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.
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|