One Piece Arc Review: Whisky Peak

One Piece Arc Review: Whisky Peak

Do you love Zoro just destroying dozens of mercenaries with minimal effort? Perfect, cause Whisky Peak’s best moment is just that.

After leaving Reverse Mountain, the Straw Hat Pirates are on their way to their first island on the Grand Line…Whisky Peak.

It’s a relatively short arc, but it’s full of important events in the Alabasta Arc. After some explanations, Vivi joins the ranks of the Straw Hats, who were given the task of bringing her to Alabasta and stopping Crocodile’s schemes before her country falls to ruin.

We also get to meet Nico Robin, an enemy at the time but an ally when she joins the crew after the Alabasta Arc.

Zoro’s actions on Whisky Peak and later his defeat of Mr. 1 gave him his first bounty.

Another small little bonus is that we get to see Zoro and Luffy fight each other, in a rather serious duel. Luffy assumed Zoro beat up all the mercenaries because he was a bad guy, so Luffy was pretty angry and challenged him to a fight. Zoro, who beat the mercenaries because they were trying to kill the Straw Hats, defends himself and fights back against Luffy.

This is where a theory of mine comes into play. It’s never really stated, other than in their bounties, but I have a hunch that Zoro is actually stronger than Luffy for most of the story.

Now before you get upset and riot, hear me out. Luffy always fights the big bad guys. Yes, that is true, and Zoro usually fights the second best bad guy.

Luffy usually puts himself through a lot of wear and tear before he gets to the final boss, because fighting him at 100% strength would often be too easy. The same can be said with Zoro. Zoro always has some sort of handicap, whether he is previously injured, missing a sword, or he’d already beaten a few dozen bad guys.

So basically this means they often are in similar situations when they fight right? So why is Zoro stronger in my opinion? I think he is stronger because of his weapons of choice.

Obviously he uses katanas, and early on in the series this would have made all the difference in fighting. Zoro could have easily beaten all of Luffy’s enemies with his swords. Luffy obviously relies on fists, so he beats enemies with blunt force. Before haki existed, Zoro could have cut them up with no issue.

Zoro is seen to be able to lift amazingly heavy objects, he is constantly put through tough and excruciating situations, and he can withstand EXTREME amounts of pain (Thriller Bark).

Yes Luffy has done this too, but Luffy goes through a lot more comical moments, and is often assisted by outside parties or external factors to be able to defeat the big bad guy.

Plus up until the time skip, Zorro is never far behind Luffy in terms of bounty, but he isn’t the captain or beating the strongest bad guy so he gets less recognition for his actions.

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Arc Review: Logue Town & Reverse Mountain

Arc Review: Logue Town & Reverse Mountain

I figured it would be best to review both of these arcs at the same time. Not because they are that heavily related, but more so because they are both really short and there wouldn’t be much to say about just one of them.

This is the point of the story where the Straw Hats are going to this “Grand Line”. This terrifying part of the world where the strongest pirates sail free. The part of the ocean where storms can hit in an instant, and be gone the next. The part of the world that the Pirate King, the worlds strongest swordsman, and a brave warrior of the sea need to conquer.

This was the real start of the Straw Hat’s journey, and this ocean would be the place where many of their dreams would come true, or be crushed.

Logue Town is the last city before the Grand Line, so the Straw Hats decide to stop there and get some supplies. Zoro is in need of a few swords since Mihawk destroyed his, Sanji needs some food for the ship, and Luffy wants to see the town where Gol D. Roger, the king of the pirates was born and was executed.

Not much happens for Usopp and Nami other than regular shenanigans, and Sanji just gets some food for the Going Merry.

Zoro and Luffy have the interesting moments in this arc, and they’re pretty interesting because of what they show for those characters.

Luffy wants to see the spot where Gol D. Roger was killed, and eventually gets nearly killed by Buggy. The moment before his death, Luffy smiles and a lightning bolt saves him from getting his head chopped off.

This was the first instance where we got to experience the Will of D. Not much is known about it, but one thing we do know is that everyone with the name D. dies with a smile on their face. Luffy was smiling the moment before his death, and Smoker (a captain in the Marines chasing Luffy) notices this and notices the similarities of Roger and Luffy.

We know Luffy is destined to do great things because he is the main character, but this was the first chance we got to notice Luffy’s connection to Roger.

On the other hand there is Zoro. He’s going sword shopping, and is rather poor. Luckily he comes across Tashigi, a near-blind Marine when she doesn’t have her glasses on, who helps him find a rather good and rare sword basically for pennies.

The other sword he is looking for he gets by throwing it in the air, and betting the sword salesman that if it cuts his hand off, then he doesn’t get it, but if the sword spins over his arm and doesn’t cut him, then Zoro gets it for free…and guess what happens.

Yes, the sword spins over Zoro’s arm and doesn’t hurt him, and the swordsman, believing that the cursed blade belongs in Zoro’s lucky hands, gives him the sword for free. As it turned out, this sword was even more rare than the sword he got for cheap.

Another big part of this arc is the occurrence of Smoker and Dragon. Smoker, who ate a logia devil fruit, gives Luffy some trouble because nobody can actually hit him. Thanks to Dragon, who we discover is Luffy’s dad later on, stops Smoker and helps Luffy et. al. escape.

This sort of sets up Smoker as the “rival” of Luffy in the Marines. Coby is supposed to be I think, but I like the idea of Smoker being the rival like Gard was for Roger.

Reverse Mountain Arc doesn’t offer much in terms of story. Basically the only thing that happens is that the Straw Hats make it over Reverse Mountain and into the Grand Line, where they meet a man named Crocus, who they learn worked on Roger’s ship.

They also meet Laboon, which becomes a pretty important whale later on in the story.

There is a brief moment of camaraderie when they all pledge to achieve their dreams and conquer this ocean.

In terms of the overall story, these two arcs don’t offer much. I think together they take up less than 10 chapters, but their impacts are huge for the rest of the story.

Quote of the Day: Nami (One Piece)

Since I covered the Arlong Park arc this week in my book review, I figured it would make the most sense to throw in some Nami quotes for this week.

Hope you enjoy.

“Hopes for the future..? Yes. However, getting there with you…is not much different than being alone..! What good is the treasure if I’m alone? After sharing so much of our dreams. Instead of sacrificing them and leaving with you I would rather… HAVE NOTHING AT ALL!”  
― Nami

“Life is like a pencil that will surely run out, but will leave the beautiful writing of life.”

“Everyone’s weak when they hesitate.”

One Piece Arc Review: Arlong Park

Hey everyone, I am back after a self proclaimed hiatus and am excited to give you the next installment in the One Piece Arc Review saga.

The manga just released the first episode of the Wano arc, and so I thought it was a good time to give another arc review, and it’s one of my favourite ones.

We get to see the original Straw Hats at their best in this arc, and some of the most unforgettable moments in the entire series too.

Arlong, the leader of a Fishman pirate crew, has been ruling over Nami’s home town and has been nothing short of a dictator the entire time.

When he first came to Nami’s village, he basically made everyone pay money in order to be able to live in the village. This led to Nami’s adoptive mother being killed and Nami joining Arlong’s crew, stealing money from other pirates to buy the village from Arlong’s crew.

Luffy of course comes in with his crew, and decides to help Nami and the villagers defeat Arlong. Nami, wanting to defuse the situation herself because she has always relied on herself, tells Luffy to go away…until Arlong and a marine captian steal her gold, that she had been saving since she was a child.

This devestates Nami and finally, in a fit of weakness and tears, asks Luffy for help in defeating Arlong and his crew.

This is where one of the best moments happens. Luffy puts his iconic Straw Hat, the item that nobody has ever been able to wear, on Nami’s head, and vows to defeat the Arlong Pirates.

Behind Luffy; Sanji, Zoro and Usopp are in their heroic poses and are ready to take the fight to Arlong.

Now of course Luffy et. al. win the day and they bring Nami along with them as they start to enter the Grand Line, but a lot happens in this arc that tells you a lot about Luffy, and the other Straw Hat members.

This is the biggest moment where we see Zoro in his classic “fighting against the enemy with a handicap” situation. He rarely has a fight against an enemy where he has some sort of handicap against him. We’ve seen it before, but this is one of the worst moments of it in the series.

Zoro is known to be of the toughest Straw Hats, physically and endurance wise, and surviving the cut from Mihawk, and then taking down most of Arlong’s crew is the epitome of Zoro’s physical capabilities. (Potential spoiler theory: I think he is some sort of demon)

Luffy kind of just does Luffy stuff. He fights for the weak, and defends them and the dreams they hope to achieve one day. This arc sort of just solidifies it and gives us a few more examples of his intelligence for battle, that isn’t highlighted ever in the show.

Arlong Park is also where we get to see Sanji in full swing. We see how tough he actually is and how quick thinking too. We see his capabilities as a fighter but we also discover his personality and everything too.

Usopp shows typical Usopp characteristics at first–running from danger and getting others to save him, but eventually he pulls through. He knows he is needed to stop an enemy, and he steps up to the plate, defeating one of the pirates and showing he might turn out to be a brave warrior of the sea after all.

We’ve seen Nami’s fighting abilities to a degree before this arc, but we get to see that she isn’t the cold, manipulative, trickster thief that we thought she was. We get to see that she is so much more than that.

Overall, this is probably in my Top 3 favourite Arcs. It was in a simpler time of One Piece, but it told a great story that had connections much later on after the time skip, and there were some very good fanboy moments that I love.

One Piece Arc Review: Syrup Village

The Syrup Village Arc is one of my least favourite arcs in the entire manga, and it introduces my least favourite Straw Hat member… Usopp.

Now this isn’t a discussion about how useless Usopp is, or how much of a coward, or even how he is only around to foreshadow future events in the story, it is a review of the arc itself, so let’s break it down.

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At the beginning of the arc we meet Klahador, Kaya, Usopp and the Usopp Pirates. Klahador, or Kuro, is by far the only interesting person in this group, and he’s as stale as a cracker. The only thing interesting about him is how smart he is.

I mean the guy is a genius, and the only reason his plan failed was because of Luffy, Nami, and Zoro who happened to show up as his plan was being put into action.

There wasn’t a lot of fighting in the arc. Luffy fights Kuro, obviously, and Zoro takes on some cat brothers who give him a bit of a hard time, but he can handle it.

Nami is pre Alabasta, so she isn’t useful in a fight just yet, and we don’t have any other crew members. I think that’s the weakest part of One Piece, is that the early arcs don’t have a lot of quality villains, and there isn’t a lot of crew members to interact with the world around them.

Overall, I’d probably give this arc a 2.5/5. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. The best part about it is that it’s short, its got a few funny scenes with Jango, and we get to see Kuro absolutely destroy some of his own crew members, because he can’t control his powers at the time.

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This is also where we get to meet the Going Merry for the first time. It’s Kaya’s ship, but she loans it to the Straw Hats to sail it around the world, and we all know what happens there. I kind of hope there’s a scene in the future where all the Straw Hats go back to their towns or whatever, and talk with the people, sharing their stories, before heading off to save Luffy from the marines or something. I just think it could be cool to see Usopp cry at Kaya’s feet because he tried to keep the Merry safe, but couldn’t do that. Plus he could tell her all about how the Merry “came to life” and saved them from Enies Lobby.

Before I forget, this is technically where we meet Gaimon too! He comes before the Syrup Village portion itself, but he’s a nice little part of the story at the time. I hope we get to see him again in the future, maybe he has finally broken out of the chest he was stuck in.

 

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Luffy also tells us that Usopp’s dad Yassop is a great pirate, and a member of the Red-Haired Pirates, which gives the audience a nice connection between Shank’s crew and Luffy’s, which im sure can lead to some cool moments in the future, though I kind of hope Shanks and Luffy never meet up, until Blackbeard kills Shanks, and Luffy rests the hat at his grave or something, but that’s just predictions.

 

 

 

One Piece Arc Review: Orange Town

We are back again this week with another One Piece Arc Review. This week I’m gonna take a look at Orange Town, which is the second arc of the manga, and the second of the East Blue Saga.

This is a pretty important arc for the overall One Piece story because this is the first time we experience two important characters, Buggy and Nami, and we get to see our first devil fruit that doesn’t belong to Luffy.

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We also get to see a bit of Buggy’s story in a few flashbacks, and later realize that he was a crewmate of Shanks way back when, and that Silvers Ryleigh was a member of the crew as well, which solves a few puzzles later on in the story.

Despite all of the importance it has in character introductions, new devil fruits, and future plot points that are hinted at, this arc didn’t really leave any lasting memories for me.

It’s not really a bad arc. It follows the common pattern of Luffy and his friends coming to a certain island and freeing the civilians from their evil overlord.

It’s also one of the few times that Luffy gets help from a “crew mate” to beat the bad guy. Nami doesn’t do a lot, but she does enough to give Luffy an easier time of beating Buggy.

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It’s also a rather playful arc, since Buggy and his crew members all revolve around circus performances and use them to fight Zoro Nami and Luffy.

A big problem I have with the arc is that the Strawhat Pirates are at their awkward phase of members, where they don’t quite have enough yet.

If we want to get technical, the crew only consists of Luffy and Zoro at this time, though Nami does help them out a bit, especially when fighting Buggy. There’s only two true members who don’t even have a flag or a ship yet, but they’re going against quite a few of Buggy’s crew.

The numbers were okay in the first arc, because there was only one bad guy at a time that needed to be taken down, but the numbering feels sort of awkward in the Orange Town arc, and in the Syrup Village arc.

It’s not really the story’s fault since it’s right at the beginning, but it just doesn’t sit right for me having Luffy and Zoro fighting multiple bag guys at once and defeating them so easily.

I just find it’s a bit awkward, and Oda uses this arc and Syrup Village as a learning experience for the future arcs, and I think that the problem is solved come the Baratie arc.

I don’t think the earlty arcs are a bad thing. I think that there are quite a few moments in the East Blue Saga that are really iconic, but none of them are in the Orange Town arc unfortunately.

PLUS

Buggy is the comedic relief character in the series (basically when Usopp isn’t around) and it doesn’t really make for a good enemy.

The best part of the arc is Chouchou, the dog that doesn’t leave his master’s pet store until he comes back. It’s a sad story because Chouchou’s master is dead, but seeing Luffy’s interaction with the dog gives us a good insight in to Luffy’s beliefs which help us better understand our main character a bit more, also this is the first instance where we see Luffy able to conenct with an animal and understand their feelings and convictions.

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Overall, it’s not the worst arc in the series, and it’s not the best. It’s kind of just average. Even the new devil fruit we get to see isn’t anything that cool, it just lets Buggy break himself apart into different pieces, which Nami beats pretty easily on her own, and she is far from a good fighter at this time.

 

Arc Review: One Piece Romance Dawn

Arc Rating: ★★★★☆

So if you don’t already know I have covered a few manga on here before, but in doing so I have found that I’m not happy with them.

I find it’s not enough to cover an entire manga series, which can be hundreds of chapters long, in roughly the same length as a regular book review. That’s why I’ve decided to cover them arc by arc.

This might not be a perfect equivalent, but I think this will better represent the manga as a whole, and allow me to go a little further in depth when looking at the entire picture.

I decided I would cover One Piece first because it’s currently my favourite on-going manga series, and never ceases to amaze me arc by arc.

Since we are taking a look at One Piece, where else can we start than with the Romance Dawn Arc.

This arc makes up chapters 1-7 of the manga, and will always be the most important arc of the entire series.

There are three main events in this arc.

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The first is we find out about Gol. D. Roger and how he inspired a generation of people to become pirates and chase their dreams–which in turn became Shanks inspiring Luffy to become King of the Pirates. This is where Luffy gets his Devil Fruit Powers, and where Shanks gives him the iconic Straw Hat that Roger had given him.

The second important moment in this arc is Koby from Alvida, and the third and final event in this arc is Zoro joining with Luffy and defeating Ax Hand Morgan.

Now each of these events seem pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things, except the Shanks incident.

We all know Shanks gave up an arm to save Luffy from the Sea King, which seems like a big deal at the time, but as the story progresses we realize that it was a way bigger deal than we had thought!

In terms of where we are now in the story, Shanks has become one of the strongest men in the entire world, even after losing his arm to a creature he could have beaten in one punch, but as he tells Whitebeard “I bet it on the next generation.”

Again, we don’t find any of this out till much later in the story, but what we do know is that this moment, when Shanks loses an arm, and when he gives Luffy the iconic Straw Hat, are hands down the two most important moments in the show. These are what inspired Luffy to become the next King of the Pirates.

Shanks tells Luffy all about his stories and adventures he has gone on, which is the greatest thing in the world to a child like Luffy, but it is losing the arm that really inspires him, because witnessing this happen tells Luffy that Shanks protects the ones he cares about and Luffy grows up to do the same.

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PLUS Shanks gives Luffy the ultimate quest for returning the Straw Hat. 

The next little bit of this arc focuses on Luffy saving Koby. In my opinion this hasn’t done much for the overall story, and at the time it was pretty much the same. Koby does become Luffy’s first real friend once he takes off to sea, but he was set up right away to be a sort of counter to Luffy, because his dream was to become a Marine Admiral, which is sort of the opposite of what Luffy wanted.

Now Alvida hasn’t had much to do with the story since she was defeated, so she’s basically unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

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Even Koby has become somewhat pointless. As the story develops I thought Koby might become a rival to Luffy, pushing him to become stronger but still being friends at the end of the day, but Koby is more or less useless. We learn that Gol. D. Roger had a marine rival–Garp, so I thought that this might be Koby’s job in the story, but that doesn’t seem to be the case since he is so weak. If anything I’d give this job to Smoker at the moment, and I really doubt Koby will change much as the story wraps up.

He has his moment on Marineford, but Luffy takes him down in just a punch.

I’m not really sure what the point of Koby is. I mean he isn’t a threat to Luffy, he isn’t even that important in the Marines, he hasn’t done much other than help stop the Whitebeard War, but I still don’t like him.

Don’t get me wrong he’s strong in his own right, but I don’t think he’s strong enough yet to give Luffy any sort of threat, and at this rate I don’t think it would make much sense for him to be anywhere near as strong as he needs to be to defeat Luffy, but I think there is a reason he’s here…we just don’t know what it is yet.

Finally the Axe Hand Morgan section of the arc. This is another pretty unimportant part of the story in the grand scheme of things, other than the fact that we get introduced to the first, and coolest, Straw Hat crew member Zoro.

Luffy saves him from prison and the two of them work together to beat Morgan and saving the town he was ruling over.

Again, Morgan is pretty small key villain, and even his son Helmeppo, who becomes good friends with Koby as they join the marines together, is pretty useless since we’ve met him.

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There are two key moments in this part of the arc though. The first is when the Marines thank Luffy and Zoro, who are considered criminals, for helping defeat Morgan. This is very important because this is where we get the idea that the Marines, who are essentially the bad guys, have their own sense of what justice is.

They could have tried to arrest Luffy and Zoro after they defeated Morgan, but realized that it was only because of them that they were able to stop Morgan in the first place. This sense of justice doesn’t mean much at the time, but it becomes more and more important as the story goes on.

The second important event is the moment when Luffy and Zoro team up to fight Morgan. This is when we really find out that they are good people, despite being what readers normally consider the bad guys in society–pirates.

This is the first real moment of being a ‘bad guy’ because of society looking down on pirates but being a ‘good person’ because Luffy, and by extension Zoro always do the good thing despite being labelled as a bad guy.

So that’s it for my review of the Romance Dawn arc. What did you think? I liked writing this arc review much more than the manga review as a whole, so I’ll likely continue with it in the future, but I’d love some feedback in the comments section.

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