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第70回:Chess & Suits

2016/11/23

COMIC

Missing His Sweet Tooth

It feels like forever since we’ve been treated to a deformed portrayal of Luffy shouting with raw determination. Oda-sensei once stated in an interview that ‘whoever shouts the loudest will be the victor’ and this depiction of Luffy encompasses that idea. His gap-toothed declaration reminds me of the Volume 25 cover where Luffy is paired with a similarly gap-toothed Blackbeard.

Actually, having Sanji’s opening attack, Joue Shoot, dislodge Luffy’s tooth was an interesting choice by Oda-sensei that serves two important purposes from the creation side of storytelling.

First, it clearly tells readers that Sanji is serious in his assault. Whether he’s going ‘all out’ or not is up for debate but he’s definitely not pulling his kicks by any measure that could be attributed to kindness. Without a character awkwardly stating, “Hey, that was a really strong kick.”, readers immediately feel the seriousness of the situation

Secondly, it demands that readers feel sympathy for Luffy. As if this scenario wasn’t painful enough for readers –and his characters- Oda-sensei knows exactly how to pull at our heart-strings by depicting permanent physical damage to Luffy.

Exactly how ‘permanent’ this will be is yet to be seen; Luffy has been comically depicted with missing teeth before:

However, this is the first time Luffy has been *continually* drawn with his tooth missing across at least two chapters. Is this damage permanent? Unless Oda-sensei intends to make Luffy appear like a mini-Blackbeard, I don’t think so.

For now, every time we see it that gap serves as a painful reminder of the events from this chapter.

Weekly Shonen Jump #48 Ch.844
One Piece Vol.25 COVER
One Piece Vol.34 Ch.325

Chess & Suits

Here we have our first look at chess infantry fully prepped for battle. Combined with images of previous chapters, we can finally gain a better idea of the specialties and differences among the chess soldier ranks! This chapter also confirms that their shields are based on card suits which combines the Queen of Hearts’ card soldiers and Red Queen’s chess soldiers in a two-for-one allusion to Lewis Carrol’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking-Glass’!

Pawns:

Pawns are spearmen identified by their weapons and heart-shaped shields. They do not appear to be equipped with swords unlike the knights.

Knights:

Spears seen close to the Knights hint that they may specialize in spear use. Their style of fighting with spears may be slightly different from pawns. If they fight similar to how the knight piece moves, they may even be capable of dragoon-style battle. Unlike pawns, in addition to spears, knights are also equipped with swords. Although it’s not entirely clear yet, process of elimination suggests that knight shields are spade-shaped.

Bishops:

While it’s difficult to confirm at this stage, bow-like forms near bishops suggest that they are archers. Bishops may or may not be equipped for short-range combat. Their shields appear to be diamond-shaped.

Rooks:

The rifles on their backs denote rooks as marksmen specializing in long-range combat. This panel also shows that, unless it was picked off a knight, rooks are also equipped for close-range combat. Rooks sport club-shaped shields.

Weekly Shonen Jump #49 Ch.845
One Piece Vol.82 Ch.825
One Piece Vol.83 Ch.830

ANIME

Double Trouble

Kaidou’s Gifters soldiers seem to have been augmented by manmade Zoan Devil Fruits, SMILE. We previously discussed how the soldiers are able to maintain their base human form while changing certain parts of their bodies to specific parts of animals: faces, claws, ears, etc. These recent episodes have given us even more instances of the Gifters turning their arms into actual animal heads. Is this how Caesar’s SMILE work with human bodies?

When Caesar imagined Kaido’s SMILE-enhanced army we saw a legion of Beast-Type Zoans but was that only an ideal result of SMILE? Perhaps any given part of the base animal may be summoned into the user’s body at will. While I don’t consider that scenario an overall improvement of traditional Zoan forms it definitely has its advantages.

Soldiers being able to turn their arms into a snapping venomous serpent while shouting orders from their human mouth and attacking with a free hand sounds pretty useful.

TV Anime #760
One Piece Vol.69 Ch.689

Decisive Rescue in Kurau City

Some additional scenes showcased Brook using his special talents to assist the rescue and recovery efforts in Kurau City. I’m particularly jealous of his ability to use soul form in order to quickly and safely check on the status of victims trapped underneath rubble.

Between Brook’s ability and dog minks’ sense of smell, I’d like to think they found many survivors. Imagine how useful Brook’s ability would be in reality! He could save lives (even though he can’t save his own!) YOHOHOHO~~~!

The final line of this episode is a healthy dose of meta-humor since Luffy literally quotes the title of Cho-san’s song that inspired the name of Catviper.

TV Anime #761

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