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One Piece – Finishing Enies Lobby ~ To the ocean, back to the sea of adventure

When you enjoy something so completely, it’s never easy to write a review about it, and, as if you didn’t know already, I love One Piece. Of course, I could just not bother with this blogging nonsense, but I can’t ignore my conscience. More people need to be watching this anime and, in my own feeble style, I need to tell you why I love it.

Earlier today I finished watching episode 312 and according to Wikipedia, that’s the official end point of the Enies Lobby saga. My initial thoughts are that this was by far and away the best arc of One Piece. That’s a remarkable feat when you think about it; after an amazing 300 episodes, it’s still getting better and better. A lot of the credit has to go to the unflinching vision of Oda-sensei, who has been crafting this wonderful story for nigh on 10 years now. I imagine he draws it with a big Luffy style smile slapped across his face.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that One Piece is the most fansubbed anime ever; every single episode has been translated, encoded and shared by people spread the world over. So through all the tragic 4Kids bullshit, the fans remained undeterred and stuck together, achieving a quite remarkable record. You cannot doubt their dedication! Here’s hoping FUNimation give us a release worthy of such a loyal fan base; even though they will be beginning production at Skypiea, I’m desperate to fill my walls with beautiful One Piece DVDs.

Why is Enies Lobby so much better than, say, Alabasta then? It’s the way the Straw-Hats worked together. In the past, it has usually felt like that as long as Luffy was around, the day would be saved. He beats down Crocodile, and that is that, the world saved. It’s not that simple with Enies Lobby though; Luffy is basically sidetracked by Rob Lucci, leaving the rest of the Straw-Hats to rescue Robin. It takes a real team effort to survive; each person is pushed to their limits, a true test of their spirit to remain together.

My favourite scene was just prior to the final moments of Luffy’s clash with Lucci; Usopp’s looking down on the fight from high above and spots that Luffy is close to defeat. He removes his Sogeking mask and starts screaming and shouting, urging Luffy to fight on, desperate for him not to give up. All this contrasts with Usopp’s earlier fight with Luffy; they are supposed to be enemies, but Usopp’s show of support gives Luffy enough heart and determination to finish the fight. It’s a really wonderful scene, a perfect ying-yang of Luffy’s strength and Usopp’s support; they need each other to survive.

It’s apt that Merry shows up in the end and carries everyone to safety. Though it may be too nostalgic for some, the boat is symbolic of the Straw-Hats bond to one-another; it represents all those past adventures, their precious memories and the dreams they’re yet to grasp. It’s not just a ship, it’s the One Piece adventure itself, Merry is the reason they are all together and ultimately, it’s the reason they survive.

Comments

delible says:

Now it’s time for the post-Enies Lobby arc! And let me tell you, revelations ABOUND! ^^
And if you’re up to it, I suggest reading the manga, because the arc after post-Enies Lobby has major surprises too!

Necromancer says:

The whole of Enies Lobby had som many great moments but this was my fave

*runs off to read chapter 462 that I forgot is now scanlated*

Dan says:

Well, when you put it that way, I think I’m going to have to rewatch this arc someday. I didn’t get as much out of it as compared to, say, Alabasta, or Arlong. But you’re right… this is definitely the biggest trial the crew has faced, and we really get a sense of the possibility of their failure. That scene where they fended off the captains on the bridge while Luffy continued to fight, it was perhaps the first time we understood the crew as something that lived and died together. It was a little bit sappy towards the end, but at least its honest. Great post!

bateszi says:

@delible: Yup, I saw up to episode 315 this morning and you’re right, it certainly was revelations abound! I always wondered about Luffy’s family – though we still don’t know his mother! Also, I love how Oda always brings back older characters like Cody – it was amazing to see how much he has changed compared with his geeky old self! I can’t wait to see the day when he is the marine admiral and Luffy is the pirate king!

@Necromancer: That whole episode was one great 23 minutes of One Piece. Definitely the best of the Enies Lobby saga! :)

@Dan: I understand your point of view, for me I’d have to say this just beats out Arlong in terms of sheer emotional drama. Both arcs are about rescuing friends and that’s where One Piece really shines, the dynamic between the group. And I definitely felt, like you, things were getting a little too melodramatic in the end with the whole Merry voice thing, but it’s easier to accept if you view it in terms what the boat symbolizes.

qwertypoiuy says:

i know what you mean me too just caught up with one piece
but there are alot of good anime that you can start
i started watching black lagoon which is awesome
maybe you can start watchig Hxh

bateszi says:

I’m definitely on the look out for something new to get into. HxH is on the list, but I’m probably going to do a bit of research on ANN later and see what other top rated anime I’m yet to catch. Ideally I’d rather a shorter 26 episode show since I’ve just come from the mammoth anime that is One Piece. I’m looking at something like Devil Lady, which I’ve heard is rather good.

arkon says:

And to think you weren’t feeling the enies lobby arc at first.

Hard for me to say which I like more between this and the Arabasta arc. I’d probably say this one since it’s fresher in my memory (it’s been at least a year or so since I last watched the Arabasta arc). So many unforgettably great moments in both though.

You’ll be pleased to know that the next arc still manages to keep things fresh. It’s very different. I won’t say anymore for fear of spoiling it.

bateszi says:

Well, I’ve seen up to episode 316, so now I know all about Luffy’s family. Also, I loved the meeting of the two big pirates in the latest episode – Whitebeard and Shanks; you know you’re strong when you can knock out groups of people simply by walking past them. Monstrous aura from both of them; I’d love to see how Aokiji would deal with those two!

kauldron26 says:

bateszi b4 u go off to ANN looking for stuff to watch, check out my recommendations, considering we share almost if not the exact same taste. these are the best of the crop in my own opinion. oh and i tried getting into hxh… and i just didnt like the main character at all… i really dont like overly optimistic characters who think anything can be conquered by friendship, etc… plus my fave character leorio or hanzo barely did shit. anyway check out the list let me know what u think.

BERSERK 10/10
BLACK LAGOON 10/10
COWBOY BEBOP 10/10
ESCAFLOWNE 10/10
EUREKA SEVEN 10/10
GANKUTSUOU 10/10
PLANET ES 10/10
RAHXEPHON 10/10
SAMURAI CHAMPLOO 10/10
WOLF’S RAIN 10/10

12 KINGDOMS 9.5/10
GUNGRAVE 9.5/10
MONSTER 9.5/10
NANA 9.5/10
NOEIN 9.5/10
PARANOIA AGENT 9.5/10
TSUKIHIME 9.5/10

BASILISK 9/10
BECK 9/10
CHRNO CRUSADE 9/10
DEATH NOTE 9/10
ELFEN LIED 9/10
ERGO PROXY 9/10
EVANGELION 9/10
GUNDAM SEED 9/10
GUN X SWORD 9/10
HONEY & CLOVER 9/10
HAIBANE RENMEI 9/10
INFINITE RYVIUS 9/10
KEMONO ZUME 9/10
MIDORI DAYS 9/10
WELCOME TO NHK 9/10

if u really want to get into something, i recommend Infinite Ryvius. That anime is so overlooked man. it knocked me on my ass. seriously. the character development in this show rivals berserk, planet es and monster. the only reason it didnt get a 10, is because of the animation. plus it was directed by the same guy that did planet es. infact i plead with u to watch it. would love to know what u think. u can hit me up at kauldron26@gmail.com

bateszi says:

Ahh, cheers for this! I was planning on checking out Devil Lady but that seems to be set for review on another blog soon, so I’ll go with some of your recommendations instead! I’ve seen a lot of what’s on that list of yours but I’m intrigued by a few you’ve included.

I always see people praising Chrno Crusade but for some reason, I always presumed it was one of those stupid Gonzo anime; nuns with guns or whatever. I haven’t even seen one episode of that so I’ll probably try it as my next big hit. I heard it’s emotional and tragic.

I’m also intrigued that you included Gun X Sword and Ergo Proxy. I kind of dropped Gun X Sword after three episodes; the power rangers parody killed it for me. I’m told it gets better though, obviously you agree! Same thing with Ergo Proxy, I was struggling to engage with the story because it was too heavy handed with it’s constant references to philosophy. I really wanted to like both of them – they have adult characters for a start! – but for whatever reason, they just never happened for me.

Finally, I’ve seen Infinite Ryvius and I can only agree; it’s incredibly underrated in terms of its quality. Lord of the Flies in space. I watched it a couple of years ago now but I still remember how realistic the teenage characters were, the way they bullied each other. I also found the concept of the story fascinating, how these kids have to build a government and go from being lead by the weak smart kids to being dominated by the strong dictator (Blue). There’s a lot to say about Infinite Ryvius, I may rewatch it and come back with a proper review sometime!

kauldron26 says:

the thing about gun x sword i love the most are the characters. sure when it starts out it is silly, but it becomes so charming that you can’t help but love it. especially the relationship between wendy and Van. But what really blew me away was this one episode that was devoted to pulp fiction that had me rolling and rolling in laughter. but the show is really a guilty pleasure for me and i unabashedly love it.

And i have to say i consider the villian to really be true evil. And i mean the very incarnation of evil. the kind of evil we have in real life. not the caricatures of evil we have in anime. i mean Evil like Jim Jones kind of evil. And the fact that such a character was depicted so accurately in an anime was shattering. i dont know if u know about Jim Jones but that guy convinced so many people that his ideals were the way for mankind to follow, only for them to be slaughtered.

trust me those power ranger characters, u will end up loving them to the core. And the soundtrack was pretty awesome. In regards to Ergo proxy i understand whole heartedly, but the thing is, u cant watch ergo proxy piece by piece. i gave up after ep 8 and waited patiently till all the eps came out. it should be watched in a marathon. that way all the pieces come together and u can focus on the mystery and the characters. Plus there is this essay that i found that ends up explaining everything in the end that will blow ur mind yet, bring closure.

As for Chrno Crusade, trust me u have no idea what u are in store for. whatever u think the show is about it isnt. And when u think about tragedy, just remember how u felt during the last eps of wolf’s rain. that is the impact chrno crusade will leave on u. what r ur thoughts on the ones u’ve seen and not seen from the list above? i just finished dl legend of galactic heroes, was inspired by ur review.

check out animea.net and da-anime.org thats where i get all my anime. free DDL.

later man…

qwertypoiuy says:

yeah the meeting between shanks and Whitebeard made me Excited like when i watched akatsuki for the first time
i love badass characters and there are alot of them in one piece

kashii says:

this is proof that oda is a genius. he mademe cry over a ship. this is the sign of great storytelling.

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