman who seems to be slowly tailing the pirates down the hallway. This character bears many odd connections that can be seen in his few frames. First of all, he is clearly in league with Hogback and the zombies as the pictures act as subordinates passing information to him. It is for this reason that I don’t believe he is the entity mentioned later in the chapter, but I will explain this there. Another noticeable trait is his laugh, which is identical to Brooke’s. Oda likes to give characters individual laughs to help define their characters, so it is unlikely that the two are unconnected. However, I highly doubt that he is Brooke himself as this person seems to have flesh and lacks the fro. I cannot even fathom to guess as to what connection could give them the same laugh, but I can at least guess as to his reason for being with Hogback. He was most likely a swordsman whose life was saved by Hogback’s surgery. Much like how Zoro became a pirate after Luffy saved him, this man has joined Hogback’s cause. I for one am extremely excited by his introduction as it introduces a viable opponent for Zoro later on and also supplies what I assume to be one of the named swords for Zoro to claim and complete his trio of swords again.

The Unorthodox Pirates


Cerberus already feels like one of the gang

We once again return to the story of the other five pirates as they search the island for Usopp, Nami, and Chopper. The scene is offers some humor as Franky claims to be proud of being a pervert. Granted we have already seen him prove this before as he posed bottomless on Water 7, but Oda has a way of making each person’s recurring jokes funny every time. The real purpose of the scene is shown as Robin makes the connections we have known for a while regarding the island’s creatures. She points out to the less observant members that all of the freaky beasts have bandages, stitches, and numbers. They also make the connection that all of the creatures are being controlled by someone. It was important to point this out despite its obviousness because as Robin is in that group, it will be them that will uncover the conspiracy occurring on the island, so Oda needed to spell out the evidence beforehand. Stating the reasons for this conspiracy theory also sets up the entrance to the exception to the rule that comes after them next.

Sunken Spirits


...he told us he would do this

Finally, the ghost Luffy got out his net for is right there and ready to be captured. The only problem is that Luffy is an idiot. Franky’s fire doesn’t seem to affect these spirits either, which makes one wonder if these really are the souls of the departed. Unlike the zombies and creatures, which can be explained by Hogback’s surgery through the bandaging, stitching, and numbering, the ghosts actually do seem to be on another plane of existence with no physical being to injure. They are likely the reason Hogback chose this island for his research. I doubt that they were created by his science, so they were probably part of the island before he came. My best guess is that they played a part in the development of his resurrection techniques and thus he came to them and forged an alliance. Another interesting ability these ghosts seem to have is the ability to crush a person’s spirit and render them incapable of fighting, which they demonstrate on the three most confident members of the crew. Sanji’s teasing of Zoro after they recovered was also a nice touch. The ghosts would make battle difficult for the crew if allied with a powerful force like Absalom or the swordsman from the castle as their ability would leave the pirate defenseless as his opponent attacked. I imagine one of the Strawhats will end up facing an enemy who uses this tactic.

Round 2 in the Graveyard


NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Well we’re back in the graveyard where Hildon left the trio before so we already know that it is infested with true zombies, but this time they are facing different opponents. Once again, Luffy is a complete idiot and mistakes the zombie for an old man with a wound. My question is why would he shove a wounded old man back into the ground? Before I talk about the big zombie bashing, there is one little piece of info from the page before that I must bring attention too so I can share my pain. CERBERUS RAN AWAY!!! Oh the greatness that could have been the true Mugiwara pet. All of my dreams for him are gone. No playing catch with Luffy on the Sunny’s lawn. No Robin petting all three heads at once while reading a book with him at her feet. No gigantic doghouse built by Franky. If Oda (aka God) loves me very much, Cerberus will come back later and will rekindle those dreams.

Punishment


I'd think that would at least bust a few stitches

In a way, I feel bad for the zombies. They die, are revived, and then pummeled by a 600 million beli bounty crew. First of all the two page spread was beautiful and I can’t wait till someone colors it. It did kinda centralize on Franky and Luffy, but they are the ones who most easily display destructive force in their attacks, so it worked well. I was a bit disappointed that Robin’s catch of opponents consisted of only 2 zombies, but as a whole the scene was fantastic. Through the beating and subsequent questioning, it seems like the crew are well on their way to reaching their nakama as the zombies point them in the right direction (after some persuasion). However, Oda’s not going to make the story that linear and a twist appears in the form of a real old man with a wound to divert Luffy from his original goal on the island.

The True Villain


Nico Robin knows all

Damn. So far the setup for this arc had been that of a small story in between the goliaths of CP9 and Mermaid Island similar to Little Garden or Jaya, but the word Shichibukai has pretty much shattered that perception. Gecko Moria’s name has caused a sweeping change in the direction of the plot on Thriller Bark. Now it is quite clearly him who will face Luffy as not only does the name Shichibukai put him on the highest class of enemies, but he is also the one responsible for Brooke’s shadow theft. I mentioned earlier that I do not believe the swordsman from Hogback’s lab to be Moria. I highly doubt that a Shichibukai would enter himself into the service of Hogback. This is especially unlikely as the last arc’s main villain was also acting as a subordinate to a mastermind (even though Spandam was an idiot, he was the initiator of the events). Another piece of evidence against this is the sword. Oda’s pairings in final fights is quite formulaic. Luffy fights the strongest, Zoro fights the swordsman, Sanji fights a kenpo user, Nami fights a woman, Usopp fights a shooter, and Chopper fights the freak (Robin and Franky are undefined). He has kept this system quite constant among all the randomness of the series. This reason is amplified further due to the fact that Zoro is in need of a sword so unless he’s going to take a blade from the strongest person on the island while Luffy stands idle, I doubt the swordsman is Gecko. Oda’s battle formula also makes me rethink the position of Absalom in the fights. It is now quite clear to me that he will be fighting Chopper as he is both the freakiest and also bears the strongest connection to the dark side of Hogback’s research.

Overall


you may now resume your normal activities

This chapter really blew my socks off. It made me laugh as Sanji teased Zoro (…again), it made me cry as Cerberus ran away, it made me intrigued as we head about Gecko Moria, and it made me cheer as the crew pounded a load of zombies with one awesome attack. This is the reason I love Oda so much.
 
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