shandian

[please read my moon theory post first]

this is honestly one of THE MOST SUSPICIOUS ONE PIECE COVERS, especially after we find out that the Skypieans, the Shandians, and Bilkans all came from the moon, and that the Shandian’s ancient ancestors had some connection to the Void Century, given that they were tasked with protecting a Poneglyph. not to mention all the advanced technology that the ancient moon people had over 800 years ago

the Ancient Kingdom that created the Poneglyphs were stated to have advanced technology, which is how they created the Poneglyphs in the first place. they’re unbreakable, and yet they somehow managed to carve a lasting message into those incredibly strong blocks of stone. there is a direct connection there. The Ancient Shandians had one of these Poneglyphs. why? what was their connection to the Ancient Kingdom?

And why draw Luffy with those (Shandian? Skypeian?) wings? especially if those are Shandian wings. why draw the main character with the wings of a people who have a direct connection to the Void Century and the Ancient Kingdom? why is he winking, like he knows a secret that he’s not going to tell, as if he’s teasing the audience? Why?

this whole cover is just so suspicious

English

One Piece Card Set 13/54

Español

Baraja de One Piece 13/54

You can have a look at the rest of the card set:

#one piece card set

For the card set &/or other One Piece works:

#one piece

Character belongs to Eiichiro Oda
Illustrator CC 2014

It has been a long time since this subject has come up, but the other night I was hit with a surge of motivation to finally create a comprehensive post about why Skypiea is my favorite arc of One Piece. It seems to be a rather controversial arc, with many people loving it and some others viewing it as one of the low points of the whole series. 

Now, I can understand why some people weren’t thrilled with it. For starters, the arc was damn long. It was 66 chapters, which made it the longest individual arc of the whole series until Dressrosa upset the score by running for a ridiculous 102 chapters. Not a short arc. Also, we didn’t get a new crew member, which to some people meant that the arc had no long term plot significance. Additionally, much of the arc wasn’t about the Straw Hats. They were there of course, but the central conflict of the arc was removed from them. So if you didn’t care about the Shandians and the Skypieans, then it might have been hard to get invested in the arc as a whole. And I’m aware of some other criticisms or points that prevented some people from enjoying the arc as much as other ones. However, Skypiea still stands for me as one of the best arcs the series has ever had. Let’s dive into it, shall we? 

For starters, adventure and DREAD. If I had to describe the feel of the arc in two words, I would use them. One Piece is a story about adventure. That is one of the most fundamental points of the series, and Skpyiea absolutely nailed it in that department. A colossal ship falling from the sky, riding a massive geyser ten thousand meters into the air and then discovering an entire island up there among the clouds? 

Absolutely amazing. Everything was so unique, so mysterious, and full of so many possibilities. We had no idea what to expect, where things might go. Everything was unknown. And that helped to foster the sense of dread that so many fans became wrapped in too. It didn’t take long for us to be shown that these were enemies who could not be taken lightly 

Mysterious priests with mysterious powers, a guerrilla warrior who could fight all 3 of the Monster Trio at once, and an omnipotent God who could literally rain down death from the heavens. One of my favorite moments in the arc was Enel’s prediction about his survival game in the forest–how many people would be left standing in Upper Yard after only 3 hours of fighting. What was his prediction? 

This was scary. I remember being so on edge and captivated when I first read this. I knew that this was going to come to pass–that Oda included this because it would be true, and to fill us with that sense of dread. I knew that Enel himself would be one of the five, and that Wiper would surely be included as well. At most, this left 3 of the Straw Hats still standing. And that was scary. We were told that this was an arc where the Straw Hats were going to lose, and lose they did. Unlike other arcs where the Straw Hats unfailingly defeat their enemies one by one, this was an arc where the Straw Hats lost just as many fights as they won, and lost brutally when they did. It was suspenseful, it was painful, I spent the arc fearing for the Straw Hats’ very lives, and it was fantastic. 

I could also write for miles about the characters of the arc. Enel and Wiper are two of my favorites in the whole series, and I have written about them in detail before. My love for Enel is based on how fantastic of a job his character did in inspiring fear, and my love for Wiper is based on what a complex, flawed, and appreciatable character he is once you look at things from his perspective. Please do read those posts. Instead of saying the same things about them again, I would like to use this as a chance to talk about Conis. 

Now, I love female characters like Hancock and Robin and Monet–badass women with cool as hell powers who can, and do, slay men as easy as breathing. They’re fantastic and I love them. But I also love characters who aren’t like that at all. What is Conis like? She may have wings on her back but she is essentially a normal girl. No powers, no fantastic strength, no lofty dreams–just a nice young woman living with her dad and trying to lead a peaceful life. But she accomplished so much and expressed so much bravery. She stood up to Enel twice at the risk of her own life. The first time was when she confessed to the Straw Hats that she had helped report them and guide them to the execution grounds

She was crying, she was shaking, she was falling apart, but she defied Enel for the sake of her new friends. And as promised, Enel sent his judgement down upon her and she would have died right there if Gan Fall hadn’t arrived in time. I love how human this was. She initially sold out the Straw Hats because she was rightly afraid for her life, and here she didn’t really take a stand. She wasn’t being confident or fearless. She just didn’t have it in her to send the Straw Hats to their deaths. That alone is deserving of respect, but from here she only grew. And in the end she did take a stand. She stood up against the public ridicule from her people, and she took a stand against Enel and denounced him 

I loved seeing Conis with that kickass burn bazooka, but her strongest moment came when she threw it away. She challenged Enel to kill her right there, after witnessing him seemingly kill her father only minutes before, to prove a point to her people and make them understand the situation. To convince them of the need to abandon their homes and defy their violent, oppressive God so that they might survive to see tomorrow. And that’s amazing. She didn’t accomplish this with magical superpowers or inhuman strength. She did something that every person is capable of, but that few actually have the strength of character to do. 

For a final point, I must talk about the narrative structure of the arc. Simply put, Skypiea was fantastically well built. This is something that factors in Jaya as a major part of it. Jaya was the lead in to Skypiea, but when we were first there we had no idea how important the things laid out in Jaya would be during Skypiea. On Jaya we heard the story of a man who lived long ago, who had been immortalized in story as the most famous liar in world history

A man who wasn’t even remembered as a man, but as a funny little caricature who never stopped smiling, and never stopped lying 

At the time, Jaya felt like its own little arc, with its own little story and own little villain. The mystery of whether the Golden City really existed or not might never be answered, and Cricket would continue to wage his fight long after parting ways with the Straw Hats. But Oda wasn’t done with Jaya yet. Oda mislead us and roundhouse kicked me in the head with revelation that half of Jaya had not sunken into the sea, but had rather been blasted into the sky 

And we weren’t done with Noland either, and we got to see the reality of that funny folk story, and the immensity of the pain to be found there. We got to watch a noble man slowly come to form an incredible friendship with another great man 

And we got to watch as Noland knelt before his people, thousands of them denouncing him and cheering for his death, while Noland bit his lip and thought of nothing but whether or not his best friend and his people were still alive 

Skypiea/Jaya were simply amazing in how well they were laid out and developed. Everything lead into something else and everything was connected. It all came full circle in a spectacular way. The story of Noland the Liar, the mystery of the missing Golden City, the Knock Up Stream, the Golden Bell, and even the mysterious giants as tall as the sky itself we met before we even got to Jaya–it was all connected and we didn’t even know that it would be. But Oda had it all planned out in advance and as such it’s still amazing for me to reread the arc because of gems like this 

This scene alone is enough to make me cry, because in hindsight we now know how much this moment meant to Nola. We learned that Nola was home–finally home after 400 long years away from it. I’m crying a little as I write this because this never stops being touching to me.

If I had to delete One Piece from existence and choose only one part of it to remain, I would absolutely choose Jaya/Skypiea.  It has plenty of important developments in it would go on to matter in the future (such as the first appearance of Merry’s klabautermann and the first appearance of Observation Haki), but on the whole it was quite a self-contained arc. But that’s okay and it worked for it. On their own Jaya and Skypiea craft a fantastic and captivating story. Someone who hasn’t read the rest of One Piece could read just these two connected arcs and enjoy them just as much as anyone could. They stand up to me as one of the most impressive examples of storytelling that Oda has created over almost two decades of writing. And it’s fine if you disagree. I just wanted to write this out to explain my feelings, invigorate others who love the arc, and maybe encourage some others to give it a second chance. 

And if you’re one of those people who are interested in experiencing it again, I can help with that. If you can’t afford to buy the manga, the arc has been redone with new online scans/translations! You can read it online, at this location, starting with chapter 218. Or you can download the volumes from here (it goes from volume 24 to 32). You can also read it online in color if you want! If you would rather watch it (and the anime did a very good job with the arc), you can watch it all (subbed) online through the official Funimation One Piece website. The Jaya arc begins with episode 144. Enjoy! 

What are you doing IN OUR BEDROOM CLOSET?! Everybody’s been looking for you for the past half hour!”

“I-I’m sorry…. Taka told me that I could come into her dorm and talk if I needed anything, and I came in and waited. Then I heard your voice and thought it wasn’t her dorm, and you scare me, and I hid in here, and Ididn’tknowthiswasadormwithbothofyouandI’mreallysorry.”

A “Draw Your Squad” thing with two of my Dragon OCs. From the first image of this post. Slightly modified. Hope that’s okay.

The secret admirer

One day, some pirates came to skypiea, the inhabitance of the island where panicking at the fact pirates have landed. But the 10 year old was not, he was quite excited to see some pirates. This was the first time he would see some, but not the first time he heard about them; his mum told him storys about them. Although, the pirates where always evil and greedy, he didn’t mind; so wondered off to see, or meet them. 

They anchored their strange ship at vearth, where the shandians lived so he had to be extra careful. He didnt get along with the shandians, -well he didn’t get along with anyone- and hid in a bush watching them emerge from the ship. There were around 5 pirates. One being quite tall, smoking a rather thick cigarette. Enel lift an eyebrow (gross.. He is going to get horrible skin..) then he realised something (where the hell are their wings?!) he thought to himself as he pulled a pout, and went to examine them closer, being spotted in the process. 

The tall man then asked him to come closer, Enel blinked, but the man tempted him with an apple, (well… he doesn’t look harmful..) he thought, and took the risk to take it from him. the tall man was shocked to see the boy had wings and admired him for it. (he is really nice~) he thought with a massive smile (not like the story books at all~) he was the first one -other than his mum- to be kind to him, and so followed him around Enel learnt he was called crocodile, and he told him amazing storys about his adventures on the blue sea, he told him about devil fruits and the one piece, which fascinated Enel. and also making Enel gain a crush on him-even if he was still a boy-. 

Then when crocodile had to leave, Enel was devastated, he wanted to come with him, which crocodile wouldn’t allow.. When crocodile finally left, enel grew up watching him on his journeys across the ocean, and as he got older, he started to send the man love letters. crocodile didnt know who they where from, he probably forgot about him. well, it has been 8 years since they met, who would remember.. 

Enel was watching crocodile in his office, he didnt know what he was working on -he didnt really care- but he saw it was stressing the man out. So decided it would be a good idea to write the man -yet another- cheesy love letter..

“Dear crocodile~

I hide my feelings, keep them locked up, I like you allot, I just cannot say it to your face.. I wish I could tell you.. But I admit that I am afraid for you not to feel the same.. Even though I get mad at the people you have… affairs with.. my crush weirdly stays.

I really hope you feel the same because you make me laugh even when I struggle to smile.

Love Your admirer~”

he makes sure the cost is clear outside of crocs door before popping the message into a shell and dropping it from his cloud, to the deck outside of crocs door, knocking it with a bang 

I decided to do a random drawing of my OC Shandian in heelies based on this OC prompt thing. I was picturing this song playing while he’s doing this.

What would probably be going on in his head:

“I’m trying to ease the pain of my responsibility. It’s not working. ‘Heelies to escape your…’ what in the world’s that word… ‘feelies’? Completely false advertising. I’m gonna have to call Father, tell him he can stop getting me these goofy, unprofessional shoes.”

@cherubs-anonymous

This really shows the difference between Luffy and Zoro’s characters - Zoro’s incredibly loyal to Luffy and will go along with anything Luffy asks of him (for the most part), but a lot of those things aren’t ones that he’d do if it was just up to him.  Luffy’s reaction upon hearing that the land belong to the Shandians was to apologize for disturbing it, while Zoro’s is to pretty bluntly say ‘I don’t care because it doesn’t concern me.’