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ONE PIECE #581 - - Special Review

Please try to describe this visual to somebody else.

I hope you all understand that ONE PIECE is one of the harder shows to comment on, episode to episode. See, if I were to work out some scale for this kind of thing, the show would be situated on the opposite extremity of slice-of-life stuff. The irony, of course, is that negative polarities can still have the same effect. So while this plot is far, far, far away from mundane reality, the non-stop parade of creativity is just as difficult to analyze as some simple yarn about, say, a regular guy raising one of his relatives.

Cliffhangers for the latter offer too few possibilities to speculate upon, while cliffhangers for the former really offer too many. Literally anything and everything can happen. It’s as if Oda’s reaching into “hammer space” here and pulling out a limitless supply of endlessly-inventions creations. Like I can imagine him just throwing the pirate’s stuck legs into the last installment on a whim - - leaving a question open to both the audience and himself - - and didn’t seriously think about what he’d do with those legs until he was at the drawing board again for this installment. Then, another lightning bolt-like whim struck him, and he thought, “Hey, who says those legs have to be attached to a body?

And that same creative process was probably behind the creation of the puzzle-piece decapitated head. And so on, and so on.

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. ONE PIECE takes place in a fantastical world where literally everything goes, and it’s an absolute delight to just take in on those merits. Surely, it’s an absolute delight to create, as well. But to write it up in a column like this?

Well, I feel a little rudderless already trying to speculate about where this kidnapping intrigue with the hazmat suit goons and their evil, gaseous leader will go. I feel doubly lost, realizing that, say... an evil Santa Claus is just as likely to show up and change the conflict altogether.

I’m about a dozen episode into this newest stretch , and it’s still just as dizzying to be in the thick of as it was at the start. Perhaps one of you more learned fans has a better idea of where this is going?

Watch this episode, "The Straw Hats Stunned! Enter: a Samurai's Horrifying Severed Head!” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

Petiewon Jan. 24, 2013 at 6:59 a.m.
One Piece is kind of hard to analyse on an episode by episode basis. The pacing is kind of slow and there isn't much immediate development if you're watching from week to week.
Maybe you could do a less indepth look at each episode. Talking more about the plot, art/animation, characters or things you found funny/exciting/weird in the episode. After about 4 episodes there might be more material for you to analyse in detail.
I always think One Piece is really hard to just jump right into. Fishman Island and Punk Hazard especially bring up a lot of themes and characters introduced earlier on in the series. The fishmen's hatred for humans was introduced around 40 episodes into the show and Punk Hazard is going to reintroduce a lot of major players from all throughout the series.
The seperated bodyparts are actually something we've seen before. I think a lot of the fun of this arc has been "Oh it must be that guy! He's back?"
Username_Undefinedon Jan. 24, 2013 at 11:26 a.m.

The ability to dice someone without killing them belongs to one person. This person was first introduced back in episode 392, and is the reason Luffy only has a scar on his chest instead of being dead. The manga just finished this arc. You're in for a wild ride, Tom.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 24, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

Isn't part of the appeal becasue everything is so hard to describe at times. It's what makes every island feel so fresh and different. This level of world building is next to impossible to find elsewhere. With comics, things tend to get so convoluted becasue you have several writers within a single year. Things just keep getting so messed up that they have to retcon every few years. The ONE PIECE world is crazy, but still feels so alive and connected.

I'm sure you're having difficulties finding comparisons, but you'll have no problem once you get a little deeper in. I really think you should experience an arc from beginning to end of this series. This arc is finishing up in the manga, and it has some crazy twists, great character reveals, and some incredible visuals that I can't wait to see animated. I know I'm enjoying these reviews.

Anyone who is deeper into the series could guess who chopped up the samurai. It was a character that had appeared much earlier in the series, and he's pretty damn awesome.

I'm thrilled that Monet finally appears!!

Kino88on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:40 p.m.

it's that time again....... FOR ONE PIECE MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE MADNESS JUST KEEPS ON COMING




dose that sound crazy? sure it dose but it could happen, but only in...... ONE PIECE MADNESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xtremekidxon Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:51 p.m.

i would say that you are not the only one who feels lost watching one piece.....i agree that post-timeskip they introduce a lot of characters and concepts from as far as the beginning of the series but for someone who has watched every one piece episode i can surely say that i feel lost and confused as you whenever a new one piece arc starts but rather than be turned of by this,i believe that oda will somehow connect the dots and explain everything in a way that i will enjoy every minute of don't worry keep watching and gradually everything starts to make sense...

Username_Undefinedon Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:20 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: The scene I'm most excited for: Sanji in Nami's body and Franky Shogun

YotaruVegetaon Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:22 a.m.

I wouldn't waste time trying to guess where One Piece plots will go. If I was in a car with Oda, and he said "we're going to drive into the ocean" I'd be like "Cool" because I trust that we'll have a good outcome.

I focus my energies in other questions, like who would win in a fight between puzzle face guy and Buggy the Clown.

Dig Deeper into One Piece

A teenage boy named Monkey D. Luffy goes on a journey to find the fabled One Piece and become Pirate King, building a crew of merry mischief-makers as he goes.

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