第32回:So a seabeast, a gorilla and a crocodile walk into a bar…


So a seabeast, a gorilla and a crocodile walk into a bar…

Sea Creature Feature

Let’s take a breather from what was an emotionally intense chapter and instead examine the sea monsters featured in Jinbei’s splash page mini-arc!

These underwater beasts are essentially aquatic mammals so it’s easy to think of them as ’mermmals’, however, they’re many times the size of their land lubber relatives. Most varieties have upper bodies similar to their terrestrial equivalents while their lower bodies closely resemble aquatic creatures, mainly fish. Many, if not most, appear to have fins for appendages, although there are some variants who have actual arms and paws such as sea cats and sea dogs.

Their physiology and lore hasn’t been expounded on by Oda-sensei, but it would *seem* that the larger their terrestrial relative is, the larger they have the *potential* to grow. While the sea squirrel and sea rabbit are nothing to shrug at, they don’t appear to be on the same scale as Hody’s sea elephant or sea gorilla.

While none of them make any sense for surviving in aquatic environments, my favorites are the ones that are *completely absurd* and out of place. The sea sheep from Chapter 776’s cover is priceless. And while some of their designs are far-fetched, many of the beasts’ names are actually derived from real-life maritime sea life. Take Mohmoo for example, a sea cow which is another name for a manatee. Note the sea pig from this cover; ’sea pig’ is actually how to write ’dolphin’ in Japanese.

Just some food for thought, there are variants of human hybrid (fishmen/women, merfolk) *and* animal hybrid (seabeasts) sea life. Could there be something in the world’s past that *caused* such evolution?

It’s a Strong World After All

In an interview from late 2009, when describing how some early influences in life helped him develop the story of Strong World, Oda-sensei mentioned a panel from the comic ’Kaibutsu-kun’. The scene in question? A gorilla fighting a crocodile! Was Oda-sensei thinking about that when he drew this panel?


Check it out! It’s Spartan in Rebecca’s flashback! That’s right, she *did* mention that he gave her trouble. The freaky tattoo and hair guy is there too!

Weekly Shonen Jump #12 Ch.776
One Piece Vol.17 Ch.148 SBS
One Piece Vol.50 Ch.490
One Piece Vol.62 Ch.610
One Piece Vol.63 Ch.616
One Piece Vol.71 Ch.703

The Legend of Zoro

Bandana on, I repeat bandana IS on! Everyone grab your stuff and run! Zoro is gonna slice and dice to make himself some Pica(n) pie!

Chapter 777, that number carries the same lucky connotations in Japan as it does in many other countries. This alignment of same numbers is called a ’zorome’ which could also mean, ’Zoro’s eye’ so it’s probably no coincidence that several close-up shots of Zoro’s eye were featured in this exciting chapter.

As for his new moves, I was interested in Horse Demon!

This actually makes an interesting bookend move to the one he used on Captain T. Bone during the rush to Enies Lobby, Bull Demon. In fact, considering it’s a one-sword style attack, it could potentially be a slightly less powerful form of Bull Demon.

So what’s with the horses and bulls? Horsehead demons, or ’mezu’ and bullhead demons, called ’gozu’, are guardians/torturers in Buddhist hell. This isn’t the first time Oda-sensei has explored this combination either. In Impel Down (itself an amalgamation of Hell from various cultures) two of the guardian beasts just so happened to be a bull and a horse.

Weekly Shonen Jump #13 Ch.777
One Piece Vol.39 Ch.371
One Piece Vol.54 Ch.532
One Piece Vol.55 Ch.533


Filler Up!

The series’ charming worst-kept-secret, the identity of the *mysterious* man, was presented with respectable weight for expectant fans but that was far from the only stand-out point of the episode. Let’s look at some of the original scenes added to the anime in Episode 679.

Kinnemon Arrives

In the comic, after Kinnemon arrived at the underground port via lift in Chapter 745, in the next chapter he suddenly appeared with Robin and gang, briefly mentioning having had trouble with former toys that (SOMEHOW) mistook him for Doflamingo. Running with those sparse lines, the anime’s creative team explored Kinnemon’s mishaps at the lift leading up to the successful escape from his pursuers. It’s difficult to argue that the additional material gives us a deeper understanding of Kinnemon as a character but his progression is certainly easier to follow, something the story can only benefit from at this point.

Nature of the Brothers

Sabo’s comments regarding the differences between Luffy and himself, after being top-hatted by Koala, were pretty deep!

Sabo: …I think it through before I let loose.
Luffy: …Luffy just follows his instincts.

It comes off with a little less ’oomph’ in English but the original Japanese explores the difference between the ’recklessness’ of Luffy and Sabo. Whereas Luffy is just ’reckless on instinct’, Sabo ’calculates his recklessness’.

These lines took me aback because it sounded like something that Oda-sensei penned but I didn’t recall this line from the comic. Could it be!? Had *I* forgotten a line from One Piece!?!? (it happens, shocker right?) Thumbing through Volume 75 revealed no such line so this is all Toei. Good job guys! Anyone else wonder what kind of ’recklessness’ Ace is? My guess would be ’reckless on emotion’. What do you think? Send your thoughts to the link at the bottom of the page!

Anyway, that Koala, so adorable. *blush*

TV Anime #679

Filler Up: Part Deux!

Ever since the omission of long-term filler arcs, anime episodes have more or less followed the pattern of one chapter worth of comic material being animated into one episode; of course there are exceptions here and there where subplots are expanded or scenes are presented in a significantly altered order. While this ensures that the anime will never overtake the comic, the policy can create a pacing issue when a chapter includes some of the following: swift and silent skirmishes, mob character scenes, two-page spread(s) and a low text count. Guess what Chapter 745 has all four of? So was Episode 680 a pacing nightmare?

NAY! A series of short and effective expansions kept the story moving without resorting to pace-killing tropes!

The battle between the former toys and Mingo’s Supreme Officers! Ensnaring enemies in a chain of snot? Keep it classy, Trebol.

Law managing to keep his composure while falling upside down in the delightfully absurd heart chair helped me crack a toothy grin but the image of him falling head first into Luffy’s rubbery stomach killed me. Law suffers so that we might laugh. #RespectTheLaw

The birdcage coming from Doflamingo’s string clone was an interesting and effective original touch we didn’t see in the comic. Ever wonder how many strings Mingo actually can control at once? Sounds like more material ripe for the SBS!

TV Anime #680