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ONE PIECE #610 - - Special Review

He's crying on the outside, but laughing on the inside...

Seeing as how most otakus’ definition of filler runs somewhere along the lines of “pointless screen time devoted to unimportant characters who aren’t the leads,” I’d really be curious as to whether the Vergo/Smoker fight qualifies for that label. I mean, we seriously just saw Vergo squaring off against Law - - does an extended fight with another non-Straw Hat advance us anywhere?

It’s a silly question, at this point. Like I’ve said before, I feel like a lot of the criterions we judge stand-alone features with become almost wholly irrelevant when we’re discussing a long-running serial like this. Does it push your sense of disbelief when Caesar’s goons are shown to be as gullible as they are in this episode? Does that seem too convenient for the plot? Well, who can object when we’ve already committed over 600 episodes to this plot?

The goons can be stupid and blindly accept Caesar’s lies, or they can be savy and call him out for his baloney - - it really doesn’t matter. We’ll accept any and all plot developments at this point, won’t we?

Of course, the biggest development here comes when Luffy meets another dragon. Seeing as how we already know that the green dragon was actually the samurai’s son (right?), I’ll just assume that this is another innocent mutated by Caesar’s nefarious experiments. Pair that with the flashback where Mr. Clown comes off as the purest demonization of a drug dealer - - overtly and deliberately conspiring to get kids hooked on drugs to simply ruin their lives - - and it’s even harder to deny that “Punk Hazard” seems like the most epic anti-drug PSA ever created.

My morbid mind wonders if the set-up here is supposed to be that the famished Luffy is actually going to eat the dragon. Getting tricked into doing that would certainly make him as pissed as you’ve all been saying he’ll eventually become. And, going to back to what we were saying about the ad hoc nature of all this, there’s no major reason to say it couldn’t happen, is there?

Watch this episode, "Fists Collide! a Battle of the Two Vice Admirals!” 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
Destinyheroknighton Sept. 5, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.
The goons can be stupid and blindly accept Caesar’s lies, or they can be savy and call him out for his baloney

The goons have always been stupid, they not going to get smarter. That one of the themes of this arc, don't blindly follow someone

FoxxFireArt moderator on Sept. 5, 2013 at 5:59 p.m.
Isn't being gullible one of the defining definitions of a "goon"? These are all former prisoners who were left behind. From their perspective they have every reason to trust Caesar. Caesar was the one who came to the island and removed the gas covering the island, he gave them a way to move about, he gave them a job and purpose, and he arranged for Law to give them new legs. For over a year he's played the role of caring leader, and they want to believe in him. Is it any different than Harley Quinn? She's a sycophant who puts up with any abuse despite numerous betrayals.

In the context of ONE PIECE, filler is more defined as content that wasn't in the manga. This fight is in the manga, and there is a purpose to it. It really plays to Smoker's strong moral code. He hares pirates. Vergo is not only a traitor, but he attacked Smoker's men.

The dragon bit is obscure but also obvious, if you know Japanese. That little dragon is talking with a particular speech pattern. It can be easily missed unless you're an otaku or study the language. It's how he ends his statements.
YotaruVegetaon Sept. 8, 2013 at 2:15 p.m.

Um, no, Tom. I think we're learning that the dragon that Luffy finds is actually Momonosuke. Just listen to the first line he speaks- sounds just like the son of a samurai! The first dragon maybe being the samurai's son was a fake-out. They tried to make us think he'd beaten his own son, possibly to death.

I love that Smoker's taking on Vergo. Not all fights that involve non-principal characters are immediately not worth your time. In Naruto, maybe, but Smoker's a badass character, and he's interesting. He also has a different set of talents than Trafalgar.

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