Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Monday, January 26, 2015

One Piece (Wan Pīsu) (Seasons Eleven, Twelve, & Thirteen)

Hi there. I'm back again with another rousing entry in my ongoing adventures with Luffy & co. I promised myself that I wouldn't do another entry where I had to put down my thoughts for three seasons worth of material, but here I am breaking that promise. This entry is going to be a fairly long one, but not too long. I've only got 77 episodes to cover so that isn't too bad compared to the length of Water Seven/Enies Lobby.

If you have survived your filler journey to Spa Island for yet another boring encounter with the Foxy Pirates then you are ready for the visit to the Sabaody Archipelago. The story starts at episode 385 for those trying to keep the filler to a minimum. There will be a episodes of filler sprinkled in, but it is nothing at all compared to Naruto Shippuden. Filler here is a breeze. Just a few episodes and nothing more. 


At this point the Straw Hats are halfway across the Grand Line and their goal of getting to the New World seems within reach. The Straw Hats have become strong over the course of their journey and they've done some insanely stupid things like take on Enies Lobby single-handedly and defeat two Warlords of the Sea (Crocodile and Gecko Moria). At Sabaody Archipelago, Luffy's brashness almost puts an end to the Straw Hats for good as they find themselves in a situation out of which not even Luffy could fight.

This all happens because there is a bigass wall that separates the Grand Line and this is called the Red Line. The Red Line is more of an island that extends for miles above and below the water and it is impossible to just go around. Essentially it's a big fucking red wall. The Straw Hats need to go through the wall to continue their journey, but their log pose (which tells them where they need to go) tells them they need to go downward, as in under the water.

That kind of makes sense because they want to go to Fish-Man Island. Fish-Man Island sounds like it just might be underwater. Hmmm. How do they get there, though?

After running into the Fish-man and former Arlong Pirate Hatchan and saving his hide from certain doom, Hatchan leads the Straw Hats to Sabaody Archipelago where the crew can hopefully get their ship coated in such a way that would make their journey to Fish-Man Island something more than a pipe dream.

Sabaody is a dangerous environment, though. The island is crawling with bounty hunters because eleven of the most wanted pirates just happen to be on the island. Luffy and Zoro just happen to be two of them.

Sabaody is also home to the Celestial Dragons, a group of self-righteous pricks that believe they're better than everyone because they've been spoon fed since birth and told by just about everyone that they are the roots of all humanity. You can't touch them, you can't cross their paths, and you can't even think bad about them without punishment. If you do they'll sell your ass into slavery or kill you. Not too different from your average GOP'er, really.

One of Hatchan's friends gets kidnapped because Fish-Men are frowned on by most people on Sabaody. It's a racial thing. In this case it is a mermaid named Camie and mermaids just happen to be very valuable. So Camie is going to be sold at the human auction on Sabaody. Human auctions occur frequently on Sabaody, by the way. Sounds like a great place to vacation, right? Well, maybe if places like Tennessee and Alabama are your destinations for fun. 

In order to rescue Camie and avenge an uncalled for attack on Hatchan, Luffy loses his shit and punches one of the Celestial Dragons square on the face and catapults him straight across the room.

Shit, meet fan. Fan, meet shit. It's on.

The human auction turns into an all-out brawl as the Straw Hats and other groups of pirates are now in a fight against bounty hunters and the Navy and two other very terrifying foes worthy of their own mention. This time it's not only the Navy but Admiral Kizaru and Warlord of the Sea Bartholomew Kuma that join the fun. However, it seems there are multiple Bartholomew Kumas walking around on the island. How is that even possible?

One by one the Straw Hats appear all but eliminated as Bartholomew Kuma's touch causes them to disappear. Not even the great Dark King Silvers Rayleigh, Gol D Roger's second-in-command, can help the Straw Hats because his hands are full with Kizaru.

The last to disappear is Luffy.

The Straw Hats are dead and gone thanks to Bartholomew Kuma's touch.

Or are they?


Luffy wakes up to find himself on an island of women who haven't seen a man before. In fact, men are forbidden on this particular island. These aren't just normal women, though. These women are Amazonians and they can kick ass. They also happen to be loyal subjects of Boa Hancock, a Warlord of the Sea. Bartholomew Kuma's ability allows him to send people flying through the sky for three days and nights so the Straw Hats are not dead after all. Lucky. They just happen to be in completely different locations and really far away from each other. Not so lucky. 

Luffy, after being nursed back to health before anyone realized he was a man (huh?), is on the run for being a man (ah, feminists). The biggest problem for him is that the island he is on is in the middle of the Calm Belt and only a specially modified Navy ship can get him off the island. 

Naturally, he goes to Boa Hancock for help, but Boa Hancock is not about to help him and Luffy is subsequently forced into the ring to be killed by Boa Hancock's snake sisters. Luffy isn't just an ordinary fighter, but the snake sisters have some sort of power that Luffy recognizes from Sabaody. Their hits hurt him in ways he can't defend despite his devil-fruit powers. He's getting his ass kicked. 

It seems only a miracles can save him, but Luffy has one last trick up his sleeve that he doesn't even know about yet. It's called Haki. 

The arc ends with Luffy and Boa Hancock and the snake sisters coming to a mutual alliance. It would seem they've more in common then they had previously thought and that Boa Hancock even has feelings for Luffy. You have to see it to believe it. 

When Luffy discovers that his brother Portgaz D. Ace is about be executed he begs for Boa Hancock's help. All she has to do is smuggle him on the nearby Navy ship and then smuggle him into Impel Down, the world's most formidable prison. Boa Hancock can do that since she is a Warlord, but it certainly won't be an easy task. 

Impel Down is a multi-level Hell and the Warden Magellan uses infamous poison powers that make him impossible to touch. If it comes to a fight Luffy just can't win that one. Level one is on the surface, but each of the other levels are deeper below the sea and they all hold their own characteristics. Portgaz D. Ace is being held on the lowest level, Level 6. That's where all of the real, REAL bad guys get imprisoned. 

When it is time for Ace's execution he'll be placed on a Navy ship and taken to Navy HQ, Marineford. So Luffy only has so much time to get to Ace before his execution. 

Surprisingly, Boa Hancock agrees to help Luffy in getting to Impel Down. Ah, love. 

Rescuing Ace would be another matter, though. 


This is it. What is quite possibly the most epic and strangest arc we've come across so far. We have it all. Luffy makes it safely into the prison, but he is on his own. Boa Hancock can help him no further if she wants to maintain her cover as a loyal Warlord of the Sea. That doesn't mean he can't find help.

Buggy the Clown, Mr. 3, and Bon Clay all find their way into Luffy's makeshift group of escapees, but Mr. 3 and Buggy aren't so thrilled about having to venture deeper into the prison just to help Ace escape.  Mr. 3 and Buggy look for every chance to escape on their own, but it would seem fate and a bit of deux ex machina hinder their efforts to break away from Straw Hat.

Inevitably, their hijinks gets brought to Warden Magellan's attention. With Luffy and his tenuous alliance on Level 4, Magellan is very serious about them not making it any further into the prison.

But Luffy is quickly overpowered by the Warden's poison power and his group has finally deserted him with the exception of Bon Clay. With Luffy's unconscious body placed on Level 5, Bon Clay does everything within his power to search for the only one that can help him, the Queen of Queers! I'm talking about Emporio Ivankov. The Queen of Queers. Well, this is never getting a proper dub.

With a bit of luck, Luffy and Bon Clay discover the infamous prisoner Ivankov and his hidden Gay Club dubbed "Level 5.5." Seriously, this is never making it to America on television. It's there that Luffy is healed although not without precious time being consumed. Ace's execution is only hours away and Luffy and Bon Clay still have another level to cross. Ivankov, after discovering that Luffy and Ace are the sons of Monkey D. Dragon, chooses to help him. So Luffy and an army of queers and transvestites make their way deeper into the prison.

But by the time they get there Ace is gone and Warden Magellan has wisely trapped them down on Level 6. That's not to say they are done-for, though. Help is going to come from a very unlikely source. Former Warlords of the Sea Jinbei and Crocodile offer Luffy their help. Jinbei because he is a friend of Ace and Whitebeard, but Crocodile's motives are a bit more self-serving. Still, help is help.

Meanwhile, Buggy and Mr. 3 have started a riot on Level 2.

You'd think this is as complicated as thing might get, but then Blackbeard himself decided to break into Impel Down.

What the hell is going on?

To make a longer post shorter, Luffy and his gang of rebels break free from Impel Down thanks to an amazing and moving sacrifice from Bon Clay, who opts to stay behind in order to open the large Gates of Justice that will allow Luffy to pass through in the stolen Navy ship.

However, they are now stuck inside of a triangle that only has three exits. One of them is Impel Down and the other two are Enies Lobby and Marineford. Marineford just happens to be where Ace will be executed. And only by having someone open the Gates of Justice can they escape their situation.

Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire. Having escaped Impel Down the escapees must now go to Navy HQ somehow and do battle with some pretty terrifying Admirals and possibly Warlords.

But with guys like Mr. 3, Mr. 1, Crocodile, Buggy, Ivankov, and Jinbei on his side, Luffy might just stand a chance.

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