One Piece – Winning without even throwing a punch

It’s funny how we spend hours upon hours watching anime, often only for but a few short minutes of absolute pay off. I watch One Piece for these transcendental moments; don’t get me wrong, it’s a consistently fun show but every so often, it raises itself to a rare point of pure emotional resonance with me, where for a few scant minutes all of my attention is completely focussed on the screen, emotions lost somewhere between ultimate high and shocking low.

This happened again today with episode 147 – Luffy, Zoro and Nami are sitting at a bar, drinking and joking, when a purely evil pirate by the name of “Bellamy” walks in and immediately starts a fight with Luffy. He laughs in Luffy’s face, calls him weak and bitterly insults them all for chasing their childish dreams. In Bellamy’s mooted new world, there is no need for dreams. By now him and his whole crew are viciously mocking The Straw Hat Pirates, bullying them, spitting drinks in their faces and throwing beer bottles, basically trying to strip them of their dignity.

But Luffy refuses to fight back, and he tells Zoro to do the same. They have the shit kicked out of them; they are thrown through wooden tables and have their faces smashed through broken glass. Nami – like the viewer – is urging them to fight back, to stand up for themselves, but still they refuse. Eventually they are thrown out of the pub, barely alive.

Now we are left to wonder why they refused to raise their fists in the face of such provocation. Luffy doesn’t strike me as such an ardent pacifist – if someone needs a good beating, he’ll hand it out. But I wonder if he pities Bellamy, the man’s contempt for chasing dreams and ambitions a sure sign that he himself has lost faith in life. He hates Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat pirates because they stand for everything he wants (or lacks) in life. Luffy’s pride and dignity never wavers, to fight back would suggest he is afraid of losing something, so he stands tall and embodies everything Bellamy lacks, in turn protecting his dreams with a iron will. Luffy and Zoro win without even throwing a punch.

This was a brilliant, passionate and gut wrenching scene; a fine example as to why I love One Piece, it was worth watching 146 episodes if just to get to this point.

Author: bateszi

A huge bloody nerd. I apologise in advance. I live in Cambridge, England. That's not an excuse, by the way.

10 thoughts on “One Piece – Winning without even throwing a punch”

  1. You convinced me to take up One Piece again. I stopped around episode 80 because of sub issues, but now i’m downloading something crazy like 150 episodes.

  2. Fantastic writeups ! Will have to link here on my site when I get a chance.

    I dropped this series like a hot turd a while ago due to its shouneney overtones. Might reconsider.

  3. Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad I’ve convinced you both to give One Piece another try – it is by far and away the best Shounen Jump anime I’m watching these days [though Death Note may change that sooner or later].

    Keep me updated on how you get on with the show; its taken me since January to get to episode 150!

  4. I feel the same as Retsgip. I want to give it another try!
    I’m still catching up on the manga and had watched a few of the anime episodes but given up soon after.
    You made me change my mind, I’ll give it a second chance.
    You’re a great blogger.

  5. I really admire that. They are really, really strong. Bellamy is just too stupid to understand why they won’t fight back. And, I forgot what episode it was on. =P Please tell me?

  6. I love One Piece now and forever but I (as well as other people) almost or did drop the series at the beginning, probably for what we expected originally (rewatching the beginning was a whole new experience after watching this far).

    I just wanted to compliment you on your blog, I think it was a very good representation of both the power of the story, and someone’s feeling as they are watching it. I hope everyone who has doubts about watching One Piece would come read what you wrote.

  7. Perfectly said! I love your review on this, and I agree with many parts of it.

    Most of the time while watching One Piece, I notice myself waiting to see the uncommon moments that stand out the most also. Every touching scene, such as this one always seem to bring out some type of message or something to the viewers. It also shows the nakama’s strong ability to stand strong for their goals and dreams, which is why I’m one of the biggest fans of One Piece!

  8. you are really good at writing these comment my friend, and yes you let me clear now why they didnt attack that day. This Episode was really awesome, like in real life bellamy doesnt get the idea of having dreams in this life, he is empty like much of the people that live in this world. so thats why I love One Piece, cause this series teach us how to foolow and fight for our dreams.
    episode 312 is cool too.

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