we_are: (GL)
[personal profile] we_are


Welcome all to another entry in the Whiskey Peak mini-arc! In this part we will be discussing Igaram and Vivi, looking a bit into the operations of Baroque Works, look at Nami's character and—most importantly, pick apart The Fight: Luffy v Zoro.

Are you ready?

Let's go.

110 opens on the wind blowing through the now silent town of Whiskey Peak. Luffy sits up, grumbles about his stomach hurting and then falls back asleep.

Then the scene changes to some terrified denizens of Whiskey Peak

 photo 1_zpsznz9dfjx.jpg

Firstly, awkward translation aside, I like that they (as well as Stephen's) bring up that there is nowhere to run to (baby. Nowhere to hide). Actions=Consequences. They picked a fight and now they have to either face it or run from it. This also shows the inherent drawbacks to Whiskey Peak. You're fine if you win, but if you lose the fight you're in a hell of a lot of trouble. We'll look more into the cost-benefit analysis at the end of Whiskey Peak, but suffice to say a hell of a benefit also seems to have a hell of a cost.

I do wonder though if these were some of the guys actually in the fight (as opposed to just running from it). They do seem pretty roughed up... or at least their clothes are dirty. And if they are it would lend credence to the idea that Zoro doesn't do any more than is necessary- at least in this kind of fight.

Alas for them, actions do equal consequences and they run smack into the brute squad, aka the Unluckies.

Also, I just noticed Ms Friday has a ponytail.

 photo 2_zpszk82b9zk.jpg

Which is just a super cute detail. A super weird detail for a vulture but what are you gonna do.


 photo 3_zpsokqxtzgd.jpg

I really love Oda's character detail. There's so much character even in un-named players. I love the babbled excuse and the obvious fear and the guy gesturing in desperation to some unknown bathroom at some unknown place.

Of course the Unluckies don't fall for this and commence the attack.


But let's take a moment to talk about the Unluckies.

First as an aside, they are the only animal pairings within the Baroque Works but not the only animals
that exhibit some kind of sapience. (Which is different from sentience, as Serrende (aka printfogey) corrected me. All animals are sentient but only humans are sapient –so far) It's just really interesting the different levels of human-like sapience the animals of OP display and we'll see a lot more of them as we get into the series. But suffice to say that Laboon seems to straddle the line between animal and something almost human while the Unluckies, though they don't speak, are intelligent enough to work for a secret organization and inspire not a small amount of fear.

Also who the hell hired them? Who thought, yeah a vulture and an otter, that's who I want for my brute squad. Considering that they are major players within BW, enough to be sent to punish lower tier officer agents, was Mss All-Sunday herself aka Nico Robin? And why did Robin hire an otter and a vulture? If she did, maybe because she thought they, or the idea, was cute. (Though now I imagine 13 coming up to Robin all sunglasses and nerves and handing her a tiny resume.)

But really it's not a bad choice considering. They are small and light. Work for clams (or oysters) and don't need a ship to carry them from island to island. Yet at the same time they don't seem terribly effective as they didn't end Vivi and 9 as they should... (and were they trying to end them for taking too long with the whale? Or because the secret was out) and they aren't the ones that take care of these guys either. Though they may also be used for surveillance and spying. They must be somewhat effective because people are terrified of them-- but I wondered if their reputation is garnered not so much by what they can do but by the trouble that comes after. In other words, if the Unluckies are after you—death will soon follow.

Finally, I wonder if Crocodile even knows of them? Because we will see he's not entirely too aware of who his agents are and vice-versa... So it's perhaps he knows of them but not what they are and I could see it amusing Robin to have Crocodile's brute squad be a vulture and an otter with a preference for polka dots-- esp considering how dignified Sir Crocodile seems to want to try and be.

Aside from all the contemplation of them specifically, again we see just how tough it is to work for BW since any failure seems to equal death and running away definitely seems to equal death. Yet 9 and Vivi thought if they wrote a letter explaining to the boss what happened they might get out of it? Maybe Vivi might not have been convinced because she had other plans; but 9 was? I think ultimately perhaps hopes spring eternal and that hope is cultivated. In other words, maybe there's a thought if “if we explain what happened we can get off”-- but in explaining what happened they turn themselves in, in a way.

At any rate, 5 and Valentine's Day show up, complaining about being sent to the boonies and the rowdiness of the town respectively and:

 photo 4_zps6s4yguxs.jpg

Wow, they are kind of a jumpy lot. But then again it speaks to how contained and small Whiskey Peak really is. This is the only town on this small island so strangers that show up uninvited are cause for alarm.

 photo 5_zpsm94sqhnu.jpg

It's interesting to me that the Unluckies seem to be afraid of these two. I mean it seems to me they are there to keep the Officer Agents in line as well-- so why the fear? Is it because they really can't do anything against Mr. 5 specifically as he's already bomb human? Maybe the Unluckies are afraid that they messed up (In taking care of Vivi and 9) so 5 and Valentine are here to take them out.

Though what it says to me in a way is that the delineations of power (here specifically but really overall) are more fuzzy than not. What I mean is the closer a number to Mr. 0 (or the more fun a holiday) the stronger the BW agent is. Yet, to use the men because numbers are a little easier to understand... the Unluckies at 13 are further from either 9 or Igaram (11)-- yet both of them are afraid of what the Unluckies may bring. Also, interesting is that while 9 may be 'stronger' than Igaram, it is Igaram who carries the authority as mayor.

Perhaps it is more fuzzy in the outer numbers or the very bottom of the Officer Agent barrel on who is stronger than whom. Or perhaps it's not so much strength that matters than capability... After all, the Unluckies can chuck a bomb which is ineffective, but they also report to the Boss which is a super effective way of getting yourself killed.

Either way it's certainly something we'll track.

 photo 6_zpssubuoqov.jpg

This is also interesting to me because they were obviously punished. At least by Valentine and it seems almost individual attention as if she hopped on each of their heads with a crushing weight. It's hard to say whether or not 5 got in on the action because spiky hair does look a little singed about the face--

Yet what happened here? I think by the broken sign and the swords sticking out of the ground, it was obviously a fight. My initial thought was Valentine making them pay for pulling guns on them-- but now I wonder if they tried to attack the Unluckies in order to not die-- or maybe even attack 5 and Valentine thinking they would be after them as well and so suffered the consequences....

At any rate, Zoro chucks Monday and Igaram's wounded unconscious selves off the roof and...

 photo 7_zps65zjle25.jpg

Let's just take a moment to admire the atmosphere of this. The kind of quiet moment. The view of the town across the river and the cactus rocks beyond. I wonder if the majority of the town lives across the inlet whereas where the SH are currently passed out and the other buildings there are just for pirate traps and such like.

 photo 8_zpsufajp1l9.jpg

Aside from me really liking Zoro's raised eyebrow, I wonder if this is some kind of latent observation haki? (that he built up unconsciously via sword training). I feel like this isn't the first time he's had a sense of this nature. The translation of “heard” is interesting here too. Though Viz says he has a “funny feeling” and Stephen's “I thought I sensed something odd.”

This directly coincides with 5 and Valentine entering on the scene. Interesting that he sensed them specifically but perhaps because there's such a great difference in power level there's almost an atmospheric shift. (Even though they're relatively weak compared to Zoro and Luffy as we'll see)

 photo 9_zpsz7mastao.jpg

Here is the first hint we get of Igaram's determination and loyalty to Vivi. It's not spelled out in so many words but despite being beat and cut up, he struggles to his feet in order to continue with the “mission”-- that being Vivi's protection/ambition. I also had wondered how 5 knew about Zoro since they weren't there but I imagine the other Whiskey Peakians told them about it before or after 5 and Valentines Day trashed them.

5 and Valentines continue to mock them (with Valentine's saying something along the lines of: 'you can't expect them to be strong at that rank' and...

 photo 10_zps6amltcqw.jpg

As you can see, they are both jerks; teasing and mocking and reveling in their strength. I bring it up because we'll see how they stack up against other BW pair-ups and it will be interesting to see their downfall.

More significantly is 9 assuming they'll help out with Vivi backing him up and moreover asking them (in a roundabout way) to help. It's always struck me as odd the way 9 asks for help or assumes that just writing a letter is enough to appease Crocodile... But I kind of wonder if there's more of sense of community here in Whiskey Peak-- even if they are just after themselves. Or perhaps 9 just believes that people on the same side would naturally help one another out .

In any case, 5 and Valentine are not interested because they're on a completely different mission entirely. 5 tells them to “stop joking around”.

 photo 11_zpshalipxl5.jpg

I like the care and attention to detail of these characters. They're not stupid. Aside from clueless 9, Igaram and Vivi highly suspect what is coming. They're smart enough not to tip their hand which could be devastating if 5 and Valentine are on another mission, and yet they're fully aware that they could have been found out.

Of course 5 and Valentine drag it out as they are wont to do. Playing their own hand by saying why they are here... and why? I feel like it's because they don't feel as if Vivi or 9 will be a threat. After all they are just about lowest on the tier of officer agents. The evidence of this is the bit of dialogue not shown (by me) where they're unbelieving that anyone could think the boss called them out to deal with some pesky swordsman. But also this of course...

 photo 12_zpsh4epr2vn.jpg

It's interesting to me that 9 has no clue. Not even enough to suspect what it might be. I wonder if this indicates that 9 has a more trusting nature and is generally a more good hearted guy, comparatively speaking. Like what he wants is the promised utopia but can't really conceive of betraying secrets or that an apology will forestall you getting killed. 9 is into this ideologically perhaps but not suited to the overall temperament.

As for 5 and Valentines they take a certain pride I think being considered dangerous enough to come down here and take care of things. The way they drag it out – seen here but also over the next several pages is indicative of that. They are like cats playing with mice. But even they aren't entirely at the top of the heap. It may mean nothing at all but I find it interesting that 5 says: “not that I know what the secret is” – as if trying to keep his own butt from the fire just in case someone heard and misinterpreted.

Also XD this scene is so One Piece. Serious conversation with Luffy lying in the middle of it like a bloated toad, fast asleep. (Though also interesting thematically is that his positioning is almost like a barrier between the officer agents and Vivi's party.)

5 goes on to say that the motto of the organization is 'secrecy' and that no one is allowed to pry into the real identities of their members. Which when you think about it is actually a cool if risky strategy. You attract strong people who come for their reasons and want to hide under the banner of secrecy and have them fight for you under a common ideal. Crocodile can use them without them ever being able to use him because they don't know who he is. (Until at least the final stage is set but we'll get into that much much later) Also I bet Robin knows who they are.

 photo 13_zpsnfbxs3ht.jpg

This panel because it's a little misleading especially if you stick to the Viz translation where Valentines claims it was “our investigation”. This muddles what we learn later that Crocodile knew about Vivi because Robin told him (though we'll discuss the exact semantics of that when we get to it). I suppose it IS possible they investigated separately-- but somehow I think they're more of a strike force than an investigation team. All in all I think this translation is slightly more clear, especially coupled with Stephen's where she says “the company” has discovered this.

9 is kind of hilarious – and interestingly always trying to protect himself. Understandably in this case but we've seen throughout that he's always apologizing to save his skin.

Vivi however is keeping her cool-- this shows what a strong backbone she has really. There can be no other reason why 5 and Valentine are here drawing this out, and yet Vivi doesn't crack. She may not have much hope but she is holding onto the last shred of it she has.

And then Igaram?

 photo 15_zpse25ildsd.jpg

Before we go through this, I just want to address again a slight issue of nuance in translation.

Now if you go with Viz, the nuance is off again-- for dramatic sake I expect, but I feel like what they did smacks of being a false lead. Like if this had been at the end of the chapter I could understand but--
Essentially they have Igaram thinking:

“My cover's blown. I'm finished.”

Which when you think about it doesn't make sense. Why would he just worry/assume only his cover has been blown?

It would have been one thing if Igaram had been saying it out loud to throw them off the trail, but this is his internal voice.

But with this translation (supported by Stephen's: “They know! This is the end” Which I like even better) Igaram is thinking about the mission (or really Vivi) rather than himself. I think, unlike Vivi perhaps, he has no shred of hope left-- or no shred of hope that he dares to try to cling to...

Instead?


 photo 16_zpso1gs76ky.jpg

He attacks first. I think this is an attempt to draw 5's fire and make himself the target rather than harboring any hope of killing 5. Perhaps he thinks he'll get lucky. Either way I think his line is touching that he won't let them touch (or hurt)-- and yeah it's on his honor as the captain of the guard but there's also a great deal of affection I think, especially if you look at the word order. Rather than “on my honor I won't let you touch her” it's “I won't let you touch her on my honor” So looking at Igaram's interior there's a great sense that he cares for Vivi's well-being more than anything else.

 photo 17_zpsxgi5bf8m.jpg

Also as a note? Look how disgusted 5 is. He can't believe that he has to fight this guy or that this guy has the nerve to think he can fight him. Of course Igaram probably doesn't know that 5 is a bomb man so an explosion is likely not to hurt him (and even if he did what else could he have done with his range of attacks?) which is a pro to having a secret organization if there is dissension in the ranks. Those dissenting won't know what to prepare for.


 photo 18_zps3hdcjww7.jpg

Vivi is astonished (and looks pissed) by what he's doing. Which—if you cut out all the thoughts that we can see, but she can't-- he just straight up attacked 5, tipping his hand and revealing himself as the Alabasta spy. And perhaps only himself-- if you just focus on the right panel and not what comes immediately after it. In other words he's being self sacrificial.

Of course in the next panel, Igaram outs her too and she has no choice but to run. But I think that Iagaram can't afford to hope that they don't know of her. Also interesting? Aside from Stephen's which says “run, my lady!” both viz and mangapanda have him say 'please'. Perhaps this is largely because she is his princess and he can't just order her around so bluntly, but I also think he knows she won't on her own so he has to ask her to.

In any case before she can she's attacked by Valentines

 photo 19_zpskdayomrj.jpg

She tries to get a hit back on Valentine, (looking completely bad ass at it too) and then is completely distracted from running (though I doubt she was ready to yet) by Igaram falling. I feel like this sets the precedent for Vivi-- that her concern for others is both her flaw and her strength. Granted of course she just may not have time to run just now... But on the other hand I feel if she weren't more concerned she would have run as soon as Igaram said to rather than be worried of his well-being.

Valentines and 5 reveal they know exactly who they are after and have a picture of Vivi-- and she calls him a monster in two versions (scanlation and Stephens') and a fiend in Viz which personally I like more since monster implies he has done something monstrous whereas fiend could be the same but it could also apply more specifically to an enemy and be a different way of saying 'bastard' (though I imagine the Japanese just had something like 'omae...' just meaning “you...” and the rest is an embellishment, though I don't know for sure)

Anyway speaking of being concerned of others well being... lets rewind a bit.

 photo 20_zpsmhys88tw.jpg

Zoro has no horse at all in this race. All he has is a fat frog of a captain lying passed out on the ground and that's literally all he cares about. It's interesting because while the others would get caught up in the drama going below, Zoro doesn't really care what's going on. It's not his fight, he's not interested. We'll definitely see more of this callousness later (though we of course have seen some of it before). But what I think is most important is that his attention is focused on Luffy. He keeps track of what is most important to him – his captain.

 photo 21_zpssveoewcg.jpg

And gets him out of there after some of the drama goes down. XD I don't know why he didn't come after him before. Maybe he was trying to get down? Or maybe he didn't know the fight was going to be so big, but either way he's hauling Luffy to safety.

And to 5s and Valentine's credit, they don't bother going after Zoro despite the fact that he pretty much ran right in front of him. It could be they have other things to deal with or are just interested in doing their mission and that's it-- but they let Zoro do what Zoro do. And Zoro's content with staying out of this fight.

Also 9 bowing to Vivi is so precious XD and Vivi ragefacing at him is also precious. Though interesting what she says to him is different across all three sources...

Scanlation: Now is not the time for this!
Viz: Cut it out!
Stephens: Don't be ridiculous!

In all of them there's a certain annoyance at being bowed to in this kind of tense situation. Or that 9 should treat her differently because he found she was a princess. Though the scanlation could almost implied that there is a time for this discussion, while viz implies that she's annoyed with all of it and Stephen's kind of agrees with that thinking that 9 prostrating himself like this is ridiculous-- though maybe it's just the prostration itself.

At any rate, 5 says that by the order of the boss of Baroque Works he's going to execute her and Vivi?
Continues to be a badass.

 photo 22_zps24lgyj5y.jpg

Of course in the nuance game, the translation differs. Viz says: You wish! And Stephen's says: Don't delude yourself....

And for me I actually prefer the scanlation I don't think Vivi knows for sure she can take them – I mean there's something to be said for bravado, but she doesn't seem the type to me. The 'don't underestimate me' says that she's got more fight in her than they think and even if she can't take them down she's not going to be taken so lightly.

But also note she's not running. Granted again it might be a bad idea at this time... but she is a fighter not a runner. She will stand and face down her opponents, though I doubt it's for her own sake so much as she's pissed at what happened to Igaram.

And then?


 photo 23_zpsgwah46nw.jpg

Character development... or perhaps something that was there all along. 9-- who has spent the entire time since we met him trying to apologize his way to continue living-- sacrifices himself for the sake of his partner without even knowing the situation. He doesn't know. He doesn't care. All he knows is that for whatever reason, Vivi needs to get to safety. And there's no mistaking I think that he knows he's going to die in this attack. He tells her 'bye bye, baby.' He doesn't shout it and it could be directed at 5 but I'm pretty sure he's telling her goodbye.

And Vivi? Vivi cannot stomach people sacrificing themselves for her. Igaram is one thing but 9 had absolutely no reason to do so. She's afraid for him –knowing what he's sacrificing without him even knowing the situation. You can tell that him doing this for her is really hard for her to deal with.


 photo 24_zpsdke16ujm.jpg

But here is where Vivi really understands the power that she's up against as 9 is blown past her. She knows for sure that she can't overpower them and survive. (and even Zoro looks a little freaked out by this destructive power XD I think he's more surprised than anything but that booger really does pack a punch)

Anyway, what's really cool for me about Vivi, is despite the dire situation 9 and Igaram are in...


 photo 25_zpsq6fk0tqv.jpg

This is when she runs. In a way she accepts their sacrifice even though it's really hard for her to do so. Why? Because Alabasta is the most important thing to her. And again here...

 photo 26_zpsq1b6lqde.jpg

Vivi goes even though she looks startled and even a little afraid for Monday and what she's about to do. Yet she goes, though with gratitude...

Also important here is that all of those who stood up for her chose to stand up for her. Igaram may have done for his duty but also largely from affection. 9 because they were partners. Monday because they were friends. Vivi doesn't ask them to help her but because she values them they value her.

Interesting here too is Monday's pragmatism compared to 9s. 9 is sure he can weasel out of it (except of course in attacking 5 directly) but Monday knows she's going to be punished. (Stephen says punished as well, though Viz uses killed which I like better) So knowing that she's going to be punished, Monday makes a choice to make that punishment worth something to her. Instead of simply being a failure by not stopping Zoro she's in a way giving herself agency by making her punishment (and likely death) meaningful to her.

Speaking of Zoro, let's rewind again.


 photo 27_zpsecchsqr7.jpg

First and foremost in the two other translations Zoro says: “Don't even bother.” Which I like better but there's nothing I find particularly wrong with this version here.

Still we see Igaram desperate to try and engage Zoro's help and-- even if we didn't know before, we can see now where his priorities are. He has no pride right now, only desperation, throwing himself on the mercy of Zoro's (hopeful) compassion in order to protect his precious princess and by extension Alabasta.

ofc Zoro refuses... and when you look at it, why should he accept? Zoro has been known to help others of his own volition before-- most notably at this point Rika in Shell's Town-- but here it's nothin' doin.

And why? Well aside from the fact that he basically had to save his crew from an attack headed by these people more than once why should he have anything to do with their situation? He doesn't know Vivi is fighting for her country and even if he did, how would he even know it's a country worth fighting for? Basically the extent of his knowledge is this--

These guys infiltrated Baroque Works of their own free will and now they are trying to weasel out of it again. Maybe they have what's coming to them and maybe not but it's not up to Zoro to get involved.

Moreover it's not Zoro's place to get involved outside of the crew. Even if he's taking charge more than he should, he's not going to supersede Luffy's wishes in what he wants to do/where he's going to go. Though nor does he say it's not up to him nor does he tell them to ask Luffy instead.

But ultimately of course, Zoro is not interested in helping them because he isn't. He'll fight Baroque Works as a pirate but has no desire to get mixed up in whatever's going on here. (Whereas I feel Usopp and Sanji might, both for their love of people and stories-- and Sanji's love of beautiful women)

 photo 28_zpsdqulfovm.jpg


there is a lot to love about these panels. Primarily Zoro getting really fed up with Igaram's pleading. (though not quite so harsh in other versions. Viz: You want some more and Stephen's I'll cut you if you don't shut up. Your take on Zoro's character on which translation is better-- but I like 'do you want some more' since Zoro doesn't kill lightly.

I also love Igaram's desperation as he piles on conditions to this term. That Zoro not only has to save Vivi but take her to Alabasta. This indicates to me that Igaram either intends to stay behind and continue to distract 5 and Valentines Day if it becomes necessary (or whomever else is after Vivi) or he's pretty much sure he's going to die. Or both.

And of course Nami makes her grand entrance! Emerging probably when the battle had moved and of course well attuned to the idea of beri being made. And she jumps right on that too. XD No hesitation whatsoever—accepting on part of the crew and all their resources because you know she isn't going to be doing this alone.


Anyway we break into chapter 111 and Igaram is trying his best not to die there on the ground.


 photo 29_zpsvcksrxgu.jpg

I love that we get to see more of Nami's calculating nature and actually the full breadth and scope of it. She is in her element. Again much like Zoro she knows the danger in this kind of place and isn't stupid enough to fall for it-- though held her suspicions to herself (and moreover let Zoro do all the fighting).


Viridian Soul asked if she suspected something when they first arrived, why didn't she say anything? And I think ultimately she wasn't entirely sure the residents of Whiskey Peak were the antagonists. (since yes Luffy is a pirate but he's not a very intimidating one) And was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt-- perhaps because Lu was having a lot of fun...

So why not later when the fighting broke out? Well sometime during the evening when Nami was pretending to be asnooze, Zoro went out to stand guard... and by the time the fight started and her suspicions were confirmed, there was nothing to do about it. It's possible Nami listened to the fight from inside, ready to wake the others should it come to it. (or at least, you know, Sanji... and to that end it's possible she tried already but we'll look at that when I come to the part in question)

Finally the panel on the left is super great. You can translate it how you wish but for me Zoro realizes that Nami can out drink him and is not happy about it. After all she pretended longer than he had and is still, if not stone cold sober at least definitely on the solid side.

 photo 30_zpsdvdavhcw.jpg

But she's definitely a stone cold bitch XD in a good way and in a bad. She's going to get her money in her terms and is not afraid to twist the knife in as she pleases. And she is good at it. Not only did she eavesdrop long enough to know the situation she knows Igaram's position. He's not just a common soldier she knows but the captain of the guard and so perfect for extortion.

 photo 31_zpswslogowu.jpg

And here she twists the knife in even more. She refuses to let Igaram have any wiggle room at all. Not falling for his single soldier bit and preying on his guilt/manipulating his emotions. Zoro knows just what she's doing, too and doesn't look too approving. (but also doesn't try and stop her from doing it) Also like any good business woman she wants her money up front.

In the lower left Igaram knows he's screwed. Captain of the Guard or not he knows he can't promise a sum like that (that is not something Alabasta can easily afford in any case). To his credit (and maybe because he can't get away with it) Igaram doesn't try to trick her-- but he's clever too and he basically reorganizes the terms so in order for Nami to receive any money she'll have to deliver Vivi to Alabasta and negotiate terms then.

 photo 32_zpsdyrs84b4.jpg

Now Nami still tries to play the badass here, esp in the right hand panel and tries to keep the grip on her terms. (which are a measure of safety since they have money even if they fail to save the princess) but I also think judging by the sweatdrop that she's breaking a little here-- like she has the feeling the terms are going to slip away from her. But also I think as much as she can be in stone cold bitch mode she can't really maintain it past a certain point.

And as good as Nami is at negotiating, Igaram doesn't have time for this shit. He needs to save Vivi now and very firmly places the terms on HIS side if Nami wants any money.

And Nami breaks because she knows she really can't press any more. Moreover she can't even really do it the safe way (ie taking the money and running—which I'm not convinced she'd do anyway though she might be initially tempted since Nami doesn't play fair)

Before we go on though let's look at why Nami is being so hard core about this. Granted she still has a hard nosed need for money, both for practical reasons and I think psychological ones, but she's also been known to help people—though there's usually monetary gain for her somewhere.

I feel like partly Nami is instinctively operating on her old standard of how to make money (since she's so newly sprung from Arlong Park) but partly because she doesn't like them. And why should she? Vivi has tried to kill them at least once and Nami's no more inclined to put herself in the middle of that situation for no reason. She has no good motivation for saving Vivi except for beri. She's also overestimating the wealth a kingdom would have. A princess should be rolling in it, shouldn't she? So that much money shouldn't be a problem.

And this all leads to Nami trying to manipulate Zoro the series...

 photo 33_zpslpnk93yk.jpg

First by straight up hoping he'll go along with it no question. She shouts an encouraging phrase and hopes that he'll shonen his way into submission. (Though the let's is slightly misleading because we all know she has no intention of getting anywhere near this)

Zoro of course has no intention of shonening his way into anything. Though he's not going to stop Nami from doing what she wants to do, he has too much pride to go along with what she wants to do-- especially as he wants no part in it. But I imagine what rankles him most is following anyone's order.

 photo 34_zpszokde1jz.jpg

That not working, Nami goes for what she thinks might be Zoro's weak spot: Zoro's sense of obligation.

Of course she makes it quite clear that the money is hers because she'll be damned if she's sharing it with anyone. XD I think she's hoping that he'll catch onto the obligation part and not so much the money part. But again it's a more clear indication of Nami making decisions on the part of the crew and probably hoping to convince them later.

Zoro however is not stupid and knows this makes no sense and is manipulative as hell and I love how blustery and rage facey he is at her. Like does she think he's that stupid? Well he's not and he can see right through her.

 photo 35_zpsdnhpsvgk.jpg

Then Nami cracks a little and just kind of yells at him in frustration that this is a simple job for him. And for what it's worth it really is. It's an estimation of how much Nami thinks of Zoro's strength... (Level: insane) and that saving a princess can't be that hard.

But of course Zoro isn't up to being used by her when it's something he doesn't want to do but also she doesn't offer anything in return. I don't think Nami is in a place where she can give or sacrifice anything for a while-- and why should she have to when this is so easy for him? But in her approach Zoro knows she is just utilizing his skill for her own ends and he ain't gonna do it just because she's a girl.

 photo 36_zpsnhnwbefr.jpg

That not working she pokes at his sense of pride hoping that'll be effective but Zoro is not taking the bait even though he does fall into her pace a bit because he's not used to someone calling him out whose not also trying to fight him down or asking for a fight. Of course he knows Nami isn't either of those things but can't help responding automatically because it really does piss him off.

That not working she goes back to pricking at his sense of obligation once more, though on a more financial track.

 photo 37_zpsf6zkcgz2.jpg

I love how he's cautious and guarded at first. But he's also not pissed the hell off at what she's saying. He knows he doesn't owe her money and she can't convince him otherwise.

But Nami had baited the trap before he knew it even was baited (or perhaps she decided just now to use it against him) but he can't deny he made that deal and in the bottom left, Nami can see him sweat and she knows she has him.


 photo 38_zpszuyja8xx.jpg

In the end she does get him. However, I don't think she even knows how much of an impact that has on him. She wasn't there with the battle with Mihawk and its aftermath after all. Still the manipulation is super effective. But note that Nami is unable to treat him as a subordinate as she was probably used to with the Fishmen. She can't fully trick him into doing what she wants. She has to give something in return. Or in this case let go of something-- that is the promise of 200,000 beri. It's not too big a loss since it's possible she never considered this interest in the first place; but she still loses out on potential money anyway.

So essentially even though she has the upper hand here, she is treating him more like nakama. You scratch my back I'll scratch yours. At the same time there's still a sense of her own separation from the rest of the crew. She's part of them yes but she's still acting as an independent contractor in a sense who has to in a way pay Zoro to do work for her.

Finally, interesting to me is that Nami's style of manipulation is somewhat akin to Luffy's style of fighting, trying everything to see what works and then going in for the kill.

 photo 39_zpsp8obp3nr.jpg

I love how pissed he is as he stomps off, having no recourse but to tell her that she's going to die a miserable death for being so greedy. This is probably one of the first times as an adult that he's had to bow to what someone else wanted him to do and he haates it-- but his devotion to his word keeps him bound to it.

I also like how Nami agrees but just don't care. XD She is shamelessly enjoying her victory and that she has no scruples about this.

Meanwhile Igaram who has succeeded in not dying calls himself useless (or Stephen's: says he's humiliated or Viz that he owes Nami a great debt) and:

 photo 40_zps92uvl3pc.jpg

Poor Igaram. He's come so far but in the end he does have to ask for help. He simply can't do it alone. I like how you can see how much pain he is in not being able to do it.

Though Nami, as much as a bitch as she can be, reassures him. It doesn't even seem in a merchant way – like assuring the customer the order will be fulfilled. Here she genuinely seems to want to make him feel better. Also it's nice to see how relaxed she is, completely within her element and nothing to worry about.

 photo 41_zpstxljwgor.jpg

But here? Nami is starting to get a sense of just how desperation the situation is. It's not just saving Vivi-- it's saving an entire kingdom. Or at least not saving Vivi will lead to dire circumstances. Nami seems startled at just how bad it is and maybe just starting to wonder what she's stepped into.

As Igaram and Nami sit in the alley waiting on Zoro's return (which Nami has no doubts Zoro will succeed in getting by the way) She asks about the Baroque Works.


 photo 42_zpsttkoffvt.jpg

So this is interesting if only for a deeper look into Baroque Works...

It's easy to just think of BW as bounty hunters as that's the way we're introduced to them. In WP there are just bounty hunters and that was why Zoro was initially approached.

But Igaram knows that it's a multi-pronged organization doing activities that are not quite as on the up and up-- and none of it can be traced back to Crocodile of course. Though bounty hunting is an interesting one because unlike the others which are illegal – bounty hunting insofar as we know isn't illegal. So why is it there? I mean it can be lucrative but so can robbery.

I think the answer is bounty hunting does finance Crocodile to an extent but primarily it keeps down the competition. I don't think we see any BW bounty hunters past Whiskey Peak, but the ones at WP keep pirates from coming through and gaining strength. That's why it's essential that they are successful in their mission.

(also randomly I wonder if WP being in the lower echelons of BW know about the other things BW do. It doesn't really matter if they do or not except for speaking to the natures of Monday or 9)


Nami asks why people follow a boss that they don't even know the name of.

 photo 43_zpsrrlxgwrj.jpg

Man Utopia is a heady thought! And the beauty of it is Crocodile doesn't even have to give any details of what this Utopia is. People can imagine it for themselves what it will be-- with the cream on the cake being that they will get high-ranking positions.

Knowing this it's interesting to look at what the people who are in BW may want. Do they want to live in a perfect nation? Because they were cast out from their own? Have none? Have no place to call home? Or do they lust for power? Because they feel they deserve it? Because they've been trampled on all their lives and this is their only shot? Or are they just attracted to the glory of it all? Or do they just want to cause chaos? There are many reasons and we will probably not know them but as characters appear and become significant, maybe we'll try to sort them out.

In any case Nami's expression is an interesting one. I think the thought of this powerful group worries her a bit. And that they're fighting for a kind of ideal. It's pretty heady stuff. What I don't think though is that Nami quite understands what she's gotten them all into. I don't think she thinks they'll be up against BW. It's just a simple case of deliver princess, get money, abscond.

(also I love the image of her sitting on a barrel, listening to him talk. I don't know why but there's something about the way she's sitting and the layout of the scene that makes it natural to me)

Igaram goes on to tell her about the power structure of BW and that those with a number below five are immensely powerful.

 photo 44_zpsym4ezoey.jpg


Swiiitching back to Vivi. She's tried to escape on Karoo. Monday has stood to protect her and is clothesline bombed by 5 who flicks a nose fancy at her-- When Zoro arrives just in the nick of time and splits it in two.

This mostly because it's hilarious XD Zoro's so pissed off and grossed out. Other translations imply that he acted in instinct and didn't fully process what it was until after it had happened. But important here? He's using Wado Ichimonji. The protection sword and the promised sword. That he had to cut such a gross thing with it probably is insulting but also he can't believe he just did that.

Vivi, not having clearly seen what he'd done, is convinced he's after her.

She tries to attack him with the peacock slasher, annoyed and desperate that he's in her way again and he cuts it before the attack hits.

 photo 45_zpsan1lfqpw.jpg

This just for the art primarily XD I love how annoyed Zoro looks as he says this. But also Vivi looks gorgeous with her hair like that. I love how startled she is by this, too. She's been helped twice now by people who should be her enemies but that was out of the bonds of friendship. This makes absolutely no sense to her. (welcome to the world of the Strawhats)

Valentine realizes Zoro must be the swordsman who cut up all the people in town and 5 asks why someone like Zoro (aka a pirate) is protecting the princess of Alabasta. Zoro says he has his own reasons. (and I wonder if that's a combination of pride/not wanting to get into it/ it not being their business anyway)

5 says it doesn't matter anyway because he's an enemy and in their way and Valentine says she's going to crush him using her power. (and also takes off her hat which is interesting and I'm not sure why except for it seems like a good time to do it) They're about to throw down when they suffer an attack of Luffyus interruptus as Luffy bellows Zoro's name and Valentine's, annoyed, grumbles “what is it this time?”

Luffy comes marching up to Zoro and:

 photo 47_zpsehvokdo9.jpg

That's just an interesting look for Zoro to have. XD It's almost fond! That's probably because Luffy is looking like a bloated grape as he marches up to Zoro. But there's evidence that Zoro isn't taking him seriously, despite the fact that Luffy bellowed his name like that. He assumes Luffy is here to help or that Nami tricked him.

What this says is despite their time together he doesn't know how to read Luffy quite yet. Or at least doesn't assume Luffy would be angry with him because why would he be?

Also in terms of Zoro acting like the one in control, this seems to be another aspect of it. It's almost like big brotherly. Like go back to sleep Luffy unless of course you've been manipulated by that woman too.

In any case he's immediately blindsided with this:

 photo 48_zpsnskl9hku.jpg

And I mostly bring up this panel because of Viz's translation of: I've had it with you! Implying that Zoro has done things in the past to get on Luffy's nerves but that's not true because if it was we would have known about it. As an alternative, Stephen's has “You won't get away with this!” but I like the I'll never forgive you better because that is more Luffy's character to me. It also flows better to Zoro's awesome reaction. XD like this comes right the hell out of left field.

And also coming out of left field is the fight which has baffled me ever since coming into this fandom. It felt so weird and Luffy and Zoro are so hardcore against one another when they've been so close up til now it was hard to wrap my brain around. Why is Luffy acting this way? Why is he so hardcore?

In order to look at this fight and the nature of it to get down to the brass tacks, I'm going to break up the narrative and go over the points one by one.

Luffy is pissed. Really pissed. Big bad enemy numero uno kind of pissed. You can see it predominantly here:

 photo 49_zps6yanet9j.jpg

Luffy saying 'die' is true across all translations. This is huge. The only other time he's said something like this was when he said he was going to kill everyone laughing at Usopp. But this is different. This is big. Zoro is his first nakama. Zoro is the one whose been the longest. Luffy is going all out against him and shattering walls like he did with Arlong. If he landed a hit it might not kill Zoro because Zoro – but it would really hurt like a bitch. Luffy is not holding back. (that being said I'm still not sure he'd kill him. Maybe beat the tar out of him but it's not in Lu to kill someone he cares about)

So, why is Luffy so pissed?


Part of the answer lies in his opening statement.

 photo 50_zps5jf6puqa.jpg

Zoro's perceived ingratitude. Note too the ass kicking line which Luffy tends to use before fighting the big bad boss, the one who represents something Luffy can't allow to stand. For his own part, Zoro doesn't help the fight because-- as seen with Nami, when someone is yelling at him he falls into their pace and yells back. He may be good in a physical fight but not in an emotional one that involves yelling. He also can't imagine what the hell Luffy is even talking about and assumes he's an idiot. (which he is but not necessarily here)

And for more context for Luffy's problem...

 photo 51_zpsqqvcxdjx.jpg

First of all, it's unclear how much killing Zoro even did. Stephan's has Luffy saying that Zoro killed them all and that is the rumor that spreads-- but we know he at least spared a nun and a kid aside from the main characters currently on the stage. Whatever he DID do was brutal. Even though even a small thing would be enough to set Luffy off because this kind of ingratitude for people who did something for them pisses him right the hell off as we see.

 photo 52_zpsth13g9mu.jpg

That expression is Zoro realizing just how bad this looks and understanding why Luffy is so pissed and how intense this situation is. He knows how he looks ingrateful and further I think he realizes something else that we'll get into.

Vivi here just because she thinks he's an idiot which again, while Luffy is? He's not being an idiot here at all.

So now that we know why Luffy is pissed. (though not completely) Let's look at Zoro's part in this whole mess. He tries to explain it once but doesn't get far at all... Just “these people...” before Luffy yells that he doesn't want to hear his excuses and attacks.

 photo 53_zpsnxneyvg9.jpg

Zoro is repeatedly trying to get Luffy to listen to him. This is important because he thinks that if he can just explain it Luffy will stop raging around. The bottom panel as more emphasis in that he knows how Luffy thinks. He knows what's important to Luffy and he knows how serious this situation is.

But at the same time?

 photo 54_zpsbehzwtf3.jpg

he still thinks Luffy is an idiot. The top panel you can see it in his face as he tries to explain for the first time and the second time as he says it. He's not taking Luffy's anger completely serious yet.

 photo 55_zpswcl1jmqu.jpg

You can really tell just how strong Luffy is. As strong as Zoro basically. Or at least so strong Zoro can't afford to be distracted as he waits for Luffy to emerge from the building Zoro just kicked him in.

But finally, Zoro gets a word in edgewise.

 photo 56_zps9imtxko9.jpg

Not that it works...

And here used to be the largest question of the fight for me right here. Why wouldn't Luffy believe Zoro? Why would he call Zoro a liar when the solution is so simple? Haven't they traveled long enough?

Well

First-- Luffy's line. What kind of enemies would feed us? Well-- let's look at all the times we've seen food been given. Rika gave Zoro onigiri as a friendly gesture, Luffy gave Shushu dog food (more as a momento than anything but still), Cocoyashi threw a party and gave food for celebration – Even looking at Luffy's past, only people who are friends have given him food. (stealing food is something different altogether). Makino gave him food, Dadan gave him food people who took care of him made sure he was well fed. We can extrapolate from this that in no time in Luffy's life up til this point has an enemy given him food... and when you think about it, why would an enemy give you food?

Second-- And speaking of giving food... at the Baratie, Sanji gave Gin food and most importantly, Zeff gave Krieg food out of compassion and kindness. And what did Krieg do? Try to kill the shit out of everyone and take over the ship. Much like what it seems that Zoro did.

So why doesn't he trust Zoro?

I think partly because nothing in his experience suggests that this would happen. I think that despite the amount of time they traveled, they are still new to each other. Luffy doesn't know yet that Zoro wouldn't do this thing without reason. He knows how ruthless Zoro can be. He knows Zoro's reputation. Not that he believed it whole heartedly-- but he waited to see what Zoro would do. And Zoro did to this and even admitted it.

I think also he's so angry about what happened and that he can't think straight. Which would be consistent with his character.... When Luffy gets angry he punches or fights the thing that makes him angry. We've seen him get pissed at Shanks who was a friend and we'll see him much later on down the road get in a hard angry fight with Usopp over Merry before Sanji kicks him into a wall. (Though that was not this and I don't want to say the two events are similar except for Luffy acting out of anger and hurt)


So let's bring in this line from much later:

 photo 57_zpsdotg0fie.jpg

Firstly what Luffy thought was the problem is ridiculous but I feel like it IS ridiculous because it was the only reason he could think of-- which is something coming out of his own perspective. I feel like that was the only thing he could think of or the only thing he can articulate as to why he thought Zoro did it because he was so angry/hurt by what happened.

But it says to me volumes that he doesn't suspect Zoro of doing it for evil intentions. Maybe petty intentions. Maybe Zoro just didn't understand gratitude. But I think the main driver is that of rage and instinct-- but let's pull back from that a bit.

Because: Why didn't you say so? Zoro did say so!

Which yeah he did and Luffy wasn't in the state to listen because Luffy hadn't yet explained the full extent of his problem with the situation plus all the points above...

But you know? This fight stems largely from Zoro acting as Luffy's big brother and not treating Luffy as a captain.

Because all Luffy knows is that they fought two people and saved them and took them home and their friends were happy so they threw a party.

Zoro never told him who they were or what they were. Zoro never told him how much he suspected. After the party Zoro never tried to wake him up and explain a thing to him. Instead he just took care of it all on his own so Luffy could have his fun. Zoro was the big brother.

Think of what might have happened if Luffy hadn't gone in naively... If they'd all gone in with their eyes open? If Usopp or Sanji knew that this was kind of a dangerous place. They'd all be awake to participate. Luffy might have had his party and not thunk Zoro had done something horrible.

But instead Zoro acted on his own. And granted I think this ultimately comes from a good place. Zoro did this in order to protect them from worry. Because he's strong and because he's aware he can open Luffy's way for Luffy to do what he wants. But he also keeps Luffy ignorant and keeps Luffy from growing. It also keeps Luffy from making his own decisions when given all the relevant information. Having freedom means being able to choose and being able to choose means you have to know what your choices are.

So is Luffy an idiot?

Kind of yes, but ultimately no.

Also before we go on, I just want to say another aspect folded into the first part of this fight is Luffy feeling responsible for what Zoro does. It's kind of like the terrible dog that slipped the leash and bit a lot of people so you have to discipline the dog.

Though it also has to be said it's not ALL on Zoro. Luffy has got to learn to keep his wits about him on the Grand Line and to stop underestimating what he will face and who he will be up against or it will come to bite him in the ass.

So for the second part of the fight? It switches gears.

 photo 58_zpsucctvwdm.jpg

I love how he casually sidesteps Valentine.

But really here? Zoro basically gives up trying to work it out with him. And mainly it's because he thinks Luffy is an idiot but also he's frustrated that Luffy doesn't believe him.

 photo 59_zpsaf0at7lc.jpg

Take away the but and you have a sentence that works with the translation.

Anyway this is where the nature of the fight changes a bit and it's a complex thing.

Luffy wants a fight. Not just Zoro dodging or kicking him around. He wants something serious and knock down drag out to match with his emotions because Zoro has done a serious thing. He doesn't want to beat him to a pulp with Zoro only barely trying.

Zoro is not going to let himself stand there and get pulverized... he can't let Luffy destroy him because he has to keep going toward his own dream and not break that promise to Kuina or to himself or to Luffy ironically. And if he has to fight Luffy down to do it so he damn well will.

 photo 60_zpsyfwuhtko.jpg

With a brief aside for poor confused Vivi

I really think that before now she lived in a world where enemies where enemies and allies were allies. But here things are changing so much for her. As the people she thought could be the enemy (9 and Monday) turned into her greatest allies so far... and these nakama are fighting in a way she can't understand (even if they got along fine before)

 photo 61_zpseol1qx1j.jpg

And here the fight shifts again, or rather refines. It's not just fighting it out. They need a reason to fight-- or rather perhaps Zoro needs a reason to fight other than just beating Luffy down. He wants to make this a competition. It has to prove something. It shifts focus into a battle of dominance-- where who is stronger is the only way to win. It faintly echoes the Dorry/Broggy battle except with much more intense emotions because it's almost a final battle as well and whoever wins between these two will change things.

They knock each other into buildings at the same time and Vivi wants to get out of there but is unsure if it's wise to walk between the buildings which turns out is a good idea as Luffy and Zoro fight again.

 photo 62_zps4jbplq7z.jpg

Another brief aside for 5 and Valentine who have tried the whole fight to be relevant but are sadly not.
Just to comment briefly on them-- in as much as they seem to spurn the idea that partners should care much for each other, they really do work together well. They both have a lot of pride in their position-- which is understandable because they are at the top of the lowest of the heap. They are the Officer Agents who matter just enough. So they have a lot to prove still. Besides which if they DON'T prove it they're gonna die. They also still don't think much of these two weasely new pirates.

 photo 63_zps4liu9aew.jpg

But Luffy and Zoro are so out of their league it isn't funny. I don't think this is conquerors haki per se and if it is it's a very tiny precursor but they both look murderous and pissed and when they stand they stand together. This is about them, their fight, their relative positions to one another-- they won't be interfered with. They basically tell 5 and Valentine to stop interrupting their fight and chuck 'em off to the side.

(and look really freaking hot in that panel. /bites knuckle/ oh mama)

 photo 64_zpsgqjaktx1.jpg

XDD and that Luffy didn't even know who the hell they were cracks me up. He's just like, in my way, get out of my way. Here again though they stand together which is a really great dynamic and shows exactly where they should be, side by side.

Also I'm wondering if the cloud stuff in the background is 5 exploding on impact which is a definite drawback to his Devil Fruit.

Vivi is shocked that these guys who just came into the Grand Line are so strong

 photo 65_zpsuaurbl5t.jpg

But the peace doesn't last long and soon they start again, the fight changing to something almost deeper than dominance. Who wins this? Who is the strongest? Who can beat the other?

In a fight like this there can be only one winner.

 photo 66_zps27uuhjg7.jpg

A pissed off woman who is trying to protect her billion beri financial investment thank you so very damn much because strength doesn't mean anything with fists as hard as hers. XD She catches them by surprise too which helps.

 photo 67_zps7vkit86m.jpg

And Vivs just...can't XD She has lost her ability to can. She's like what is just happening in my life. How can this be happening. How can this be real? Welcome to the Strawhats, Vivi.

I love how Nami basically knocked them flat on their asses. She doesn't have time for their dominance fighting and can't even figure it out anyway.

Nami hauls up Luffy and Zoro by their shirt collars and berates them for nearly losing her beri. Vivi asks what she's talking about and why they're saving her and...

 photo 68_zpsdttz5j4j.jpg

The fight has changed again to something stubborn and petty. They're both just mad at each other at this point and want to keep fighting no matter what until Nami clonks them a good one because she has had enough of their stupidity.

The winner is Nami.

The winner is always Nami.

(also I know I've skimped on Vivi a bit but we'll come back to her and her situation next time as this is running long.)

finally though I want to bring one more panel up... the one directly after Luffy says why he thought Zoro is fighting...

 photo 69_zpsvpj3zqs1.jpg

XD I really don't think that Zoro is being literal here. Like he doesn't think Luffy would actually fight people for that reason but that he'd do something for such a stupid reason. I think Zoro's kind of insulted that Luffy thinks they're on the same level and that he wasn't doing it for important reasons. Like god if you're going to accuse a man at least think he's done something terrible for a terrible reason!

But I love how Luffy just laughs it off. It was a mistake but now everything is good again and he can't help but be happy-- because ultimately they had a party and a fight and Zoro is his nakama and didn't do something terrible... so what's not to be happy about?

Themes

Since this part largely consists of transitional things-- there's not much in the way of themes present. Except of course:

Communication is Key: Though here it's dealing with non-communication or the keeping of secrets. Secrets are a huge part of the Alabasta arc and we're already seeing how keeping secrets (or withholding information) can blow up in your face. This is especially true for people who are supposed to be working together... but we'll talk more about that later since the keeping of secrets is very much how the underpinnings of Crocodiles plans come undone.


Characters

Vivi: We're closer to getting the full scope of Vivi's character here now that she's free of the Wednesday persona. Mostly here we come to understand what she's willing to do for the sake of Alabasta. Infiltrating an organization is one thing, but allowing your allies to sacrifice themselves for it is something bigger. For Vivi, I feel she even thinks like royalty or someone at the top branch of the government-- the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Which is not to say that any of this is easy for her. She clearly doesn't want to leave Igaram behind. She doesn't want him to die. If she had her way she would fight by his side and try and save him—which she even does to an extent before 9 steps in. She doesn't want 9 to fight either but allows him to fight for her and Monday to bar her path and escape. Vivi can accept help for the sake of her Kingdom but I think she feels every sacrifice someone makes for her.

Also what is evident about Vivi is that, even as Wednesday, there's an air about her, something she does, something that's part of her personality, that draws people and their loyalty to her. 9 wants to fight for his partner, maybe because of his own personality but also because he genuinely likes her. Monday who has less of a reason to fight for her volunteers to do so because she's a friend. People genuinely like her and as we spend more time with her we'll come to see why.

Igaram: Is really a great guy... A great subordinate. He will do pretty much anything for Vivi's sake and the sake of their mission because he loves Alabasta too. All this in mind I think it was pretty hard for him to have to fulfil his duty as Mr. 11 and trick and attack Luffy and the others who must have seemed just like kids to him. (with the exception of Zoro) But Igaram is prepared to do terrible things. Moreover he is also prepared to sacrifice his life and his pride so that Vivi may succeed.

Nami: Even though Nami is attached to Luffy and the SH there's still very much about her that's kind of a free agent. She's independent and acts first out of her own self interest when money is involved. That's not to say that she wouldn't have used the money earned to benefit the crew – but the thing here is she wasn't asking their involvement-- nor were they conscious enough to make a decision. I don't think she has evil intentions at all (no more than usual anyway) rather she still hasn't shaken off the affects of Arlong Park. There it was here job to get money and the Fishmen's job to do as she said.

[ETA: Thanks to Serrende for pointing it out but I actually misspoke since she was the cartographer and the money was for her own sake.

This brings up an interesting point though that I hadn't considered! For the first time she can ask for others to help her get money and be assured they won't trick her. So that she asks Zoro, even by manipulating him to do it, is a sign of character growth.

For example, rather than sneaking onto Kuro's old ship to rob it of treasure and then basically take charge of the treasure herself-- she can get Zoro to get the treasure for her (or at least secure it). Moreover I think it says something that she feels comfortable manipulating him, knowing there's going to be no backlash. She trusts Zoro to still be her nakama in the end, and that tells me she's definitely grown more comfortable in her place as nakama...

Since also? Before? Nami didn't ask for help.

So thanks, Serrende!]

In much the same way she believes the other SHs will do as she says. Though I imagine she thinks she can convince them or that they won't see the problem with it. Though I think she does feel somewhat that what she's doing isn't exactly right because of her arguing Zoro down. Like she doesn't tell him to go at first; basically she just says “let's go!” implying they are doing it as a team... Even if as we know she's not going to go. XD why have muscle if you're not going to do it?

So at the end from what we can see in this part, Nami is at the end of a transitional phase where she's moving from someone who had to control others to someone who can exist in a group as an equal member.

Also I really adore her very low tolerance for bullshit. This is a shonen manga so fighting is seen as a way of communicating in a very real sense-- or at least something badass and cool but Nami just sees Luffy and Zoro being utter idiots and fighting like boys do for no reason she can think of >:/ And she's not afraid to lay down the law (or the smackdown) if it interferes with more important matters.

Zoro What we see of Zoro here is more of his cockiness at the outset... And it's the same cockiness we see when he tells Luffy to go back to sleep XD He enjoys being in a fight but primarily he enjoys winning a fight. We also see him looking after Luffy and his concern with Luffy and the crew versus his lack of concern with people in dire situations outside of it. I think a lot of what Zoro is about is believing that people should just accept the consequences of their actions regardless of the circumstances that lead them there.

The exception being I think in the case of children and his nakama. He is there so they don't have to accept the consequences for their actions. In other words it was on them (or more specifically Luffy) that Vivi and 9 came along and they were tricked by Whiskey Peak-- but rather than let them suffer, Zoro protects them-- and takes great pride in being able to do so. I think partly this is because that as solitary as Zoro can be, he has a need to be a part of something and protect something and someone worth protecting.

In the case of Zoro and verbal sparring XD I think he can be good at it (as we'll see with Sanji) but when he's startled or someone hits a particular anger button or he's just thrown for a loop he has to bluster a bit until his brain catches up. He's good with words if he can be confident in the situation or if he can think things through beforehand but once he gets pissed or annoyed it's more difficult to keep his footing (so to speak) and so he ends up blustering.

(and really I think and hope to prove throughout that even though it's quite popular in fandom to think Zoro is dumb, he's not really and he actually considers himself somewhat of an intellectual in his own terms. Though with the caveat that Zoro's terms may not match up to the terms of anyone else XD)


Luffy: The reason why Luffy reacts as strongly as he does to the Whiskey Peakians as strongly as he does is where Zoro is a protector, Luffy is more of a defender. In his own way he's seeking justice for the people that he considers horribly wronged by Zoro's actions. Though what keeps him from being a Marine I think largely (other than that he wants to be a pirate) is that these people mean something special to him. They treated him and his nakama well and threw them a party and he can't stand to see nice people hurt like that.

Also Luffy relies heavily on what people do. I don't think he's quite yet developed the ability to read someone without seeing what they do first-- which is why he's tricked by them. Plus of course Luffy tends to be swept up in the moment and the moment was fun so it didn't occur to him to be suspicious and Luffy's not really a suspicious person anyway. He's entirely too straightforward and prefers to be happy to hold onto a negative emotion.

And yet let's not forget Luffy has a ferocious temper. He was a mad little kid. It might not take much to set him off but when it does he is not easily appeased, especially here. He is also not one who can switch his temper off on a time. The only way to get through it for him is to get it out-- either by beating his opponent or by some outside force clobbering the mood in frustration. Yet at the same time? When the emotion has passed it's passed and Luffy lets it go to be happy again, because to be happy and cheerful is his preferred state.

Relationships

Zoro<->Nami: So this part does some work in comparing and contrasting Nami and Zoro much like the last did Zoro and Sanji. For Nami and Zoro they are the (current) independents of the group, working somewhat outside of it to achieve their own ends for the benefit of the group. This may seem a bit harder to justify in Nami's case because she said the money was her own... yet we know that she reinvests back in the SH. She supplies the ship, she gives them an allowance, buys food etc. And of course Zoro's benefit of the group is his protection from worry.

To his end they are both pursuing a similar course...

Of course it's kind of a selfish course too in their own way. Because while Nami may invest it back into the group, I think her initial impulse is one of 'money, money, omg I'm going to be rich $.$) which coming from a super poor socio-economic background and seeing all your hard earned money taken away throughout your life will do that to you. And Zoro fought everyone because he could-- essentially showing off to them and himself just how good he was. It was for the benefit of the others yes, but he enjoys the chance to be cocky and know that he's on top of the heap.

In a way at least here they are almost the adults of the group, making decisions for others. This is not to say Sanji isn't one but I so far at least he rarely makes a decision for anyone, preferring to be along for the ride.

Also and perhaps chiefly they are the two members of the group (so far) that are pulled back emotionally and keep their inner selves largely private. Of course they can be pretty emotional but for the most part they tend to prefer to control their emotions. (to varying degrees of success XD)

For differences? Even though they're both fairly private as to their true personalites, Zoro tends to be and prides himself on being straightforward. What you see is what you get. What he believes is what he believes and nothing will dissuade him. He is a rock in a stormy sea. Nami on the other hand tends to be an actress, rarely letting people in to her true feelings-- though the mask slips when she's frustrated or surprised.

Other differences-- Nami is manipulative and great with words while Zoro isn't and not quite as great with words. Nami will poke and poke until she finds the chink in the armor in order to get her way (though this will not always work in her favor) and Zoro does what he wants regardless but doesn't ask anyone else to follow him. (though this doesn't always work in his favor either)

Now putting it like this it seems to cast Nami in a negative light (though the story doesn't treat it that way) but largely in order to get her way—especially when it comes to the protection of others, especially at this juncture, she needs the help of someone who is physically capable of doing it. Yes Nami can smack around people if she must but she wouldn't be strong enough to take on a full attack by powerful forces while also protecting someone else. She also doesn't want to.

In the same vein she is very reliant on Zoro's monstrous strength to take care of things for her. This is something we'll see more than once. She almost takes Zoro's strength for granted, though not necessarily here. But it's worth mentioning for now.

Ultimately Nami is frustrated with Zoro's refusal to do what she wants and so I think feels justified in manipulating him. Because it's not like what she asked him to do is hard and in the end Zoro is just stubborn.

And she's not far wrong. Even if Nami had asked him to do it point blank (which she kind of does in a roundabout tsun way) he wouldn't have done it because figthing for her money making schemes are beneath him. I feel (and semi-headcanon) that before this money was earned through fighting and earning it through another way was less on him as a swordsman. (Even though he takes the benefit of Nami's money) And while it seems pretty hard hearted of Zoro, on the other hand Nami did present it in a way where she would reap all of the benefit of this arrangement.

As for Zoro it's difficult to gauge how exactly he feels for Nami right now although the feeling I get is that he thinks this kind of thing is typical for her because she's still not to be trusted when he's annoyed at her. At the same time he doesn't hold onto his anger at her for very long.

It will be very interesting to see how their dynamic shifts and changes over time.

Zoro<->Luffy: First let's contrast and compare them.

Luffy is active and adventurous, Zoro is reactive and-- I wouldn't say lazy but focused on what he's focused on and pretty much nothing else. He also doesn't care much about new places or strange ones or anything like that. As Oda said he's the least adventurous in the group. Luffy has a kind of straightforward carefree mentality and Zoro is more adult minded and pragmatic (by his own definition which may not fit anyone else's definition)

How they are similar at least in terms of this section and throughout is that they both approach the world through their own frame of reference. Luffy can't conceive of enemies giving them food because that's never happened and –perhaps not here but we'll see how Zoro thinks of the world in his own terms. They are also similar in that they tend to want to ultimately solve issues through fighting.

I think though at least here that Zoro understands Luffy much more than Luffy understands Zoro at the moment. Though I think in a large way there hasn't been much to facilitate this understanding. Oh he knows Zoro's strength and his ambition. He knows Zoro's compassion too... but aside from busting Zoro out of the Marine base in Shell's Town, I don't think they've ever really fought side by side.

Luffy has heard of Zoro defending Rika-- though not even really defending more like cutting up the dog that was attacking her, and yes, Zoro saved him when he was in the cage-- but then he fought Cabaji alone. Luffy didn't see Zoro turning himself into Usopp's shot so the nyaban brothers wouldn't turn their attention on him, nor did he see Zoro fight so hard to protect Cocoyashi. I don't think he's seen Zoro protect anyone as it happens and I think if he'd seen that he would have been less likely to jump on the thought of Zoro attacking everyone.

But I am pretty sure that after this fight, Luffy basically trusts Zoro a hundred percent (we'll have to see because I'm unsure what Luffy sees or doesn't see later) And what does he trust Zoro to do? To protect the crew. To make sure everyone is safe. Because after the anger had passed I think Luffy realizes this is what Zoro does and this is who Zoro is. He's the one who protects the crew so Luffy doesn't have to worry about it. (Though this is just an educated assumption for now. We'll have to see how it refines over time)

So what is the significance of this fight? I think that Zoro comes to realize what he can and can't do in terms of keeping things from Luffy. It's not even that it's forbidden to keep it from Luffy but it causes a hell of a mess. But I also think in a sense it's about Luffy taking another step to becoming a captain rather than just a man on an adventure with a bunch of friends. It's not just that he's mad at Zoro I feel but he's taking responsibility for what Zoro has done and disciplining the 'mad dog' as I've said. (and this is really similar to Ace taking responsibility for what Teach had done) Now I can't point to any one line to prove this definitively-- but I think that it's telling that he went through this fight with his hat on. It wasn't Luffy's personal fight. It was Strawhat Luffy's fight to take the responsibility of justice. (and I mean also he was really pissed so it's not as if it's a complete separation of Luffy's natural temper)


Yet at the end of the day, no matter how much they fought, they stand together... and I think one of the things that make them the most similar is the ability to let things go.

Because yeah, it's easy for Luffy to laugh and say it was a mistake and be happy... But he tells Zoro not to worry about it and it's never brought up again. Because at the end of the day no matter how mad he might get or whatever mistakes of his own he might have made, Zoro is his captain's man.

/dabs at eyes.

That about wraps it up for this part. Tune in next time for the (hopeful) end of Whiskey Peak!

From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

we_are: (Default)
We Are One Piece

February 2017

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
192021 22232425
262728    

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags