sara_tanaquil: (kaku)
[personal profile] sara_tanaquil
I have been waiting SO long to be able to use this icon.

Volume 43: Hero Legend (or, Legendary Hero?)


(Ahaha, I love the title of this chapter: "Nami's Giant Transformation.")

Luffy is holding his own against Lucci.

The government agents are fleeing the doomed island of Enies Lobby.

The tied-up prisoners (Franky Family and Galley-La) realize they've been left behind.

Zambai: "Whoa, this is bad!" (やべー)
Paulie: "It's BEEN bad since we set foot in this place."

Kaku and Jabura are discussing the fact that they need to wrap up their fight with Zoro and head for the gates of justice.

Zoro is busy thinking up a name for his Usopp-sword: "OK, you're 'Famous Sword Nose-Storm'" (名刀鼻嵐) - hana-arashi would normally be "storm of flower petals" (花嵐), LOL.

Usopp: "This is no time to be thinking up names! CHOPPER!!"

Chopper (in monster form) is climbing the building.

Back to Luffy and Lucci fighting for (counts) 8 pages. (Ah, shounen fighting, so much easier to summarize.) Still no progress.

Kalifa again attacks Nami, transforming her entire body into a slippery doll-like form. She needs to hurry up and escape, although she would have liked to stay and play a little longer.

Nami uses her Clima-Tact to summon a mirage effect. Kalifa keeps attacking something that looks like Nami but dissolves into air when touched.

While Nami is still hiding, the wall cracks and breaks. Chopper comes in roaring.

Kalifa thinks Chopper is some kind of giant-monster-transformation devil fruit ability that Nami was hiding up her sleeve.

Nami: "Is she a COMPLETE idiot?" (天然!!?)


[Cover Arc: The BW agents seem to be settling into their new identities as they prepare to open the new Spider's Cafe. Did Miss Valentine make a Crocodile Hook Cake?]

Nami realizes that the monster must be Chopper, but she can hardly believe it.

Kalifa has a hard time fighting monster Chopper. When Nami tries to stop her, Chopper attacks her instead.

At first she thinks he doesn't recognize her because of what Kalifa did to her body.

Kalifa: "Just so you know, I totally did NOT ever think that was you."

(Nami is too busy worrying over Chopper to pay any attention. Kalifa is very offended by her rudeness.)

Chopper picks up Kalifa's entire bath-island and throws it over the stairwell into the lobby below, where Sanji is still passed out.

When Kalifa complains about "that monster" interfering, Nami gets mad.

"You keep your hands off him! That's my nakama!" (Aw!)

Chopper smashes more stuff.

Nami wants to go after him and stop him somehow (she's still ignoring Kalifa, who is again offended by the rudeness).

Kalifa now concludes (from the "nakama" remark) that "you pirates sure keep weird pets."

She says that Nami can go after Chopper if she wants, but she'll have to deal with Kalifa first.

Nami finally realizes that the "slippery" effect can be removed by washing the soap off with water. Kalifa blocks her path, but it turns out that being thrown through the air tends to wipe the foam away, as well.

Nami manages to summon an indoor rainstorm, protecting her from the effects of the bubble attack.

Kalifa: "Not cute at all. And after I went to all that trouble to give you such beautiful skin."
Nami: "If being cute means being helpless and not fighting back, I'll pass."

Nami uses her mirage effect again to create an entire mirror-army of Namis.

She attacks Kalifa with lightning.


[Cover arc: Mr 2 and Mr 3 are tossed into prison with Crocodile and Mr. 1. "Mr."]

Nami tells Kalifa the next attack will finish her.

Kalifa: "What kind of a prediction is that? Impudence!"
Nami: "It's not a prediction… it's a forecast. In this room, I control the weather."

Nami delivers the "weather forecast" of Kalifa's impending doom.

(LOL, the weather forecast of the daily Japanese news broadcasts is one of the few parts I almost understand. She's using the standard delivery format here. "In the end, you'll most likely get struck by lightning. Do take care to avoid heart attacks." The regular weather forecast seems to think that it's necessary to regularly warn people about avalanches when it snows.)

Kalifa tries to hit the many Namis with a "tidal wave" of bubbles, figuring that way it won't matter which one is the real her. Nami makes a hole and breaks through, but in doing so, inadvertently reveals her real self.

Kalifa attacks ("I'm going to turn you into a pincushion!"), but Nami says she's forgotten one thing - you should never ignore what the navigator tells you about the weather.

Nami destroys Kalifa with her "Thunder-Lance Tempo."

"No matter how strong you may be - my forecasts never fail!"

Franky finally shows up ("Deer-Gorilla, where are you!?").

Nami wants to know what on earth happened to Chopper, but Franky says that's what he wanted to know. He hoped they would recognize Chopper's power and know how to handle it.

Franky starts to say that in that case he'll just have to strangle him, but Nami bashes him over the head. "I'll never say it again! I swear!"

He says they need Kalifa's key, and Nami says she was about to take care of that.

She starts ripping the unconscious Kalifa's clothing off. "Where did she hide it!?"

Franky approves (like the thumbs-up gesture).

Chopper is now pursuing Zoro and Usopp (they don't know why he doesn't recognize them).

Zoro is worried - as monstrous as Chopper is, he looks like he's at death's door. He deduces that that form must be using up too much of Chopper's life energy. If they leave him alone, he'll collapse on his own.

Kaku and Jabura, annoyed by the interruption to their fight, prepare to attack Chopper. Usopp gets very upset ("They're gonna hurt Chopper!!"); Zoro attacks with his Usopp-sword.

Franky interrupts them, saying he has a plan to deal with Chopper. He uses one of his attacks to knock Chopper through the wall and into the ocean.

Nami (suddenly appearing): "Don't worry. It's all part of the plan."

Franky dives in after Chopper.

Kaku and Jabura are irritated ("They're fighting amongst themselves AGAIN?") but then realize that Zoro is finally free of the handcuffs (because Kalifa had key #2).

Zoro: "You should be crying. You just missed your LAST chance to defeat me… world government."


[Cover Arc (last): Crocodile, Mr. 1, Bon Kurei and Mr. 3 are all shipped off to Impel Down.]

Robin is trying to run away from Spandam, using the last of her strength, but he gets her back under control easily with his elephant sword.

Franky manages to drag a now unconscious and back-to-normal Chopper out of the water.

He's shocked that even Chopper's nakama didn't know how to handle him in that form. He's impressed that Chopper took out one of the CP9 agents (not to mention the fact that Chopper's nakama would still stand up for him when he turned into THAT), so he grumpily decides to forgive him "this time." (He's not entirely gentle as he goes about pumping water out of poor Chopper's lungs.)

Chimney and Gonbe show up and tell Franky that they know how to get to the gates of justice.

Franky remembers Nami telling him what they need to do - after Chopper is under control, Franky has to get the remaining keys to Robin so they can open her handcuffs. She gave him the baby den-den mushi Kalifa was carrying.

She says she'll stay and free "Hana-Kingu" (hee, Nami keeps mutilating poor Usopp's name) and Zoro.

Franky points out that even if they can save Robin, they're in a fix - the bridge back to Enies Lobby is broken, and even if they could get back to it, they'd be wiped out by the Buster Call.

Nami: "Well then, we've got death behind and the unknown ahead of us. Which do we choose?"

[Badass Nami is kind of awesome!]

She says they'll do what they need to do in the Tower of Law and follow as soon as they can.

"Leave the rest… to luck!" "LUCK!?"

[The same exchange Zoro and Usopp had on the train, of course.]

Mini-flashback over, Franky tells Chimney, Gonbe and Kokoro to bring "the deer" and follow him through the tunnel.

Zoro, Usopp and Nami are facing Kaku and Jabura.

Nami is yelling at Zoro and Usopp for wasting time fooling around. Zoro/Usopp, in unison: "It was his stupid fault." Nami: "You're BOTH big fat idiots! Get those keys!"

Zoro fights Kaku while Usopp and Nami look on in horror.

Nami: "He just blasted a square hole through a rock! That nose is even more amazing than Sogeppu's!"
Usopp: "Who the hell is Sogeppu!? And quit with the useless comparisons!"

Belatedly, they realize Jabura is standing right next to them.

He offers them the key he's carrying, saying he really doesn't enjoy taking human life. But when Usopp reaches for it, Jabura attacks. He slams his claws into Usopp's chest and throws him into a wall.

He laughs at Usopp, calling him a "masked fool" (まぬけ覆面), and asks why he doesn't resort to running around in circles again. His legs are good for RUNNING, at least.

Usopp fights back with his new Kabuto weapon, but Jabura easily defeats him and prepares to tear his throat out.

[Poor Usopp. T__T]

"Little lamb wandered away from the shepherd, and now he's gonna get eaten by the big bad wolf."

(Aw, Zoro's reaction when he realizes what's going on, but he can't stop fighting Kaku to help.)

Just in time, Sanji shows up to kick Jabura's ass.

[Love Zoro's satisfied "Hmph!" when he sees Sanji.]

Jabura: "Who are YOU?"

Sanji: "I'm the hunter."


When Nami asks how he escaped from the state he was in, Sanji says a bathtub fell out of the sky and saved him by pouring water all over him.

When he then starts his usual hearts and flowers routine ("Do you love me even more now?"), Nami says she wishes the tub had hit him.

Usopp is crawling to his feet.

Nami: "Hanappu!"
Usopp: "Sob… there's not a single syllable of Sogeking left…"

He starts to apologize to Sanji for not being able to get the key, but Sanji gruffly cuts him off.

"Not everyone can do everything."

He points out at the gates of justice across the water, which are starting to swing open. Robin is about to be taken out of their reach.

Spandam is dragging Robin along by the hair (T__T).

Luffy is still fighting Lucci.

Franky is racing down the tunnel, with Kokoro and the kids behind him (Chimney is insisting on painting a trail for the others to follow). Kokoro has Chopper slung over one shoulder (poor Chopper).

Zoro and Kaku are still fighting.

Sanji: "This situation is just about as bad as it can possibly get…"

The sea-train is overloaded with evacuating government agents and soldiers.

The Franky Family and Galley-La got free of their ropes because Paulie was only pretending to be tied up (yay!). They know they can't help Franky or the Strawhats, so they decide that their best bet is to get themselves off the island any way they can.

The attacking warships are on their way.

Sanji: "… But when things look their worst, there's always a way out."

"Leave this guy to me. I'll do what you couldn't do, and you do what I can't do."

[Definitely one of Sanji's best lines ever.]

Sanji tells Usopp that if he thinks hard enough, he'll realize that they have a way to save Robin, as long as Usopp is with them.

Nami and Usopp make a run for it while Sanji challenges Jabura.

Usopp starts yelling that he's figured it out - he knows what to do.

Sanji and Jabura fight for a while.

Jabura again tries to use deceit, this time claiming that he wants to give Sanji the key because Robin is his long-lost sister.

[Ahaha, these are the outrageous lies that [ profile] lego_joker was talking about, I see.]

Sanji pretends to fall for it, but isn't taken in. "Oh, come ON." (ってそんなわけ)

His kick sends Jabura flying.


"Robin, your sister? Do-aho. Try coming up with a better lie than that!"

But, he thanks Jabura for the key (which is now in his hand).

Jabura tries to stop Sanji from escaping, and their fight shifts into the central stairway area.

When Jabura taunts Sanji about Robin ("If you got time to pity that stupid broad and her bad luck…"), Sanji gets angry.

"Watch your mouth. I tend to heat up when I lose my temper."

Sanji spins until one of his legs is red-hot, and takes Jabura out with his Diablo Jambe.

[I guess this is the first time he's used this attack?]

They continue fighting in mid-air (physics? who cares?) until Sanji finally defeats Jabura.


Sanji is standing over Jabura's smoking body in the lobby below.

"God made food, and the devil made spices. Guess I used a bit too much spice."

Seeing the ceiling shifting, he mutters "Damn giraffe and marimo. Are they trying to destroy the building?"

He figures Nami and Usopp must already be on their way to Robin. He should get going, too. He's holding key #1.

Spandam drags Robin up onto the Bridge of Hesitation.

He can't stop gloating. Once they pass through those gates, he'll be a hero to the world!

The warships are reporting that they're ten minutes away.

Franky runs into Luffy and Lucci, who are still fighting at the base of the stairs to the bridge.

Luffy is distracted from his fight long enough to get cranky with Franky again. Franky: "Will you please get it through your head that I'm ON YOUR SIDE!"

He offers to give Luffy a hand with Lucci, but Luffy says the main thing is to get to Robin. He says he'll hold Lucci back long enough to give Franky a chance to get past them.

"SUPER leave it to me, bakayarou!" (I don't know how to translate that when it's not really meant to be an insult.)

Back in the tower, Kaku and Zoro are still fighting. Zoro ties his black headscarf on.

Kaku: "What, you get stronger with that on?"
Zoro: "Saa, na."

Zoro attacks. Kaku says that when he's in mid-air, he's got a blind spot. (shikaku)

Kaku uses his devil fruit ability to transform himself into a compact cube. "I'm shikaku (四角 = square), but I've got no shikaku (死角 = blind spot)!"

Zoro is furious. "Shut up! What are you DOING!?"

[Oh god, this entire fight is one long bad pun. I lost count after a while. It's the battle of the oyaji gag!]

When square-giraffe uses a truncated form of rankyaku on him, Zoro thinks he's just joking around, but he's not. It creates a hail of cutting blows, bouncing off the ceiling and striking from all directions.

Kaku uses his "bigan" (the nose-gun version of "shigan"; bi = nose) on Zoro. He's grudgingly impressed when Zoro bounces back from the blow.

Zoro says it's just training. "Kirin-ja."

They get into a fight because Kaku keeps insisting that HE'S the giraffe here. (In old-man speak, "kirin ja." I understand what Kaku is saying; what I don't get is why Zoro keeps taunting him with it. "Kirin ja ja ja ja!" Is he just mocking how Kaku talks?)

Zoro says he needs to break through that "iron barrier" (tekkai) of Kaku's.

Kaku: "What, if it's iron you can cut it? That depends on whether I let you reach my barrier or not."

Zoro decides he needs to power up.

"Ichi go-ri-ra! Ni go-ri-ra!"

[This is so BAD, omg. 剛力 (here go-ri, though usually gouriki) is "herculean strength." Not sure what the ra (羅) part is supposed to refer to - possibly a battle technique thing? - but the whole kanji phrase 剛力羅 (go-ri-ra) seems to mean "bulging muscles" but sounds like "gorilla."]

"NIGORI-ZAKE!" (Spelled 二剛力斬, two-herculean-strength-cut, but it sounds like a type of sake.)

Kaku is down but not out.

Zoro accuses Kaku of being the proud type, the kind that thinks he can't be beat.

["Zu ga takai" literally means "your head is high" (because he's a giraffe, yuk yuk).]

Kaku: "Same goes for you!" (貴様もじゃ!)


[Cover picture - these have just been a series of silly sketches, but I love that Usopp-gardener's shirt says OTOKO on the back, and that he has a duck's head cover on the clipper on his belt. Usopp <3 <3]

Kaku once again threatens to reveal the "fathomless destructive power of the giraffe." This time, he transforms his neck into an telescoping cannon.

"Kirin houdai!" (houdai: 砲台 = cannon; 放題 = "all-you-want", as in "all you can eat").

Zoro: "That doesn't even look like a giraffe." (Kaku's neck is contracted all the way, so he looks more like a cow.)

Kaku's attack: "Extreme nose gun… KILIMANJARO!" (麒麟マン射櫓: the kanji read giraffe-man-arrow-turret. Someone PLEASE make the puns stop.)

Zoro says his long neck (which extended again for the Kilimanjaro attack) is a weakness, but Kaku says it's not. He twists his neck into a combination of sword and corkscrew, knocking Zoro off his feet.

Kaku tries to use his Kirin Houdai attack again, but accidentally projects the length into his legs instead (so now he has a short neck and long legs).

He explains it's like when you force dough through the nozzle of a pasta maker. He dubs his new form "Pasta Machine!"

Zoro: "This is no time to be thinking up attack names!!"

[This is VERY close, though not identical, to what Usopp said to Zoro about the "Nose-Storm" thing. I love the repeated implication that Kaku and Zoro have very similar personalities.]

Kaku is trying to declare a new attack, but in the end he just uses "KILIMANJARO" again.

Zoro: "You just couldn't think of anything better!"

They continue fighting. Kaku comes up with more attack names (including two that end in "bamboo forest," chiKI-RIN).

[I think it was at this point that I stopped looking up unfamiliar kanji because I couldn't take any more awful puns.]

Zoro finally summons the technique that invokes the demon Ashura (because he moves so fast that he appears to have three heads and six hands, thus wielding nine swords instead of three).

Zoro strikes the killing blow.


Kaku collapses, reverting to his human form.

Zoro: "I have a message from the young boss (waka-gashira) of Galley-La. 'You're all fired.'"

[LOL, I just noticed that Zoro puts "kubi" in extra quotation marks, presumably because the idiom for "fired" uses the word for neck. Couldn't go out without one last pun, eh, Zoro?]

Kaku: "Paulie, huh? Hm, that's a problem. Not too much work out there for ex-assassins."
Zoro: "Have you considered a zoo?"
Kaku laughs. "Good one!"

He tosses his key to Zoro (or starts to, before he passes out).

[I think this little exchange is pretty much the entire reason I love Kaku, well, apart from all the giraffe jokes.]

Back on Enies Lobby, the Franky Family are all screaming "RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"

It turns out the ones who are actually running are the giants (carrying Sodom and Gomorrah too, omg, I love giants).

"GO, in the name of Elbaf!"
"Oh, shut up!"

Sanji shows up to meet Zoro (aw, he just couldn't leave him behind).

Zoro says they've got all the keys now; they need to get to Robin.

Kokoro and the children are still running through the corridor. "Hey, don't rush an old lady, ngagaga!"

Spandam continues to drag Robin toward the gates of justice. He points out the arch at the end of the bridge - that's the point of no return.

For Robin, it's the boundary between heaven and hell. For himself, the moment when he carves his name in history.

Robin makes one last break for it. He tries to drag her away, but she's fastened her teeth in the edge of the stone bridge. (Yikes.)

Spandam is hurling abuse at her, but all Robin can think about is how afraid she is of dying. She never thought the prospect of death could be so terrifying. She's determined to hang on until they come for her.

Spandam: "How many times do I have to tell you, no one is coming for you!"

Cut to Luffy still fighting Lucci.

Franky tries to fight Lucci when Lucci blocks his path to the door, and is shocked to realize how strong he is, much stronger than Fukurou. Lucci points out that his "douriki" is five times that of Fukurou. ("And you did pretty well, to have defeated him. You're not far from superhuman yourself.")

Luffy interrupts, knocking Lucci flying. His body is giving off steam - he's entering Gear Two again.

Lucci assumes his leopard form.

Spandam is laughing over Robin's body (she now appears to have passed out). He starts dragging her limp body toward the gate.

Luffy: "Franky! Take care of Robin!"
Franky: "SUPER leave it to me!"

419 ("Hero Legend")

On Enies Lobby, the marines are stunned to see the gates of justice opened all the way. They normally don't open more than a crack, but this time they are open all the way to let the ten warships from Marine HQ get through.

The Franky Family and Galley-La are terrified by the sight, too. This is what it means to pick a fight with the "World."

Franky Family: "Don't die, aniki!"
Galley-La: "Come back alive, Mugiwara!"

Lucci appears no more than mildly annoyed by the fact that Franky got past him. He notices that Luffy's breathing is too fast - Gear Two is taking a severe toll on his body.

Franky is racing up the stairs to the bridge.

On the other end of the Bridge of Hesitation, the ship is waiting to take Robin away, and the marines have lined up in an honor guard formation to salute their new "hero," Spandam.

Spandam is dragging Robin's half-conscious body by a rope.

He gloatingly informs her that even if one of her friends manages to get past Lucci, he planted a land mine under the stairs at the top of the tower. Not that anyone will get that far.

Robin insists that she's still not going through that gate. "They said… they'd save me."

Spandam says they're not coming. The Buster Call will burn them to ashes, avenging the humiliation of the burning of the government flag.

"Just like that giant sailor on Ohara twenty years ago."

Spandam says that she thought he didn't know anything about Ohara, but he knows everything. About Saul, about her mother, everything that happened on Ohara. The man who gave the order for the Buster Call on Ohara was his father, Spandain.

[This wasn't supposed to be a surprise, was it? I thought it was completely obvious from the moment we met Spandain, but oh well.]

Robin remembers the man who passed death sentence on the archaeologists, who shot Professor Clover, who blocked her from escaping.

Spandam mocks Robin, "pitying" the wretchedness of her twenty years on the run.

Robin is crying now, as he gloats that his father was the one who put that bounty on her head, and now the son will be the one to take her in.

He's ringing down the curtain on the last survivor of Ohara. Ohara has lost.

Robin: "I'm still alive!"
Spandam: "And you're about to be DEAD!"

They both hear an explosion coming from the tower at the end of the bridge. Franky's smoking body is thrown into the air, and falls into the water below.

Spandam is shocked to see Cutty Flam, but delighted that he fell into his trap.

Robin: "He came… to save me…?"

Spandam starts dragging her toward the gate again. Robin is past words; the tears won't stop coming.

"With this next step, I will be engraved on history as the greatest hero of…"

An explosion sends Spandam flying. He lands in a heap in the midst of the soldiers who were standing at attention.

The marines come rushing onto the bridge, and start getting blown up right and left. No one can see where the attack is coming from.

Robin sees the silhouette just a little bit before they do. (Aw, Robin's crying face.)

Usopp is standing on the very top of the Tower of Law, firing across the water at the bridge. He strikes a pose.

They can't believe anyone could be shooting at this distance, into the wind, no less, and hitting with such deadly precision.

(Usopp is now singing his theme song.)

Tears are streaming down Robin's face. "Long-nose-kun!"

Sanji (standing underneath the Tower of Law) is torn between gloating ("That's right, that's our sniper!") and worrying about Robin.

Zoro: "Does he have to SING?" (Yes, Zoro. Yes, he does.)

Spandam, now on his feet, gets another bomb in the face. He keeps screaming at the marines to shoot him, but they say they can't even shoot that far, let alone aim to hit anything. "That sniper is amazing!"

Robin makes a break for it.

Spandam: "Don't let her get away! Shoot to kill, just don't kill her!" "HUH?"

The marines fire, but Franky blocks the bullets. "I'm strong, I'm made of iron. Your land mine was nothing, Spanda."

"Sogeking" raises Franky on the den-den mushi. He tells him he's just sent over a little red bag with two more keys in it. He should have all the keys now.

Usopp: "They got the message."
Sanji: "Mission accomplished."
Zoro: "Can we hurry it up? This is looking bad (やべー)."


Date: 2014-03-29 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
To me there are two main strands of this volume: the struggle of the Strawhats in the tower which in general turns from distress to victory in this volume (not for everyone against individual opponents, like how Usopp couldn't handle Jyabura and Monster Chopper needed saving himself in the end, but as a collective effort); and Spandam bit by bit forcing Robin over the bridge in his abusive shithead way, an agonising journey that's finally halted in the last chapter. The continuous battle between Luffy and Lucci is of course part of it too, but since it isn't resolved here it doesn't yet feel as significant as the other scenes. (But practically it is of course essential that Luffy engages Lucci, keeping him from the rest of the crew so that victory on that part can be possible - as shown very clearly here when he allows Franky to slip past on his way to Robin.)

I don't know if I have anything more to say about Sanji's lines to Usopp here. I love that moment so much. ♥♥♥ (In one of my fics Usopp tells him, when it happens to come up and Sanji is self-deprecating, that "those words saved me just as much as your kick did", and I sincerely believe that's true.)

...Although one plot hole I never could figure out is how Usopp got ahold of the keys he shot to the bridge where Franky could pick them up and free Robin. Didn't they come from Jyabura and Kaku? But he was up on the roof or on the way there when they were defeated, right? How could Sanji and Zoro transmit the keys up to him?

Date: 2014-03-29 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Although one plot hole I never could figure out is how Usopp got ahold of the keys he shot to the bridge where Franky could pick them up and free Robin.

Oh, wow, you're right! How did I miss that?

Now that is going to bug me. Maybe Sanji and Zoro went up to the roof first - but in that case, why were they down below later?

And I actually wondered (even before you said anything) whether Sanji was expecting Usopp to go up to the roof at all. I mean, when he told Usopp to figure something out, had he already guessed what Usopp could do to help, or was he just expressing confidence in Usopp's ability to think of something? Because later, when he and Zoro meet up, he says something about "the others are probably on their way to Robin now." If he didn't expect Usopp to go up to the roof, I was thinking that maybe he only realized where he was when he started shooting/singing.

Ah well, perhaps best not to look too closely at the plot holes.

The continuous battle between Luffy and Lucci is of course part of it too, but since it isn't resolved here it doesn't yet feel as significant as the other scenes. (But practically it is of course essential that Luffy engages Lucci

LOL, I felt like I needed a keystroke macro after a while for "Luffy and Lucci are still fighting." But you're right, it serves an essential function in keeping Lucci pinned down, I hadn't really thought of it like that. (I was just thinking of it as a standard "boss fight has to be saved for last" thing).

Date: 2014-03-30 04:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That kind of reminds me of an entry that someone wrote on TV Tropes (not sure if it's still up anymore) about One Piece actually being a subtle deconstruction of Shonen tropes. The big toughest-hero-versus-toughest-villain fight here doesn't actually accomplish anything in and of itself; all it does is neutralize both parties while the secondary characters are the ones actually saving the day.

Also, I think that Zoro vs. Kaku was always my least favorite of the Enies Lobby fights. Maybe I'm just used to Zoro having the most serious fights in any given arc (vs. Hachi, vs. Mr. 1, etc.), so the endless stream of jokes really rubbed me the wrong way. There was also no real dramatic tension - did anyone actually think that Zoro was going to lose? He doesn't even have a handicap, like Nami, Chopper, or Franky did. Even Sanji was facing tougher odds, with Jyabura's whole "Tekkai Kenpo" schtick.

The Asura power-up that Zoro whipped out at the last moment just bugged the crap out of me. It's like Oda went "Okay, everyone else got a shiny new power-up, and we don't want Zoro getting left out!" and just threw in the first thing he could think of. There seems to be no real effort involved in it, nor any particular advantage, and if I remember correctly, it never shows up again.

Everyone else's power-ups got at least one line of explanation (except maybe Sanji's, but his is rooted in basic physics so it arguably needs no explanation), and more importantly, gave them an explicit advantage. Zoro's, lacking both, just looks inorganic and weak.

Date: 2014-03-30 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, I think that Zoro vs. Kaku was always my least favorite of the Enies Lobby fights.

Heh, and it's probably my favorite fight, for the same reason - I like the silly. But I can see why it wouldn't appeal to someone who likes the serious fights.

I didn't realize this was the first time he had used Asura, but you're right. The wiki says it has been used on two other occasions.

FWIW, I think he needed Asura to beat Kaku. The giraffe jokes undermine the degree of threat Kaku presents, but he is a strong enough fighter to hold Zoro at bay for a good amount of time.
Edited Date: 2014-03-30 09:48 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-03-31 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
his is rooted in basic physics

I know what you mean, but this still makes me laugh since we're talking about a guy spinning so fast his leg turns red-hot.

Date: 2014-03-30 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, frobitz. I decided to skip volume 42 and figured I was winning because it would reduce the amount of time I spent with pornstar Kalifa, but it also means I miss Kaku's initial transformation scene. For the record, giraffes cannot fold themselves into cubes.

Nami: "Is she a COMPLETE idiot?"

*sniffle* She was such a competent secretary to Iceberg.

[Cover Arc (last): Crocodile, Mr. 1, Bon Kurei and Mr. 3 are all shipped off to Impel Down.]

Future spoiler awe at Oda's planning.

he gets her back under control easily with his elephant sword

Funkfreed, no!

not to mention the fact that Chopper's nakama would still stand up for him when he turned into THAT

Everyone's response ('cept you, Franky) was so awesome. Even monster Chopper deserves cuddles.

Nami: "Well then, we've got death behind and the unknown ahead of us. Which do we choose?"

Reminds me of Delenn.

[Love Zoro's satisfied "Hmph!" when he sees Sanji.]


Sanji tells Usopp that if he thinks hard enough, he'll realize that they have a way to save Robin, as long as Usopp is with them.

I have no idea what that means.

Zoro: "Saa, na."

I have no idea what THAT means.

fathomless destructive power of the giraffe.


Zoro: "I have a message from the young boss (waka-gashira) of Galley-La. 'You're all fired.'"

He remembered! Also, I like that Kaku describes himself here as an ex-assassin. Don't know that it's true…

And finally…yay! Usopp!

I am just going to use the heck out of this icon

Date: 2014-03-30 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, I am sorry the library is witholding 42 from you. I hope you get to see giraffe transformation eventually.

Future spoiler awe at Oda's planning.

Ooh, you know spoilers! (I won't ask what.) But that is funny, since I spent a lot of the BW arc going "... ok, is (X) in custody yet? When did they arrest (Y) again?"

Everyone's response ('cept you, Franky) was so awesome. Even monster Chopper deserves cuddles.

Especially monster Chopper! Not being able to control the form is so upsetting to him.

Ooh, Nami as Delenn. I wish she would channel Delenn more often.

I have no idea what that means.

I honestly don't know whether Sanji had worked out in his tactical brain how Usopp could help them with his sniper skills, or if his faith in all his comrades is just that firm that he assumed he'd think of SOMETHING.

Zoro: "Saa, na."

I have no idea what THAT means.

Hee! That phrase is so hard to translate. In my head I usually translate it as "Who knows?", but I noticed Viz translated it "Let's find out, shall we?", which I thought was a good choice for that scene.

Also, I like that Kaku describes himself here as an ex-assassin.

I have to go dig up the Japanese volume to check, but that might be more in my translation than in the original. (I have a bad pro-Kaku bias.) Although I do kind of like to think he might give up on the assassin biz someday. Robin was an assassin, too.

Yay, Usopp! Always.

Date: 2014-03-31 07:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For the record, giraffes cannot fold themselves into cubes.


Date: 2014-03-30 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just watched episode 300, which I think corresponds to the penultimate chapter of this volume. I confess it's only now I realise that Spandam's black cape must be a deliberate contrast to Sogeking's red one. That and the question of who the legendary hero is, in the following chapter, is not the only thing contrasting them. Spandam takes a vicious pleasure in hurting and undermining Robin with words as well as physically, while Usopp on the other hand used words to reach out to Robin on the sea train even when he was no longer able to fight.

Episode 300 also had the highly wince-inducing scene where Robin hangs onto the edge of the bridge with her teeth. She's crying, she's afraid of dying, she silently calls out for the others to help her... all a stark contrast to the composed, dignified figure she presented earlier in the arc, who had given up hope and seemed to accept her fate stoically. But it's the "undignified" behaviour she shows here - pulling out of Spandam's grip and running back, biting into the bridge, forcing him to grab her - that slows down Spandam enough in order for Franky to reach her and Usopp to arrive at the roof and shoot. Without the frightened, angry, fighting, "shameful" Robin - to quote Spandam's word - the others would have been too late to save her.

I like it when One Piece insists on heartful emotions and behaviour, even when they're not "seemly" - while I think Luffy is more constrained in this regard by "having" to be the hero and rescuer, he still shows enough "uncool" moments to fit in with this. I only wish something like that could happen with the other two of the Monster Trio, too. I feel that the message is undermined particularly by the fact that Zoro, one of the most popular characters in the show, cannot ever be shown to be afraid of death nor fight in an undignified way to cling onto life like Robin does in this part. (He does has his comic uncool moments, of course; but there's nothing comic about what Robin goes through here.) And this always seems to be presented as an admirable fact about him, not a drawback...

Date: 2014-03-30 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I do recall one undignified act from Zoro during a fight - that whole "My goggles do something!" scene from his fight with Braham on Sky Island. He seemed to be channeling Usopp for a while there (and having roughly the same amount of success).

But yeah, even that was meant more for comic relief than actual plot development.

Date: 2014-03-30 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Without the frightened, angry, fighting, "shameful" Robin - to quote Spandam's word - the others would have been too late to save her.

Yes, agreed. And I find it all the more moving, in that I get the impression that Robin genuinely never feared death before. She had nothing to lose by it, until now. (She seems positively grateful for the prospect in Alabasta.)

That's an interesting comment about Zoro. I wonder if we might see more of that at some point in the future. I think his weakest moments have been his shame at losing to Mihawk (wayyy back when), and his complete inability to deal with Tashigi, which I agree is not that much.

ETA (how many things can I edit today?): I have to say, though, that I don't think it would be in character to see either Zoro or Luffy being undignified because they're afraid to die. I honestly don't think either of them does fear death (Zoro because he has the warrior's view of death with honor, and Luffy because he gives himself over entirely to fate, I think). But they both have things they fear more than death. Zoro fears defeat and disgrace, and failing in his promise; Luffy fears letting his nakama down and not being able to protect everyone. I do think it would be nice to see more of them confronting their particular fears.
Edited Date: 2014-03-30 10:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-03-30 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're probably right about your ETA, although Luffy has still shown some comic petulance, like I think towards Buggy? "Sorry. Now let me go" or something? Okay, not heartfelt, but less than complete stoic acceptance... But generally I think Luffy manages to not fear death because he embraces living life completely, with all of his heart, and so he has nothing to regret.Certainly as a kid Luffy cried when he was beaten and threatened with death - but never enough to betray someone he wanted to be friends with. He always hated being alone more than dying, even back then. Maybe it's because he was so open with his emotions then that he could be so sure of himself, and be able to master his fear of death before he reaches 17 and the story proper starts?

I don't quite see that with Zoro, though maybe that's just because he doesn't show things as much - it could all be on the inside. I agree that it would be nice to see them encountering their fears more often. (I'd relate more to Zoro that way, at least.)

Date: 2014-03-30 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But generally I think Luffy manages to not fear death because he embraces living life completely, with all of his heart, and so he has nothing to regret.

Yes. The moment that sticks in my mind is when he was almost executed at Loguetown. Certainly, as long as there's any chance of survival, he will often react with "oh crap I'm gonna die!" comic-panic, but at that moment when it looked like he'd gambled and lost, his acceptance of fate is so complete. "Sorry guys, I died!" No regrets.

Also agreed that young Luffy and Zoro would both have needed time to develop their personal philosophies. Young Zoro, to the extent that we see him interacting with Kuina, shows frustration, anger and disappointment far more readily than his adult self.

Date: 2014-03-31 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm moving on to volume 44, and need to comment because swiss cheese brain will erase these thoughts too soon:

1. Rob Lucci does not deserve leopard spots. 5 out of 5 kuronekos agree. But OH! The scars in the shape of the World Government flag. DOOM! That can't be his tragic backstory. His tragic backstory had better not make me sympathize with him.

2. I am so glad I wasn't spoiled on the flooded underground passage reveal. (Is that clear enough for me to remember yet vague enough not to spoil anyone? I hope so.)

3. SOBBING FOREVER. If I didn't already know Merry's fate, would this brave action have raised my hopes?
Edited Date: 2014-03-31 11:57 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-01 04:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eheheheheh. Wait 'til you see the anime version of Lucci's backstory. Every single gory detail is expanded to its full potential... and then some.

Date: 2014-04-01 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw! I am behind on reading/summarizing volume 44. I may have been dragging my feet on this one, because, er, reasons.

Rob Lucci's backstory only creeps me out MORE. I mean, sure, world government flag shaped scars, cool and all, but he KILLED 500 HOSTAGES. Yeesh.

I'm glad I kept the flooded underground passage reveal quiet! That one is so hilarious and random.

*sniff* Have you finished 44 yet? (I should probably point out that the end of 44 isn't a cliffhanger, it's a climax. The Post-Enies Lobby arc picks up in the next volume a day or two later.)
Edited Date: 2014-04-01 10:11 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-03 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I finished 44 by the time I edited my comment to include note #3. Even thinking about Merry's apology and desire to go on more adventures with the strawhats makes me cry while typing this. How can I love the Sunny after this?

Rob Lucci's backstory only creeps me out MORE.

That's why I'm thinking there has to be a different backstory coming up. One that explains how a 13-year-old becomes a coldblooded killer. Or are we done with CP9? Bye, Kaku. You're the only one we'll miss.

I've kind of slogged my way through the first two chapters of 45. Either I've caught your and w_10_00's springtime slump or I just can't embrace a denouement after Merry's funeral. Oh, except I applaud Iceberg's ambitious plans. Tom would be so proud. I'm sure the mouse is.

Date: 2014-04-09 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Uwa, I'm so behind! I am finishing up the summary for 44 now. I don't know if it was work/procrastination/or knowing what was coming at the end of 44 that made it hardest. :-(

But I am really looking forward to 45. I understand not wanting to move forward, but just wait. :-)

Date: 2014-03-31 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wonder if Spandam figured out that the guy who shot him on the bridge from the tower was the same one who set the World Government's flag on fire? Spandam's not too bright, so maybe not, but if he did, that could help explain why Sogeking got a relatively high first bounty. I could very much see the vindictive Spandam insisting on something like that (while not paying much attention to the reports from Marines on the island talking about Nami's terrifying abilities - because after all, those hadn't hurt him personally!).

Date: 2014-04-08 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is kind of OT for this post, but it also doesn't fit with on the post about the current arc (which I STILL can't read, argh, though at least I think I can guess what it's about), and...oh whatever:

In an SBS in 73, a reader COUNTED (I love OP fans) each time Zoro or Sanji called each other something, and listed them. So now we know Zoro has never called Sanji by his name, but Sanji has called Zoro by his name six times...the same number of times he's called Zoro クソ野郎. The list just makes me laugh and laugh. (クソ迷子野郎, マリモ剣士, ぐるぐる, バカマユゲ...)

Date: 2014-04-09 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
LOL! I love OP fans so much. Why did I not remember to order #73 in my latest order? I am made of stupid. :-(

[Also, someday I would love to know what you have guessed about the latest arc, although for the record, I will say that I suspect you have guessed right. Are there enough levels of speculation in there?]

Date: 2014-04-10 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww, well, you've already read everything in 73, so it's okay to wait until your next order, right? (Alternatively, it's incentive to place your next order sooner?)

73 ends on chapter 731, so I think you can guess what I'm thinking about.

Date: 2014-04-10 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
73 ends on chapter 731, so I think you can guess what I'm thinking about.

Oh, in that case I know exactly what you're thinking about. :-) (What a place to end the volume, yikes!)

I wish the gap between magazine and volume wasn't so long. Reading in English always does make me wish I were reading in Japanese. But, definitely more incentive to place the next order sooner so I can get 73.

When you lived in Japan, did you used to buy the magazine weekly, or wait for the volumes to come out?

Date: 2014-04-10 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What a place to end the volume, yikes!

Yeahhhhhhhh. And 74 isn't on the release list for May, which means the earliest it could come out would be June, so...ugh.

I've always waited for the volumes. I haven't bought a weekly magazine since I was on study abroad in '99 and bought Shounen Sunday for Conan.

Date: 2014-04-10 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are stronger than I am. There is no way I could wait three-four months for my fix.

But then, of course, I have to deal with the weekly withdrawal symptoms. Tuesday, 3 pm: Is it Monday yet? Tuesday, 5 pm: Not yet? Darn.

... Is it next Wednesday yet?

Date: 2014-04-10 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are stronger than I am.

Nah, we just have different priorities. I might start gnawing my arm off if I can't have the next issue of Dear+ soon. (It comes out Monday--I just hope I'm right in the timing of my Amazon order.)

Date: 2014-04-10 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But he has! Unless all the translations I've seen have lied to me about Zoro calling Sanji "Sanji-kun" during the Davy Back Fight, when they were squabbling over who would be the ball man.

I mean, it was clearly in mockery pretending to sound like Nami, but still.

Date: 2014-04-11 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I checked, and the scene goes like this:

Zoro: That ball suits you!
Sanji: Like I'd fall for that!

[one page later]

Nami: That ball suits you, Sanji-kun!
Sanji: I'll happily be the ball!

(Sanji's responses aren't exact quotes because I'm going off my memory, but you get the picture.)

So Zoro doesn't use his name, just Nami does.

Date: 2014-04-11 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I stand corrected! And now that I check Stephen's translation, turns out it's much the same, so my memory was faulty and it wasn't all the translations I'd seen after all, but just the Swedish one that was taking liberties. *goes off to edit old reference post* Thanks for looking it up!

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