sahugani's One Piece Review 473

sahugani

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Sahugani’s One Piece 473 Review


I can't believe I missed Talk Like a Pirate Day

How goes it everyone? I guess technically I should have done my Bleach review first as due to various circumstances it has been put off for two weeks straight already, but I must admit the twists in current One Piece are just too good for me to pass up. I’m even putting aside my marathon of Boston Legal to write this. The pics in this review came from the Edited Manga by Mangashare and the title pic is a piece drawn by Risachantag over at deviantart, so sneak a peak at the rest of her gallery.

300


WE ARE SPARTA!!!

Hehehe. I just had to go with this title and caption because I can’t stop laughing at the thought of Enel and this army filling in the roles for that movie. I think Enel has now realized the flaw in his ambition. He has not only gained the endless Fairy Vearth he was searching for but he has also gained an army of subordinates who not only respect him but adore him. With those two things in his possession, it means that there is no higher land for him to covet and he has lost the pleasure of subduing his subordinates (if these guys love him so, there won’t be much disobedience to punish). He now has basically three options. The first is to simply live in peace with his new followers. The second is to start abusing his followers and prove that he really hasn’t changed at all from his experience. The third obviously would be to lead his new troops into war to expand his domain. As none of these seem likely to me, I’m hoping to see a return of the space pirates so Enel can have an opportunity to show some real humanity (even though he’d be protecting robots instead of humans).

Nami’s Fury


Franky should have been there to hear that

Back to the story. As we left Nami last week, she had just found that Perona’s treasure room had been emptied. Luckily, she seems to have run into the Risky Brothers (the two squirrel zombies that were carrying her, Usopp and Chopper through Perona’s Garden). She was able to beat the info out of them regarding Perona’s actions both in taking the treasure from the Sunny earlier and now using the same ship as her getaway vessel. With the combined info from Lola and the Risky Brothers, I’d say that she is at the moment better informed than any of the Strawhats currently fighting Oz. While not expressly stated that she knows the Zoro led team is battling the giant, I think it’s safe to assume. Knowing this, she has two choices. She could help her nakama or go stop Perona. She decides to go to the Sunny, which despite being the smarter choice, her reasons for doing so are not really what they should be. The reason going to the ship is smarter is obviously due to the fact that if Perona takes it, the Strawhats lose their escape route, but her reason is pure and simple greed. Also, while her reason for not helping the other Strawhats with Oz is fear of the zombie, if you think about it, Sanji will fight better if he is motivated to save her after winning.

While He’s Down


Muahahahaha!!!

As Nami flees the sight of the toppled behemoth, the scene shifts to the stage of broken rubble in front of his face. The Strawhats had managed to flip Oz upside-down last chapter and now he’s understandably pissed. Unfortunately for him, his horns are now stuck in the ground. With this little piece of info, an evil malice washes over the faces of the Strawhat crew. Since Oz’s personality is the same as Luffy’s, the massive zombie bears the same refusal to give up. Neither Luffy nor Oz can be taken down by merely attacking force with more force as the Strawhat crew knows very well. They employ the same tactic a few of Luffy’s former enemies have in the past. The only way they were able to beat Luffy (at least in the earlier duels) was to disable him and kick him while he’s down. Arlong took advantage of Luffy’s feet being stuck in the ground and tossed him into the water. Enel locked a golden orb to Luffy’s arm and pushed him off the Maxim. Now the Strawhats are taking advantage of Oz’s horns being stuck to unleash the full force of their attacks on the giant’s exposed face. While it is somewhat underhanded, there are two things that must be kept in mind. First of all, this is really the most effective way to beat Luffy and thus Oz. Second, as Shanks said in the very first chapter of the series, these are pirates. Mercy should not be expected.

Up and Running


stings doesn't it?

After his thorough beating at the hands of the Strawhats, Oz’s rage reaches the point that he is able to pull himself from the ground. As he is no longer in a position to be picked on and is instead in a very offensive mood, the Strawhats seem to take this as the time to flee. While this is the normal tactic for Usopp, it is somewhat surprising that Zoro and the others are doing the same. However, this seems to all be part of a very good and elaborate plan. While Oz has lost Luffy’s will and is now in Moria’s command, the basics of Luffy’s personality and instinctual habits are still very much apparent in his personality. Usopp and Chopper take advantage of this and distract the giant with one of the few things they know would cause even an enraged Luffy’s head to turn, meat. Well technically it’s just the promise of meat, but it serves its purpose as it allows Zoro and Franky to get behind Oz and take out his knees. It’s not quite clear how permanent this knee damage is. Oz will seem somewhat pathetic if he needs to go through the rest of this fight while sitting. If they merely gave him a dead leg by hitting nerves behind his knees, we can expect to see him back up. However, given the strength of Zoro and Franky and the traces of blood that can be seen during the attack, it seems more likely that Franky knocked the right knee out of place and Zoro cut the tendons in the left knee. In the latter case, only manga magic against all scientific laws could cause him to still stand later on. So in short we can probably expect that to happen.

Goals


Didn't he just find out about this blade?

With Oz disabled, Franky is feeling very proud of himself and feels confident that they can hold him down till Luffy beats Moria. It is at this point that Zoro states his intention to beat Oz before Luffy can take down the Shichibukai. While Usopp (and presumably Chopper) are united with Franky that all aspects of winning are hopeless, Zoro and Sanji show no fear and decide to finish what they started. This only goes to further what I have said about this fight since it started. While technically they could be victorious against Oz simply by holding out till Luffy can make Moria release the shadows, it would be a symbolic defeat for the crew. If that happened, it would mean that despite their united fighting force, they still need Luffy to save them in the end because they couldn’t finish the job themselves. The entire symbolic image behind this fight is the united Strawhats against a solo Luffy. This is supposed to prove that even with Luffy’s (or in this case Oz’s) monstrous strength, the true reason why he keeps winning is because he fights for his crew. The Strawhat crew is epitomizing that reason as they are fighting for the shadow of their captain and so they must take Oz down themselves.

Clash of the Greedy


the dress must be filthy after all that running

We now turn back to Nami as she has finally reached the Sunny and stands before Perona. Before Perona’s fight fell to Usopp, the evidence seemed to point to a duel between these two women. Both are insanely greedy and both have either stolen or intended to steal from the other. In the changing of each other’s property, they were bound to have a confrontation. Although Nami talks quite bravely about taking the Sunny and treasure back, victory doesn’t really seem likely since not only is Perona quite a tough enemy to beat save by a few unique people, but she has a crew of zombies that in combination could easily overcome the abilities of the Perfect Clima-tact. Fortunately for Nami, their clash is interrupted.

Fearing the Beast


he's...a little top heavy

Bartholomew Kuma steps in behind Perona and towers over her. While initially no one has a clue who he is, when the zombies mention the manner in which he dispatched their allies, Perona recognizes him as one of the Shichibukai, the Tyrant. We finally get a bit of vague history on him as we learn that during his reign as a pirate, he was known to be excessively brutal, which seems to conflict with the current image of him. Given our knowledge of his former personality and the apparently religious one he has now, I believe I have a good image of his current position. Given the way he uses his abilities quite passively against Perona and the zombies rather than fitting the demonic image of “The Tyrant,” it is safe to assume that as a pirate, he experienced some event that turned his life around. This event caused him to loath his own brutality, rediscover religion, and join the Shichibukai to make up to the people all the pain he had formerly caused. In this profile, he is now very different from the other Shichibukai. Moria, Crocodile, and Doflamingo all had or have secondary goals that are contrary to their pledges as Shichibukai and so are considered evil in the context of the Strawhat’s journey. Mihawk seems to care very little for his job and merely fights pirates who get on his nerves regardless of how dangerous they are to the World Government. Kuma is different in that he epitomizes the true intention of their organization (or at least what the public expects it to be). Unlike the other Shichibukai, he is actually a pirate turned soldier of justice.

Teaching Manners


Ta Da!!!

Even after confirming that this man is at the same rank as her own master, Perona still gets cocky and becomes overconfident in her ability to fight him. In her entire time fighting with her ghost powers, she has only encountered one man who could resist them (although it is possible Moria could too somehow). She doesn’t believe that anyone other than Usopp would have the power to resist her negative ghosts or survive the explosion of her special hollow. Before she starts the attack though, Kuma asks her where she would want to go if she had a choice since she was already planning on leaving Moria. After she answers and starts her attack, Kuma writes her answer in his book and removes his glove, after which Perona and her ghosts vanish from sight. It can be assumed that he bears a devil fruit ability for teleportation. Writing in his book may be part of his power or it could just be a personality quirk to show how calm he is in this situation. I am more inclined to go with the latter as I believe he already had a destination in mind for her and he later shows his teleportation power without writing. As a Shichibukai (especially as the one who actually does his job), this power is perfect. Without even having to battle his enemies, he can send them to Impel Down or at least into Navy custody. In combination with the physical strength implied by his immense size, the teleportation ability is just as easily capable of earning himself the title of brutality, “Tyrant,” as it is capable of allowing him this completely passive method of victory. With teleportation, he can exceed the speed of even the fastest opponents despite his hulking size. He could easily take out an entire crew within minutes and come out unscathed with a trail of broken bodies in his wake.

Exchanging Information


i love this man...if i'm right about him

After making Perona disappear and the zombies flee, Kuma teleports to Nami and asks her if Luffy has a brother. She answers and while she is fearful that he is after Luffy, I don’t share that fear. We have already seen good among the corrupt government and navy in many people. Some are happy the Strawhats are doing so well like Ao Kiji and Mihawk who see the potential of the crew for greatness and good deeds. Kuma is more like Smoker in that his only interest is to provide justice. While Smoker cannot accept Luffy as a pirate, he respects the Strawhats’ power and if he is convinced their evil is less than the one they are capable of stopping, he will offer them aid for the time being. I believe Kuma is the same way and we won’t have to worry about him attacking Luffy. I think the main reason he is here is to deliver the news about Ace and Blackbeard to Moria whether it means Blackbeard is a new Shichibukai for beating Ace or otherwise. As to why he brought up the issue of Ace with Nami, I think the comment was just a whim so that he may gain better understanding. He came to talk to Moria, but after seeing the Strawhats’ “Cat Burglar,” he realized Luffy was here too. Being that Ace told Blackbeard of his relationship to Luffy and Garp is the grandfather to both, it is very likely that Kuma had heard a rumor that Ace was Luffy’s brother. As a man of God, he likely has much respect for those who die even if they are an enemy. If he truly is here to announce Ace’s death as I believe he is, he would feel morally obligated to offer his condolences to Ace’s family should he meet them. As you can tell, I have quickly developed a very strong view on the type of man he is and part of it is simply because I think as one of the three great powers, the Shichibukai needs someone among them to represent the good its organization was intended for rather than the evil its members have come to exemplify.

Now I mentioned that I believed Kuma’s purpose was to deliver news of Ace’s death, but I don’t want you to misconstrue my words and think that I believe him to be dead. I believe him to be a captive of the World Government for a number of reasons. First of all, while he is too well loved to be killed off, that also means that his death would be a major emotional twist in Luffy’s life to better the characterization of the lead role. That is why the public announcement would be that Ace is dead. His death would give Luffy some focus on his path whether he refuses to accept Ace’s death and bears a hatred for those responsible or if it simply causes him to strengthen his resolve and his dreams. While that is the biggest reason for his “death,” there is also much value in his actually being alive even if it is kept a secret from both the One Piece world and us readers. Just like a soap opera, people coming back when believed dead is a plot twist that can make all the difference bringing out emotion in the readers. Even when Pell’s return was subtly implied, it was beautiful. For Ace to come back at a critical moment though would be the twist of a lifetime. As to why the World Government would announce death rather than the truth that he is imprisoned the answer is also logical. Unlike other famous and dangerous pirates, Ace is a direct subordinate of Whitebeard, the most powerful pirate in the world. By keeping Ace prisoner, they can interrogate him about how they can take down the old man. By announcing his death, they deal a painful blow to the reputation of the Whitebeard Pirates and thus strengthen their side in the battle of the three powers.

Back to the Captain


doesn't Moria have red hair officially? it has to stand out

As Nami worries for Luffy’s safety now that a second Shichibukai has entered the fray, we finally turn back to the captain’s game of chase with the more ridiculous looking member of the group. Luffy has chased Moria out of the castle and into the forest, where he has finally gotten to smack the man he has followed. Unfortunately, he finds out that this was only Moria’s doppelganger. While you could say Luffy is an idiot for not differentiating between the two, you must remember that it is still night time and they are in the shadow of the trees. Since Moria wears dark colors to begin with, it is pretty hard for Luffy to tell which is which. Since Moria can sit in the shadows and make his copy do all the work, things don’t look great for Luffy. Instincts are going to be Luffy’s best weapon in this fight as he can’t trust his own sight in the darkness. While I can’t really tell how Luffy will manage to beat Moria, I can make a couple of guesses as to some aspects of the fight’s final moments. Before Luffy beats him, I’m guessing that he will move (or be moved) to a place from which he can witness Oz being defeated by the Strawhat crew so as to crush his dream while Luffy crushes him. As for how Kuma will fit in, after Luffy wins and Kuma delivers the news, Kuma will take Moria’s body back to accept punishment and he will leave Luffy alone. The reason he would leave Luffy alone is either out of respect for beating the corrupt Moria or as his own morals prevent him from harming a man grieving for his brother. Either way, Kuma is no threat to Luffy.

Overall

Oh, I love Kuma. While technically we have been given very little information about him, I am loving the character profile my analysis has led me to. With him carrying the information of Ace’s fate, the story is getting to the brink of one of the potentially most emotional moments in the series and I’m getting very anxious to arrive at it. Simultaneously, we are witnessing the largest scale battle in the history of One Piece as six Strawhat pirates face off against a beast twice the size of a giant. All we need now is for Luffy’s battle with Moria to pick up some momentum to make this epic.
 

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