Wednesday, 29 March 2017

One Piece manga review - Chapter 3

It would be ridiculous...

Back-to-back chapter reviews, eh. I guess that will become the norm now since reviewing either Madoka or Higurashi is a very very daunting task. Actually, scratch that, Madoka might happen any day now. Did I mention I'm chaotic neutral? At least I used to be.

Chapter the third. That boy with the glasses and Luffy bicker on about how Zoro, whom none of them has ever seen, or knows the whereabouts of, does or does not have the potential to be added to Luffy's party. But Luffy has not made his mind up yet, either. No shit. He has not met him, remember?! Maybe Zoro's... a muslim. Or a robot. Either of which cannot be added to the party for... reasons. So this "adding to the group" speculation is rather pointless, but what's new in One Piece Land. I would ask the reader to note that Zoro is described as a "bloodthirsty monster in the form of a man who hunts fugitives all across the seas", but it is Coby weaving that story, and he clearly isn't a reliable narrator.

On the next page we learn that Luffy had actually been wanting to go to the Marine base all along (just as planned...). You know, the Marines who are the mortal enemies of pirates. Yeah. Sure, why not. Actually he needs to drop Coby off, who is on a never-ending quest to become a marine. Or he will become one five chapters later. Either possibility... sucks. Coby has to leave the party and is heartbroken at the thought of having to be Luffy's enemy at their next encounter - because there is no question about the fact the floor will be wiped with him then. In a tavern, Luffy accidentally finds out he has the weirding way and can use the names "Zoro" or "Morgan" as a killing word, blowing up groups of random guests. Or apparently Oda claims that the tavern patrons are so scared by the mere mention of either of these names that they are triggered to EXPLODE. I'll stick with my theory as it makes a lot more sense (and that is sad, really). What an unbelievable stupid scene. Something like that might work in animated form if presented just right, but in the manga it is just another contribution to this (cess-)pool of stupidity that personifies the taste of the average Japanese manga reader, based on the number of sales (and that is REALLY sad, really). If Oda had just SHAT on that draft page, the end result would have been preferrable, I am certain.

So Luffy suggests that Marine Lieutenant Morgan (who will dance the hempen jig later) could have done something "bad" to cause the townsfolk to be so afraid of his mere name; but Coby insistently denies that a lawful person could be evil at the same time, showing his lack of basic D&D knowledge. Or maybe he just grew up with 4th edition and thus has become mentally retarded! Or maybe he is just right! A commander of the Marines being a bad person is just as impossible as a black person being racist against whites! At least that is what Hollywood continues to shove down our throats throughtout the 2010s. On a side note, I have witnessed multiple people in my country applying the nonsense term "African American" to black people who haven't even THOUGHT of America in their collective lifetimes... completing the circle of utter stupidity in a very ironic way.

But let's go back to fighting human stupidity by reviewing One Piece. (This is what LMTR14 actually believes!) The Marine base is revealed to be really ugly, sporting a camouflage pattern... for no reason. Its cannons are big enough to put a "Schwerer Gustav" cannon to shame, making one wonder what kind of pirate ships the Marines are aiming to destroy with weapons of that caliber! Maybe they need them in order to fight epic level munchkins like Luffy and Zoro... who is revealed to be on the very island Luffy goes to after having just been mentioned in the previous chapter for the first time... yeah, you gotta be shitting me. This is as stupid on a writing level as it is on an in-universe level. Zoro is just randomly captured on that very island Coby wanted Luffy to take him to? If either of them KNEW (magically) that Zoro would be there, they sure didn't announce that in any of the previous chapters. This is either a plothole on the gaping level of Micheal's bitch of a daughter (GTA 5) or shitty shitty writing! I mean, Zoro could be anywhere! On a sofa, on a chair! But instead he is right on Marine Island, the happiest place on Oda's Earth(tm). If that doesn't make you dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, I don't know! (GET IT?)

So Zoro is teased at with him being shown displaying an "evil aura". The kind of guy who would kill a little girl for offering a poorly-made onigiri to him. Surely he won't later turn out to be some kind of good-hearted laid-back guy then, right? I do have to admit the drawing revealing Zoro's rather unrealistically shaped legs does look kind of cool. Luffy is further suggested to be epic level since to him breaking ropes while being bound by them is child's play. And we hear the character whose appearance probably didn't even surprise a Japanese boy back when this shit originally came out reveal...

...that he is epic level too. Zoro reveals that he had been tied up for 9 days, resulting in him getting "exhausted". Nevermind that the average human can only last some 3 days without water (especially in the brooding tropical heat of the OP setting), how Zoro had managed not to have to SHIT for 9 days is mindboggling!!! As Luffy (who knows well that he is invulnerable, rendering all future fights moot and pointless on a dramatic level) strongly considers freeing the pirate-hunter, a little girl sporting the same oversized pupils as every other female in the story (apparently) appears...

and tries to poison Zoro with a rice ball purposefully made with sugar instead of salt (hey, they are both white grainy substances!), purposefully cause the sugar is used to conceal the strange taste of the poison! Unfortunately (for the reader), a character even less likeable than Zoro appears on the scene - Helpoemer, the Marine Lieutenant's cowardly son of a bitch. He forces the unnamed girl to discard the rice balls from her hand... ahem I mean hands, and commits animal cruelty by feeding poison to ants. Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen! Wait... what? Anyway, Nami's little sister is all mopey about the fact she doesn't get the mile-high bounty for Zoro's death now and decides to be punted out of the compound by a nameless henchmen, forcing Luffy to display his superior baseball skills. I couldn't make all of this shit up, I swear! Helpoemer makes Zoro an offer he can't refuse, and finally leaves the story forever.

FINALLY, after a long long boring speech about how Zoro wants to be the very best there ever was, Luffy, idiot that he is, feeds Zoro the rice ball. And what happens?! Zoro rolls a natural 20 on his fortitude save...


Anyway, we learn that Zoro killed Helpoemer's robowolf (which was helping his master in combat) - I can tell that it was a robot because that thing seriously looks very HAPPY about being pierced with a rapier, ahem I mean slashed with a katana. That picture must be one of the worst drawings in the history of life itself - there is a burn victim (or a black guy, hard to tell) on the scene screaming his guts out because Zoro's right arm has transformed into a SHIELD that is affixed to his back!!! But to top it off, in the next (or is it the previous... damn scanlations) panel we see what can only be whatshisname with both his hands down his pants while his very suspicious gaze is fixed on the sexy little lighthouse girl! You can't tell me there aren't any shenanigans going on right there and then... IN HIS PANTS! And three guesses what is on his hand in the last panel of the page... Oda, you are a pervert!

Next, Luffy punches Helpoemer, who randomly returns to the story after a very long absence, in the face. Good, but boring. Luffy could as well punch SATAN since he is the main character of a shonen story and therefore can't ever lose a fight (just like in Dragonball Z!). If Luffy would ever fight Goku, the universe would implode out of the resulting paradox that is way way worse than the thing with the cat and the buttered toast! And finally this tired-ass filler chapter is over. FINALLY.

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