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ONE PIECE #601 - - Special Review

Hey! Got your heart! Shoo-do-do-do-do-do-do!

Sure, it’s probably too easy to look at every supervillain who cackles with perverted delight over his own villainy and compare him to the Joker. Still, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t starting to hear Caesar’s lines ‘auto-dub’ in my mind with Mark Hamill’s voice at this point. Even past the basics of this being a clown-themed creep who uses creatively-designed poison gases, the whole scene of him showing off Smiley to a gallery of roguish buyers seemed like exactly the sort of stunt that Hamill’s Mr. J would do. And that bit where the slimer catches CC embarrassingly off-guard and eats the big, deadly candy ahead of schedules is precisely the sort of bubble-bursting gag that’d often happen to Hamill’s more self-serious clown prince of crime.

I got some warnings to watch out for ONE PIECE’s 'Joker,' last episodes, but I’m seeing far fewer comparison points in Don Flamingo at the moment.

(By the way, somebody totally needs to draw some fanart, right now, of Caesar teaming up with TIGER & BUNNY’s Jake Martinez. You know - - that other anime Joker tribute).

Maybe it’s because I get easily grossed out by bad table manners, but the running joke about various food-stuffs sticking onto Vergo’s face really isn’t working for me. Nothing about that character has been terribly interesting, to be honest. He’s not colorful enough to be fun like Caesar, nor ‘respectable’ enough to be a badass. He’s just an awkwardly-designed sketch whom Oda’s just running with because he never gets time to re-think an idea once he’s put it in the comic.

Also - - I will say, once again, that this whole sub-plot with kid’s drug addiction continues to be one of the most atonally messed-up things I’ve ever seen in a shonen show. Especially now when the girl’s being tormented by visions of serpents. That’s like an ALTERED STATES level of messed, right there.

Watch this episode, "Shaking up the New World! Caesar's Horrendous Experiment!” here and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode here.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
zaldaron June 28, 2013 at 8:46 p.m.

From reading these it seems like one peice's tone is all over the place in a very general way beyond the drug stuff here....would you say this is accurate? Never going to watch this one as is waaay to many episodes.

YotaruVegetaon June 30, 2013 at 9:32 a.m.

The best thing about all these character having crazy laughs is that the English dub actors then have to create their own. I don't envy a VA trying to do a "Shi-lolololololololo!"

Vergo is definitely not Oda's best work. Hey, sometimes you have lame villains! I remember reading the first X-men and Iron Man comics recently, and some of those villains will never return.

Even Vergo's powers aren't all that great. If he didn't have Law's heart, he probably would've been beaten by now.

I did laugh a little bit when they actually show the spoon magically sticking to his face. COME ON! The hamburger was silly, but how is that spoon sticking?

YotaruVegetaon June 30, 2013 at 9:36 a.m.

@zaldar: I wouldn't say that. I think that I have seen anime that cannot handle inserting comedy into a serious plot, but given the personalities of the characters, it's not strange to have silly moments amidst the chaos.

I think Oda's great at mature themes and knowing when to have a deeply serious moment that's standalone. In a previous arc, it was all about slavery and racial strife, and I think that the drama doesn't break for comedy at inappropriate times.

Jinbeifan1on July 2, 2013 at 2:12 a.m.

@YotaruVegeta: Vergo's a villain that you have to wait and see why he's liked, and trust me you'll know when the time comes

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