zhadrani: (luffy pwns enel)
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So. :|a

I reacted, let us say, Not Well to the Zoro section of OP 597, and it's only been through much ranting to [livejournal.com profile] whiteadelphi and soul-searching and awesome conversation that I've been mostly reconciled to it. Not entirely! There remain issues, but at least I'm not making lineface every time I think about it, now. Instead of reiterating, I'm just going to link to the post WA made that contains basically our whole IM conversation on the topic.

To clarify before we even start, my problem wasn't at all to do with the plain fact that Zoro asked Mihawk to train him and humbled himself terribly in the process. In fact, that hardly comes up in our massive combined tl;dr AIM conversation, and I'm surprised that a lot of people seem to have issues with it. Not like he hasn't shown that he'll sacrifice his dream for Luffy at this point, after all. And yeah, it's painful and shaming and he had to throw away his pride to do it, and he doesn't care, he'll get on his hands and knees and press his forehead to the floor and hold there, bleeding all over Mihawk's carpet until the man agrees to train him, and then look so thrilled and happy when he finally does (>.> socute). I thought that was awesome, actually, it hammers in just how far he'll go—he won't just die to protect Luffy and his dream and the rest of his crew, he'll humiliate himself in front of his ultimate rival and live and get stronger in order to better support him, too.

...Which is the thought which sparks my ACTUAL problem. >_____> So here are the links.

These are the Original Problems With the Chapter.

And here's the conversation we had earlier today exploring Zoro's motives and why it went down the way it did. WA's previous post has the beginnings of some speculation too, in the comments.

There's some good stuff in the comments to that post by now, too, and...y'know, I thought I'd have more to say in addition/expansion, but I think I'll leave it at that for now. :|a

With regard to the rest of the chapter, I'm pretty sadface that the crew will be apart for two – freaking – years; I knew there'd be a timeskip coming up but I thought it'd be a lot shorter than that, and I'm still a little shakey on how Luffy came to decide this was the best way to do things given how much he wanted to see his nakama a few chapters ago and the fact that he doesn't even know where they are right now or if they're alright. (Perhaps Rayleigh told Luffy that Kuma told him they'd been sent to places that would make them stronger? But that doesn't make sense, I don't think Kuma managed to say all that to Rayleigh, IDEK.)

Also, they'll have been apart for longer than they've even known each other! ...Not that that will diminish the strength of their bonds in any fashion, of course, but still. There'll have to be a whole new getting-to-know-you-again part when they get back, which...okay, admittedly, could be interesting. >.> Not to mention WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO LOOK LIKE, OMG. I'm going to trust Oda on this, he'll probably win me over, but there's just no preventing a certain amount of saaaaadface at missing all of that time with them and them missing all of that time with each other.

I did love finally getting a really thorough explanation to Haki, at last—and wheeee, all the examples of it over the years getting tied together, so genius, Oda. I loved all of it, and oh man Luffy is going to be powered up so epically with two years training in it! 8DD

...And I think I'm not alone in suspecting that Zoro has been picking up the edges of some haki techniques as he goes along, too (sensing T-Bone on the train tracks before he was in sight, split-second knowledge of where his opponents will strike, manifesting his spirit externally with Ashura, among other examples). And he's going to need to learn to cut logia, anyway, and the rest of the crew will probably be learning some of this stuff, too, given that they're the Pirate King's crew and Must Be Epic (like Rayleigh! :D)

...And that's all for tonight, folks. >.>

Edit: Now with links actually added, derp.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-28 08:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] threeswordsoul.livejournal.com
And okay, that last, 'giving me a place to belong and people who care about me, at last'. I guess that would be the other thing that you brought up that would maybe have tied Zoro to Luffy in a similar way to the rest—I think he needed other things - an anchor, a sense of belonging; something else to do than just chasing Mihawk. Well, the stuff I've talked about above is part of the reason I don't really agree with that—actually, no, that's not quite true, I agree with it as a reader, that joining Luffy and gaining the rest of the crew as important nakama was definitely great for Zoro's character in this sense, and part of the poignancy of his development is I think that over the course of their journey he himself realized that it was good for him and that it had become extremely important and necessary, and that probably had something to do with his shift in priorities.

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. To me, that line Zoro gave cautioning Luffy that Zoro would only follow him as long as Luffy didn't interfere with his goals, and that if he did Zoro would cut Luffy down himself, indicates quite strongly that 'an achor, a sense of belonging, something else to do than just chasing Mihawk' wasn't part of his priorities in agreeing to be Luffy's first nakama. I never saw any indication that he felt a lack of 'a place to belong and people who care about me, at last', much less to the extent that Robin, for example, did (and to some degree Nami, although she had her village, sister, and Gen-san), or that he placed any importance on it, at the beginning. (Possibly because he still had his sensei back in Shimotsuki, had no angst about being an outsider in that sense, and had always been very self-contained and self-sufficient, to begin with.)

I agree that it would have been great to get some more insight into Zoro's head between volume 1 and Kuma wrt about when he started to put Luffy's dream ahead of his own. And does this mean that he on some level has accepted Kuina's death now (as I usually assume he hasn't)? Would he now be able to face Tashigi without flinching?

Hmmmmm. Thought-provoking, thought-provoking. As a disclaimer, I need to think on this more thoroughly, so I could possibly change my mind about this later or there could be holes in my thinking, but my initial reaction is to say no, I don't think putting Luffy's dream ahead of his own has caused him to accept Kuina's death more than he had before, and no, I think Tashigi's face would still poke sore places where he wouldn't be comfortable being poked. That said, I feel like he'd view not-achieving-his-goal-due-to-death-via-sacrificing-himself-for-Luffy-or-the-crew in the same sense that he'd view not-achieving-his-goal-because-of-death in some other scenario where he's still flinging himself whole-heartedly at his dream and what he believes in and giving 200% of himself to overcome obstacles. We've seen before that he's not afraid of death, and that he's accepted and been unshaken by the possibility that he could die along the way to the goal he's chosen, even if he has no intention of doing so. So with the shift in priorities, I feel like this has just been slotted in with 'inevitabilities, unavoidables, stuff that has to be taken into consideration with respect to how he goes about achieving his goal and remaining true to his own ideals and principles as a swordsman and a human being.' And that really, IF he's actually gotten around to thinking about it, and after working through the initial 'would this be okay with you, Kuina??', he'd realize that yeah. It would be okay with her. She wouldn't be cool with him, I dunno, killing babies or something if it was a choice between that and living and achieving his dream (and neither would he, obviously), and so she wouldn't be okay with him compromising his sense of self in not protecting his nakama in order to achieve his goals, either—and neither would he. ...Of course, no saying that he's actually reached that point in his thinking yet. |D
Edited Date: 2010-08-28 08:53 am (UTC)

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