Wednesday, 22 February 2017

One Piece manga rant - Chapter 2

They call him Asshat Luffy

By the way...who does? Nobody ever calls Luffy "Strawhat Luffy" in the first 50 or so chapters (that is how far I got some years ago)! The title of the chapter is lying to us. There's a lie... in a Nintendo game. Oh wait, it's actually a shonen manga!

So, the story proper starts. Captain Fluffy "rows" his small boat wherever the waves carry him (we can see briefly he has two oars in the previous chapter - where no romance ever dawned, by the way - but he seems to have lost one in the meantime, making the rowing part a lot harder. Rowing is hard work too, and we are know one thing never changes in shonen manga: the main character is strictly averse to doing any actual work (other than physical training)! Now the ocean apparently hates Luffy just as much as I do, as our monkey boy is carried straight from a smooth sea to a giant ass whirlpool, laughing light-heartedly as if he knew that as the main character he couldn't probably be die in the second chapter. Nevermind that the whirlpool is big enough it could swallow a full-sized galley! Luffy reflects on how being able to swim wouldn't help him in the situation anyway, once again rendering the downside of eating the devil fruit moot and pointless. Good job, Oda!

Luffy now nails HIMSELF into the empty barrel he conveniently brought along (why the fuck is it empty? It could only have contained water - and if he already emptied a whole barrel of water, surely he would have brought food with him too... but we never see any. It has to be empty or he would be wet when breaking the barrel later. So the barrel makes no sense whatsoever.) while already being swallowed by the waves. So he does this impossible task WHILE underwater, even making the point he doesn't come out of the barrel dripping wet more ridiculous. Unless he drank the salt water too, or something. Oda clearly has never seen a barrel in real life, either. All this stupidity, and we're only on page 2 of the chapter!!! To top it off, this entire stupid situation could have been avoided with better direction (I'm using film terms as I wouldn't know how to describe what I mean otherwise). There was no need for the cheap scare of pushing Luffy 99% close to mortal danger before a scene change when 90% would have been perfectly sufficient. What I mean by this is that if the shot had been cut here (before the red or even the yellow part)

the scene would have been acceptable. Pushing your hero TOO close to danger before a cut makes the action unbelievable and appear silly and cheap in most instances. This unacceptable mistake permeates crappy Hollywood movies too, of course: bombs are always disarmed at 0:01 seconds, the foes' bullets always miss the target ever so slightly, there's always exactly one black guy in a clique of otherwise white people... oh wait, wrong enforced cliche! So, to end this argument: showing Luffy being swallowed by the water was enormous fail, since it added several levels of impossibility to the task of surviving the situation in a credible way. Throwing the last few panels in the trash would have salvaged EVERYTHING, and not have taken too much "excitement" away (I mean, even little children know that the main character doesn't die in chapter 2). If Luffy was given some off-screen moments (we can't tell how long they last, since he is off-screen! That is the genius of it!), we don't (necessarily) need any explanation as long as we know he's not underwater yet, there is a barrel with him, and he escapes from a barrel. That ONLY works if Luffy is given that time. In the case presented, he is not given that time. I think I made the problem with the direction of that scene perfectly clear now...

Learn from this example, readers, for the sake of people like me who want to have even but a tiny pinch of logic sprinkled on their dinner, no matter whether it's a hamburger or Beef Wellington. It's not hard... it's not fucking hard!

Let's ignore the chapter title pages, they aren't meant to make sense. Even NGE has some weird ones too.

Ok, so we're on a "remote island" (one of 700 billion in the One Piece universe...) next. Alibaba's (or whatever her name is) pirate ship has the ugliest fucking figurehead I've ever seen. Our unlikeable fatass antagonist bitches about there being "dust" on her ship. Now, that's another example that Oda has a) never been on a ship in his life, which is hard to believe since he's Japanese and therefore by default LIVES ON AN ISLAND or b) is a fucking idiot or c) thinks the readers are fucking idiots. I pick c! Now, the thing with ships is... they float. On the ocean. And the ocean is... made of water. And water... is water. And rain is... water. See the connection there?! Now where does dust only build up? In places where there is no wind, or water, as any of these two prime elements would scatter any dust without fail. Sooo... the railing of a ship. That floats on water, which splashes over the railing when the sea is rough. That is exposed to rain (and it rains a lot in tropical regions) and strong winds (which it needs for sailing). SO THAT IS THE LAST FUCKING PLACE WHERE THERE WOULD BE "A LOT" OF DUST YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!!

Making somebody walk the plank would be rather pointless though...

By now the possibility pops up that Oda puts stuff like that in as an attempt to be funny, or even ironic. I use non-sequiturs, missing-the-point and other such techniques all the time in my writing (also self-reference). But... I'm not laughing while reading One Piece. I'm not laughing because that is simply not what happened. Oda isn't being funny or ironic on purpose here. He's just stupid and lazy because he appeals to a target audience of people who don't give a shit about logic and reality. Suspension of disbelief only works when the rules of the setting are kept intact. I have no problem with accepting that e.g. Superman can fly, or Jesus can resurrect people for dramatic purpose (and sometimes also make people wither like a tree, KILLING THEM. Bet you didn't hear that in church...). But not even Jesus could resurrect people THAT AREN'T DEAD. Or nail himself in a barrel FROM THE OUTSIDE. Because that simply makes no sense. It's illogical. From what I've seen, One Piece is not being illogical for the sake of being funny. And that would be the sole reason anybody with a functioning brain could justify all the bullshit appearing in the first two chapters alone! You can ignore it, sure, but you cannot justify it. That is all I attempt to prove here. It's certainly not impossible to "still enjoy it", it's just... wrong. Just... don't do that! Don't let hack writers get away with it. That is not beneficial to the evolution of humanity in general, and not beneficial to yourself either.

I could've used the Jew drawing, though.
You morons enable evil fucktards like this one with spending your money on SHIT.

Fact is that I picked One Piece for doing chapter reviews exactly because nothing in this shit makes any sense whatsoever. Because so far, nobody else did what I'm doing now. I googled "One Piece sucks" and such things, and it became apparent that nobody ever tried to analyse the insanity. Why is something so bad the most-sold manga of all time? And what can change the nature of a One Piece reader? I just have to delve into this madness and sacrifice my own sanity to find out! And don't worry, I will go deeper in my analysis later, after having a better overview of this series. For now, it's chapter-by-chapter, page-by-page, panel-by-panel.

So Abidala is set up to be beautiful for two pages, only to be revealed to be hideous afterwards. The point? nONE. She kills (maybe. Ugh, not-showing-the-consequences-syndrome strikes again) one of her crewmembers with her huge-ass "bludgeon" (actually a spiked club or mace since it has spikes). So, since she (a woman? Will we see any physically strong women in this manga later? Before the rules aren't established, we can't rule on how much sense this makes) can bend her crewmembers to her will, she is supposed to be pretty strong, right? After all, she managed to earn herself command of a ship and a remote pirate island. So why does she even care about the dust? Surely it couldn't be... because she is a woman, right?! Yeah, we all know that is the reason. Especially she constantly asks everybody what or who would be "the prettiest thing of all the seas" like she was the damn queen in Snow White.

By the way, if the thing with the dust wasn't so blatantly SHOWN, but presented as a character trait - madness - it would've been OK! Once again... cut that damn panel where we see the dust is actually there, and you are in the green, Oda!

Coby, who is a useless midget wimp with glasses (and later apparently returns as a towering giant, putting him at age ten here, tops, if you compare the sizes), is her navigator and only kept alive because he "knows more about navigation than the others" - for no reason. Where has he picked up that knowledge? Could it be... that he is a nerd?! Will you present us any character that isn't an instant cliché, Oda?!

The concept of a "washroom" establishes the question how far technology has advanced in the OP setting. If the building pictured is that aforementioned establishment, the bathroom even has separated sections for men and women. That seems a little anachronistic to me, but we can't tell for sure by now.

Coby rolls up the barrel (that washed up on shore conveniently, instead of bursting in the whirlpool) of "sake" to the storehouse. All barrels inside look just like the barrel Luffy is in. It is implied that all the alcohol is for Amidala alone, but the the underling pirates want to get drunk nevertheless... maybe the first reasonable thing in this entire story and something I can very much relate to! With the power of ale, we cannot fail, after all! But Oda failed, letting Luffy erupt from the container after a "nice nap". No comment.

Amygdala then pointlessly levels the entire storage room (and the entire stock within it, apparently!!!) by throwing her melee weapon. If that doesn't scream epic level, I don't know. The antagonists suspect the intruder could be Zoro, the pirate hunter. Surely we won't see such a legendary character so soon into the storyline, will we!?! Yeah, it would be ridiculous to present him quickly after just having hyped him so much.

Coby follows Luffy, who has been spirited away into the forest by the blow of the ogre woman's club. When hearing about a whirlpool, Coby assumes for no reason whatsoever that Luffy is not a "normal person". He then shows stretchy boy his pirate pen- ahem, I mean his pirate vessel he painstakingly "secretly" built (his mistress has (just) been shown to be extremely attentive to what her crew does, so this clearly could never have happened) and is perfectly willing to give it to him, no questions asked. Yet Luffy insults him to his face for no reason, a person that was nothing but helpful and nice to him. Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen! Yet Cosley Crusher continues to suck up to Luffy, acting freaked out and bewildered by the fact that Luffy wants to be Pirate King and find the One Piece "in the pirate era" - so the fact Luffy aims to do what EVERYONE ELSE WANTS TO DO TOO!!! What a twits (sic!). Luffy then does the sensible thing and punches Coby (Buchannon) (off-screen) to shut his obnoxious yelling up. Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen!

Of course Ali Bali overhears them (since Cody is so goddamn LOUD) and destroys the little boy's junk. Shit is gonna get real now, yes? No, of course not. Luffy's rubber body renders him immune (or at least rather resistant) to Argenta's mace thing, in other words bludgeoning and piercing (it has spikes all over it) weapons. Talk about over-powered. So if Luffy turns out to be immune to slashing weapons (e.g. Katanas) too - he's de facto invulnerable, since magic attack spells don't seem to exist in the OP universe. Luffy is basically a hero deity already, and that is right after character creation, which means that the devil fruit gave him a new type (bye bye, human - hello, outsider) with a ridiculous level adjustment of +20 or more. He's later going to face creatures as powerful as he himself is, so... fine. At this point Luffy seems to be ridiculously overpowered, but as can be seen e.g. in Dragonball (Z), such innate power can later in the story justified reasonably and retroactively. However, fruit eaters like Luffy are clearly a special case in the OP universe. His friends like Zoro and Usopp, who are mere humans and have not undergone a type change, clearly must seem like weakling children in his presence, right? We will see how they are displayed in the upcoming fights and reserve judgement for that point in time. ^^

By the way, Luffy might be rubber, but the straw hat clearly is not. So the hat not taking damage might be fine in the simplification and abstraction of D&D... but in drawn form it makes things rather unrealisic it isn't torn to pieces when a large spiked weapon hits it (and Luffy underneath it) with full force.

So then Luffy beats the pirate woman with one hit, in true shonen fashion. Her men are overjoyed to be able to shake off her yoke - we will see this every time a villain is defeated, I'm sure. So how fucking weak were they, then?! The grand line is continued to be hyped (boy, can't I wait for more overpowered characters... the excitement), Coby talks more shit about things clearly above his head (did Luffy tell him about the rubbber fruit? So how is it surprising he ate it then? Or did Coby know about it beforehand? He clearly should be able to tell that Luffy ate the fruit then... by using LOGIC). Luffy gets the sudden overpowering urge to add Zoro, the PIRATE HUNTER to his crew, even though he had just heard about his very existence five minutes earlier. People all around seem to hate pirates with a passion, though - though we never see pirates doing anything evil early on. Somehow Oda had a very strange concept of what a pirate is...

So... this chapter was bad. Really fucking bad. I read ahead some, and things continue to be very dire, with one unique exception (!), but as far as I can remember, nothing is quite as offensive to my mind capable of using logic than this shitload of a chapter. The asinine and pointless one-shot character of Whateverhernameis, the dust on a ship's railing, Cody's incessant whining, Cody in general, the STUPID moment with the barrel... the ingredients of a nightmare. So glad I can put this chapter behind me now. But that doesn't matter much, does it? There are OVER EIGHT HUNDRED more of them!!!

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