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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: 2010-08-27 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pi90katana.livejournal.com
Also, they'll have been apart for longer than they've even known each other!

I'm not going to lie - even though I've been firmly in the 'yay timeskip!' boat, even when I was expecting a shorter time period, I did kind of sadface at that. Mostly because roleplaying makes me immediately look at this from my character's perspective and dammit, at most Brook can only have been sailing with them for a month. Anything is a vast improvement from being stuck on the Ghost Ship, but he already spent fifty years without nakama. Aaaand this also means another two years until he gets to see Laboon on top of how long it takes to sail back to Reverse Mountain. So yeah. As excited I am, I still go ): a little.

...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.

/raises hand 8D

Besides the instances you mentioned, I think Shabondy was the clearest example for me. Those slavers looked like they'd been slapped in the face for a second there - even the ones who didn't have a clear look at his expression.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-27 06:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whiteadelphi.livejournal.com

One thing I do remember is that Kuma did say to Rayleigh "Hey, I'm with the revolution and I totally want to help out Luffy 8Db" -- only in more of a Kuma-tastic lineface kind of way, and Rayleigh could probably have taken it from there that Kuma did, in fact, send all the crew somewhere they could be stronger - and entirely possible, given Kuma turned up at the Sunny-go shortly after that, that Kuma and Rayleigh had some huge talk in the background somewhere, though that could be assuming too much, but at the very least I believe Rayleigh would trust that Kuma had seen to the survival of the crew :|a

...if we're lucky some of those blanks will get filled in later >_>a One can hope.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-27 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serrende.livejournal.com
Very interesting! Thanks for linking your discussion - it was very cool to read about, lots of stuff I hadn't considered at all. I found some of my own assumptions challenged as well, which is good. (I don't think of Zoro as a leader and find it very hard to picture him as the captain of a crew, but I don't picture him as a follower, either, except to Luffy of course. I tend to think of him more as a kind of lone wolf who's grown into a member of a close-knit team/surrogate family almost despite himself - But then I remember he hung out with Johnny and Yosaku, and was definitely the leader of that small group if anyone was... so maybe it's just my imagination that's a little faulty.)

But Luffy (and Coby) did save Zoro's life, after all, and I think Zoro's always felt himself tied to Luffy because of that, even though he repaired the favour immediately when he struck down Morgan. That wasn't getting even, that was serving the captain he'd already accepted. Very true that Zoro didn't need Luffy to set out on his goal - he'd already been doing that, for some time - but that goes for Robin as well. But I think he needed other things - an anchor, a sense of belonging; something else to do than just chasing Mihawk.

I wasn't very taken with this chapter in general, but I'm not sure if that's chiefly as a reaction to the confirmation of the time skip, and the length of it (I'm not really happy about it, either :/), rather than to any specific scene. I did think it weird that there seemed no point to Zoro apparently not getting the message in the last chapter, as it seemed to set things up for an epiphany in this chapter which I assumed in turn would reveal more about Luffy, Zoro and how Zoro views Luffy and the situation. That obviously didn't happen.

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?

Maybe Water 7 in general and losing Merry in particular didn't have something to do with it. But it would have been nice to get more clues. Generally I appreciate that Oda doesn't hit us over the head with characterisation stuff, but at times you want to see more.

It's not the first time I feel it would have been valuable to get more insight into Zoro's thoughts and feelings, either. Sometimes it feels as if Oda's going overboard on his stoicism, especially when it's extended not just to the face he shows others but to what we readers get to know as well. One of my lingering problems with chapter 438 is just that it would have felt better if we'd have seen any indication - whether spoken, thought, or non-verbal - that Zoro would have been sad if Usopp had stayed behind on Water 7. I assume he wouldn't have been fine with that, given other things we know about Zoro - and I would very much dislike making the opposite assumption. But it would have felt much better knowing for sure. But just as with this chapter, it's not something Oda's likely to revisit. *sigh*

Er... sorry for rambling so much! Um... I agree about Zoro and haki techniques. Wouldn't hearing the breath of all things come into haki territory, too, much like mantra?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-27 03:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serasarahhhh.livejournal.com
Wheee, I love reading other people’s thoughts on OP stuff. *__*

Okay, I AM SO STUCK ON THE ‘TWO YEAR’ PART. For exactly the reason you said, that they haven’t even KNOWN each that long. That has me going LKAJSHDKLJASHD way more than the fact that we’re missing two years, I just can’t believe THEY’RE missing two years. AHHHHHHHH IDEK. It’s weirding me out. And I’m pretty terrified about any appearance changes he might give them. And also excited, but like...I’m so used to how they are already, ahah. So I keep going back and forth between YAY and OH NOES on that. Gah.

You know, it didn’t even register with me that Zoro didn’t get a flashback until I saw someone else pointing it out. >.> We’ve had that flashback-to-them-joining scene come up so many times that by now it’s just kind of like we know. ...For me, anyway. I kind of felt like in place of that Zoro got the two-page spread with the rest of the crew. Which isn’t the same as a flashback or anything, but I interpreted it as...hm, how to explain this. Everyone else is saying they need to get stronger for Luffy, and it’s all “I will do this, me me me”, but Zoro is the one acknowledging that the whole crew has to improve. “If we entered the New World now, WE wouldn’t be strong enough, WE have to power up first.” It might come off sounding like he’s just summing up everything for us, but that it’s him doing it, the first mate, next-in-command, etc, it makes it feel a little more important. So okay, we don’t see him remembering Luffy specifically and having this emotional I WILL DO THIS FOR YOU~ moment, but we DO see him thinking about the entire crew instead, and I really liked that. We already knew just how much Zoro was willing to give to see Luffy through on his journey anyway, I guess I just didn’t feel like it was entirely necessary to bring it up all over again. So even though he didn’t get that same send off, I was satisfied with the fact that Mihawk knew exactly why he was asking anyway and then Zoro explaining it to Perona later just added to that, and then the nakama spread with him talking over it... I was happy with it. Zoro bared his soul once already and he’s still dealing with the aftereffects of that, so it’s not like anyone has had a chance to forget that Zoro is pretty damn dedicated to his captain.

THIS IS SO RAMBLY AND DISJOINTED, sorry if it makes no sense! I’m sneaking writing it at work, durp. >.>


Date: 2010-08-28 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fantasyfan17.livejournal.com

Just that the timeskip length makes me go D8 and 8D at the same time and on the matter of looks.

All I want. Is for Usopp to come back with dreadlocks. That's all I want out of this thing. /stupid like that


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