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.”

One Piece Chapter 956: Recap & Review, What happened to Sabo?

Chapter 956: ‘Big News’

The one grip I have with Oda is his tendency to have big events occur off screen. This is certainly done on purpose to create mystery and suspense. It works. It’s a week after the Reverie and all the nobles have returned home. Garp and the Neptune family are at the Ryugu Palace. Garp asks them not to “fear humans for an incident that happened to the Nefertari Family of Alabasta.” This event isn’t elaborated on, but we should expect it to be tragic. Meanwhile, days prior, the World Economy News Paper are preparing stories for the following issue. He mentions the “casualties” and how “death sells.” He’s given a check from the Government to suppress the details of Reverie. However, he refuses to do so. When a member of Cipher Pol threats him, Morgans beats him up.

News spreads. On Momoiro Island, the Revolutionary Army are shocked by the “news” regarding Sabo, as are Sterry and the Dadan Family. Doflamingo is overjoyed at the news, while, Blackbeard tells his crew they need to set sail to “claim something before the Marines do.” X Drake informs Koby that Kiado and Big Mom have formed an alliance. He tells Koby that Cipher Pol is present in the Flower Capital in Wano. Meanwhile, Koby is heading to Amazon Lily to capture Hancock. The final shocker is that the Shichibukai have been abolished. Proposed by King Riku Doldo and Nefertari Cobra, the Government agreed to end it. I’m not really concerned for the Warlord’s though, Buggy always escapes somehow and Hancock is tough.

This sets up the Marine’s for interesting conflicts with the Shichibukai. The most interesting match up will be the Marines verses Mihawk, although I expect that Oda will resolve that conflict off screen. There’s so much that has happen in this chapter. But let’s get this out the way. I don’t think for one second that Sabo is dead. It’s unnecessary to kill both of Luffy”s “brothers” and considering all the effort to retrieve Ace’s devil fruit and the perfect symmetry of that moment would be a waste. I think Sabo most likely has been captured. However, I think a third more terrible thing could have happened. Sabo killed Vivi and fled. Maybe he was framed or it was an accident, but I think that is what probably happened.

While, Morgans newspaper can’t be trusted, I think at least tell the truth most of the time. The fact that X Drake is a double agent in Kiado’s crew is surprising. This new Marine unit, SWORD seems interesting. Their goals are clear yet but both X Drake and Koby are apart of it. With Cipher Pol present in Wano things are getting interesting. They were suppose to negotiate with Orochi but the deal fell through, with Orochi shooting one of them and telling Cipher Pol that he wasn’t afraid of Nobles or Marines. How will they respond? History suggest with violence. Regardless, they could be a wild card in this upcoming war.

One Piece Chapter 955: Recap & Review

Enma

The One Piece series has always featured swords. However, the series rarely elaborate on swords as a form of fighting. Having largely focused on devil fruits and haki, swords have been left out. Zoro has been the most important swordsmen in the series. Through him we have the most exposure to swords and how they are used in combat. One Piece has classified swords by their qualities. The three classifications are, Meito, Kokuto and Yoto. The Meito (Famed Blade) class is a sword that has gained such fame that it can be recognized by sight. Kokuto (Black Blade) are swords that are blacked colored. Finally, the Yoto (Mystic Blade) class, carries a curse that causes misfortune to its wielder.

The blades classed Meito are also ranked by “grade.” The grades are Grade swords, Skillful grade, Great grade and Supreme grade. There are an undetermined number of Grade Swords as they’re the lowest grade. There are 50 Skillful Grade Swords, 21 Great Grade Swords and 12 Supreme Grade Swords. In chapter 955, titled Enma, Zoro is given his second of two Great Grade Swords. Enma is a Meito that use to belong to Kozuki Oden, it’s also the only weapon said to have harmed Kiado. A masterpiece from the legendary swordsmith Shimotsuki Kozaburo, it is describe as being able to “cut through to the bottom of hell.” Tenguyama Hitetsu believes that if Zoro can make Enma a black blade, it’s rank would increase.

Enma is difficult to wield. Enma is able to draw out the wielders Busoshoku Haki on it’s own, it can result in the force of a strike being greater than intended. It was stated that if Zoro was a lesser swordsmen he would have been turned into a “dry husk.” Zoro is able to force his haki back from the blade. The Wano Country Arc seems to be a turning point in regards to focusing more on swords and the power. The chapter largely focuses on the preparations for the upcoming battle. A handful of days are left until the raid, Robin reveals that the Beast Pirates have 20,000 men and Orochi has 10,000. The Alliance only has 4,000. Clearly, they’re at a numerical disadvantage. However, I think that they have better “quality” of warriors. With Luffy mastering the new Haki and Zoro able to master Enma It think that they will be fine.

My Hero Academia Chapter 243 Recap & Review

Onward! To Endeavor’s Office

It’s New Year’s , the students are finally able to visit their parents, but they need to be accompanied by pro heroes. Hawks continues his undercover mission with the Liberation Front. Skeptic criticizes Slidin’ Go for his claim that he’s Hawks “superior.” He says that he doesn’t have “the influence to spread the doctrine,” and get information from “key figures in the hero system.” He placed twenty micro devices on the wings of Hawks, to collect “location data, communication records, real time conversations and visuals.” Slidin’ Go is also a hero like Hawks, but has far fewer connections. We see that Hawks has been in contact with the heroes and warned them that he will be monitored.

Midoriya, Bakugo and Shoto arrive at Endeavor’s office. He greets them with a smile, but quickly warns them that they shouldn’t expect kindness from him. He makes it clear that he only really cares about training Shoto, Bakugo calls him a “hard ass.” Endeavor is surprised that Shoto is friends with Bakugo. All Might is supportive of them interning at Endeavor’s. He suggests that Bakugo is very similar to Endeavor and it might benefit him the most. Meanwhile, Endeavor tells Midoriya that he’s only interested in his son, but they could learn from him by watching. He springs into action as the trio follow.

A villain appears and begins to attack the civilians. Hawks is also present and prepares to fight. I think that Endeavor will warm up to Bakugo and Midoriya. He could solidify his legacy if he was the trainer of what I think will be the top three heroes at some point. I wonder if he starts to show some more favoritism toward Midoriya and Bakugo, if Shoto would have an issue. I think that Hawks will get caught at some point, however, I think it will only happen after he becomes important to the young heroes like Midoriya. This next chapter will probably be the start of their relationship. His death will need to have some impact on the main characters right now they don’t really know him.

Samurai 8: The Tale of Hachimaru, Chapter 18: Recap and Review

Use As Planned

The samurai Kotsuga and Ryu face off against Daruma. Ryu’s forgetfulness, results in him misunderstanding Kotsuga’s command of kill “everyone but the girl.” The ronin bandits are well weird. Sometimes stupidity can work as a form of comedy, but I’m not sure about Ryu and Kotsuga. Although, I did feel that there some potential for comedy here. Regardless, Ryu and Daruma battle. Ryu stop’s before asking Daruma if he’s a boy cat or a girl. Daruma responds neither, he’s a man. As they clash, Ryu takes out a second soul. He’s able to use his bone hilt from both sides. With the entire ship being Daruma’s key holder, he has control over it. He manages to capture Kotsuga. However, Ryu cuts him free and escapes into space.

Daruma follows, while being told that Hachimaru spent 17 million yen. Ryu lands a blow on Daruma, but fails to do much damaged. He knocks them away with a burst of power. He asks Hachimaru why he spent all that money on “gold thread embroidered fabric.” It was a gift for Ann, to replace her sash she tore to help his father. Now bankrupted, Ryu and Kotsuga suggest that they participate in a in a fighting festival. The winner gets a billion yen. The organizer is apparently a samurai that has one of the keys they need. Hachimaru wants to fight in the festival too. Most shonen manga series have a tournament arc, although they rarely occur this early.

The fact that this samurai can split a planet in half is presented as impressive, but at this point in the series which samurai can’t split a planet in half. The chapter is a little too convenient. Sure instead of being robbed, it’s Hachimaru’s irresponsible spending that bankrupts them. However, Kotsuga and Ryu knowing of a tournament that’s happening at the very moment, with a cash prize to recover the loses and a samurai with a key is a bit too much. I feel it should have been more subtle. Hopefully, we will get to see more fighting styles and get more in-depth information on the series power system. Finally, Ryu and Kotsuga seem to dynamic to disappear now, I think they will join the team.

One Piece Chapter 954: Recap & Review

Like Giving Wings to a Dragon

Hiyori offers Zoro her sword Enma and her brother’s sword Ame no Habakiri. Kawamatsu objects to giving a sword to a man of an unknown origin. Zoro agrees to the exchange. Law has managed to defeat Hawkins, cutting him in half and cutting off his hands. He asks what happened to the alliance Hawkins had with Kid and Apoo. It turns out that Apoo had betrayed them, having been working with Kiado all along. Kiado wanted to recruit the Supernovas for his crew. As Law leaves he speaks to a mysterious figure that enabled him to escape. Meanwhile, Luffy trains his Haki against a steel wall. Hyogoro tells him that he needs to increase his speed of his progression.

Elsewhere, Kin’emon contacts the Ship Maintenance Squad, the Weapon Preparation Squad, Sword Recovery Squad and the Rebel Commanders Squad to tell them of the altered secret Kozuki family message. Apoo tells Kiado that he’s arrived to attend the Fire Festival banquet, as he is looking forward to watching the annual Golden Kagura. Apoo and his crew-mate are joined by a large shadowy figure. On of the children nearby informs her friend that the figures are called “numbers.” Allies of the Beast Pirates, the Numbers are giant sized beings that have two horns and sharp teeth. According, to Queen they all have drinking problems.

Meanwhile, Big Mom and Kiado have decided that they are going to form a alliance to take over the world and kill each other later. The Fire Festival seems to be a perfect moment for the allies of the Shogun to meet. This would largely be for our benefit as we get to see how both sides stack up. I will say that so far it seems that Kiado’s side is more powerful. With the new alliance between Kiado and Big Mom and the introduction of the Numbers, they have gained some strength. However, the hidden figure that rescued Law may be the wildcard that proves me wrong.

Samurai 8 Chapter 14 – Recap and Review

Father’s Secret

Hachimaru is introduced to his “brothers.” The oldest, Ikkaku explains that they are children created by “the professor,” Hachimaru’s father. Ikkaku describes Hachimaru’s existence as “entirely accidental.” He tells Hachimaru that they were created to open a box that require seven keys to open seven locks. Hachimaru the “eighth child” destroys this “balance.” This “diminishes the power of the other seven.” Hachimaru must “return” this energy, meaning that he must die. Ikkaku is cold. He suggest that it’s only reasonable for Hachimaru to understand that he must die and that he just a “leech.”

Daruma asks if they’re trying to open Pandora’s box, Ata responds that they are going to open Mandala’s box. Their goal is to become Gods and rule the universe. They will “erase” the Vajrayaksa people, the three other schools, eliminate all life and restart. Ata disappears. Meanwhile, Hachimaru’s father begins to die. He has accepted his end, but Hachimaru isn’t prepared yet. He reveals that he was suppose to kill Hachimaru, but decided to flee with him. He apologizes, encourages Hachimaru to get strong to protect Ann and tells him that he’s truly “a samurai who protects people.”

Hachimaru’s fathers death was sad, but is it really a major death? He doesn’t even have a real name, which is evidence that the author knows he’s not long for this world. It was always going to be necessary for Hachimaru to leave his father behind if he was going to save the Galaxy. I’ve been struggling with the pace of the series since it started. Wouldn’t the “you are one of eight clones and need to die” come later in the series? Is this really a problem? For the record I don’t hate that they revealed this so early, but it seems like something that might occur later. Regardless, the are a million ways to tell a story and I still like reading this one.

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.

One Piece Chapter 950: Recap & Review

Chapter 950, The Dream of the Strong

Kid and Killer finally free themselves from the handcuffs. They decide to leave Udon and find the remaining crewmates. Luffy offers to form an alliance with Kid, but he declines. However, Kid has soured on alliances after the betrayal of Hawkins and Apoo. Kid states that he will never trust anyone outside of crew again. Meanwhile, the prisoners have a hard time accepting that Luffy us a pirate. Considering how most characters in One Piece are pirates, it’s sometimes lost on some that the rest of the world doesn’t always trust any pirates. Luffy always proves to be an exception.

Raizo and Kawamatsu tries to vouch for Luffy’s character. Hyogoro fears the outcome. Meanwhile, Chopper tries to find a cure for mummy. He has what accounts for a conversation considering his condition. When the prisoners see Momonosuke they become inspired, confusing him for his father. They begin to bow to him. I think that Luffy will be a leader in this arc, but he can’t be the only one. He’ll need members of the Nine Red Scabbards to take the lead and of course, Momonosuke and his sister. Ashura Doji explains that many allies of Onigashima attempted to avenge him a decade ago.

However, they were killed. Ashura decides that he and his group will join the alliance. Zoro along with Hiyori (Momonsuke’s sister) is searching for Gyukimaru to get the Shusui sword back. Finally, Law gets captured by Hawkins. His plans to interrogate him to find about the alliance intentions. If Law did tell Hawkins their plans, Luffy will just screw it up anyway, so it won’t really matter. One thing that is good about this arc is that the allies are dominating the fight. Zoro had his sword stolen, Luffy was dominated by Kiado, Kidd also got defeated while his friend (Killer) was exposed to SMILE. Of course they are going to win, but how much will they sacrifice to get there.

Dr. Stone’s Boichi reproduces One Piece Chapter 51

In a one shot that celebrates 22 years of One Piece, Boichi redraws the fight between Mihawk and Zoro. Boichi is the pen name of Mujik Park. He is best known for the current manga series, Dr. Stone. Chapter 51, titled “Roronoa Zoro Falls Into the Sea.” Boichi recreates the chapter 51 and 52 page by page. If you aren’t familiar with Boichi’s art it’s spectacular.

The fight between Zoro and Mihawk occurred during the Krieg Pirates‘ siege on the Baratie. Zoro challenges Mihawk to a duel. Zoro is easily defeated, but Mihawk gains respect for him. Mihawk allows him to live and tells him to get stronger for when they fight again. There are some changes from the original, after Zoro is defeated Luffy attacks Mihawk, but doesn’t land a hit. Some scenes are omitted. Regardless, it’s great to see this chapter drawn by such a talented mangaka. Hopefully, we will get some more.

Check the chapter out here.