Or the beginning of the end if you like.
I kind of guessed what was coming at the end of this, well not the end end of this but nearly the end of this arc. I knew about the two year time skip and the moment I figured they all had been separated I worried a little that this was what it meant….
We’ll see I guess!
So we’ll start from the beginning yes?
We get to see Hacchan again! From Arlongs pirates!! If you remember the cover story (like I did) from a while back you’d know he’d teamed up with a Mermaid, well we get to meet that Mermaid, her name being Camie. The Crew save her from being eaten before finding out that Hacchan has been taken captive by some raiders.
Now no one remembers him from before until they meet him, I like to say I remembered him. I loved him!
There seems to be some strange leader called Duvel, at first I thought it was going to be someone we’d met before but the joke (and it was a good one) was that it is a guy with the same face as the drawing on Sanji’s wanted poster. It was funny and it was a good fight scene involving everyone. It was quite a good little story in itself. Sanji ends up beating Duvel a new face and he ends up friends with the group.
After the distraction we get to go to the next Island… Of sorts.
Sabaody Archipelago is wonderful, it is one of the reasons I love One Piece. It is like something out of a proper epic story, like The Odyssey or something. I loved it!
Like always there is a lot I love about this. One of the biggies this time around is meeting the other Rookie Captains that have made it this far. Just getting to meet them, get a look at what some of the other Captains look like and having a whole bunch of them just hanging about was so cool.
We also got to learn a lot about the world around us that we didn’t already know. I mean I love in depth Lore and One Piece has such a growing back history that I’m loving it! I wanted to study History (making me a bit like Robin I guess!) so I love any kind of history that is written into stories.
We learn about the Tenryuubito, descendent of the 20 Kings who created the World Government. They aren’t very nice and are treated like Gods, well until they come face to face with Luffy and his Crew.
We learn that there is still so much to learn about the way the Marine’s function and the Shichibukai work.
New and interesting characters seem to be crawling out of the woodwork, which characters we’ll see again is anyone’s guess but they all make a impact even if its for a short period of time.
My blogs on One Piece are long enough as it is so I’m not going to bore you going over what happened in the arc, I’ll just talk about the middle part of this arc and leave this part at that.
I think it was a brave subject to talk about, done really well, when it came to the slavery/discrimination storyline. The fact that everyone there hates Fishmen and treats the slave market like its normal was disgusting. I loved that Luffy spoke out against it and even helped everyone he could. I think it is a interesting thing to have happen, they didn’t dwell on it which was good but it sent a clear message.
It also developed the relationship the Crew has quite a lot. The fight at the end where they are finally all separated by Bartholomew was heart breaking. I mean it. I say it a lot but this really took the biscuit!
So lets face it. I’m a Zoro fan girl. Its a hard life being a Zoro fan girl as he tends to be suicidal… More so then Sanji and on a par with Luffy though he tends to have everyone’s back too which makes it worse because unlike Luffy he has no real barrier for the pain. Only certain types of injuries can really hurt Luffy, he can’t be hurt by bullets of anything and he doesn’t really need to get too close to his opponents to fight. Zoro (and the rest to be fair) do need to be in close, they don’t have any barrier between them and any kind of injury and they fight just as hard. Zoro has been on the brink of death… Ohhhh too many times to count! Miwhawk nearly killed him, he nearly got candled to death whilst having just tried to cut his legs off, he nearly disappeared in the last arc and that was before he took on Luffy’s pain and fatigue along with his own. He’s a fighter. And he’s always got everyone’s back (not that the others don’t do the same.)
This time he was the one needing help. And it was the beginning of the end of the Strawhats to be honest. Zoro was targeted as being weak so everyone tried to save him, in the end no one was saved. Bartholomew blasted everyone away, to different islands. Luffy didn’t know this though and he had the pain of seeing all his comrades disappear before his eyes.
It was really sad.
And extremely sad because I really do believe this is the beginning of the two year time skip, and that sucks even more because I know that there is still a arc in between this and them coming together meaning that Zoro baby is going to disappear for a while *fan girl tears are real tears!*
All in all though my favourite part was just after Luffy hits the Tenryuubito. The chaos that ensured afterwards was amazing! I loved the fighting from every corner, I loved seeing the Rookie Captains being all in your face and not care. I honestly loved that bit the most. It felt like real pirates, or at least what I imagined real pirates to be like. It made me long for more action packed scenes of pirates fighting each other. Ohhh boy did it make me excited!
So then Bartholomew does his zappy flying thing (that is the technical term I’ll have you know!) and Luffy is sent to Amazon Lily, home to the Amazon women tribes.
This little arc is actually really sweet. We get to meet another Shichibukai called Lady Hebihime who is a complete and utter bitch. At the same time though her story ended up being so sad and you could kind of understand her being a bitch to hide the scars of her past. I like how she warmed to Luffy (as did all the women on the island) and the fact she’s going to help him.
Again the slave stuff was just powerful in its own way. It is also nice that once again our wonderful writer goes back to fill in blanks about other stories. This time about the Sun Pirates, the group that ended up in Arlongs hands. The fact that a Fishman freed all the Tenryuubito slaves, including Hebihime and her sisters, and went on to brand the sun mark over the top of the slave mark on the Fishmen so no one had to know who had been a slave was just great. I can’t explain how touching it was.
It is small touches like that that really sets One Piece out. The stories, no matter how long ago they happened, still have a chance to get fleshed out.
We end where I want to end this “arc” at (well I guess the next part is a new part of a different arc) by learning where everyone else is.
No one seems happy with where they are but all of them seem to be in a place that’ll help them grow. Nami is in the perfect place to learn about how the weather works, Franky is with a load of genius’s, Usopp is somewhere where he is going to have to man up, similar story with Chopper. Brook… Well he’s just in a good place I guess, depending on how he gets on. OK so Sanji is suffering being on the Island of transvestites! I’m a little disappointed that it was played for laughs, not all transvestites are ugly men in women’s clothes, they actually take pride in their appearances too! Zoro… My Zoro baby has found Perona. And yeah Robin is in a pretty bad place also.
OK so not all of them will grow TOO much from their experience. Or maybe they will. We’ll wait and see.
All in all it was an exciting arc, gearing up for something really rather spectacular. And with a war between Whitebeard and the Marines I’m hoping Shanks becomes a main focus somewhat. I mean I’m guessing I’ll have to sacrifice Zoro baby for a while so Shanks is what I need to get me over it.
I have my concerns about what will come next but I’m also very excited at the same time!
I really loved going to Sabaody Archipelago and I knew I was never going to be happy with the two year gap unless it was something like Fairy Tails seven year gap. It isn’t going to be so I’m sad.
But it was a lovely sentiment to leave it on.
I can’t wait to see what happens next!