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One Piece

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The Pope
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I get the feeling that before the series is over, every one of the Supernova will get the same amount of limelight that Bege and Law have gotten. Like, we might not get big character backgrounds like we did with Law, but they'll all contest with each other for being the best one, rather than when they were first introduced where you basically liked Law or Kid, maybe Drake or Hawkins if you root for the underdog. Keep in mind that Law and Bege's are the only Devil Fruits we have names on; Oda's gonna knock back each Supernova one by one and flaunt what their powers/crew can do. At the time it didn't really make sense why Oda would suddenly introduce 9 characters for like 5 minutes, but it was to sow the seeds for them to be some of the most important characters in the second half of the story.

Anywho, who knows if Pound is really dead. Between him and Pedro, we've had two "he's definitely dead guys, for real" moments. Normally I'd scoff and say "Oda gonna Oda", but really, after Ace all bets were off. Then again with Ace we saw the body, so until that happens I won't hold my breath.

On a side note

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God damn it, I really want Pudding to stay a regular after this arc. Who knows, maybe I'm just a sucker for characters who are supposed to be evil but who are worn down by the protoganist's kindness and charisma and end up falling head over heels in love with them. Knowing Oda it'll probably never happen since cooties are gross (except when sanji's a pervert lol epic nosebleed), but a man can dream. That being said though if Sanji's crazy crush got on board before Luffy's I'd be pretty salty, but still, I'll take one over none.

 

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SushieBoy

Introducing the Supernovas in Sabaody worked very well and had lots of purpose, it added another layer to the world and it was the first time I really thought "there are other people having the same adventure, it's not just pirates hanging around one place and terrorizing people". We're definitely gonna see more of the Kid alliance and Drake come Wano.

Really enjoyed the chapter this week. Bege's ship is pretty fuckin' cool.

Spoiler

Pound's sacrifice definitely gave me more feels than Pedro. Pez's reactions, man. There's a chance someone intercepted Oven since the bloody sword we see is shaped slightly differently than the one Oven uses. Could've been Germa, Pedro (pls no Oda let him die), or even Lola completely out of nowhere with her katanas, who knows. My boy Poun D. was smiling in death like a champ, please just let characters die, Oda.

This has been a pretty bloody arc, BM killing Moscato and Opera, King Baum, Pedro, Katakuri killing his chefs, and now Pound. We Dark Piece now.

Also yes Pudding absolutely a cute, love that drawing.

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The Pope

So I was kinda confused as to why Big Mom looked so slim in that flashback chapter, and when I looked her up, apparently in an SBS Oda drew her at 28 and 48 due to a random fan request (she's currently 68).

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So like...she started out super fat and ugly, got skinny and attractive, then started to look somewhat average, and then is suddenly fat and ugly again?

Oda, man. What a weirdo.

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HotFriedSkadoosh

That's just how people develop in general.  We all start out as fat ugly babies, and then we care more about our looks during our youth, and once we settle down and raise families we slowly let ourselves go and get all fat and ugly again.  It's human nature.

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The Pope

Sometimes I guess, but kids who are fat when they're kids (I mean...THAT fat) don't usually suddenly slim up when they get older.

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Cantfly
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Obviously the highlight of this chapter was supposed to be Carrot’s transformation. It was cool and all, but I think I’m more excited of the implications for what’s to come in the fight at Wano once all the Minks are together in one pack under a full moon. Inu and Neko in particular I’m looking forward to seeing in their moon state, they already have cool enough designs as is so I can’t imagine how that’ll go up once they change.

I actually thought the most intriguing part of the chapter, just because I wasn’t expecting it, was Big Mom suddenly losing excess weight. I guess the hunger sickness also has a side-effect of burning a lot of calories at once? It may explain why she was able to look so radically different when she was in her early to mid adult years, though at the same time she’s had this sickness her entire life. Maybe due to this sickness she constantly fluctuates from being really fat and really skinny on a regular basis. Really weird in any case, continues to emphasize her being a complete freak of nature.

Now that Luffy’s back fighting Katakuri again, I’m wondering how much longer the fight is going to end up being. I can’t see this arc going past the 900 chapter mark (plus Oda has to cut back to the other group of Straw Hats already, at least for a small amount, it’s been too long at this point gimme my Usopp fix), so I give it another 5-6 chapters of action, tops. Then a few more for all the wrap-up stuff.

 

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The Pope

Yeah, if that's an explanation for her weight changes, I guess I can buy it.

And yeah, Super Saiyan Carrot was fun. Part of me would like her with the crew, but Oda might just end up cutting her. I think she's got a unique enough powerset to earn her place, but Oda tends to keep the crew size super limited; think how long of a period there was since Brook joined, and even then Jinbe still isn't an official member yet.

I'm kinda curious how this is all going to resolve. Let's say Luffy beats Katakuri, Big Mom gets the cake. Do they just try to high-tail it out of there? Because once she's back in her right mind, it's not like she'll just casually let them go, after how much they've fucked things up (just look at Perospero's arm). Then again, she has shown very little regard for the well-being of her kids (she's sucked the souls out of two in this arc alone), so she might just go "Suck it up Perospero" and be on adequate terms with them. But then the Straw Hats would still never ever part on okay terms with them unless Pedro turned out to be alive (which, let's be real, has like a 70% chance of happening). All I know is, the Katakuri fight has been blown up as the big arc fight and Luffy's big hurdle, so I don't think there will be an actual fight with Big Mom. If anything, there will probably be a tenuous alliance against Kaido, and while the Straw Hats and the samurai and minks are doing their thing, Big Mom and her forces will be duking it out with Kaido and his guys, culminating in a fight between two Yonko (which we only saw a glimpse of when Shanks and Whitebeard clashed), so that could be fun.

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HotFriedSkadoosh

There's definitely been speculation regarding whether or not Carrot joins the crew.  She stands out both aesthetically and personality wise, she can definitely hold her own in a fight and duke it out with the best of them (Hell she nearly took out Luffy himself just from biting his neck), and with her natural ability to stay awake through all hours of the day, she'd make an excellent lookout.  I'd say the only missing requirement as of now is her tragic backstory.

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The Pope

It's Oda, so you never know with the tragic backstories.

And yeah, I do like that Carrot's a very ditsy character, rather than Nami and Robin who are mostly sexdolls at this point.

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Cantfly

I feel like people are just thirsty for her at this point more than anything else, lol. So many people wank it to the idea of her joining throughout this arc, way more than I saw support for Jinbe, who has had LEAGUES more in-story support going for him than she ever had, or even Pedro (pre-sacrifice obviously), who went through way more shit than she did and had a lot more ambitious talk about the Straw Hats than Carrot ever did. I find it so absurd, I don't mind her as a character but her being a permanent member is something I wouldn't be fond of at this point in time.

There are three things you need to be a Straw Hat: a backstory, a job, and a dream. With her backstory, she's been on Zou her entire life, probably living on easy street. Only thing that comes close to a tragic backstory is when Jack rampaged throughout the island, but it's not at all unique to her because the entire island suffered the same thing, and everything turned out fine in the end anyway. She didn't undergo a permanent change in her life via the tragic loss of loved ones or learn a valuable lesson that she'd hold near to her throughout the future, it's nowhere near comparable to any other Straw Hat backstory. 

As for the job, yeah, I have no idea about that either. You have people say she would be a good lookout, but at the same time, just throwing her into that position out of nowhere would be underwhelming. Think of what Jinbe did in this very arc to prove how necessary and worthy he is of being the crew's helmsman; that feat was amazing. I can't imagine her pulling off anything near as impressive as he did to really showcase how essential a lookout would be in the New World. I can't imagine it not being slapdashed together.

Then you have the dream. There are two options that I'm able to entertain, and I don't like either of them. The first one could be to "explore the world". Really basic and lame, like a less ambitious version of Nami's dream, come on now. Then there's maybe the stuff pertaining to helping the Straw Hats bring about the Dawn of the World, but again, I think Luffy's goal of finding One Piece and becoming Pirate King along with Robin wanting to discover the true history already covers that dream already. On top of that, it's a dream that doesn't revolve around a personal ambition. Again, let's look at Jinbe. His dream revolves around fostering a future where humans and fishmen can live in harmony. It's something very centered around himself and what he hopes to help achieve by being a part of a crew led by the future pirate king. If the Dawn is Carrot's dream, then she's just serving the Straw Hats and not herself. It doesn't fit with the rest.

I think a better option for her would be to lead a new faction of the Minks that would ultimately serve under Luffy during the big final battle at the end of the series. I just find it so absurd that there were so many people who doubted Jinbe's worth to the crew despite everything that he's done up to this point and regardless of how many times he explicitly stated "Yes I'm joining the Straw Hats", and yet they pounce on wanting Carrot to join mainly due to superficial shit like her being a girl or "look she's goofy like the rest of the Straw Hats haha".  A new Straw Hat joining is a big event, especially at this point in the story, and the candidate needs to really warrant it. As it stands now, she'd just be more cute relief on the crew. We already have Chopper for that shit, adding her to the mix would just be overload. 

Long story short not every friendly companion to the crew needs to actually sail with them at all times. Keep the bar raised for the special characters. 

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Whelt

But she's already part of the crew 

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SushieBoy

Carrot fulfills a niche of female brawler that the crew lacks, but I don't really want her to join. I doesn't even feel like Oda knows what to do with the character either. I do like her being naive and getting her eyes opened to what venturing out to sea is like, her scene with drawing the SHs was funny but she doesn't have any interesting character dynamics beyond that, which is what bugs me about Jinbe joining, he's just some old dude that plays things very straight, but out of the two I'd definitely prefer Jinbe. I hope Carrot is another Vivi Paulie Bellamy situation where Oda gives the potential/fans speculate about them joining but ends up not happening.

As for the chapter itself the transformation was actually pretty cool. Carrot actually looks pretty epic, I'll admit. While I've really enjoyed the bulk of WCI so far there's a conflicting problem of where it's all leading. It was never meant to be anything more than a quick, stealth rescue mission, which could've totally happened, just introduce Big Mom and her crew but not have any major conclusion with them and let Luffy and co. bug out before they even know what happened. The stealth operation went to shit pretty quickly and now we've spent so much damn time here but it doesn't feel like it can possibly be the end of Big Mom in this arc, almost like it feels "too fast" by OP's standards, I just don't know what Oda is leading up to with all this chasing around. I feel like it should've concluded at the wedding with the SHs escaping there, but on the other hand I have really liked stuff like Pound's sacrifice and the Katakuri fight, so I dunno.

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The Pope

You could make the argument that her dream would be avenging Pedro and fulfilling her will. As for a tragic backstory, who knows, maybe something big did happen back in Zou and we just haven't seen it yet.

As for Jinbe, I'm definitely for him being on the crew (I mean, it's happening, obviously), but I think one thorny issue that he shares with Brook is that he's an older guy who used to be a leader on another crew (like Brook), so him shifting gears and serving under Luffy feels kinda odd. Like, I'm fine with it, it just seems weird for him to act under Luffy's command, rather than being viewed as equals.

But then again if Jinbe could join the crew that means Hancock could too at some point oda you fucking coward she's ranked in the top 10 in popularity polls twice despite not being in the manga for seven years bring her back you swine

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a25luxray

Imo if carrot actually joins instead of jinbe i think the biggest evidence would be that jinbe joining would be too damn obvious. I mean theyve directly said "Jinbes joining" for god knows how long it would be actually shocking if they went through with it without pulling a 180

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The Pope

I gotta say, the more I watch this OP, the more it grows on me. It's rare that One Piece ever does "serious" openings, so these are a rare treat. My favorites up until now have been We Are!, Brand New World, One day and We Go! (horrible arc notwithstanding), and while I still need time to simmer on this one to see if I like it more than We Are!, We Go! or One day, it's definitely up there in my top 5 at least.

One thing I really appreciate is adding the Luffy/Sanji fight to Sanji's cape after the fight happened. Looking back at previous openings (currently watching through the series with my roommate, he's at Water 7), them spoiling Robin joining the crew, the Luffy/Usopp fight and Gear Second was pretty fucking dumb. They "made up" for it with the next few openings being generic and not featuring much content from the arc, but this kind of thing (also included, Sabo's face not being revealed in Wake up! until after he was revealed in the story) is easily the best way to go, even if it means they have to put in a little effort. Then again, that just makes watching the opening feel more significant, since you never know if little details will get changed.

I am curious as to how long they'll use this one, since Katakuri barely features in it and it makes Bege out to be all sinister and evil and shit. There's also the fact that Sanji appearing antagonistic will lose relevance in about 3 episodes, so there's that too. Maybe after the wedding they'll update it to one focusing more on the Luffy/Katakuri fight, as well as more focus on Jinbe outside of the one punch? I guess we'll see.

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Cantfly

Wasn't expecting a chapter this week, but hey

Spoiler

It was kind of hard to look at Big Mom tear up the Sunny as if it was made of paper. This is really the first time we've seen it get banged up this badly, Franky is probably going to have a heart attack once he sees the damage that was done to it. Makes me wonder if he has any extra Adam wood lying around the ship anywhere, because considering how rare of a material it is I can't help but feel like it would be tougher to make repairs to this ship. Then again, he's Franky, he'll manage. 

I'm conflicted a bit. On one hand, it's a cool chapter just to see the Straw Hats in an Oars-style tag team against an insanely strong opponent. We haven't really seen that in a while, and Jinbe once again shows how he fits right in by showcasing good synergy with everyone else's tactics. Being able to manipulate sea water is going to come in extreme handy when dealing with upper-class devil fruit users like Big Mom moving forward. 

On the other hand though, for the most part this was mainly an action chapter. To some degree it was nice to showcase some non-Luffy conflict from everybody (for the most part Chopper hasn't really done much of anything important in this arc) but I don't think it was ultimately a necessary thing to see, especially since I'm certain that come Wano we're going to see all the Straw Hats plus others get in on the action during the inevitable war that breaks out. It'll probably be more fun to look back at this in retrospect once the dust has finally settled on this arc though. I think all these thoughts ultimately have to do with me having been curious about how this arc would end for so long now, and I'm at the point where I just want to see what happens already so I can understand what the payoff of everything will be. 

 

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The Pope

I'm kind of surprised none of the Straw Hats have even tried saying "Your cake is on another ship and it's on its way". Like, maybe she wouldn't believe them, but it wouldn't hurt to try, especially considering how much she's fucking the Sunny up.

Also, I'm really loving slim-up Big Mom. She was threatening before, but now she looks like a real terror; it's a good departure from the overly cartoony stuff we've mostly seen in the arc.

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The Pope

Man, no chapter again next week? I'm guessing last week was a Jump holiday, but I'd have figured Oda would've been able to use that as his break before getting back on the wagon.

Ech, oh well. Don't want Oda to end up like Luffy I suppose.

Decent chapter, mostly just more of the fight, though I am glad that we're getting a rough fight where Luffy really has to push himself, as those are the best. He mopped the floor with Hody and Caesar, and Doflamingo was really his first difficult fight since the New World, but even then it was "oh no I'm not doing great, wait here comes Gear Fourth now I insta-win ciao". Here, Luffy's severely outmatched and is deliberately trying to use the fight as a chance to grow stronger. Good stuff.

Also

LI9hw03.jpg

Fucking hell, seriously Mangastream? We get it, you got the name wrong at first, but now that they're slipping in and out, they have no excuse. Stop being fucking stubborn and just call him Katakuri.

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SushieBoy

Oda changed Flampe from being 33rd to the 36th daughter, since she is 15 and Pudding is the 35th I guess he thought it was odd for Pudding to be no more than 15 and be so filled out. Rebecca, Vivi, Shirahoshi are totally fine, though.

Anyways I LOVE Flampe. My eyes lit up reading her dialogue, several months ago Oda made comments saying that he was getting into little sisters and people thought he was referring to Brulee gushing over Katakuri, but I didn't doubt him, he really gets it, he GETS me. The idea of holding popularity contests over little sister supremacy is so stupid yet hilarious to me. Out of 41 brothers, 40 of them voted for her, was it Katakuri who didn't vote to maintain his cool facade? The more I think of that situation the more silly and funny it gets to me.

Besides that I really liked the bit of fight we got this time around, Oda has always had a bit of a cluttered art style, he seems to go through phases where his art/composition is a mess, thinking back to some of those pages in the Doffy fight and I couldn't tell what the hell was happening, but his art and fight choreography has been getting clean this arc. He's been setting up Luffy to get stronger in all of these WCI fights, he fought Cracker for hours and improved his Gear Fourth endurance, and now he's improving his Observation and Armament Haki with Katakuri

sMXnFpf.png

He can now match Kata's Strength Mochi thing with Gear Third after struggling with it in the first round, so how strong is G4 now? Our boy has come so far.

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The Pope

So remember back in Zou when Usopp made a big deal about upgrading Nami's Clima Tact?

So uh...has she done anything with it thus far?

Outside of feeding Zeus with thunder balls (which she could've done with the pre-Usopp version), she hasn't done anything of note. It's been a historical issue with Oda and the female crewmembers, but since the New World, it's been super bad. So far in terms of major fights, we've had:

Luffy - Hody, Caesar, Chinjao, Bellamy, Doflamingo, Cracker, Katakuri
Zoro - Fishfuck, Monet, Pica
Usopp - Fishfuck, Baby 5/Buffalo (w/ Nami), Sugar
Sanji - Fishfuck, Vergo
Chopper - Fishfuck, Brulee (w/ Carrot)
Franky - Fishfuck, Senor Pink
Brook - Fishfuck, Jora, Big Mom (didn't win, but still)

I tried to keep out group fights and keep it strictly to one on one battles, though Baby 5/Buffalo and Brulee are sort of an exception.

And Nami and Robin have fought...nobody.

All Nami's done (aside from zap Baby 5 and Buffalo who were running away (yes ha ha Oda good joke except you then gave Usopp amazing shit in Dressrosa how about letting Nami actually do something) was attack random goons at Fishman Island, care about some kids at Punk Hazard and run around a bunch, get attacked by Jora, root Luffy on while he was fighting Cracker and slap Sanji once. Yes she's helped with the Zeus situation, but in terms of one-on-one fights, the last one she got was Absalom, and even then Sanji did most of the fighting, so then you'd have to go further back to Kalifa.

I think Oda's afraid to get his pretty girls rough and bloody. It's okay, Oda; it's quite the opposite. If anything we respect the girls more when they get fucked up (the closest thing Robin's even gotten to a "fight" since the New World was protecting Rebecca and seeing her back torn to shit was actually really cool, more of that except actually let them fight Oda).

Maybe it wouldn't be quite as egregious had Oda not spent so much time to show how they've all grown so much stronger and whatnot. Like, he keeps giving Nami all of these power-ups and then she never actually fights anyone with them.

And don't even get me started on Robin, poor girl hasn't had a one-on-one fight since fucking Skypiea.

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