sara_tanaquil: (pirate_pile)
[personal profile] sara_tanaquil
This is a bit premature, because I would usually wait until discussion on 46 was exhausted to start 47, but I'm leaving for Latin camp tomorrow, so I might as well post the finished summary for 47 now.

I'll be taking 48-51 with me (48 is half read with no summarizing done yet), in case I have time to work on it in the evenings, but no promises until I get back on the 23rd.

One Piece 47


[Cover arc: flashback to the life of the little robots with Dr. Tsukimi, who loved moon-watching (tsukimi).]

When Nami tells Hogback that they know the truth about what he's been doing, and about Cindry, Hogback orders Cindry-chan and "Samurai Ryuuma" to "send them to the world of shadows."

The face of the samurai zombie who talks like Brook is fully revealed for the first time. He asks Nami to show him her panties.

Hogback says that Ryuuma is in a different class from the zombies they've met so far. He is a General Zombie, from Wa no Kuni in the New World.

[ワノ国. Although the English manga has taken to translating this as "the kingdom of Wano" (which grates on me just about as much as "PIN number" does), it's a clear reference to the oldest known name of Japan, Wa (wa no kuni = "land of wa"). Wa no Kuni in the One Piece world has many Japanese characteristics, although it obviously can't be identical with the Japan of our world.]

Legend has it that long ago, Ryuuma's sword was capable of cutting down dragons in flight.

Ryuuma draws his sword and steps toward Usopp/Nami/Chopper, but they are baffled when he seems to simply walk right past them without doing anything.

The three turn to escape, only to be struck down by a tremendous force.

Hogback says that a man struck down by a true master can walk three blocks, humming, before he even feels the blow.

[Viz has "three paces," but surely san-chou is three blocks? Chou is the old Heian street division. Or does "chou" have another meaning I'm not familiar with?]

[I gather Ryuuma used the flat of his sword, because otherwise all three Strawhats would be very, very dead.]

"Hana-uta San-chou Yahazu-giri!"

Meanwhile, Luffy and the others are venturing into the mansion (they found the door locked, but Luffy took care of that easily enough).

They find the building seemingly empty, the great hall trashed. "Anyone home? Yo, Gecko Moria!"

The pig on the wall snickers. He says they have plenty of nerve, venturing into this house if they know the name of its master.

All the surprise zombies in the great hall attack.

[I love how everyone looks vaguely bored/irritated, except for Luffy, who looks like he saw a robot with laser beams. Or the coolest bug ever.]

It doesn't take long for them to be subdued. The zombies are shocked. "You're with THOSE weaklings?" Franky (in English/katakana): "YES."

[Random silly translation note: Zoro's attack, Nigiri, sounds like food, so the zombie says "Sounds yummy!" until Zoro attacks him, at which point he wails "That didn't taste good at all!!"]

Once all the other zombies are taken out, Luffy interrogates the pig.

The pig claims the others are safe and sound, sleeping in their beds. No one believes him, but then they notice that Sanji has disappeared.

Zoro reacts nonchalantly ("Oh well, guess we're down a man"*), but Luffy agrees. Sanji is strong, he'll take care of himself. Robin says they need to focus on saving the other three.

*The tone of Zoro's remark here is a bit hard to translate (Viz had trouble with it, I think: "We lost a super guy."). 惜しい男を失った。"We lost a regrettable man (i.e. a man worth having on your side)." On the one hand, it implies (as Luffy correctly understands) that they need make no effort to get him back, which is what Franky seems to be reacting to ("Ano na."). On the other hand, "oshii" is actually a pretty high compliment from Zoro to Sanji, as it implies they'll at least find it harder to fight without Sanji helping. Fodder for the ZoSan fangirls, perhaps? I doubt he would have said that if Sanji were listening.

The zombies that are still conscious mock them - they have no idea how terrifying their master truly is. (They can't even bring themselves to speak his full name.) Luffy's missing comrades are doomed.

Luffy: "You give that FOOL Moria a message from me. If anything happens to any of my nakama, I'm going to blow him AND his island right out of the water."

The terrified zombies hastily scribble a note to their master informing him of the invaders' presence. "Dear esteemed, etc, There are some very dangerous intruders in the mansion. Yours sincerely, the surprise zombies (really surprised)."

[LOL, I think it's part of the joke that "bikkuri shimashita" means both "I was surprised" and "I was scared."]

The zombies who are on the hunt outside the mansion have a hunting song, apparently.

Absalom enters the crypt (chapel?) to awaken the rest of the General Zombies.

Their task is to hunt down the Straw Hat pirates (a mere eight strong!) and offer them to their master Moria.


[Cover arc: Down on earth (apparently?), Dr. Tsukimi witnesses an explosion on the moon.]

One of the General Zombies (a pirate captain who appears very, very drunk) is addressed as Captain John.

[It was a loooonnnnng time ago that this came up (vol 25?), but the legendary treasure that Buggy is obsessed with finding belonged to Captain John.]

A female warthog named Lola suddenly pops up and proposes marriage to Absalom ("Ab-sama"). He is not receptive.

They battle for a while, as Lola tries everything she can think of to force him into a contract and Absalom adamantly denies that he will EVER want a zombie warthog bride. He wants a pretty human female bride.

He tries to convince her by telling her he's already chosen a mate - a female pirate, one of the Straw Hat crew. He holds up a picture of Nami.

Lola promptly vows to wipe Nami out of existence. She charges off, with Absalom at her heels.

In another part of the mansion, Perona is ordering Kumashi to meet the Risky Brothers, who are on the way over with a coffin, and convey the package to their master Moria.

Poor Kumashi can't win. If he doesn't answer Perona's questions, she yells at him; if he answers, she yells at him for talking (because it's not cute).

Perona says she's going over to the ship to collect any treasure they may be carrying.

The Risky Brothers are squirrels, apparently (risu = "squirrel"). As they're running along, they trip and spill the contents of the coffin, which happens to include a very angry Chopper. He knocks out the squirrels and revives Nami and Usopp, who were with him in the coffin.

They wake up and find themselves in a sort of garden behind the mansion. The squirrels bolt, realizing that they can't handle three wide-awake pirates.

Behind them, across from the mansion, is a great round tower.

Looking over the ledge, Nami realizes that they're actually on a bridge crossing over from the mansion to the tower.

Clearly, they were being carried to the tower to be made into zombies.

Usopp and Chopper just want to escape, but Nami is bent on finding treasure. (The way she sees it, she deserves some monetary award for the miserable night they've all had, running this way and that and being scared to death.) What the jack-in-the-box zombie said indicated that there must be a treasure trove somewhere on the island.

[Nami's "tada" may be a pun - it means "only that," but also "for free." Knowing Nami, I'm betting on the latter meaning.]

Usopp and Chopper are now very worried that Nami's eyes have gone "weird" again. They've turned into beli signs.

Nami points out that no matter which way they try to escape, they're going to run into danger.

Just then, three penguins show up - or, rather, two penguins and a very ugly dog.

"We're the Penguin-Zombie-Konbi! Er, trio!"

When they turn around, they find that the garden behind them is full of Wild Zombies (weird-looking zombie animals).

"Welcome to Perona-sama's Wonderland!"

Usopp and Chopper are quickly beaten down, but when one of the creatures attacks Nami, the penguin-dog intervenes.

"I have no idea who that lady might be, but even if it's master's orders… I'll DIE before I kick a woman! And if you got a problem with that… come at me, you shitty zombies!"

Nami, Chopper and Usopp are all staring.

Luffy and the others are exploring the mansion, trying to bully the pig into telling them where to go.

Robin is worried about how quiet it is. She hopes they haven't been strangled to death.

Franky: "Does your mind ALWAYS work that way?" [It doesn't translate very well, but he says her thought processes are ill-omened.]

Luffy notices that now Zoro is missing, too.


[Cover arc: the little robots are weeping for their master, who choked on a dango and died.]

Luffy, now wearing some random suit of armor he found in the hallway, is continuing to search for his missing nakama.

Franky complains that Luffy is being ridiculous, but when Luffy points out that wearing a suit of armor when it turns up is "a man's romance" (男のロマン), Franky is moved to compose a ballad for the occasion.

(Pig-head: "Do they actually understand the situation they're in?")

Robin, completely ignoring them, discovers an even larger hall, which seems to be set up for a tournament-style jousting competition.

A swordsman entirely encased in a suit of armor challenges Franky.

Franky finds himself hard pressed to hold his own. This zombie is in a different class from the rest.

The pig (which has prudently retreated some distance away) says that the General Zombies are all created from the bodies of great warriors (and great villains) of ages past, from all over the world - knights, samurai, pirates, gunslingers. And their zombie nature renders them, for all practical purposes, immortal.

With all escape routes sealed off, Luffy, Robin and Franky find themselves facing an entire room full of General Zombies.

They all (even Luffy) realize that they can't afford to waste time fighting each of these monsters one-on-one. There are more important battles to be fought up ahead. They agree to do whatever is necessary to slip through the dragnet, and meet up on the other side.

As they're fighting their way through, Luffy hears someone shout "One Sword Style - 36 Pound Cannon!"

The figure of a zombie (wearing the ugliest outfit ever, OMG Zoro, dying laughing) is brandishing three swords.

"Scars on the back are a swordsman's greatest shame!"

The zombie's Oda-box identifies him as Jigorou of the Wind, swordsman, a legendarily stubborn oyaji who slaughtered seven thousand pirates to protect his family. (Age at death: 59.)

[It's wearing a haramaki. THAT T-SHIRT. *wipes away tears of laughter*]

The zombie belatedly notices that his whole body is covered with scars. Oops.

Luffy addresses him as Zoro, but the zombie says his name is Jigorou.

Robin and Franky finally manage to escape (with the surviving zombies hot on their heels), but Luffy is nowhere to be seen.

They notice a coffin being ferried across on a ropeway, with Luffy screeching his head off inside.

Franky and Robin prepare to chase after the coffin, but are stopped by a spider-monkey. (Like, an ACTUAL spider monkey, not the zoological kind.)

Luffy's coffin disappears into the tower. The spider monkey says they needn't worry - they'll be meeting with the same fate soon enough.

Once they've been captured, their crew will be finished.


[LOL title of the chapter: "Cloudy, with a chance of bones." (くもり時々ホネ。)Possibly a pun on the fact that "kumo" alone (depending on the kanji) can mean "spider" as well as "cloud。"]

[Cover arc: the little robots launch themselves on a trip to the moon.]

In Perona's Wonderland/Mystery Garden, the dog-penguin is still defending Nami against the other Wild Zombies.

The other zombies can't understand how he is able to defy the master's orders, which ought to be impossible. And so strong!

The dog-penguin is making a grandiose speech about The Power of Love. (Or rather, Love is a Hurricane.)

When Usopp tries to address the dog-penguin as Sanji, he and Chopper get beat up. Clearly the penguin regards them as an enemy.

Lola comes charging onto the scene, with Absalom at her heels.

She attacks Nami on sight. "There you are, you thieving little cat!" "But I haven't even stolen anything YET!"

Lola swings at Nami, but the dog-penguin blocks the blow. Lola kicks him into a wall.

(Usopp and Chopper are now both calling the dog-penguin "Inuppe," LOL)

The dog-penguin is incapable of striking back against any female, including a female boar. Chopper and Usopp are impressed. (Don't be, guys.)

Nami screams for help - an invisible foe is carrying her away.

Absalom drops his invisibility cloak and introduces himself to his bride-to-be.

Nami whomps him with her Thunder-Charge.

They make a run for it. While Absalom is still trying to figure out if he was hit by the lightning bolt of LOVE, Lola charges after Nami.

The dog-penguin is bewildered. He doesn't know why he was trying so hard to save a woman he doesn't know, nor does he understand why his body won't move the way he wants it to.

While Absalom is arguing with the Wild Zombies, the dog-penguin shows up to challenge him. Absalom wipes him out with one blow.

Usopp, Nami and Chopper are still running from Lola.

Nami declines Usopp's suggestion that they split into groups ("You want to make me the decoy?"). Chopper: "Boars are scary!"

Back on the bridge where Robin and Franky are facing down the spider-monkey, Franky says he's going to try something desperate.

Franky: "Leave it to me?"
Robin: "Go ahead. I'll do my best to keep up."
Franky: "Haha, reliable sort, ain't ya. Here we go!"

[It's scenes like this that totally make me want to read more Franky/Robin fic.]

He smashes the bridge into a thousand pieces, plunging both attacking forces into the chasm below.

Franky: "This is what I had in mind."
Robin: "Aren't you violent."

Robin creates a pair of giant wings to catch them. [Whoa, that is HOT.] She says she can only maintain it for five seconds. That gives Franky enough time to fire a chain at the opposing side. The plan is to climb up the chain and go after Luffy.

When Robin's power fails, the chain catches them and they slam into the side of the building. Or rather, Franky does - Robin scrambles over his head to reach the top first.

"You little~! I can't BELIEVE you just used my head as a launching platform!"

[LOL, these two are SO awesome. I wish Oda would give them more scenes together.]

Just then, a skeleton with an afro comes tumbling out of the sky and smashes to the ground.

LOL at the sfx when he falls: BO~N (written in bone-shaped katakana).

"Just bones!"


When Lola has Nami cornered, Nami (in absolute desperation) claims to be a man.

Chopper: "You ARE!?" (LOL forever Chopper)
Usopp, to Chopper: "Oi oi."

Lola seems to be falling for it. Nami is attempting to channel Bon Clay. "Joudan ja nai wa yo~!"

She tells Lola that Lola and the beast-guy would make a great couple. She's rooting for them.

Lola is touched - she's never in her whole life had anyone speak to her so encouragingly.

"My name's Namizou, but you can call me Nami!"

(LOL Usopp sweat-dropping in the background)

In no time, the two are bonding over tea and girl-talk, with Nami advising Lola on how best to knock Absalom over the head and force him into marriage.

[Lola's gullibility and Nami's scheming are good for a joke, of course, but I find this whole sequence honestly touching. Nami really doesn't have enough girl-bonding in her life, and she probably misses it, after having had only Nojiko for so long. She has Robin now, but every woman needs more than one gal-pal.]

While she's at it, Nami fishes for information on the location of the treasure-trove.

Usopp (watching Nami extract information about the treasure): "Honestly, if she fell on the floor, she wouldn't get up for free."
Chopper (pondering): I can't believe Nami is a man… Come to think of it, she is kind of otokorashii...

[LOLOL, oh Chopper, oh dear, I hope someone sat him down after this was all over and had a long talk with him.]

When Absalom shows up, Lola goes after him with renewed vigor.

Nami and the others seize their opportunity to escape. (Nami says she was a sweet girl, really, but Usopp is complaining about her beli eyes again.)

On the Thousand Sunny, Perona is disappointed to find almost no treasure. (I guess they spent every beli they had on the Sunny and on the after-party.)

But at least they found plenty of food.

[No! Not Sanji's stash!]

Hildon comes to tell Perona that Moria is summoning a meeting of the squad commanders ("the three 怪人, kaijin"). Moria has Mugiwara in his control, and he's planning to activate "number 900."

Meanwhile, Absalom has tracked his prey as far as Perona's room, where he lost the trail. Kumashi is trying to say something, but neither Absalom nor Perona is inclined to listen.

Poor Kumashi is completely unable to get a word in edgewise to let them know that Nami, Usopp and Chopper are hiding out inside his stuffed body.

On the bridge outside the mansion, the spider is coming after Franky and Robin.

Robin distracts the spider long enough for Franky to prepare a weapon - giant concrete nunchuks.

Franky almost manages to knock out the spider, until the spider's little henchlings (spider-mice) seize Robin in their web. They reveal that it was their invisible web lines that snared all their comrades and took them captive.

Brook appears, humming a full chorus of "Binks' sake."

He says that since they're on the island now, he might as well explain everything to them.

Almost as an afterthought, he knocks out the spider monkey with his Hana-uta san-choume yahazu-giri attack.


[Cover arc: the little robots challenge the Space Pirates to get revenge for their master's death.]

The spider-monkey begins to recover, but Brook says he's already prepared for that eventuality.

The spider begins to scream in agony, and a black substance emerges from its mouth. Brook calls it the zombie's "soul," and bids the soul return to its master. The spider collapses.

When Franky asks what he did to it, Brook says he "cleansed" it.

The spider-mice recognize Brook as "Humming" Brook, whose shadow was stolen five years before (back when he nearly reduced the island to ruins).

The mice race off to inform Moria, while Franky uses his fiery breath to melt their webs.

Franky begs Brook to explain. Brook says it might already be too late, at which point Franky starts yelling, Brook starts panicking and making skull jokes, and Robin has to restrain Franky to stop him from blowing Brook to smithereens. ("Now, now, calm down. He's already dead.")

Brook explains that, as he told them before, his rudder was broken, so he drifted over the Florian Triangle for decades. Five years ago, he was ensnared, like them, by Thriller Bark, was pursued by zombies, and ended up at Hogback's mansion.

There, he discovered a horde of zombie puppets, and a man who had the power to pluck a shadow from the ground and cut it off.

"I could hardly believe my eyes! Of course, I don't have eyes. SKULL JOKE!"

(Brief interlude for Franky to pound Brook into the ground)

He witnessed the process himself. The man whose shadow was taken fell where he stood, and the lifeless zombie puppet into which the shadow was placed took on the personality and the skills of the man from whom the shadow was taken.

A shadow is like another soul, that faithfully follows and copies the body from birth to death. Gecko Moria has the power to bend such shadows to his own will. He is the master of the Kage-kage (Shadow-shadow) fruit.

With the help of the genius surgeon Hogback, Moria has been culling graveyards for the bodies of the world's most dangerous fighters. He has countless bodies packed away in cold storage, waiting for just the right shadow to animate them.

The zombies aren't really alive. All the personality and fighting skill comes from the shadow; the body contributes only its physical strength. Therefore, Moria has been gathering the bodies of famous warriors and the shadows of powerful bounty heads.

Moria's principal challenge has been to match the strongest shadows with the strongest physical bodies. Once he's taken the shadows, he doesn't need the bodies from which they were taken; he typically sets them adrift on the sea.

[Aw, Brook comments that he just can't resist cracking skull jokes because he hasn't had anyone in decades to react to his awful puns. Poor Brook!]

Meanwhile, Moria has gathered his three commanders.

Gecko Moria finally gets his own Oda-box (former bounty: 320 million, just a notch higher than Luffy's). Motto: "Make someone else do it."

"Get ready to make me the pirate king!"

Luffy, tied up and in a cage, is furious. He's going to be the pirate king! And what did Moria do with his nakama?

[LOL, Luffy keeps referring to Moria as a "big leek."]

Kumashi is there with Perona, meaning that Nami, Usopp and Chopper are listening to the entire conversation. From the conversation, they can gather that Luffy, Sanji and Zoro have all been captured.

(Nami: "Why the monster trio ahead of everyone else!?")

They don't know who Moria is (not having been present for Robin's explanation), but this situation is clearly very bad.

Moria is demanding to know what happened to "those three pirates," but Perona still won't let Kumashi talk, meaning that Kumashi can't say a word about what he's carrying in his body.

Absalom starts getting angry at Hogback for laying a hand on HIS bride, at which point Cindry points out that no one is going to want to marry Absalom anyway. (When Hogback tries to shut her up, she says "You either.")

Moria is getting bored. He called them here because he wanted them to witness the birth of his greatest soldier.

Luffy bites his way out of his own cage, but Perona subdues him with her negative ghosts, and Moria snips away Luffy's shadow.

With the shadow from a 300-million-beri bounty head, he's ready to create the ultimate Special Zombie.


[Cover arc: little robot remembers his failure to overcome the Space Pirates in battle.]

Franky is shocked when Brook advises them to return to the Sunny at once, but Brook explains that Moria's strategy is to set the unconscious bodies of his victims adrift as quickly as possible. He doesn't want the former owners of the shadows around, but he can't kill them, because the death of the shadow-owner will kill the zombie. Their best chance to return to the Sunny and awaken their sleeping comrades, before they get captured themselves.

As a final counter-measure, he hands over a bag of salt. Salt will drive the shadow-soul of a zombie from its body, forcing it to return to its original owner.

Robin says Brook seems to know a lot about the island. Brook says that he tried to return after his shadow was stolen to fight Moria, once, but he barely escaped with his life.

He had to get away alive, because he's the only one of his crew remaining that can keep the promise they once made to their nakama.

But now, he's decided that he needs to face Moria once and for all. Just staying alive isn't enough if he can't get out of the Florian Triangle. This time, he will defeat Moria or die trying.

Franky says he has one last question.

Back in Moria's great hall, Nami et al have lost all caution (they're leaning right out of Kumashi's unzipped back to watch what's going on, LOL).

Moria is gloating over Luffy's shadow. This will bring him one step closer to his ambition of becoming pirate king. It will allow Hogback to animate zombie #900, which he's been working on since he and Moria teamed up. It will get Absalom one step closer to being king of all the graveyards of the world, and Perona one step closer to her dream of zombifying all the cute things in the world and ruling over them as their queen.

[Honestly, I don't see how zombifying Luffy aids in the latter goal, but let's run with it.]

Moria will finally be able to beat "that fool Kaidou" in the New World.

[First mention of Kaidou by name, though he has been alluded to before, shall we say… indirectly. His name will come up again later.]

Absalom orders the spider mice to take Luffy's unconscious body to his ship, but they report the bad news that the spider monkey was cleansed of his shadow.

Hogback (I think?) understands at once that the only person who could have done that was "Humming" Brook.

Moria is bored and irritated. He tells the others to take care of it. He is completely focused on his Special Zombie project.

The spider mice hurry off with Luffy's unconscious body.

Usopp, Nami and Chopper are still hiding inside Kumashi.

Back at what's left of the bridge to Moria's mansion, the General Zombies are hunting for Franky and Robin, who are nowhere to be found.

Franky and Robin are fleeing to the ship, but Franky can't hold back his tears. "I'm not crying! Don't look at me!"

Robin asks him why he asked that question.

"Shaddup! I can ask what I want! We have to focus on getting back. But, dammit… I love that skeleton! What a great guy!" (Robin: "Yeah.")

In Hogback's research lab, Ryuuma is humming and sipping tea when Brook approaches him and demands the return of his shadow.

Moria enters the refrigerated storage unit to gaze upon specimen #900: the giant, once called "the Demon," Oars.

[This name (オーズ) might have the distinction of being the most wildly varied transliterated name in One Piece history. I've seen Oz, Odz, Odr, Ohz, and I don't know what all. Oars was eventually established as the official romanization.]


Nami et al are still inside Kumashi, watching to see what will become of Luffy's shadow.

Usopp is in shock. That thing is huge, even for a giant. Chopper is nearly hysterical with fright, and Nami is trying to keep him quiet.

Luffy's shadow, which had been struggling in Moria's hand, becomes passive and obedient when Moria speaks to it. He commands the shadow to forget its past as a human and obey only its new master.

Hogback (who somewhere acquired a winter coat) wishes that Moria had imposed a contract on Cindry to forget the past. Maybe then he could eat off a plate once in a while.

Cindry: "I could break your kneecaps too, you know." ("Kneecaps" in Japanese is "knee-plates.")

Moria places Luffy's shadow in Oars' body.

"Awake… from your 500 year sleep!"

The giant opens its eyes. (Nami is now holding her hand over Chopper's mouth to stop him from screaming, poor little thing.)

When Oars wakes up, they all start screaming and fall out of Kumashi's back, finally becoming visible to the others.

Before Moria can have them seized, they are all distracted by Oars' awakening.

The first thing out of its mouth is "MEAT!!"

Nami and the others make a bolt for it.

Nami is beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle together (she wasn't there for Brook's explanation). Oars woke up with Luffy's personality; that explains why they met a dog-penguin that talked like Sanji and a samurai that sounded like Brook.

Chopper is grinding his teeth, he's so furious. He feels betrayed by the revelation of Hogback's true nature.

Usopp tells Chopper they don't have time to worry about that right now - they need to concentrate on saving their nakama.

[I like that while Nami coddles Chopper like a good big sister should, Usopp and Zoro seem to know best how to talk Chopper out of a funk when he's upset or scared. The "man up" approach works on Chopper because it's what he so much wants for himself.]

Ironically, the three strongest nakama have all been taken out and now it's up to the three weakest ones to save them.

"Honestly, those guys, such a pain to look after." (LOL)

Absalom temporarily knocks out Usopp and Chopper and grabs Nami. He disappears along with Nami before Usopp and Chopper can counterattack.

The armored zombies surround Usopp and Chopper and attack them, but just when they think they're done for, Robin and Franky show up.

[Chopper calling Franky "aniki" might just be the CUTEST THING EVER. He should do it ALWAYS.]


The zombies are terrified, because these new attackers clearly have the ability to purge them of their shadows. Who would know how to do that, besides Humming Brook?

Resolving to regroup and rescue Nami later, Usopp, Chopper, Robin and Franky head back to the Sunny.

Usopp and Chopper explain about Luffy's shadow being placed into the giant Oars.

Back in Moria's tower, every servant has been coopted to bring more meat. Oars has eaten every scrap of food on the island, and it's still not enough.

Moria is telling Oars that he will henceforth be his subordinate (buka), but Oars is uncooperative. "Don' wanna. I got a dream!"

He busts out of the freezer, despite its reinforced steel walls. (He's trying to use Gomu gomu no pistol, and is puzzled when his arms don't stretch like he expected them to, but fortunately raw strength does the job.)

"Gonna be the Pirate King!"

Brook is facing down Ryuuma in Hogback's lab.

Ryuuma mocks him, asking if he's going to beg for his life like he did once before. "Not the afro! Anything but that!"

Brook says that won't happen this time.

He flashes back to the time before, when he was running for his life, and happened to overhear the zombies talking about their one weak point - one of them was "cleansed" after stupidly eating salted fish. (It takes a bit of experimentation for Brook to determine whether the salt or the fish is the key ingredient.)

After cutting down hordes of zombies, Brook finally encountered Ryuuma. But when they fought, he discovered that Ryuuma was simply too strong for him to defeat.

Ryuuma had threatened to cut his afro, putting Brook in a panic. "Not the afro! You should know better than anyone why! If I lose this, I can't ever grow it back!"

The samurai genuinely didn't seem to remember - he claims to have forgotten everything about his life as Brook's shadow.

In the end, Ryuuma defeated Brook, but allowed him to flee with the afro unscathed. He couldn't afford to kill Brook, after all.

Back in the present, Brook tells Ryuuma he's been training since that day five years ago, honing his skills to be able to defeat him.

Elsewhere in the mansion, Absalom brings an unconscious Nami to the castle tailor to be fitted for a wedding gown.

At the foot of the long staircase to Moria's tower, Robin, Franky, Usopp and Chopper find the Sunny, anchored outside the entrance to the island.

They find the ship rather thoroughly trashed by the zombies' search for valuables, but (despite Chopper's fears) no zombies are aboard.

They find Luffy, Zoro and Sanji asleep in the dining room (mockingly adorned - apparently zombies have a nasty sense of humor).

All their efforts to wake them by yelling and punching them fail, until Usopp hits on the idea of yelling "Oi! A beautiful female swordsman is here with some MEAT!"

Sanji: "Beautiful woman?"
Luffy: "Meat?"
Zoro: "Swordsman?"

Chopper: "I don't believe you three!" (ダメだ、こいつら!!)


459 (死んでごめんじゃないでしょうに)

[Oh, oh, contender for saddest chapter title ever. ;__; That would be an interesting discussion - name the five (saddest/best/funniest/cleverest/fill-in-the-blank) One Piece chapter titles.]

Luffy, Sanji and Zoro are disoriented until the others explain to them that they are back on the Sunny, minus their shadows.

Luffy seems more upset by the theft of the ship's food stores than anything else.

Zoro feels humiliated at having been caught off guard and overcome. Luffy is still having hysterics about not being able to live on cheese. Sanji goes ballistic when he learns that someone kidnapped Nami.

Usopp is trying to explain that they have two vital objectives.

Luffy says it should be three, right? "Food. Nami. Shadows." (Usopp says his priorities are a little off, but that's the general idea - he was thinking of the last two.)

Usopp further explains that Absalom is trying to make Nami his bride, and that Luffy's shadow has been placed in a giant.

(LOL Luffy: "That guy's got guts, wanting to marry Nami.")

Usopp and Chopper are reduced to gibbering terror on being informed that Moria is a shichibukai.

Luffy realizes that he must have met Zoro's zombie, but is surprisingly tactful (or maybe just oblivious?) in sharing the details when Zoro asks what he was like. "He was kinda like you, but he was wearing geta, so I knew it wasn't you." (Luffy's mind is an eternal mystery.)

Franky explains that the only way they learned about the zombies' weakness, and about the big picture on the island, was from Brook (Luffy is very excited to hear that they saw Brook).

Franky says his view of Brook has changed since talking to him. That skeleton's a real man!

Flashback to Franky's earlier question to Brook, which we never got to hear.

Franky asked Brook bluntly why he still clings to life when he has nothing at all left to live for - no hope of any kind of normal human existence. In his place, Franky would have ended it all a long time ago. What the hell kind of promise did he make to his nakama?

Brook says it's simple enough. Long ago, he and his crew were forced to leave one of their nakama behind. It was a painful parting, but they swore that one day they would return to the place where they left him. And then they all died in the Florian Triangle without being able to keep their promise.

Brook considers it his final duty, as the last survivor, to return and tell their nakama what became of them. It's been 50 years.

[I believe this is the point where the penny dropped for me, the first time I read this chapter.]

Franky asks how Brook even knows he'd still be waiting, fifty years later. ("I wasn't even born then!" Heh, Franky.) But Brook says he has no right to assume that "he" wouldn't still be there.

All these years, he's wondered how their nakama must be feeling, if by some impossible chance he's still waiting for them. How abandoned and betrayed he must feel.

The name of their comrade was Laboon.

He was a baby whale. They had to leave him behind at the cape because he was too young to keep up with the dangers of the journey they were embarking upon. He must be so big now.

Perhaps Laboon won't forgive them for irresponsibly going and dying after making such a selfish promise, but Brook still wants to bring him a message from all of them on the other side — "Dying's no excuse, is it. Not when a man once said he'd return, without fail."

[I am not 100% sure I have this right. In all: 無責任に死んでしまった我々を彼が許してくれるとは思いませんけど・身勝手な約束をして 声も届かぬ遠い空から・死んでごめんじゃないでしょうに. "I don't think that he will forgive us for irresponsibly dying, but… having made a selfish promise, from the distant sky that no voices reach… dying's no excuse, is it." Or possibly, "'Sorry I died' just doesn't cut it." Viz has "I can't just die hoping to be forgiven," which isn't wrong, but I don't know that I think it's the best translation.]

Back in the present, Franky finishes telling Luffy and the others what Brook told him.

Luffy, Sanji, Zoro and Usopp all understand exactly what Robin and Franky (and Chopper) had no way of knowing.

Sanji explains that they met Laboon once, when they crossed over Reverse Mountain into the Grand Line. He's still waiting there at the Twin Capes - a huge whale, his head all scarred from bashing it continuously against the Red Line, howling piteously. His nakama promised to return, but they never came back. Rumors said they'd long since fled and abandoned him, but Laboon never gave up hope. Luffy managed to calm him down enough to keep him from bashing himself to death against the rocks, and even now, he's still waiting.

Brook is battling Ryuuma, finding him an even match despite the years of training (because Ryuuma has been improving, too).

Ryuuma mocks his attachment to his afro, but Brook thinks that without his afro, there's no way Laboon will ever recognize him. It's the last trace of his humanity he has left. Everyone used to tease him, saying that the shape of his head made him look like Laboon.

Wait for me, Laboon - at the promised cape!

Franky is bawling like a baby (to everyone else's exasperation).

Luffy is all fired up.

"He's a musician! And a talking skeleton! And he has an afro! With the yohohoho thing! And he's Laboon's nakama! I'm gonna make him our nakama if I have to DRAG him on board this ship! You guys got anything to say about it!?"

This time, everyone is in full agreement.

Robin: "Fufu. If we said no, would you care?"
Usopp: "I wanna get him back together with Laboon!"
Franky: *sobsobsob* "Agree 100%! Dammit!"
Chopper: *sobsobsob* "Me too, jerk! I won't be scared of skeletons any more!"
Sanji: "Could we stop discussing the OBVIOUS and worry about getting Nami-san back?"
Zoro (who's already walking away): "I'm headed for the island. We've got one more shadow to get back now, don't we?"

*squishes whole crew*

They're ready to launch their counterattack.

"Let's blow Thriller Bark out of the water!"

[Love the little mini-exchange between Usopp and Sanji: "Go get 'em, guys!" Sanji: "You're coming too, moron!"]


[Final thought - I still think this is one of the absolute best reveals in One Piece, and I especially like the two-stage way it's handled, passing through Franky and Robin (who don't understand its significance) to Luffy and the others (who do). Just really beautiful narrative technique, especially when you consider that there would be readers like Luffy who get it right away and readers like Franky who would need to have it explained to them. Laboon was in VOLUME 12 and has not been mentioned once since then.]

Date: 2014-06-20 11:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree - it's a wonderful reveal handled really well. And led to the LABOON! shout for a while.
LABOON! Looking back on the scene at Reverse Mountain now, the sad realistic/cynical view of the Rumba Pirates has proven to be wrong, even if it will take Laboon and Crocus some time still to learn it.

I kinda came in at this point in Thriller Bark, reading the then-current scanlations - or maybe it was the next chapter first, and this was my first going-back chapter. I forget. So all the stuff leading up to this, I'd read later, sometimes in reverse. It took me some time to piece together what exactly Moria was doing with the shadows and bodies and such... I remember reading some fan anger at the time for Usopp, Nami and Chopper not even trying to stop Moria from taking Luffy's shadow, but then again if they had, they'd been immediately attacked and either captured or would have to run away. They needed not to be captured for the plot, and they wouldn't have learned as much about what was going on if they'd have to run away too soon.

Date: 2014-06-24 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It breaks my brain to even think about coming into One Piece mid-stream. I mean, I was a late-comer, of course, but I started watching/reading at volume 1 and was completely caught up before I looked at any scanlations of current chapters. I can't imagine how confused I would have been if I'd jumped into the middle of Fishman Island with no background.

I remember reading some fan anger at the time for Usopp, Nami and Chopper not even trying to stop Moria from taking Luffy's shadow

Fans can be so dumb. >.<

I agree that Usopp/Nami/Chopper needed to be spies rather than warriors here. If they'd challenged Moria outright, they'd only have ended up getting captured and not being able to do anything to help the others.

Date: 2014-06-24 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ack, sorry for misleading wording on my part! I came into One Piece pretty much in order, though the very first volumes I more or less browse-read at first in the bookshop, before starting to read library copies and then finally buying them as they came out in translation here.
Bit I got into the One Piece fandom when I was reading the Water 7 volumes in Swedish translation, and then after a few months I couldn't resist picking up the new scanlations - which were at around this chapter.

Date: 2014-06-24 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, that makes sense! I wonder if I might have been more tempted to jump ahead to current chapters if I hadn't been so thoroughly warned to avoid spoilers, which meant that I was neither looking at anything beyond where I was ([ profile] gnine warned me not even to look at volume titles), nor participating in any kind of fan community.

On the one hand, I'm pretty committed to experiencing things in order, so probably not... on the other hand, exposure to fan discussions/fanworks has certainly led me to seek out bits of a story out of order before, so who knows? I think I'm more likely to do that when I don't know a fandom at all, though (i.e. the only real exposure I have to the medium is through fandom in the first place - I count Harry Potter in this category).

Date: 2014-06-25 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I need to go back through and comment in more detail, but I wanted to post a quick note before I forget two jokes the translation flubbed:

LOL at the sfx when he falls: BO~N (written in bone-shaped katakana).

Though Viz does use femur-shaped exclamation points, BOOM!! just doesn't carry the joke.

Love the little mini-exchange between Usopp and Sanji: "Go get 'em, guys!" Sanji: "You're coming too, moron!"

Seriously, Viz? How is Usopp's "All right!" setting up Sanji's response? You just make Usopp look eager to attack.

Date: 2014-06-25 10:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't defend the Usopp/Sanji exchange, but I feel sorry for Viz the rest of the time - Brook is a walking untranslatable pun factory. He's almost worse than Zoro/Kaku's oyaji-gag sword battle.

Date: 2014-06-25 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the legendary treasure that Buggy is obsessed with finding belonged to Captain John.

Thank you, because I have no memory of that.

Luffy, now wearing some random suit of armor he found in the hallway

So much love for this. I mean, I loved the sparkles and excitement with which Luffy greeted every new experience and encounter on the island, but this … he can be such a kid.

It's wearing a haramaki.

Is the belt-thing orbiting his hips part of not-Zoro's haramaki?

the little robots launch themselves on a trip to the moon

With balloons! That has to be one of my favorite children's fantasy devices. We should all be able to float to the moon clinging to a party balloon.

The dog-penguin is making a grandiose speech about The Power of Love.

So…Sanji in the body of a throwaway wild zombie instead of a soldier zombie. Does this tie into what you and w_10_00 were saying about his being the bounty they skipped when accounting for the strength of the crew? 'cause it seems like such a waste on Moria's part.

First mention of Kaidou by name, though he has been alluded to before, shall we say… indirectly. His name will come up again later.

By which time I will have completely forgotten he was ever mentioned. It is so hard to be me.

"Oi! A beautiful female swordsman is here with some MEAT!"

This may be my single favorite moment in this volume.

"He was kinda like you, but he was wearing geta, so I knew it wasn't you."

The rest of the outfit notwithstanding, I had to laugh at THAT being what distinguished a scarred old zombie from Zoro in Luffy's eyes.

Oh, my. Sweet Laboon. I assume the Strawhats themselves haven't been back to Reverse Mountain by volume 60-whatever. Have they managed to get word back to him about his nakama? (And Brook re: the afro. *sniffle* Mean old zombie.) 4th edit: oooh...maybe Brook has a wanted poster and...who would show a wanted poster to Laboon? I NEED LABOON TO KNOW HE WASN'T ABANDONED.

(Three edits! Sorry.)
Edited Date: 2014-06-25 08:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-06-25 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is the belt-thing orbiting his hips part of not-Zoro's haramaki?

I actually have no idea what that thing is, apart from the fact that it seems to be holding his swords. (What's with the little bobbly things hanging off it?) The stripy thing around his waist is what I was identifying as a haramaki. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what it is. (I'm certain you know this, but someone else might not - wearing a haramaki is associated with being an oyaji.)

The rest of the outfit notwithstanding, I had to laugh at THAT being what distinguished a scarred old zombie from Zoro in Luffy's eyes.

Me too, since it kind of implies that he possibly thought the rest of the outfit WAS in keeping with Zoro's taste in clothing.

So…Sanji in the body of a throwaway wild zombie instead of a soldier zombie. Does this tie into what you and w_10_00 were saying about his being the bounty they skipped when accounting for the strength of the crew? 'cause it seems like such a waste on Moria's part.

Oh, what a great point! I never thought of that, and I'm sure you're right. Zoro's zombie might look like a dork, but he is/was a famous warrior.

This may be my single favorite moment in this volume.

Better than Laboon? ^_~ (I do love this moment though.)

4th edit: oooh...maybe Brook has a wanted poster and...who would show a wanted poster to Laboon? I NEED LABOON TO KNOW HE WASN'T ABANDONED.

I guess it isn't spoilery to say that indeed, we don't know (as of volume 73 [!!!]), and I am dying to know the answer. (Kind of surprised it hasn't come up in a cover arc.) Without going into details, however, I'll say that if Crocus - the lighthouse keeper/doctor guy - reads the papers (and we have seen that he does), it's a near certainty that he has seen Brook's picture by now and given Laboon the good news. I hope he has!

I'm really curious: did you know about the Brook/Laboon connection due to spoilers? That was a reveal I enjoyed figuring out for myself (if only one or two pages before it actually showed up). I was trying to keep it quiet, but I have a feeling it might have snuck into the comments a few times.

First mention of Kaidou by name, though he has been alluded to before, shall we say… indirectly. His name will come up again later.

By which time I will have completely forgotten he was ever mentioned. It is so hard to be me.

I doubt anyone remembers this stuff on a first read-through. I just love picking out the throwaway bits, because they're kind of like Easter eggs for compulsive re-readers.

Date: 2014-06-26 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm really curious: did you know about the Brook/Laboon connection due to spoilers?

I kind of don't know how to answer this. When I saw the cover of volume 46, I thought, "Ah, yes, that's the musician skeleton who becomes a member of the crew." But I did not think, "Ah, that's Laboon's nakama." However, when the narrative unfolded, I was not surprised Laboon's nakama were mostly dead and the last survivor was struggling to get back to him. So I had been spoiled on that much of the story, I just didn't know (or remember?) the specific character to hook it to. The foreknowledge is partly why the Laboon reveal isn't my favorite moment in the volume. The other being that my heart will be heavy until I know that Laboon knows (and maybe until Laboon and Brook are reunited). Whereas Usopp's amalgam designed to spark the interest of the monster trio just amuses me and reminds me how clever Usopp can be.

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