sahugani's One Piece Review 461

sahugani

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Sahugani’s One Piece Review 461


This chapter, Usopp deserves to look cool

HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I’ve been so looking forward to starting this review cause the chapter is so awesome. I know RAWs were a bit late this week, but at least we had the Chinese scans to look at while we waited. Unfortunately, One Piece chapters contain a tad bit more dialog and plot development than Bleach chapters, so things were a bit tougher for the fans over here while we could only see the pictures. Anyways, the title pic this week is a piece by Elvire over at Deviantart, so take a look at the rest of her gallery over there. The pics in the review come from bludshock’s Edited Manga.

In the Wake of God


now would be the time to try negotiation

As we continue to view the aftermath of Enel’s rampage against the space pirates, we are shown what remains of his opponents’ base. After demolishing their ship and headquarters, it is all left in ruins at the bottom of a crater. Enel just looks over the smoking ruins of all he most recently destroyed as if he’s searching for something. For all we know, he could be looking to make sure Spacey’s alright, but I highly doubt he has grown a heart that fast.

The Stage is Set


and to think some people are driven away by the "simplicity" of OP art

As we return to the main story, the first panel sets up the locations of various rooms in the Mast Mansion. Luffy, Chopper, and Robin are headed towards the dance hall, which is where Moria took Luffy’s shadow and where Absalom intends to be in less than an hour for his wedding reception. Beneath that is Moria’s bedroom, which we have only seen once as he was awakened by his subordinates. I’m guessing that it will become a battlefield for one of the fights, though I’m unsure which. Before Oz came crashing down, Zoro and Franky were headed towards Perona’s bedroom, which is connected by the Wonder Garden to Hogback’s Lab, where Brooke dueled Ryuuma. Although Sanji and Usopp fell to the lower path with Oz, I don’t think their ultimate goal of stopping the wedding is harmed. Of the three goals set by the Strawhat teams, theirs is the only one where the destination is unknown to them, so chances are they got closer to the wedding by falling.

Chopper’s Code of Ethics


never have such brave words come from such an adorable person

The first team we follow is Luffy, Robin, and Chopper, who turn into the dance hall to find Hogback and Cindry in their path. Hogback is genuinely shocked that they were able to get past Perona’s ghosts, but Luffy doesn’t listen and simply remembers Hogback being there when his shadow was taken. He’s about to hit him when Chopper asks to let him deal with the surgeon. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for since the first time Dr. Hogback was mentioned. Despite the fact that Luffy could probably take out Hogback with the same ease as any average person, Chopper needs to fight Hogback as a moral stance against the surgeon’s dark medicine. Similar to how Zoro holds Kuina as his inspiration and Mihawk as his goal, Chopper has relied on Hiruluk’s beliefs and revered Hogback as the pinnacle of medicine. Now that he has met Hogback and seen the true nature of medicine without ethics, he feels ashamed that he ever looked up to the man. He cannot let a man such as this continue to carry the title of doctor. After telling Luffy the way to the cold storage, he changes into his brain point and declares his fight with Hogback.

Robin Lucks Out


I think they're underestimating Robin's strength just a tad

As Luffy tries to make his way to the cold storage, he is assaulted by Cindry’s plate throwing skills. Robin uses her power to hold Cindry’s arm and lets Luffy move on. This is one fight that seems far too simple. From the looks of it, all Robin would need to do is hold Cindry’s arm back to prevent the projectiles and force her mouth open to feed her salt. There must be some power yet unseen in Cindry that will make this battle a bit of a challenge. After all, by the numbering system I found, she was most likely the first human zombie created by Hogback and is kept as his personal assistant, so there is likely something very unique about her. Due to the nature of Robin’s powers, her fights most often end in either flawless victory or utter defeat. Any damage she has sustained in a fight she won was due to some situational factor severely hampering her ability to defend herself (such as protecting ruins or wearing kairoseki handcuffs). I’m hoping Cindry pulls out something that will genuinely challenge Robin for a change, though I cannot even fathom what that might be.

The Surgeon’s Soldiers


Yay!!! the return of the freak penguin and Hitler ballerina

In addition to Cindry, Hogback obtains the aid of Dogpen and Jigoroh to fight off Chopper and Robin’s united front. I’ve said from the beginning that Hogback would be a man who doesn’t fight his own battles and that he’d call upon either Absalom (disproved a while back) or some of his strongest zombies. I find it very fitting that the zombies he calls upon are those of Sanji and Zoro. As Sanji has Absalom to hunt and Zoro has Ryuuma, it was quite clear that they would not be fighting their own zombies to get their shadows back. Chopper fighting those two adds yet another important meaning to this fight. In addition to winning his moral conflict with Hogback, these opponents allow him to prove his strength relative to his nakama. If he can beat the zombies of Zoro and Sanji, he proves to himself that he can fight in the same league as the rest of the crew. During the CP9 fights, he had to resort to a power that if left alone could have killed him, so unlike the others, his fight with Kumadori did not showcase much of an increase in his real fighting ability. He now has the opportunity to prove that he can fight alongside the others by overcoming the skills of his own nakama. Before this twist, I thought Chopper would use monster point to pit his Jekyll/Hyde complex against Hogback’s Frankenstein complex in the form of a master creation. Due to the analysis I just provided regarding the importance of beating Zoro and Sanji’s zombies, I now think it would defeat the purpose to use monster point and we will instead see something completely different out of Chopper.

A Bit too Easy for Luffy


this calm in the face of danger is what seperates Moria from Hogback

With Chopper and Robin keeping Hogback’s zombies at bay, Luffy rushes off down the freezer hallway and runs into Moria, who is still waiting to play with Oz. Now I am more certain than ever that Luffy’s major fight will be with Oz. It’s somewhat rare for Luffy to start his major battle at the very start of the final fight sequences. While I’m certain a shichibukai can hold his own, his devil fruit and body shape are not exactly well suited for direct combat and Luffy’s shadow has already been taken, so he really has no edge. His personal strength will be enough to keep Luffy at bay for quite a few chapters, but I think we will inevitably see the return of Oz to fight Luffy. I can picture one of two scenarios. The first thought is that the fight is interrupted by Oz, who develops a personal feud with Luffy (possibly over becoming pirate king). After Luffy beats him, he deals a quick but symbolically important finishing blow to Moria, thus releasing all the shadows. The second option that I don’t like quite as much is that Luffy beats Moria, but realizes that he was wrong about the shadows returning upon his defeat. Oz comes back and they start to fight so Luffy can get his shadow back. With Zoro fighting Ryuuma and Chopper fighting Jigoroh and Dogpen, all the important shadows are taken care of, so the Strawhats can continue on at daybreak and leave the shadowless people on the island with knowledge about salt’s power on the zombies.

The New Luffy Continues


i wonder what Luffy's imporession of Oz would be like

We turn now to the other four members of the crew (not including Nami), who stand in awe of the behemoth, Oz, who has demolished the bridge to Perona’s room. Needless to say, they are pretty stunned. They brace themselves as they see the beast reach over near them, but then watch as he breaks off a piece of a tower and puts it on his head like a hat. Oz is becoming more and more like Luffy in every respect. With an insatiable appetite, dream to be pirate king, general manner of speech, etc, he had already been well established as Luffy’s zombie, but I just love that Oda topped it all off with a need to have a hat. Anyways, after obtaining his necessary pirate hat, Oz starts wandering off again without noticing anyone around him. I suspect he’ll be like this till the final fights are about halfway done. During that time, we’ll probably cut to him every once in a while for a comic moment. However, about halfway through the final fights, he’ll wander on back and clash about something with Luffy, thus starting the largest scale battle in the series yet as Luffy pits gear 3 against the might of a beast twice the size of a giant.

Franky’s Utter Awesomeness


SUUUUPAAAA!!!!

After Oz takes off, the Strawhats try to get their heads straight and figure out their next move. At the thought of having to fight zombies at the level of Zoro and Sanji, Usopp automatically loses all hope of victory. After yelling at him for being so negative, Sanji contemplates how he can get to Nami now that the bridge has been destroyed by Oz. At this point let me just say CUTTY FLAM KICKS ASS!!! While Zoro, Sanji, and Usopp have been planning and yelling, Franky had built a bridge and by the time they noticed, he just wanted another 30 seconds to make it look a bit nicer. He is just so damn useful in any situation. He can build basically anything he wants with his carpentry skills as long as he has the materials, so the Strawhats will never need to settle for anything makeshift and his speed is absolutely astounding. Its not often you meet a perfectionist who can work as fast as he does.

The Princess’s Room


Couldn't she destroy Moria himself with this technique?

After coming off the bridge, the guys find themselves in Perona’s room. Zoro immediately takes notice of the room’s overdone decoration and the fact that all the ghosts swirling about the room are being manipulated by Perona. Like most bad guys, she speaks as if she has nothing to fear due to the fact that her powers are so far unbeatable. Her technique is absolutely perfect for dispatching her enemies, so she has never had any reason to fear. The guys then realize that she’s attacking and know what will happen if they’re hit. They can’t get away from the ghosts nor can they attack or defend themselves against them. Zoro, Franky, and Sanji have already experienced the ghosts’ ability to incapacitate people by making them instantly downtrodden to the point where they don’t care if they’re captured. As all three are quite prideful, it’s humiliating to be reduced to that state. Luckily, there is one man who can save them.

Who Ya Gonna Call?


The man. The myth. The pessimist

Perona sends out her ghosts and strikes all four Strawhats, causing each one to collapse in self pity. With the four pirates seemingly incapable of defending themselves, Perona sends out the wild zombies to collect the hollow bodies. However, the zombies don’t get far before our stands up and slays them with salt stars. That’s right, Usopp has saved the day! Perona is now the one in shock as she at first thinks she missed him with her ghost. After sending out another one to no avail, Usopp is revealed to be completely immune to her powers since he was already extremely pessimistic. When we first saw the ghosts many chapters ago, I mentioned the possibility that Usopp would fight the ghosts for this very reason as a joke, never believing that Oda would actually do it. I guess after Perona was revealed as their master, I figured that since there was one female among Thriller Bark’s top tier, she would fight one of the Strawhat women.

… … (Damn this Chapter Title Stole a Perfect Setup)


thats a picture she'll never live down

Usopp tells the others to continue on as they would be useless against her, to which the guys are shocked as this is the first time they have been given courage by Usopp and it’s a strange feeling. However, he does request that they take out the wild zombies on their way out as they can still hurt him. This reveals both a flaw in Usopp’s immunity that Perona and her wild zombies try to exploit and the way for Usopp to avoid the flaw. If they can make Usopp confident that he’ll win, he can be affected by the ghosts, so they start cheering him on. Unfortunately, the way for him to retain his immunity is to stay scared the entire time. As long as there are zombies around to make him scared, he is immune to the ghosts. However, if the zombies are all gone (like if the guys took them out as he asked), he’d feel confident because Perona couldn’t touch him, thus making him susceptible to the ghosts once again.

The Ceremony Begins


NOOOOOOO!!!! NAMI-SWAAAAAAAN!!!!

At the end of the chapter, we finally turn to the last remaining Strawhat, Nami, as she starts her wedding ceremony with Absalom. Unfortunately for Nami, she is unconscious standing up and the zombies make it look like she says “I do.” The chapter ends as Absalom puckers his lips to kiss her. Unless the ceremony is taking place right next door to Perona’s room, it doesn’t look like Sanji is getting there in time to save her. My best guess is that she’ll wake up before his lips touch hers and she’ll give him a good whack upside the head. For a little while, she’ll be left to fight on her own against Absalom and a slew of general zombies, who will eventually force her to resume the ceremony. What’s more I doubt she has her Perfect Clima-tact in that wedding dress, so her resistance won’t last long. On the second go around with the kissing of the bride, Sanji will save her and get a bit of a scolding for not coming sooner. I’m looking forward to see this though. Screwed up weddings are hilarious as long as its not your own. Zombies help with the humor too.

Overall

Oda is incapable of disappointing me with his chapters. In this chapter alone, he has started the major fights for Usopp, Robin, and Chopper. While I’m somewhat uncertain what to think of Robin’s fight with Cindry, I’m ecstatic about the start of Usopp and Chopper’s fights as one is just so hilariously fantastic and the other has such a deep meaning that I’ve been waiting this whole arc to explore. In addition to all that, Absalom is on the verge of violating Nami again and I need to see what will happen. Oh well, I guess we gotta wait a bit longer to find out.
 

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