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One Piece 603

[scanlation by Binktopia]

We’re off to Fishma– wait, still Sabaody? This whole chapter should be exploration and wonderment.

Granted, Caribou secretly being a Logia user and wanting to infiltrate the Straw Hat crew and destroy them from the inside is pretty interesting. Still, his passive introduction and grotesque character design make him look distinctly like a “stepping stone” villain, someone whose only purpose is to be a punching bag for our protagonists. If he was going to matter even this much, I wish Oda would have given him a more distinct look.

One page of Sentoumaru explaining how strong the Straw Hats are now is one page too many. Let’s get on with the adventure, please.

Rayleigh’s brief flashback reveals a pretty major piece of information: Luffy’s straw hat was originally Roger’s. On one hand, this is a nice little tie-in meant to make Luffy feel even more important and destined for greatness than he already did. On the other hand, I don’t want any Luffy/Roger similarities becoming reminiscent of the endless string of Vongola Primo tripe in Reborn. Compare your protagonist too often to a famed character in the past, and nothing your protagonist does will create any sense of achievement.

It took until the seventh page to focus on the Thousand Sunny. That’s not a good start.

Gorgeous art showcases the undersea world surrounding the ship, though apparently all this natural beauty isn’t as great the second time around.

Still the highlight of crew interaction

Sanji couldn’t even handle Nami moving? This new reaction to women is hilarious for now, but it could become stale over time. This character trait will need to evolve; hopefully, this scenario will mesh with the need for Sanji to resolve the question marks surrounding him since back in Enies Lobby, where his vehement refusal to kick a woman seemed to allude to some backstory waiting to be told.

Franky playing with his own retractable hair is pretty amusing.

Fun confirmed-robo

Silliness aside, Franky also has some pretty amazing information to reveal. Aside from Hachi, Duval, and the Flying Fish Rider, Sunny-go was ultimately protected by Bartholomew Kuma. Franky’s ensuing explanation cements what has been made pretty obvious already: That Kuma was secretly helping the Straw Hats escape. That confirmation is appreciated, but the highlight here is learning more specifics of Kuma’s modification, particularly his agreement with Dr. Vegapunk. The slow trickle of meaningful Kuma moments has not only helped solidify him as a good character, but it has now also provided impetus for the rest of the Straw Hat crew (besides Robin) to eventually meet with the Revolutionary Army.

Franky, staring into the future

We have yet to make it to Fishman Island, and Caribou and Coribou have caught up to the crew. This still feels a little early for the crew to engage in a major fight, and it would also be awkward for the crew to demolish someone in the middle of the ocean, so I hope that either a friendly acquaintance from Fishman Island (Jinbei? Caimie?) personally or indirectly interferes, or that Franky has a new ship modification to get them down to their destination in a hurry.

Final Flash: An unexpected choice of plot direction in Caribou does little to detract from an enjoyable chapter with some important revelations and some overdue adventuring.

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  1. Sam
    November 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    As you said, some parts of the chapter could have been left out. But the second half was brilliantly done. Just made me actually like Kuma (Which I have never done before. He was always just Average to me).

    I do hope they get to Fishmen Island soon. I don’t Caribou to fight yet, despite his cliché ‘baddie’ appearance and I actually quite liked him from when I first saw him, mainly because the sadistic characters in other series are among my favourites.

    I wouldn’t want Caribou to be beat with one chapter right now, but I also don’t want to see him fight for 3+ chapter. A fight for him later when he reaches Fishmen island with them later would be much better imo.

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