Well, at least one of these villains has finally been axed off (unless I’m reading that scene incorrectly). Of course, I’m sure it’s going to be another 100 episodes before this particular plot development comes back around with the resurrection of Monet, or the introduction of some hitherto-unrevealed colleague who’s bent on avenging her, or whatever.
For the most part, this was another episode concerned with moving our playing pieces from Point A to Point B on the board (or perhaps Chamber R to Chamber E in the Punk Hazard layout), so I’d rather take on the discussion point offered up during Zoro’s three-front duel with Monet and Tashigi.
Frankly, that kernel of an idea was more interesting that the fight itself…
Obviously, the topic of gender roles is an inexhaustible source of discussion in our online bubble of fandom. Whenever we’re dealing with wish fulfillment, it’s almost impossible for some demographic not to feel slighted over their place in somebody else’s power fantasy. No point-of-view is ever all-inclusive - - and the harder it tries to be, the blander it becomes. For an action adventure to play effectively, somebody’s got to be the hero, and somebody else has to be the villain, and somebody else has to be the victim that needs rescuing. And it’s very hard for the selection of those somebodies to not send a message, intentional or no.
Focusing that all down onto this episode, we have Zoro’s insistent refusal to fight women in the same way that he’d fight men; and the resultant offense that Tashigi takes to double standard. In theory, the playing field for these kind of stories should be totally level. In practice, however, there’s no way we’ll react to seeing a heroine like Nami (for example) take the kind of brutal beating that Goku routinely received from male villains like Cell without us feeling an added, and innate, level of revulsion.
So it’s interesting that Oda would choose to discuss this dilemma in the text itself. Is Zoro’s sense of chivalry actually sexist by modern standards? Or would we really be that comfortable watching him thrash Tashigi like a guy? For once, I’d rather just invite you vicers to continue the discussion 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|