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第99回:Brivals

2018/03/23

COMIC

SNAKEMAN

If we’re to take Bound Man’s form as a take on Buddhist Nioh ‘gate guardians’ then Snakeman might have been influenced by a Fujin motif. Fujin is a ‘God of Wind’ and Luffy’s wild and wispy hair is clearly similar but also note the billowing steam above Luffy which seems to be a nod to Fujin’s bag of winds.

Vikings VS Dragons

It sounds like a football matchup but I’m talking about the dragon on the sail of the Viking ship.

First, this appears to be a stout-bodied Western-style dragon like the one we saw on Punk Hazard, not the coil-bodied Eastern-style dragon like Momonosuke’s Zoan form. Putting such a symbol on their sail suggests that giants, at some point in history, had a relationship with dragons be it a form or reverence or domination. Since the Celestial Dragons have such an interest in dragons *and* giants, is it possible that both of these unique lifeforms are the result of genetic meddling by ancient rulers?

Weekly Shonen Jump #12 Ch.895
One Piece Vol.66 Ch.656
One Piece Vol.69 Ch.684

Brivals

Where do I even begin?

The seeds for events far down the storyline have been planted in this chapter and not unlike Katakuri, it’s possible to get glimpses of what might be in store for us a few years down the line on this grand adventure we’re all a part of together.

But I digress.

Luffy versus Katakuri ends *precisely* as it should. Luffy is the last man standing (until he isn’t!) and Katakuri gains a rival who respects him (even knowing his disfigurement) as well as a chance to keep his pride intact thanks to Luffy. That really depends on Flampe though.

The real winner here is, of course, you, reader. This was a superb battle that established a civil rivalry which leaves little doubt in my mind for Katakuri playing a significant role in how the Strawhats interact with the Big Mom Pirates from here on out.

A few notes of significance:

Our last time-stamp just before Snakeman in Chapter 894 was 12:05AM. This chapter begins at 12:28AM and is not a flashback suggesting the final clash in Mirro World has already occurred. When we eventually switch to Mirro World in this chapter the time is given as 12:37AM. This suggests that even if the events of the previous Chapter 895 took place over approximately 23 minutes (which seems like a long time for such an energy-sapping battle) Luffy and Katakuri were standing their ground after that final attack for at *least* 9 whole minutes! Now that’s resolution!

Luffy covers Katakuri’s face to protect his secret. Meanwhile, although difficult to tell from the artwork, an onomatopoeia reveals that Katakuri is grinning, suggesting that he’s looking forward to another chance at Luffy. These actions, in my mind at least, solidify them as ‘brivals’ (bros+rivals).

Now pay attention to what Luffy *doesn’t* do after the battle. He doesn’t flip Katakuri off of his back. When Katakuri first fainted Oda-sensei deliberately had him fall face first. When Katakuri regains consciousness, due to the specific orientation of the hat, Katakuri’s jaw is obscured but his eyes aren’t, giving him a view of the ceiling from his back, giving him no doubt about the outcome of the battle.

Luffy takes any chance he can get to say, “Atarimae da,” which means ‘you bet I do/(it does)’. But when asked by Katakuri if he intends to defeat Big Mom someday, interestingly enough, he replies, “Of course I do,” or in Japanese ‘mochiron’. MOCHIron? Really? Was that intentional? ^o^

So here’s something curious to ponder over. Luffy spent hours with Sogeking but had *no* clue that it was Usopp. Yet here Luffy *instantly* recognizes Pekoms. WOW! Is that another intimation as to the development of his Color of Observation Haki? I wonder if Luffy would recognize Sogeking if he showed up again…

Fake-Out News

Mont-d’Or (whose design I love but don’t like writing about because of that spelling) says that the Strawhats’ ‘heads’ will be on the front page of tomorrow’s newspapers and you know what? He might be half-right. In Japanese he uses the word ‘kubi’ which suggests a ‘severed head’ but did you know? The Japanese for ‘WANTED PERSON’ is ‘shoukin-kubi’ literally ‘reward [on their] head’ meaning a ***bounty***. So yes, if the Strawhats manage to escape, I do believe we might see their brand new ‘shoukin-kubi’ in the morning paper!

Person of Interest

There’s one character at this point whom I’m very interested in the whereabouts of, Streusen. What’s he up to, huh? Is he still KO’d? I wonder about that guy…

Weekly Shonen Jump #11 Ch.894
Weekly Shonen Jump #14 Ch.896

ANIME

The Butterfly Effect

An emotional episode that brings back the symbol of Sora’s will, the butterfly. (Check Courses 89 & 92)

This time the butterfly is watching over Reiju as she looks for guidance in how to deal with the brother whom she cannot actively stand up for, but also cannot ignore.

Reiju suggests that Sora’s will exists within Sanji but she’d be remiss to realize that Sora is also, clearly a part of her as well. There is a phrase in Japanese ‘senaka wo osu’ literally ‘to push someone’s back’ which means to ‘encourage/urge someone forward’. This phrase usually describes how parents encourage their children to go forward in life and that’s almost literally happening here as Reiju’s humane side urges Sanji forward into a better life.

TV Anime #819

Booboo From Brook

The source of Prometheus’ bandaged wound -which was left something of a mystery in the comic- has been revealed in Episode 820 as Brook’s last-ditch attempt at inflicting some damage on Mom’s cronies with his right-handed flying strike, Aubade Coup Droit.

A valiant effort from our gentleman swordsman, but alas, Hell hath no fury like a Big Mom scorned!

TV Anime #820
One Piece Vol.85 Ch.854

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