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[personal profile] sara_tanaquil
I found volume 41 really hard to summarize for two reasons - because the flashback breaks my heart (so I had to keep stopping every few chapters), and because I find just about everything that happens so compelling, it was more like I was translating than summarizing half the time. Which is overkill and unnecessary, really. But anyway, I'm hoping that the next couple of volumes might be easier to summarize. Fight scenes usually are.

Volume 41: Delcaration of War

(Yesssss!)

389

[Cover Arc: Mr. 3 is not who he appears to be. "Fake Mr. 3's Okama Kenpou."]

Luffy is on the roof of the courthouse, bellowing to Robin.

The marines inform Spandam that that is definitely Strawhat Luffy. Spandam is shocked - wasn't Blueno just fighting with him?

Luffy's stomach is growling. Good thing he stuffed his pockets with extra meat!

"BENTOU…!!!"

Spandam: "THAT'S Mugiwara no Luffy!?" (LOL)

[So many One Piece villains feel your pain, Spandam. Luffy is stuffing his face.]

Seeing Blueno unconscious, Spandam is terrified. CP9, user of six powers, devil fruit user, a superman with a power level over 800 - defeated by that brat (kozou)?

Spandam gives orders to summon CP-9, and tell them this time they have permission to kill Luffy and everyone in his crew.

"And tell Baskerville that if any pirates get past him, I'll lower the drawbridge on all three of their damn necks!!"

[Haha, this pun is really hard to translate. 跳ね橋 (hanebashi), drawbridge; 跳ね飛ばしてやる (hanetobashite-yaru), "I'll lop their heads off," used specifically for guillotining someone.]

Franky is still trying to cheer Robin up. He tells her he knows she turned herself in to the government for her comrades' sake, but "that idiot director" has made it obvious that he has no intention of keeping his promises. Meekly allowing herself to be taken away won't save anyone now.

"All you gotta do is accept their help and escape from this place, so why the long face?"

He comments that it's like she's still running away from something, all alone. Is she afraid that her nakama might die here? They won't be able to save her if she turns her back on them.

[I have a grammar question about the middle line in Japanese. How is 仲間がここで死ぬ事でも恐れてんのか literally translated? I was thrown off by the "koto de mo" in the middle; at first I thought he was asking if Robin was so afraid that she'd let her nakama die.]

He says he's determined to get her back together (会わせる) with Mugiwara.

[He really has a thing about not letting groups break up.]

Spandam is still giving orders to have Nico Robin and Franky escorted out, but the marines are terrified to see that Franky's body is swelling up like a balloon. Franky declares that he's made up his mind to blow himself up and take "Spanda" with him.

As Spandam and his men run screaming, Franky grabs onto Robin and uses his "Coup de Boo" attack.

[風来・噴射 (normally fuurai-funsha, wandering-jet), glossed クー・ド・ブー. I think this might be a pun on the word 風来坊, fuuraibou, "hobo.")]

[Also, Franky, thank you for saving Robin, but… GROSS. >.<]

Franky and Robin are nearly blown off the roof by the force of the explosion, but Franky manages to hang on. They're facing Luffy across the gulf.

Spandam tells the marines to catch the escaped prisoners, quick - if the prisoners get away, he'll hang the lot of them!

[Spandam is awfully fond of a variety of grisly forms of execution.]

Franky fights off their attackers to give Robin time to speak with Luffy.

Luffy is about to jump across the gulf, but Robin tells him to wait.

She's told them and TOLD them she's not coming back.

"Go home! I never want to see your faces again! Why did you come here to save me? When did I ever ask for that?"

[Love the cut here to the other Strawhats fighting for all they're worth.]

"I just want to DIE!"

(Oh, oh, Luffy's face.)

Franky is outraged, but Robin says they chose to come after her on their own.

Kaku kicks Franky aside. (I didn't realize that was Kaku for a moment - Franky's big hand is in the way.]

Jabura is laughing and asking if Kaku is just taking out his frustration for having eaten a weird fruit.

Kaku: "Shut up! I like it!"

[And another volume goes by without finding out what the mystery fruits are. Oda, you are a tease.]

Spandam thinks Robin's cruel words are just the funniest thing he's ever heard.

The agents of CP-9 are all lining up on the ledge, but he tells them to wait a moment to enjoy the show.

(On the ledge: Kalifa, Kumadori, Jabura, Lucci, Kaku and Fukurou. Of course, Blueno is already out for the count, and Spandam is behind them.)

[SBS: Even the watchdogs of the Guard Dog Unit are gossiping about Jabura getting dumped by a waitress, hee. Chopper is called on to translate.]

390

[Cover arc: Bon Kurei gets ready to fight Hina while Mr. 5 and Miss G-W look on. Poor Fullbody and Jango are out cold.]

Yokozuna is still holding off all the attackers at the front door of the courthouse. The guys in leather (the "Guilty Jurors") approach.

In the right and left towers, more "Guilty Jurors" are confronting Kiwi and Mozu.

Inside the courthouse, Zambai is commenting that he never expected to find a judge inside Enies Lobby. He had heard that all culprits were simply marched through an empty courthouse to their doom.

Baskerville says that everyone gets a fair trial. It's just that the jurors are all convicts on death row, and they never acquit (because why shouldn't other people have to suffer like they are?). So in the history of the court, no one has ever been found "not guilty."

In the hallways of the courthouse, Zoro has gotten separated from the others and is lost. (Of course.)

[LOL, I just realized that in the first two panels, Zoro runs out of one room and right back into the same room through a different door. How did I miss that?]

[LOLX2: the English translation kind of obscures this, but I love that whenever Zoro gets lost, he blames other people. "They wandered off somewhere again… I told them we didn't have time for this!" また逸れやがった… 時間がねーってのに… (Or possibly, even funnier, "They're the ones who said we had to hurry.") Both -yagatta and 'tte noni imply that this is so not his fault.]

But he just needs to go "up", so…

A level above him, Nami and Chopper are facing more Guilty Jurors.

Nami: "Let's go, Chopper! Wait, no. You go, Chopper!"

[LOL, now there's a demonstration of the difference between iku wa yo and iku no yo - the sentences are otherwise identical.]

Zoro smashes straight through the floor from below, sending the juror flying.

At the courthouse entrance, Yokozuna falls, finally taken out by the force of the iron wrecking-ball. The Franky Family are preparing to take over for him, but Oimo and Kashi arrive just in time.

They're very impressed with Yokozuna. ("To take on so many defenders… that's some frog!")

When Usopp runs in to find out what's going on, the Franky Family members are impressed, too. ("GIANTS obey your orders? You're really something!") Then they tell him to hurry and catch up with the others who are headed for the roof.

Kashi: "Leave this one to me, King of Snipers!"

[I am not sure whether he means the defense of the gate, or his plan for getting Usopp to the roof, which we'll see in a moment.]

Up on the Tower of Law, Spandam is gloating. How will Luffy's face look now, now that the comrade he came all this way to save has rejected his help? Too delicious!

To his shock, Luffy is just picking his nose in particularly idiotic manner and whining.

"Awwww, Robin! We came all this way!"

(While he's speaking, various figures are crashing through the roof: first Nami and Chopper, then Zoro. Nami managed the landing a bit better than Chopper did. This whole sequence is another one of those Mugiwara comedy theater moments I love so much.)

"Look, we're just gonna save you, ok! If you still want to die that bad, then…!"

Nami is screeching at Zoro in the background. ("Are you trying to KILL us?")

Zoro: "Huh? What happened to you?"

[LOL, I originally interpreted どうしたんだ、お前ら as "What's your problem?" It's funny either way.]

Sanji shows up, convinced he must be the first to arrive, and is horrified to discover Zoro got there ahead of him.

"… WEED!" [Hee, the only thing he can get out is the "mo" of marimo. "mo" is the seaweed in "round seaweed ball."]

"HOW DID YOU GET HERE AHEAD OF ME!?"
"Oh hey, you're late. Did you get lost?"
"I'LL GET YOU FOR THAT!!"

(Usopp comes flying over the parapet.)

*whistle*
*THUD*
"Sogeking!!!"

CP-9 are staring.

Kaku: "They just keep coming…"

Luffy (paying no attention to any of this): "If you wanna die or whatever, say that to our faces AFTER we save you!"

[Ahaha, Robin's poor face. You can't fight a force of nature, Robin!]

The six Straw Hats are lined up on the parapet, facing the six members of CP-9.

"Just leave the rest to us!"

[I LOVE this scene. It manages to be totally freaking hilarious and super-epic at the same time. The animators did an amazing job with it… except the part where they were so proud of themselves that they showed the same sequence of the Strawhats lining up on the roof THREE HUNDRED TIMES. And even so, it was still awesome.]

391

Oimo and Kashi are gleefully defending the main door of the courthouse. ("Unfortunately for you [あいにく], gatekeeping is our specialty.") That's the duty they owe the King of Snipers.

Paulie rushes to help Zambai and the others, telling Lulu and Tileston to go help Mozu and Kiwi.

Robin is facing the Strawhats.

Zoro reports that the Franky Family is still working on the drawbridge.

Kalifa is impressed that they made it to Enies Lobby in spite of the Aqua Laguna. Jabura comments that their "luck" (un) is pretty good (運が良さそうだな).

Robin still won't speak.

Franky, to Robin: "Oi, you jerk (temee), ENOUGH already!"

(Silently, he wonders how heavy a burden this woman could possibly be carrying.)

Spandam orders CP-9 to stay on his side, and only kill the Strawhats if they manage to cross over to the Tower of Law.

(His own life might be in danger! Who's gonna protect him if CP-9 loses?)

Spandam gloats some more (I think I might seriously hate him more than any villain in One Piece, he is just so PETTY).

[The more safe he feels from attack, the more he gloats, ugh.]

He waves the Golden Den-Den mushi in Robin's face, calling it the power that destroyed her home town. The very name of Ohara has been erased from the map.

The other Strawhats absorb the meaning of what Spandam is saying. Luffy remembers Robin telling them that she had nowhere to go, no home to return to.

Robin begs Spandam to stop, but he keeps taunting her. "Shall I press the button? Shall I?"

Shoot!
Saul, stop!

Spandam: "Does it bring back memories, hmmm?"

[I'm with Sanji: I want to KICK HIM INTO THE OCEAN.]

Robin finally can't bear any more.

"Wiped off the map? You think it's that simple? You think people can know things just by looking at a map? It's because you people see the world that way that you can do such monstrous things!"

[Or possibly, "that you can confirm the existence of people," as Viz has it. 地図の上から人間が確認できる?]

[Interesting to contrast this with Nami's dream of mapping the world. Not that I think Robin would ever look down on Nami's dream, but Nami's dream of representing everything that exists on a map of the world sits uncomfortably with Robin's abomination for those who think that you can change reality by changing what is represented on a map. Then again, maybe Nami's determination to map everything she sees - including things other people think are mythical, like Sky Island - lines up with Robin's quest for true history after all.]

[I like the representation of the "map" on the Gates of Justice behind Enies Lobby as the backdrop to this line.]

Robin is thinking that the Buster Call is a power so merciless that it loses sight of its own objectives.

That is the one thing that ought never to be used.

[I initially missed that this was a "remembered" line. Is she remembering what Iceberg said about the ancient weapon? If so, it makes the connection between the ancient weapon and the Buster Call even stronger. At first I thought the resemblance was only implied.]

**FLASHBACK**

[Only been waiting 17 volumes for this…]

20 Years Ago, West Blue: Ohara.

Some bratty little kids are throwing stones at Robin while she quietly reads a book.

"Demon!" (妖怪, youkai; this seems to be the townspeople's standard name for her.)

They run off crying when Robin uses her devil fruit power on them.

"The demon attacked us! Ew, creepy!" (気味悪い, kimiwarui, a term often used for Robin's power by others on Ohara.)

Nico Robin, aged 8.

One of the children's mother shows up to scold Robin for bullying the other kids "unprovoked."

"Stay away from my child, you creepy little brat!"

Robin just stares at the woman with no expression on her face.

Walking home, she sees children laughing and holding hands with their parents.

"Mama, it's the demon woman!" "Hush, child, don't point!"

Arriving home, she finds a note saying that the family (her aunt, uncle and cousin) have gone out for a night on the town to celebrate their daughter's birthday. They left her some bread for dinner. ("Don't use too much jam, now.")

The note reminds her to be sure to do all the chores before they get home.

Aw, Robin using her devil fruit power to help do the dishes.

She scrubs the floor and brings in the laundry, brushing away unruly tears.

[The whole Cinderella thing would almost be TOO much, except that there's something so dreadful about the quiet, polite, stoic way Robin endures it all… far too much like her adult self. I forget that she wasn't a normal child even BEFORE she spent twenty years on the run.]

After dinner, she runs off to the Tree of All Knowledge, the great library of Ohara.

When she comes into the darkened room, the archaeologists are waiting to throw her a surprise party. They're celebrating the news that she passed her doctoral exams (100%!) to become an full-fledged archaeologist.

[Oh, if ONLY it were that easy.]

[SBS: Reassures us that Sanji didn't hurt the transponder snail when he crushed it. Thank you, Oda!]

392

[Cover Arc: Bon Kurei is still battling Hina, who seems to be getting the upper hand.]

Professor Clover gives Robin the symbol of her new status, a badge with a ribbon.

[I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Is this how ten-year-olds think academia works?]

The Tree of Knowledge has stood for 5000 years, a library in which scholarly tomes have been gathered from all over the world, a priceless treasure belonging to all of humanity.

Scholars gather from throughout the world to study beneath the Tree of Knowledge. With these resources, there is no historical problem they cannot solve. He can't wait to see what Robin has to contribute.

Happy and excited, Robin says she wants to solve the problem of the "Void History" (空白の歴史).

Clover is aghast - that is the one thing that is forbidden. When Robin asks if they can't find out what happened in the Void Century (空白の100年) by reading the poneglyphs, Clover is even more horrified.

He asks if she's been using her power to spy on them. "Reading the poneglyphs is a crime, you should know that!"

But, Robin complains, they've all been sneaking downstairs after lights out to work on them. She thought that if she worked hard and passed her exams, they would finally let her join them.

(kenkyuu no nakama ni irete moraeru, oh, Robin.)

Clover tries to make her understand that they are all risking their lives to read the poneglyphs, knowing the consequences if they're found out. She has mastered great knowledge, but she's still just a child.

Since the law was passed eight hundred years before, countless scholars have lost their lives trying to research the poneglyphs.

[Note the figure of 800 years.]

No one outside of Ohara knows how to read the poneglyphs. They've already come too far to turn back, but he absolutely forbids Robin to spy on them any further.

"Swear by the Tree of Knowledge! If you ever come near the basement again, you'll be forbidden to enter the doors of this library!"

Robin runs off crying.

One of the scholars comments "She's following in her mother's footsteps."

Professor Clover says she still doesn't know the news that came in recently. Robin's mother, Nico Olivia, has been arrested, and they all know what fate awaits her.

[Olvia, or Olivia? The Japanese is オルビア, which sounds more like Olivia to me, but the wanted poster says Olvia, presumably because that's the standard transcription for ru followed by another consonant in a foreign word. Take your pick, I guess. I prefer Olivia.]

Walking by the shore, Robin discovers a giant washed up on the beach.

[I LOVE how she just stares curiously at him when he roars at her. I guess that sang-froid was born to her naturally. Also, I don't think I realized at first that Saul, just like Robin herself, expects people to be frightened at the mere sight of him and is non-plussed when Robin doesn't react.]

"Wa… water…"

"Mi-mizu?" (This means "earthworm"; mizu is "water.")

Robin continues to stare curiously at the giant as he refreshes himself with water and tries to figure out where he is.

[Oda-box: Saul, shipwreck victim, of the giant race.]

"You can keep standing there if you want, nothing exciting is going to happen."

He says his leg is injured, but soon he'll build a raft and be on his way.

"Never seen a giant before? I'll tell you, not all giants are like those barbarians from Elbaf. There are peaceful giants too!"

[Ha, I love this note of friendly (?) rivalry between giant clans, especially with the recent re-introduction of the Elbaf giants.]

Saul says it's probably no use to ask her, but he wishes she wouldn't mention him to anyone. Robin insists she can keep a secret (he doesn't believe her).

"Cause, I'm not that interested in you."

Saul roars with laughter. "Dereshishishi!"

Robin thinks he has a funny way of laughing. It makes her laugh, too.

Saul says she's cute when she laughs. She should do it more often. (Aw, blushy Robin.)

The giant introduces himself as Jaguar D. Saul.

(Yes, that D.)

When Robin asks about it, he says everyone in his family has that initial.

Four days after the giant's arrival on Ohara, a shadowy figure shows up on a marine ship.

[Who is this? I didn't think any of the marines were within range of the island yet, based on what we see later. ETA: I figured it out a bit later… I think.]

Robin's aunt is furious - Robin has been making off with all the bread and jam in the house!

Saul chuckles and thanks Robin for the bread, but tells her to eat the rest. He had some fish the night before. (Nice catch, Saul. That fish is huge!)

Saul comments that Robin seems to have a lot of time on her hands, spending every day with him. Don't her friends and parents wonder where she is?

Robin says her mother went to sea when she was little, for work. She doesn't even remember her face. And she likes the archaeologists, but they won't let her be their nakama. The other kids in town think she's creepy and won't play with her.

With a flick of her hand, she displays her power.

[Oh, Robin. She's just waiting for him to react with fear and disgust.]

Saul is mildly impressed. "Ah, a devil fruit user, I see."

Robin is surprised that he isn't afraid, but Saul says he's seen plenty of power users on the Grand Line.

"I envy you. That looks pretty useful, dereshishishi!"

Giggling, Robin says he really does have a funny way of laughing, but Saul says that when you're happy, you laugh. So that means that if you laugh, you'll become happy. He can see she's had a hard time of it, but she should laugh more. Even when things are painful.

Robin thinks it's silly to laugh when you're sad.
Saul: "That ain't true, dereshishishi!"

At sea, Director Spandain gets a call from Navy HQ. Spandain refuses to answer, saying they just want an update. He doesn't know why he ("oresama") has to come to this little backwater of a place in the West Blue, anyway.

[Oda-box: Spandain, Director of CP-9, 20 years earlier.]

Someone runs up to Professor Clover to tell him that a navy ship has been sighted off shore. They'd better take precautions, in case this is another government inspection.

On the cliffside, Saul is trying to teach Robin to laugh.
"Dereshi!"
"Good, good! Dereshishishi!"

[Turn the KNIFE, Oda, why don't you. >.< The title of the chapter is "Dereshi."]

393

[Cover Arc: Mr. 5 and Miss G-W run off with Miss Valentine while Hina is occupied.]

Saul is pleased to have finished his raft, but Robin looks depressed. "You're leaving already?"

Saul decides that maybe he should stay just a LITTLE longer. He needs a flag, after all.

[Aw, happy Robin!]

Robin confides in Saul that someday, she wants to go to sea. When her mother comes back for a visit, she's going to make her mother take her along on the next expedition. That's why she's been studying so hard to become an archaeologist.

"Say, Saul, did you know? There's a hundred years missing from the history of the world."

Robin says her mother is traveling the world in order to research the lost history. Oh, but that's a secret! Because it's a crime.

Saul is horrified. "You're telling me she's looking for poneglyphs?"

Robin is surprised that he's heard of poneglyphs.

Saul tells her she must never, never speak to anyone else about the poneglyphs. Much less the fact that her mother is researching them.

It finally occurs to him to ask the name of Robin's mother. When he hears that her mother's name is Olivia, he is aghast.

"Then… this is Ohara? Oh, no!"

Saul tells Robin to listen closely. The marines are on their way at this moment to wipe out all the archaeologists on Ohara. She mustn't tell anyone that she is an archaeologist.

Robin runs to the village to find out if anything is amiss. All she can think about is that Saul said her mother might be there.

Olivia is standing in the Tree of Knowledge. She was captured by the navy, but she escaped.

[Ah, the dialogue here seems to suggest that she was the shadowy figure from the marine ship, although that's a bit confusing - was she stowed away? From what we learn later, the marines certainly didn't bring her there voluntarily. Why did that ship come to Ohara ahead of the rest? Is it the rescue ship we see later?]

[Oda-box: Nico Olivia, Archaeologist.]

She's just been breaking the news that the government is coming for them.

Six years earlier, a team of archaeologists set out on a mission to research the poneglyphs. All 33, apart from herself, have been wiped out. The government discovered from searching their belongings that the team had come from Ohara.

She apologizes for bringing this calamity on them, but Clover says they're all one team - both those who left and those who stayed. And the government was bound to turn its attention to Ohara sooner or later, anyway. This is just an excuse to do what they've wanted to do all along.

Olivia begs them to run away and save themselves, but Clover says they can't abandon the treasures of the library. All the other scholars feel the same.

Clover asks if there isn't something more important she's worried about, but Olivia says she can't very well see Robin now.

She remembers making the decision to leave two-year-old Robin with her brother and his wife.

The other archaeologists are telling her to stay with her kid if that's what she wants.

[I don't quite understand what one of them is saying about her husband. 旦那の無念ならおれ達が.. "If it's regret for your husband, we'll…" At least, I would assume danna refers to Olivia's husband. But I am not sure what mu'nen implies - does that mean he's dead? It seems to have some sort of Buddhist significance (along the lines of "attachment to the world"). Does she perhaps feel obligated to go with the archaeologists to complete her husband's work, or something? That's what the Viz translation suggests: "We'll fulfill your husband's wishes."]

Back then, she insisted on going with them. As an archaeologist, she can't abandon the will (ishi) of their ancestors.

(先人達の意志を放棄できない.)

Little Robin is wailing; she doesn't understand where her mother went. Her aunt is disgruntled (and threatens to hit Robin if she doesn't stop crying).

"I know she's your sister's kid, but why do we have to get stuck with her?"

In the next scene, a small Robin (a little older, surely, if she can read?) is exploring the library. When Professor Clover catches her, she's frightened, but he says the books are free for anyone to read. "You like books, eh?"

Back in the present (well, 20-years-ago present), Clover says she's just like Olivia when Olivia was her age. She has her mother's genius intelligence, too.

Olivia is glad to hear that she's well, but says she can't see her. She can't allow Robin to be seen as the child of a criminal.

Someone brings the news that a government ship has been sighted (which is even worse than the arrival of the marines).

Olivia leaves, telling them to have nothing to do with her from now on. ("We're not nakama, you don't even know me, got that!?") She runs out with a gun in her hands.

[Like mother, like daughter, jeez.]

Spandain shows up on shore, grumpy but saying he should at least get a promotion out of this. He orders the arrest of all the archaeologists on the island.

Robin and Olivia pass each other on the street, running, without recognizing each other.

[Oh, oh, OH. This was another bit that was very well done in the anime, but I couldn't find a good youtube clip of it.]

Someone wakes up Vice-Admiral Kuzan (Oda-box: "later to become Admiral Aokiji") to tell him that Spandain just reported his arrival on Ohara.

Kuzan: "You had to wake me up for THAT?"

394

When Robin bursts into the library, her first question is "Has my mother been here?"

The other scholars are unnerved (and no wonder), but of course they deny it.

Aw, poor Robin, slumping with disappointment.

[I think maybe the hardest thing about reading this flashback is seeing how much more readily she shows her emotions. It just breaks my heart every single time.]

When Robin tries to pass along Saul's warning, Clover warns her sternly not to let anyone from the government know that she's an archaeologist. She's so little, no one will suspect her.

The men in black burst in and tell everyone to put their hands up. They've come to do a thorough search to find out if anyone has been doing illegal research into the poneglyphs.

The word goes out throughout the island that all the archaeologists are to be arrested on the charge of plotting world destruction.

They advise everyone who can prove that they have no archaeologist connections to take refuge on the rescue ship. They can't guarantee what might happen to anyone who stays behind.

The Oharans flee in terror to the rescue ship.

Nico Olivia tries to shoot Spandain, but only manages to send a bullet through his empty coat sleeve. (Spandain only realizes this after he's already fallen on the ground, shrieking that he's dying and he wants his position to go to his son.)

Olivia is still trying to deny that she has any connection to Ohara, but Spandain isn't fooled. He says he's quite certain that if they search long enough, they'll find proof that Ohara is involved in poneglyph research.

[I'm guessing this means they were prepared to plant evidence if they didn't find any.]

This incident was just a convenient opportunity for the government to make an example of them. The destruction of Ohara will serve as a warning to the world of the dangers of researching the void century.

Spandain orders his men to seize her (it looks as if the agents are using soru, moving faster than the eye can see).

The agents are searching the library (throwing books all over the place), looking for a hidden room.

On the northwest coast, Saul is gazing in horror at a convoy of marine ships approaching.

[Ten ships and five vice-admirals for a Buster Call, right? I see ten ships.]

The men in black herd all the archaeologists together outside the Tree of Knowledge. Robin is still with them.

Clover tries to persuade Robin to flee to the rescue ship with the other Oharans.

Robin doesn't want to. "There won't be anyone nice there! I want to stay with you!"

Spandain marches up and throws Olivia down in front of them. "I found a dangerous wild beast in the forest."

Robin is gazing in horror, not knowing who Olivia is (she's just shocked that they would hurt a woman).

Clover tells Robin to get to the rescue ship, again.

Hearing Robin's name, Olivia looks up.

*Robin…? You got so big…!*

An explosion goes off at the base of the tree.

Someone calls the director to report that they found a hidden room with a stone inscribed with poneglyphs in it.

Spandain pronounces sentence of death on the scholars of Ohara, and says there's nothing left to do now but report back to the Gorousei.

Robin keeps asking Clover if everyone is really going to be killed. "Why? Just for reading the ancient writing?"

Spandain insists that they're plotting to revive the ancient weapon and kill a lot of people, but Robin says that isn't true.

Clover gently interrupts her, saying that arguing with them is pointless. It's not really the ancient weapon that the government fears.

Before he dies, Clover says, he has something he wants to tell the Gorousei - the results of their research into the Void Century.

395

[Cover Arc: Miss G-W uses her colors trap powers to hijack Hina's ship.]

The marines are waiting for the order to attack.

The villagers are fleeing the island in terror.

In the hidden basement, the men in black are staring at the poneglyph. No matter what they try to blow it up with, they can't put a scratch on it. "Creepy stone."

Saul is charging through the village, looking for Robin.

The Gorousei are speaking to Clover and Spandain over the den-den mushi. They express regret over the outcome, but the scholars were breaking the law.

When Clover tells them to drop the smarmy platitudes, the Gorousei recognize Clover's voice. It's a shame such a distinguished scholar had to depart from the proper path.

Clover says that the past belongs to everyone. The government has no right to stop people from wanting to know the "history that can't be told" (語られぬ歴史).

[Cobra used this same phrase back in volume 24, and I think Robin mentioned it on Skypiea, as well.]

Robin is hiding some distance away listening (apparently Clover whispered to her that she would be a criminal if she stayed to hear what he had to say, but she doesn't want to leave).

The Gorousei insist that having the power to awaken the ancient weapon is too dangerous. Even if they have no evil intent, what happens if someone comes along who wants to use them?

[Sounds frighteningly like Iceberg's reasoning…]

Clover says that people have a responsibility to know everything about the past that humans created with their own actions. The more they know, the better equipped they will be to deal with anything that might happen.

Gorousei: "Idealism."
Clover: "Maybe. Or maybe the truth just isn't convenient for you."

Clover says that even more than the information the poneglyphs contain, what they as scholars really want to know is why the poneglyphs need to exist at all. Why did the people of the past feel that it was necessary to inscribe history on indestructible stones, and send it into the future, scattered throughout the world?

Paper and books can be burned. They were afraid that their message would be destroyed.

So, obviously, the people who left the poneglyphs behind had enemies.

If the people who left the poneglyphs were defeated and eliminated, it follows that their enemies must still be around.

Coincidentally, the present World Government just happens to have come into existence 800 years ago, at the end of the Void Century.

If the World Government is presently being run by those who were the enemies of the people who left the poneglyphs, it seems likely that the history of the Void Century was erased because it was inconvenient to the present government.

Their research, says Clover, led them to become aware of the existence of a great kingdom (巨大な王国), which has since disappeared without a trace.

Perhaps, he says, that ancient people, foreseeing their defeat at the hands of the alliance that is now the World Government, tried to communicate their way of thinking to future generations by inscribing it on stone - the poneglyphs.

Gorousei: "A very bold theory."

Certainly, says Clover, the ancient weapon is a threat to the world, but the existence of the ancient kingdom and its way of thought is far more dangerous in the eyes of the World Government.

The name of that kingdom was—

"Erase them. Ohara… knows too much."

Clover is shot before he can finish his sentence.

The Gorousei give the command to begin the attack.

Spandain pulls out the Golden Den-Den Mushi that Sengoku (then Admiral, now Fleet Admiral) gave him. He presses the button.

Crying, Robin runs up to Clover, who is severely wounded. Clover is still trying to persuade her to get to the rescue ship.

The Silver Den-Den Mushi, which exists for the sole purpose of receiving the Buster Call, rings on board the marine fleet. The ships move into position and prepare to fire.

A fire breaks out in library, and the scholars run to save what they can of the books.

Spandain drags Olivia to her feet and prepares to take her with him. They still need to get some information out of her.

Staring at the agents as they lead Olivia away, Robin finally speaks up.

"Are you… my mother?"

Olivia remembers her little girl crying for her when she left, and tells herself she has no right to be a mother any more. (今更許される筈もない 私が母親だなんて…)

(Oh god, the image of little baby Robin in her mother's arms!)

Robin thinks of the other children who jeered at her, called her a demon, said her mother threw her away. She remembers her aunt's small cruelties, and crying all by herself in the forest.

"Are you my mother?"

The agents are getting suspicious. "Wait, you have a kid?"

Olivia tries to deny it. "No. I'm sorry, you have me confused with someone else."

Spandain is ready to walk away, but Robin won't give up.

"It's me! Robin! I got bigger, but… don't you remember me? I've been waiting for you to come home!"

NOT ENOUGH TEARS IN THE WORLD T___T

"Are you really not my mother? I hoped someday you'd hold my hand and we could walk together. I… I studied really hard! I'm an archaeologist now! And I can read the poneglyphs, too!"

Spandain is aghast. "That little kid?" Clover: "Robin, no!" Olivia is crying.

"Please let me go with you, mommy! Please… don't leave me alone any more!"

The bombing of Ohara begins.

"Erase every trace of Ohara, the island of archaeologists."

[SBS: I am feeling too sad right now to appreciate the awesomeness of Usopp's Sogeking autograph. T__T]

396

[Cover Arc: Approaching the prison island.]

People are still fleeing to the rescue ship as the bombardment begins.

The Gorousei are giving orders that absolutely no information be allowed to escape Ohara. The scholars of Ohara know far more than anyone suspected.

"Eliminate the demons who live on Ohara! In the name of justice!"

Clover realizes that with this much firepower, the government had every intention of wiping them out from the beginning. "Those fools!"

Spandain orders his men to remember Robin's face and make sure she doesn't escape from the island. He runs for his life - he can't even be bothered to take Olivia with him.

"My life is the most important thing here!"

[Like father, like son, all right.]

The scholars are still trying to save the library from the fire.

Robin puts her hand in Olivia's.

"I always wanted to do this."

Finally, Olivia pulls Robin into her arms.

"Mommy!" (お母さん= "mother" is just way too formal for a little girl.)

Clover slumps, defeated. "Robin, is it true? This is all my fault. You can read the poneglyphs?"

Olivia hugs her daughter and praises her. "You must have worked so hard. Not just anyone can do that. You're amazing, Robin!"

Clover tells Olivia to flee and take Robin with her. They need to get off the island.

Olivia hands Robin over to Saul (who just showed up), telling him to get her off the island. She says she has to stay behind.

She explains that history is a priceless treasure, but if the traditions aren't handed down from one generation to the next, they will disappear. The scholars of Ohara only ever wanted to receive the voice of the past and protect it for generations to come.

"Our research ends here, but even if Ohara is destroyed, we can't give up on the future that you will live on in!"

["You" is plural.]

Robin sobs that she doesn't understand, but Olivia says someday, she will. She tells Saul to go.

Robin is still screaming and begging her mother to let her stay. "MOMMY! MOMMY!"

Thank you for calling me by that name. From now on, for my share, too… (これからは、私の分まで)

"LIVE, ROBIN!"

On the marine ship, someone tells Kuzan that they've spotted the fugitive Vice Admiral Saul on the island.

Flashback - Vice Admiral Saul of the marines tried to stop the slaughter of Olivia's whole team, saying it wasn't necessary to kill them. Afterwards, when Olivia was taken into custody, she confronted him.

Saul: "Do you really want the ancient weapon?"
Olivia: "Do you judge us, without will?" (意志もなく 私たちを裁くのね - now that's an odd way of putting it.) "Without doubting the law, you all say you're trying to stop the ancient weapon. You're just afraid of the past that you don't even know!"

Saul is horrified to learn from Sengoku that he has ordered a Buster Call.

[OMG, the goat! It was twenty years ago! Seriously, how long do goats live?]

Saul says that as far as he can tell, these people just want to know history. What proof is there that they are villains? Sengoku tells him to shut up and obey orders.

Eventually, Saul breaks Olivia out of prison and escapes.

Knowing that Saul knows of the plan to issue a Buster Call, Sengoku orders them both to be captured. "Shoot to kill, if necessary."

Saul tells Olivia to escape and take the message back to Ohara. Olivia says he won't be able to go back to the marines, but Saul says he wouldn't want to serve in the marines with these feelings of doubt, anyway.

"I'm just following my own sense of justice. Now go!"

Olivia: "I'm not going to thank you!"
Saul: "Dereshishishi! I'll be praying for your safe journey."

Back in the present, Saul realizes that the marines are firing at him.

"Robin! Be proud, Robin! Your mother is an amazing woman! Ohara is an amazing place!"

He tells her to go and someday tell everyone the story of this island. "Ohara fought with the world!"

A cannonball scores a direct hit. (On the ship, one of the marines winces and apologizes. "Don't apologize!! He's a collaborator!")

Saul charges up to the ship (carefully setting Robin down on a nearby cliff first).

Saul: "I don't know what justice is any more, but I'm protecting a friend (tomodachi)."
Robin: "Saul! Stop!"
Saul: "Hope you're prepared. Make an enemy out of me, and you won't get off scot free."

He lifts the boat right out of the water.

[I love Saul. <3 I really wish we had got to see more of him.]

397

[Cover Arc: "Sneaking onto the detention island while pretending to be in custody." (The Marine has a design painted on his back.)]

Saul is rampaging around, smashing one navy ship after another.

Giving up on putting out the fire, the scholars are now trying to save as many books as they can by throwing them into the lake.

Robin is sobbing. "Saul, stop, you're going to die!"

One of the books flying into the lake is labeled "Brag Men."

[Nami was reading that in an early volume of the series… an SBS pointed this out, of course.]

Please, let them reach the future.

Clover and Olivia are among those trying to save the books.

Saul shouts to Robin to get to the rescue ship. The island is doomed, nothing on it can be saved.

Surrounded by explosions, Robin is crying for her mother.

Saul tells her to remember what her mother wanted. ("Robin, live!")

When she arrives at the rescue ship, half the people don't want to let her on because she's a "demon," or because she's the daughter of a criminal. A few want to help, but Robin says she doesn't need a rope, she can get on herself.

[I find it interesting that throughout the story, the majority of the ordinary people of Ohara come off as bigoted, small minded and selfish. Oda more often represents the common man as capable of great decency and generosity, but I suppose in this case it was necessary to establish Robin's childhood sense of complete isolation from nearly everyone. Like Chopper, she never belonged anywhere even when she had a home to live in.]

Spandain, catching sight of her, gets on the PA and orders the rescue ship not to take her on board. She's an archaeologist, she's one of the targets. Robin runs away.

Saul charges toward Spandain's ship, but Kuzan hits him with one of his ice attacks.

Kuzan and Saul confront each other. Saul wants to know if Kuzan takes pride in this. "You must know they're destroying Ohara as an example to the others!"

Kuzan thinks that maybe it's justified, if it helps future generations. The scholars were breaking the law, after all.

"Depending on the situation, justice changes. So, I won't condemn your justice, either. But… I won't let you get in the way."

The rescue ship explodes.

[Oh, poor Robin. Her eyes!]

Someone says the attack came from Vice-Admiral Sakazuki's ship.

[OH WAIT. There's someone I hate more than Spandam, after all.]

Sakazuki, in silhouette: "If you're going to do a thing, do it thoroughly."

He thinks that if even a single scholar escaped on that ship, it would make all the other sacrifices meaningless.

Oda-box: Vice-Admiral Sakazuki, later Admiral Akainu.

Saul attacks Kuzan, demanding to know if he can still be proud of THIS. Kuzan says he doesn't intend to go to such stupid extremes as that.

Saul grabs Robin and makes a run for it. "They're too strong!"

[Smart man.]

Kuzan freezes most of Saul's body with one of his ice attacks. Saul tells Robin to keep going. Run, as fast as she can, and get to the raft that he left.

Robin says she doesn't want to go. There's no one at sea for her.

Saul tells her to listen.

"Right now, you may be alone, but someday, you'll be able to meet your nakama. The sea's a big place! Someday, nakama will appear who can protect you. No one was born into this world to live all alone."

[I love that line so much.]

He tells her to run and don't look back. "When things are hard, laugh like I taught you!"

"Dereshishishi! They're waiting for you, somewhere out at sea. Go, Robin! Go meet your nakama!"

Live… with them!

Kuzan's attack completely freezes Saul's body.

Watching the library burn, Clover wonders if this, too, is the history that foolish humans chose. Olivia weeps, thinking that she couldn't even leave Robin the words of the ancestors.

When Robin reaches the shore, she finds Kuzan waiting by a rowboat.

"Thoroughgoing justice… at times it can drive men mad. I've decided to let you escape this island. I wonder what the "seed" that Saul protected will grow up to be."

He tells her to follow the line of the ice until she hits land.

"And, remember this. I'm not your ally. If you step out of line, I'll be the first to arrest you. I'm your enemy."

Robin sobs that her mother is on the island, but Kuzan says that no one on the island will survive.

"If it hurts too much and you want to die, you're free to do as you please."

Huddled in the rowboat, Robin watches the island burn and remembers the words of all her beloved people.

She tries to laugh like Saul taught her ("Dereshi! Dereshi!"), but only tears come.

Go, Robin! Go meet your nakama!

T________T

398

[Cover arc: The "most wanted criminals" are sitting in jail - Crocodile, Mr. 1 and Mr. 4. I think they beat up everyone else in the cell.]

As the marines are searching the ruins of Ohara for survivors (there are none), they are shocked to discover the lake so full of books that they nearly reach the surface of the water.

Spandain recognizes Robin from a picture that someone took of her on board a passenger ship, near an island to the northeast of Ohara. They lost sight of her shortly afterward.

Spandain says that he THOUGHT he saw her escaping on a rowboat at the time, but just then his helm "froze" (literally) and he couldn't go after her. (Kuzan in background: "……")

Spandain: 悪運の強いよつだ!

[This struck me as an odd line. Literally, "That one's bad luck is strong." But obviously, in Robin's case, it was good luck for her, so I guess if you're a bad guy and fortune helps you out, that means you have strong aku-un? Maybe it's like "She has the devil's own luck."]

They blame her escape on Saul.

(Kuzan is sweating bullets - obviously they don't know about his part in it. I wonder if he realized, when he let her go, that she could read the poneglyphs? Or that she was Olivia's daughter? Spandain only said that she was one of the archaeologists.)

Robin's bounty is set at 79 million beli. It hits the front page of newspapers around the world.

[Knowing the true circumstances of that sullen-looking bounty picture of her that we've been seeing since Volume 20 or so is kind of heartbreaking.]

The word on the street is that she was responsible for the sinking of six navy ships.

[If that isn't just a convenient government lie, I'm thinking most of those ships were actually sunk by Saul.]

"That child is a demon who cannot be allowed to live!"

We get an montage (all the more chilling for how brief it is) of Robin's years on the run.

An kind old woman who hired her to do odd jobs tries to turn her in to the marines for money.

She overhears the next couple who took her in as a servant plotting to do the same thing. ("She's a good kid, but we'll be in danger if she stays. And it is a lot of money.") They call her an "ungrateful little brat" when they find that she's fled in the night.

Robin huddling in the rain with a stray dog, still trying to practice laughing. T___T

The next one who takes her in as chore-girl is a nasty-looking pirate.

[The way Robin is drawn in that panel freezes my blood. I've said it many times, but I don't know how she ever grew up sane.]

They end up being attacked by Marine HQ because she's with them, but she's already fled.

Pirate: "That plague-witch!" (あの疫病神め!)

She's running again - looks a little older now, maybe twelve.

Random guy: "Your crime is being alive!"

She stumbles across an poneglyph in the forest (she looks about thirteen there) - nothing more is known of this poneglyph.

Shopkeepers drive her away and refuse to sell to her.

Sixteen-year-old Robin is volunteering to work for an underworld boss (組織). She says she can do anything. Later, she betrays them and runs away.

Twenty-four year old Robin is meeting Crocodile for the first time.

The flashback fades out, leaving Robin standing on the Tower of Law at Enies Lobby.

Robin says that the Buster Call, if summoned, will wipe out everyone on Enies Lobby - friend or foe. (Spandam doesn't appear to grasp this concept.)

Twenty years ago, it took everything from her. And now it's being directed at the only nakama who ever accepted her for who she was. (気を許せた)

"The more I want to be with you all, the more my fate (unmei) will sink its teeth into you!"

(Brr. 私の運命があなた達に牙をむく!)

No matter where she goes on all the wide ocean, she will be pursued by two great enemies she can't shake off - the "world" and its "darkness".

She's already endangered their lives twice (once with Aokiji, and now again at Enies Lobby). If this goes on, one day, even their good will will be exhausted. They'll come to think of her as a burden (重荷), and when that happens, they'll betray her and throw her away.

That was the thing she feared most; the reason she never wanted them to come save her.

T____T

If she's going to lose her life one day anyway, she'd rather die here and now.

Spandam laughs (DIE SPANDAM DIE) and says she's absolutely right. Who could possibly be stupid enough to stand up to the combined might of the entire World Government?

Spandam points out that the emblem of the World Government shows the four seas and the Grand Line (interesting, I don't think that's been made explicit before, though we've certainly seen their mark).

Luffy: "I understand very well who Robin's enemies are."

[<3 Luffy in serious mode.]

He tells Sogeking to shoot the flag, and Sogeking does, saying that he's using his new weapon, the modified Kabuto.

[Also <3 Usopp, who manages to sound so calm and confident when he must be shaking in his boots.]

Everyone watching is stunned as the flag goes up in flames.

"Now they've done it! The pirates have declared war on the World Government!"

Spandam asks if they think they can survive when they've just made enemies out of the entire world.

Luffy: "BRING IT ON!"

[One of the top five moments in One Piece, easy. Also, I will never be able to translate 望むところだ (lit. "That's exactly what I want") any other way.]

Luffy says he still hasn't heard her say it. He wants to hear it from her own mouth - that she wants to live.

Robin remembers everyone she's ever known saying that her existence is a crime.

I thought I couldn't even wish for it. That no one would ever allow it.

She remembers Saul telling her that her nakama are waiting for her; she remembers Usopp saying "Trust Luffy!"

If it's all right to say what I want, just a little bit—

"I WANT TO LIVE! Take me to sea with you!"

[T____T Happy tears this time.]

Franky is bawling, too. "I love you guys! Dammit all!"

The drawbridge starts dropping into place.

Usopp: "I'm shivering… with excitement…" (LOL)

[Also love Nami commenting on how scary Zoro looks. Sometimes there's a thin line between Zoro and Lucci… Good thing Zoro's on the side of the angels.]

Luffy: "HERE WE GO!"

399

[Cover arc: Miss G-W and Miss Valentine meet up with Miss Merry Christmas and Miss Doublefinger.]

The Strawhats get ready to cross the drawbridge, and CP-9 gets ready to fight. (Love that all of CP-9 is pretty much ready to rumble except for Spandam, who's terrified.)

Quick glimpse at what's going on in the main plaza, in the left tower (Mozu and Lulu), and the right tower (Kiwi and Tileston).

Paulie and Zambai are completing the takedown of Baskerville…

… who turns out to be three guys in a suit.

[This is SO stupid.]

Paulie: "But WHY?"
Baskerville: "We really like each other!" (仲良く)
Paulie: "SHUT UP!"

One of the Baskervilles orders an attack on the drawbridge, which halts it in mid-descent.

Spandam is gloating that he'll take Robin and Cutty Flam and escape to the Gates of Justice before the Strawhats can cross, but something Franky does stops him in his tracks.

He's holding out the plans for the ancient weapon Pluton. He was hiding them in his body.

[I really don't want to know where.]

Franky says that what the shipwrights have been handing down all these generations wasn't the plan for an ancient weapon. It was the prayer of the "maker(s)" (設計者) that when the time came, if the ancient weapon fell into the hands of a man like Spandam, someone would be able to take counter-measures by building an opposing weapon.

[In Japanese, it's not clear if 設計者 is plural or not. I've translated as it if is, but it could be singular ("the architect"), as Viz has it.]

Spandam could use Robin against her will to reactivate the ancient weapon, which makes her a dangerous woman. But now, she has nakama who can protect her. So, Franky says, he's making a bet.

Right now, he can only see one way to honor the wishes of the makers.

(おれが今この状況で「設計者」の想いを くんでやれる方法があるとすりゃあ一つだ. kunde yareru is a tricky phrase to translate - Oda has used this verb in the past to mean both "understand how someone feels" and "inherit the will of.")

Franky burns the plans to ashes.

Kalifa looks particularly ticked off that Franky just wasted five years of their lives. [Good.]

The plans were supposed to remain a secret. The moment the government became aware of their existence and began to target them, there was no choice left but to destroy them.

Now everything rests on what happens to Robin. If she falls into the hands of the government, Franky is screwed. If Luffy wins, the government will be screwed.

Franky's betting on the Strawhats to win.

Just then, the Franky Family interrupts the conversation to tell Franky they've come for him. [Aw, adorable flunkies!]

Franky is bawling like a baby. "You bastards, who asked you (sob) to come (sob) save me! Jerks! I'm not crying!"

Luffy: "Oh, shut up, all of you!"

[SO uncharacteristic, hee, look at Nami and Zoro's reaction. "Are you a demon!?"]

Luffy says Robin's waiting, and tells them to hurry up and finish lowering the drawbridge.

Haha, Nami jumps on the bandwagon and starts threatening them as well. Sanji: "Incoherent Nami-san is sexy too!" (取り留めのない: suddenly changing your mind for no apparent reason.) Zambai: "She kind of is." (ですよね.)

"Mugiwara! Looks like my men owe you one. From now on, you'll have the SUPER-massive fighting power of this mob boss Franky-sama on your side!"

[LOL Franky]

Luffy: "Do as you damn well please! I'm still holding a grudge for the Usopp thing!"
Franky (mumbling): "But he's standing right next to you…?"

[LOL forever. We were having a conversation earlier about how having Sogeking there doesn't fix the hurt of Usopp being gone, even if Luffy knew who Sogeking was, but this will still never not be funny. Also, I have a theory that Luffy is being super-mean to Franky and the Franky Family because he IS moved and doesn't want to admit it on account of Usopp - even though the concept of Luffy having "mixed emotions" must violate some kind of law of nature.]

In a rage, Spandam pushes Franky off the ledge.

Everyone is horrified (including Sogeking, aw: "Franky!!").

Kokoro comes in over the den-den mushi to tell them to get ready to jump. Rocketman is on its way.

Luffy grabs the others in his rubber arms and jumps. Franky is still falling (someone ate the slow-slow fruit again).

Kokoro: "Don't underestimate the legendary shipbuilding company of Tom's Workers!"

[I love Franky's face when he sees Rocketman, since of course he had no idea they got it working.]

They all (including Franky) land on Rocketman as it flies across the gulf. It's headed straight for the Tower of Law.

Franky flunkies: "It flew again!"

Spandam: "THEY'RE COMINGGGGGGGG!"

TBC

[LOL what a frame to end on.]

Date: 2014-03-14 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lego-joker.livejournal.com
Oh, jeez. Just reading this summary gave me the chills.

TBH, I don't think I've ever seen Robin's past in full, manga or anime - it just struck me as too sad from the Wiki summaries. I do remember that part at the very end, though, where Robin goes through a succession of "caretakers" and eventually ends up as the Moran to Crocodile's Moriarty, just to bring everything full-circle.

And yes, the confrontation on the rooftop (and the subsequent flag-burning) is one of those moments that absolutely DEFINES One Piece. "I want to live" is something that gets me to tears every time.

(BTW, is this the moment where the anime randomly inserts a half-dozen filler episodes reminding us of each Strawhat's backstory, thus COMPLETELY deflating all the emotion? Or did that part come a little later?)

And now for something completely different: do you think that the Baroque Works cover-arc will have any ramifications beyond what we've seen so far in the *spoiler* arc and the *spoiler* arc? The note it ended on was really inexplicable, and I can't figure out for the life of me why Oda suddenly decided to give *spoiler* that power.

On one last note... good lord the Detective Conan write-up is taking longer than I thought. I'll try to have it up by this weekend, 'kay?

Date: 2014-03-14 12:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
I think I've both watched it and read it more than once, and it just gets to me more every time. I'm more and more convinced that she has the absolute worst backstory of all the Strawhats. (Although granted there is plenty of competition for the title. And, as when it comes to pretty much all comparisons, Luffy is hors de concours.)

Haha, I don't remember for sure about the filler eps, but I do remember that the number of times we saw that line-up-on-the-roof sequence got to be utterly ridiculous. But that was partly because they kept showing it during the "last week on OP..." too. And because they somehow managed to show it a dozen times both before AND after Robin's flashback episodes.

Hee! Your BW *spoiler* question is so well protected I don't understand it. (In particular, not sure what power you're talking about.) Are you referring to something in vol 42? I haven't got to that in the reread yet. Maybe better ask again under spoiler cut.

Yes, the writeups are time-consuming! Fortunately I find them to be a relaxing escape from other work, otherwise I'd surely never do them. Take your time and enjoy.

Date: 2014-03-14 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lego-joker.livejournal.com
Agreed on Luffy's backstory - I remember an old discussion on the Save One Piece forums (back when bashing the 4Kids dub was a thing) where everyone was discussing how sad the crew members' pasts were, and one guy basically summed up Luffy's past as "Uhh... his idol lost an arm. That's about it."

Not surprisingly, everyone in that thread agreed Robin was #1. I think Franky got put smack in the middle. Don't really remember where everyone else went (I think Zoro was third-to-last, and Usopp was second-to-last).

(An additional bit of black humor: that forum used "Ohara" as the name of the subforum where all locked/deleted topics went. Three guesses why.)

Also, I remember one of the anime's openings (I think it was "Bon Voyage") made a show of giving snippets of each Strawhat's past, including Robin's. Thing is, that opening aired WAY before even the manga got to Water 7, so I'm not sure if Oda really did give them a hint, or the animators just took a wild, lucky guess.

And yeah, I think the spoilered BW question relates to something that happens in 42. We'll get to it soon enough.

On a completely different note: how do you think the Strawhats handle log-writing duty? I remember a pretty good fic, "The Adventure of the Man of D" (a crossover with Sherlock Holmes, of all things), where the very beginning has the author more or less perfectly sums up each Strawhat's personality by recounting (through Robin's narration) how they write up the logbook:

Luffy goes about it with enthusiasm, but his vocabulary is pitiful, and he often inserts crayon illustrations, which Robin finds undignified.

Zoro has a competent grasp of language, but insists on reducing everything to the most sterile, laconic details (likely because he thinks it distracts him from training).

Usopp tells a good, dramatic story, but his adherence to accuracy really leaves a lot to be desired.

Sanji is good enough at it, but Robin expresses annoyance at how he often drops cigarette ashes all over the pages (plus, I think there's something about him writing in loopy, lovey-dovey letters whenever he mentions the girls).

Chopper rarely does it because he can't hold a pen with his hooves (this strikes me as the only real off-note part - surely Chopper could turn into human form for a few minutes?). He also does the whole childish illustrations thing.

*spoiler* and *spoiler* has better things to do and claims the risk of rheumatism, respectively.

Robin doesn't really mention how Nami does it, save for the fact that she and Nami handle the log-writing about 90% of the time. The rest of the fic (well, half of it) is narrated by Robin, so we get a first-hand look at how she does it.

Date: 2014-03-14 08:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miaruma.livejournal.com
Oh god. Just reading this has me super emotional and wiping away tears. Oda is a master at yanking on the tear ducts again and again.

But I do love Robin's backstory. It once again features an awesome mother character, who leaves her child to pursue her interests and the only bad choice she made was the people she left Robin with. No one vilified her for going out into the world without her daughter.
And while she feels terrible about leaving Robin and her biggest worry is that she isn't worthy of being her mom anymore, Robin only ever wanted to see her again :(.

And ugh their reunion. Robin's pleas for Olivia (I also prefer this spelling but oh well) to acknowledge her and her tearstained face - ugh here come the sobs - and their short reunion just breaks me every time, because it gives both of them what they so badly wanted but it doesn't last nearly long enough.

Also UGH THE VOID CENTURY ODA I WANT TO KNOOOOW!

Anyway, the flag-burning definitely is one of the defining points of OP, and certainly one of its best. It lays the groundwork for all that happens later and the face off of the Strawhats is just epic in all ways. Granted the anime did try to milk it way too hard, but the manga version still works perfectly well for me.

All in all one of my favourite OP volumes and 42 volumes in that is quite a feat!

Date: 2014-03-17 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
But I do love Robin's backstory. It once again features an awesome mother character, who leaves her child to pursue her interests and the only bad choice she made was the people she left Robin with. No one vilified her for going out into the world without her daughter.

I really like this point! Biological blood relationships are so rarely celebrated in One Piece. It's kind of ironic that Robin may be the closest of the Strawhats after Usopp to having a normal relationship with a biological parent, even if she only got to have it for the littlest while.

Date: 2014-03-14 08:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
After dinner, she runs off to the Tree of All Knowledge, the great library of Ohara.

...mushroom cloud?

Date: 2014-03-14 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Now I can't un-see that! I was thinking Library of Alexandria, myself.

Date: 2014-03-16 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
I'm genuinely surprised it isn't a source of symbolism and speculation. It seems plain as day to me, and I was intrigued by the suggestion that even the pure pursuit of knowledge has this dark side in Oda's universe, because of course uncovering these secrets/truths is a double-edged sword. Like we smash atoms to uncover the origins of the universe, and we smash atoms to create nuclear weapons.

Sorry I haven't had more to say about the last two volumes. It's almost as if the more epic OP becomes, the less I can analyze it. I'm just swept along.

I don't have 42 and 43 yet. I'm very sad to report there's a gap at my local library. The whole system is missing 42, so I'll have to hit up the neighboring community's library, and the only hours I can do that are Tuesday and Saturday. I don't want you to slow down; I just wanted you to know I would be trailing behind again.

Date: 2014-03-16 01:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
I'm genuinely surprised it isn't a source of symbolism and speculation.

Interesting! I've never seen discussion of it, but then I don't hang out on fan forums much (other than combing the wiki on and off).

It is intriguing, as you say, if only because the description of both the ancient weapon AND the Buster Call seem to scream "Hiroshima analogy" to me.

Sorry I haven't had more to say about the last two volumes. It's almost as if the more epic OP becomes, the less I can analyze it. I'm just swept along.

I'm sad not to have your more detailed comments, because I always enjoy them, but the main thing is you're enjoying it. (Um, as much as one can enjoy having one's HEART RIPPED OUT.)

I am curious to know if your view of Robin has changed since Alabasta, and if so, at what point/in what way. (I will admit to being unduly pro-Robin prejudiced, but I wasn't always. It took time for her to grow on me.)

I'm just working on 42 now - 42 and 43 may take a while. Lots of shounen fighting. Which is actually easier to summarize, but life is busy at the moment, so. Catch up whenever you can!

Date: 2014-03-16 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
I am curious to know if your view of Robin has changed since Alabasta, and if so, at what point/in what way.

Well, yes. In Alabasta she was a villain's henchperson, and now she is nakama. But the point at which I genuinely began to like her was when Iceberg revealed the truth of the wish she couldn't fulfill if she went with the Strawhats in Water Seven. The thread runs from that point to her shouting "I want to live" at the end of 41. Until then, I appreciated her character type -- the ship's archaeologist, the adventurer-scholar -- but only intellectually. And I thought it was cute how she addresses everyone by their duties. (Now it kind of makes me sad.)

Anyway, I need to be clear that it wasn't her tragic backstory that turned me (yearning for her mother, her cinderella years, losing her WORLD + Saul), except for the sliver between Aokiji letting her go and the end of the flashback, where we see what life for her on the run was like. 20 years of using others and being used and betrayed, and being made to believe that her mere existence was a crime. (Oh, Franky. Thank you. You have been pardoned for Usopp.) It just makes me want to hug Luffy for assembling these nakama for her.

Date: 2014-03-16 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Aw! Thank you.

It's funny, I can't remember now when my view of Robin turned, but I remember being absolutely convinced, when she first said that her "dream" couldn't come true as long as she was with them, that it must mean something other than what it sounded like to the reader (that she was betraying the Strawhats, I mean). So I must have been won over by her sometime during Skypiea, after all.

I liked that from very early on, you seemed to appreciate her dream to know about True History even more than I did (and I have always loved that about her, too).

And I thought it was cute how she addresses everyone by their duties. (Now it kind of makes me sad.)

Looking back on this with perspective, I find it equal parts adorable and sad. (I don't think "Ship's Doctor-san" will ever not be adorable.)

Date: 2014-03-16 05:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
I liked that from very early on, you seemed to appreciate her dream to know about True History even more than I did

I wish I could think of a super-eloquent way to say this, but since I can't: I really appreciate that some of the dreams in One Piece are the dreams of explorers and intellectuals like Nami, Robin, and Chopper, and aren't all about pirates and martial arts and blowing things up and seafood. (Sorry, Sanji. If I weren't allergic, you would belong in our end of the boat.)

Date: 2014-03-17 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
I really appreciate that some of the dreams in One Piece are the dreams of explorers and intellectuals like Nami, Robin, and Chopper, and aren't all about pirates and martial arts and blowing things up

Very true! This is only partly related to your point, but I also love that One Piece draws the reader into such a complicated world.

I think I've commented before that world-building in a fantasy/sf universe is usually a huge turnoff for me, which I consider a character flaw on my part, but normally I'm just not willing to invest the mental and emotional effort to digest pages of "let me tell you how this world works." Oda does it so subtly (the dial thing was an aberration) that I never realized I was getting sucked in until I found myself spending hours taking notes on poneglyphs and trying to calculate who comes from which sea and why.

Not to get all hyperbolic about a manga, but it's a very rare work of fiction - literary or otherwise - that can inspire that level of investment in readers. Tolkein comes to mind.

Date: 2014-03-19 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
trying to calculate who comes from which sea and why.

Have I missed or forgotten something? Why does it matter which sea someone comes from?

Date: 2014-03-19 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Right now it's purest trivia, since it hasn't impacted the plot in any major way, but a long time ago I noticed that Oda goes to a lot of trouble to "casually" mention which sea everyone is from - every Strawhat, at least, and every pirate on the grand line - so I started keeping track.

So far it's only semi-paid off when we later discover that two pirates from the north blue who didn't previously appear to have any connection actually do have a past connection (which is not much of a payoff for 70+ volumes!) but obsession is its own reward.

It is also a curious (perhaps purely trivial) fact that despite being a very small crew for how large their reputation on the grand line is, the Strawhats include representatives of (almost?) every blue as well as natives of the Grand Line:

Luffy, Nami, Zoro, Usopp - East Blue
Sanji - North Blue (still don't have the backstory on this)
Chopper - Grand Line
Robin - West Blue (Ohara)
spoiler - spoiler
spoiler - spoiler

I really need that OCD icon around now.
Edited Date: 2014-03-19 01:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-03-19 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
Just so you know, that first spoiler isn't a spoiler. Though I'm so inattentive, I don't know what sea this counts as. I'm also really curious how it happens, since...well, other attachments to non-straw people.

The next spoiler is only a spoiler because I don't remember the character's name. Erm, very memorable appearance though.

Date: 2014-03-19 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Just so you know, that first spoiler isn't a spoiler. Though I'm so inattentive, I don't know what sea this counts as.

Re: first spoiler, I figured as much, but technically it is a spoiler, because (spoiler) isn't revealed until later - Shabondy, I think? (That is cryptic, I know. You'll see what I mean later.)

I am wondering if you actually know the spoiler about (second) spoiler. Well, we'll find out soonish.

This comment is nothing but a bid to use the word spoiler as often as possible. Spoiler!

Date: 2014-03-17 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com
It's funny, I can't remember now when my view of Robin turned, but I remember being absolutely convinced, when she first said that her "dream" couldn't come true as long as she was with them, that it must mean something other than what it sounded like to the reader (that she was betraying the Strawhats, I mean). So I must have been won over by her sometime during Skypiea, after all.

Yeah, same here. I think I said this in a comment to some other summary, but I think it's really interesting that Robin never really makes any big, grand gesture during Skypiea that wins the readers over, but by Water 7, we're all shocked that she would leave the Strawhats and wondering what's really going on. I guess that was one good thing about Skypiea seeming to go on forever, haha.

Date: 2014-03-17 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
I forget if I said this before, but it struck me, on this reread, as important that Robin can only really relax (to the extent that she's even capable of relaxing around them before Enies Lobby) when they're in the SKY. I mean, they were in Jaya for about fifteen minutes after they left Alabasta, and then it was all Skypiea after that, which was the one place where she could be reasonably sure the world government couldn't follow her.

She froze up again as soon as they got back to blue sea - of course, it doesn't help that Aokiji showed up first thing after they got back.

Date: 2014-03-17 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
That's an excellent observation! So, really it was very lucky for her - and therefore also the whole group, I'd say, because where would they be without Robin? - that the Emperor Cloud happened to pass over their ship right at this time. They could have gone on from Jaya to somewhere else where the WG would find it hard to reach them and have some other adventure before the Foxy arc and then Water 7, but Robin would have found it much harder to be comfortable in the manner she was on Skypiea, likely.

(Though she didn't seem that reserved in the Foxy arc, did she? Foxy was annoying, but I think she always knew he wasn't much of a threat after all.)

Date: 2014-03-17 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Though she didn't seem that reserved in the Foxy arc, did she?

Good point - I think Aokiji showing up does catch her off guard a bit. But I noticed at least one moment during the Foxy arc -- I think it's right before they choose Chopper -- where Robin has this awful look on her face, like "here it comes, time to cut the cord." Like she had long since resigned herself to the idea that she's going to get ditched sooner or later, but she's not quite ready for it to be NOW.

Another advantage of being in Skypiea was that they'd REALLY have to be jerks to leave her there with no way of getting back. So if she was looking worst-case-scenario, like Robin does, she'd probably still figure she was pretty safe from getting tossed overboard then. Once they're back on the blue sea, they might remember that they only ever let her join under protest, and then all bets are off.

... Just pursuing this train of thought is making me sad. :-(

Date: 2014-03-17 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
So, really it was very lucky for her - and therefore also the whole group, I'd say, because where would they be without Robin? - that the Emperor Cloud happened to pass over their ship right at this time.

Yes! Luck does play an awfully important part in their journey.

An only-tangentially related thought:

I was recently giving more consideration to the question of whether Robin was luring them into a trap or not, way back when she offered them the log pose to "Nothing Island." I've convinced myself that she was actually trying to do them a favor, for self-interested reasons.

As far as anyone knew, they were likely to die on Little Garden just waiting for the log pose to reset. That might be to Crocodile's advantage, but Robin is interested in people named D, so I'm thinking she wanted Luffy to survive and get to Alabasta where she'd have a better chance of checking him out. If Nothing Island was actually on the track to Alabasta, as she claimed, it would have saved them time to take her offer.

But as it did occur to me back then, if Luffy had taken her offer, Nami wouldn't have got sick and they wouldn't have gone to Drum Island to find a doctor, and where would they be without CHOPPER? Too dreadful to contemplate!

Luck, or fate?

Date: 2014-03-17 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
Oh, that makes sense, for Robin. I never thought she was laying a trap, either - she was playing her own game with them, what with saving Luffy in the desert, not telling Crocodile about Sanji or other useful things.

True! Nami got infected on Little Island, after all. And if they hadn't met the giants there, Usopp couldn't have turned Oimo and Kashii around to their side in Enies Lobby either! Nor would he aspire to go to Elbaf, he'd just see giants as SCARY SCARY THINGS and nothing else.

Date: 2014-03-17 09:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Indeed, how sad would it be for Usopp not to have giant bonding!

Definitely agreed that she was playing her own deep game once they arrived in Alabasta, but for while, when I was doing vols 13 and 14 or whatever it was, I wondered if she was sending them to Nothing Island (connected to nothing) purely to indulge an especially dark sense of humor. "You've just won an all-expenses-paid trip to Nowheresville, Goldfish Poop Island!"

I wouldn't entirely put it past her - I think her twisted sense of humor is probably one of the only things that got her through those years - but realizing that she was fixated on Luffy being a "D" person from the start certainly made her agenda make more sense to me.

Date: 2014-03-14 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com
How is 仲間がここで死ぬ事でも恐れてんのか literally translated?

Um, pretty much exactly how you translated it? I would say that "de mo" expresses that Franky's kind of throwing out a guess. ("Are you afraid of your nakama dying here or something?") "Koto" is just making "shinu" into a noun instead of a verb. Does that help? I'm terrible at explaining grammar, sorry. :(

Usopp comes flying over the parapet.

I love that you can see Usopp's jaw under the mask (his mouth open in horror) in this panel and after he lands--the Sogeking mask looks so cool and calm, but Usopp is still Usopp.

旦那の無念ならおれ達が.. "If it's regret for your husband, we'll…"

I'm not sure I get this either (I don't really know 無念), but I wonder if the munen belongs to the husband, rather than being Olivia's feelings for her husband? Either way, Viz's translation makes sense, but I'm not sure I get it from the Japanese.

"It's me! Robin! I got bigger, but… don't you remember me? I've been waiting for you to come home!"

This scene will never not make me cry. ;_;

Seriously, how long do goats live?

Things I never thought I would be googling: "goat lifespan." Anyway, Wikipedia says: "Life expectancy for goats is between fifteen and eighteen years. An instance of a goat reaching the age of 24 has been reported."

Maybe it's like "She has the devil's own luck."

Probably. Anyway, 悪運が強い is a set phrase meaning lucky (implied: "to escape trouble").

One of the top five moments in One Piece, easy.

For sure! ...Though, this had me trying to think of the actual top five: (in chronological order) A)"How dare you make our navigator cry!" B) end of Alabasta C) "Bring it on!" (agree this is the best translation) D) *spoiler* in post-Marineford ... What else am I forgetting?

Franky is bawling, too. "I love you guys! Dammit all!"

Has [livejournal.com profile] mangaroo forgiven Franky yet? Because I totally love him here.

I really don't want to know where.

Well, he DOES have the cola compartment, so it's not really a stretch that he might have a special hiding place, say, in his leg.

I have a theory that Luffy is being super-mean to Franky and the Franky Family because he IS moved and doesn't want to admit it on account of Usopp

Totally agreed. Their loyalty is just the kind of thing that Luffy loves.

Date: 2014-03-14 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Um, pretty much exactly how you translated it? I would say that "de mo" expresses that Franky's kind of throwing out a guess. ("Are you afraid of your nakama dying here or something?") "Koto" is just making "shinu" into a noun instead of a verb. Does that help? I'm terrible at explaining grammar, sorry. :(

No, thank you, that helps! I was following Viz' translation (and I was pretty sure they were right, so thank you for confirming it), but it was the koto de mo that was confusing me. I guess from what you're saying, shinu koto is either the object or the subject of the sentence (not sure whether 恐れてんのか requires a subject or an object), whereas I was seeing it as some kind of conditional clause ("even if they die").

Thanks for the help with 悪運が強い, as well!

For sure! ...Though, this had me trying to think of the actual top five: (in chronological order) A)"How dare you make our navigator cry!" B) end of Alabasta C) "Bring it on!" (agree this is the best translation) D) *spoiler* in post-Marineford ... What else am I forgetting?

There are at least two more moments in Enies Lobby (and post) we haven't seen yet that I would probably put in among the nominations. Oh, it is so hard to choose only five, but I'm sure this scene belongs among them.

Date: 2014-03-14 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com
I guess from what you're saying, shinu koto is either the object or the subject of the sentence (not sure whether 恐れてんのか requires a subject or an object

That would be the object, right? <--grammar stupid

There are at least two more moments in Enies Lobby (and post) we haven't seen yet that I would probably put in among the nominations.

Yep. But two means you can only choose one to be in the top five, haha.

Date: 2014-03-14 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
I looked it up and the dictionary says 恐れる is transitive (takes を), so I guess it would be the object. I wasn't sure if osoreru meant more "fears (something)" or "(something) is scary."

Part of me wonders if other scenes would outclass "How dare you make our navigator cry!" (even though I love that scene so much), but then again, it seems unfair for Enies Lobby to hog them all. (For that matter, jeez, only one for all of Marineford AND Post-Marineford? I mean, I'm pretty sure I know which one you mean, but so much competition. One Piece, stop being so epic that we can't pick.)

Date: 2014-03-14 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com
One Piece, stop being so epic that we can't pick.

Most EPIC? Easy! XD

For that matter, jeez, only one for all of Marineford AND Post-Marineford?

Yeah, haha. But you know, if it's only the top FIVE, it's not like every arc can have a bunch. Enies Lobby does have a lot of awesome stuff, though.

(Edited, so, so late, to fix HTML.)
Edited Date: 2014-03-16 02:24 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-03-16 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Hee! I was hoping you would fix that, because I didn't want to immortalize the HTML forever, but I wanted to comment that I remember when it seemed like I had to wait FOREVER to get far enough into the story to actually click on that link the first time you posted it during my anime meme.

And I think it's even funnier now. Robin's horror of docking!

Date: 2014-03-17 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com
Thank you for letting me fix my html shame.

I don't think there's one second of that clip that doesn't make me laugh like crazy. It's just so hilarious.

Date: 2014-03-14 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
This scene will never not make me cry. ;_;

So true. T__T Out of so many tearing-up moments in this flashback, that is the one that seems to get me every time. (Second worst is Robin trying to laugh but only being able to cry.)

Things I never thought I would be googling: "goat lifespan."

Hee! I wonder if he's been raising a succession of them. The goat was in Strong World, too, but I can't remember at exactly which year-marker-point.

Has mangaroo forgiven Franky yet? Because I totally love him here.

I want to know, too! Sentimental, weepy Franky is just the best. ("I'm not crying!")

Date: 2014-03-14 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com
Second worst is Robin trying to laugh but only being able to cry.

Yep. ;_;

Date: 2014-03-14 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
Has mangaroo forgiven Franky yet?

She has, to the point where she's kind of miffed at Luffy for being short with him. (Luffy, you are awesome in Enies Lobby, but it's not ALL ABOUT YOU. Two King Bulls were felled trying to drag your friends and cohorts here. These goonies you're yelling at aren't made of rubber and devil fruit powers and they are risking everything for theirs, the way you're risking everything for yours. And Paulie and the boys? They're doing it for mouse justice, man. So don't tell anyone brave enough to take this stand to shut up.)

Of course, I also had to forgive him for, erm, gas power. Ugh.

Date: 2014-03-14 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Gas power may be the most disgusting thing ever. It's no wonder Franky is the ten-year-old boy's favorite.

MOUSE JUSTICE!

Also, yay - I thought you'd love the loyal flunkies once you got a chance to know them.

Date: 2014-03-14 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
I prefer "Nico Olivia" too, but I've reluctantly started to go with "Nico Olvia" when I didn't see anyone else use "Olivia" anymore.

[Interesting to contrast this with Nami's dream of mapping the world. Not that I think Robin would ever look down on Nami's dream, but Nami's dream of representing everything that exists on a map of the world sits uncomfortably with Robin's abomination for those who think that you can change reality by changing what is represented on a map. Then again, maybe Nami's determination to map everything she sees - including things other people think are mythical, like Sky Island - lines up with Robin's quest for true history after all.]

I think it's like what Tom said about ships. Maps can be used for good and bad things, it's not the maps themselves that are the problem but the mindset of those who treat people as things and won't care about the lives lost behind a phrase like "wiped off the mat".

I've headcanoned before that Robin feels an affinity with Nami because Nami wants to do with space what Robin wants to do with time, but I hadn't really taken this scene into account. Interesting question!

(I wonder if anyone's ever done a fic where Robin returns to Ohara? Maybe it would just be too unbearably sad, and perhaps the whole island is still being watched, just in case someone tries to fish out those books from the lake (not that many of them can still be legible ;_;)If it's not under guard, I wonder if there are people living there again, possibly in secret...)

Luffy: "I understand very well who Robin's enemies are."

After reading Luffy's childhood arc, one moment stood out to me in this regard and I made this post on Tumblr.

Also, I have a theory that Luffy is being super-mean to Franky and the Franky Family because he IS moved and doesn't want to admit it on account of Usopp - even though the concept of Luffy having "mixed emotions" must violate some kind of law of nature.

I like that theory! I can easily see it.

Everyone watching is stunned as the flag goes up in flames.

Ages ago, I remember reading a striking comment about the specific panel of Robin in that spread, just as her eyes start to well up but before the tears start pouring. It was something on the line of, "That look on her face right there... it's the look of someone who finally lets go of the weight of the world on her shoulders."

And it's so well-drawn. There are few images of people crying where you can really sense how warm tears feel to the one who cries, but in that panel, it feels like I can.

"I WANT TO LIVE! Take me to sea with you!"

so good. ♥

but I actually love that she's sobbing so hard that it comes out more as "I WAD TO LIB!" I've seen criticism of that, but it's realistic, in a way - and further underlines that Robin's really allowing herself to, finally, cry her heart out, without restrictions. ♥

Date: 2014-03-14 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
I always figured they got at least some of the books out of the water, and that's how Nami was reading Brag Men later (er, I mean earlier in the series, but later in time... or something).

Although, now I do wonder if they kept an eye on Ohara. It was the archaeologists they were most afraid of, but there is that indestructible poneglyph there.

"That look on her face right there... it's the look of someone who finally lets go of the weight of the world on her shoulders."

There was a youtube video - did I link to it, or is it one that I was just viewing while I was linking to something else? - anyway, someone in the comments referred to that same moment (the look on Robin's face) as "the moment when you decide to trust someone for the first time." I thought that was a lovely way of putting it.

I need a better Robin icon!

she's sobbing so hard

I had to go back and look because this was less noticeable in Japanese - in Japanese, she just says "igitai" instead of "ikitai" (and then the rest of it, about "take me to sea," comes out normal). Still - aw, Robin! I'm glad you pointed that out, because I missed it.

[AWESOME point under your spoiler cut. I hadn't made that connection at all, and that makes SO much sense.]

Date: 2014-03-14 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
Oh, I really hope that, about the books! Though for "Brag Men" I figured there were simply other copies out there.

That was indeed lovely put!!

I've only got one Robin icon, and I can't use it on LJ because it's an unpaid account.

...I guess I overdid how much Robin was actually sobbing. Now that you say it, I believe the "Take me to sea with you!" part came out normal in those other translations, too.

Date: 2014-03-14 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
That's a nice Robin icon!

I guess I overdid how much Robin was actually sobbing.

No, I'm glad you pointed it out, because even though it's less noticeable in Japanese, it's still a huge thing for Robin. I was just thinking that the impact might feel less because we did get to see her cry as a little girl during the flashback, but grown-up Robin Does Not Cry. I think the only other time I've seen her adult self cry before this is when she thought she was dying in that tomb with Cobra.

and further underlines that Robin's really allowing herself to, finally, cry her heart out, without restrictions. ♥

In other words, this. <3

Date: 2014-03-14 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
ALSO I AM SHALLOWLY IN LOVE WITH THIS VOLUME'S COVER BECAUSE WHILE IT VERY APPROPRIATELY FEATURES TINY ROBIN, SAUL AND OLVIA/OLIVIA, IT ALSO HAS LUFFY AND SOGEKING STANDING BACK TO BACK LOOKING BADASS. ♥♥♥♥♥♥ (ALSO SOGEKING IS POINTING TOWARDS THE SKY IN THAT TYPICAL USOPPIAN MANNER. <3)

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