sara_tanaquil: (shipofdreams)
[personal profile] sara_tanaquil
This is no doubt full of typos and I don't even know what all, but I am so far behind, I just need to get it out and keep moving. ^_^;;

Enies Lobby draws to a close, post-Enies Lobby awaits.

Volume 44: Let's Go Home

420

Franky succeeds in unlocking Robin's handcuffs.

[Aw, I love the moment when she crumples toward him. I have to admit to being somewhat sympathetic to Franky/Robin shipping, though I don't go out of my way to seek it out. I think she goes for the more mature guys *cough spoiler*.]

Spanda(m) is totally freaking out at the idea that they defeated all the CP9 agents in the Tower of Law. (He decides that Franky probably just picked their pockets and ran away. Oy, Nami is the pickpocket of the group!)

Franky reports back to "Long Nose" that Robin is free. (Seriously, he is not even pretending to follow the Sogeking line.)

Robin grabs the den-den mushi to thank "Long-Nose-kun."

[I kind of wish she would never stop calling him that. It is so adorable.]

"Sogeking" tells her to save her thanks for after, and give them to the people who fought so hard to get those keys. From now on, she's free to do as she pleases.

The first thing Robin does is slap Spandam silly with her devil fruit ability.

[I seriously love this. Such a petty punishment for such a petty human being. Not that he doesn't deserve worse, but it just seems like such a poetic justice moment. Also, love that she's still smacking him in the background while Franky is trying to talk to the others.]

Up on the top of the tower, Usopp hears something odd.

[Oh, NICE. I almost missed this. It is unquestionably the same sound he hears… later.]

The bombardment of Enies Lobby begins with an attack on the fence that surrounds it.

While Zoro and Sanji are still yelling at Usopp to get down, the Tower of Law is hit by the barrage.

The people on Enies Lobby (both giants & co and the marines) realize that the attack is starting.

Aw, Sanji and Zoro's reaction to Usopp's "demise" (until he lands in a heap right next to them).

LOL "Sogeking" complaining about them not even catching him.

Franky and Robin, reassured that everyone is safe on the other end, prepare to take care of plans for an escape route.

Franky asks Robin if they can count on her to fight. "Of course!"

They both agree that the only viable strategy is to take control of the ship that is waiting to depart for Impel Down/Marine HQ.

Inside the tunnel leading to the bridge, Nami and the others can hear the sound of the barrage beginning. (Chimney, as usual, seems to think this is best thing ever.)

Luffy and Lucci are still fighting.

[I seriously need a keystroke macro for this.]

Lucci compares Luffy's Gear Two power-up to "doping" (which is not far wrong, really). He's supercharging his blood pressure, taking advantage of the fact that his body is rubber - anyone else's veins, heart and internal organs would explode under the strain.

[Interestingly, the Viz translation seems to be going out of its way to eliminate any reference to "doping," which is quite explicit in the original. Too controversial for the kiddies?]

He thinks Luffy is a fool to shorten his own life in such a way, but Luffy doesn't care.

[Foreshadowing much? This is pure speculation, for the record.]

Lucci mocks him for wanting what he can't possibly have. In a moment the real barrage will begin (that was just a test-firing), and everyone in the Tower of Law will be wiped out.

And if any of them were lucky enough to make it to the underground tunnel… well.

Lucci opens up a wall to the sea, allowing the water to flood the entire underground system. Anyone still in the tunnel will drown.

Lucci taunts Luffy with having wanted to save everyone, and ending up saving no one. (I feel like this is turning into a villain theme.)

On the Bridge of Hesitation, the marines are fleeing in terror at the sight of the approaching marine fleet.

[Quick glimpse of five vice-admirals - we'll see at least some of these again, for sure. I recognize the first two, at least.]

421

[Cover illustration: I love that the koalas are all yakuza, including (?) the one hanging on the curtains. And that Robin is winning every game.]

The giants, with Galley-La and the Franky Family on board, are desperately trying to escape the start of the barrage.

The attack is beginning in earnest. Orders are to target every part of the island except the bridge, where the fugitive Robin is believed to be (Aokiji's orders).

Spandam, of course, thinks this is all for his benefit.

Franky is aghast at the spectacle, but that's nothing to Robin's reaction. She's so terrified she can barely move. (Poor Robin. Her PTSD is kicking in again.)

Sogeking is exhorting the others to run for all they're worth (he is being carried in a makeshift litter, LOL).

Sogeking: "At least six bones are broken!"
Sanji: "Oh, suck it up! You've got more bones where those came from!"

The illustration shows that Sanji, Zoro and Usopp (LOL sideways Usopp) are on one end of the tunnel and Nami, Chopper, and Kokoro-et-al are on the other (with the water bearing down on them).

Nami et al are fleeing in terror. (Wow, something finally scares Chimney.)

In the support pillar of the bridge, above the water level, Lucci and Luffy are still fighting.

Lucci heads for a hole in the ceiling, and Luffy follows.

[I was TRYING to remember how they ended up on the outside…]

Lucci taunts Luffy, asking if he doesn't want to go save his comrades, but Luffy retorts that they can take care of themselves. His job is keeping Lucci from going anywhere.

[Luffy's grasp of tactics is terrifyingly simple, at times.]

More Luffy-Lucci fighting.

Just when Lucci says that he was expecting too much from Luffy, Luffy pulls out Gear 3.

[This apparently enables him to inflate various parts of his body to gigantic dimensions. I frankly don't pretend to understand the mechanics of shounen manga, some days.]

Luffy's giant punch smashes the tower and knocks Lucci toward the open sea.

422

The marines on board one of the navy ships (who is the guy with xxx's?) ask if they shouldn't be helping to recapture Robin, but their commander says it's all under control.

The commander (seriously, need his name) tells the story of how, once, a thirteen-year old boy solved a hostage crisis involving 500 hostages in a certain kingdom. He solved it by killing the hostages.

When he emerged from the barrage of gunfire, his back was scarred with the emblem of the world government. He is the strongest, most cold-blooded killing machine in the history of CP 9. His name was Rob Lucci.

Their job is to bombard every part of the island EXCEPT the Bridge of Hesitation.

Back at the main gate, the sea train is so overloaded it can't even carry the passengers it has, let alone the many still waiting to board.

In the tunnel, Usopp, Zoro and Sanji finally spot the wall of water heading toward them.

[I really do not know how Nami and co managed to stay ahead of the water this long.]

Sanji: "Nami is rushing into my arms!"
Usopp: "Talk about looking on the bright side." (LOL)

The water overtakes them all.

Meanwhile, Luffy nearly succeeds in knocking Lucci into the sea, but by chance (?), he lands on board one of the marine ships.

The marines' captain tells them to lower their guns. That's Rob Lucci.

Luffy, figuring out where Lucci went, leaps on board to continue the fight.

The ship is badly damaged by their battle.

Momonaga (I think that's his name?) gives the order for the ship which is their battleground to be destroyed immediately. When one of his men protests that there are a thousand marines on that ship, he shoots him. A moment's hesitation might allow a villain to escape.

[One of Akainu's like-minded cronies, I see.]

The ship is blown out of the water.

423

[Aw, we haven't seen Vivi in a while!]

Both Luffy and Lucci manage to escape the sinking ship.

Luffy tries to hide, knowing that his "chibi" form will last about a minute, as long as the Gear Three power-up did. ("The attack is powerful, but the side effects are seriously a pain.")

The giants & co are still fleeing toward safety (any safety). Yokuzuna remembers Kokoro asking him if he wanted to join them, now that his "beloved Franky" is being taken away.

True to form, Spandam is so busy gloating over Luffy's presumed extinction that he is completely unconcerned about the fate of the marines on board. Franky is shocked that they would attack their own.

Battling Franky, Spandam draws his "Funkfreed" sword. He tries to attack Robin, who is paralyzed and helpless.

Franky stops the attack (by a combination of sheer strength and threatening to shoot the hapless Funkfreed in the head).

He reminds Robin that Luffy and the others are coming for them - the very people who overturned everything he knew about common sense, back in the day when he never could have dreamed of rescuing Tom from Enies Lobby once he was taken there.

His whole life since then, he's thought of nothing but taking revenge on "that functionary."

He smashes Funkfreed's body over Spandam's head. (Aw, Funkfreed! He's not to blame for the fact that his master is the scum of the earth.)

Thanks to them, he's finally got his wish.

"I already died once. If it means Mugiwara and his people get to live, I don't care if I have to throw this life away!"

Robin finally manages to pull herself together. She remembers, now, that she's no longer the child who had no one. She's not alone any more.

Before Luffy can recover, Lucci tracks him down and pins him to the wall.

Just as he's about to strike the final blow, his legs collapse. Luffy's attacks are taking effect after all. And Luffy himself is back to normal.

In the tunnel, the other Strawhats are at the point of drowning. In the half-hallucinatory darkness, they see the vision that has appeared to so many sailors at the point of death: the form of the mermaid.

Kokoro the mermaid is towing them all to safety. "It's the mermaid express! Just don't stop holding your breath, ngagaga!"

Sanji's (?) last conscious thought is "A dugong…?" [LOL poor Kokoro]

[SBS: The chibi CP-9 are so adorable. Except chibi Lucci. He's creepy.]

424

Franky succeeds in taking control of the marine escort ship.

Kokoro bursts through the surface of the water with her half-drowned charges in tow.

The giants and co have made it as far as the main gate of Enies Lobby. They find themselves facing the guns of three massive warships.

Having taken the last of the government agents and marines on board, the ships begin to withdraw for the final attack.

On the escort ship, Franky comments that it's an absolute miracle. Apparently, all the survivors suffered such a dreadful shock that they passed out without inhaling much water at all.

[I don't think it works that way, but…]

Kokoro: "What shock?"
Franky: "YOU!!"

Kokoro is casually greeting Robin while pulling her clothes back on (not fast enough for Franky, apparently). "So you're the one the would-be pirate king brat came to save?"

They both agree that Luffy's ambition to become pirate king might seem outrageous, but it might just turn out to come true.

The half-drowned rats are regaining consciousness.

Franky: "Your constitutions are as unnatural as always, I see." (His language is considerably coarser than that, but I can't translate it right.)

They are all shocked all over again to discover that the mermaid vision was no hallucination.

Usopp is amazed - he never heard of a mermaid with legs. (Sanji: "I OBJECT!")

Kokoro explains that when mermaids are over 30, their tails turn into legs. They should visit Fishman Island, then they'll understand.

Usopp and Sanji both decide that this makes mermaids like the legend of the "bake-neko." (??) Kokoro is offended.

Everyone hugs Robin at once (poor Sanji, who put far too many consonants in "Robin-chan", is cruelly knocked aside).

Chimney is impressed to learn that her grandmother was a mermaid. "I thought it was weird that you had fins and scales!"

Franky: "You're her GRANDCHILD! Get a freaking clue!"

Belatedly, Chopper realizes that he's too weak to move.

Zoro (gruffly): "No wonder. We are going to have a little CHAT when this is all over."

Usopp points out that Enies Lobby is a sea of flames. They realize that the marines will be coming for Robin next.

Usopp wonders if they should help Luffy with his fight, but Zoro is against it. "That pigeon guy is no ordinary fighter. He'd tear us all to shreds."

[Aw, I love how easily Zoro can now cede first place to Luffy, as long as the opponent isn't a swordsman.]

Their job now is to hold their escape route, and wait.

Sanji asks Franky about his "nakama," but Franky boasts that they've got the devil's own luck. They'll be fine!

The marine ships are targeting the giants by the main gate.

A massive explosion appears to take them out.

Lucci is facing off with Luffy, who is preparing to invoke Gear Two for the last time.

425

As Enies Lobby crumbles under the bombardment, Lucci and Luffy continue to face off. Luffy's nakama are waiting anxiously on the bridge.

Nami, on board the escort ship with Kokoro and the others, reports that the ship is ready to go whenever Luffy shows up. Franky, Zoro, Sanji, and Usopp are on the bridge (Robin is with Nami and Chopper).

A report comes in from the main gate, reporting that the last of the island personnel have been evacuated. When they report that some fifty pirates have been spotted, Franky is exultant - he knew they could escape!

Until the report finishes with the news that all of the pirates have been wiped out. There are zero survivors on Enies Lobby.

Another ship reports in that that Tower of Law, the Courthouse and the underground tunnel have likewise been wiped out. No survivors.

Aw, I love how all the listeners (not just Franky) have someone to mourn. The Franky Family. Galley-La. The giants, Sodom and Gomorrah. Yokozuna…

Nami is shocked that people could be eliminated so "easily." Robin says people don't show up on a map. As far as the world government is concerned, they just wiped one little island off the map. No big deal.

Remembering the words of his comrades, Franky calls out to "Mugiwara" - he BETTER get his freaking ass in gear and join his nakama who are waiting for him! (Aw, Franky.)

Luffy and Lucci are fighting, fighting, fighting.

Lucci shows off his supreme technique, one that can only be used by someone who has mastered all the six powers - the six-king-gun, which Luffy says is like several times the force of an impact dial. (I guess that makes it something like the reject dial?)

Franky reflects that if Luffy hadn't managed to hold Lucci down so long, who knows how many of them would have survived. Chopper says, sometimes, it's as if he knows just who he has to fight from the very beginning. Nami puts it down to animal instinct. ("He's got even more of it than YOU have.")

The marine ships, having wiped out the remainder of Enies Lobby, converge on the Bridge of Hesitation.

Luffy and Lucci are STILL fighting.

426

The marine fleet destroys the part of the bridge leading from the tower where Luffy is to the tower where his friends are waiting.

[Random question: who are the "nine" pirates the marines report spotting? Even if counting Luffy, they're one short when it comes to Strawhats. Are they counting Kokoro AND Chimney?]

The marines are all shocked that a mere band of pirates could have got so far against the legendary strength of Enies Lobby, unchallenged for 800 years, but their commander says Lucci won't be beaten. The pirates' rampage will end here.

Usopp and the others can finally see where Luffy is fighting (I guess either the navy or Luffy/Lucci finally destroyed enough of the buildings that were in the way).

All of Luffy's nakama are cheering him on, filling Luffy with renewed resolve.

Zoro comments that now, it's just a question of how long they can hold out.

Lucci is impressed that Luffy's companions managed to stay alive this long, but he says it won't last.

The nakama on the bridge find themselves completely surrounded by gunships. The loudspeaker informs them that every man chosen for the landing party ranks at the level of lieutenant captain or above.

Usopp is terrified, remembering that the only captain they've come against was Smoker - a whole army of men as strong as that?

[Sogeking shouldn't be able to remember who Smoker is, but logic, who needs it. Neither Luffy nor Chopper are around to hear this anyway.]

[Also, I love Zoro's reaction: "Just proves how scared they are of US." Go, Zoro!]

Sanji has inexplicably disappeared. Zoro is disgruntled (where did the stupid cook go NOW?).

When the marines attack, Nami and Robin leave the ship to fight on the bridge (Nami says they'd better get away from the ship, or it will be wrecked in the fighting). Robin swears they're not going to take her alive again.

Poor Chopper can't move, still suffering from the after-effects of monster form.

The Strawhats on the bridge find themselves fighting an army of supermen, many of them power users. (Robin: "That goes double for us!")

Kokoro and Chimney are back to playing the hostage card. "We're totally weak!" [Chopper: "……"]

Zoro says all they need to do is hold out until Luffy gets there.

Lucci is still pounding Luffy with his most powerful attacks. Luffy is temporarily down. (Jeez, that's a lot of blood.)

Zoro thinks "Sogeking" is just staring into space, but Usopp has taken off the mask.

"LUFFY!!"

[I really love this bit.]

427

Without the mask, Usopp calls out to Luffy, challenging him to stop lying there like he's already half dead.

Luffy is confused by the fact that Usopp has apparently shown up out of nowhere. (Usopp: "Don't get me wrong! I came here to save ROBIN! Not like I wanted to see your stupid face!" Love Zoro rolling his eyes.)

To Luffy's horror, Usopp tries to lure Lucci ("Hey! Monster Cat!") to fight HIM.

When Luffy protests, Usopp says he should do something about it, then.

"The sky is full of smoke and explosions, but I can see it. I can see the ocean. You're not in hell YET! Quit scaring us!"

Luffy finally makes it back to his feet.

[I really love that arguably the weakest of them is the only one who can get Luffy moving again.]

The fight between Lucci and Luffy continues (Luffy is taking a terrible beating, yikes).

I LOVE that while everyone is fighting the marines, Usopp (minus the mask) is using his nails on a chalkboard technique (looks like it's working, too).

Fortified by a series of flashbacks from the recent past (Aokiji warning them about Robin, Robin walking away from them, Robin admitting she wants to live), Luffy summons all his strength to take Lucci out.

Lucci finally goes down.

Luffy: "Let's go HOME, Robin!!"

The marine fleet, stunned, reports that Lucci has apparently lost the battle.

428

[Cover arc: Enel's ship approaches the moon. Normally I would curse having to look at Enel's ugly face again, but there is some really interesting world-back-history in this cover arc, so let's bear with it.]

The marines are aghast; Luffy's comrades are triumphant.

Someone else is yelling over the PA. "You did it, Mugiwara-san!"

After a few confused moments, they realize that the message is coming from the Franky Family et al, who managed to survive by clinging to Paulie's nets (giants, king bulls and all!) on the edge of the cliff.

[Awww! I love this moment, especially when everyone from Paulie to the Square Sisters to Yokozuna is chiming in.]

Franky is bawling like a baby. "You jerks! Not like I was worried about you AT ALL!"

Franky throws himself into the fight with renewed enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, the marines report that they're keeping an eye on Mugiwara, but he doesn't seem to have moved at all.

Indeed, when Usopp calls out to him, Luffy says he's too weak to move. He's trying, but it's not working.

As they're all calling out to him to just get to the ship so they can escape, the marines blow the escort ship out of the water.

Everyone is aghast, not only because that was their only escape route, but because Kokoro, Chopper and the kids were on that ship.

Just in time, Sanji emerges with the survivors from the ship in tow. He rescued them from the ship at the last moment.

He apologizes for disappearing, but says there was a "little something" he needed to take care of.

One of the marines tries to attack Nami, telling them to let the "old people" go, but Kokoro counterattacks (no old lady there).

[I am SO tempted to translate それ所じゃねーんらよ as Ain't nobody got time for that!. A joke which I think exactly three people in the world would understand, none of whom are reading this at the moment.]

The marine barrage drives everyone to take shelter on the last part of the bridge that is still standing (oh man, that central shot really shows how little of the bridge is left at this point).

The marines prepare to bomb the pillar, where Luffy is still lying paralyzed, out of existence.

Everyone (including the entire Franky Family and friends) is still yelling at Luffy to move, but he can't.

Usopp grabs his head. "Where is that voice coming from?"

Franky says it's his friends, but Usopp says, not that one, the OTHER voice. He's been hearing it for a while now.

Luffy: "Huh? Look down?"

The others are starting to hear it, too, especially Chopper. "He says to look down!" (Chimney: "What's that, Tonakai-chan?")

The barrage on Luffy's tower is counting down from five seconds.

[Because, you know, they couldn't just fire without warning, or anything.]

Usopp: "JUMP INTO THE SEA!"

Zoro thinks he's suicidal, but Usopp says that's not it.

"We still have another nakama!"

[Easily one of my favorite One Piece lines EVER. I can't read this scene without crying.]

Robin follows Usopp's order to roll Luffy into the sea. She can manage that much with her power.

Everyone dives into the sea.

"To the sea!" "To the sea!"

Let's go home, everyone!

The Merry Go is waiting below.

I came to meet you!

429

Belatedly, the marines realize that the pirates are not committing suicide, but escaping on board ship.

[No one knows how the Merry got so close without being noticed - I don't get that, either.]

Kokoro is tossing the hapless devil fruit users who fell into the sea on board.

Gonbe is clinging to Franky's leg in terror (I am not sure whether he/she/it is more frightened by their plight, or by the truly amazing spectacle Chopper is making of himself, rolling all over the deck and bawling).

Luffy sees Robin and starts to thank her for the rescue, but Robin puts a "hand" over his mouth.

"Thank you… everyone."

Luffy: "Aw, don't mention it!"

Zoro: "Can that WAIT?"

(LOL not only Sanji attacking Zoro for his rudeness, but Chopper attempting to chew on Zoro's ankle.)

Nami takes command as navigator, directing her crewmates.

Spandam recovers enough to give orders that their ship be blown out of the water, Robin or no (he pretends, falsely, to have Aokiji's authorization for this - Aokiji was the one who originally ordered that Robin not be harmed in the attack).

The marines begin to attack, but their shots go wide. Too late, everyone realizes that the gates of justice are closing, and the whirlpools re-forming as a result.

Nobody understands who gave the order to close the gates. Sanji is smirking.

"Can't escape an enemy like that with just GUTS, ya know." *tapping his head*

Everyone is so impressed that Sanji actually gets a little shy (now that is fairly rare when ladies aren't involved).

They're still in danger from the currents themselves, but Nami says she can handle that part. She just needs them to buy her a little time.

Cannonballs are headed straight for them. Zoro and Sanji manage to counter-attack by using Luffy's rubber body to bounce the balls away.

[I don't know what I like better: this boneheaded move, or the way they all feebly offer up the V-sign when it's done. Usopp: "Are you DEMONS?"]

Nami finds the current she was looking for, and steers them into it.

Spandam is throwing a fit. "All the power of the Buster Call, and you can't recapture ONE miserable woman from ONE pathetic little pirate crew…?"

Robin has had enough. She uses her "clutch" attack on him.

[I really, really, REALLY hope he never walks again.]

Nami calls on Franky (who is randomly posing) to help them escape with his Coup de Vent.

As they fly off, Usopp raises a smoke screen to prevent the marines from following.

The Franky Family and co rejoice that the Strawhats got away safely. They're making their escape on the Puffing Tom.

(I have no idea how they managed to get the Puffing Tom away from the government refugees, but whatever.)

Aokiji is watching from his bike (at sea). The other marines want to pursue the Strawhats, but he tells them to give it up.

There's no doubt about it - this is an unmitigated disaster of a defeat.

Out at sea, someone (Franky?) helps the boneless Luffy up onto his "special seat."

Franky says he can't believe they went to the length of shooting the government's flag, but Luffy says they were just getting their nakama back.

"WE WIN!!!"

430

Title: for the record, I conclude that classical quotations portend nothing good ever.

On board the Merry, Luffy (who still can't walk on his own) and Chopper have only just now noticed that Usopp disappeared again.

Sogeking is hastily adjusting his mask while Sanji grumbles at him.

Sogeking reassures them that "Usopp" is safe, he took off in a "small boat."

[Zoro is baffled by their density. Sanji is busy kicking Sogeking in the head.]

Nami, having done a thorough exploration of the ship, reports that there is no one else on board. They can't understand who brought the Merry to them.

Everyone agrees that they heard a voice calling them, though no one (except Chopper!) is prepared to listen to Luffy's insistence that it was Merry's voice they heard.

Usopp: "……"
Franky: "……"

[Aw, I kind of like their solidarity here.]

They see a ship approaching - it's the Galley-La Company, under Iceberg's command, from Water 7.

[Mouse! Mouse!]

Franky: "Bakaberg…" (Aw, brothers.)

Just as Iceberg is expressing his grudging admiration, Merry literally splits in two. [;__________;]

Sanji points out that there's nothing sudden about it - the Merry had already been pronounced beyond repair.

Luffy begs Iceberg to fix the Merry, but he says he's already done all he can.

"If that's how you feel, then let him rest."

Mini-flashback: when he was out wandering during the storm, he heard a hammer knocking, and saw the Merry wrecked on shore at the ship-graveyard. Then he heard a voice pleading with him.

"I want to sail! Just one more time! Please, I want to sail!"

Cursing himself for his own idiocy, he fixed the ship up enough to let it go.

Just as he's leaving, he hears the voice once more: Thank you.

At the end of the flashback, Iceberg is insisting on setting out to sea even though the storm hasn't entirely calmed down, and his men insist on coming with him.

Iceberg: "I've already seen a miracle in action. The miracle of a ship pushed far past its limits." In all his years as a shipwright, he's never seen the like. "He lived a splendid life." (みごとな生き様だった。)

Luffy accepts Iceberg's verdict. "All right."

They prepare to give the Merry a send-off. While the others wait at a safe distance, Luffy (in a lifeboat) holds a torch.

"The sea-floor is dark and lonely, Merry. We'll see you off."

He's glad Usopp isn't here. He might not be able to bear this. (When Sanji asks, Sogeking says that's not true. He knows the time has come. No tears.)

As the fire catches, Luffy thanks the Merry for carrying them this far.

Nami notices that it's starting to snow.

Memories come flooding back - of when they first got the Merry, of the first time they injured it with their idiocy. Entering the Grand Line. Flying to the sky.

[I love how the perspective shifts from Nami, to Zoro, to Sanji, to Robin, to Chopper. They each have their own memories. Also, kind of interesting - just from a psychological view - to see who is willing to shed tears openly and who isn't.]

I'm sorry. I wish I could have carried you further.

[Every time, I swear EVERY TIME, I think I'm going to make it through without crying, and then THIS.]

I wanted us to have more adventures together. But I…

Finally in tears, Luffy is trying to apologize. "I'm awful at the helm, I kept steering you into icebergs! And Zoro and Sanji are idiots, they broke all kinds of stuff. And Usopp tried to fix you every single time, but he sucked at it! I'm sorry!"

But… I was happy. Thank you, for taking such good care of me until now. I… was so happy.

[Oh, oh, Sogeking with the mask so stoic, and the tears just streaming down from underneath it.]

"MERRY!"

TBC

[livejournal.com profile] wednesday_10_00 said it well: this was when we should have understood that in Oda's world, characters CAN die in the present. :-( :-(

I need to read silly happy WTF post-Enies Lobby stuff now. Bring it on!

Date: 2014-04-10 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
...and I sobbed reading the end of your summary last night. Eventually I may gain enough emotional control to say something coherent about earlier events (yay!Usopp), but mostly this volume was a lot of shounen fighting and the very sad thing.

Date: 2014-04-10 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
mostly this volume was a lot of shounen fighting and the very sad thing

Agreed! I was surprised at how hard I found it to get through summarizing this. Just KNOWING that the sad thing was coming was such a disincentive. :-(

But I already started re-reading volume 45 and I had forgotten just how much awesome is in there, so yay for being past the sad thing, at least.

... Getting through Marineford is going to be FUN. ^_^;;;

Date: 2014-04-10 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miaruma.livejournal.com
UGLY CRYING. UGH EVEN READING IT. Whyyyyy. It's like Oda had us all at YAY ROBIN IS SAVED, THEY'RE ON THE GOING MERRY, EVERYTHING IS PERFECT \o/, and then punched us in the groin so we're blubbering messes on the floor.

This is one of the most powerful moments of the whole manga. Because we've all had that one thing that we've loved to abandon, and one day it broke and no amount of fixing could make it whole again :(.

Oh Merry. *pours one out* here's to you, the first (and hopefully only) literal ship to make me cry even years after I know what happens.

Date: 2014-04-10 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
t's like Oda had us all at YAY ROBIN IS SAVED, THEY'RE ON THE GOING MERRY, EVERYTHING IS PERFECT \o/, and then punched us in the groin so we're blubbering messes on the floor.

This. WHY must he twist the knife for maximum agony?

He did the exact same thing with Ace's death, that sick, sick bastard.
Edited Date: 2014-04-10 06:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-10 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com

wednesday_10_00 said it well: this was when we should have understood that in Oda's world, characters CAN die in the present.

I said that? Wow, I don't remember at all. Who knew I was so smart?


That end scene will never not make me cry. Oh, Merry. ;_;

Date: 2014-04-10 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
I said that? Wow, I don't remember at all. Who knew I was so smart?

I think it was in a previous spoiler-protected comment thread somewhere! Can't remember where now though.

Date: 2014-04-10 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com

I found it (thanks, gmail) in the comments to volume 24, but what I said was more "I guess this was the first case of death in the present" and less "this should have told us that death in the present was possible." Splitting hairs, maybe, I wouldn't expect anyone to think the "death" of a ship would indicate events to come.

Date: 2014-04-10 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lego-joker.livejournal.com
The reference to a "Bake-neko" is a reference to a classic monster from Japanese mythology - so-called "ghost cats" apparently come from cats who have lived to 13 years old, upon which point they gain a whole ass-load of dark demonic powers, symbolized by their tails suddenly splitting into two.

I've few words for the epicness that is the rest of this arc. I will say that I remember one specific moment the anime writers added, where one of Lucci's stray Rankyaku's effortlessly took out three marine captains that kept dodging everything Usopp/Sogeking threw at them.

BTW, I don't think that the vice-admiral who shot his own man is Momonga (Momonga is the one with the huge mohawk, and he's somewhat nicer). According to the wiki, that guy is named Onigumo ("Demon Spider". How... appropriate, given *spoiler*).

Date: 2014-04-10 06:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you for both of those! Those were some of the things I was meaning to go back and check, but I started to feel like if I didn't post this, I was never going to do it.

I had a feeling I was fuzzy on the names of the various admirals that we're supposed to recognize later on. Will have to go in and fix that at some point.

Ha, that would be a nice touch. I generally enjoy the fights far more in anime, assuming that they don't drag them out with a lot of filler; I have a hard time following the dynamics of the fight in manga form.

(My previous cat Ptolemy lived to well beyond 13, but he didn't gain any demonic powers. He just got REALLY fat.)

Date: 2014-04-10 06:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wednesday-10-00.livejournal.com
Wednesday is demonically cute!

(No really, I swear she's getting cuter as she gets older.)

Date: 2014-04-10 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
This is my favourite volume of the series - not only has it some of the best Usopp moments IMO, but there's also great moments for everybody - love how everyone is needed to make their escape, for instance (okay, everyone but poor Chopper; but he's still very present, gets to react and comment - and as you point out, he hears Merry early and well).

To Luffy's horror, Usopp tries to lure Lucci ("Hey! Monster Cat!") to fight HIM.

I loved the anime addition here (according to subtitles): "You worthless kitten!" I don't know if Usopp has ever been braver. At least, I've always taken it that he knows full well Lucci would probably kill him in seconds... but even if he is a bit more hopeful/deluded than I think, he has to still know it's an extremely dangerous challenge to make. He's betting everything on getting Luffy to move again.

[I really love that arguably the weakest of them is the only one who can get Luffy moving again.]

It really shows how much of Luffy's strength comes from the crew. In Water 7, after Usopp had left and they were confused about what was going on with Robin, he failed hard against Lucci. Since then, I guess the old shonen levelling-up has happened, plus Luffy got some time to mentally prepare on the train (he seemed to recall ideas of Gear 2 and 3 then). But he also got renewed spirits from finding out why Robin left, and I think he also felt better by Sogeking turning up supposedly because Usopp had asked him to. After that, he's fought extremely hard with everything he had... except maybe, because this is Luffy, there was a part of himself he didn't have, after Usopp had left; Usopp returning now made Luffy feel truly whole and able to get up and, finally - reinforced as you point out with strong recent memories of Robin - able to win. That's all part of Luffy's own brand of captain-ness. ♥♥♥

[Random question: who are the "nine" pirates the marines report spotting? Even if counting Luffy, they're one short when it comes to Strawhats. Are they counting Kokoro AND Chimney?]

AND the small immobile seemingly harmless animal lying flat on deck? I guess the Marines at this point are just declaring any shape they can see that's not clearly their own as "pirate"...

Everyone agrees that they heard a voice calling them, though no one (except Chopper!) is prepared to listen to Luffy's insistence that it was Merry's voice they heard.

Usopp: "……"
Franky: "……"

[Aw, I kind of like their solidarity here.]


Yes, that's a lovely moment!

I liked to see the contrast here, with Luffy's intuition and Chopper being close to it, but Nami is doubtful and Zoro's sure it can't be true. Zoro can be quite spiritually accomplished sometimes, and he did still hear the voice, but he's not always perceptive - he can be constrained by his own rationality like everyone else.


I still think this volume proves that Iceburg is the BEST shipwright ever. He heard Merry's voice despite never having even seen her before, let alone sail on her! (Franky didn't, at Enies Lobby, did he? Then again, maybe Franky's mind was still clouded by anger and grief right then from believing his whole gang killed.) And he managed to patch her up enough for one last time after the damage Aqua Laguna had added to all the previous damages.

I figure Merry was able to sneak so close because she's a tiny ship - was a tiny ship - and there was so much gunsmoke around to hide in, and everyone on the Marine ships were so focused on the battle at hand no-one thought a tiny ship might be creeping in among them. Though... I also tend to get the impression Merry actually dove into the sea and went underwater to get there? But then I think of all her damages and wonder how she'd be able to keep herself together and rise up again.

In any case, I do headcanon that Merry's own mysterious will power was what kept her together as they made their escape, and so when Iceburg et al turned up she was able to let go because now she knew her crew would be safe.

(I put more of my Merry headcanon into this fic.)

Title: for the record, I conclude that classical quotations portend nothing good ever.

Please share, because I don't think I know it!

Edited Date: 2014-04-10 09:09 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-11 02:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Please share, because I don't think I know it!

The title of Ch. 430 is (in quotes) 降りそそぐ追想の淡雪. Viz translates as "A light snow of reminiscence falls."

I don't actually know what the quotation is from (I just tried to wiki and google it with no luck - found nothing but a lot of OP episode discussions that didn't discuss the title, as far as my limited translation skills could determine), but I pretty much assume that when something shows up in One Piece with a bunch of kanji/vocabulary I can't make heads or tails of that vaguely refers to seasons/natural beauty/etc, it must be classical. Especially with the quote marks. Anyone know the origin?

More responses later when it's not late at night! (For me.)

Date: 2014-04-14 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
Amending my comment since I can't edit it - I completely forgot Chopper regained his strength before Luffy did, so he did take part in that final escape after all - he pulled the whipstaff, as usual! /o/

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