Tuesday, July 25, 2017

One Piece Revisited vol. 6 - The Oath

I love it when the Straw Hats wear suits! That was the best part of Strong World. But Nami, girl, what are you doing with so much bread? We know you ain't eating it, with a waist that thin.

The villainous Don Krieg shows up, absolutely starving. Even though he'll try to take over the restaurant after he's healed up, Sanji feeds him anyway. Then he says he'll beat Krieg's crew to death if he has to. It sounds hypocritical, but this sort of adherence to some sort of personal code is a hallmark of One Piece. Sanji knows all too well the pain of starvation. He can't bear to turn away a hungry mouth. That said, he feels no qualms about laying down the law after that. Yeah, he's making things difficult for himself and those around him, but in the world of One Piece that's the privilege of the strong. Because in the end, Sanji is vindicated when him and Luffy repel Kreig and his men.

Oda's humans have an upper size limit that's somewhere in the double-digits, for no real reason. Just because it's cooler for little ol' Luffy to fight big ol' dudes. And Oda draws his ships appropriately oversized. For comparison's sake, you can barely make out the Going Merry hidden behind the M there.

But I admit, stuff like this does bug me a bit. It's like Vegeta letting Cell reach his full power, or Goku not finishing off Majin Buu when he had the chance. It makes sense given their characters, and ultimately works out, but it's annoying when the main characters make stupid decisions just so the story can keep moving. Fortunately there's not too much of that in One Piece.

Check out Luffy stealthily slipping a booger into Zoro's drink, and Nami and Usopp's reactions. I love it when the crew just gets together like this.
Speaking of characters with personal codes, Zoro has a very important fight in this volume. Dracule Mihawk, the greatest swordsman in the world, shows up and Zoro challenges him. He gets his ass handed to him, but shows such courage in the face of defeat that Mihawk spares his life and tells him to train up and try again later. I wonder how many young promising swordsmen he's said that to? Does he constantly try to keep the prospects up? Or is Zoro an anomaly? In any case, Zoro swears that he'll "never lose again", hence the title of this volume.

Badass line by Zoro, and a fitting reply. I like to imagine that Mihawk is really relishing the word as he says it, just letting every syllable drip.

But the thing is, does he really keep that oath? Later in the series, he'll get one-shotted by Enel, and Kuma trounces him at Shabaody. But one could argue both of these weren't even fights, really, it was just the result of overpowered abilities that essentially end a fight before it begins. Or how do you describe getting removed from play by Lucci in Water 7, ended up stuck in a chimney? He certainly wasn't knocked out, or really incapacitated, he was just literally removed from the field of battle, and Lucci left to do something else. There's also the argument that none of these people are even swordsmen, so Zoro's oath was never in jeopardy.

It's kind of funny that Mihawk bothered to chase Krieg through the Grand Line and into East Blue, just to keep screwing with him. He claims they interrupted his nap, but I think Krieg must've said something VERY rude about Mihawk's mother. Either that, or the Greatest Swordsman in the World just loves to grief and spawn-camp newbs.

Personally, I think the crucial thing (as with many things in One Piece) is the spirit of the matter, not the technicalities of it. Zoro prefers death to defeat, and his loss to Mihawk is the only time he's felt truly beaten in body and spirit. Sure, Enel zapped him, but he popped back up as soon as he was able to. And in every actual proper duel, he's managed to summon up a reservoir of willpower (and like a few gallons of blood) to emerge victorious. And in all cases, he has never admitted defeat.

Maybe that's the most important part.

Favorite Page:

Krieg is a fun villain because he's just loaded with weaponry. He's like an evil Franky. I love how this spread comes outta nowhere, too. It's a shocking counter-attack. The previous panel is just the cooks rushing him, then suddenly BAMBAMBAMBAM

No comments:

Post a Comment