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One Piece 599

[scanlation by Binktopia]

Oda takes cover page requests now? People of the internet, this must be used for the greater good.

This flashback involving Hancock really seems like the last time we’ll see her for a long while. If that is indeed the case, her last appearance aptly showcases her blind love and her hilarious misunderstandings. She may not have fit in with the crew, but she was a tremendously enjoyable arc character.

Cover story, please

I’m inclined to believe that the claim of a 400 million Beli bounty is just as fake as this would-be Luffy is. We’ve seen no hint of such a number anywhere, let alone confirmation. Furthermore, a 100 million Beli increase seems incredibly low for everything that has taken place since Enies Lobby. It could be true, but I’d be disappointed if it was.

Luffy’s small demonstration of his Haki is an acceptable amount of suave, but it mustn’t go too much further than this. It was the fact that Luffy has been so lovable and carefree in most of his adventures that made the times when he got serious so impactful. If Luffy is now always calm and collected, there won’t be an appropriate sense of importance when the plot moves towards a climactic revelation or fight.

New Franky is… bad. Honestly, I like the idea of one of the crew members being huge compared to the others, especially considering the giants and “large humans” we’ve seen in other crews in the series, but these new modifications are far too outlandish, even for Franky. At this rate, he might as well just turn himself into the Strawhats’ ship.

… actually, that isn’t a terrible idea. Franky is too weird for the crew, and yet his position is a vital one. Turn him into the ship, and he remains integral, but he won’t take focus away from the rest of the crew.

Where is your hair?!

The conversation between Robin and Franky about Brook brings up another interesting potential twist, and one that I would support: Brook should leave the crew. I like his personality, I like his humor, and his backstory is acceptable (if not great). However, unlike the rest of the crew, his dream is already directly attainable. If he is already so successful as to be able to hold a world tour, there’s no reason he couldn’t travel to Laboon right now. Seriously speaking, I don’t believe Brook leaving is even a possibility, considering the emphasis the series places on unity (and being “nakama”) and just how long we’ve waited to get a musician, but I miss the 5- and 7-person crews we had earlier in the series. Perhaps this long-winded idea only serves to reaffirm that Brook being a famous rock star was a bad writing choice, because of how it crosses over with Brook’s primary objective.

In stark contrast to the last paragraph: Chopper is still adorable. That is all.

The Marines are inept enough to focus all their resources on the fake Straw Hats. This could be seen as a necessity for the real crew to escape quickly, but given how strong everyone must be now, I’m sure they could still escape even with the Marines right on them. Demeaning the Marines like this is rather unnecessary.

Zoro’s reintroduction is the most satisfying moment of the last two chapters. He hasn’t lost his terrible sense of direction, he’s incredibly powerful, he made a dramatic statement, he provided a funny scene, and he has a seemingly specific and important new quirk: a scar over his left eye, contrary to the color spread in the last chapter, when it was on his right. This is an admitted mistake from Oda, who has since said that it is intended to be over Zoro’s left eye (and will continue to be, going forward). I’m tremendously curious as to how something as seemingly innocuous as which eye is scarred matters enough to make a public admission of error.

Even setup chapters can't contain how badass Zoro is

Final Flash: Still no reunion. As a setup chapter, this one is perhaps more enjoyable than the last, if only because we’re this much closer to finally moving on with the plot. This chapter also provided more interesting material for theorizing. Overall, though, it seems quite obvious that Oda has deliberately set up chapter 600 as an important milestone.

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  1. zen
    October 7, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Thank god Boa isn’t joining the crew. She’s a great character, but I always thought she would be such an odd choice for a new member. She’s served her purpose and we’re moving on. Good.

    I’m disappointed with Franky’s new design as well (although I think I’m most annoyed at the loss of his hair), but I still think he and Brook are important members of the crew. I’d go so far as to say that Brook is my favorite character, so maybe it’s my personal feelings cutting in, but. He’s pretty complex. It would be a let-down if he just up and left the crew to see Laboon, because even if he did, what then? He’s got time. If Laboon’s been there for this long, he’s not leaving anytime soon. I think after 50 years of doing nothing and being completely alone, he’s ready to get out and see the world and spend time with people he cares about, be part of a crew again. The journey is just as important as the dreams they’re trying to obtain. (Excuse the corny shonen manga speak, but I think it’s true~) If anything, I think Brook can appreciate this next leg of the journey the most.

    Chopper is adorable. His naivete is a bit silly at this point, but I guess it’s necessary for the plot.

    Oh, Zoro. ‘Get on the wrong ship? Just cut it in half!’ It’s good to have him back.

    “I’m tremendously curious as to how seemingly innocuous as which eye is scarred matters enough to make a public admission of error.”

    Hah, more like his fans are crazy and will send him a million letters asking about it if he doesn’t address it right away. I guess it could be important, but it might just be a simple mistake and he wanted to stick with his original character design. Time will tell.

    I really want to get to Fishman Island. Hopefully there will only be a few more chapters before we set sail. (Now that I’ve said that, there will be an entire arc before FMI, or maybe we’ll skip it entirely /sob). I am definitely looking forward to chapter 600, though; the Strawhat reunion is bound to be epic/heartwarming.

    Anyway, excuse my wall of text. I don’t comment often, but I really enjoy the blog, Kizo! Read it every week. Keep up the good work. :3

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