The Ugly Sanji
According to the Chinese calender, 2017 is the year of the bird! Oda-sensei declared 2016 ‘The Year of Sanji’ in the comic and what a year it was, but the Sanjibration is just starting! 2017 will be ‘The Year of Sanji’ in the television animation and -thanks to a comment from Oda-sensei almost fifteen years ago- it’s also shockingly appropriate for the year of the bird!
In an SBS from Volume 20, Oda-sensei answered a fan question regarding what animals would best represent the members of the Straw Hat Crew. His prophetic answer for Sanji was, “…a duck…” Woah! Coincidence!? Yeah, but still a pretty cool one! However, this next bit of speculation might not be just wishful thinking.
As a child, Sanji was labelled a ‘failure’ and suffered exile from his family with all familial relations cut by request from his own father. As we found out in this chapter, thanks to a harrowing act from his mother, there was a very specific reason why Sanji was a so-called ‘failure’. Thanks to Sora changing her genes, Sanji was able to inherit his mother’s bottomless ‘emotions’ making him more kind than, in his sister’s words, “…anyone!!!”
I contend to you that until this chapter Sanji thought of himself as a failure among his siblings, an ‘ugly duckling’.
But the truth is that Sanji wasn’t a ‘duck’, he was the kind and graceful ‘swan’ raised among ‘ducks’. Was Oda-sensei hinting at this revelation all those years ago? We may never know but I’d like to think so.
Weekly Shonen Jump #7 Ch.852
She’s Got Legs
Some very exciting developments in this chapter so let’s take a breather with a step back and talk about some smooth moves, or should I say ‘Smoothie’ moves? (boom) Although she doesn’t have any speaking lines, Smoothie pops up in the foreground of this panel clearly displaying her tattooed leg. Have you noticed?
While we’ve only seen a few examples of longlegs so far, many of them appear to have tattoos on their thighs. Is this a cultural practice of the longlegs? Does it mean something different for each person? Interestingly, this is also similar to the Skypieans whose robes are each decorated with person-specific designs.
If we trace back their heritage far enough, will we find a common link between these racial groups?
Weekly Shonen Jump #9 Ch.853
One Piece Vol.26 Ch.244
One Piece Vol.71 Ch.707
One Piece Vol.82 Ch.827
Light ‘em Up!
Did you see that!? There’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment in the episode that answers a major question fans have been begging to know the answer to: how does Catviper light his pipe with only one hand!?
I jest of course but nevertheless this episode briefly explained how an otherwise awkward one-handed process -without a lighter- is accomplished with relative ease thanks to one of Catviper’s rangers.
Heart of Stone
The manga never gave us Zoro’s reaction to the revelation of Momonosuke’s heritage and, well, now we know why! Zoro’s post-timeskip poker face is invincible!
TV Anime #768
You Found a Wild Raizo!
From this week, Raizo can be found in the opening credits!
Robin the Creeper
Despite being highly disturbing, this convenient method of study reveals how Robin was easily able to learn so much from material she otherwise shouldn’t have had access to.
While we’re in Ohara, although the scholars with speaking lines don’t have names in the credits, these characters were actually named by Oda-sensei! They may be found in the One Piece artbook Color Walk 4 EAGLE. Their official English-language names have not been confirmed so here are approximations of their names: the female in the heart shirt is Rinto, the BOMB shirt man is Busshiri, the glasses man is Roche and the western hat man is Zadie.
TV Anime #769
One Piece Color Walk 4 EAGLE