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ONE PIECE #616 + 617 - - Special Review

THE EVILS OF DRUGS CACKLE BEFORE YOU, LUFFY!

For some reason, ONE PIECE was late last week, and that threw a hiccup into our whole operation. As such, I’m catching up on the show with a double-shot here, and it’s probably just as well, because the show’s pacing is less difficult to deal with when I’m covering bigger chunks of screentime with these write-ups. Dare I say, certain parts of the ONE PIECE enigma come into sharper focus in the long view.

For one, it’s pretty obvious that the show’s production model works best whenever Oda dedicates most of a chapter to a fight. Narrative filibuster is less obvious when you’re just adding more steps to the back-and-forth of a duel. Although, this last Vergo/Law bout still felt rather redundant (how many times has Law won already?) until they started breaking out the undeniably-cool Haki techniques and that climatic stroke where the entire facility is samurai-sliced.

I couldn’t help but chuckle over the final trick Law inflicts on Vergo...

Sure, their tit-for-tat was funny (unusually sharp for the sub, actually), but the whole scene really struck me as a perfectly-distilled visual metaphor for this show’s handling of violent confrontations (for this arc, at least). That is, for all the tough-talkin’ threats, and for all the outrageous amounts of bodily harm inflicted… nobody’s ever going to actually going to die. To whit, you can even chop one of the bad guys down into a dozen pieces, and he’s still going to be carrying on a calm conversation, assured that he’ll be put back together some day.

That’s a thought that’s coming from an amused distance and, by this point, most of my thoughts about the show are coming from an ‘amused distance.’ It might be more salient to talk about how cathartic it’s been to see Luffy finally giving Caesar everything that’s coming to him, and more. However, my first thoughts float around how morbidly comical it is that Oda’s insisted on depicting Chopper’s overdose therapy in as extensive and realistic detail as he’s got room for.

Not only did we see Mocha coughing up blood after eating a bag full of synthetic, not only do we see her carefully fixed to IV bags on a gurney… but there’s actually a step where Chopper induces this giant girl to vomit to get all the garbage out of her system. At this rate, I’m half-expecting to see a post-arc epilogue where he sits all the kids down in a circle for an AA-like discussion of their progress in kicking the candy habit. Normally, there are certain areas that only a parody will go to. Oda seems to be doing one over on any hecklers by taking it there on his own.

Watch "Shocking Conclusion! White Hunter vs. Vergo! here and "Caesar's Defeat! The Powerful Grizzly Magnum!" here, decide for yourself, and 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
Obitoon Oct. 24, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.
Man, Caesar is a joke. He has not done anything impressive. 
Destinyheroknighton Oct. 24, 2013 at 5:31 p.m.

@Obito:

Well, that the point of his character. He act important and try to be impressing, but he really isn't. (the only good thing he can do is make SAD)

One of his jokes are that people just flat out ignore him, when he have his villain speech. But I find Spandam to be a better weak villain then CC

Destinyheroknighton Oct. 24, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

Anyway, I think I like the Manga version a little better, because CC knew he didn't have a ghost of a chance at beating Luffy and break down crying. But I did like that CC's gas crown breaking, kind of a good symbolism (I think I type that right)

Obitoon Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:31 p.m.
@Destinyheroknight: You are right. I think he should be foddarized.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:32 p.m.
It's not surprising that a long term series comes into a sharper focus when it's not so spread out. This isn't a twenty-four episode series. That's one of the reasons I only watch NARUTO in chunks. It's also a good way to get through filler.

Law is known as the Surgeon of Death for a reason. He could chop a body in bits, but they're still alive. I was shocked when Law cut the entire mountain in half. It cements him as having one of the coolest powers in the series.

@Destinyheroknight
There isn't anything impressive about how he earlier defeated Luffy, Franky, Robin, Smoker, and Tashigi?

He's just an example of a villain that is physically weaker than Luffy. That's new for the series. He's normally put up against the strongest person possible.
Destinyheroknighton Oct. 24, 2013 at 7:47 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt:

Not really, because it was basically a cheap shot. If they knew he have that power, CC would been in a barrel already :)

I feel CC is more of a example of someone who thinks they are important, but really are not. He really remind me of Doctor Drakken from Kim Possible, they both think they are genius master minds, but they steal other people work and past it off as their own (like with Smile and Drakken's "outsourcing"). CC talk a big game, but he just a fish in a very small pond. Anyway, that how I view CC

@Obito:

I think he should be foddarized.

A little confuse (but he is Joker's fodder)

Obitoon Oct. 25, 2013 at 6:57 a.m.
@Destinyheroknight: Err...nevermind. 
Petiewon Oct. 25, 2013 at 8:14 a.m.

Oda's insistence not to kill characters does get annoying sometimes, and you're right in that some fights feel somewhat redundant because of it. We know neither is going to die, so is there much point?

That said I prefer it over the Gantz style of introducing characters simply for the purpose of killing them all off. When Oda actually killed 2 major characters in the present time it was a huge moment since it had never happened before in the 10+ years the series had been running for.

YotaruVegetaon Oct. 27, 2013 at 11:33 a.m.

I'm wondering what the hell happens to luffy's hands after being touched by the Shin no Kuni gas. I know the fight isn't over (even though the episode title is called "Ceaser's Defeat"), but can armament hardening protect against that petrifying gas?

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