Last week we made it to the end of the East Blue Saga and entered the Grand Line. I remember thinking that we had to be in the endgame now, when I watched them traverse the reverse mountain for the first time. Then immediately we’re introduced to a large organization with assassins? How can this not be close to the climax of the story? Well, not quite, but we know that now. We’re continuing our journey on Whiskey Peak where Zoro is being a one man army.
Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine are sent over to fix the failure of their coworkers. Or that’s what they think. Instead they’re here to deal with Vivi and Igaram, who are secretly members of the royal kingdom of Arabasta. The leader of Baroque Works has found out about them and they are aware who the leader of this organization is. This is a problem for him, so he’s ready to dispose of them. I’ve got to give some respect for Mr. 9 who went “there’s no I in team” and gave it his all. In desperation they ask the straw hats for help and of course they’re willing. For a billion berries, that is. We’ll learn quickly enough that Nami never changes.
“Can he really be that dense?” Oh poor, poor Vivi, you have no idea. Luffy is furious that Zoro cut up his new friends and without the proper context is about to fight his crew member. You can accuse Luffy of many things, but clever isn’t one of them. Also, Mr. 5’s power is very similar to that of Katsuki Bakugou in My Hero. I wonder if Bakugo exploding his boogers would have been an alternative plot point? Missed opportunities. Either way, they’re fodder, right after Igaram explained that numbers five and up are especially powerful. The kilo-kilo fruit is definitely interesting. We have multiple stories with gravity powers, Eden’s Zero being a good example, but making the power so specific is kind of cool. I like how limited a lot of the early devil fruit powers are. They’re still creative later on, but I feel like they’re getting more and more crazy in the kind of things they can do where I do kind of raise an eyebrow. But we’re not talking about that right now. Luffy and Zoro quickly deal with them and Luffy proves that contrary to Sanji, he has no issues punching a woman’s lights out.
And there we go, the reveal of the leader of Baroque Works: Sir Crocodile of the Seven Warlords. Alongside Jinbe and Mihawk we now know three of their identities. He’s the first one that’s going to pose a roadblock to the crew though. The otter has drawn their faces and there’s nowhere to run now. Luffy and Zoro are excited about this though, Sanji and Usopp are still blissfully unaware. I forgot how hype the ending of this island was though. Igaram gets blown to pieces and Vivi bites her lip to not cry out. What a trooper. Luffy now takes things personally because “he liked that guy.” I’ve always appreciated Luffy’s sense of morality. It’s far from warped, like Gon from Hunter x Hunter, but it’s also not led by laws and sensible norms. He helps those he wants to help and does what he wants. But throughout it he’s not a bad guy. Just don’t cross him or hurt someone he likes. Then you’ll get a thousand chapters worth of pain.
THERE SHE IS!!! I’m sorry, but to me, and I’m sure several others, Miss All Sunday – or Nico Robin – is the original step on me character. She’s so cool in everything she does. She’s the one who killed Igaram and then shows up on the crew’s ship for a quick hello. She doesn’t have to finish the job though, since the log pose has been set to Little Garden, which is apparently a dangerous place to be. So she leaves on her turtle mount – I’m guessing it’s from a limited event or something – and we don’t see her again for a while.
The crew then reached Little Garden without issue and quickly realizes it’s called that since its inhabitants are all massive. We meet Dorry and Broggy, two giants who have been settling a dispute for the past 100 years. Usopp is impressed by their conviction but things don’t keep going well. The ale that they gave to them blows up and they rightfully get the blame for it. Luffy steps up to defend his friends though. He knows they didn’t mess with the ale, but who else can it be? I guess we’ll have to find out in the next volume.
In the meantime, Koby and Helmeppo are still on their personal improvement arc. They’ve been taken under the wing of Vice Admiral Garp and they’re doing chores and working out. Good for them. I think the anime has warped my perception of this story a lot. In my head this story took forever to get through but reading it again and looking at the episode list, the early arcs aren’t as long as I thought they were. The newer arcs though, don’t get me started on them. I was worried some of the story would drag, but so far I’ve enjoyed every second of the manga, including the arcs I don’t remember extremely fondly. The latest two big arcs have been +/0 100 episodes for one and over 140 for the current one. These arcs are long if they take 40 episodes, so things have definitely changed. And I wouldn’t say for the better. The same is true for the manga, but I think it has much better pacing than the anime, which saves the fact that it’s too long to keep up with. Either way, that’s my thoughts and as usual I can’t wait for next week. Thanks for reading.