sahugani's One Piece Review 457

sahugani

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Sahugani’s One Piece Review 457


What would Franky look like in the wild west look?

Despite the fact that for the first time in a while, One Piece is the last of the big three to come out with a RAW, I’m in a good mood. I’ve fully caught up my roommate with the anime & recent manga (though we did temporarily skip the Foxy Arc for time, but I’ll make him go back cause he can’t miss Afro-Luffy). Now I can actually talk about the series to someone face to face as all my manga reading friends are what I dub “art-whores” who are either Narutocentric or only read Naruto/Bleach out of the big three. Also, I’m really sorry that I keep releasing these late. I’ll try my best to fix that, but it might not happen till summer vacation starts. Finally, I’m once again proud to use the scan from Franky House for the pics in the review.

Taming a Shadow


she would get my vote as the most evil thing on this island

After last week’s AWESOME chapter, we were left with the image of the new host for Luffy’s shadow, the beast-like uber giant named Oz. Now that the time has come to actually revive the fearsome corpse, a bit of preparation is required. Luffy’s shadow, which up until now has been wriggling in Moria’s grip, is calmed instantly with the slightest command by Moria to obey him and forget his memories as Strawhat Luffy. After this little exchange, Hogback makes a comment that technically, Cindry should have forgotten her past life memories as well and thus should not bear the hatred of plates, to which Cindry responds by saying Hogback’s knees should break as well. This could mean one of two things to me. It could mean that while Cindry has no actual memory of why she hates plates (and cryptically likes things broken), she responds to the stimuli the same way Dogpen reacts to women and for a reason unknown to him defends them faithfully. In this case, we can probably expect to see a lot of Luffy’s habits show up randomly in Oz (and we actually do, so this theory is looking pretty good). The other option is that Cindry is not a perfectly created zombie. As we have seen, she is the number 400 and as I have mentioned before, that would most likely make her the first of the human zombies according to the numbering system. If that is the case, there might have been some flaws in the process that allowed her to keep more of her shadow’s memory than a normal zombie should. In that case, we may get a bit deeper into Cindry’s past later on as the final fights start.

Awakening the Beast


what else would Luffy want after a 500 year nap

The moment Moria and his subordinates have been waiting for has finally arrived as Luffy’s shadow is finally inserted into the dead flesh of Oz. In a move quite uncharacteristic of One Piece (yet fitting for this situation), the process of his awakening is extended over a number of pages, thus making this chapter seem a little shorter than normal, but I’d say it was worth it. During the pages of reaction shots, the trio screams and are found, but are ignored for the time being as the new zombie has awoken and turned his attention to the puny mortals beside him. As should have been expected from Luffy’s zombie, the first word this 500 year old corpse yells is “MEAT!!!” From there he instinctively calls for Sanji to make him something, but then cannot recall who Sanji is. According to this information, the shadows do retain some amount of their previous life’s memory but it remains in their subconscious. As Luffy acts on impulse most of the time anyway, I think we can expects to see relatively few differences between him and Oz. Moria will find that controlling the beast will be somewhat difficult as Luffy (and thus Oz as well) is not one to really listen to people before acting however the hell he wants. I would not be the least bit surprised if the first time Luffy meets Oz, the following sequence of events will occur. Luffy goes sparkly eyes at how cool Oz looks and Oz goes sparkly eyes as Luffy shows off his DF powers (which I’m assuming were not passed into Oz). Then the two become very good friends and look for meat together before some event makes them feel betrayed and they start to duke it out. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Chopper Crushed


i would have been a bit ticked at Oda if he had gone on much longer without adressing this

After finally being noticed by Perona and Absalom, the trio use Oz’s resurrection as a distraction so they can escape. Here we finally get the moment I have been waiting for (or at least the hinting that such a moment will occur in the future) as Chopper reflects on Hogback’s actions. While Oda did not go into this betrayal of moral science and its effect on Chopper to the extent I initially predicted, he is finally turning Hogback’s actions into a major ethical issue for Chopper and foreshadows a fight between the two (my theory of Chopper/Absalom has collapsed due to the directions Hogback and Absalom have diverged to and the scent masking later in the chapter). This is really the epitome of why I like this arc so much. Unlike the other arcs where the subordinates were merely underlings that the crew had to get through to reach a goal, a good number of the opponents for this arc’s final fights have been set up early on as having deep reasoning for the apparent match-ups and the subsequent defeats. The strongest such pairing is Hogback and Chopper, whose conflict lies in the surgeon’s abandonment of a moral code of ethics in an attempt to further science. Also well foreshadowed is Absalom and Sanji as the former both treats women like possessions and has already fought Sanji’s shadow once. Somewhat less clear at this point is Nami and Perona as if one catches the other stealing from her, a clash is immanent (but Nami may be swapped for Robin as Nami may still be in the clutches of Absalom at this point). Outside of the major moral reasons for each fight, there is the quite obvious duel between Zoro and Ryuuma, which has its own implications for both Zoro and Brooke. For Zoro, there are two main issues at play here that I have already mentioned in past reviews, but deserve reiteration. The first matter is that Zoro needs a new sword and Ryuuma’s looks to top the list as it is quite clearly a meitou. More importantly than this is the fact that this will be Zoro’s first fight against a true swordsman since Mihawk and thus this fight will be a gauge as to whether or not he is nearing Mihawk. If he can beat a legendary swordsman from the past (even if the techniques are not originally of that body) whose techniques are not enhanced by anything but their own skill, Zoro will have finally taken that step towards true greatness. In regards to Brooke, (as I’ve mentioned before as well) since Ryuuma is the only person with a decent connection to him for a fight, the fact that Brooke can’t win is just more evidence to me that he won’t be a Strawhat. It is important that before joining, each member proved his capability to be in the crew (or each guy at least as there were more story related reasons for Nami and Robin to join). Since both Zoro’s development and Brooke’s recruitment lie in said person defeating Ryuuma, only one of the two options can occur and I’m willing to place my bet on Zoro. Anyways, back to this actual chapter.

Absalom’s Interference


that's a tad bit inconvenient

As Chopper, Nami, and Usopp make their way down the stairs in their escape, Absalom catches up and blasts the two guys with whatever technique decimated Dogpen. After this, he picks up Nami and announces his intent to marry her. At this point, Usopp pulls out an artifact that I’ve deemed important enough to deserve its own section so I’ll ignore it for now. When said artifact is used though, the Graveyard Commander uses his power to turn both himself and Nami invisible and covers his scent with flowers so Chopper can’t find him. This is the final nail in the coffin for my idea that Chopper might face Absalom in combination with the severe divergence of the invisible man from my original thought of him as Hogback’s bodyguard. This means we may see some combat ability from Hogback or at least some of his more powerful creations to put up as a shield between him and the enraged reindeer. As for Absalom, he is looking good for a fight with Sanji. Not only are his actions towards Nami just the sort of thing to get Sanji heated up, but his tendency to act loud, rude and obnoxious while invisible contrasts Sanji’s habit of acting nobly from the shadows. This fight would also mark the first time Sanji’s opponent outranked Zoro’s opponent in the hierarchy of the organization being fought, which would give Sanji something to brag about if it wasn’t for the fact that Thriller Bark is so well hidden, the events occurring there will likely take a long time to reach anyone’s attention if at all, thus fitting with the running joke of Sanji being denied recognition.

The Weapon’s Return


DANCING TIME!!!

As I mentioned, Usopp has finally pulled out an artifact that has greatly pleased me. That is KABUTO!!! As I mentioned near the start of this arc, I was greatly displeased with the fact that Usopp had returned to using his normal slingshot. In the CP9 arc, each of the Strawhats (except Robin and in a way Chopper) received a massive upgrade to their fighting capability through a new weapon or fighting form, so I was beside myself with grief that Usopp could have simply abandoned his new upgrade. Now we see that he had been simply hiding it. Unfortunately, this leads to one of the weird inconsistencies of the series as unlike Nami’s Climatact, it is not collapsible, so it basically appears out of nowhere. As a One Piece fan, I’m used to this by now, but it’s still noticeable and irks me as an observant person. Aside from the magic act that seems to occur around its appearance, I could not be happier with its return. Oda even hints at a reason why he had hidden it up until now. From the looks of it, Chopper did not hear Usopp when he yelled that he was Sogeking during his rerecruitment during the retreat from Water 7. Usopp still maintained that he was a separate person from the caped and bountied hero (likely for the very fact that Sogeking was the one with the bounty rather than him). In order to maintain this separate existence, he returned to his old weapon, but now has realized that if he wants to save Nami, he must go all out and reequips himself. I look forward to seeing how he explains his possession of the weapon to Chopper (and later Luffy). While I’d like to think he’ll tell them (resulting in sparkly eyes as they realize Usopp is a superhero), I’ve got the feeling he’ll make the excuse that Sogeking gave it to him as a parting gift (which will also receive sparkly eyes as it’s such a valuable and important gift).

ANIKI!!!


Franky has a new pose

Even after Absalom’s invisibility foiled the return of Kabuto’s awesomeness, the Graveyard Commander summons a crew of zombies to take out the remaining pirates and they would have succeeded if not for the interference of Franky and Robin, who have been using Brooke’s salt to tear through the ranks of zombies. The first noticeable thing is that the kick ass duo have (as I said last week) ignored Brooke’s advice and headed up the tower instead of back to the ship. My guess is that they either planned to intercept the guys carrying Luffy back or came to rescue the three who went missing initially. Now that they have actually arrived and found two of said three, Oda throws us some very noticeable development in regards to how the crewmates respond to one another. First of all, Franky calls Chopper and Usopp his little brothers and they respond to him similarly, making the crew mimic the Franky Family. This to me solidifies Franky’s place in the crew as he is no longer just the newest nakama, but he is considered family and he holds them as close to his heart as he does the family he left back on Water 7. In regards to Robin, she calls Usopp and Chopper by their real names, which shows the profound effect the CP9 arc has had on her. Each of the Strawhats took a little while before actually referring to eachother by their names and Robin has been the longest by far. Now that she doesn’t have to fear being separated from them, she has abandoned her nicknames for them that before existed as a way of remaining distant just in case. Franky is still currently in this transition phase (shown by the fact that he still calls Luffy “Mugiwara”) but with the deep emotional connection he’s building, I have the feeling that he’ll drop the habit quite quickly.

Overall

As always I find it hard to say anything negative about any chapter I ever read. The only thing that irked me a but was that so much page space was taken up by the awakening of Oz, but it was so fitting that I would not have noticed it if I wasn’t already made sensitive to that sort of thing by reading Bleach. Even with this lost space, Oda was still able to give us a chapter with many twists and tidbits of joy. Above everything, I’m just so happy to see Kabuto again as it has been gone for far too long. In addition, the personality of Oz is exactly as it should be and the only small issue is that while in this manga format, I can’t help but envision Luffy’s voice while his personality is present in Oz’s words. That’s nothing that can’t be fixed by the anime forcibly giving him an actual voice though (whenever they get around to the arc as I imagine we may have some filler ahead of us).
 

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