I don’t have much to say about this chapter because to be honest, not much happened. The fight was quite intense, but the fact that it was in a black and white manga combined with Kubo’s overuse of black tones made it difficult to figure out what happened, so I gave up trying.
I think Unohana plans to die. The letter she left behind to Isane made Isane cry. That combined with one or two popular theories suggest that she doesn’t think she will live and will die for the sake of Zaraki.
I know I ranted about the fact that getting rid of Unohana or Zaraki would be silly, but it feels sort of acceptable if it is done as a self-sacrifice. Maybe Unohana did a horrible thing in the past (hence her “sin”) and now seeks redemption by self-sacrifice. Sure, that is a common trope, but it is not a bad one.
Now, on to the most important thing in this chapter: Zaraki’s near death experience.
There are three prevailing theories as to what happened:
1) Zaraki imagined his death
When I first read this chapter, this is what I assumed had happened.
Backed into a corner, Zaraki Kenpachi envisions death and all of his life’s greatest regrets. Then he snaps out of it/wakes up and fights once more.
This is probably the most probable theory.
2) Zaraki died but then revived himself because he is just that boss
This theory sounds ridiculous, but some people believe that Zaraki has now been to be immortal, that as long as he has a goal to move towards, he will not die and that he will come back stronger each time.
This theory is backed by some stuff Unohana spouts right at the end.
3) Zaraki died but then he was revived by Unohana.
This theory also makes some sense. Unohana is Soul Society’s best healer. I think her sword is also capable of healing people (quite the contrast to her supposed violent character) and as such it might be possible her sword can revive people.
I really like this theory because if it is true, then it very clearly demonstrates that Unohana is not the crazy monster I thought she was but is in fact a very caring, self-sacrificing individual who can kick some butt.
I mean if she intends to continuously revive Kenpachi until he can become strong enough to kill her, then well, she is quite the amiable individual.
Even if the third theory isn’t true, I still believe that Unohana is doing this purely for his sake.
I am going to wager a guess that Unohana’s life is already numbered and that she isn’t expected to live long anyway. I think that would explain a few things including this supposed last act of sacrifice.
Regardless of which theory is correct though, we got a very interesting glimpse into Kenpachi’s character. Even though we might have been lead to beleive that he seeks death, the truth is that he does no such thing. Kenpachi does not want to die, especially not a pitable death like the one shown in this chapter.
It is a very interesting bit of character development for Zaraki.
(Like last week, I read this chapter first because it would be the worst. I think I was right to do that.)
At first, I was dismissive of Lee reminiscing about Neji, but then I felt slightly sad about it. Sure, we had seen enough moping around, but things like childhood rivalries, eternal promises and discussion of cool eyes tend to move me, so I was slightly (not much, mind you), ever so slightly moved by Lee’s memories.
Then the fox and everyone else said nice things about Naruto. For those of you who have read my posts on a frequent enough basis, you will probably know that I like it when a main character gets boundless praise. I like it when the MC’s efforts are finally validated and everyone is in awe.
So, I liked this bit, not much mind you because it wasn’t presented particularly well, but I still sort of liked it.
As for what I did not like, well….
My first complain with this chapter was the Fox’es comments on Naruto’s parents.
The damn thing tried to kill them ruthlessly and yet here we are with him acting like they were the closest of buddies.
I know we are meant to have forgotten about the Fox’es past, but it still feels weird to see him treat them like intimate friends. Yeah, he respected them, but I don’t think their relationships were terribly friendly.
My other far bigger problem with the chapter was the continued moping over Neji’s death. I was sort of okay with Lee being sad as that was just one page, but then a good portion of the rest of the chapter was spent yelling about how Neji lives on and continues to give everyone blowjobs.
Okay, well nothing was said about blowjobs, but they might as well have said that as at least that would have been amusing. I am tired of this whole continous “FORCED PLOT MOVEMENT THROUGH SOMEONE’S DEATH” thing. How much longer is Neji’s body going to be dragged through the mud before we are done with it? I have no idea.
I would also like to note once more that Obito totally sucks. Kishi took a somewhat likable goofy character and turned him into an incredibly angsty, stereotypical villain.
I apologize to all of the Obito/Toby fans, but the reward of having a long time fan conspiracy theory come true was just not worth the character we got.
On the bright side, we might get more info on Sasuke next chapter. I hope so anyway.
Oh and I find it funny how the title of the chapter is “Dance of the Ninjas 2”. These guys are hardly ninjas now.
This was a pretty uneventful chapter in the large scheme of things.
The only important plot related things to come out of this were:
- Samurai dude is still alive.
- The kids will be fine.
- Law is targeting Kaidou.
The first event was an obvious occurrence, still not sure how it happened, but it did. Apparently, the poison has a weakness, so the fallen marines can be saved.
The second event was also obvious, but I am glad to see it verified.
Law is targeting Kaidou huh. I can’t say I am particularly surprised to hear that.
Even though this chapter was uneventful, it was very heart warming and lovely.
I love how the marines start of the chapter by making a boundary to separate the pirates from them, but by the end of the chapter, everyone is having a blast together. It is a testament to the power of delicious food, but more importantly, it is a tribute to the sense of friendship and comradery that this manga has been showcasing since the very beginning.
This chapter is proof that even enemies can have fun together when they cast aside their differences and try to enjoy one anthers company.
The “Nami feels warm around female marines” was also a great touch and it totally fit her character.
All in all, this was an excellent One Piece chapter. It showed us friendship and comradery without ever slipping into the cheese zone and it did so while remaining true to the spirit of this manga.
Chapters like this make me increase my already impossibly high admiration for Oda sensei.