第173回:The Prince Lived [INSERT] Ever After?



The Prince Lived [INSERT] Ever After?

Sanji has chosen to accept his activated exoskeleton as a tool for supporting his crew, rather than a hindrance chaining him to his past. It’s understandable that Sanji’s acceptance of this is somewhat controversial among fans. After all, readers spent the entirety of Whole Cake Island learning about Sanji’s abuse at the hands of his father and vindictive brothers. One of the major emotional beats of the WCI arc was that Sanji grew and developed on his own without the need for artificially-derived strength. So how are we supposed to reconcile that Sanji is now accepting a part of himself that contradicts much of what we’ve come to respect about him?

The shortest answer is, there is no easy answer. Sanji’s ‘solution’ to his dilemma in Wano is arguably one of the most realistic resolutions to a family issue in the entire series. No matter how you look at it, there is no fairytale ending for Sanji and the Vinsmokes. The resolution is, there’s *no resolution* everyone is happy with, but it’s the one they live with because they must.

What the Vinsmokes have done, is unforgivable. Even if we learn the details of the wrong that Judge was trying to right by reclaiming the Germa Empire, what he did to his own wife and son, for any reason, is inexcusably cruel. And yet, Odacchi is still showing us that Sanji can’t escape his roots even if Zeff is his father and he refuses to accept the Vinsmoke name. That’s rough. Did I say ‘rough’? Excuse me, *tragic*. He’s trapped in a body that is the direct result of his malefactor. How do you deal with that?

Evidently, you deal with it by…dealing with it. Sanji says so himself. Says that he’s accepted his lot in this world. Sanji had no choice in how he was born, but he is rejecting his ties to the Vinsmoke family as it exists, barring any twists related to Sora’s mortality.

With his body, and allllll the baggage it carries, Sanji was victorious over Queen. In this case, that’s not the same as saying Sanji’s victory is thanks to Judge. Sanji’s victory, is thanks to Sora. He didn’t choose how he was born but his mother gave him the opportunity to be a normal boy which is exactly what saved him. Sanji didn’t know what he was getting into by wearing that suit as an adult, but when he did and when it ‘awoke’ parts of him, instead of being a vessel void of sympathy like his brothers, thanks entirely to Sora’s decision, he was capable of choosing how to direct his abilities, rather than being an emotionless tool of vengeance. He has, if anything, proven that Judge’s efforts were a complete failure and that Sora’s decision to counteract Judge’s experiment, to give birth to a child capable of emotion, was the correct answer and one that Sanji can live with.

Weekly Shonen Jump #1 Ch.1034

X Marks the Spot

While still steeped in mystery, we’ve learned a little bit more about the Lunarians and their abilities, namely that while they have several strengths such as super speed, resilience, and fire manipulation, the fire seems to be a link between the speed and resilience. While the fire is present, King gains fantastic resilience. While the fire is extinguished, King benefits from super speed.

So where do we currently sit with Lunarians and their history in the world? We’ve been lead to believe that Lunarians lived on the Red Line and while I have no reason to doubt what Whitebeard told Marco in a flashback from Chapter 1023, I do wonder if the ancient Red Line inhabited by Lunarians, was geographically different from the current Red Line we know in the story.

Clover spoke about the destruction of a ‘giant kingdom’ and while what he meant by both ‘giant’ and ‘kingdom’ are highly debatable, in typical Odacchi fashion, I wouldn’t be surprised if that ‘kingdom’ was larger than anything readers could ever imagine. I wonder if there were entire landmasses that were destroyed during the eradication of the Lunarians. It might seem like a far-fetched idea, but Oars himself was capable of pulling an entire country so with the combined (or conflicting) power of the ancient weapons and whatever eldritch forces existed at the time, it doesn’t seem impossible.

It’s times like this I often think about the Grand Line and how when paired with the Red Line, it looks mysteriously like…an X. Hmmm…pirates and X’s… That’s a thing, right? See you next time!!!

Weekly Shonen Jump #3+4 Ch.1035
One Piece Vol41. Ch.395
One Piece Vol101. Ch.1023