Wow… I’m… honestly at a loss for words.
Is this really the same show that had an entire episode devoted to Luffy chasing after some guy dressed as a poodle?
Watching ONE PIECE for almost a year, now, I still feel like most of these write-ups end up being exercises in me simply trying to understand how all its seemingly-irreconcilable components can possibly fit together. For as often as I’ve mused about the patent absurdity such zany characters tackling dark subject matter like drug addiction, it’d be simply dishonest to say that this single episode was anything but a devastating wallop.
After however many episodes of build-up - - blowing off steam intermittently with a super fight, of course - - “Punk Hazard” has swelled to one serious emotional crescendo.
To dissect it a little more clinically, the key to the impact here isn’t so much about the cruelty inflicted on these innocents as it is about the tragic futility of those trying to reverse that cruelty. Mocha’s sacrifice hits that much harder because you’d know she’d have thought of a smarter alternative…. if only she were older. And she’s never going to be older, as has often been repeated to us.
Likewise, knowing that Chopper could’ve saved these kids - - if only the Straw Hats had arrived earlier, if only he hadn’t run out of his Hulk pellets - - makes his helplessness all the more frustrating. Were it not for one or two arbitrary circumstances, he would be to fix things. It’s just like that old scene where Superman’s Pa dies of a heart attack. All that power, and he couldn’t save them.
I guess there’s always a chance that the Straw Hats can pull a happy ending out of this but, after this wrenching roller-coaster, it’d feel a seriously cop-out.
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|