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Manga

One Piece Chapter 1007: Manga Recap and Review

Cover of One Piece chapter 1007 - Caesar giving penguin children gas-filled balloons.
Cover of One Piece chapter 1007

Chopper Saves the day

I have complained in the past that many of the characters outside of Zoro, Luffy, and Sanji aren’t getting much attention. I understand it’s difficult to balance such a large cast of characters, but Oda forgets the rest of the Strawhat crew. Chopper develops a counter virus to Queen’s Ice Oni disease. This arc had set the alliance against Kaido’s Beast pirates, who clearly out numbers them. I wondered how Oda would change that deficit. When Queen’s subordinates ask “why they have to suffer from his virus.” The All-Star berates them. Queen tells them to “shut up.” He explains that they “gambled” for power and “failed.” Queen says that they’re only useful dying. Oda uses this cruelty to justify the Beast Pirates switching sides.

Queen tries to turn the samurai against the Strawhat’s. He tells them that pirates are corrupt and Chopper will probably betray them. One Piece has blurred the boundaries between who we expect to be good or bad. Pirates in One Piece are neither good nor bad by default, their behavior determines the perception. Oda doesn’t fail at much, but I think he’s unsuccessful at establishing that Wano’s society thinks of Pirates. So when Queen says that “backstabbing is part of the pirate lifestyle,” I don’t think that anyone is going to believe it. The samurai don’t buy it. They’re certain in Chopper’s honesty and are not disappointed. Chopper cures Hyogoro of the Ice Oni and releases the antibodies into the air.

Enraged, Queen demands to know why Chopper would cure his subordinates. A doctor, Chopper believes that “viruses aren’t meant to be weaponized.” Queen attacks Chopper but is blocked by the Pleasures. They have sided with their savior, Chopper. Marco grabs Queen by the neck and Chopper transforms into his Monster Point form. He draws blood from Queen, as he reminds people he’s a “Tanuki.”

The Artificial Devil Fruit

The side story in this chapter focuses on Momonosuke. He feels unworthy of the praise he receives. Momonosuke considers himself to be weak. After he transforms into his dragon form, we pivot to the CP-0’s room. Here they discuss the Artificial Devil Fruit that was derived from Kaido’s DNA. The leader hopes they destroyed it. Momonosuke is still a child, so it’s unreasonable for him to think he should be stronger than he is. Regardless, considering the Artificial Devil Fruit was created by Vegapunk and taken from Kaido, it must be a powerhouse devil fruit. I’m curious what makes up a “failure” by Vegapunks standard. The ultimate shocker is the return of Kozuki Oden. I’m not buying Oden being alive, but you never know right.

Manga

One Piece Chapter 957: Recap & Review, the Legend of the Rock Pirates

Chapter 957: Ultimate


Who are the Rock Pirates?

To say this chapter is the greatest One Piece chapter is certainly a stretch, but it feels like its true. The chapter begins with Admiral Sakazuki and Admiral Fujitora discussing the abolishing of the Shichibukai system. Sakazuki wanted it to remain, but Fujitora was against it. Fujitora tells him to have faith in the SSG (Special Science Group), a newly established project lead by Vegapunk. The conversation pivots to the new alliance between Big Mom and Kiado. Fujitora mentions how their forming the “new Rocks” to which Sakazuki responds “don’t be so dramatic.” Elsewhere, Brannew and Sengoku are briefing the Marines about the alliance. Sengoku comments that most marines aren’t familiar with the story of the Rock Pirates.

Led by Rocks D. Xebec, they formed when they gathered on the pirate island Hachinosu. They were so violent that they often murdered each other, even while on the same ship. Big Mom, Kiado, Whitebeard, Shiki the Golden Lion, Captain John, Silver Axe and Ochoku were members. Due to the unfriendly nature among the crew, many didn’t survive to tell the world about their exploits. Rocks use his crew like a terrorists organization, hoping that he would one day become the Pirate King. Of course the World Government erased the acts from history. Despite this, their actions did reach the generally public. They were defeat 38 years ago, on an island called God Valley.


Monkey D. Garp and Gol D. Roger defeat the Rock Pirates

Garp has been known as the “Hero of the Marines,” for some time now. Having performed heroic acts for decades. One such act was the defeat of the Rock Pirates. He refuses to talk about the accomplishment though. Sengoku notes that there’s two reasons he won’t talk about the feat. First, he had to partner with Gol D. Roger to do it. Second, he was fighting to protect the Celestial Dragons. Normally, the Marines are expected to protect the Celestial Dragons. However, Garp’s morals prevent him from protecting the Celestial Dragons. It’s the primary reason he refused to become an Admiral, as it will put him under their direct control. This event may be the main reason that Gol D. Roger trusted Garp with the protection of his son, Ace.


The bounties of the Yonko

Commodore Brannew explains that Kiado and Big Mom are much bigger threats now than when they were with the Rock Pirates. He then reports the bounties of the Yonko. After a year as a Yonko, Blackbeard has amassed a bounty of 2,247,600,00 billion. The youngest Yonko, with highly regarded executives, Lucky Roo, Usopp’s father Yasopp and Benn Beckman, Shanks has a bounty of 4,048,900,000 billion. Big Mom bounty has reached, 4,388,000,000 billion, with Kiado rounding it out at 4,611,100,000 billion. For comparison, Brannew notes that Whitebeard and Gol D. Roger both had bounties over 5 billion. Expecting both Big Mom and Kiado to create more havoc at Wano, he believes that they both will surpass the bounties of Whitebeard and Roger.

Bounties in One Piece are actually an inaccurate measure of power. They are given based on “perceived level of threat to the world.” The combat abilities of the pirate do matter, but so do number of criminal acts, inciting other to commit crimes and having possession of illegal knowledge like Nico Robin. Finally, Sengoku notes that legendary pirates like Shanks, Roger and Whitebeard all liked Kozuki Oden. Once a division commander in the Whitebeard Pirates, he later became a member of Rogers crew. Sengoku wonders why, “so many powerful individuals have ties to Wano.”

Anime

Shonen Manga Round Up – August 6, 2019

Samurai 8 #13 – Seeing Courage

Ata states that Hachimaru has “potential,” but lacks “strength and ability.” Hachimaru calls Hayatarou to help. They create a second arm to strike Ata, who is impressed by the communication between Hachimaru and Hayatarou. Ata says that Hachimaru “wasn’t suppose to exists.” Regardless, Ata tries to finish Hachimaru off. Master Daruma finally returns. Daruma acknowledges that Hachimaru “has courage.” Daruma attacks Ata with Vajrayaksa Style Dog Paddle, then Vajrayaksa Atmospheric Blade.

This results in a devastating attack that appears to defeat Ata. While Hachimaru’s father is stable, he’s likely to die. It turns out that Ata wasn’t actually present, he sent a replica of himself. I don’t know how I feel about that. It feels like a cop out. As my usual complaints about this series, is the fighting system. The final attack by Daruma was impressive, but how did he do it. He was wet afterward, is it a water based attack, does it matter? The final surprise is that Hachimaru has “brothers.” That has really pique my interest regarding the series.


My Hero Academia #238 – Liberation

Tomura Shigaraki decides that he no longer needs the hands of his family. This symbolizes his growth as a character. He has accepted that he killed his family and the fact that he wanted their death. Re-Destro tries to end his conflict with Tomura by using 100 % of his “Stress” ability. However, Tomura easily disintegrates Re-Destro’s ability. In doing so he almost destroys Deika City. Desperate, Re-Destro summons his “support item” to increase his quirk ability. Now his power is increase to 150%, but Tomura doesn’t seem to care. Compress and Daruma get into a conflict over how the organization functions.

Gigantomachia destroys the city, as Geten heads towards Re-Destro. When Gigantomachia finally reaches Tomura, he stops as he witnesses Tomura embracing evil. Tomura releases a his power creating a devastating attack. The Meta Liberation Army is likely to lose to the League of Villains at this point. They have served their purpose, by having other villains to fight and kill is different from killing heroes. The MLA are new characters that we don’t have any attachment to. If anything we are attached to the League. Tomura is becoming a truly powerful villain, I wonder how Midoriya will respond.


One Piece #951 – Rampage

One Piece is transitioning or I should say building up to the fight between the Strawhat, allies and Kiado’s crew. The Flower capital is on lockdown, as the alliance become wanted criminals. Shinobu and Sanji discuss the situation on a nearby rooftop. Nami comes into contact with Law’s crewmates, Bepo, Shachi and Penguin. It’s revealed that they were freed in exchanged for Law. He makes it clear to them that they’re not to tell Luffy that he’s been captured. Kanjuro intents to give Yasuie a proper burial, while, Ashura Doji show Kin’emon and Inuarashi the ships that they can use. Finally, on Onigashima, the Beast Pirates rush to make sweets for Big Mom. King is criticized for failing to kill Big Mom at the waterfall.

She asks King to join her crew, as he’s one of three races she doesn’t yet have. He quickly refuses. Big Mom demands that her cuff be removed. Kiado arrives and tells them to unchain her. She uses Napoleon, as she and Kiado clash. Like the previous conflict between Yonko, they spite the sky. I won’t be getting my hopes for Big Mom vs Kiado, as it will most likely happen off screen. However, the effects of the battle could handicap Kiado for any battle with Luffy. There seems to be too much going on for the battle that’s suppose to take place in a few days. This leads me to assume that many characters probably won’t participate, like Usopp or Nami. Instead they will do smaller things like freeing Law from prison.

Manga

One Piece Chapter 930 Review – Ebisu Town

Zoro in Ebisu Town

Zoro arrives to Ebisu Town, where he’s greeted pleasantly by the starving residents. Each of them mentions how hungry and malnourished they are while smiling. Yasu tells him that “since humans have been blessed with the gift of laughter, it would be wasteful not to use it.” They citizens mention that Ushimitsu Kozo arrived last night. Kozo is a thief that steals from the rich to give to the poor. His motives are unclear.

Big Mom arrive for Luffy

Big Mom arrives

In a surprising turn, Big Mom and her pirates arrive at Onigashima searching for Luffy. Having tied carp to her ship, they’re being pull up the waterfall. Kiado, demands that his subordinates stop them. Fearing an “All out war,” Kiado grows more fearful of Big Mom causing trouble. King arrive in the form of pteranodon using his Ryu Ryu no Mi, Model: Pteranodon. He causes the ship of Big Mom to flip over, sending her into the sea. Obviously, Big Mom won’t meet her end her. However, being a devil fruit user she can’t swim, I wonder if her children can save her.

Big Mom falls into the sea

Sanji and his Raid Suit

In the Flower Capital, Law, Sanji, Usopp and Franky are fleeing the Beast Pirates as they try to find Sanji. Law discourages Franky from fighting sighting it’s risks. However, when a woman is under attack from Page One in his spinosaurus form. He demands that they call out to Sangoro and they do so. The civilians flee before Hawkins and Drake arrive, however, Sanji prepares to use his Raid Suit as it protects him from injury and will conceal his identity.

Oda has found a convenient way to get Sanji to use the suit that he refused to use before. It seems like Kiado’s subordinates are going to have dinosaur devil fruit abilities. Considering the vast variety of dinosaur species Kiado may have many Ancient Zoan-type devil fruit users. So far we have only seen three, X Drake, Allosaurus, Page One, Spinosaurus and King, Pteranodon. They’re all aligned with the Beast Pirates. This chapter is the rare one that didn’t feature Luffy at all. This arc does feel that it’s rushed , there’s so many characters both new and old that it can be difficult to focus. Regardless, another great chapter.

Manga

One Piece Manga Chapter 923 Review: Kiado

This chapter went by quickly, but boy did it reveal something profound. First I was wrong about the effect of Luffy’s hit. While he managed to knock Kiado to the ground, Luffy was largely ineffective against Kiado. After he hits the ground, Lady Speed falls out of Kiado’s cape. Luffy goes to her and is told that Kiado fought Lady Speed. It is implied that he also hurt Tama. 

In the One Piece series, Luffy’s most important personality traits are his simple-mindlessness and recklessness. The combination of these to aspects tend to result in Luffy getting into trouble, usually resulting in him getting a lot of attention and a higher bounty. However, Luffy is more complex than that. His sense of righteousness leads him to defend the weak, even when it will be easier for him not to. 

I say all this because the moment that he finds out that Tama was hurt by Kiado, he becomes enraged. Kiado can come across as a funny character, that can lead the audience to like him, forgetting that he’s evil. I think Oda was reminding us of this fact, noting that even children aren’t safe from him. Luffy being Luffy he goes into a rage and attacks Kiado. 

He calls Kiado’s attention, then attacks with Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gatling. He manages to knock Kiado out of his dragon form. He then quickly shifts into Gear Fourth: Boundman, using Gomu Gomu no Kong Organ. The barrage doesn’t do much as Kiado simply get’s up and uses Eight Trigrams Thunder-Clap, KOing Luffy while mocking his claim of becoming “Pirate King.”

I think Oda is trying to impart to the audience that the feeling that Luffy is so powerful that he’s the “fifth Yonko,” is completely false. While, we know that Luffy didn’t really fight Big Mom, let alone defeat her, some people (like myself) felt that the gap between him and the Yonko was close. While, I think Luffy did earn his bounty, it is somewhat inflated. Luffy has been defeated easily before and he will recover. The result of this encounter was unexpected.

If Luffy can’t touch Kiado (right now) then who can? Oh, What happened to the other Strawhat’s? So far the Strawhat’s have been on a bit of a winning streak, especially Luffy having successively defeated Doflamingo and Big Mom (though not head to head). He needed to run into a conflict that he couldn’t defeat simply by being head strong and barreling without fear. Kiado will provide a major challenge, that Luffy can’t easily overcome.