One Piece 852 thoughts
Nico Robin is to be loved and cherished. She’s one of the smartest characters in the whole world and she has a slightly sadistic/pessimistic attitude that makes the rare moments when she appreciates
Chopper something cute so incredibly precious. Remember when she threatened Franky for acting “manly” in Chopper’s body? That was epic. Her apparent cold and always collected attitude hides such a wide spectrum of emotions, of which only a part are a consequence of her tragic past… I’d definitely want to hang around with her irl. She’d be a gallerist or a cello player, I’m sure. Then just look at the picture, it’s true art, fuck MoMA: to express her love for Chopper she gave him her facial features and hands, which are a human’s, to also remember that Chopper ate the Hito Hito no Mi, which makes him human; not to mention the slight freakyness of the pciture, to remind us of Nico Robin’s slight freakyness - and I don’t want to be heretical artistically here, but it reminds me of Kandiskij’s Blaue Reiter period . All while the subject, Chopper, doesn’t give a f and eats cotton candy.
Back to the plot and to its objectivity!
… Things weren’t looking good last week on Sanji’s side, a sentence which I could really stop saying every single week, since it’s been a weekly trope for the past six months, but maybe just now it’s worth saying because it may be the last time.
I hoped that after the revelation of Pudding’s real personality and Mama’s true intentions concerning the wedding, Sanji would immediately decide to act: a feeble hope indeed, because every time I fail to understimate just immeasurably disheartened he is - and I’ve basically written academic essays about it. Last week we had this:
Now it was easy to understand that he wouldn’t go all out just yet, but… I’m still saddened by it.
See that edge of Sanji’s still wet cape: he waited outside the room until the treated Reiju, then
… tied and blindefolded the guard, so that he wouldn’t know who it was and wouldn’t report it. Classic
assassin mode well after all that’s the family he hails from aint’ it spy mode Sanji: swift, unnoticed, perfectly executed job. Luffy and Zoro would have a mess, a lot of noise and a lot of commotion, it still would have worked - but not the cook. He’s starting to come back to his usual self.
But he still need to “get it together”: he still needs someone to make him “get it together”. Luffy was the first one who ever made him, when he siply and outrightly stated to him “that he would pay no debt by dying”, as he was trying to sacrifice himself for Zeff, about 800 chapters ago precisely. Reiju here absolves to this role and that makes me understand why i loved her at first sight. All her little silent smiles at Sanji’s crew or when she witnessed his bravery or sacrifice - now we know they were because she was happy that her mother’s sacrifice has not been in vain.
And the very fact that Sanji is telling her everything right away was not to be taken for granted. His words to Reiju back in 832 could have made us think that he totally didn’t care, but even then… An attentive reader knows he’s kind of tsundere isnt he? Always grumpy, but with a big heart. He tells bad people to go to hell and then he feeds them when they’re starving.
A nice detail here is that Reiju’s double 6 tatoo is hidden by the bandages, as if to further explain how she’s truly a member of Germa, as it is hinted by her words during the chapter, or at least is not going to be. It’d be nice if at the end of the saga we’d discover that it has completely disappeared.
In all honesty, I had been expecting for a while that Luffy - and Nami - would be taken prisoners… but I hoped they would rescue themselves. it the trick was just as simple as this, Oda could - should, Imo - have let them done it themselves, for the fun, and then have Jinbei burst into something else - the hype would have been pretty much the same, since it’s about him more than about what he does. Some say it’s not fitting for the future pirate king to be saved continously left and right… personally I couldn’t disagree more: the whole point about the Mugiwara is that they, collectively
make miracles happen - Trafalgar “Torao” D. Water Law
not just Luffy. Yes, like the classic hero everyone around him feels so much stronger and so much braver and blablabla, but it’s “them”. Not “him”. So it’s good if he’s helped, it’s good if he’s surrounded by people who are smart an strong and ingenious and great ingegneers and great swordsmen and great historians and you get it. Even Goku received help, didn’t he? So -
Jinbei is one of those who witnessed this special attitude of the SHs. That’s why he decided to bet everything - literally, you saw the wheel - to be with them, as he promised inFishman Island
and though we still don’t know what or if he lost anything at all - my guess is lifespan, but whatever -, here he is now to sail with them. 4 Mugiwaras left Zou to look for Sanji, 6 will reach Wano to fight Kaido.
On a side note, Nami is going Fairy Tail mode and losing clothes everywhere, but Oda intervenes promptly - thanks sensei.
To be noticed is that Nami’s new outfit resembles much Pudding’s first outfit:
… which is SO NOT CASUAL.
Shipping aside, guys… it’s pretty obvious that it’s gonna be Nami to rescue Sanji from his wedding. Why?
He saved her from the one with Absalom + Oda loves parallels so much that some even say he’s too much repetitive
For so long I have been repeating obsessively that Nami would substitute herself in the bride’s role… there are a lot of reasons, but the main is always her nickname, Cat Burglar, Doroboneko, that in Japanese also indicates a “husband stealer”. If now she’s dressing up like Pudding - they even have the same hairstyle and similar hair color, forget the third eye -, it’s pretty much going there… then of course it may not. But if it does I
will be overjoyed won’t be surprised.
In the meantime, my son Luffy is starving. The energy from 11 hours of non-stop hyperglycemic eating apparently already ran out - LOL -, but he promised he wouldn’t eat anything that isn’t from Sanji:
I keep posting this pages because I somehow subconsciously want to hurt myself I think
And he’s keeping it and immediately rushes to Sanji to inform him of Pudding’s betrayal - thanks Kami sama he already knows. Jinbei correctly points out that the castle is crawling with strong enemies, but
- currently most of them are probably focused around the uproar Pedro and Brook are making - even Big Mom decided to step in -, and Smoothie decided not to inform her right away
- it’s true that Luffy is not Sanji, but the cook today showed that it is actually possible to go around unnoticed in the castle
- he probably won’t have other major fights for a while, he’s too debilitated
So he’ll be fine.
Then, to the end of the chapter… Reiju intends to sacrifice herself, along with her family, so that her little brother can escape. He explains to him that she, despite being still human like him, is an assassin, more similar to her brothers and father, and as such “deserves to die”. The only one who doesn’t is Sanji, not just because he’s kind, he’s human, he’s not a murderer, but he mst live also to honor the memory of their mother, who gave her health and ultimately her life so that he wouldn’t be a monster.
Yet again there are some very strong thematics in these chapter: bio-ingegneering, cloning, child abuse, various and miscellaneous traumas… “deserve to die”: this is a very strong statement. Who, indeed, deserves to die? Is death a punishment? A form of repentment? That is what Reiju seems to think. She was brainwashed, to put it simply, “drugged”: Sanji wasn’t affected, but she was, and became a monster. Fully aware of it, she thinks she deserves to die.
Now, we don’t what she did, how really bloodstained her hands are - not as much as 1′s, 2′s and 4′s I bet, though -: she may be a monster as she says, even if she did at least one good thing. But who else do we know with a similar situation?
Robin. And we could even say it’s even worse for her, because she was forced to do terrible things by the circumstances, but never “drugged”: she was brainwashed, but by the world and its violence. And what else do we know about her? That even after all she did, she was able to find, like Sanji, people who would love her in spite of it. Luffy seems to surround himself of people who don’t think they deserve a place in the world.
There are some very strong parallels here. Sanji knows both women and noe the tables have turned, it’s him who must convince her to live. I can see him repeating the same words she said to him 11 years ago.
Here’s why I don’t think Reiju will die:
- Sanji waiting outside the infirmary for her
- Of course! You’d never deceive me.
- What the hell do you mean? You’d die too, Reiju!
- Oh, worrying about me, are we?
- BECAUSE Sanji now knows his mother died for his sake - and here we go, all the theories about a mother sacrificing for him were correct, hooray -, he won’t let another woman meet the same fate.
- BECAUSE he’s the kindest, because he has human feelings, a lot of them, he won’t let that happen.
- he even saved enemies’ lives like Kinemon, Gin, random marines, and he wouldn’t save his sister? Who helped him?
- There’s no such a thing as vindicative deaths for the Mugis in OP. Sanji doesn’t want revenge. Nami renouced to take a payback from Jinbei, and you know what happened to her… this guys are so damn forgiving. Even if they aren’t, they don’t want to stain their hands, even if it means giving up something - remember Luffy in Amazon Lily, where Boa asked him to choose between the girls’ lives or his own freedom?
- and in the end, forgive me, the usual, very old, very classic “because nobody dies in OP”*
*statistically, that is. In an average shounen, take the big ones or a random 26 episodes anime - you don’t have to pick the blood-bath ones like Shingeki no Kyojin or Akame Ga Kill -, a certain amount of characters die. Some of them are close to the protagonist, and their deaths are functional to the character and plot development, some are random strangers. But they do die. One Piece has more characters than every other manga as far as my knowledge goes, and yet there have been very few deaths in comparison to other works.
But, theories aside, this few pages are really a work of art. Sora, Sanji’s mother, as now we know her name, had the biggest heart;
and Sanji inherited it all, as we know from the very beginning, even at his own loss sometimes. Remember, when Oda introduced him this guy was shown feeding Gin, a good-for-nothing pirate. And after he destroyed his father’s home and threatened him and all of that, he fed him again, even after all he had done to him.
Not the mention, of course, that Sora is named like Sora, Warrior of the Sea, the hero from the comic with the same name published on WE magazine, known to oppose fiercely Germa, like Sora fiercely opposed Judge - though, sadly, lost. It’s probably not just a symbolic detail, but we’ll see.
As for what will happen now, I have some hunches. The Cook will make a plan, with ot without the other Mugis knowledge and consent; we’ll still arrive to the day and moment of the ceremony, and then will know. Brook may find a way to escape Mama, thanks to his fruit, and Pedro will hide. In the end I am still convinced none of the Vinsmokes will die, at least not Reiju - for the reasons above - and not Judge - he’s one of the few characters who know something, even personally!, the ever mysterious Vegapunk, who created Bartholomew Kuma as the Terminator - from which Judge clearly took inspiration for his own children -, he can’t die just yet. Pudding is still kinda a question mark to me… I think her role is not over yet and we don’t know everything for sure - see the same post about 851. If all goes as I think, we’ll have relatively little blood-shed, a happy Cook, a single Pudding, a well-fed Luffy and a Germa Queen by the end of the saga. Except for Capone, All the pieces are on the board.
Let us play, sensei.
- sorry for not putting as many images as usual but my wifi is sick today -