We now have a much better idea of the kinds of powers that Blackbeard’s crew possess so here are my thoughts on pairings for the Strawhats’ final showdown with the Blackbeard pirate crew.
It’s a given that my ideas won’t perfectly match your own but I’d love to hear your ideas as well so feel free to submit them!
Blackbeard v Luffy
Pretty much a given! Light versus dark is a story old as time and from their very first encounter these two were clearly displayed as polar opposites. However…dark versus light is SUCH a common theme, that I can’t help but wonder…what would happen if light and dark joined forces?
Shiryu v Zoro
Ever since the ‘right hand man’ colorspread by Oda, this match was basically written in stone. Luffy’s right-hand man versus Teach’s right-hand man. Their similarities don’t end at both being swordsmen. Zoro has become more and more demon-like over time which is a theme I described in Column #178 where I noted that Rayleigh, Roger’s right-hand man, also had an epithet that calls to mind a ruler of hell.
Not only did Shiryu work in Impel Down, a literal conglomeration of hells from various beliefs, but his character design also has a classic Merrie Melodies-like Satan look to him, right down to his stogey! Sure to be a demonic battle for the ages!
Catarina v Nami
While there’s not need to pair ‘the ladies’ for a battle, a fox versus cat theme is something we’ve already glimpsed in ONE PIECE FILM: GOLD and a transforming trickster versus Nami’s cunning seems like it would make for a glorious match-up.
Augur v Usopp
SNIPER BATTLE! ‘NUFF SAID!
Jesus v Sanji
I think most fans would agree with me on the previous four but here’s where we might start to take different paths. My reasoning for Sanji and Jesus is simply that to this point, Sanji has more often than not been paired with martial artists of the sort we might consider MMA fighters. They seem to specialize in martial arts, a complement to Sanji’s fancy footwork. With Sanji’s increased toughness, a battle against a beast like the powered-up Jesus seems like the ultimate challenge in Sanji’s history of battles.
Doc Q v Chopper
Based on their positions, this seems like another match-up we can look forward to. While I’m certainly interested in the physical aspect of their battle, I’m much more interested in their how their ethics will clash. Was Chopper’s doctorin’ during Wano just a small sample of what’s in store for his bout with Q and Stronger?
San Juan v Robin
While I believe both San Juan and Avalo make good choices for Robin’s opponent, I think San Juan has the edge because of how well Avalo seems tailored for other Strawhats, but more on that below. Robin is and has been one of the most physically capable of the Strawhats in a scrap. She’s so tough that until her battle with Black Maria, Odacchi spent almost two decades trying to prevent her from getting into a pure 1v1 battle. Robin’s greatest shortcoming in battle, probably even greater than the pain she feels from all copied body parts, is size. If Robin cannot successfully grapple her opponent into a submission hold she has to be extremely creative on the fly in dealing with a threat. With San Juan apparently having FRIGHTENING embiggening potential, he’s an ideal opponent for a grappler like Robin.
Avalo v Franky
I previously thought Vasco fit well with Franky because of the potential for a drinking scrap but the potential for a docking-style transformation battle is for too enticing. Imagine an island transforming to battle a Vegapunk-enhanced docking Franky!
Lafitte v Brook
With similar body structures, use of canes, and apparently stealth movements, these two seem like a good physical match, especially with Lafitte’s evident power of flight and Brook’s litheness. I’m also interested in the fact that both are from West Blue but maybe that’s just me overthinking.
Vasco v Jimbei
While I liked the idea of Jimbei hurling massive waves at Avalo, I think Vasco might prove difficult if he’s able to turn the ocean against Jimbei by igniting it.
And what about Kuzan?
Come oooon! I trust him no matter what! Even if things turn bad for Garp! We’ll have to see what happens!
Weekly Shonen Jump #21-22 Ch.1081
One Piece Vol.59 Ch.575
One Piece Vol.98 Ch.989
One Piece Vol.102 Ch.1031
Burn Scar Man, Burn Scar Man, Doin’ the Things a Burn Scar Can
An interesting choice was made in the Japanese version to write out the words for burn scar man or ‘hinokizu no otoko’ in katakana ヒノキズrather than kanji.
While that could be to help the word stand out and remind readers of its significance, usually Odacchi uses special emphasis ellipses to help such words stand out. The other instance Odaachi uses katakana is when a word or concept is poorly or partially understood by the speaker. A famous example would be the Pirates of the Sun who write sun or ‘taiyou’ in katakana because many fishpeople have not experienced actual sunlight.
This is only speculation, but it’s possible that the term ‘hinokizu’ means something other than what we assume it does. Perhaps there’s some wordplay going on?
Weekly Shonen Jump #21-22 Ch.1081
One Piece Vol.105 Ch.1056