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David Bednar @ykarps
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Ok, I will.
A One Piece Readthrough Thread
So, my history with One Piece is that I’ve been a dedicated dub watcher since college. One Piece is the one shonen show I’ve never bounced from; its been with me through finals, freelance, job hunts, marriage, and parenthood. It’s my preferred “on in the background” anime.
I think the dub is the finest work Funimation has ever done, and I can’t imagine these characters without those voices, or their adventure without that music. Really, I think One Piece has functioned more as a radio drama than as a cartoon for me. Which is, of course, a problem
Because, as any dedicated manga reader knows, Eiichiro Oda is one of the greatest creative designers in all of comics, synthesizing pop culture, history, western and eastern cartooning and more into an unparalleled feat of visual invention.

So I’m excited to actually look at it.
One HOT NITPICK UP TOP. I have never ever ever understood why Gol D. Roger’s speech has never been localized to “I left my treasure in One Piece.” Every time the show opens with him saying “I left it in one place” I want to pull hair. ITS RIGHT THERE! Its THE NAME. nnngahhhhhhhhh
THE ONE PIECE RAP IS THEMATICALLY COGENT WITH THE REST OF THE FRANCHISE AND DOES NOT DESERVE ITS UNWARRANTED DERISION

If Luffy was an MC he’d end every bar with “Yo-ho-ho I took a bite of Gum-Gum”, GUARANTEED.
I like that Shank’s ship’s mast echoes the shapes of the Going Merry (curved muzzle, horns, sweeping neck, curling bannisters)
“That was a foolish thing to do!” says Mr. Ha Ha Ha Get It Over With Whatever It Is
Aw that’s nice continuity
I think one of the most interesting aspects of One Piece is that there IS the presence of positive authority and power in the world. There’s not a lot; the government, nobility, and most pirates are all scum; but noble pirates like Whitebeard, Shanks and even Rogers exist.
I think what that does is it makes Luffy’s quest for power more palatable, and also lets Oda foreshadow Luffy’s development through these role model heroes.

900 chapters later and Luffy is where Shanks once was. (Well, post time skip anyway).
FIRST THINGS FIRST.
Chapter 2! I really like the detail of Alveda’s rings. Oda draws such characterful hands.
Can we talk about how Alvida is a proto-Blackbeard, tho
Chapter 1 Luffy is a little rough and not quite realized. Chapter 2 Luffy is the guy you’ll be reading for the next 900 chapters. Just needed to age in a wooden cask for a little bit, I gues??
Luffy’s bluntness has two great side effects:
- 1.) Really great jokes like this
- 2.) When he says “I’m gonna kick your ass” you know he isn’t fronting, because Luffy doesn’t even have a front.
In One Piece, Important Moments Look Like This
Some doofy muppet is yelling and crying about their dreams: One Piece in a single panel.
Chapter 3: I’m neever going to get used to this
I’d tweet about Helmeppo but I don’t want Helmeppo’s horrible head in my timeline.
I love that this isn’t the moment Luffy knows he wants Zoro- he WANTS Zoro from basically the get-go, because he’s a doofus and thinks a dude with a black hat and swords sounds hecka sweet.

This is the moment Luffy knows he can GET him.
Chapter 4: Give it a couple hundred chapters, Koby.
why do these people look like they have a podcast???
One Piece peaked early.
One BIG CHANGE from anime to manga is getting to see all these fabulous title illustrations. What a delight! I’ve never seen any of these before.
I see Zoro had a rough time on Destiny Islands as well.
She’s seen @grantthethief’s twitter feed
One Piece is better with splash pages, jimminy jeepers
A sudden grizzly turn of events!
early whole cake island foreshadowing
Luffy has never, and will never, hold back a punch. Holding back would be a lie, and Luffy is wholly without guile.
When randos get into a fight in your mentions:
rip milhouse
Yojimbo (1961)
dir. Akira Kurosawa
omfg
Oda’s super inconsistent with Nami in her first appearance; I really like that side profile, though!
Underwear for Satanists
Ahhh Buggy’s ship is rad! It has a big top tent!!!
When your supervisor cancels a meeting so everybody can just keep working:
New Shonen Jump’s business strategy:
Oh cool! We could have guessed it has significance to him from context, but this is the first time Luffy’s hat has its personal meaning clearly established, and it’s basically the first thing Luffy says to Nami. Fantastic setup for the payoff down the line in Arlong Park.
Jeez Oda’s good from jump street
These guys definitely have a podca- WAIT. ZOOM IN. ENHANCE. OH NO
“You might say I like...

...TANGIBLE ASSETS!”
These guys definitely are in a ska band
Shanks: “HEY KID DO SOMETHING WITH THAT KNIFE ALREADY”

Buggy: “HEY TEEN GIRL U DRINKIN YET??”

Guys, the worst crime of pirates is enablement.
God Oda’s SO GOOD at impact panels
also jeez the one piece manga has so much more movement than the anime, it’s actually mindblowing
Nice page composition; Zoro, Nami and Luffy form a clean vertical on the page, incorperating them as a single unit. Nami’s visually a part of the crew, even if she hasn’t been asked yet.
ah what a cool one
Because I’m reading digitally, he’s technically an e-Mohji.
Luffy getting eaten by animals is a solid runner.
Begging a dog for a prison key is the first and most actually piratical thing Luffy has ever done.
Chapter 13; Nami has Good Boots
One Piece mission statement
This panel of a giant lion spinning as fast as a turboprop is really funny, clear, and good.
Rubber-dub-dub, time for some blood!
HOLY CATS
Another great three-shot. I think the think that damns the anime more than its animation is just its workmanlike composition. Oda’s pages can get HECKA BAROQUE but he can frame a shot like a king when he wants to.
By the way, it’s super great of Viz to include the volume extras in here too. It’s a really nice bonus for subscribers!
HOW DO THESE KEEP GETTING BETTER?!?!
See? Grok this lovely worms-eye 3-point perspective show. There’s no reason to build up this rando old mayor this much, except that Oda just loves flexing
He ate the Hipster-Hipster Fruit
Luffy gives Zoro a 5 in his GamePro review
*faints*
This actually made me catch my breath. Are there any other times his hat gets damaged??
FANTASTIC
Important Scenes In One Piece Look Like This
why didn’t this tiger join the crew??? One Piece’s GREATEST SCANDAL!!!
Key Point: Luffy has be stubborn, foolish, and childish, but he’s not flat-across-the-board Dumb. Luffy has an exceptionally keen intuition that lets him feel out allies and read intentions better than almost anybody else, and it’s the foundation of why he’s a Great Captain.
I think that’s one of the really cool things coming up- I just read a couple chapters, and now I’m posting reactions- is how Usopp and Luffy juxtapose each other.

Usopp WANTS to be a captain, but he doesn’t have the Gut for it. Luffy IS a captain, and wants to be King.
That is, Luffy was a captain when he was a little boy. He was a pirate to his bones, and posessed the charisma and drive to draw Shanks, one of the four warlords of the sea to him.

Usopp wants to just get to there- he wants to get to the point where Luffy starts at.
BUT- and this is crucial- Usopp more than anybody else Luffy will ever meet shares a common spirit with him

Zoro, Nami, Sanji, Chopper, Robin, Franky, Brook- they become pirates because it’s the way they achieve their true dreams.

Usopp and Luffy? They’re pirates to their BLOOD
Right now @grantthethief is hitting the apotheosis of this track in Water 7. I think it’s fair to say that while All of the Straw Hats get along, Usopp and Luffy are the closest to actual friends and even brothers. They burn with the same flame, even if Usopp is lesser than Luffy
Anyway, here’s a nice picture of the Id, Ego, and Super-Ego
The rabbits feel EXTRA Dragon Ball.
Are the chapter illustrations canon?
Is it weird that I kinda like when the drawings get rough? It feels super webcomicky
Nami can’t imagine the horror of being stuck with a large chest for the next 20 years
Seriously this has Drunk Duck energy.
All Chapter Illustrations Are 100% Canon
Me when I make a pun in a meeting
The prequel to Delicious in Dungeon is a little plain, don’t you think?
Framing is everything in One Piece, and look- the horizon in their eyes, Usopp is already eye-to-eye and in the center of the crew. There’s no question he’s joining the crew. He was on the crew before they landed on the island.
Another super nice composition with some clear imagery. I love when comics tell their story just by showing you pictures. Literalism is so boring!
The creation myth in One Piece is WAY MORE feminist than you’re expecting
👀👀👀
Same. Blood.

Also, cute Nami.
Asking unnamed NPCs for major quest assistance
Who else but Luffy. Also, I LOVE that Kuro’s face is just a blotch. A GREAT hit.
I really don’t mean to screenshot this comic this much, but the jokes, charicterization, pacing and art are all so strong from the jump, I just can’t get over it. Here’s Luffy taking Usopp’s fight up.
Some cool things going on in this scene:

- Luffy is closer to Yasopp than Usopp is.
- Usopp has a fuller understanding of Shanks’ position in the world than Luffy does.
- These are two men who have been connected by distant threads since childhood by the dream of piracy.
That Yasopp, CLEARLY LABELED AS YASOPP, is present but unremarked upon in chapter 1 is super cool to me. There are other backstory elements that are gonna get retconned (Garp, Ace, Sabo), but this is there at the beginning.
I love that Shanks is the spine of One Piece, too. Half of One Piece is discovering new lands and new adventures, but the other half is walking the same paths your heroes trod before you. The straw hat, the path to Raftel, the acts of Gol D Roger and the powerful rise of Shanks—
—Piracy in One Piece is as much about legacy as innovation, and there are clear milestones for us to track as Luffy charges towards becoming king of the pirates.
Maybe that’s just his default response, Kuro.
So, right now my plan is to read a block of chapters a day, then bust out some highlights and thoughts. I think it’s faster and more fun for me, and the context of multiple chapters makes for more interesting commentary.
Luffy’s bluntness is such a complete delight. Also that Usopp face!
????!??????!!??
James Cameron’s vision for One Piece is p radical
WAIT MERRY WAS A PERSON I TOTALLY FORGOT
It’s a boat, man
From a goat man
Back in time:
1.) Usopp taking care of these two guards is super dope. Oda’s going to undercut his skill and ability in a little bit to clearly establish some Power Levels but this is a cool page of action from our boy.
2.) Really nice rally here.
Usopp is going to become the heart of the crew in really short order, and it’s because he can get as fired up as Luffy, but he’s vulnerable enough to have true empathy and smart enough to have emotional language. He can speak for the team’s strengths AND weaknesses.
LOL SUCCINCT

The timing on this is really good too, I love how it feels like Usopp is a part of the lineup, or maybe facing the crew, but Luffy, Nami, and Zoro have already changed position to comment on his line.
Two views: a sea of possibilities, and a sea of enemies
INTO THE DIRT

Love this rush before the battle; more shonen fights should start with a rugby scrum for advantageous positioning. The “Oh shit, did we lose this before we even started?” panic is STRONG.
Maybe the One Piece is the sick powder we shredded along the slopes, brah
1.) it’s really funny that Usopp describes himself as a master liar but is REALLY bad at it
2.) it’s INCREDIBLY GOOD when it actually works, anyway
Oh, yeah, THAT GUY’S design made it hard to tell he was a pirate. Thanks for the clarification, Oda!!!!
I-I-I M-MAINTAIN A-ALL CHAPTER ART IS CANON
HOT SBS TAKES:
1.) it is a CRIME the anime doesn’t have these
2.) measuring stretch distance in “gum-gums” is maybe the actual funniest thing in One Piece so far
3.) Q: Why do you draw animals?
A: Well, let’s break down my thought process...
Q: And the poop?
A: 💩
4.) THAT GUY!!
Some really great chapter art coming up, btw. Looking back, little flecks of Skypeia, Wano, and Zo in them, kinda?
Nice that Kuro has cats from A Fine Boi all the way to Oh Lawd He Comin’ on his crew.
LOL. I like Baby Buggy way more than regular Buggy, I think. These are fun!
More hot takes from Chapters 30-40 of One Piece:
1.) Usopp is a great commander when lives are on the line. Adversity gets him outside of his own head.
2.) Luffy’s “I DID!!” is Kingly. Part of Luffy’s brazen-ness is that he recognizes no other authority but his own.
3.) Kuro ninja running on Luffy’s arm is a real good move.
4.) RT that happy Usopp to save a life
Earlier I talked about how Usopp and Luffy compliment each other; but what I didn’t realize is this arc is all about what a pirate is. Kuro thinks it’s just about criminality, and the captain is the mastermind. Even as he says that, children are proving him wrong.
A captain leads by example and fights to inspire his crew to fulfil their dreams.
Even when they lie beaten in dirt, even when they disband, a pirate crew still fights together. A captain doesn’t drag forces behind him for strength- a great captain pushes his crew ahead to glory!
I love this so much. Nobody even asks Usopp to join, he’s just assumed IN. Shared spirit. Pirate in the blood. Sometimes an adventure means leaving home. Sometimes it means finding hone for the first time in your life.
One Piece is a story a kid made up, so that some day, in your sleepy little town, you’ll feel the hope and excitment when you hear the call “Pirates are coming! Pirates are coming!!”
Also, let’s uh
let’s put our first notch on the cry count for this one. Oda got me like
Chapters 40-50! One Piece is about to GET HANDSOME, can you guess why?
There we go! Now that we’ve got a ship, we need a flag! I really like that Nami thinks the flag looks cool, and I like the matching shots of making the flag and resting afterwards. Being a pirate is hard work!
Lots to like: I like that everybody has a role on the crew; I like that the crew is diagnosing its own needs; I like that the crew has some cross competency but needs experts to function well; and I love that out the gate, food is shown to be a necessity, not just a luxury
Johnny and Yosaku look like they drive a 1991 Volvo that smells like cigarettes and has a copy of the Matrix soundtrack jammed in the CD player. I love them.
Johnny and Yosaku: most likely to have Opinions about X-Men
This is the face of a man who owns a sticky, Coke-sprayed PS1 and collects action figures for their future resale value.
😝😝😝
Some fabulous boats in this section; now that our crew has a ship for comparison, Oda can use vessels to ramp up the scale and scope. I love the dread the Marine vessel brings; it’s like seeing a cop car while speeding. The shot of Krieg’s vessel being split by Hawkeye is INSANE.
I never caught this foreshadowing before! Nami sees Arlong’s wanted poster, then bides her time until she can sneak away to take care of her real mission. The timing is perfect- just enough that you forget this shot!
These guys look like they are actively recording a podcast.
You vs. the guy your girlfriend tells you not to worry about
Give Sanji a hand, that was a slick burn
NO NOT LIKE THAT
Sanji’s a badass and I never want to hear anyone say otherwise
One Piece is all about Legacy. It starts with the challenge: Can you live up to Gol D Roger’s legacy? Here in Baratie, everyone’s legacy comes to the fore. It’s no mistake this arc begins with a picture of Shanks crew. It’s no mistake Mihawk and Arlong make their first appearance
Luffy and Usopp were born into piracy- the adventure is the legacy they live up to. Beginning in this arc and on through Arlong Park, we’re going to learn the legacies that have shaped the rest of the crew- the cruelty of Arlong, the kindness of Zeff, the reputation of Mihawk.
The faces that have lived in the minds of the crew their whole lives unveiled, and not only do we get a glimpse of their past, but their future, too. Zeff is Sanji’s past, but sailing the Grand Line as a warrior cook is his future, too. Zeff knows it the moment Luffy arrives.
Luffy sees the future plainly. He’s in top form in Baratie. Like I said, Luffy’s gut intuition is brilliant, and while his callouts look like bravado, they aren’t. They ARE the facts. I love his cold reasoning: “I was going to kick this guy’s ass sometime; might as well be now.”
This is an all-time Luffy moment, btw. So focused on kicking a golden man-gundam’s ass that he forgot his crew was in the same room, but so sure of the course of this battle that he just shrugs at the idea of assistance.

Luffy’s amazing.
One more piece of the future is lurking in this chapter, too- the Grand Line. I know the state of Don Krieg’s ship and crew are supposed to sell the threat, but it’s Zeff’s chiding that has the most adventure to it.
Don Krieg met a force greater than him and it scared him witless. His army quakes just thinking about it.

But Zeff, this old one-legged chef- he *knows* the Line. Moreover, his logs are *treasures*. His time on the Line was hard, but invaluable beyond measure.
Unless you run into an endboss on your first dungeon run, I guess. Next, 50-60!
There’s nothing in the rules that says a lion CAN’T be a pirate captain! One Piece Chapters 50-60, here we go.
Out of the gate, I really like that Luffy wraps up Nami’s apparent treachery with a strong statement of faith. Nami’s a thief; she’s gonna steal— but Luffy’s a king, so he gets what he decrees.

I like that she’s super torn up about it, too. Nami’s great. Poor Nami.
Mihawk has a real Wrestlemania entrance. “For Fun.” is a hell of a first line, especially when you look like a Dracula that’s also a stage magician.
Some really great establishment of power level here. Zoro is a recognizable, notorious swordsman in the East Blue- it’s a shock that he’s here. Yet he’s terrified (and thrilled) to face Mihawk, and Mihawk...
treats him like a bug that crawled on his shoe.
Also great: Luffy is taking this duel DEADLY SERIOUSLY. This is as much a test of his ability to select a crew as it is a test of Zoro’s ability. It’s a test they’ll both pass. Mihawk here is like Kuma in Sabaody- a taste of the perils ahead, and a crucial, growth-causing defeat.
Things that are truly great about Zoro and Mihawk’s duel:
- Zoro’s final, and most important motivator, is Luffy, not Kuina. Luffy’s absolute faith in Zoro has won his undying loyalty.
- Mihawk’s arc towards Zoro: indignation, the interest, then respect, then finally admiration.
Seriously, this might be my favorite moment in One Piece so far.

A grand 50-ship fleet can be smashed and tossed aside, but a true swordsman’s heart? “Magnificent.”
One more thing- in One Piece, it’s -easy- to kill. True power is nuturing and growing the future. Roger, Shanks, Zeff, Mihawk, even Whitebeard in the future: their greatest acts are caring and inspiring others to greatness.
FINALLY- I LOVE that until now, Zoro’s liked Luffy, maybe even respected him as a boss— but here, he swears Fealty. Here, he professes with his own words that Luffy IS the King of the Pirates. The samurai has found his Lord. The sword has found the hand to weild him. Magnificent.
Sorry for just, uh, directly posting a chapter of One Piece but this duel felt huge in a way even Sanji’s backstory in the next chapters doesn’t. It Means Something Big that Mihawk, the Greatest Swordsman in the World and, for now, ambassador of the Grand Line, gives his Assent.
I should probably also talk about Sanji’s backstory

It is very sad; the intensity of this page is shocking.
I think what’s interesting about this beat is how it contrasts with Zoro.

Sanji mistakes the Baratie for Zeff’s dream; that restaurant is something Zeff cares about, but finding the All-Blue is the reason Zeff saved Sanji.

Luffy gets this before Sanji does. He’s brilliant.
Dreams and legacies, time and time again, define our heroes in One Piece.

Baratie was just a restaurant. Hunting pirates payed the bills. Theivery became a neccesity. Telling lies passed the time.

Day jobs, despite our mistaken attributions, aren’t Dreams.
And in One Piece, legacies are dreams deferred to a future generation.

“Find the One Piece and become king of the Pirates!”
“Become the greatest swordsman in the world!”
“Be a great pirate, like your father!”
“Find the All Blue!”
“Complete a map of the World!”
A dream continues from person to person, even after they no longer can complete it themselves. Or to put it another way:
Final thoughts:
- Luffy asserting his regality is both super funny and also super great. “You don’t have what it takes” is fabulous for a boy in a gardening hat to tell a Gundam but the fact that Don Krieg thinks he has to be a tank to beat this stupid baby proves the point
- Once again, Usopp is the most piratical.
- Cool Sanji.
- Krieg is wrong about Devil Fruit powers. In Wano, Luffy is the strongest in the yard, even without powers. Will (Haki?!)determines power in the Grand Line.
- Kicking a boat is cool.
- Sexy Sanji.
- Pearl sucks, dope font.
Thanks for reading along! Next time: One Piece 61-70!

In the mean time, did you know that one volume of Weekly Shonen Jump in 1998 cost $1.99? That’s how much a MONTH of translated, simulpublished + archive access Shonen Jump costs now! Get a subsciption and join in the fun!
Now: Chapters 61-68, and the end of Baratie.

Looks like a high stakes situation for Luffy and Sanji!
The most interesting final beat in these chapters is Gin’s turn of heart. Legacies and dreams here too, formed before our eyes, as a legacy of kindness from Sanji and a dream of glory from Luffy change a man’s life, even as it escapes his body.
I like the twist here: Don Krieg thinks ordering Gin to drop his mask will end his life; when really, dropping his mask will be Gin’s first step towards his new life. No longer part of that crew indeed!
Last note on this subplot: Sanji’s fight is super dope. This is what I love about Sanji- when he fights, he’s a dynamo on the page.
Chills when I saw this panel of Luffy.

“Keep your eyes on this one, kid.”
I also really love this, because

he’s a Rubber Man

his defining feature SHOULD BE HIS ABNORMAL AMOUNT OF GIVE.
Anyway later Krieg, you were an ugly proto-Franky whose most interesting feature was how wrong you constantly were. Catch you in a chapter cover in a million chapters, probably!
hey luffy why do you need the going merry when you could just sail this dreamboat
Final thoughts:
- love this wordless page of luffy and sanji sharing their dreams.
- i like luffy’s take here. zeff and luffy both know sanji’s real dream, but sanji has to choose it himself or it doesn’t count.
- okay update the cry count to two 😭😭
P R O T E C T H I M
Overall, I can’t believe how much I loves Baratie. I remember this dragging in the anime- I think I bounced off of this arc twice before I finally muscled through to Arlong.

The fact is, Oda’s been developing his themes and characters brilliantly in these opening arcs.
At this point in One Piece, Oda has to teach us what a great pirate is, and why Luffy deserves to be pirate king. The pacing has been perfect: as we get closer to the Grand Line, not only do the stakes increase, but our understanding of the world radically widens.
And where we are, by Chapter 68, not only understanding what a monumental task becoming King of the Pirates, but also that Luffy might just have the rarest qualities necessary to do it.

If only he had a navigator.
Next time, on this One Piece Readthrough: Nice.
Happy New Years, I read Chapters 69-95 of One Piece. Get ready for all of Arlong Park, because I’m gonna post a
JIMBEI! I didn’t know he got mentioned this early! Jeez, that’s a name that won’t pay off until, what, Impel Down? And the actual backstory (and mermaids) will be fuel for Fishman Island post-timeskip! WILD.
Like I’ve always known that things in One Piece have long game payoffs, but my mind always goes to, say, Laboon and Brook. Jimbei before we crack 100 chapters is insane.
Luffy not understanding mermaids is a really good joke, btw
900 chapters and look where we are
To this point, our arcs have roughly explored Piracy as:
- Adventure (Luffy and Koby)
- Freedom (Zoro)
- Dreams (Usopp)
- Legacy (Sanji)

Now, with Nami in Arlong Park, we arrive at the most important expression of Piracy: Family.
One Piece has a specific definition for family. We joke about how hardcore fans get bent out of shape about “nakama”, but the truth is, the idea of crew and family are fiercely intertwined in One Piece.

Family is who you choose— And Who Chooses You.
Enter Bellemere, maybe the most interesting and brilliant character we’ve met in One Piece. She’s only appears on 29 pages- a chapter and a half- but her presence lifts the entire arc, and her sheer vitality keeps her living long after we leave her memory.
What absolutely fascinates me about Bellemere is that she’s a Marine- one with enough rank for an officers jacket and enough strength to flip Arlong before he can react. She had been to the Grand Line. She was a person of power, inside the System. And yet:
When she chooses to raise her family, not only does she abandon her position, but she -specifically disregards the legal route-

To Bellemere, Family is an adventure, an expression of freedom, and a dream with which she’ll build a legacy

To Bellemere, Family is an Act of Piracy.
They say that Gol D. Roger, the King of the Pirates, died with a smile on his face.
When a Devil Fruit user dies, their fruit regrows from the nearest seeding plant. In One Piece, legacies are never passed vertically. Bellemere grew tangerines. See what fruit eventually sprang from them.
A few more thoughts:
When pirate crews establish themselves, they make a Jolly Roger to symbolize their bond. Arlong, a tyrant, used his Jolly Roger as a brand. Nami’s tattoo is a kind of Jolly Roger of her own, composed of the elements of the crew that raised her.
Shouts to Mr. Genzo, who fought for Nami’s smile and had a surprisingly nunces tension with Bellemere. There’s a reason Luffy says this when he confronts Arlong: it’s all that matters when you’re family.
I like that Luffy skips Nami’s backstory entirely. Nami’s already family; who cares how she got there. He even fights his own pals when they suggest she could have betrayed them. Luffy’s loyalty is instant and eternal.
Look, I can keep going on about this, but I haven’t even talked about freakin’ Arlong, so lightning round:

- Contrast the villagers, who storm off to save Nami without her consent, to Luffy, who knows that if Nami is really going to be saved, she has to ask for it first.
(And it’s going to HELLA RING with Enies Lobby too, holy cats)

-Likewise, just like when he threatened to sink the Baratie, Luffy will destroy anything that blocks a dream from coming true, even if it seems to be irreplacable.
- Luffy fights for his crewmates dreams because he can’t achieve his own dreams without them.
- In the dub, Luffy specifically responds to Arlong’s “What can you do?!” with “I CAN KICK YOUR ASS” and it’s

guys it’s so damn gooood
Also great about that specific exchange- Luffy is HUMBLE, then makes a HUGE THREAT. A huge part of what makes Luffy great is that he never lies, so while he can act incredibly silly, anything he says he absolutely means. It makes his praise richer and his presence uncompromising.
- The Arlong Park fight is super great because the dynamics of the battlefield affect the proceedings. The pool weakens Luffy and strengthens Arlong; and the course of the battle damages, and finally levels the entire building. Fantastic staging and storytelling.
- Shouts to Nojiko for some🔥 style
- Usopp attacking Arlong the moment he threatens a civilian is further proof that he’s the crewmate closest to Luffy’s heart.
- I like this panel of Nami
- Koby is Thriving and it’s nice
- I like that Arlong’s henchmen match the skills of Luffy’s crew, but swap their personalities: Hachi is Zoro with Usopp’s silliness, Kissyface is Usopp’s sniping with Sanji’s ladykiller thing, Rayguy is Sanji’s karate with Zoro’s stoicism.
- The best chapter art, yooo.
-Whole Cake Island foreshadowing?
That’ll do it for Arlong Park, I think. Five more chapters and a brief shoreleave in Loguetown before we wrap this thread up in Chapter 100 and hit the Grand Line! See you there!
Today: Chapters 95-100.
An epilogue for East Blue
and a prologue for the Grand Line
here in Loguetown
A few chapters ago, Oda dropped this enigmatic response to an SBS about Luffy’s name. It’s a good tip-off to keep your eyes peeled for some conspicuous “D” words.

So let’s talk about Dreams and Destiny.

Mr. Mayor’s perpetual scowl gives a foreboding cast to the phrase “destiny”
Destiny hasn’t entered into One Piece’s lexicon for 95 chapters, yet here we find:
- the town where Gol D. Roger was born and was executed
- a sword that dooms its owners
- an explicit parallel between Luffy and Roger
- some extremely pointed narration
As an abstract force, Destiny is almost antagonistic to the idea of piracy.

In One Piece, piracy is defined by personal freedom, and one’s ability to accomplish one’s dreams through your own determination and will.

Destinies- pre-determined ends- would make a mockery of that.
In Loguetown, Luffy and Zoro choose their fates. Luffy visits the scaffold to declare himself to the world, and where Rogers died, Luffy survives.

Zoro not only chooses the cursed sword Kitetsu: he understands its nature and embraces it.

Both credit ‘luck’.
But here’s what Smoker says about the storm; here’s what Tashigi says about swords.

One Piece is a story about choice and dreams: what if swords had desire? What if storms had a will?
What if Destiny was the World itself, willing its own dreams to come true?
The truth is, prophecy and promises are the same thing, destiny and dreams are twin sides of the same dubloon, and luck and will are crewmates.

The future is set right here, right now, but the people brave enough to dream it. Yo ho ho!
Here’s some side takes:
- One Piece’s first 100 chapters begin and end with an easterly wind.

Here on Earth, these “trade winds” are what sent explorers and pirates forth from Europe across the Pacific and to the New Worlds of the Americas.
- It bites that Alveda got Oda-ized (you couldn’t even keep the freckles?) but I have to admit her look has been on point.
- even dimestore Heihachis can have a legacy!
- TASHIGI. What an icon from the jump. She deserves so much more than what Oda gives her.
- Go get yours, Nami!
- Dragon, before we know who he is, feels like an emissary of the storm itself (lending credence to my reading!)
- You can def. get figues of these outfits, right? Some proto-Hancock looks
- Even in One Piece, Big News struggles with subscription models
- I ship Zoro/Tashigi HARD
- Love the parallels between Shanks then and now. His excitement for Luffy becoming a pirate is so good.
- Everybody in the Straw-Hats brings a piece of their past with them:
* Luffy’s Straw Hat
*Zoro’s Wado Ochimonji sword
* Usopp’s Going Merry
* Sanji’s fighting style??? (this one is a stretch...)
* Nami’s tangerines

- Wanted poster!!
I think that does it. 100 chapters of One Piece. This’ll wrap up this thread, too- I’ll start a new one for the next 100. It’s been a joy to dive into this story I thought I knew, and find so much depth. Yo ho, swabbies!

Also, the gall of calling CHAPTER 100 “The Legend Begins”!
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