Manga

One Piece Chapter 1053: Ryokugyu arrives, Luffy get’s a new bounty, and Buggy levels up

In my last review of One Piece I predicted that “Kid, Luffy, and Law will become official Emperors.” In One Piece Chapter 1053 the government loses control of the narrative as Morgans Newspaper scoops them and releases news before they can be stopped. Morgans claims that “Cipher Pol’s transmission from Wano broke off right after they spotted Big Mom’s ship,” suggesting he has them bugged. Regardless, he won’t allow the worlds “propaganda” to become the main story. The people learn that Big Mom and Kaido were both defeated and that Luffy, Law, and Kid are responsible. As a result, the government issues Law, Luffy, and Kid the identical bounty of 3 Billion.

While everyone continues to party, Nico Robin meets Kozuki Sukiyaki (Oden’s father) in the basement of the castle. The former shogun of Wano, Kozuki is ashamed of himself and can’t bare to face Momo. Robin informs him that the Ancient weapon Pluton is “somewhere in Wano.” Elsewhere, we finally see Ryokugyu in action (briefly). He impales the Beast Prates with wood, seemingly defeating King and Queen without much effort. His Devil Fruit abilities seem to include all manner of plant life and he can absorb liquid through his wooden branches. Ryokugyu wants to impress Sakazuki, claiming that he “digs his style,” and is “itching to get his approval.”

One Piece Chapter 1053 reveals Law, Luffy, and Kid have new bounties

Really, Buggy

This is bad. At least for pirates as Sakazuki is brutal and has questionable ethics. His goal is to take Luffy’s head. He walks towards the celebration as everyone parties. I doubt there will be another fight so close to last one, so someone is likely to interfere. I would guess Drake or one of the Numbers. Finally, the new Four Emperors are revealed, Red-Haired Shanks, Blackbeard, Straw Hat Luffy, and The Bombastic Clown Buggy.

The first three are givens, but BUGGY. I’ve never like this character and I find the fact that he falls ass backwards into power irritating. Buggy has always been at the right place at the right time and has managed to gain from other pirates exploits. I’m not sure what he did to reach Yonko level but it’s unlikely he actually responsible. When we last saw Buggy he was being chased in Chapter 956 by the Marines after the dissolution of the seven warlords system. I’m now more curious what happened. One Piece is infamous for not depicting what happens off page but hopefully we’ll get some information.

Manga

One Piece Chapter 1052: The arrival of the mysterious Admiral Ryokugyu

After Luffy defeats Kiado, Nekomamushi announces the result. In One Piece Chapter 1052, The CP0 agent informs the Five Elders of two major developments. First, Nika as they feared has emerged and second, both Kiado and Big Mom have been defeated. An Elder notes that with the borders remaining closed an “invasion will be thwarted”. The World Government still wants Nico Robin captured. At the Onigashima castle, X Drake and Basil Hawkins discuss the later working for Kaido. Hawkins claims that he was afraid of the consequences if he refused to join Kaido. However, he acknowledges that Eustass Kid and Killer both resisted despite likely dying. He collapses after revealing that he was the “certain man” with the “one percent chance of surviving.”

We get confirmation from Kawamatsu that Ashura Doji and Izou died. Luffy and Zoro wake, fully healed. The citizens decide to celebrate the return of the Kozuki Family, while Franky and Usopp repair the ships. Scratchmen Apoo arrives being carried by Inbi and he brings a copy of the day’s Newspaper with the headline “New Emperors of the Sea”. After every arc we get to see the reaction of the other characters and the new bounties of the Strawhat’s. I expect Luffy will get the largest bounty increase especially after the threat the Five Elder’s claim Nika is, plus he defeated Kiado of all people. His current bounty is 1.5 billion. Kid and Law should also see an increase and with that headline there’s likely new Yonko. Luffy was already granted the unofficial title of the “Fifth Emperor” after the Whole Cake Island Arc.

Admiral Ryokugyu arrives at Wano

My best guess is that Kid, Luffy, and Law will become official Emperors. Other than the bounties, the most interesting part of the chapter is the arrival of Admiral Ryokugyu. The character has been shrouded in mystery since his introduction in chapter 905. Like most Admiral’s he wears the typical Marine coat. What is most striking about him (so far) is his personality. He’s laid-back or lazy. He refused the orders of Sakazuki to “expel Fujitora from Mary Geoise,” because he thought it was too much trouble for him. His power can be assumed based on his position as an Admiral. However, in chapter 1052, he’s seen flying towards Wano with a flower growing from his back. Despite Sakazuki’s warning, I think Ryokugyu is going to create some trouble. I’m excited to see what he can do.

Manga

Gachiakuta Chapter 1 Review: Do souls dwell in trash?

Introduction

The manga industry can be cut throat. New series only have a short period to capture readers attention before they’re judged worthy of continued publication. If a series manages to produce enough hype it can quickly take off like Jujutsu Kaisen. While JJK’s success is rare, a manga series doesn’t necessarily have to reach those heights. Gachiakuta is a potential hit. It’s already causing a stir among manga fans and I’m always looking for another series to read. Written and illustrated by Kei Urana (Kanaru) a former assistant to Atsushi Ohkubo (Soul Eater/Fire Force), Gachiakuta Chapter 1: Heaven, introduces us to Rudo and the “shitty” world he was born into.

The Trash Vandal Rudo

The world of Gachiakuta has a simple class system. The rich live in the city while the poor called “tribe folk” live in the slums. Rudo is introduced as he steals trash from the city. When he returns home, he’s chastised by his crush Chiwa. For Rudo, collecting rich people’s trash allows him to make use of “old” things and sell them as well. In Gachiakuta, the slums are populated with the descendants of criminals. Some bullies show up to mock Rudo. They reveal that he’s a child of “murderers,” and he’s destined to become one as well.

Rudo was taken in by Regto. He tells Rudo it isn’t his responsibility to earn money. However, Rudo feels obligated to contribute. Regto warns Rudo that if he keeps stealing from the waste collection site he could be executed or “throw him into the Abyss.” Rudo’s parents appeared to have been monsters. Not only did Rudo’s father get thrown in the Abyss for murder, they scarred Rudo. His hands are revealed to be black and according to Rudo he “sometimes feels excruciating pain.” Regto gave Rudo gloves that both covered his scars and subdued his pain. 

Enter the Abyss

The Abyss is a large dump site. All trash is eventually thrown down there as well as criminals. Rudo witnesses another man being dropped into the Abyss, as he wonders what’s “down there,” Chiwa surprises him from behind. After a touching moment between them, Rudo rushes home with excitement. On his way he crashes into a suspicious man in a mask and hood. Rudo brushes the moment off and heads home. There he finds a horrific site. Regto has been murdered.

Rudo tries to save his foster father, who tells him to “run,” and that Rudo needs to change “this shitty world.” Suddenly, the cops shoot Rudo in the back with tasers. He’s instantly accused of Regto’s murder. It doesn’t take much for Redo to be convicted and sentenced to death. Enraged by the death of Regto and the false accusations, Redo tells the crowd that they’re the “filthy ones,” “pieces of shit,” who don’t have minds of their own. He sees the masked man and snaps. As he’s dropped down he promises to send all of the people in the slums “to hell.” Rudo lands in the Abyss, where the filthy live.

Impressions

At first glance, Gachiakuta isn’t anything special but I can see its promise. The story isn’t particularly original yet, especially regarding its class politics; rich people are bad, poor people are oppressed. Regardless, I’m interested. Do rich people commit crimes and drop down from the city to the slums? Or do they just avoid punishment? Is it possible to rise up to a higher class? Then there’s the obvious questions. Who killed Regto and why? Has Chiwa really given up on Rudo? What was the massive black thing Redo saw when falling? An important quality I look for in manga is its art style. Kei Urana’s art style is expressive, fluid, and detailed. She makes good use of shadow and motion. Her inspiration from the Fire Force and Soul Eater series are present. I loved the art in those series so I love Gachiakuta’s style. I read the first volume of Gachiakuta before determining whether I’ll review this series, but so far I’m intrigued. 

Anime

One Piece: The outrageous Joy of Joy Boy

In One Piece Chapter 1044, one of the Five Elders mentions that “there is no power more ridiculous” than Hito Hito no Mi, Model: Nika. He wasn’t kidding. When Luffy reaches Gear 5, he becomes more energetic, constantly bouncing around. It reminded me of the old Saturday morning cartoons (Looney Toons) from my childhood. Luffy grabs Kiado and swings him around, repeatedly bashing him into the ground as he inflates, grins, and laughs. Many of the characters eye bulge out of their sockets (also like the cartoons). One Piece Chapter 1045 almost felt like a completely different series. However, the absurdity of Joy Boy’s powers felt appropriate for Luffy’s personality.

Luffy using Gear Five and his Awaken ability against Kiado in One Piece Chapter 1045
Luffy using Gear Five and his Awaken ability against Kiado in One Piece Chapter 1045

Awakening the Gomu Gomu no Mi

It was mentioned earlier in the series by Donquixote Doflamingo that one can reach another “stage” of their Devil Fruit abilities. This occurs rarely but bestows more power on the user. It’s not made clear what exactly triggers this transformation but reaching a moment of near death may be one. Without fully mastering their awakened abilities the user will exhaust their stamina quickly. Furthermore, the user can “spread their power beyond their own body and transform or alter the properties of the material around them to match the nature of their Devil Fruit power, as well as manipulate the transformed material in any way they desire.” This effect allows the user to “to transform the environment from afar, as well as control it with just their mind,” whereas, unawaken Devil Fruit users must “touch what they wish to transform, and often requires bodily movement to be controlled.”

Law and Kid using their awaken powers against Big Mom in Chapter 1030
Law and Kid using their awaken powers against Big Mom in Chapter 1030

So far the only Devil Fruit user to have awakened their abilities are five Zoan types: Luffy, Minotaurus, Minokoala, Minorhinoceros, and Minozebra. Four Paramecia types have also awakened: Doflamingo, Katakuri, Law, and Kid. It seems like awaken doesn’t occur with the Logia type and is a way to increase the abilities of some Zoan and Paramecia abilities to that of Logia. It should be noted that Kid and Law both used their “awaken” abilities during their fight with Big Mom. Law’s Kroom allows him to “adhere a miniature room to his weapons, which then gain the ability to extend as far as he desires, harmlessly bypass anything solid and directly operate on the insides of whatever they may phase through,” he also can use R-Room to “create and throw a room on a particular object and dictate a specific effect to take place in it.” Kid’s Assign ability allows him to turn anything he touches into magnet. By assigning one of the two poles, he can use the magnetic polarity to force objects to crash into one another.

Listen up, hatchling. Devil Fruit abilities have a whole other stage to them. It’s called “Awakening”! Very rarely, an ability will “awaken”, and begin to affect things other than the user’s own body!

Kiado notes that Luffy’s transformation is a hallmark of the Zoan Devil Fruit. He attempts to bite Luffy but it backfires as Luffy bounces around inside Kaido. Luffy is able to transfers his rubber qualities to Kaido’s body as well. When Luffy sees two light he grabs at them, pushes through them, and then latching on to Kiado’s nose pulling himself out. It looks painful but because Kaido’s body is rubber it doesn’t appear to do much damage. Luffy them enlarges himself using Gomu Gomu no Gigant and as a giant manhandles Kaido, using the Yonko as a jump rope. Luffy deflates and ages after exhausting himself Kaido promises that after his “death” he will make sure Luffy’s story get told. Unwilling to die just yet, Luffy pushes himself once again while remembering Pedro, Kinemon, and Momo.

As Kaido attacks with his Hassaikai, Luffy appears to be impervious to damage but not pain. He then bounces off the environment eventually launching into Kaido. Confused by his new appearance and fighting style, Kaido is unable to avoid Luffy’s punch that goes through his head knocking him to the ground. Luffy’s new powers seems to not only alter his opponents body but mental disorients them with confusion.

Sun God Luffy

Sun God Nika was first mentioned by Who’s-Who, the former CP9 agent that was responsible for losing the Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit to Lucky Roux. He claims that he heard the rumor of the warrior from a guard while in jail. Nika was a liberator, rescuing slavery from their bondage. In Chapter 1044, one of the Five Elders mentions that the Hito Hito no Mi, Model is named “after” a God. Early in the series during the Skypie arc, specifically chapter 287 page 15, a “God of the Sun” is mentioned along with a “God of Rain”, “God of the Earth”, and “God of the Forest”.

Four God’s introduced in One Piece Chapter 287

I don’t think Luffy is a God. But I do think that the Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit was used by this Nika. He likely inspired people to worship him for his amazing abilities especially after awakening them. One of the Elders mentions that the World Government has been trying to “recover” the Devil Fruit for “800 years.” A more superstitious society would probably assume a Devil Fruit user was a God rather than a human with powers from a fruit. Regardless, Oda subtlety weaving the hints at Luffy’s awakening all these years is brilliant. Otherwise it would have felt like an asspull to make Luffy stronger. The Elders are right, the power is ridiculous and I love that.

Anime

Attack on Titan Season 4, Episode 28: The Dawn of Humanity

The cycle of revenge and hatred has been the central theme of this season of Attack on Titan. What would it take to put an end to this toxic reality? Eren seems to have concluded that genocide would been the appropriate remedy. Obviously if he killed every opponent it would be but I think there will be survivors would likely perpetuate more violence. Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 28, “The Dawn of Humanity,” is mostly a series of flashbacks exploring the moment Eren was set on this destructive course. Mikasa wonders what went wrong with Eren and recalls their initial trip to Marley. The Scouts are excited to see the world outside of the Walls, marveling at the wonders like cars and ice cream.

We witness the bigotry of the Marleyian people when a pickpocket steals Sasha’s purse. The surrounding crowd demands he be punished and the Scouts save him from potential death. This scene reinforces the fact that the Marleyan are afraid of the “Subjects of Ymir,” going so far as to use blood testing to expose them. Despite this there’s a group called the “Subjects of Ymir Protection,” this group argues that aid should given to them, especially because their “victims of the Eldian Empire’s forced interbreeding,” However, they advocacy group has no love for the Island of Paradis who they refer to as the “true enemy.” This is the moment Eren appeared to change course and accept Zeke’s plan.

Eren recalls the tragedy of his childhood in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 28
Eren recalls the tragedy of his childhood in Attack on Titan Season 4 Episode 28

Eren recalls meeting with Yelena, Floch, and Historia regarding Zeke’s euthanasia plan. It turns out that Floch wasn’t lying when he said Eren had confided in him. Historia is against his plan arguing that killing the rest of the world would make them just like his mother. We get a brief moment in the present as a global fleet of ship try to stop the approaching army of Wall Titans. I got to admit the appearance of the rumbling was epic. The fleet fire off a barrage of missiles as the Titans swim undersea. Several Wall Titans are destroyed but the remaining Titan swim past them, with stream of steam rising to the surface, the soldiers are incinerated. As the Titans reach land a grotesque Eren in his new Attack Titan form appears.

Attack on Titan will be getting another season or at least a third part to season 4. I speculated that the rest of this final arc would be a movie but another season would be fine. From this point on I think we’ll get a lot of action but I’m not sure what chance the New Alliance has against Eren and the Wall Titans. They’re out numbered (apparently there are millions of Wall Titans) and over powered (each Wall Titan is about the Colossal Titan’s height, can harden, and use steam). I have no Idea what this new Eren form can do but it looks deadly. I’m afraid Attack on Titan might go the “ass pull” route or “power of friendship” route. Personally, I would prefer Eren destroy the world and kill everyone including his friends, than for it to end in typical anime fashion. I am certain that the official final part will end with a bang though.