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Date: 2010-08-29 09:00 pm (UTC)
I like long posts! Merging replies here.

Okay, you've convinced about Zoro's introduction for the most part: yes, it's mostly about him watching how Luffy acts and finding he approves of him. (Though in a way I think that's true for all of them. At least, I don't feel that anyone chiefly joined out of gratitude.) But that's similar to Robin, too, though it's hard to say when she can have said to truly have joined the crew. Maybe not until Enies Lobby - but the crew definitely thought of her as one of them before that, and so did Robin of them. ("At last I'd found comrades I could trust in..." she said in volume 41.) Still, I agree that Zoro's situation is unique in a different way. Also,

What I disagree with is that it had anything to do with why Zoro initially agreed to follow Luffy; that it was important back then.

Yeah, you're right about that.

And it's true that Zoro didn't need all that much help from Luffy and Coby in order to get out of there. Still, saying Zoro wasn't actually saved seems to me to take most of the tension away from that story, plus also making Coby's first act of bravery unnecessary. I mean, yes, he didn't need to be there in the first place - but then again, the fact that Helmeppo tricked him into it may indicate that Zoro didn't always make the wisest decisions on his own, back then - but still, if Luffy had just left him there, Zoro would still have been executed and died, no matter how pathetic his captors were. He wasn't yet strong enough to break out by himself. And Coby, who first thought of Zoro as a scary demon best left to his fate, wouldn't have done anything if Luffy hadn't been there.

So, maybe not really a big life-changing event by itself - but it did make it possible for Zoro to keep living. I kinda feel that should count for something, at least.

Besides, putting Zoro basically above the others makes it feel like he's looking down on them all condescending, and I don't like to picture that... :( - Although I do realise my emotional reaction is no actual counter-argument!

I'm actually always a little surprised to hear people not think Zoro is a leader-type,

Yeah, I can't really explain why I feel that way, especially since at several times we've seen people express surprise that it's Luffy who's the captain rather than Zoro. Though if it helps I feel the same way about Ben Beckman and possibly even Rayleigh.

A good while back, reading someone's stray comment on the net made me wonder who among Luffy's crew might under the right circumstances become pirate captains in their own right - quite possibly not involving any of the other Strawhats. I realised that Nami seemed the easiest to picture for me, despite her relatively low fighting power. "Captain Nami" has a nice ring to it. ;) Franky the ex-gang leader and Brook were next after that - Brook doesn't feel like a true leader-type to me, but he's been a captain before, so I don't think he'd have much trouble with assuming the mantle himself. Usopp and Chopper would both need a lot more confidence and ability to stay calm first, but it doesn't feel impossible as long as the set-up means a crew that would respect them (and Usopp, at least, has the inclination for it, of course ;)). I got the feeling that Sanji would be _very_ reluctant in most cases unless it's a restaurant ship; but still, I could see him forcing himself to at least step in temporarily until they could find someone better suited for it.

But with Zoro and Robin, I just couldn't picture them as captains at all. And I still don't really know why. But again, it may well just be due to my flawed imagination.

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