One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at over 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those who haven’t been watching from the start to jump on board. One Piece Diaries tracks one writer’s experience with this daunting rite of passage. With hype for the highs and critique for the lows, this column will help you decide whether to take your own One Piece journey – or let you relive the one you’re already on. It will update biweekly every other Thursday.
Episodes Watched: 237 – 245 – Water 7 Arc
In this section of ‘Water 7’, Iceberg was shot by two mysterious figures, one of whom appeared to be Nico Robin. As a result, the Straw Hats were blamed, and their chances of existing comfortably in town while waiting to replace their ship was destroyed. In addition, we learned that Kalifa, Lucci, Kaku, and Blueno were all members of a secret government organization called CP9. Their mission was to get their hands on the blueprints for Pluton, one of the three Ancient Weapons. We also learned that Franky isn’t just a public nuisance – he’s also someone Iceberg trusts to hang onto the real blueprints due to their mutual experience working under someone named Tom.
These are quite a lot of revelations for just eight episodes. That’s great – I like One Piece a lot more when it’s moving at breakneck speed. As I’ve noted before, the pacing can sometimes feel excruciatingly slow, so this was a nice change. Overall, this was a fascinating chunk of episodes. Since I don’t know what’s coming next, I’m going to talk a bit about what I thought was most intriguing and want to know more about.
Let’s start with Iceberg and Robin. Iceberg clearly knows something about her past, and clearly disagrees with her about how to proceed with the Pluton blueprints. He believes that they’re too dangerous to be made public, while Robin wants to get her hands on them for reasons that she isn’t explaining. Right now, it’s hard not to side with Iceberg. His point of view reminds me of the long-term nuclear waste warning messages that exist to prevent future societies from unleashing something that could easily destroy them. I have no idea what Robin is trying to accomplish, so I can’t say that she’s wrong, but her stated goal isn’t very compelling.
That’s also why the Straw Hats completely refuse to accept her betrayal. They don’t understand why she’s doing it, and it doesn’t seem to add up. She has a dream she can’t accomplish if she’s with them – what is that dream? Why, when they’ve been so supportive of her before, are they incapable of helping her with it?
The fact that they’d just lost Usopp doesn’t help either. At this point, their team is falling apart and they’re holding onto what’s left for dear life.
I really like how Robin’s betrayal is juxtaposed with the CP9 revealing that they’d been spying on Iceberg for years. Both of these are major revelations, but one of them impacts the protagonists on a much deeper level. Still, you can see how crushed Paulie and Iceberg are to realize that the friends they thought they knew were never their friends at all. It’s amazing that the Straw Hats still have faith in Robin after all that.
On another subject, it’s really nice to see that there’s a little more to Franky than meets the eye. I know that he eventually becomes one of the Straw Hats, but so far I haven’t found him especially compelling. All he’s done is rob the Straw Hats, beat up Usopp, and then get mad because the Straw Hats retaliated.
Oh, and get followed around by two women who – so far – don’t have names or individual personalities. I’m looking forward to seeing what else we learn about him, and I hope we get to learn something about his female teammates, too.
A quick question before we wrap up – what is it about cola that makes it usable as Franky’s fuel? Is it carbonation? The corn syrup? The phosphoric acid? The caffeine? The caramel color? Could you isolate any of these ingredients and have them still work? Do some brands of cola work and not others?
Anyway, that’s all for now. Next up is a battle between Luffy and the CP9 – and hopefully some more juicy backstory.