sara_tanaquil: (mischief_managed)
[personal profile] sara_tanaquil
A day later than I had hoped, but on with Volume 49! A lot of shounen fighting to get through here. I'm looking forward to getting into Volume 50 and the transition to one of my favorite arcs coming up next.

A comment that applies to pretty much the whole volume: I don't highlight this much in the summaries, partly because the details of fighting are too tedious to summarize, but I really love when all the Strawhats team up and play off of each other's abilities. Teamwork fights are the best!

One Piece 49

471

Oars can't recognize the real Usopp when he's right in front of him, LOL forever. (He identifies Sogeking from the wanted poster as the "cool hero".)

When Perona wakes up and discovers the castle being torn apart by Oars, she decides to make a run for it. She orders her flunkies to load the Strawhats' ship with treasure and food so they can escape.

Nami finally wakes up as Absalom is still trying finalize the wedding with a kiss.

Lola the warthog shows up, outraged that "Namizou" would betray her by going behind her back with Absalom.

Nami had almost forgotten telling Lola that she was a man, hee.

Lola's outrage is a front. She whispers to Nami to escape - she'll hold Absalom off long enough to give her time.

"I came to save you… my friend!" (MY FRIEND is all in katakana.)

Absalom knocks out Lola all too easily. Outraged, Nami stops to fight him.

"How dare you do that to Lola!"

Nami knocks him out with her thunder charge. She's surprised that it worked when it didn't before (the zombie commentator thinks that Absalom was worn out from fighting Sanji), but triumphant.

Nami shamefacedly confesses to Lola that she was lying about being a man, but Lola says she already knew that.

Now conscious, Lola resolves to take advantage of the unconscious Absalom.

[There is just too much dub-con in this arc…]

Meanwhile, Luffy's crew (now revived) is facing down with Oars (Chopper, Sanji, Zoro, Robin, Franky and Usopp - all except Luffy and Nami).

[Love the argument over exactly what Oars said his name was again - I can't tell who is guessing what, but it's like a parody of the fans who couldn't decide how to romanize Oars' name. "Oss? No, there was a z in it. Hughes? You're just getting colder…" For once, Luffy isn't the one getting all the names wrong.]

[Ooh, the SBS officially points out that Robin is starting to use the crew's names instead of the distancing role-titles - the reader cites ch. 460 from the last volume, which I failed to call out. Oda confirms that the change after Enies Lobby is deliberate.]

472

[Cover arc: continuing the Egyptian-style wall paintings, which now depict a tearful parting between the little robots and the winged people, who seem to be embarking on a journey with balloons. "Departing for the blue star because of a lack of resources."

I am not sure whether this gets spelled out more fully in a later SBS, but this is why the natives of Jaya (including the Shandorans) and the people of Angel Island on Skypiea both have wings and antennae. They were originally both from the moon-tribe, but they ended up in different places when they migrated, some on Jaya, some on Skypiea.]

Oars-Luffy tries to squish his crew with his butt (Chopper: "That's not one of Luffy's techniques!!"). Franky declares that it's time to go with TACTICS 15.

Franky's secret weapon is PIRATES DOCKING 6 - Giant Robot Warrior! Big Emperor!

(Kyodai-Robo-Senshi, this is SUCH an Ultraman-type homage.)

Zoro and Sanji support the legs; Franky provides the body; Chopper is on his head, and Usopp on his right arm. But something's missing.

Robin refuses. "As a human being, it's too humiliating."

[LOL forever, it is really impossible to read this without channeling the anime, which naturally maxed out the drama and the ridiculosity of this whole scene.]

Even Oars is disappointed. He wanted to see Docking! ("Aw, I was all waku-waku!")

Zoro, utterly humiliated by the failure of Docking, resolves to forget the whole thing immediately. The others are wailing over Robin's sudden but inevitable betrayal.

Robin: "Don't ever, ever invite me to do that again. Docking."

Zoro gets Sanji to help him with his plan to launch an attack on Oars with Franky's giant nunchuks (love the by-play between them - even Oda throws a bone to the Zosan fangirls once in a while).

Now Chopper and Franky have a combo-named attack move (Furappa, for Franky-Chopper).

Their combined efforts land Oars square on his head (where he seems more confused and irritated than injured).

The obligatory chorus of "I can't believe I'm seeing this!" from everyone else on the island.

Lola sends Nami on her way, filling her in on some of the information about what's been happening on the island (Luffy's shadow in Oars' body, Oars going on a rampage, etc.).

[Hee, Lola is carrying an unconscious Absalom in her mouth, like a cat with a mouse.]

Nami makes sure to stop by the treasure hoard first, only to discover that it's already empty. Meanwhile, Perona is cramming all the food and treasure that will fit onto the Sunny.

A large bear-like man with a Bible shows up on the deck of the Sunny, looking for Moria.

[I had to go and look this up to confirm that we have not, in fact, seen Bartholomew Kuma since Volume 25. I forgot it had been that long. The detail-obsessed reader may recognize him from when he was introduced as one of the Shichibukai, but he isn't identified to the current reader until the next chapter. When the rabbit critters see him, they say he looks like a "bear" (Japanese = kuma), and he says "Kuma? That's right on target." 的 (mato), target, is a favorite word of his, as the decoration on his chest would suggest - seen clearly in the next chapter, it looks the cross-hairs of a target.]

473

The Risky Brothers (upon being beaten up by Nami) revealed Perona's plans to make off with all the treasure.

Racing to catch up with Perona, Nami is mildly puzzled by the narrow wooden bridge ("sure is well made, though") and horrified by the sight of Oars' upside-down body ("I'll just pretend I didn't see that").

Oars is bellowing threats, but he can't get his horns un-stuck from the ground.

LOL at the evil look in the Strawhats' eyes (Chopper should never look that evil), and Oars' screams of agony.

Oars finally breaks free, and the Strawhats scatter.

They're using every dirty trick in the book to buy time until Luffy can defeat Moria. (Hee, the others are just trying to buy time - Zoro doesn't see why they shouldn't go ahead and finish Oars on their own. Sanji agrees.]

Zoro can't wait to give Shuusui, his new blade, a proper trial.

Nami shows up to confront Perona.

[Hee - the English has Nami say "what are you doing with my treasure," but the Japanese has 私の(貰うハズの)宝, "my treasure (that I was supposed to get)." It amounts to the same thing, but I love how the Japanese emphasizes that she's treating it as hers just because she planned on stealing it.]

[I also love that in Japanese, Perona refers to Usopp as あのネガっ鼻の男 (negappana, that nega-nose man - a variation on the usual "nagappana," long-nose) and calls him her one and only "natural enemy" (天敵). Fear the Usopp!]

Perona is about to throw down with Nami, but then Nami says "Who's that?"

The bear-man is standing right behind Perona.

Perona's flunkies are hysterical with fear because he made some of their brothers disappear without a trace. Perona knows who he is - that's "Tyrant" Bartholomew Kuma, one of the Shichibukai.

Kuma asks Perona where she would go on vacation, if she could. Perona admits she'd love to go to some dark, spooky, haunted castle somewhere.

With a wave of Kuma's hand, Perona disappears into thin air.

Kuma recognizes Nami as "Thieving Cat" (泥棒猫) of the Straw Hat Pirates.

He seems oddly interested in Luffy's family. "Is it true Monkey D. Luffy has an older brother?"

No wonder he's curious about Ace's supposed connection with Luffy. As a former Revolutionary, would he have known that Luffy is Dragon's son? Then again, Ivankov didn't know that until Luffy told him - right? And does Kuma know at this point that Ace is Roger's son, or is the government still keeping that up their sleeve? This makes me sort of curious to know how the word of Ace being Luffy's big brother got around. Did Blackbeard show up with Ace, saying "Here's Whitebeard's Second Division Commander, and oh, by the way, he says Straw Hat Luffy is his kid brother"?

He appears to be able to move at the speed of light, materializing suddenly right next to Nami, and then warping away just as quickly.

When Nami challenges him ("What's your business with Luffy?"), Kuma says he's free to do as he pleases (俺の自由).

Poignant on multiple levels, given what we later learn both about his past and about what happens to him later. 何をしようと、俺の自由 could also be translated "What I do, I do of my own free will."

He walks away, leaving Nami terrified and determined to warn Luffy.

Luffy is still fighting Moria (and his shadow), out in the forest. Then Moria's shadow disappears, leaving him stranded.

[SBS: I cannot tell you how much I love that Oda wouldn't let the animators have Buggy and Shanks call the man who hit them in the flashback in vol. 3 "captain" because he had already planned for it to be Rayleigh. Go back and look at the drawings for that scene — it's young Rayleigh to a T.]

474

[Cover Arc (final): Enel settles in to rule his army of little robots on the moon. Oh well, they seem happy.]

Luffy is grumpy because Moria's shadow lured him out into the woods and left him there.

[Haha, I almost missed Luffy's (surprisingly accurate) mental picture of what will happen to him if he gets caught in the sunlight.]

Zoro is thoroughly enjoying the challenges of mastering his new sword.

[Zoro's reflections on his new sword in Japanese are a bit over my head, but while the English seems to have the general idea right, I find it interesting that he thinks こいつも大人しい剣じゃなさそうだ ("this one, too, looks like it's not a well-behaved/obedient sword" - Eng. "this sword will be a pain to master"), which links it with his early comment on the cursed Sandai Kitetsu, calling it a disobedient "problem child." He seems very pleased with Shuusui, though. いいモンくれたな。]

Usopp urges Zoro to just wait for Luffy, but Zoro says that as much as he trusts Luffy, they have to realize that Luffy is dealing with the one thing he isn't equipped to handle - an island full of tricksters and deceivers.

[A very shrewd assessment on Zoro's part, especially since we know that Luffy has in fact been getting jerked around by Moria, but Zoro's plan - to risk his life fighting Oars on the chance that he can get Luffy's soul back, so that Luffy, at least, will be able to fight at full strength in daylight - is, well, ominous.]

Dawn is less than thirty minutes away, and to make matters worse, the ship is emerging from the fog. Oars' messing around with the anchor inadvertently steered the ship/island out of the Florian Triangle.

Kuma and Moria (who are equally outsized) are staring each other down.

Kuma says that he came to inform Moria that Crocodile's replacement as Shichibukai has been nominated - Marshall D. Teech, aka Blackbeard, an unknown pirate with a former bounty of zero.

Moria's never heard of him (unsurprisingly). Kuma says that, having fled his former position on Whitebeard's crew, he "proved his worth" and was approved by the government.

[確かな実力を示して加盟した - note that we have not (yet) learned exactly what Blackbeard did to prove himself to the government.]

Kuma does not seem to like or trust Blackbeard - he predicts that Blackbeard's joining, far from stabilizing the world situation by filling the hole Crocodile left, will have a destabilizing effect.

But, he adds, the government has one other concern. Knowing that there is a chance Luffy might encounter Moria on the way to Fishman Island, they are concerned that Moria might be the next on the takedown list.

Moria is mortally insulted, but Kuma seems indifferent. The government only sent him to issue a warning; he's under no obligation to help Moria fight Luffy.

As the Strawhats worry about the clearing of the fog just before dawn, a door opens in Oars' stomach, revealing Moria in the cockpit. (As usual, Usopp is the first one to spot him.) Oars is surprised (and thinks it's kinda cool).

Moria challenges them to a duel with Oars - and him.

Brook shows up in the nick of time with all the salt he can carry (rescuing Usopp, who was about to get squished by Oars).

475

Brook boasts that he's fine now because he dragged his broken body to the kitchen and filled up on milk. Calcium is the greatest!

[Love Usopp yelling that calcium doesn't work that way - it's like Nami being peeved because one mouthful of lime juice apparently cured Yosaku's near-death case of scurvy at the start of the Baratie arc. And if Brook's hair won't grow post-death, how come his bones can mend? Oh, never mind.]

The Strawhats combine their powers in an attempt to defeat Oars. Nami joins the fight part-way through.

Sanji is so busy joyfully welcoming Nami that he gives her position away to Oars despite her warnings (way to go, Mr. Stealth).

Everyone is shocked when Oars starts not only using Luffy's moves, but being able to stretch to do them (earlier he could only mimic the movements using brute force). Zoro rightly suspects that Moria is behind it.

Luffy runs into a bunch of ragtag pirates on the island, who are begging for his help. They introduce themselves as the Risky Brothers of the Rolling Pirates. Their captain is Lola the Proposer.

[Heh, I just now realized that in Japanese, "Rolling" (ローリング) and "Lola" (ローラ) sound alike.]

They say they know a secret that can help Luffy beat Moria once and for all.

476

Lola, the pirate captain, proposes to Luffy at first sight (and receives her 4,444th rejection, which doesn't seem to bother her much).

They explain that they've been without their shadows for three years now, hiding out from the sunlight.

There's no time to explain, so they demonstrate by stuffing a shadow into Luffy's body. (More dub-con?) They have discovered a technique to put more than one shadow into a living body. The powers of the shadow(s) become available to the shadow-holder.

The only limit to their ability to add shadows is the shadow-holder's ability to stay conscious. It requires an enormous effort of will to bear the burden of additional shadows.

The effect only lasts about ten minutes.

Most of them could only handle two or three shadows, but they're hoping that Luffy, with his reputation, might be able to handle 20 or 30.

In the end, Luffy maxes out at 100 shadows.

Luffy is still mentally "himself," although his physical appearance and voice have changed. We can't see him clearly yet, but his silhouette looks much bigger than before.

"You're our only hope - Nightmare Luffy!"

[They keep calling him the "star of hope", 希望の星. Nightmare Luffy is all in katakana.]

The Strawhats are having a hard time dealing with powered-up Oars. Moria explains that he's using the power of the shadow fruit - anywhere the shadow moves, controlled by him, the body can follow. Hence Oars' ability to "stretch."

The others fill Nami in on the fact that Luffy still hasn't come back (presumably he got tricked somewhere). Nami can't bring herself to tell them that there's another Shichibukai wandering the island.

Brook chimes in with a plan.

["Pardon me for boning in," hee! For once, he isn't actually making a pun in Japanese here - "Please, I have a request" - but given how often he makes puns in Japanese that are untranslatable, I think it's fair that the translator would insert random bone puns wherever they happen to fit in English. It suits him. On the next page, the pun about fighting to the last bone is from the Japanese (骨身を惜しまず, lit "without sparing flesh and bone"), and the joke about an electric shock making bones visible ("but my bones were already visible!") works in both languages (骨が透ける程感電した). I almost missed the fact that the latter was making fun of a common comic convention, haha.]

The last part of Brook's "Gavotte Bond en Avant" attack is pronounced - and spelled, in katakana - BONNABAN, lol. Not sure how I missed that before, but I tend to skim over attack names because they don't translate half the time. They tend to be nonsense Japanese, or French, or whatever.

Haha, Zoro actually called Brook "Hone" (Bones). It's like he's channeling Kirk.

While Oars is fighting, he temporarily becomes unable to stretch again - because Robin is restraining Moria with her powers inside the cockpit.

477

Moria counterattacks with his bats, freeing himself.

He switches places with his own shadow long enough to capture Robin's shadow.

Chopper is up on Oars' shoulder. He's identified Oars' weakness, the cause of his original death - frostbite. The joint with his right arm is weak because another arm has been sewn on in place of the original.

[LOL Zoro and Sanji's reaction to the revelation that Oars was so stupid when he was alive that he walked around naked and froze to death.]

Chopper and Sanji hammer away at Oars' shoulder. Chopper says that Oars' inability to feel pain is a weakness, not a strength, because he's lost his warning sensor.

However, Oars manages to knock them both out eventually. Now Franky, Brook, Robin, Chopper and Sanji are all down for the count.

478

Zoro, Usopp and Nami are the only ones left facing Oars.

Zoro is injured while creating an opening for Usopp (another man down), but Usopp manages to feed Oars their entire supply of salt.

It looks like it's working, until Moria's shadow emerges with the bag of salt in hand.

Oars gleefully stomps on both Nami and Usopp - or so it seems, until Nightmare Luffy turns up, with one nakama in each hand (he snatched them from under Oars' feet).

Usopp and Nami are grateful to be rescued, but a bit appalled by Luffy's appearance - they hardly recognize him.

Luffy sends Oars flying with a single punch.

[Haha, love the reactions from the peanut gallery. "Something's flying this way. Is it a rain cloud? A really big bird…?"]

Their fight shifts to the forest outside the castle.

Nami and Usopp are literally rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

479

The Rolling Pirates rush in to save the fallen bodies of the other Strawhats. (They're calling them "the crew of the Star of Hope" - this is what Viz variously translates as "our only hope", "our warrior of hope," "our most wonderful savior," etc. I can only assume that "Star of Hope" carries weightier connotations in Japanese than I realized.)

[LOL "This one is just bleached bones, how awful!" Also, Lola's "these guys (こいつら) are just my type."]

Nami and Usopp are still watching from above, having no idea what the Rolling Pirates are doing.

As usual, the peanut gallery (consisting of "everyone on the island") is watching the boss fight and narrating it.

The Rolling Pirates finally have a chance to explain to Nami and Usopp how they put 100 shadows into Luffy to help him fight.

Luffy's battle with Oars continues, ranging over most of the island.

With a final hail of blows, Luffy manages to knock both Moria and Oars unconscious. The shadows flee his body - he can't hold them any longer.

Everyone thinks the battle is over.

"Thiller Bark has fallen!"

[If Alabasta had the longest thirty minutes that ever defied the laws of time, Thriller Bark has the most "It's over! No, wait!" fake endings out of any of the One Piece arcs, I think.]

480

Oars is unconscious (as is Luffy), but the shadows aren't returning to their original owners. And they don't have much time - the sun is rising.

Lola explains that someone is going to have to force Moria to give the order to the shadows to return.

Moria is still unconscious, but to their utter horror, Oars is back on his feet.

The Rolling Pirates are in the depth of despair. They've played their last card.

Zoro is back on his feet, looking more dead than alive ("I'm not sure which one of them is the zombie", LOL Lola), but determined to fight.

The other Strawhats, who were unconscious only a moment before, have disappeared. The Rolling Pirates think they must have fled the scene, and who would blame them?

Luffy is getting to his feet. And to everyone's shock, the others are right behind him. They're all moving into position for battle.

[Aw, it's kind of cliche, but I still love the "They didn't run away after all!" moment from the peanut gallery.]

The Rolling Pirates/peanut gallery take shelter on command.

The combined efforts of all the Strawhats restrain Oars, and finally, shatter his spine.

Oars is down for good.

481

Although Oars is finished, they still have the problem of how they're going to make Moria give back the shadows.

Reactions from the peanut gallery all over the island - including Moria's former agents.

LOL the Rolling Pirates' reaction to Luffy turning chibi after he used Gear Third.

Oars is still conscious, even though he can't move. His broken body can't die. Chopper is sickened by what Hogback has done to his zombie victims.

Moria is finally awake again, but he has no intention of giving the shadows back.

Moria taunts Luffy, saying that even if he sails on, he's not strong enough for the New World. He might have some half-decent underlings, but he'll just end up losing them all.

[This is eerily prophetic.]

Moria says he was like Luffy once, relying on the strength of his crew, but he lost them all because they were mortal. Now he understands that zombies and shadows make better servants.

[Presumably this was in the battle against Kaidou that was mentioned briefly earlier? Moria is not unlike Crocodile, in that he appears to have been traumatized by a past loss. Crocodile made it a point never to trust any human being, because, he said, they'll all betray you in the end.]

Tentacles of shadow reach out to all of Moria's underlings.

"Shadows Asgard!"

[The kanji read "land where all the shadows gather."]

The zombies fall like puppets, and all the shadows come flying back to Moria.

[I find the casual "death" of every last zombie on the island to serve Moria's purpose super-creepy. Brr.]

With over 1000 shadows, Moria swells to an inhuman, almost insect-like monstrous form.

The Rolling Pirates are sure that there can be no victory, but Luffy and his crew haven't given up.

All the non-zombies flee in terror. The sun is over the horizon now - some are in danger of being caught in the sun's rays and burning up.

Despite her crew's pleas, Lola refuses to retreat from the sunlight. As long as none of the Straw Hats backs down, she's not moving either.

She tells her crew to flee without her. As captain, she's the one who has the duty to stay.

"This is what it means to place your trust in another human being." (Literally, to place your hope (kibou) on another person's shoulders.)

Luffy prepares to take on an enraged, bellowing, barely sane Moria-monster. His crew are right behind him.

TBC

Date: 2014-08-08 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mangaroo.livejournal.com
Robin's sudden but inevitable betrayal.

Dead from laughing
Edited Date: 2014-08-08 04:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-08-11 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sara-tanaquil.livejournal.com
Hee! Did you manage to finish 49 in the end before the books had to go back to the library? I was figuring you wouldn't have much time for commenting.

Have you requested 50? Alas, I didn't manage to wrap up 50 before leaving for GenCon (departing tomorrow), so you have a bit of a breather, but I'd like to get right on it after I get back next week.

Date: 2014-08-13 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
The team-up fights here were so great - it's been a while since I last read it, but from what I remember, each and everyone except perhaps Luffy got their turn being 1) nearly killed, and 2) saving someone else from getting nearly killed. This is how big team-up fights should be done!! Plus, it all did a very good job of cementing Brook as a future member in the crew. I think the very first time I read the part where he shows up saving Usopp at the nick of time while wearing a huge bag of salt, I cheered out loud. :D

I also really like how Lola takes her stand at the end.

And I'm particularly taken with how, when they are all knocked out one by one before Nightmare Luffy comes in, it happens in reverse crew order from Franky to Sanji, until we're just down to the first three members of the crew not counting Luffy. At which point the order breaks down, because Zoro isn't going to let Nami and Usopp get taken out before him. So the two most fragile members or maybe not in the case of Usopp: I'm not sure we've ever seen Robin exposed to the kind of knocks he's taken and survived are left to be saved by Nightmare Luffy, giving him a good entrance into the bargain. ...I'm not quite sure why, but there's something about this whole sequence I just really like. I could actually see a final hard trek to reach One Piece itself on Raftel (if that's truly where it is) take a similar course - unless Oda would find that too repetitive, of course.
Edited Date: 2014-08-13 05:33 pm (UTC)

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