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Filed Under: Scenes I Can Never Get Over

#opanniversary day 6 - relationships/interactions

I thought this moment in Luffy and Buggy’s relationship was incredibly sweet. Despite the fact that they were enemies in the past, Buggy cared for Luffy’s well being. I don’t think Buggy exactly sees him as a friend, but he is hesitant to give Luffy’s unconscious body away to a complete (and frankly, shady-looking) stranger. He cares about him being taken care of properly and wasn’t willing to throw his life away after all they went through together in Impel Down and throughout the Marineford War. Buggy may have been an accidental and even reluctant helper, but he was a helper nonetheless and showed that he has some sort of positive (or dare I say, caring) feelings towards Luffy. I loved this switch in their relationship and hope it will change their future interactions for the better! 

「ONE PIECE 3D2Y エースの死を越えて! ルフィ仲間との誓い」 – THERE’S STILL A GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR THE ONE PIECE ANIME SERIES

〝3D2Y〟 エースの死を越えて!ルフィ仲間との誓い
3D2Y: Overcome Ace’s Death! Luffy’s Vow to his Friends

The first One Piece TV special, Adventure in the Ocean’s Navel, aired fourteen years ago, but it was only recently with the 2012 premiere of Episode of Nami: Tears of a Navigator and the Bonds of Friends that the series started a new trend. The special before Episode of Namiwas The Detective Memoirs of Chief Straw Hat Luffy, which aired five years prior to it; but now we’re effectively seeing a new TV special every year at most. What else distinguishes the recent specials are of course their re-tellings of the TV anime series’s previously covered canonical arcs. Besides their time-duration, it is in this sense that the TV specials resemble One Piece‘s movie productions most of all (at this point, between the movies and the TV specials, both are two-for-two for re-adapted character arcs). 3D2Y isn’t the only one of the newer TV specials to break this formula (Episode of Luffy: Adventure on Hand Island), but it does break the established “Episode of” nomenclature. When I first found news of 3D2Y, I was thoroughly disappointed that Toei wasn’t planning onto continuing the pattern  of re-adaptations by re-animating the Marineford arc, one that undeniably needed a restoration much more so than the previously re-covered Water 7/Enies Lobby arc.

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There was an interesting discussion happening in book-twitter sphere all of Monday, 5/16. All of this sparked after some people (supposedly bloggers) started selling ARCS of unreleased books on ebay/other sites the second BEA and BookCon were over.

If you didn’t know, selling of ARCS is strongly discouraged/prohibited, because they are not made for sale - they are ‘beta’ versions of a book (and you wouldn’t sell a beta version of game, because it’s still a buggy version, same with books, ARCS are buggy versions of the book). Plus in most cases - it’s the author who has to print and mail their own ARCS- or at least it’s part of their publishing fees - but don’t quote me on that. So people who sells ARCS are basically making money off someone’s labor without compensating them for it - which is a serious asshole move. Though giving them away, or passing them on to friends or people who want them is generally seen as acceptable (since no one is making profit off it).  And by the way, those people aren’t selling those arcs cheap, they’re going for ridiculous prices, we’re talking $100+. So, it’s not even about making those ARCS available to other readers, it’s about making a buck for themselves.

This of course upset a lot of people, mostly because going to these events and receiving these books is a privilege. You may deny this, but it’s true. Not everyone can go to these events because of various reasons - but money being the most important. Not everyone can afford to go to these events, especially if they live far away or in other countries. Not everyone can get time off work, family obligations, etc. So if you do make it to an event like BEA, it’s because you can afford to.  Plus, how many other forms of entertainment offer you free beta versions that you get to keep indefinitely?

And I feel like the book industry dynamic with its consumers is so messed up and this is just another example of it. Consider why so many people think book piracy is acceptable because they can’t afford to buy a book? I think it’s because a lot of people do in fact know that literature is entertainment that not everyone can afford (or has access to based on international law) - even if it is in fact, one of the cheapest forms of entertainment. Not to mention the fact- creating a book, reading a book, promoting a book takes a lot of effort and money… yet people expect that effort to be free. Compared to actors, game developers, musical artists - authors make a pittance unless their books literally sell millions of copies, nor do they get offers of endorsements for advertisement or product placement.

People seem to forget that books are in fact a luxury for many people who can’t regularly afford them or afford the time to be reading them. In many countries, libraries are not free as they are in the US, and also require payment for each book you check out. Book readers are one of the most privileged consumers, because we can spend $10-15 on a book that we’ll read once for the sake of building a library, and we can afford the time - hours in  day- to read and review those books - usually free of cost. We are not entitled to books or the effort it takes to create books. And in this case, these (allegedly) bloggers and readers are actively trying to make money off of their privilege. 

It’s like a vicious cycle, in which the consumer blames the industry for failing to provide adequate, cheap, service–the consumer failing to recognize the complexity of the situation or the industry– and the industry then making the service even more limited/expensive/privileged than it was before.

I honestly don’t know if there’s a solution to this. But as bloggers, I think it’s our job to recognize the privilege we do have - even if it’s just being able to read a book earlier than everyone else and get a copy of it for free - usually at the author’s expense.