sara_tanaquil: (spoilers)
[personal profile] sara_tanaquil
I had forgotten how dense this volume was. (Maybe I should say "confusing." Once again, it was a lot clearer on re-reading in retrospect.)

Also, this could be considered rather a nasty cliffhanger. I will try to get on to 53 quickly.

Volume 52: Roger and Rayleigh


Panorama of reactions to Luffy punching a Tenryuubito.

[I love that only the other supernovae look kind of gleeful. Everyone else looks beyond horrified, except Luffy's crewmates, who seem merely resigned.]

Aw, the first thing he does is apologize to his crew. "Sorry, guys. Looks like an admiral is going to be bringing a warship now."

Luffy's crew is solidly behind him. Zoro is just disgruntled that he didn't get to cut the guy down first. (Also, LOL Nami to Hachi: "Oh well, it's Luffy, can't be helped!")

Franky and Chopper have moved on to planning how to get the key to Keimi's collar while Chopper tends to Hachi's wounds.

Charlos' father, Roswald, pulls a gun and starts shooting, but Sanji kicks the gun out of his hands. Then he starts taking out the armored guards.

Zoro and Franky are taking out more guards. It's a full-on war zone now.

The audience runs screaming. The auction house manager orders someone to summon an admiral.

The marines outside are communicating over den-den mushi. ("We're going in!" "Roger that!" "No, don't roger that! I don't wanna go in there!")

More flying fish riders crash into the auction house, bringing the remainder of the Strawhats - Brook, Robin (wings!), and Usopp (LOL poor Usopp, no wings).

Usopp, tossed off the nearest fish, crashes on top of Roswald's head.

[Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. Will they send two admirals now?]

Brook and Robin dive right into the fight.

Luffy tells Usopp to help free Keimi. An admiral will be coming soon.

"Navy's already here, Mugiwara-ya."

Trafalgar is watching the whole show with considerable amusement. He hasn't moved.

[Hee, Luffy's first question is "Hey, what's with the bear?"]

Trafalgar informs them that the marines have had the auction house surrounded since the auction began.

(They are currently assisting with the evacuation of the audience.)

Robin is the one who recognizes Trafalgar Law and tells Luffy who he is.

(Luffy is still asking about the bear…)

Sharlya, the daughter, is threatening to kill Keimi (to eliminate the fish-people that the Strawhats are targeting, she says, though I think it's because she just hates fish-people).

Sharlya abruptly passes out.

Rayleigh strolls on stage, accompanied by the giant (who is ripping open the backdrop). He apparently stole all the auction-house money and now is headed back to the gambling-hall.

Giant, to Rayleigh: "That's not nice, old man. (タチの悪いじいさんだな.) You came here just so you could rob the place?"
Rayleigh: "I was gonna rob the people that bought me too, but… who'd want an old guy like me for a slave! Hahaha!"

The auction-staff are trying to figure out how they broke their restraints and got out of the cage.

Hachi recognizes Rayleigh. Rayleigh is delighted to see him. He starts to ask about his injuries, but seeing Keimi, he figures out the situation pretty quick.

Grasping that Luffy and his crew came to save Hachi and Keimi, Rayleigh gets an evil smirk on his face.

Everyone except the Strawhats keels over unconscious.

Rayleigh comments on Luffy's straw hat. It suits a manly man (精悍な男によく似合う).

"I was hoping I'd get to meet you… Monkey D. Luffy."


[Cover Arc: CP-9 at a sidewalk cafe. Are Kaku and Fukurou poking fun at Jabra for his frou-frou drink?]

In the lawless zone, the news of Luffy's attack on a Tenryuubito is spreading.

Capone gives orders for his crew to set sail for Fishman Island, immediately.

Bonney is disgusted to hear that "that idiot's" captain is an even bigger idiot.

Urouge appears mostly amused.

Drake is also planning his crew's departure, though he wonders which of the admirals might show up.

Apoo kind of wants to stick around to see the show (to his crew's horror).

Hawkins is calm. The cards have already shown it's not his day to die.

Back at Marine HQ, Sengoku is having a really bad day at the office. ("What is WRONG with that whole family?")

His subordinate is reporting that in addition to Mugiwara, Kidd and Law are also on the scene.

Communication from the human slave shop, erm, "Employment Agency," has been cut off.

They assume that the three Tenryuubito have been taken hostage by the pirates inside the auction house, an unprecedented crime.

Kizaru says he'll go.

"Be right back."

Backstage at the auction house, Disco is talking to someone on the den-den mushi. "This is no laughing matter! This is your auction house, isn't it?"

(A closer shot of the crossed-out smiley face, this time.)

He's begging "Mr Doflamingo" for help.

Doflamingo isn't particularly interested. The human slave trade is old hat. "SMILE" is the new thing.

[Whoa, didn't realize SMILE was referenced this early. Also, I pity Viz having to translate that line back when. It must have made no sense at all. They did the best they could ("This is the era of the smile").]

He offers to let Disco have the auction house (which Disco correctly interprets as Doflamingo's decision to throw him to the wolves).

The new age is upon them. He - no, "WE" - has (have) already gotten the summons.

War is coming, between Whitebeard and all the Shichibukai.

Outside the auction house, the marines are busy pushing back all the civilians to a safe distance, and moving the artillery into place.

Someone reports that Admiral Kizaru is on his way, but the advance force…

"THOSE THINGS are coming? Here?"

Inside the house, the others are shrieking in terror as Rayleigh calmly removes Keimi's collar. It explodes, but not before he's thrown it safely clear.

Franky is pissed because he JUST found the keys, and now where's the point in that?

He tosses the keys to the other slaves. They might as well seize their chance to escape.

The others are trying to figure out how Rayleigh made everyone pass out - magic? Some kind of devil fruit power? And how does Luffy know him, anyway?

Hachi recognizes the power Rayleigh used as "haki."

Rayleigh apologizes to the "bystanders".

"Pirates, I take it. You withstood that just now, you're not small fry."

Both Law and his crew, and Kidd and his crew are still conscious. (One of Law's men is looking a bit queasy.)

They all easily recognize "Dark King Silvers Rayleigh."

Rayleigh says he goes by "Ray-san the coating specialist," these days. Just an old man trying to lead a peaceful life. He'd appreciate it if they wouldn't spread his name around too freely.

He thanks Luffy and the others for saving his friend, Hachi. Luffy wants to know why he said he was looking forward to meeting him, but Rayleigh says that can wait until after they've escaped.

The marines, on the loudspeaker, are ordering the "rookies" to release their hostages and surrender.

Law and Kidd realize that they are being treated as co-conspirators.

Kidd offers to go ahead and "clean up the mess" for them, which just pisses Luffy and Law off.

All three of them emerge from the auction house at once and confront the encircling army. They're fighting over who will get to take out the marines first.

(Law: "You give me orders one more time, Eustass-ya, and I'll be starting with you first.")

The others prepare to use the distraction to make their escape.

The giant says he's going to try to help the other slaves escape, too. (Rayleigh: "Do try not to stick out too much.") He thanks both Rayleigh and the Strawhats for their help, promising to repay the favor if they ever meet again.

When the marines outside start firing cannon-balls, Luffy uses his balloon technique.

Kidd appears to be able to attract and repel metal. He sends the cannonball back where it came from.

Law uses "ROOM" to create a giant bubble. "SHAMBLES." Within the bubble, a marine's head comes off and flies into Law's hand (but he can still talk).

The marine commander warns that cannon fire won't work on them. Obviously, all three are power users.


[Cover arc: the pigeon is delighted to see Lucci wake up. Aw, pigeon!]

Luffy, Kidd and Law are facing down the marines.

(Luffy: "You guys have weird powers." Kidd: "Yours is the weirdest.")

Law is playing ball with the hapless marine's head. The head says it can feel the heat from its body, which is now smoking from a cannonball attack.

Inside Law's "circle," more marines are being chopped into pieces.

Weapons are flying out of the marines' hands. Everything made of metal is attaching itself to Kidd's right arm.

Pieces of marines are stuck back together all anyhow, and yelling at each other. ("You have too many torsos!") Law evidently has a sick sense of humor - it's like a really sadistic game of Mr. Potato. Is that a head stuck to one marine's crotch?

Luffy, Law and Kidd's crews are emerging from the building now, and reacting with varying degrees of shock and amusement. (Law's guy: "Aw man, cap'n's on a rampage.") Rayleigh, carrying Hachi, is roaring with laughter.

Law is amused by the fact that Luffy shrank (on account of using third gear).

[Hee! I missed the joke at first. 何だそりゃあ、麦わら屋、締まらねーな. Literally "Not looking too cool there, Mugiwara-ya." shimaranai = not tight, sloppy, uncool. I initially took it as having the double meaning "you shrank, didn't you?," but that might have just been an assumption from context. Either way, Viz' "That didn't end on a high note for you" is pretty funny.]

The marines prepare to target the non-power-users among the crew who have just emerged from the auction house. (LOL Usopp peeking out from behind Zoro's back in the group shot.)

As they prepare for a free-for-all, Kidd says he's glad he got a chance to meet Luffy, but he won't let him get away next time.

Luffy calmly tells both of them HE'LL be the one to find One Piece.

Kidd says that on the road they've been traveling, everyone he said that to laughed in their faces. He killed them all, of course.

But where they're all going, no one survives except the ones who have the guts to make that claim.

"Let's meet again in the New World!"

All the crews join in the fray.

Law: "Bepo!"
Bepo: "Ai ai, captain!" (This is one of the bear's catchphrases - in katakana.)

Sanji points out to Luffy that Duval and his Riders are waiting nearby. They're ready to set sail at any time.

("Right, men?" "YES! LIFE IS BARAIRO!" I'm sorry to say that this is also all in katakana. >.<)

Poor Duval is traumatized when the marines start pointing guns at him ("Ah ain't a pirate!"), but Robin rescues him.

He's mad at his men for praising him for pushing through his PTSD. "What are you talking about! Waka-danna-tachi are in a pinch, we gotta help them!" (His accent is back with a vengeance.)

The Strawhats are fighting their way through. Even Nami gets to use her clima-tact.

Roswald's former fishman slave has escaped from his chains. Law invites him to join forces (he recognizes him as "Pirate Captain Jean Bart"), and the fishman gladly accepts.

Having broken through the line, Kidd and his men are making for safety when they run right into Bartholomew Kuma.


Bepo's martial arts are unstoppable… until someone says something insensitive ("How come a bear can talk anyway?"), and he becomes depressed and starts apologizing. "Suimasen!" (He does this all the time.)

(Hee, Bepo to the fishman: "You're the new guy, so you're my subordinate, got it?" Jean-Bart: "Fine, anything's better than being a slave.")

As Law and his men are fighting their way through, they run into Kidd, who is facing off with Kuma.

Together, they prepare to fight Kuma.

(If they can avoid killing each other, that is. Law: "Do you have a death wish? Thought I TOLD you to quit giving me orders.")

The slave merchant, Peterman, is out cold (apparently Duval's men beat him up).

Back at Shakky's bar, Duval bids the Strawhats farewell. (Sanji: "Please, quit with the winking.")

The Rosy Life Riders take off. ("Let's go, men!" "YES! HAN-BARA!" Random Strawhat: "Their rallying cry keeps changing…" "Guess they're trying to find one they like.")

At the bar, Chopper settles in to treat Hachi's injuries while Luffy is talking with Rayleigh.

Luffy is in total shock on discovering that Rayleigh was first mate on the Pirate King's ship. (Shakky: "Hacchan, didn't you tell them?" Hachi: "Well, what they needed was a coating specialist, so…")

Robin: "Wait, you didn't know?" (LOL Robin)

Usopp, Nami, Sanji (and Franky?) all recognize Rayleigh's name from books and legends. (Too bad none of them were around before when Shakky was talking about him.)

Brook: "Huh, I think I remember a rookie named Roger back then… maybe…?"

When Zoro asks how he knows Hachi, Rayleigh says Hachi rescued him when he was shipwrecked, over twenty years ago. Hachi was just a kid then.

They remained close, until Hachi joined the Sun Pirates. ("Don't you mean Arlong?")

[Nice throwaway, for later resolution.]

Sanji asks why the rest of Roger's crew wasn't arrested along with Roger, but Rayleigh says Roger wasn't caught; he gave himself up.

Four years before his public execution, Roger had contracted an incurable disease.

There was a lighthouse keeper at the time who had an excellent reputation as a doctor. They persuaded Crocus to come along on their final voyage as ship's doctor, to help alleviate Roger's symptoms. He managed to keep Roger going for three more years.

During that time, Roger established his reputation for ruling over the Grand Line.

Brook recognizes Crocus' name, which then jogs the others' memory. (Crocus is, of course, the lighthouse keeper who is still looking after Laboon at Twin Capes.)

Nami: "Well, he did say he was a ship's doctor for a few years…"

Rayleigh comments that Crocus had a whale he was very fond of. He agreed to come so that he could search for a certain pirate crew. (Aw, Brook is crying.)

It was after he conquered the Grand Line that people started calling Roger "Pirate King." Titles don't mean much to a dying man, but it made Roger happy. He always did like to do everything with a bang (hade-ni yarakasu) - partying and fighting, both.

Eventually, on captain's orders, the crew broke up and scattered. One by one, Rayleigh lost track of them. For the most part, he has no idea where any of them are today.

[Of course, we know that Shanks, Buggy and Crocus are still alive and well. Whether any of Roger's other shipmates are still out there remains unknown.]

One year later, Roger turned himself in to the government.

It was announced that he would be executed in the city of his birth, Loguetown.

The square that day was filled with those who would soon make a name for themselves as pirates. Rayleigh wasn't there that day, but he remembers the last words Roger spoke to him.

"I won't die, you know. Partner (aibou)."

The government intended to make Roger's execution an object lesson, but instead the words he spoke that day launched the Great Age of Pirates. With the last lingering spark of life in him, he lighted a conflagration that spread throughout the world.

That night, Rayleigh laughed like never before. Cried like never before, and drank like never before.

"That's our captain. What a magnificent life!"

Usopp comments that it's as if Roger intended to launch a new age, but Rayleigh says that question hasn't been answered, yet.

Roger is dead, but the only ones who can create the new age are the ones who are alive now.

He does think that the men that were there that day "received" (受け取った) something from Roger, though. (This could also be translated "inherited.")

He mentions Shanks (Luffy: "Oh, you know Shanks?") and Buggy (Nami and Zoro grimace). They were both on Roger's ship as apprentices.

(Luffy spits out a mouthful of food on learning this. Rayleigh: "He never told you?")

By the way, he happened to run into Shanks on Shabondy, about ten years ago. Shanks was missing his trademark straw hat, and minus an arm. When asked why, he happily told Rayleigh all about Luffy.

He told Rayleigh that in the East Blue, he ran into a kid who said exactly what Roger had once said.

[What "those words" (あの言葉, with emphasis) were, precisely, we are not told. "I'm going to be the pirate king!" would be the obvious answer, but it could turn out to be something else.]

Meanwhile, a warship appears off the coast of Shabondy. Kizaru has arrived (riding to shore on a cannonball).

(He speaks in a peculiar, drawling manner, drawing out the last vowel sounds of every sentence.)


Rayleigh says he can't tell Luffy things that Shanks himself elected not to tell him (ooh, cryptic), but he's impressed that Luffy has made it this far.

Shanks is waiting for him in the New World. Luffy can't wait to see him again.

Anyway, they need Rayleigh to handle the coating of their ship. He offers to do it for free, since they're Hachi's friends.

Robin has a question for Rayleigh.

"What in the world is the 'Will of D'?"

In Skypiea, she saw Roger's name carved in poneglyphs. How did Roger know how to use them? And does Rayleigh know what happened during the void century?

Rayleigh says he does. But he recommends that they take their time, and discover the answer by themselves.

"We… and Ohara… rushed things a bit."

If he were to tell them "all the history" now, they would be unable to do anything about it, as they are now.

When they've seen the world, the answer that their journey leads them to might not be the same one that Roger and his crew found.

[This is really hard to translate without decisive context. 導き出す答えが我々と同じとも限らない.]

But, if she really wants to know, he'll tell her.

Robin says, after all, that she'd rather not know. She'll wait and find out for herself.

By the way, Rayleigh says, Roger couldn't actually read the poneglyphs. They couldn't match the genius of Clover and the scholars of Ohara.

[Nice little reminder for us readers that Luffy DOES have someone on board who is the equal of the greatest of the scholars of Ohara.]

It's just, he says, that Roger was able to hear "the voice of all things."

(万物の声. As for what that may be, one fan's guess is as good as another.)

Usopp jumps in with a question of his own.

"The 'one piece'… is it really on the last island…?"

Luffy cuts him off. "USOPP!"

He doesn't want to know where the treasure is, or if it even exists. They all set out to sea, risking their lives, without knowing the answer to that question. If Rayleigh answers Usopp's question, Luffy vows to quit being a pirate altogether.

"I don't want a boring adventure like that!"

Poor Usopp can't withdraw his question fast enough.

"I've got I'll-die-if-I-find-out-about-One-Piece disease!"

*hugs Usopp*

Rayleigh asks Luffy if he thinks he's up to the task. The enemies ahead are stronger than he can imagine. Does he really think he can rule over the whole of the Grand Line?

Luffy: "I'm not going to rule over it. On this sea, the person who has the most freedom is the Pirate King!!"

Rayleigh seems satisfied by this answer.

Shakky: "I knew there was a reason I'm Monkey-chan's fan."

Rayleigh says it will take a little while to finish the coating job. What will they do in the meantime? An admiral might already have arrived.

They all agree that they should split up, and reconvene at the designated meeting-place when the job is done. (Although Sanji is rather suspicious of Zoro's nonchalance in proposing this plan - is he sure he can find the meeting place?)

Shakky gives them a vivre card.

(LOL Zoro getting mad when Chopper tries to painstakingly explain to him how they work.)

Rayleigh says that since he's a wanted man himself, he'll have to move the ship in order to work on it. In three days, they are to use the vivre card to find him at whatever haven he's moored the ship at.


Each of them takes a piece of the vivre card.

"Make sure not to get killed, everyone!" (Luffy, oh dear…)

[LOL Brook: "Hm, maybe I'll play dead."]

As they walk away, Franky is thoughtful. So that was one of Roger's crew - the crew of the Oro Jackson, the pirates that Tom-san was proud to have risked his life for. He's glad he got to meet him.

They prepare to split up. (Luffy is thinking about going to the amusement park again. Almost everyone: "SHUT UP." Chopper & Brook: "I wanna go too!")

Over at GR 27, Kizaru's arrival is causing absolute havoc.

Kizaru himself is just trying to get someone to answer the den-den mushi. "Hello? Hello?"

[Oda-box formally identifies Admiral Kizaru, former name Borsalino.]

One pirate is stupid enough to actually try to attack Kizaru, but it has no apparent effect.

Kizaru suddenly materializes in front of him. "Have you seen Sentoumaru? He's one of my subordinates…"

The pirates run away screaming.

Kizaru: "It was just a question."

Then, with a kick, he releases a blast of light that causes a massive explosion, destroying the pirates who were running away.

(Marines: "Sir, don't blow up the Yarukiman Mangroves!" Kizaru: "Oops, overdid it.")

Apoo, true to his word, is still hanging around. He wanted to see an admiral at work. His crew are begging him to flee.

Apoo: "What's the fun in sneaking away? We should at least piss the enemy off before we go."

A frantic message comes in from the harbor. No one quite knows what's going on, but a bunch of marines have suddenly turned into children or old men.

Bonney is laughing her head off. They realize it's her doing.

Another group of marines is surrounding Capone. He says they've already lost. Their forces are no match for his. (He appears to be alone.)

Meanwhile, Kizaru is still wandering around asking people if they've seen Sentoumaru. He stumbles across Hawkins, who is unfazed.

Luffy is still arguing with the others about whether the amusement park is a good hiding place when they run into… someone.


Inside a stone castle, an army is mobilizing. The drawbridge drops; the cavalry is called up. Cannon-ports open.

The entire army exists, in miniature, inside Capone's body. They look tiny, until they leave his body, at which point they transmute into full size forces.

This why he's known as Capone "Gang" Bege. (Pronounced "bejji," incidentally - Urouge is likewise pronounced Uruuji. I always mispronounce those names in my head.)

Some forces pop up in Capone's eye, complaining about the smoke from his cigar. (Ew, that is just creepy.)

Capone: "Told you you were outnumbered."

In GR 24, Bartholomew Kuma is facing down with Urouge.

Nearby, Hawkins is reading the cards to determine the likely outcome of his confrontation with Kizaru.

He says he doesn't know any Sentoumaru, but Kizaru says that's a problem. "If I have too much time on my hands, I might have to arrest you…"

He asks Hawkins if he's ever been kicked at the speed of light, and attacks.

In GR 27, people are inexplicably falling down with blood coming from their eyes and mouth.

[I am really not sure what is going on with this.]

Back in GR 24, Apoo is watching Kizaru blow up everything in sight.

At the harbor, fleeing pirates are bursting into flame for no apparent reason.

[Or this, either.]

At GR 24, Hawkins crawls out of the rubble. He was protected by straw dummies that he can produce from his body. (CREEPY.)

Urouge's body lands nearby, with Kuma hard on his heels.

Seeing Kizaru, Urouge wonders if his number is up, but Hawkins says he doesn't have the mark of death on him.

Drake suddenly attacks Kuma from the other side.

Kizaru addresses him as "Rear Admiral Drake." Drake swears - he had hoped not to run into him.

Urouge (suddenly grown to giant-size) summons his strength for a counter-attack. Apoo is watching the whole scene, open-mouthed.

In GR-12, the Strawhats are facing (another?) Kuma.

Everyone is shouting to Luffy to get away from him, he's a Shichibukai. Luffy doesn't know why everyone recognizes Kuma except him.

They're expecting a shockwave, but Kuma fires a laser beam at Luffy. (Luffy and Chopper are starry-eyed, much to Usopp's disgust.)

They all think that Kuma left them for dead on Thriller Bark but discovered that they were alive and came back to finish the job.

Luffy summons Gear Two. Seeing how strong Kuma is, he plans to go all out from the beginning.

Zoro is baffled. Something about this Kuma feels different to him.

At GR-36, an enormous sumo-wrestler-like figure with a double bladed axe is waiting sulkily. Why hasn't Uncle Kizaru contacted him? If Kizaru doesn't hurry up, "those guys" (あいつら, with emphasis) will finish them all off.

[According to the wikia, is currently not known if Sentomaru and Kizaru are actually related. "ojiki" literally means Uncle but could be a yakuza-style title of respect.]


At GR-12, the Strawhats are dodging the laser beams Kuma keeps firing from his hands and mouth.

Luffy, Zoro and Sanji attack Kuma all at once. The combined attack knocks Kuma down, but not out.

Zoro insists that this Kuma is definitely different from the one they fought before. Its abilities are completely different.

But even if it's a "fake," that means there are at least two equally strong, dangerous enemies to deal with.

Meanwhile, Urouge is fighting a different Kuma. This one also shoots laser beams and has no paw-pads, unlike the Kuma on Thriller Bark.

Drake recognizes the laser beams as being similar to Kizaru's attack. He thinks that Vegapunk has added laser beam capability to Kuma's physical body. He didn't know the development of the Pacifista project had progressed this far.

The observers are aghast, seeing that even the combined might of three supernovae can't match the power of an admiral and a shichibukai.

Kizaru mocks Drake, saying that his inside knowledge of what's going on should only increase his despair. And they shouldn't forget about HIM. "My little chicks (ヒョッ子)."

When Kuma attacks Drake, Drake transforms into a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Apoo is beside himself. An ancient-type Zoan fruit! He's never seen one before.

[Ten year old boys everywhere are in ecstasy. A dinosaur devil fruit! That's just cool.]

The T-Rex bites Kuma, but when injured, shrinks back to human form.

Drake: "So you do bleed red. Wasn't expecting that."

Urouge: "Well, you don't see THAT every day."

Kizaru attacks Urouge from behind. "Told you not to forget about me."

Hawkins transforms himself into a giant curse-doll. (Creepy, creepy, creepy. I think I find Hawkins' power one of the creepiest powers in the One Piece universe.)

Kizaru has no trouble fighting off Hawkins' curse-doll form. He is about to strike the final blow when Apoo attacks, producing music from his body.

Apoo's attacks actually seem to be having an effect on Kizaru. He first cuts off Kizaru's arm, then blows him up.


[Cover arc: While the CP-9 agents are enjoying themselves on the town, the Candy Pirates appear in St. Poplar.]

Apoo knows Kizaru isn't permanently down. He wouldn't be deserving of the title "strongest power in the navy" if he were.

He beats a hasty retreat, chortling that at least he got to see a good show.

The pieces of Kizaru's severed body reform, flashing like light.

Kizaru effortlessly dematerializes and rematerializes in front of the fleeing Apoo, takes him out with an attack, and then rematerializes in front of his original enemies. He literally moves at the speed of light.

Drake goes down, then Hawkins. (That makes four supernovae taken down by one admiral: Urouge, Apoo, Drake and Hawkins.)

But before he can finish them off, Kizaru's den-den mushi rings.

A furious Sentoumaru is on the line, demanding to know why "uncle" hasn't checked in. Kizaru complains that he couldn't reach him. Sentoumaru guesses that he was talking into the wrong den-den mushi, AGAIN.

He asks which one they should start with - Luffy, Kidd or Law.

Back at GR-12, Zoro is severely wounded and having a hard time keeping up. Sanji knows full well he's not recovered enough from Thriller Bark to be doing this.

The entire crew is throwing everything they've got at Kuma, with little success. But after repeated attacks, it looks like something might have been damaged internally.

Zoro invokes his Ashura attack (first used against Kaku on Enies Lobby). (Chopper: "Whoa, there are multiple Zoros!")

Luffy uses Gear Third to deal the final blow.


[Cover Arc: Lucci takes out the captain of the Candy Pirates.]

Kuma is down (and, they all hope, out). The Strawhats are at their absolute limit.

Sanji notices that the fallen Kuma has a tattoo: PX-4.

A figure lands in their midst. It's Sentoumaru, accompanied by yet another Kuma.

Sentoumaru is introduced as the chief of the science division, Vegapunk's bodyguard.

[Sentomaru's character design is based on the folklore hero Kintarou. Also, the middle kanji in his name (戦桃丸) is the character for peach (桃), which seems to be intended to invoke the folktale of Momotarou, although "sentou" is a homophone for "battle" (戦闘).]

He's furious about the damage to PX-4. Those things cost as much as a battleship to build! What is he supposed to report to Vegapunk?

Robin notices that Sentoumaru called the fallen Kuma a "pacifista."

Franky challenges Sentoumaru, calling him "axe-guy." (Sentoumaru thinks this is rude.)

Sentoumaru's running character joke is that he claims to be "tight-mouthed" (口の固い) to match the tightness of his defenses, and therefore won't answer any questions, but he always does answer questions, and then claims to have done so just because he felt like it. Here, he answers the question by telling them his name, Sentoumaru.

Sentoumaru orders "PX-1" to attack.

This one, also, has laser beams and no paw-pads.

[I count a total of four PX's on Shabondy: the one that confronted Law and Kidd outside the auction house near GR-1 (and is presumably still fighting them), the one that fought the supernovae at GR-24, the PX-4 that got taken out by the Strawhats near GR-12, and the one with Sentoumaru, PX-1. Are we supposed to think that yet other PX's were causing the mysterious exploding heads near GR-27, and the cases of spontaneous combustion at the port?]

Luffy gives the order to retreat.

"Everyone, run! We can't stay together. Go in different directions."

They agree that at least Luffy, Sanji and Zoro will split up.

Sanji goes with Nami, to protect her. Franky follows them, although Sanji says he only protects the ladies. ("You're on your own, panty-man.")

Usopp is clinging to Zoro; Brook follows them (whispering to Zoro that he saw what happened at Thriller Bark, and will help cover for him).

Robin and Chopper are following Luffy.

"Everyone! We'll meet again in three days!"

Usopp uses a smoke bomb to give them cover to escape.

Sanji's group runs into Kuma.

Luffy's group is blocked by Sentoumaru.

Luffy finds Sentoumaru's guard unexpectedly difficult to break. He's strong, and he boasts that he's not even a devil fruit user.

Someone screams. Zoro is down. Usopp is standing over him. "Get away from Zoro, you bastard!"

(Brave Usopp!)

Sentoumaru is exasperated. "Finally! Took you long enough to get here, Kizaru-ojiki."

Robin warns the others that Kizaru is a marine admiral.

Kizaru prepares to finish Zoro off with another light-beam at close range.

Usopp is firing everything he has at him, but nothing connects. Brook's sword isn't working either.

Kizaru says it's no use. He is a logia user who ate the pika-pika (light-light) fruit. His whole body is light (hikari).

Zoro is too weak to run. Robin tries to use her power to move him, but Kizaru traps Zoro's body with his foot.

Out of nowhere, Rayleigh blocks Kizaru with a kick to the leg.

Kizaru recognizes him at once. "Dark King Rayleigh."

Rayleigh: "Don't pluck the young sprouts! Their age is just beginning."


[Cover Arc: The CP-9 are the new heroes and saviors of St. Poplar.]

Whoa, eerie spread - you can just see the three groups of Strawhats, each facing their own formidable enemy.

Kizaru and Rayleigh are trading barbs. Kizaru admits that he doesn't really want to take Rayleigh on right now.

Brook doesn't understand how Rayleigh was able to block Kizaru's attack when all their attacks passed right through him.

Rayleigh and Kizaru are still debating. ("Don't suppose you could just let them go?" "No can do. We couldn't face the Tenryuubito if we let them go. Now step aside…")

Luffy orders Usopp and Brook to take Zoro and run.

He orders all the rest to run, too.

"Just concentrate on escaping! We're not strong enough to beat these guys!"

[This to me is one of the most moving - and terrifying - moments in One Piece. For all the times Luffy has faced down impossible fights and won, when he knows he can't win, his only thought is for the safety of the crew.]

Kizaru tries to follow, but Rayleigh has him pinned down.

Kizaru: "Well, this is embarrassing. And here I thought this was going to be a cakewalk."
Rayleigh: "Life is full of surprises. Kizaru-kun."

Sentoumaru orders PX-1 to concentrate on taking out Zoro first. He's the closest to death.

Seeing Zoro's group in danger, Sanji actually abandons Nami to Franky's care. (Greater love hath no nakama.)

Brook tries to block Kuma to give Usopp time to escape with Zoro, and gets zapped.

Sanji attacks Kuma, and barely dodges his counter-attack.

Sentoumaru is chasing Luffy. He knocks him out with a blow. Chopper is shocked - how can Sentoumaru's attacks work on Luffy's rubber body?

While Chopper is racing to save Luffy, he sees Sanji take a light-beam to the chest. Usopp goes down next.

Chopper charges Sentoumaru, ignoring Robin's warnings. The next minute, he goes monster-Chopper.

Sentoumaru has no idea where monster-Chopper came from. Robin is staring in horror - she never actually saw monster Chopper on Enies Lobby.

Robin grabs Luffy and hauls him out of Chopper's range.

Usopp is shouting at Brook and Sanji to get up. They've got to escape.

"Wait, PX-1!"

Another Kuma has appeared. This one is holding a Bible.

Zoro knows this one is the real deal.

"So you're alive, Roronoa."
"Thanks to your mercy, yes."

"If you were going to go on a trip, where would you like to go?"

At a touch of Kuma's hand, Zoro vanishes.

The others are left staring in shock.


Date: 2014-09-29 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I had forgotten how dense this volume was. (Maybe I should say "confusing." Once again, it was a lot clearer on re-reading in retrospect.)

Yeah, I remember this volume being 1/3 "I don't know what these people are talking about" and 1/3 "Why should I care about these people fighting?" And the pacifistas confused the heck out of me (knowing me and my retention of One Piece on the first time through, I'd probably forgotten about the encounter with Kuma on Thriller Bark), so even the Strawhats' fight was like...WTF is going on here??

Within the bubble, a marine's head comes off and flies into Law's hand (but he can still talk)

Not that it matters, but: I believe Law cuts the guy's head off with his sword, and then uses "shambles" to swap the head and the cannonball. Hence the guy's body getting blown up/burned.

It doesn't matter, except that it kinda does, as it's foreshadowing OTHER things to be swapped later.

This to me is one of the most moving - and terrifying - moments in One Piece.

Yes. When Luffy is running away, you know it's bad.

Aww, the cover for this volume looks so adorable, but it's kinda sad in retrospect. Oda knew the Strawhats were going to be separated for a long time. ;_;
(Also, I miss their old designs. I'm not sure I like anybody's New World look better than their old look.)

Date: 2014-09-29 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not that it matters, but: I believe Law cuts the guy's head off with his sword, and then uses "shambles" to swap the head and the cannonball. Hence the guy's body getting blown up/burned.

Good point. Though I'm not sure he technically needs the sword; I think it is said somewhere later that he can manipulate anything within the sphere as he wishes, thus, e.g., being able to perform complex surgery if needed. Since he doesn't have to touch things to cut them, presumably he doesn't have to be holding the cutting instrument. (The sword might be just to make him look more badass...)

Law's fruit is insanely powerful.

Date: 2014-09-29 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The sword might be just to make him look more badass...

Ha, maybe! I mean, Law's not really close enough to the marine to cut him with a sword, but there's lots of indirect cutting in shounen manga, even without devil fruit powers, so it's hard to say.

(edited because clearly this comment needs a sword icon)
Edited Date: 2014-09-29 07:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-09-29 08:49 pm (UTC)
naye: the going merry go on blue waters with the words "follow your dreams" (one piece - beginnings)
From: [personal profile] naye
Ahh, I want to comment on this but I'm still just reading bits and pieces of 51 & 52 - I had totally forgotten that Doflamingo says "Smile" at that point! Though now that you mention it I remember everyone going "???" over that and wondering if he was talking about his crew symbol or... what? AND NOW WE KNOW. Damn, Oda's good.

And, yes, the fight with Kuma is absolutely gutwrenching and one of the most emotionally affective scenes of the whole manga. It's one of very few times we see Luffy completely undone (it was definitely the most broken we'd seen him to date, I think), and where they all fail at what they're trying to do. Even giving it their all, these strong, brave people fail to protect each other, fail to stay with their captain when he needs them... it's a breaking point in so many ways.

It's an amazing character moment, and it made me cry.

Date: 2014-09-30 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The thing that stuck with me from this volume (apart from the confusingness, and I do remember being very confused by the Pacifista madness) was how quickly everything goes to hell. One minute they're joking around about going to the amusement park, then they're teaming up to fight against and just-barely-defeat one strong enemy, and then boom, they're facing total annihilation. So chillingly realistic, because I'm guessing that's what a real clusterfuck looks like in the field.

And then Zoro hanging on to life by a thread and Usopp being so brave but no one has a spare minute to appreciate it and Chopper going monster-form because that's what he does when he thinks he's as good as dead anyway and just... *sob*

I also noticed this time around that Luffy spends a lot of that last battle being distracted by what's happening to the others. Normally he's so confident that his nakama can handle their part while he handles his, but this time he must have sensed instinctively that they were all in over their heads.

And suddenly all those warnings to Luffy that he wasn't ready for the New World yet are making so much more sense.

Date: 2014-09-30 08:59 pm (UTC)
naye: the going merry go on blue waters with the words "follow your dreams" (Default)
From: [personal profile] naye
I know! It's just devastating, the way defeat comes out of nowhere in the middle of what seems to be just another adventure.

Yeah, the way Luffy knows they're in deep, deep trouble and just wants everyone to get OUT is heartrending. Especially after 仲間一人も救ええない... (technically the next volume, so I'm keeping details sparse)!

Ow ow owwwww. D:

Date: 2014-10-03 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interestingly enough, I actually don't have many strong memories of this arc. I mean, I was reading it as it came out, so it must have made an impression on me back then, but... I guess everything here just seems less striking in light of *spoiler*?

I think I should like Kizaru (and maybe Sentomaru) more than I do, but the polarized morality of this arc basically turns it into "Anyone on the World Nobles' side = Pure Evil", so...

Incidentally, did you get that e-mail I shot you a while back? The one concerning the idea for a new fanfic?

Date: 2014-10-03 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've been pondering the fanfic question! Unfortunately I'm not much good at coming up with fic ideas (hence why I don't write fic). I will let you know if I think of anything.

Date: 2014-11-06 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Where's Zoro?!?!

I would do a line-by-line, but I have to move onto the next volume, because Zoro!

They're fighting over who will get to take out the marines first.

Loved this so much.

Date: 2014-11-06 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You can do line by line later! And, um, you might want to clear your evening.

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