*cry* That was the best arc yet. These episodes are probably the reason I still watch anime. One Piece renews my love for many things outside of anime. It lifts my spirits and gives me a positive outlook on life.
This arc was all about Luffy and the crew’s pursuit of Robin. They want their nakama back and Luffy isn’t willing to accept that she’s gone. After storming the government island in Rocketman the entire force (Franky Family and the few Galley La foremen included) make their way into the island to clear a path for the strawhats. The one that makes the biggest impact is, of course, Luffy who wasn’t about to follow the plan and let the Franky Family and Galley La foremen get all the fun. Luffy basically pushes into the heart of the island and takes on the majority of the forces. His first big obstacle is Blueno.
Even though Blueno would probably be like the weakest member of the CP9 assassins, Luffy still has to reveal his new techniques to defeat him. This is where Luffy just amazed me. His first new technique, Gear Second, is basically a power boost plus a massive up in speed. This can be seen as one of the Rokushiki skills, soru, with bonuses in power. (Soru is the super speed one.) In short, Luffy gets epic. When he first assimilates soru through Gear Secon, Blueno puts emphasis on the questioning of what is happening inside Luffy’s body. It is later revealed that Luffy is using his rubberized body to speed up his blood flow. His uses his legs as pumps that increases the pressure of his heart and speeds the blood up. For some reason (I’m guessing just for awesome effect) Luffy’s body constantly steams and glows a reddish color in this form. Luffy himself admits that he learns how to move that fast by watching the CP9 operatives’ soru. This just makes me have all the more respect for him because he had this bogus idea and found out how to use it just by watching them when the CP9 members have all spent like half their lives learning how to practice these skills. Luffy owns.
It’s pretty easy to guess that Luffy owns Blueno, but at the last second, when Luffy thinks that he hasn’t just won, he dissipates his Gear Second and starts to resort to Gear Third but stops at the sight of Blueno falling to the ground. This reveals that he has another trick up his sleeve even though he doesn’t reveal it yet. He does reveal it later in the arc and I feel it safe to just go ahead and say that Gear Third involves Luffy biting his thumb and blowing air into his body and bones. This inflates him and then he moves all the force into an arm or a leg and smacks the bloody fool out of someone or something.
The whole concept of the arc, saving Robin, can’t be done without some fun involved. So in order to save Robin the crew and Franky have to find the key that matches Robin’s handcuffs and each CP9 member has a different numbered key. The extra members of CP9 are introduced as competitors in this game. Fukurou, Jyabura, and Kumadori are the remaining members that had not been mentioned. Fukurou is a soru master, is round like a ball, and has a sipper for a mouth. He goes up against Franky and loses. Jyabura is a rude man with a long braided pony tail and whiskers, he has a Zoan type wolf fruit. He goes up against Zoro and Sogeking and then Sanji and loses. Kumadori is a loud mouthed long haired big guy, I call him the stage samurai but that’s just me. He goes up against Chopper and loses.
The already revealed CP9 members are all participants in the game too of course, but with new powers. Kaku and Kalifa both have gotten ahold of a Devil’s Fruit and have eaten it. Kaku gets a Zoan type Giraffe fruit and Kalifa gets a Paramacia type bubble fruit. Kaku goes up against Zoro and Sogeking and then just Zoro and loses. Kalifa goes up against Sanji and wins then Nami and loses.
What probably made this arc really neat is the emerging powers of the crew. Sanji gets his Diable Jambe, he spins around on a pivot foot until his leg turns white hot and kicks the living day lights out of people. Nami uses her Perfect Clima Tact to make her Mirage Tempo even better and her lightning attacks stronger. Zoro gets his Asura thing. That technique of Zoro’s didn’t make sense he gets extra arms and heads to where he is like wieling nine swords, oh well, it was cool. Chopper doesn’t really get a new skill, but he does consume 3 Rumble Balls within a six hour time frame and turns into a giant monster. I say it’s not new because apparently he had done it on Drum Island before.
Luffy of course, with Gear Second and Gear Third, has an epic battle against Lucci. Luffy’s fight goes on through a good portion of the arc and even continues when Spandam accidentally initiates the Buster Call. Of Course the Strawhats have a hard time with the CP9 agents, but they have a down right annoying time with the Buster Call. Buster Call didn’t really seem as scary as Robin made it out to be. It looked more like a retarded attack with no aim. Plus it turned on a government island with no though so that’s just dumb. But, nevertheless, the Strawhats were facing eminent doom until Merry comes and saves them. Why Merry was there, I don’t know. How she got past 10 battleships, I don’t know. Do I care as long as the Strawhats are safe? I certainly do not.
The things that are revealed in this arc are Robin’s past on Ohara, Lucci’s past, and Merry’s story. Robin had a very sad story revolving around what really happened on Ohara and her origins as an archaeologist. Lucci’s past is basically him as a teenage CP9 agent with Rokushiki skills and a mean attitude. And Merry’s story is all the flashbacks and good times that they had on the ship up until the point of its collapse.
I was cheering and crying through the majority of this arc except for the times I was yelling in anger at the little filler things with Luffy as a Edo style detective. I won’t give those few episodes the pleasure of being talked about in this arc because I was so mad. Even though I did watch them and enjoy them.