212: "A Barrage of Red Cards in Groggy Ring!"
Ahhh… what a beautiful sight! Watching Zoro smash Big Pan into the ring was pretty damned satisfying. They only worked together for a while, but Zoro and Sanji - and I still cannot believe this - actually made an excellent team! It was that very teamwork which enabled them to win the match in the end. Sanji adapted one of his signature moves and allowed Zoro to grab the stunned wotan and smash the ball into the goal to claim the victory.
They couldn’t have done it without one another. I’m so proud. ;_;
They still love/hate each other but… proud.
Honestly, I was cheering as loud as the Strawhats on the sidelines. I wasn’t one hundred percent sure Oda would have Zoro and Sanji win but I was pretty confident. When even the Foxy Pirates’ commentator railed against the injustice of his comrades’ red card worthy weapons offences, I knew the Strawhats’ chances were looking good.
Nami also playing an essential role in securing victory seems to be a recurring pattern in these recent arcs. If she hadn’t stolen the referee’s cards and tricked him into blowing the final whistle, the outcome might have been very different.
I hope that trend continues. One of the things I admire most about Oda at the moment is that he has his female characters play significant, active roles in the plot.
There was a strange moment with Nami, actually, that only lasted a few seconds but it was enough for me to notice and wonder at. When Luffy and the other Strawhats were deciding whether to choose a Foxy crew member or take their roger, Nami proposed an alternative plan. Pilfer Foxy so he can’t sabotage them or steal another team member with his noro noro beam in the next round.
Needless to say, this did not go down well with the Foxy Pirates. They accused her of being a peanut (didn’t get that reference) and that her plan was the lowest of the low, which was fucking rich, considering they’d cheated their way to a win and the Strawhats had won fair and square. She seemed briefly distressed by the reaction of the mob. It didn’t last long but still… it shows she does have a heart and sometimes care what strangers think of her.
She abandoned her plan, anyway, when Robin mentioned that Foxy would end up being their nakama if they chose him and got Chopper back the next round. Huge nope. xD
I knew, in the end, Luffy would do make a completely off-the-wall choice. Instead of choosing Foxy, his roger, or even Chopper, he chose Cherie, Tonjit-san’s cute hoooorse.
Now. I get Luffy wanted to play the big damned hero and help the helpless and all that, but what Nami said really struck a chord with me. “Think about how Chopper must feel!” I know Luffy gave Chopper one of his winning smiles and said, “Hey, you’re a man now, right? We’ll get you next round!” But still… If I were Chopper, I wouldn’t feel great. He’d left Drum Island specifically to sail the Grand Line with his new friends. Annnnd they choose a fucking horse over him. Why not get Chopper back first and then deal with Tonjit-san’s horse? I’d be thinking, well, great. Seems like I’m low down on your list of priorities. Thanks, pal.
I know Luffy means well, but damn.
“I can’t make a good dish with third rate ingredients like you. But nevertheless, you’re about to get served!”
Love Sanji’s cooking puns. xD