189: "Eternal Friends! The Vowed Bell Echoes Across the Mighty Seas!"

Sorry about the lack of updates yesterday. I had loads of stuff to do and little time to do any of it. I’m making up for it now, though with the write-up of episode 189.

Well… the flashback has ended and I am full of tears. Noland and Calgara’s friendship is just so damned tragic. ;_; They are the poster boys for two people being able to get along despite hailing from wildly divergent cultures. Unfortunately, a lot of subtle cultural nuances were lost in translation, leading to a huge misunderstanding they never really had the chance to resolve.

In 188, I did spot someone chopping down wood, though I thought it might have been a totem, or something similar. An unknowing crew member hacking it up for firewood, perhaps. I could not have predicted the reality of the situation.

The night before Noland’s crew were due to set sail, Muse appeared at their camp and told them the reason for the Shandians’ anger. On the island, there was a grove of white trees, which the Shandians believed housed the souls of their ancestors. When they rang the golden bell, the sound was designed to guide the souls back to the grove. They believed the souls of very ancestor since the glory days of Shandra resided within those trees.

The trees were fundamental to the Shandian’s ancestor worship and the people would have protected them with their lives.

Guess what Noland and his crew did?

Correct. They chopped them all down without letting the Shandians know.

Though I felt sympathetic towards Noland and his crew at that point (yes, maybe they should have asked, but how were they to know?) I did perform a major facepalm. The Shandians had every right to be angry. In one night, Noland and his crew, though unknowingly, had wiped out a huge part of Shandian culture. I honestly didnt think the villagers would have forgiven Noland’s crew.

Thankfully, one sensible person thought it would be a good idea to actually… you know, communicate, and let Noland’s crew know the reason the Shandians were acting arsey. 

Turned out that Noland and his crew had a excellent excuse (even though they would never use it to excuse their soul tree choppin’ actions). The only reason they chopped down the trees was because the soul trees were already dead and were also a source of the tree fever that had, ironically, been turning Shandians into ancestors. The only reason they had delayed setting sail was because they had been determined to rid the island of every last mote of tree fever.

Muse, the Shandian’s Resident Communicator and Sensible Person, reported this to Calgara, at which point Calgara told the kids to ring the damned bell before hoofing it through the forest in attempt to catch Noland before he left.

He didn’t quite make it, only reaching the beach as Noland’s ship was pulling away, but there was a lot of tears and yelling. Calgara made Noland a heartwarming promise: that he would wait on the island and would continue to ring the bell, so that he would never lose his way. After all, the great golden bell was made to say: “We, the Shandians, are here.”

But everything suddenly went careering downhill. The next scenes dealt with Noland reaching his homeland and telling his greedy, glory-hunting king (who’s crown was in the form of a golden jester’s hat, acting as a not so subtle reminder: the king was a fool) about Shandia. Part of Jaya was blasted into the sky. Noland was executed for deceiving the king and the Calgara would never again be able to ring the bell for Noland.

Despite all this, Calgara and Noland only had concern for the other. Noland was afraid Calgara’s disappearance meant the worst (I mean, there are island eating fish on the Grand Line. Something like that could reasonably have happened). Calgara kept saying, over and over, just a little while longer, Noland… we will ring the bell again.

Both died without meeting again.

The tribal elder told Wiper a North Blue sea ship sailed through Skypiea and gave the Shandians news of Noland’s death. I can’t imagine how Calgara would have felt about that.

Wiper asked if he rang the bell, would Noland hear it?

The Elder answered, “He might. We are close to heaven here.”

Too many tears.

Damn it, if only the Shandians had Noland’s crew had talked to each other, they could have had more time together. Hell, maybe even Noland would have ended up in Skypiea with them. Calgara and Noland together would have been unstoppable. Joint gods, ruling Skypiea with a mixture of tribal traditions and the best modern medical advancements. It would have been awesome.

I really hope someone rings the bell. I want Noland to hear it. :(

At the moment, Luffy is charging up Giant Jack, with one hand encased in a giant golden testicle ball. I bet he’ll use that to ring it.


Here’s my Nico Robin Skypiea cosplay~ ❀
The Jaya/Skypiea is my favorite One Piece arc so I was very excited to make this cosplay, especially the accessories which were something I really wanted to create in order to have  that little something more than just the regular clothes, wig and hat. 

I loved the flashback of this arc with the story of the island, Noland and Calgara, I couldn’t wait to have the map and Noland’s book in my hands, and I am really glad to see that a lot of people at the cons freak out seeing them. ⌒o⌒

{ even though I have blue lenses for other cosplays, I never wear them for Robin because she actually has brown eyes in the manga, and I like her better that way ♥ }