Whole Cake Island Analysis (Repost)

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  1. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    One Piece has been running for over 21 years now and even though we are close to the end game, we still have a good 8-10 years left for the series before Oda wraps it up. Through those 21 years we have had many a story arc with there own cast, themes and dynamics (some worse then others cough dressrosa), but we are here to talk about a particular arc.

    In alot of ways this is a repost of a thread I made on another site

    Now this is WCI:
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    Before I start I'll give a brief premise for the arc:

    During his stay on Zou, Sanji learned that he is to be the Husband in a wedding, is betrothed bride is the 35th daughter of the family Charlotte Pudding; an arranged marriage between two families: The Charlotte Family; matriarch Yonko Charlotte Linlin aka Big Mom of the Big Mom Pirates, and the Vinsmoke family; Patriarch Judge Vinsmoke his dad leader of Germa a mercenary kingdom. Sanji initial rejects but decides to go along to confront his family that he has a troubled past with, cut them out of his life and handle the situation, before he leaves he levees a note for Luffy & crew when he arrives:"I'm gonna meet a woman, I will be back."

    After some convincing and revelations, Luffy decides to head to Whole Cake Island to get Sanji back for the upcoming war/battle in Wano and to make a rubbing of Big Moms Road Poneglyph. Joining Luffy are the members that went with Sanji to Zou and saw he leave ready to rescue him; Nami, Chopper and Brooke. Not just the crew but three minks come along in the form of Pekoms, Pedro and Carrot.

    Before the arc truly begins, we cut back to Sanji finally arriving in Big Moms territory, still professing he will not get married and join up with the Big Mom Pirates. But WCI decided to send a little present to help Sanji, a picture of his bride to be because:

    [​IMG]
    And thats the lead in for the arc, oh and Luffy challenged Big Mom in Fishmen Island.

    Things I will talk about:

    1. Designs (character, islands)
    2. Addressing bad critiques
    3. Characters
    4. Themes
    5. Other Hand/Critiques


    1. DESIGNS

    Oda has ever since moving into the Grand Line, has crafted more interesting and creative locations compared to those found in the East Blue starting with places like Little Garden and Arabasta. This tradition has since continued to Halloween lands like Thriller Bark to places under the sea like Ryugu Palace in Fishman Island. WCI arc is no different, in Totland a collection of Island Big Mom controls with designs based in old fairy tale like buildings/Grimm architecture, but they all have there own unique aspect with there design: They are all based on food.

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    While we don't get to see all the Islands (Its like 36 Islands people) each Island has there own minister serving as the head of each Island who is a member of the Big Mom Family and specializes in that food: Minister of Chocolate, Minister of Beans, Minister of Nuts, Minister of Candy, etc.

    We see some along the strawhats journey starting with Cacao Island, an island where chocolate is used for everything; from food, to clothes, housing and fountains which proved irresistible for Luffy and Chopper not to munch on but thanks to Pudding got covered from getting arrested saying they were dismantles of buildings just doing her a favor where they got off with a little warning for not posting a notice of them eating or alerting those inside. Even the sea is affected by the food, where patches of sea mix with jam sticking things caught in it if you aren't repaired for it.
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    From the gooie Peanut Island using peanut butter to hold it together, to Liqueur Island proud bottle buildings, all islands lead towards central main Whole Cake Island. Capital and base of operations of the Big Mom Pirates, all made up of cake and icing besides for the forest on one end of the island with Whole Cake Chateau towering over everything. Whole Cake Chateau, a massive three layered cake building at the center of the island where Big Mom resides with they top being reserved for Moms fabulous tea parties.

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    Its not just the food themed islands that make Totland unique, thanks to the power of Big Mom Soul Soul Fruit all islands of Totland have guests and residents unique to her Territory called homies. With the power of her fruit Big Mom brings normally not talking life and inanimate objects such as flowers, trees, silverware, carpets and even food to life to join in the merriment along with helping her spy network across the Islands.

    It doesn't end there, with Brulee Mirror Mirror fruit we are taken into the twisted mirror world that stretches for miles on end connected to all mirrors in Totland, allowing for quick travel between locations for Big Moms forces.
    [​IMG]

    Character designs and outfits were also great this arc with some of the best of the timeskip (had to cut to fit)

    2. Critiquing the Critique
    This section is just something I wanted to do because while I don't think WCI is prefect some criticism I see thrown around doesn't make to much sense or is actually explained in the manga, I don't want this to be too long o it and would rather get this out the way before I move on to the real stuff of the thread.

    "The Vinsmokes still don't respect Sanji they are evil, Judge is right with what he said about Sanji"

    This one is rather easy.

    As much as Judge/brothers put on they don't care about Sanji and think he is a failure, if Judge didn't have second thoughts about Sanji with him saving not only his ass but his precious offspring's asses at the wedding and with the last words Sanji said to him before they left Bege's castle... Judge and the rest wouldn't be here to save Sanji or heck Judge wouldn't have made/have a suit for Sanji.

    Before someone brings up they said it was for revenge just remember that as soon as the Sunny Go got out of Big Mom territory they didn't stay to keep fighting far from it, a retreat was ordered now that they have completed there mission, this wasn't paying back Sanji for saving them earlier since they already did that by helping them escape the top of the Chateau so there was no dept to be repayed.

    Luffy saw through Judge act that he did care for Sanji despite Judge saying he doesn't and still views him as a failure, that Judge is actually being dishonest and finds those things that make Sanji who he is is well good and its just more of Judge pride refusing to admit like as Judge said why come back to save Sanji since he is useless, yet here Judge is risking his life and kingdom in a yonko territory to help him escape.

    Luffy was right at the end of Judge's speech saying yeah that what makes Sanji great, and yeah Vinsmokes are still kinda evil atm but I don't think thats gonna stay the case especially with Judge now.

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    "Pedro explosion did nothing to stop Big Mom"

    Which ignores that:
    1. Intent was to free Chopper and Brook and hopefully take Pero out.

    2. Explosion freed the Sunny Go which allowed them to escape from Big Mom for a bit

    It just seems like oh if it didn't stop Big Mom fully it failed which it clearly didn't but its was intentional. Like the entire escape is made up of little moments that by themselves don't mean much, but all these little moments together are all essential in helping the group escape Big Mom's territory and it emphasize just how hard it was for them to escape Big Mom that without all these little motions in play the group would have never escaped Totland and died.

    Only the cake and green room bought a good amount of time.

    "WHY did Sanji leave his Family back there to die when he wanted to save then he should be fighting with them"

    This just ignores Sanji own words, despite Sanji hating his family (bar Reiju if they aren't even close) he didn't want them to walk blindly into the slaughter house and just get killed he couldn't let this happen not only because he couldn't look his own real father in the eye if he just left a group whom if he didn't intervene would be killed but it fits with his character.

    But as soon as it was over he told Judge he didn't want them in his life any more, that the Sanji they/Judge knew in the past was dead and that Judge isn't his father. Everything afterwards was of the Vinsmokes/Judge own volition so Sanji would have no problem with it, and the Vinsmokes only got in mortal danger/went down shits-creek as soon as Sanji left Totland so how in the hell would he know the condition of his family or the Fishmen Pirates?

    "WHY didn't Pudding help with the strawhats escape"

    Without Pudding being there the strawhats die straight up:
    - If it was anyone but Pudding the Wedding events would be entirely different
    - Without her there would be no cake plan
    - Without her help (along with Sanji and Chiffon) there would be no cake and with no cake the Strawhats die out on the sea by Big Mom and her forces.
    - Also the group would have been caught by Big Mom in the Seducing Woods if it wasn't for Pudding clearing the way to the Sunny Go with her memory powers.

    Sanji and Pudding are heroes, saying neither did anything is incredibly disingenuous and dishonest even Pudding helped Sanji get to Cacao to grab Luffy which no one else could have done. Pudding did all she could with not wanting to be exposed as a traitor knowing the dangers, yet ohh Pudding could have just used a memory bomb to help them escape.

    Yeah like what 50 of her brothers and sisters mysteriously not remember what happened 10 minutes ago while waiting for Luffy and now its like 2 am, there was no way Pudding could have helped without exposing herself as a traitor on Totland besides using a power that has never been hinted at as before shit people complain about narrative coincidence but fuck.
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    "THE CAKE FAILED"

    Look I can get the cake didn't get the reaction expected it would, like with Big Mom being out of commission for the rest of the arc even with Oda teasing it (though Big Mom reaction to the cake and singing is priceless in 900) I get it, but to say the cake failed is another matter entirely...... it didn't.

    The cake worked, not only did it get Big Mom away from the strawhats after they struggled to push her back the one time; when they were all tired and Chopper was prepping a suicide attempt to just drown himself and stall Big Mom for some time it also gave them enough time to escape before Big Mom arrived to Cacao Island.

    If there was no cake like I said they die out at sea and Chopper would have killed himself, the cake knocked Big Mom out long enough for the Strawhats to escape her territory. If the cake didn't work on Fluffy Island or whatever Big Mom would be right back to chasing the Strawhats even in her weakened state not only herself but Perospero you know the super dangerous candy son and get to Cacao fast as she did in Chapter 902.

    The Vinsmoke and Fishmen forces (fighting in water no less) were already busy and having trouble dealing with Big Mom forces, how are they supposed to handle a albeit weaker Big Mom and her strongest minister in Perospero could they stop the two? Heck how is the Sunny group able to handle them with:

    - A weak as shit can't even fight Luffy
    - Tired as hell Nami, Chopper and Brook who barely handled her before and they had Jinbe's help and two of them already failed to stop her when they were in much better shape
    - Tired as shit Carrot whos Sulong charge is used up
    - Sanji who really could only deal with Pero and it be a tough fight but still have to deal with Big Mom
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    "Why didn't the Strawhats get Capone or Pedros help when they arrived in WCI"

    1. Why would the strawhats go to Capone? Last time they meet him he nearly killed Pekoms and tried to abduct half the crew against there will why would the strawhats ever go to him? They only went to Bege after Jinbe convinced them too because for what the gang wanted to do it be advantageous but even stressed they could always just back away, Capone only offered this to other Big Mom pirates why would he go to the strawhats?

    2. Pedro didn't announce he was a thief and been to WCI the night before reaching WCI, but even then: Even with that knowledge Pedro isn't a map maker so even if he remembers anything about how WCI was structured he wouldn't be able to make a good enough map just for memory for infiltration. Like there a reason in films they steal maps of places already made because otherwise unless you work there for years no way would you have an accurate map so a map from from memory ten years ago or so isn't helpful.

    Not only that Pedro just snuck in, its not like he has inside details of BMP operations and guards movements, security network or even knows what a homie is.
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    "Pedro is dead because of Sanji"

    He isn't, Pedro didn't die because Sanji wasn't there on the coast of Whole Cake Island and he didn't die because of Sanji going to WCI.

    Sanji weither he wanted to willingly or not was gonna go to Whole Cake Island, even if he didn't decide to handle this family business alone Capone held alot of power over Sanji with having the others chained and guns pretty much pointed at them along with the knowledge of Zeff hostage situation so even if he didn't decide to go himself Capone would have forced his hand. And if it wasn't for Sanji: Brook, Nami and Chopper would be taken along and who knows what Big Mom would have done with them or what would have happened to them as hostages.

    Hell Sanji getting the others out not only saved them from being used as hostages, but saved them from being captured again since with them outside Nekomamushi would not buy Capone lies.

    Pedro left because his time was short and wanted to go out like he wanted to, it could have been Chopper, Nami, fucking Franky that got captured and Pedro would have gone no matter what to Totland because of his own reasons including his own history.

    Even if Sanji didn't go off with Pudding & Chiffon remember he would be dooming the crew because no cake means death at sea, but ignoring that even if Sanji was there on the coast as Big Mom was behind them and Perospero & Katakuri in front of them Sanji being there is no guarantee the situation is any better.

    - Katakuri was there and was easily dealing with Luffy atm having Sanji also there doesn't really stop Katakuri and in-fact puts more people in danger (A good reason why Luffy seprated him and Katakuri from everyone else)

    - Sanji doesn't even know the candy melting and even if he did and tried to move the Sunny he still has to deal with a powerful minister who was able to deal with both Chopper and Brook who are no utter weaklings in fighting and even in the brief bit utterly dominated Pedro.

    3. CHARACTERS

    Obviously this section is for going through characters this arc examining well characters weither it be there motivations, arc, what they are for and so on; now I won't be doing all the characters because I would be here all day but I will focus on some starting with one where if I didn't do a single I feel like it would be lacking so i will go with seemingly the best of the bunch.

    1: Judge Vinsmoke:
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    As I said before none of the others at least to me are really interesting or have much too them as characters (I know at least for the brothers that is sorta the point but Odas done more with just simple characters I mean just look at some of the Charlotte siblings or other villains in the series). But Judge has character to him, as I said above he is the patriarch of the Vinsmokes currently and thanks to science worked on by him and Vegapunk (could this be another CC thing like with the smiles?) he used it to create a clone army at his beck and call and children that not only lacking/removing in certain emotions and obey him like perfect soldiers to accomplish his grand dream (which is basically conquering nations like Napoleon) be strong against protest from his wife Sora.

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    Well all things didn't go as planned, Sanji was not only born without the genetic modifications like the exo-skeleton and such making him pretty much a normal human but he had the emotions that Judge was trying to effectively purge entirely and or suppress that unfortunately costed Sora her life eventually. With all that Judge blames Sanji not himself for Sora's passing, but that doesn't explain Judge harness towards Sanji before hand that steams from his weakness and emotions or his drive to "fix" Sanji before he just tossed him in the dungeon eventually because Judge was harsh on Sanji before his wife passed with trying to drive the emotions out.

    Why does Judge try to "fix" Sanji and blame him for his wife death? Well I think if Judge ever did blame himself ultimately it would make him question weither his methods are justified which wither it be Judge ego or dreams couldn't handle it so he just continued his path of ridding these emotions not only through his soldiers but through himself with you know not caring about Sanji the "failure" while loving his perfect children. For some reason Judge views emotions and such like empathy as a sign of weakness could there be more of a story to this?

    Cut back to like 10+ years later and Ball-chin is still the same but as Sanji says, the Sanji the vinsmokes knew in the past is dead he isn't the same person. During Sanji's brief fight with Judge, not only is Judge surprised Sanji can injure him but is angered that Sanji would ever strike his father that his son has come back to him all the while Sanji is dismissing Judge saying he didn't come back for him/family and whats so special about blood father that they aren't his family with Sanji ultimately rejecting everything Judge and the Vinsmokes stand for.

    Next time we really focus on Judge is when he and his "perfect children" are held at gunpoint ready to be executed, Judge is crying yelling out at Big Mom while right next too him his so called perfect children are not only emotionless but laughing at the whole situation, themselves and even there father for falling for this ruse in the first place with Judge being horrified this was there reaction (with Reiju in her head saying its all Judges fault they are like this) before Judge breaks down with more tears at the end of his life wishing that this was all a lie. Judge is at the lowest point maybe the lowest he has been since Sora passed away and its all his own doing:

    - Him accepting Big Mom deal
    - Him striving at all cost towards his dream
    - Him turning his own kids into emotionless husks
    - He has no hope of getting out of this

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    At the end, Sanji saves there sorry asses from being killed (Judge shocked Sanji would do this) and after saving them they all wind up in Beges Castle where "father" confronts son about why? Cause at least if the situation was reversed Judge most likely wouldn't do the same atm:

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    Because he couldn’t stand to disappoint not only himself but his father, no not ball chin Judge his actual Father Zeff, that if he couldn’t separate/move past the scars and damages of his past to save his family or really anyone then he really couldn’t face his father again if he was such a small tiny tiny man.

    Asserting that he didn’t do this out of some form of love for his blood father, reiterating that the Sanji that fled Germa and was a part of the Germa family that they remember had died that day 13 years ago because he doesn’t consider himself a Vinsmoke much less he considers Judge his father.
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    So just like that faithful day 13 years ago where Judge casted Sanji out of his life, now Sanji a man is casting Judge and his family (Brothers most likely minus Reiju but she sucks) out of his life wishing to never see them again, Judge accepts Sanji's wishes with a look on his face hiding his real thoughts/feelings heads off to help Bege and the others escape.

    As you could see earlier Judge seems to hold on to the idea that Sanji is his son and a member of the Family: Why do you hit your father, why do you forsake your family, you’ve come back to me my son.

    Judge himself believes/holds on to the idea that Sanji has this belief/hidden love for the family that he will love him since he is Sanji's Father, ultimately what Sanji says to judge here tarnishes that being the ultimate proof that “Vinsmoke Sanji” is dead that this love he believes Sanji has for the Vinsmokes/him is non-existent, so Judge has not only lost a son not being able to control him and make him into what he wants to serve his needs (he just like Big Mom) but lost the love of one all for this dream (that we don't know could just be some imperialistic dreams passed to ruler to ruler).

    We don't really see Judge and the others again till the fight on Cacao Island (saying they are here for revenge but do nothing but help Sanji escape) until there is a final confrontation between Father and Son before he goes both staring angrily at each other before:

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    (Also notice a bit of symbolism with both Judge and Sanji having one of there eyes covered)

    Luffy is right as we find out that as soon as the Strawhats make it out of Totland territory, the Vinsmokes attempt to escape where they are seemingly unable to now that Big Mom and Perospero have returned to the scene (they probably couldn't before hand without being nearly wiped out). But here is Judge risking everything, his kingdom, his "perfect children" and even his own life to save the life of whom he still calls a failure, Luffy is right that Judge is listing off stuff good about cause weither Judge admits it or not Luffy, Sanji and Sora are right.

    From everything at Totland, Judge is seemingly seeing the errors of his ways: That emotions are not a weakness, there nothing wrong with caring, that creating perfect soldiers wasn't right just look at his reactions to nearly being executed.

    Sanji and what he stands for is right, what judge and Germa 66 stands for is wrong, that Sanji isn't the failure:
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    They are failures, Sanji the strongest of them and seemingly Judge will take this in mind, we shall see what effect WCI will have on Judge and how it will effect the others in due time. Personally Germa will experiences a change all brought about by this arc that will change Germa for the better (though I think the kids are fucked for now) and how Judge will rule more so to be inline with Sanji.

    2. Sanji
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    Before i delve into Sanji and what went with him, I would like to first go on a brief tangent I don't know weither this adds or doesn't add to the big point about Sanji this arc but I've seen this idea/shit on Oro, reddit and AP that I just want to say something about it.

    "Sanji didn't join the crew because he was horny/Nami"

    Some people seem to be under the impression that Snaji only joined/or mostly joined because of Nami and or the fact that he is horny. I've seen this enough and never responded to it yet I feel that having this may contribute to the larger aspect of Sanji character in WCI cause not only is this a bad take it underscores the importance of the arc and what Sanji went through that arc (an arc that barely had Nami play a role in) but also underscores the importance of his friendship/dynamic with Luffy and Zoro so lets go back to the Baratie Arc.

    We are introduced to Sanji in chapter 43, despite being a chef he serves as a waiter for Fullbody and his date where not only is does he show his liking to the ladies but also shows his stuff as a chef: serving the best wine for the dish not playing Fullbodys game, asking Fullbody to finish the soup he put a bug in and ultimately beating body up for having wasted food not caring if he was a paying customer.

    Zeff comes in and we see a brief bit of there dynamic with Zeff hitting Sanji, but soon Gin comes in starving demanding food while having no money which gets him pounded on by Patty and kicked out to the deck with Sanji watching silently from the background. Some time later Sanji comes out with a hot plate for Gin for free, Gin tearfully gobbles it up and praises Sanji (who is smiling take pride in his cooking) all the while Luffy watches on going: Yep this is the Chef I want.

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    Luffy didn't recruit Sanji cause he was a great chef (it helps), or looked cool (like Zoro), lie or know how to navigate; Luffy wanted Sanji the kind chef willing to feed those who were starving and couldn't afford food.

    As soon as Gin finishes Luffy yells out asking Sanji to join his crew, Sanji goes into about Zeff being a former pirate and how important the Bariete is to Zeff who is a hardass that scares staff away. Sanji declines saying he has his own reasons for staying here, which Luffy refuses Sanjis refusal Luffy askes for Sanji reasons:

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    When Sanji meets the others Zeff approaches Sanji questioning what is stopping Sanji from going and says this is a good chance for him to be a pirate thathe isn't needed here shocking Sanji, with Sanji questioning back since he is second in command so why is he not needed. Zeff basically says he nothing but trouble and a shitty chef no one wants around, he doesn't care if he is a pirate just get off the boat, Sanji grabs his collar for insulting his cooking but Zeff just slams him into a table:

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    (Luffy thought Sanji could again join his crew)

    Things heat up again when Don Kreig comes in now demanding food in a terrible state, despite protest from all the chefs and customers Sanji feeds Don Krieg but as soon as he is finished he slams Sanji demanding they not only feed all his men but give up the ship. Sanji heads off to prepare the meals but stopped when he is surrounded by the chefs with pistols draw, undeterred Sanji states he knows they are crooks and scum not worth saving but he can't just leave them be especially as a cook knowing they are starving.

    Before more violence happens, Zeff arrives with 100 meals for Kreigs men( with Chefs saying they will take the ship) knowing they can't have much fighting spirit after losing in the Grand Line but Kreig now wants the boat and Zeffs logs saying with it he will be the greatest pirate of the era.... but Luffy gets up and yells at Kreig declaring he will be the pirate king with Sanji looking on in silence.

    Zeff doesn't blame Sanji saying he just acted of his own free will (Gin is apologizing to Sanji) but the others protest:
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    Zeff rallies his chefs to take arms and get ready for a fight, with Sanji telling Gin he will kill anyone who tries to take this ship.

    As they wait for battle Sanji over hears Luffy and Zoro talking about there dreams, being excited for the grandline as Sanji just watches on calling them idiots rushing to death but Zoro retorts saying he threw away his attachment to his life for his dream so pretty much only those that did can call him a idiot with Luffy and Usopp agreeing saying they did the same with Sanji just brushing it off but Zeff watches them with a smile.

    Zoro and Mihawk fight and we all know how that turns out, but Sanji watching wondering why Zoro is just sacrificing his life when he could just throw away that ambition though he is again shocked when Luffy rushes in to save Zoro.

    But back to Kreig and his men the two fight with the chefs showing they can do more then cook especially Sanji showing off just how strong his kicking is and more chef stuff:

    During his fight with Flame Pearl Sanji doesn't care if he gets burned as long as the Baraite especially since a chef like him isn't afraid of fire, but before he struck by a underhanded attack from Kreig that would have hit Sanji and the ship, Luffy runs through the flames knocking the spike ball back. But during all that Gin gets behind Zeff with a shot gun, ordering Sanji to leave the ship or else but Sanji refuses telling him to point the gun at him.

    Luffy says Sanji will die but Sanji tells him he doesn't care as Zeff watches angrily, but Pearl comes in telling Gin to just hold Zeff there as he sucker punches Sanji saying if he wants to die Pearl will kill him. Luffy tries to fight back but Sanji stops him saying they will kill Zeff if he steps in, as he gets up he tells Gin he can't accept his deal because the Baraite is Zeff treasure... Sanji has already took everything else from Zeff including his dream

    All the while Sanji is getting beat up he thinks back to when he meet Zeff, long story short Zeff saved Sanji life during a storm when he was a pirate and attacking a ship. The two ended up marooned on a uninhabitable Island and two bags of food both going there separate ways to watch for a ship, many days past and Sanji food runs dry after battling hunger and starvation only eating enough to get by (thinking back to times he wasted food) wishing not to die he plans to steal Zeff bag.

    On the 70th day he tries, happy to see that Zeff still has a bag, but when he cuts it open he discovers it nothing but treasure, that Zeff gave him all the food and that the old man survived by eating his own leg. Sanji cries out why did he doe this:

    [​IMG]
    That despite Zeff own crew laughing at Sanji for saying he wishes to find the All Blue saying it doesn't exist and not believing in it, Zeff believes it is out there, that he wishes to make a restaurant on the sea. Sanji says he will help that restaurant come true if Zeff doesn't die, back to the present saying the man gave up everything for him that if he can't put his life at risk to save Zeff he will never repay his debt to Zeff.

    That was the reason Sanji has stayed, all bloody and beaten not caring if he dies just so long as the restaurant still stands but Luffy decides he is just going to sink the ship. Sanji tries to stop Luffy saying he doesn't know what the ship means to him or the debt he has to repay, but Luffy grabs him by his collar yelling he cannot repay his debts if he is dead, that Zeff didn't save him to throw his life away, all the while Pearl tries to hit both but is quickly dispatched by Gin.

    Luffy and Kreig fight after he gasses the ship, Sanji tries to stop him but stop when he realizes he can't stop him just watching him be reckless in his fight with Kreig. Zeff tells Snaji to watch Luffy closely that there are people like Luffy out there, idiots that fight to the death when they decide on a goal..he likes people like Luffy.

    They all watch the fight with Luffy getting back up from every hit and beating down Kreig though Sanji comments Luffy can't take another hit, Zeff just explains Kreig weapons are no match for Luffys guts spear. That those that hesitate in the face of death will die that Luffy doesn't have any hesitation:

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    (With Sanji remembering these words as Luffy finishes Kreig) With Zeff walking away, saying he knows an idiot who wastes a very good spear for no good reason.

    Sanji remembers the actions of Luffy and Zoro that day, the conviction they showed, discarding there life for there goal. But Sanji still won't leave after a day like this thinking he is needed more, but he will go out to the grand line one day as he tells Luffy his dream with a smile on his face, with Zeff watching above seeing the two talk about there dreams with smiles.

    Zeff pulls the ultimate trick to push Sanji away getting everyone to insult his cooking even though his soup is delicious, asking Luffy to take Sanji too sea know its his dream and he needs to be honest with himself as Sanji listens from outside. Sanji finally agrees to join Luffy and chase there crazy dreams, as Sanji leaves he rembers times with Zeff and the Baraite crew but before he leaves:


    Sanji didn't join the crew cause Nami, Sanji joined the crew after seeing Luffy and Zoro actions seeing there conviction, learning he doesn't need to repay Zeff with his life but just by living his own life, the friendship and bonding he had with Luffy not laughing at his dream.

    If you say otherwise, I would say not only do you not understand Sanji but One Piece.

    So what was Sanjis character in WCI? Well going back to before the arc started Oda named 2016 the Year of Sanji which got fans speculating of what stuff Oda will do with Sanji character through out the arc many people tried to guess and wonder what it would be, before the end of 2016 many people thought it was just used for expanding Sanji past (its part of it) but once chapter 850 came out with Pudding betrayal or even later with the cake many people jumped on this:

    "Oh this arc is gonna cause Sanji to challenge himself and change"

    Well at the end of the end of the day I never believed that was any of it, one thing I will critique Oda for was that early on in the NW and such was that Sanji's character (and some others) reached the realms of Fladnerization. Sanji's character this arc wasn't supposed to go through a metamorphosis and change this arc was to: Give pathos to his sacrificial nature, expand his backstory, show Sanji forming interesting and unique relationship unlike anyother (which I will explain more here and with Pudding), the bonds Sanji has with the Strawhats, some action, show there more to him, etc.

    In Other words: This arc was to show what Sanji is and for readers to be reminded and see why people do care/love about Sanji and also to show what Sanji isn't.

    One of the easiest and clearly seen aspect of Sanji is his Cooking and his Chef honor. For the first time since really......what Skypeia? Sanji cooking played a major role not only for his character but unlike any arc besides his introduction it played a huge role in the arc itself. Sanji gets to show that his skills as a chef thanks to Pudding cake plan, his skill are beyond excellent maybe even the best in the world being able to just smell a cake and know what ingredients were used in the cake.

    Sanji's cream is able to disarm and bring trained killers and chefs to there knees in mouth watering sweetness, and thanks to the combined efforts of Sanji, Pudding and Chiffon not only is Big Mom dream cake finally meet, taste sedated beyond her wildest dream, Totland saved & the others, but such a cake creates a magical reaction from Big Mom such a reaction and happiness that she hasn't experienced since her last birthday with Mother Carmel in no small part due to Sanji's cooking.

    [​IMG]
    Sanji chefs honor was also shown, backing away and preventing any attempt from Bege to poison his cake and to eventually disarm and bring Bege to his side with his cream and just like in the past with serving a meal to Gin and to others he is happy and grinning over Big Moms future reaction, hell chapter 900 was worth it all (and I enjoyed the Sanji and Pudding cooking).

    Sanji's backstory gave us a tragic backstory that adds more to why Sanji was so indebted and sacrificial to Zeff, for the first time in his life Sanji found someone who believed in the same dreams that he did, he found someone who didn't berate him for his caring nature, he found a father figure who would willingly sacrifice and eat there own leg to make sure Sanji survived and Zeff ultimately gave Sanji a home to where he grew up and sorta became the person he is today. Sanji had nothing before hand and Zeff gave Sanji everything he needed to grow into who he is today, so Sanji was immortally indebted to Zeff who gave him this life so he did the only thing he could do to repay the man who gave up so much for him. Stay by his side and protect him and his treasure until the day he dies even if it meant giving up on his dreams, something Sanji would have done till that day...

    Then Luffy and Co came into his life, as above Luffy and Zoro (you know the two he is closest too on the crew) showed Sanji the conviction to chase for there dreams/goals even if dying or not doing anything was the easier path, Luffy showed that you do't repay someone with death, etc. Sanji found a second home filled with idiots, weirdos and outsiders just like him where he could be himself without any judging even greater then what he had at the Baraite.

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    Which is why he did everything in his power to protect both when he saw no way out and accepted to go along with the plan his family had made for him even if it meant his dreams were over as long as the others were safe. Which is why Sanji vs Luffy is as heartbreaking as it is, there no other way to stop Luffy from chasing him but to push him away and beat the shit out of him in as brutal a way as possible...which is why afterwards Sanji is crying over his actions knowing he had to do it but damn was it tough and he really didn't want to but Luffy is the one yelling out Sanji is the one hurting and its hit harder when Luffy just waits for Sanji.

    The whole scene between Sanji and Pudding has Sanji saying he will make the sacrifice to make sure those he cares about are safe, so Pudding makes the selfless act to do everything she can for Sanji so that he won't be miserable basically she will fill the holes in Sanji heart while he resides in Totland. Sanji reactions to this is just like with Luffy and Zeff, he clings to it finding warmth and comfort that he has missed and will lose soon with leaving the crew with Pudding, which makes the scene in 851 and such all the more heart breaking (not only leaving it all bare out for her and Sanji caring for Pudding, but the warm embrace he hoped to find is just his blood as it leaves his body).

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    Though unlike in the past were Sanji would just reserve himself for his fate, Sanji takes conviction and runs back to Luffy not only to apologize but to explain why can't he leave and get his help which is something that the Sanji of the Baraite would never do.

    And Sanji is even more shocked that not only Luffy is willing to go along with saving his family but so are Brook, Nami and Chopper just by seeing and hearing all they have gone through and will go through to get back Sanji someone whom most of his early years was spent with others telling him he was worthless.

    Even Sanji kindness with going back to save the Vinsmokes and such is a core part of his character, remember back when he surrounded by pistols from his fellow chefs pleading him to stop and not feed Kreig & his men whats his response: That these guys are scum, crooks and not worth saving but he can't just leave them to die especially when he can do something about it:

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    (Luffy is pretty much has the same expression)

    This would be a good point to segway into where I think Sanji and Judge/Vinsmokes will ultimately go, well I do think relationship between father & son/family will be mend though I would say don't expect Sanji and Judge/Others to be extremely close like say Luffy and Sabo. At the end of the day I expect the animosity and past grievings/events to be settled and buried where both sides will at least be able to talk and stand each other just not you know be invited to Sanji's barbecue with the wife and kids in the future (because Sanji has better Father figure, Brothers and sisters I guess Reiju could join but shes boring).

    The biggest thing keeping them apart in my mind is more so current Germa, Sanji can't have that in his life as long as the nation still reflects its World Noble like attitudes and willingly breeds people to die and serve them, basically Germa 66 has to die and be reborn as something else actually worth something or contributes to the world.

    The early chapters spell this out the most with Sanji and Judge chapters meant to show the moral/character difference between the two, the dichotomy where this ain't the same Sanji Judge/they are used to and he will not take their ideals, in fact he finds them disgusting:
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    Sanji had some great action this arc, his fight with Luffy was absolutely brutal with readers being able to feel every single hit, he utterly smash Bobbins before heading off to save Luffy and he showcased not only his strength but speed in knocking away Oven but saving Chiffon before anyone saw him:

    [​IMG]
    But Sanji best moments were non-action bits: Sanji confronting Judge telling him he is not his dad, Sanji & Pudding talk in chapter 845, him standing on top of the table looking down on his "family", some pretty great cry faces expressing painful emotions in chapter 850-851.

    Speaking off which this is a good chance to talk about Luffy vs Sanji:

    The confrontation between Cook and Captain is rife with tension Sanji whom has finally decided to play his role in this twisted ordeal is shocked and surprised Luffy is here and while he would like nothing more then to join them and continue to sail he can't without indangering not only his Father Zeff life but his crew since as long as they are here not only are they at rick by Germa but Big Mom forces so in the little time he has Sanji makes the effort to drive Luffy and Nami away claiming to be the son of Germa and he would rather be with them then the crew that they don't have what it takes to get to the top to be King of the Pirates that he was lying all this time.

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    While Luffy sticks to his guns of bringing back Sanji no matter what and what he saying makes no sense which ultimatly forces Sanji to drive Luffy and co off physically. The proceeding fight is pretty brutal even in the damage Sanji inflicts to Luffy being more hard hitting and bloody then any hits Cracker got in cause unlike there Luffy isn't fighting back its like watching a defenseless person get beat and you are unable to do anything along with Oda drawing each hit with alot of impact.

    Fight ends with Sanji striking Luffy with a Concasse that knocks him to the ground, Nami slapping Sanji and bids goodbye but even after all that Luffy refuses to go down: calling out Sanji lies, that he can't drive them away, that he feels Sanji pain and that he cannot move on without him, so he refuses to do so even if he starves because he needs him to accomplish his dreams. This fight proves that despite all the beatings and mean words thrown at Luffy he is always willing to stick by his crew no matter what even when they are beating him senselessly, Sanji even while he trying to drive him away is brought to tears not only by his own actions that normally Sanji would be mortified by and would never beat his captain senseless even if it was ultimately for a good cause, his Captain belief in him and refusal to abandon him.

    I think one problem that the One Piece fanbase is that it tends to treat Zoro and Sanji as the same type of character which they aren't, many of fans just want Sanji to be like Zoro where they want Sanji to be blasting through enemies screw those emotions just be like more Zoro, stop crying and taking L's. Though thats one reason why I find Zoro boring now as a character there so far has been no struggle for him or even emotional moment for him, more so been flashy or just be cool I mean Zoro always had that but there was more to him ( I love Zoro but even Thriller Bark had more then just Zoro being cool which the NW hasen't shown) and now its kinda dull.

    Honestly can you think of a character moment of Zoros since the NW that isn't action based? Or a moment where Zoro has an emotional moment or experience where he does cry?

    Though considering some people reaction to Sanji struggling or been given emotional pathos, I do worry about what they would do if Zoro got some like lets say Wano does something with Zoro:

    * Oda writes more backstory or gives a deep character moment for Zoro, a beautiful moment-moments that gives us more insight into his character that adds pathos to aspects of Zoro we took for granted showing hidden depth

    Those people: Zoro more like LoLo, no hes just being Sanji man Oda keeps ruining characters he better come back from this and baby shake the Shogun or deal a lethal blow to Kaido.

    Sanji this arc wasn't supposed to see a huge change/shift in his character and the way he operates; more so the year of Sanji was to delve into his past a bit more insight to his character and for us to again get to know what has made Sanji such a fan favorite character after the "flanderization" with his actions he did this arc, it wasn’t supposed to challenge him character wise. It wasn't an arc of change but to fall in love and show what has defined Sanji.

    One under appreciated aspect with Sanji this arc that its shows that there is more to Sanji then just a horn dog when it comes to woman which we really don't see with female characters that aren't either blood related or under aged, which was not only was it shown he can form so kind of deep emotional connection with a woman that goes beyond looks but formed a very unique relationship not only for Sanji himself and for Pudding but in One Piece in general.

    And as you can tell this will be a series of posts
    @Chris Mic
     
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  2. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    3. Brook
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    Brook himself didn't do through any character development or get any expanded pathos but I do want to make a section about him because Brook was just really good this arc that made people realize how good Brook is. You see Brook kinda got robbed/short end of the stick a bit with joining the strawhats when he did because, as soon as he joined the crew he was immediately separated from all of them due to the actions of Kuma and the Luffy show took over before the two years time skip, readers didn't get that much time with Brook before he was taken away to see him in action.

    And since being back Brook didn't really get moments to shine besides just seeing he can do now with Ice attacks in Fishman Island, Brook really didn't do much in Punk Hazard, was pretty much a non factor in Dressrosa so it was really fresh and cool to see Brook utilized this arc.

    He used his wits and disguised himself as Luffy as to not bring attention to himself and get lost in the sea of other Luffys allowing him to get close and smash the Mother Carmel picture frame without being noticed.

    Brook utilized his soul powers in ways he hadn't and couldn't in arcs before (mostly since it be broken), being able to detach and send his soul out Brook was able to get into the treasure room to see the forces gathered and hear there plan which was invaluable for the plan to get into the treasure room. Brooks yomi yomi fruit allowed him to interact with Homies in ways that others couldn't: he could truly strike homies like Prometheus and Zeus & knock out other homies/intimidate them with the mere presence of his soul
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    Him being a skeleton was used to great effect: Having Brook be able to store/hide the rubbings in his skull where as anyone else wouldn't have been able to hide them from Big Mom (something that wasen't really brought up since TB), him being interesting to Big Mom and used as a toy allowed Brook to hear the Charlottes plan and hear Pudding current alignment to inform the others, and great jokes:
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    Along with him having some nice words to say about Sanji during his confrontation with Big Mom.

    So Brook you did good this arc, now lets see if this continues in Wano.

    4. Jinbe
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    Yes everyones favorite whale shark fishmen returns for WCI, wanting to finish up the unfinished business and dealings the Sun Pirates have with Big Mom before he officially joins the strawhats. We got some hints Jinbe would be in this arc going back to Fishman Island, but in Totland proper it was chapter 826 at the end we see a back shot of Aladdin in the water watching the Sunny & telling Jinbe they are in Big Moms territory so what do you want to do?

    Jinbe sorta falls into another Brooke situation though not as bad since during his time with Luffy he had lots of presence and even pulled Luffy from his depression, where he himself doesn't go through character development per say though Jinbe did learn he needs to follow more of his heart and what he wants to do after so long of doing what he felt was best for his people, basically be a bit selfish for once. Jinbe showed off this arc just how awesome he is: Fearless, smart, adept, etc.

    Jinbe shows he is fearless in all his confrontations with Big Mom:
    - Confronted Big Mom in her hunger state when others would run or hide
    - Willing to play the Roulette wheel until he felt it was rigged
    - Pushed Big Mom off the Sunny to save his friends
    - And showed no fear when Big Mom made her way to Cacao Island

    Though the biggest moment for Jinbe was him confronting Big Mom during the Wedding saying he will leave her crew and Join Luffy offering as much of his life as Big Mom could take to pay the price to leave, when Big Mom tried "Stay or Life" to take his life staring him down hunched over him menacing with crazy eyes Jinbe showed no fear because: "How could a crewmate of the future king of pirates be afraid of a mere Yonko" and did an honorable stupid, funny but totally in character Jinbe thing to do:

    [​IMG]
    Returning the sake cup he used to pledge allegiance to the Big Mom Pirates.

    Jinbe also showed his more rational and thinker side: He convinced Luffy to meet up with Bege about joining him to kill Big Mom if only to have a better shot at saving the trash, he cooled down the fight that was about to break out between Luffy, Capone and CC and got them to focus on Big Mom, saved Luffy from Katakuri quickly during the wedding, pulled off the Green Room while everyone couldn't/didn't know what to do but follow his plan:

    [​IMG]

    Jinbe even showed it takes time for old fish to learn new tricks, at the end of the arc right when the group can make there escape Jinbe watches the Sun Pirates who are fighting/covering there escape he tells Luffy that he cannot leave them behind despite the fact he wants to be on his crew more then anything swearing he and the others will make it out alive. Luffy proclaims he is Jinbe captain and:

    [​IMG]
    And with that Jinbe leaves again to help his crew and make sure Luffy and co escape.

    It really does suck that fans have to again wait for Jinbe to be with Luffy after Fishman Island teasing us but it shouldn't be much longer, but we got some nice stuff with him this arc for me I really liked how the arc did have Nami and Jinbe playing off each other considering both characters past and feelings (Nami past with Fishmen and Jinbe guilt over Arlong) its honestly really sweet to see them work together and as we see with the Green Room that when they work together they can make stuff happen and I found Nami riding on top of Jinbe cute:
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    5. Charlotte Linlin aka Big Mom
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    Now its time for the matriarch of the Charlotte Family, Captain of the Big Mom Pirates and one of the now five Yonkos Charlotte Linlin.

    Big Mom isn't your prototypical one piece arc villain while Linlin past and powers are revealed like other antagonists like Doflamingo, Lucci etc, Linlin holds a special case that her flashback paints her at least her past self into a sympathetic light on that unlike the above she wasn't born evil. Even beyond that unlike the others this is the fist arc villain that isn't necessarily defeated at the end of the arc, Big Mom is still left standing despite attempts to end her life that were utterly fruitless against her might.

    Linlin is an anomaly, while she was born with normal parents she was born as a rather large child with uncontrollable strength so much so that her parents abandoned her into the care of the Mother Caramel and her house of orphans. on the island of Elbaf.

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    Her time on Elbaf was precious, not only was Big Mom comforted by finally having an Island where buildings, sights and features were made for someone of her size Linlin found Mother Caramel the first person to fully understand Big Mom. But things weren't always great we see a bit of current Linlin with trying to make everything her in her own way along with her monstrous strength.

    Linlin wanted the wolf and bear to be friends so she put them in a cage together, when the bear ate the wolf Linlin spanked the giant bear once killing it instantly. Linlin tried to rip off not only a joint of a kid who a member of the long armed tribe but tries to rip off the gills of a fishmen, even after seeing all this Mother Caramel forgives Linlin and asks others to do the same.

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    But this forgiveness she preaches doesn't reach the giants after the Selma incident, during the Elbaf celebration of the Solstice Linlin experiences her first hunger pain. Even as a child Big Mom is able to destroy the giant village burning it to the ground, the giant warrior chief Jorul tries to kill Linlin for her actions but is killed in the process. Ultimately using her devil fruit Caramel is able to stop the flames by creating a living flame and Big Mom is sedated, even after all this Mother Caramel pleads forgiveness but the giants cannot...they will let Linlin live but she, Mother Caramel and the orphans must leave.

    But even after leaving there homes all the children and Linlin are happy as long as they are together, but soon after the readers learn the evilness of Caramel just using the orphans to sell, with Linlin being her biggest haul potential so thats why she has keep her happy but she needs more time. Unfortunately during the celebration of Linlins 6th birthday, she devourers all her beloved not knowing she did it but she not alone for long

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    As been stated Big Mom dream is to fulfill Mother Caramel dream, of creating a world where everyone can sit at the same table eye to eye though that isn't what Caramel truly desired Big Mom strives for the child like dream in a twisted way. Big Mom forces all to give her something in return if they desire a land of peace, holding a moral high ground seeing nothing wrong cause if they all listen to her everyone will be happy.

    Its the same for Totland, in order to stay the citizens have to give up a part of there soul every so often or else tthey leave... through using these souls Big Mom strengthens her own forces using the souls to create the homies not only in here surveillance network but her standing homie army. She protects Fishmen Island if only the Sun Pirates join her crew along with FI supplying her a monthly worth of candy and will crush the island if she doesn't get her sweets.

    But this isn't the only effect Linlin has left on Totland, other lessons from Mother Caramel and her own teachings have not only warped the Island but her own family as the menacing matriarch, the family itself is also ruled by fear as the Charlotte kids are frightful of there own mother.

    Unlike Doflamingo who was born evil, Linlin wasn't she was a naive kid who didn't know her won strength but thanks to the lack of being a parent with Mother Caramel just forgiving Linlin and the influence of Struessen looking to use her. Big Mom has took something from both of her biggest influencers and twisted herself and her ideals/goals into there evil, twisted and current state. The Linlin who is selfish, caniving, scheming, jolly, childlike, unkillable, singing, murderous, and yonko of the new world.

    It even goes into her devil fruit, the Soul Soul Fruit allows Big Mom to bring life to inanimate objects that really shouldn't be alive and using them for her own good as as army and surveillance. Said homies are also twisted singing along with Linlin during the beginning of Whole Cake Island in her murderous cake song as her forces gather the ingredients by force and murder, hell using her own soul to create destructive forces to use at her whim.

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    Through out Whole Cake Island, Linlin is built up as an unstoppable force along with her crew even with the combined powers of Luffy and co, Germa and Capone they were all wiped out at the Wedding before they were saved by the Tamate Bomb. Even in her weakened hunger state everything the Strawhats threw at her only stopped her for so long as she continued to march towards the strawhats. At the end of the arc, as Luffy and co escape she failed to capture Luffy but in the end she may have gotten what she wanted as Germa and the Sun Pirates were struggling with her forces already with Big Mom arriving at the scene leaving the fates of Germa, Jinbe and the Sun pirates up in the air and Mama possibly having Germa tech.

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    And now she is in Wano, what will this God of Disaster bring to Wano?

    6. Capone Bege:

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    For those not familiar, Capone Bege is the Captain/Father of the Fire Tank Pirates and one of the supernovas introduced way back on Sabaody Archipelago, now in the New World Capone is a son in law to the Charlotte family and married to the 22nd Daughter Chiffon.

    Before this arc really started Capone Bege was honestly the most dull supernova, it didn't really help he was just One Pieces Al Capone and was a member of a group with alot of varied designs from Law, to Kid, to Appo to Urouge. Even in Sabaody, we really didn't get a good look at what he could really do with his Castle Castle Fruit besides store people unlike the other supernovas:

    -Law had his Operation table room
    -Kid has magnetism repelling, directing and making arms from metal
    -Appo's entire body is a musical weapon
    -Drake is a dinosaur
    -Urouge gets stronger with damage
    - Bonney can manipulate age

    Capone didn't even show off any mobster mentality, Capone really just ate at a restaurant and pretty much left before shit on Sabaody really hit the fan, he really didn't leave an impression on the readers in his initial introduction compared to other supernovas, but luckily after getting sucked up into the sky somehow and two years later he shows up on Zou as a member of the Big Mom Pirates, so WCI was our chance to really get to see Capone and boy did we get to see him... he guns down Pekoms after he refused to bring Sanji with them.

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    Capone still carries the same gangster mentality into WCI, leaving the tied up Pekoms for the sharks after refusing his offer having no chill to ice him infront of his wife and infant son but what Capone is doing isn't the first time he betryed an organization he joined. Capone likes to cause & spread chaos in organizations by infiltrating/joining them than kill off the leader which is exactly what he intended to do in WCI this time with his mother in law. With the strawhats help, Capone continued his plan using inside knowledge from Chiffon, using CC weapons and his position in the Big Mom Pirates to set the stage for quite the devious assassination and before the Big Mom Pirates could retaliate for revenge Capone and co would be long gone it was quite the plan, but like alot of plans it doesn't really work out.

    [​IMG]

    But Capone isn't the hard core gangster he puts out most of the time and we mostly get to see that with his family. Even though Capone went into joining Big Mom Pirates with the plans to kill Big Mom herself, Capone genuinely fell in love with Chiffon and vice versa (weird that Big Mom has such a shitty love life, yet whenever she pick matches her kids they are happy together....) so much so they have had a son named Pez who Capone does anything to make him happy even doing ridiculous faces as he is conducting business.

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    Capone cared about Chiffon that he wished her not to go with Pudding and traveled to Cacao Island in fear for her safety and begged her not to leave him just to make sure Chiffon was safe instead of escaping like any cold mobster would, Capone went to Cacao Island to make sure Chiffon and the cake would be protected and when Oven tried to use Chiffon against him: Instead of surrendering like Oven expected, he got a face full of lead as he and his tank ship stormed the Island to save Chiffon and the cake.

    From here Sanji, Pudding, Chiffon and the chefs work on finishing the cake while Capone work together to get the cake to Big Mom, initially Capone wants to poison the cake but Sanji quickly turns Bege to his side after a healthy sampling of the cake to prove the power of what he, Pudding and Chiffon made. So while Pudding and Sanji continue to help the strawhats escape Capone decides to help the escaping gang by continuing to keep the cake on the ship to lure Big Mom away as far away from the others as can to help save them, ultimately at the cost of his precious ship which at the end of the day Capone says it wasn't worth losing especially now he is considered a lackey of Luffy and not the mastermind behind the assassination plan though his tsundere ass is still friends with Sanji.

    Capone has also showed what his power set with the Castle Castle Fruit is truly capable of with making him a human castle, inside of Capone everything inside is practically under his control besides for people themselves. Inside said castle Capone crew resides in the massive space waiting for the right moment to strike, not only that but say in his finger tips he houses cannons and pistols ready to fire. But Capone himself can take on aspects of the castle too such as growing tank treeds for covering massive distances, along with his ace in the hole:

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    So Capone not only showed off his devil fruit but, we got to see his crew, a design refresh with the coat which is great, got to know more of his history, see him more as a family man then the ruthless gangster with Chiffon and Pez and he grew some inches so he isn't a low five foot.

    @Chris Mic
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  3. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    7. Charlotte Katakuri
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    Katakuri: Second son of the Charlotte family, 1st of the 3 Sweet Commanders, Minister of Flour from Komugi Island, pretty much the current patriarch and pseudo inspirational figure of the Big Mom Pirates. Katakuri has alot to live up to in terms of title, importance, stature and strength luckily enough he does in my opinion and lets to one of the best fights in the series.

    Katakuri (outside of brief mentions that he has arrived and such) first appearance is in Chapter 860 having used his future sight to see the actions of one of the guests, who plans to kill Mama who while fails but inevitably kills some of Capones men, Katakuri decides to end this future by killing the man before he can start his plan with a jellybean.
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    His initial introduction serves two purposes:

    1. showing Katakuri strength in killing the man as quick as possible showing how dangerous he can be in the fight building up to his confrontation with Luffy making fans question how they will handle him but....

    2. it also shows he possesses a huge threat to the plan before it can start, can't be much of a plan or go 100% if someone is able to see it before it happens wondering just when shit hits the fan as both plans something will change

    During he wedding Katakuri lays back just watching the festivities make sure everything is going well, the first hint he catches that something is off is instead of seeing Pudding blasting Sanji with her pistol, he sees Pudding on the ground crying and Sanji trying to comfort her and then he sees a more into the future and springs into action getting infront of Big Mom and the picture before the party goes to hell.

    Katakuri here displays his Mochi Mochi devil fruit which basically gives Katakuri similar powers to Luffy with being able to stretch and contort his body but with a sticky like substance and despite his best warnings and efforts he is unable to prevent Mother Caramel picture from being destroyed but being shown to Big Mom to trigger her screams (despite this these brief chapters show just how effective and intimidating Katakuris powers are).
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    But with quick thinking he creates Mochi ear plugs for his and his siblings getting them ready for a counter attack; rendering Big Father's offense useless, beating Ichinji without any trouble or effort with the combined efforts as Capone stated they stood no chance.... luckily the Tamate Box bomb saved them at the nick of time.

    We really don't dive into Katakuri as a character until his fight with Luffy begins on the Sunny, the stuff before hand gives us a glimpse into how big of a threat a top Yonko commander imposes for Luffy. Before the fight truly begins as the Big Mom Pirates regroup and make there assault Katakuri takes particular intreats in Luffy seeing him as the biggest threat to Big Mom and if he leaves Totland alive he will be the biggest threat to Mama so he decides to kill Luffy before he can leave and heads to the Sunny with Pero just incase for when Luffy and the others make it there.

    Before Luffy and co can leave Totland, Katakuri must be defeated or else they can never escape so to not only make the fight as exciting as possible and to allow the others to escape Oda/Luffy takes Katakuri to the mirror world to have it be a 1v1 fight allowing both parties to handle the other without any interference.
    [​IMG]

    The following fight begins at Chapter 879 and lasts through 895 making for one of if not the longest ongoing fight Luffy has had in the series, while the fight is 1v1 for Luffy and Katakuri there are some on lookers in the form of Big Mom Forces rallying behind Katakuri excited to see the strongest of all of Mama forces fight all the while taunting Luffy telling him its inevitable he will lose and he cannot escape.
    [​IMG]
    The following exchanges and clashes show to the audience not only how similar Luffy and Katakuri's power set/utility are but just how much stronger/quicker Katakuri is compared to Luffy is atm. He is able to quickly match and neutralize Hawk Gatling (something that his previous big opponent in Doflamingo couldn't do) then overpower it by growing many mochi arms.

    Even quick attacks like Stamp is unable to even touch Katakuri, and even when Luffy busts out one of his power house moves like Elephant Gun... Katakuri is not only able to replicate it but is able to grow his his and push Luffy back the powerful Elephant Gun and push him straight into the wall.
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    During the fight with some encouragement from Katakuri, Brulee and some forces decide to make the ship group escape that much harder by firing flame arrows onto the ship through a mirror, Luffy tries to intercept but Katakuri steps in saying this is supposed to be a one on one and don't try to harm his siblings.


    Luckily, Luffy finds a mirror shard that lets him relay a message to Nami telling her to smash all the mirrors on the Sunny even one he could use to get back to the ship after the fight raising the stakes on how Luffy will get back to the Sunny but as he takes blows from Katakuri Luffy reassures them and tells Katakuri that he will make it back and doesn't intend to die here...

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    Here is when we get some important details not only regarding Katakuri, but what Katakuri means to the Charlotte family and all of Big Mom Forces from Brulee along with some insight into Katakuri's character.
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    As Brulee says, Katakuri is an inspirational figure not only to the Big Mom Pirates but to the Charlotte family as a whole that since he has been born Katakuri has looked down upon the ground having never laid his back onto it, he hasn't been defeated (makes sense considering Yonko commanders must be extremely strong to keep up). Katakuri is a perfect man a symbol for the Family to rally behind and strive to be like and get his approval which considering his portrayal with fighting Luffy here and his actions on top of the Chateau and whom not only the family but soldiers react to Katakuri makes perfect sense. Consider what Katakuri says here as bit of foreshadowing with Katakuri shutdown Brulees praise, what readers and even the family consider just Katakuri being modest with not being vain further adding to the perfect motif and identity built up with Katakuri which will ultimately lead to the pay off later on.

    As the fight continues both actors admit to the troubles of fighting one another with Luffy having to work twice as hard to dodge Katakuri thanks to his CoO tiring him out, but Katakuri admits to Luffy being a troublesome tiring opponent due to his own speed and knack for dodging his own attacks (thanks Rubber) so Katakuri busts out awakening to make it harder for Luffy.

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    Now its time for the rug to be pulled using awakening Katakuri makes quick work of Luffy hoping to finish him off by suffocating him with a Mochi Mold, in the mean time Katakuri meets up with some pastry chefs to have his usual 3 o clock snack time but since Luffy took so long his usual hot tea has grown cold as he prepares a Mochi house to eat away from preying eyes adding to the secrecy with Katakuri (why do such a thing especially since no one has apparently seen him eat). The chapter further adds to the Legend/Identity Totland has with Katakuri, believing in that even during a snack time Katakuri remains fully vigilant only seeing eating as a way for nutrients and etc, either way Luffy eats his way out to reveal:
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    As we can see over the words of Brulee with the scene the img of Katakuri that Brulee presents, that Charlotte siblings think he is and the symbol/identity of the perfect man that Totland believes is certainly a lie as we see. Katakuri laying back enjoying his donut and tea without a care in the world living the life as a slow realization not only comes to Katakuri that he was exposed but the reaction that others besides for Luffy have seen him like this.

    But Katakuri bounces back quick not wanting anyone to know (for reasons later) what he is truly like and ruin the identity he has built up for himself he kills the pastry chefs, before making his way towards Luffy. Here we see for CoO to really be effective one must be concentrated and focused for it to be effective, Luffy is able to land his first hit on Katakuri before realizing there is more to Katakuri and he isn't invincible Luffy lands a good clean hard hitting blows with Gear 4 Bound Man before Katakuri gets back into control of his CoO and deals Luffy a hard blow.

    Though Luffy reprise is short with Katakuri back in control and time running out for Boundman, Luffy makes a break to get ahead to recharge and grabs Brulee and escapes cutting Katakuri off from his chase. The fight is put on stall for both allowing time for both to regain energy and stamina before it resumes because no matter what, Luffy has to get back to his crew which requires going back into the mirror world.

    Clearly the presented persona of Katakuri means a great deal not only to the Charlotte Family but Katakuri himself, to not only lose his cool for the first time in the fight he kills the chefs to make sure that this identity doesn't get out showing the great lengths he will go to protect it.

    We really get back to the fight when Flambe enters the picture and from it we can see what we need to for the moment she is a vain shallow and cold (stabs her own subordinate) character who has also bought into the presented Katakuri, she wishes to be everyone favorite little sister and with Katakuri approval she will have just that but as when see she doesn't like that her brother isn't perfect atm with Luffy still being around which she finds disappointing and proceeds to call Luffy an ape and make fun of him.

    I usually just try to cover Katakuri here but you will see as I go why I went for a bit on this but as we can see a bit Katakuri doesn't see a foolish ape when he looks at Luffy, as the fight continues Luffy while not landing a hit on Katakuri he is managing to improve as he goes on dodge more hits and even trying to dodge usual unavoidable ones catching Katakuris attention.

    Luffy despite getting beat up never loses the hope/light in his eyes, he never gets and shame from getting back up off the ground which is a source of shame to Katakuri but doesn't understand how Luffy can do this which further adds to the next clash where Luffy is able to see into the future just like Katakuri to his shock/amazement, hours later Luffy is getting ever closer so Katakuri decides to go for a lethal blow with the blow landing due to Flambe numbing needle.
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    With this carelessness opportunity Katakuri pummels Luffy with various attacks all the while expressing his disappointment in Luffy and wondering what happened: did he slip? why did he lose focus? Whats wrong? especially when Katakuri gained respect for him with Flambe and crew laughing and celebrating in the background at Luffys demise.

    From further laughs and Luffy dodging the needle again Katakuri finally learns what happens, instead of being happy Katakuri is mad furious at Flambe for intervening in such an under handed way. Flambe rushes towards her brother expecting to finally be noticed by senpai like she wanted while still laughing at Luffy...instead she sees her brother stab himself with his spear getting blood on her, remove his scarf and
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    Now disillusioned by all this seeing Katakuri isn't perfect, Flambe proceeds to show how shallow she is with spiting planning to expose what Katakuri really is and his weird mouth (causing others to laugh) with Katakuri paying no mind as he apologies to Luffy for the dirty fighting showing some kind of honor with Luffy responding in typical Luffy fashion before the blast Kings Haki to settle this as respectful fighters alone.

    What follows is the most Oda has dedicated to a fight in One Piece in a long awhile a full chapter with little dialogue dedicated to the fight. With Gear 4 Snake Man Luffy is able to overcome Katakuri with both players collapsing soon after there final blows, a bit later Luffy is able to get himself up to see a stoic Katakuri who is barely hanging on.

    I say this is one of Oda's best fight in the series for a couple of reasons (especially so far in the NW):

    1. Its the first real New World fight where Luffy had to struggle, for most of the NW when it has come to fights Luffy hasn't had to much trouble dealing with his opponents when it came to CC and Hody Luffy was able to handle them with not much effort, while Luffy struggled with Doflamingo that was only with Gear 2 & 3 and as soon as Luffy went Gear 4 the fight was pretty much over and the tension was gone from that fight as even with Awakening Dofla stood no chance and it was just a matter of time. Here in WCI Luffy has had to struggle for his win, which is heavily emphasized with his fight with Katakuri. As soon as Luffy able to get hits in with Gear 4, Katakuri is back on the offensive blocking hits and matching and overpowering Gear 4, Luffy had to fight Katakuri differently then he has any other fight in the series in order to take him down which keep the tension up and that even when he busts out Snakeman, Katakuri still pushes Luffy to his limit to the point either could have won the fight at the end.

    2. In Chapter 895, Oda puts up the best choreography he has had in a fight in a long time. Each action/punch has a clear follow through with being able to tell where each hit landed and how. With this chapter being nearly silent the audience is able to focus entirely on the fight with zero cutaways to emphasizes each action and hit thrown.

    With that out of the way I think we can see clearly why Katakuri reacted the way he did back in Chapter 893 with Flambe and Luffy. In the end Flambe exploited a weakness by being unknown to the fighters and through interfering with the numbing needle, Katakuri exploited a weakness in Luffy striking him in a near fatal blow that he would have dodged otherwise. Through this Katakuri saw himself as no different than the thugs all those years ago that attacked Brulee so he had to make amends to stay true to what he felt so thats why he stabbed himself because for his character and world view. But through this interaction with Brulee and his fight with Luffy, Katakuri learn not only the problems with the facade.

    And even when you look at the anime there no doubt that Luffy vs Katakuri was way better executed and a better fight then anything that Dressrosa or the New World has put out for Luffy, hell I would argue this is some of Toei best for One Piece.



    Basically go watch the fight yourself and enjoy it, and before people complain yes it does cut away to Ray flashbacks and bits with Sanji and Pudding which I always find funny and cute but unlike others I don't see this as a detriment. The fight how it is in the episode is perfectly paced and has a great flow adding more to the fight where it is would not only leave the audience exhausted from the fight but ruin its already great pace.

    This fight also doesn't have interference by the worst ticking clock element Oda ever had in the series with the Birdcage to prolong the fight.

    3. Katakuri is just a better antagonist then Doflamingo & Lucci, not only just having a more clear character arc that isn't just ruined by the best character of the arc who is Oda's mouth piece calling him evil and Lucci doesn't have a character, there more of a dynamic between Luffy and Katakuri here with how they work of each other.

    He asks a simple question: Will you return to topple Big Mom? With Luffy responding of course he will be the pirate king and for the first time in the entire fight Katakuri says Your looking quite far into the future and topples over onto his back defeated.

    This scene holds two purposes, the most obvious is Katakuri as we find out in a bit purposely gave Luffy the honor of putting Katakuri on his back showing him some form of respect even if he wouldn't admit so to Brulee later. And secondly thorough out the fight through some back in forth between Luffy and Katakuri Luffy would make an assertion and bold claim from getting back to his friends to defeating him with Katakuri retorting: This will not happen, you make it seem like its going to happen, etc here at the very end Katakuri validates Luffy claim of seeing into the future in a sense and believing him when it comes into making things a reality a future.
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    The last scene with Katakuri is one with Brulee where we learn a few revelations about how Katakuri came to be and a deeper understanding and relationship between Brulee and Katakuri. Brulee comes to treat Katakuris wounds in Chapter 902 but as we see her remove the hat Brulee doesn't exhibit any reaction like Flambe who freaked and became angrily disillusioned to the true Katakuri while Brulee just continues her work. Katakuri comes out too Brulee about the facade but she just smilies telling Katakuri she has known about his facade for awhile but more than that why.

    Katakuri's persona was for Brulee and his siblings (the ones born at the time), going back into the past when it was really just him and his siblings (Big Mom was a pirate with Rox atm) Katakuri would just beat up people who made fun of him not caring for any consequences since the thugs couldn't beat him. Unfortunately, Katakuri didn't have the foresight to see they would get back at him in any underhanded way they could which involved attacking his little sister Brulee.

    This event clearly shook Kata to his core and despite Brulee telling him not to blame himself for this that he is fine with not hiding the mouth like Pero proposed, Katakuri blamed himself and internalized it and in response created/began the persona of the perfect Katakuri with covering his mouth and showing no weakness (perceiving his mouth as one) in fear of what could happen if he ever did again so he became the symbol.

    The last scene of Katakuri this arc is showing the Brulee understands him knowing what his response will be to his question when she answers.
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    In the final section its time to talk about the last core character to this arc and ohh boy is there alot to write:
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    @Chris Mic
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  4. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    8: Charlotte Pudding
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    If you have read/watched One Piece WCI arc or have read this thread you should be familiar with Charlotte Pudding but I will give a brief intro. Charlotte Pudding is the 35th daughter of the Charlotte family, owner of Cafe Caramel on Cacao Island where she many wish she would become the Minister of Chocolate. With the business dealings between Big Mom and Germa, Pudding is/was the bride to be for Sanji in an arranged marriage.

    Ignoring the Oda boxes for Puddings two homies this is really the first introduction to Pudding, before hand she had two small cameos one in Chapter 824 in a picture given to Sanji to get him too know his wife but the first time the audience sees Pudding goes all the way back to Chapter 652 in the same chapter we see Big Mom in a way. Though the big contrast between Pudding back then and Pudding now is that in Chapter 652 we can see Pudding actually has a third eye where as the first time she meets Luffy and co she is covering it up. Leading many to believe Pudding has something to hide, I don't want to spoiler things for now so pardon my pun but there is more to Pudding then meets the eye.

    But now back to Chapter 827, this chapter is a great introduction to Pudding despite the fact she doesn't know Luffy or Chopper she provides cover so as not to expose them by saying they were just eating the house she asked them to demolish, even displaying a bit of her later tenacity and tsundereness but she quickly shows a sweet side with feeding Luffy and Chopper an uneaten part of the building.
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    Later back in her own home, we see more the the kind sweet Pudding as she blushes and covers her face in a cute way as she remembers the compliments Luffy and Chopper gave her sweets, not only does this show off more of her personality it also tells the audience of Pudding sweet making skills showing that not only does she know her stuff but its delicious proving her worth as a chef.

    Not to long after the group figures out each other identities with Pudding learning he is Luffy and Luffy learning its that Pudding leading to the wacky face Pudding will proceed to display throughout Whole Cake Island showing off her comedic chops as a character, with a series like One Piece gags are a dime of dozen so you really have to set your self out there in order to be special which i think Pudding achieves

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    Comedy isn't also meant for laughs to me imo, in One Piece while it can add to the character if they are funny or goofy with there gags there another stpe that makes them more likable to me, humanizing humor which not only makes people laugh but gives insight and makes sense for the character but I will dive more into that later.

    After a tense moment, Pudding sits down with the strawhat pirates she begins to tell the crew some details of Big Mom family, how Big Mom uses her kids & uses her own kids marriages as a means of strengthening her pirates crew (she not lying here), that its accepted amongst the family that they really have no choice but to comply or else, during said discussion with no segue into it Pudding begins to talk about her sister whom while the strawhats don't know yet but the readers do is clearly Lola.

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    I think with this bit here Pudding drops her train of thought as she reminisces about Lola reminded of her when she thinks about her family and marriage, that she was the only one that has the ability to choice and find a husband suitable for her no longer under Big Mom grasp. As we learn later on, I don't think other members of her family (besides Chiffon) would talk about Lola in such a way like Pudding did because they follow along Mama train of thought of finding her with punishing her, but here Pudding is more so admires/wishes she had the same fate of Lola to choice her own love its a breif moment but gives us more info about Lola confirming/give credence that she is a Big Mom daughter, some info on how the Big Mom family operates and insight into Puddings character.

    After some more exposition about the Big Mom Family telling the audience who really didn't believe Big Mom Family is that big where Pudding is the 35th daughter Chopper asks the important question, Has she meet Sanji?

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    Pudding the blushing bride to be has seemingly fallen for Sanji good times are had by all until Pedro boring ass steps in so Pudding hushes him up by helping the group saying that since its so early she can forget about Sanji (foreshadowing) and that while as a child of Big Mom she cannot chose whom she will marry or disobey her mother she always wondered whom she will marry and that Sanji fit that but despite Sanji wanting to marry her doing that would mean leaving the crew and he needs to get back to them.

    Yes despite Sanji desires he knows he cannot lave the crew just yet so he can't marry Pudding (to the shock of the ones that know Sanji). Here Pudding shows selflessness seeing that both parties want each other she decides to help the group escape giving them a map straight to Totland and will try to lead Sanji to the coast so they can leave ready to face Big Mom punishment before she rushes them out the door before they are spotted.

    The first chapter is a good introduction to Pudding showing off she is a cute spunky girl thats loves sanji but wants to help the gang get him back, these first two chapters and ones to follow continue on this development that ultimately is turned upside down in chapter 850 but as we go one we see more truth to what Pudding is that not everything was fake.

    The next time we see Pudding is in chapter 834 as we can see Pudding despite her protest of not wanting to be here must constitute on with Big Mom schedule which calls for Pudding picking out her wedding dress (this will come back) pretty much explaining why Pudding or Sanji weren't at the coast with further ramifications being that Sanji has no idea Luffy which will come back in a bad way once Sanji departs for the chateau.
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    The next time we really get to focus on Pudding its during the dinner with the families this is after Luffys fight with Sanji and with Pudding being a member of the Big Mom family knows what happened and whats coming towards Luffy.
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    There a nice bit of symbolism here and similarities not only between Judge and Big Mom but Sanji and Pudding, with both parents pretending that there children happiness matters in anyway both parents are just using them as a means to an end to further there own power. Both Pudding and Sanji have resentment and or sadness in their eyes and both looking down when their only parent figure when talking about how they care for them.

    Under the cover of dinner Pudding passes Sanji a note telling him to meet with her alone after the meal, I will be taking a bit of a detour and I will be going through both Sanji and Pudding emotions in this next bit.

    In her room Sanji learns just how Luffy and co were able to get this far they had help from Pudding, even had a plan ready that if it wasn’t for certain circumstances that prevented it from being carried out, Pudding pleads Sanji to forgive her for putting his friends in danger. Sanji doesn't blame her but tells Pudding he wouldn't have gone to the shore if she asked him too, from here Pudding tries to give Sanji cover saying she would take any of the blow back from her mother if the wedding didn't happen and she be fine as a daughter of Big Mom (she wouldn't be) and to get out before Big Mom ensnares you but its all ready to late.
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    Here Sanji tears off his own mask covering the hardship and beating his own flesh and blood have given him just for being different revealing that he never found comfort with them and his own leaving trying to find the place he didn't even know existed.

    Sanji found this place in the form of Zeff and the strawhats, and now both of those are threatened so Sanji see no other recourse then to submit to his family and the big mom pirates in order to protect those he cherishes at the cost of his own dreams and happiness, from here on out is again where the mask slips yet again for Pudding and I will go further deeper into soon.

    Pudding her self begins to cry sadden by Sanjis situation and angry at her mother forcing this entire situation but Sanji is quick to comfort Pudding saying she isn't at fault though he doesn't make it much better considering its just a back handed type of situation/responce. Sure Sanji spent 8 years in hell (Germa/Family) befre he got to experience 13 years of bliss with his true family (Zeff & the strawhats) and that its fine if his journey ends here as long as his family is say even though he wouldn't be.

    As I say again here comes a responce that not only shocks and touches Sanji to his core but Pudding as well:
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    Pudding trying to get back into character/mask/defense mechanism and seeing see may have gone overboard with her reaction be it from revealing how she truly feels or getting Sanji suspicious Pudding begins to backpedal saying that she was too forward that trying to make this situation Sanji views in a negative light any better is a fruitless endeavor and that they only just meet not to long ago and there no way she can fill the hole in Sanji heart.

    Sanji grabs Pudding pulls her close, proclaims her to be his savior (among those like Zeff and the crew) and proposes they get married tomorrow.

    Pudding offers him hope of a better life in his impending hell offering Sanji solace, warmth, care and offering him what he left Germa for that he found in Zeff and the strawhats . So Sanji clings to Pudding who at the time would be like the world Sanji is leaving, a world that cares for him and would love him and help him bear the tough world and Sanji believes Pudding words she is telling him the truth.

    While Pudding herself for most of the arc has been playing an act here is another bit where we get to see more of her true self poke out as the arc moves forward, as Pudding hears Sanji troubled family history she herself is reminded of her own misgivings and treatment by her own family that is further punctuated by Sanji giving up his own happiness for the sake of his precious one Pudding decides in a moment to confess and offers to make Sanji's time in hell better. Ultimately seeing Sanji face and realizing what see said her other part of Pudding came back and back-stepped and while Sanji embraced Pudding, Pudding herself didn't see Sanji as genuine knowing that he wouldn't be like this if he saw the true her.......
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    The next time we get back to Pudding is in chapter 847 in her room, here Pudding is informed that Nami of the strawhat pirates possessed a vivre card with lola's name on it (not Lolas actual Vivre card more like Big Mom's) that explains how Luffy & Nami survived in the Seducing Woods leading many in the Big Mom Pirates to believe that they had killed Lola:

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    While Nami and co didn't kill Lola this was the current thought in the Big Mom Pirates and that is what is relayed to Pudding in the end by the seamstress, who is there to do some work. As we saw earlier Pudding was out picking her own dress for the wedding you know something that every bride in the end should have final say over, well not in this case Big Mom rejected her dress and instead is having the seamstress work on the dress that Big Mom chose. From here there some talks of Big Mom already planning/deciding what Pudding next actions after the ceremony will be but at this moment Pudding is absorbing all the information and decides to take a step outside in the heavy rain.

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    From here we get to see what Pudding is thinking about, not only is she thinking about her mother but she is also remembering the past particularly about Lola, from we see how Big Mom is with her kids and it wasn't just in the past that Big Mom was incredibly controlling as she tells Pudding that everything in her life will be fine if she listens to her. While it may not been born out of malice such thinking has proven to have a detrimental effect on her own children but Totland, as from what Big Mom dreams is she preaches that everything she does is in the pursuit of her grand dream so anyone not listening to her is selfish and needs to be changed.

    Basically if you aren't helping her goals and dreams you are a waste and need to be get out of the way, Big Mom is incredibly self serving viewing people races and countries in what they could do for her and nothing more and such an ideologue has spread to her own children but more on that later.

    From something as simple as wanting to pick her own wedding dress to many other things in her life Pudding has no say in the end its Big Mom whom decides what will be done, even viewing Pudding as a doll dressing her up on how she wants Pudding to look which has left a detrimental impact on Pudding but again more later.

    But as we can see in this chapter and from chapter 846 that Big Mom is not the forgiving type not even to her own flesh and blood, just from Lola wishing to marry a man of her own choice thus living her own life Big Mom wants Lola killed in cold blood for not following her plan to strengthen her own forces and help her dream. And now at this moment Pudding believes the only sister free from her mother control that wanted her own life was murdered so yeah Pudding is defiantly not in the best of moods atm she is pretty much heart broken.

    This revelation may have pushed her into meeting and talking with Luffy in Nami in the prison cell. They supposedly hurt or killed her beloved sister so she decides to crush any hope and reveal the plan to send them into despair just like said news brought to her because......
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    Pudding pulls the Rabiyan over Sanji's head and reveals her “true” self and the plans of the Big Mom pirates, that she not the bubbling sweet girl but an actress playing the role as one to lure Sanji into the trap, that she and her family plans to kill not only him but his family execution style at the Wedding. She talks about how even her own mother doting on her is getting tiring most likely because its not genuine that he is a fake(will get deeper into this soon, talks about Sanji being a sap and an idiot for falling and later calls him a pervert) while making may great wacky faces and jokes at his expense.
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    (again I will be going over some Sanji stuff)

    Sanji over these 2 chapters doesn’t say anything but we can judge by his reaction, body movement and such his truth, he is heart broken: Shocked by the “true” Pudding, her mocking and the plan of the Big Mom Pirates, Sanji struggles to light a cigarette that even in sad moments or when he was down he could still get a light, and the sorrow and sadness that not only is his crew and family not safe but his one hope in the world and the girl he did have feelings for was seemingly never on his side at this moment Sanji is at his lowest point.

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    Some would say Sanji faked his emotions to Pudding/never had any emotions/feelings that Chapter 848 that Sanji is fooling himself that he likes Pudding or never did like her but I wouldn’t say thats the case.

    Sanji does believe Pudding even in the bit with Pudding telling the strawhats there first meeting he admits he wants to marry Pudding (remember he says he can’t get married not because of Pudding but because he can’t leave his crew) that even in the bit with him going love mode is more so putting on a front so Pudding doesn’t worry about him which we all do, we mask our emotions and what were going through to protect/not worry others we care about.
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    The dish he makes, the worrying in chapter 848 is not about Sanji not having/faking feelings for Pudding more so that Sanji isn’t ready yet and still wishes to be on the crew, that even though he has feelings/emotions towards Pudding in his heart, he cannot abandon his cremates that they are the most important people in his life (for now) or give up on his dream/adventures which again goes back to 828 in what he said to Pudding; “I want to marry you, but I can’t I need to get back to my crew” (for now) which is consistent.

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    As I sated above here, this is where the rugs is pulled for not only the audience but for Sanji and Pudding fans as well while I did anticipate this along with the other rug later to come these next two chapters are excellent.

    Pudding herself is deliciously evil during these two chapter eating the frames and absorbing all attention her its a rare sight for a villain in One Piece to be such a way reminds me of Dio from JoJo. In these chapter Pudding openly mocks our heroes for falling into her trap and graces laughing how easy it is too fool them with a flashback of Pudding just telling Luffy and Nami whats gonna happen as they are powerless to stop it. Even the loser Germas aren't escaping her roosting as she inept clowns coming all this way to the slaughter when Mama just wants their science.

    There is also a bit of foreshadowing here by Pudding as she warns the dangers of anything happening to the cake, as just a little drop of blood on the cake could send her into a frenzy.

    While Pudding did mock Sanji a little bit in Chapter 850, the real lay-down into Sanji doesn't begin until 851 where she wonders what kinda of reaction Sanji will have when he learns the truth to mocking him for believing that she could ever fall in love with Sanji as she acts out what kinda of face he could be making one from shock to one of complete disgust all the while as Sanji is listening outside her door punctuating just how hard Pudding is hitting Sanji emotionally.

    But there real kick in the gut begins when Pudding begins recounting Sanji's emotional proposal:
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    These chapters get the audience to move from liking Pudding to hating & having fun with her as a villain, I would argue this was all intentionally by Oda to get people against Pudding for two reasons. One was to get fans one side believing this was the true Pudding and two to get fans in a hustle about Sanji breaking his code to finally hit a woman, only in the end to subvert the expectation and ultimately build up Pudding character making fans see and learn how Pudding became who she is and who she truly is as the arc goes on.

    Even through all this there continues to be more layers to Pudding as we know her and as we continue into this arc we will begin to know more about Pudding, who she truly is and how this "True" pudding came to be.

    But before we move on some more tidbits, as Pudding states in Chapter 850 Pudding is the "favorite daughter" of Big Mom for stuff like her acting but as we can see none of that favorite or love from Big Mom is given to Pudding due to who she is as a person more so what she can do for Big Mom.

    Pudding leaves Chapter 852 with the reveal of her Devil Fruit, the Memory Memory Fruit giving Pudding the power to pull, create edit and manipulate memories.

    Chapter 853 is the next time we see Pudding but also we get some lore and world build all in one with her appearance, here with the defeated Brook in hands admiring since as of now she knows that Brook wasn't able to get any rubbings. Big Mom is glad because the last time someone made off with her rubbings they made it to Raftel but it wasn't distinctly a rubbing Roger used a gift that been building up for awhile since Fishman Island, using The Voice of All Things Roger was able to get the info he needed.

    With the knowledge you need the Red Stones, Big Mom has devised her own secret weapon a person that will one day develop The Voice of All Things and do exactly what Roger did, then Pudding announces she is here:

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    Yes as we learn Pudding is a member of the Three Eyed Race/Tribe, a mysterious race that seldom few still exist and are generally unknown to the populace so most would mistake the third eye as a deformity (even then people who know of it still find it weird and disgusting). Not much is known about what this race can do beyond the natural ability of The Voice of All Things, which could be a reason why they are so rare now days (WG killing them).

    So with that in mind and Big Moms characterization, Pudding could have only been born/conceived for the sole purpose of her three eyed use for Big Mom with her eye she would have her own way to read the poneglyhs in a way she could control by having a daughter so again the self-serving nature of Big Mom comes back here look at what Pudding says, Big Mom constantly beraids her daughter if she has awakened it.

    Pudding is a half blood so its up in the air at least going by what Pudding says here if she could ever awaken VOAT but that could just be a red herring.

    Third eye in stems more towards the Asian mysticism/roots, the third eye is a sign of enlightenment with entering the higher conciseness opening said third eye is a significant sign training, psychological and or spiritual break through. Which tends to lead too many things such as pre-cognition, clairvoyance/visions, senescing of auras/chakras, astral projection etc. Even has relations to ones own memory like Pudding having the powers of memories just with her devil fruit.

    One of the most well known third eye characters is Erlang Shen who is not only a folk hero but is also a Buddhism figure Shen is also a character in Journey to the West, there alot Erlang Shen so just use google but here just the Journey to the West stuff when it comes to what he can do: https://hero.fandom.com/wiki/Erlang_Shen

    So going by this Pudding is Chinese and German (all of Totland stuff and her mother have German ties), hopefully Oda handles his Chinese character better then Toriyama but I think we won't have to worry about that.

    In the next chapter there isn't much but learning what Big Mom plan is, the linch pin for it all is Pudding for when Sanji lifts her viel to kiss her and see her disgusting/hidiousous/freakish third eye he will falter and in the window Pudding will execute Sanji. Before Germa can react it will be too late, they will be surrounded and gunned down before they can make a move:
    [​IMG]
    Another thing mentioned later on is the Pudding will have to do clean up duty, in that she will erase guests memory so as they don't leave with the knowledge of what happened during the wedding so something like this has happened before.

    Big Mom plan and Capone plan all of it hinges on what happens during the lifting of the veil, with Big Mom and company assuming just like them and everyone else on Totland Sanji will shun/find Pudding a freak/monster for her third eye in in his assuming disgusted shock is the perfect time to blow his brains out.

    Finally we are at the wedding but before we get the the Big Show, even though Sanji knows what Pudding is seemingly up too he is unable to resist her charms even with fighting himself he suffers a Fishman Island tier nose bleed at the mention of kissing Pudding (going into the ceiling eyes roll back into his head) and his body and his mind pretty much have little resistance.


    @Chris Mic
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  5. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    Alright now we are at the big chapter of 862, the chapter that changes how Whole Cake Island will play out until the end.

    Sanji and Pudding are flying towards the wedding holding each other close pretending to be a lovely couple (they will alter on be one) but on the inside all the while Sanji struggles to hold himself together feeling his mind slip away as a bit away all the chefs that made the cake sing a song about love, don't know if this is foreshadowing or Oda wanted to include a song but I like it: "There are times when Love is tough and times when Love is Rough, but after all your tests and trails you'll finally walk down the aisle come rain or come spears don't let that hand go"

    [​IMG]
    Zeus flys them up to there altar as the priest begins reads the vows, all the while Big Mom is brimming with joy on the inside as her plan is going perfectly as her forces move into position waiting for the signal before filling Germa with bullets but Katakuri sees a vision of the future with Pudding on the ground, Capone worries about Katakuri wondering what exactly did he see, as Sanji lifts the wedding veil and Pudding thinks to herself asking Sanji to get a good look at what has caused her a lot of torment, ridicule and doubt, a natural occurrence for her people that she finds disgusting: Her Third Eye.

    But as we know what the Big Mom Pirates expected/believed what would happen didn't, the reaction Pudding anticipated from Sanji wasn't what she believed would ever happen, what years of reactions to said eye conditioned her to always expect for was no where to be see. All that was there was a sweet honest genuine reaction straight from Sanji heart (who by the way is fully in character and even up close shows no perversion nor his chivalrous joke stuff, just Sanji) a comment that would not only change the course of the arc but a character to how much it touched her and made her question herself:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Seeing her tears Sanji is caught off guard and tries to comfort Pudding saying that when he saw her eye for the first time he was entranced by it.

    As we learnt in the beginning of the arc from Pekoms, Totland is many Islands/Kingdom wants to bring all races together, a land that prides itself on diversity and accepting of all but as we learned throughout this arc a lesson that many readers of WCi seemed to have forget not everything is what it seems/presents itself to be just like another country in the real world. The Totland Pekoms talks about is an utter lie and the living proof is Pudding herself, that seemingly the most normal one of them all (as far as readers are concerned) is the one that is ridiculed, scorn and openly riviled for her differences from not only the general populace but her own family and Mother which puts into light what Totland truly is (remember Katakuri, Chiffon getting beat, etc).


    From Lucille Bluth type comments from her own mother and considering her everything else her own sibilings would just follow there mothers wishes/thought patterns and do the same to Pudding, to people calling her monster, freak and such on the street, to invasion of personal space, privacy (even though I can't think of a better/more appropriated word) outting/revealing Pudding as a three eyed girl as a child by cutting her own hair holding down against her will (revealing something so sensitive without personal consent) even with hiding that piece that makes Pudding special away from sight. Its no coincide that both parents, Judge and Big Mom have had there kids hide aspects of themselves from others hell both cover their last eye/a eye with hair.

    After Sanji touching speech Pudding is left with tears in her eyes, while she may be denying what Sanji cursing him and such it is clear his words touched Pudding soul in such a way to cause such a strong reaction wouldn't be possible if she wasn't touched by it and questioning herself.

    [​IMG]
    Now I would say why the comment was such a shock to Pudding was because its genuine and touching comment from Sanji side, one I don't think Pudding has ever really seen. Now what do I mean by genuine? Well this all goes back to Totland and the Big Mom Family herself, Totland itself isn't genuine in the way it presents itself with its messages of unity and diversity faker then Disney Land view of history considering not only Puddings treatment(but the entire exclusion/banning of giants); to Pudding since she clearly faced challenges due to her own natural physiology ie traits of her race that may have only stopped after she began to fight back and or the interference most likely Big Mom and the family learning the usefulness of the eye and Pudding skill-set.

    Big Mom herself told little Pudding to her face that her third eye was disgusting and creepy and told her to hide it, her own brothers and sisters most likely felt similarly to there Mother like they been shown to do as we see what Oven and Daifuku do to failures and traitors, heck probably took it even further like sibling and this family tends to do. The family most likely stopped there actions once they realized again how useful Pudding third eye and skill set could be for them thus prompting her to embrace said eye they disgraced and skills even though through most of her life they did nothing but lambast her.

    So just like a swred of a mother dotting on her child so she can exploit their child skill/talent when its advantageous for them, Big Mom does the same with Pudding showering fake love and praise so Pudding is on her side but in reality there is no love for her genuinely as a person just what she can do for herself and her own cause, her own precious little doll....

    Now we can see with Lola just how quick this family can turn on you when you outlive your usefulness/purpose since they (Big Mom) want to find Lola and kill her:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The only one who seemingly never had such animosity towards Pudding was Lola (and we still don't know there full relationship and what happened between them) but even Lola left Pudding early on but even after all that time Pudding still holds Lola in such high regards compared to the rest of her family (Chiffon since she is Lola sister, maybe Katakuri).

    So throughout her life Pudding been conditioned to be viewed as such by others (Monster, freak, oddling, etc) and it only really stopped when it was convent to others to be nice to her and I don't think this went unnoticed by Pudding. This created a lack of trust and belief in people since all those around her were fakers a lack of geniuses that has continued onwards even with the straw hats and Sanji. I

    But here comes Sanji shattering that world view and facade she had built for protecting herself, all while being himself and Pudding is in denial because her life taught her that no-one could actually be like Sanji.

    The Pudding that presented herself in chapter 850 as the true self was a lie, a facade, a mask, created to protect/survive herself from the environment she was in the only way she knew how (to be like her family, to be something she is not, to become what people painted her as), that really only began to see cracks when someone who went through similar experiences as her, someone who she thought was nothing but a fake, and someone who is as kind and genuine as he presents himself appreciate/accepts her for what she was born with.

    Pudding or at least up to this point is a product of her upbringing and environment, she believed herself to be a monster who could never know love or acceptance that was pretty much beaten into her not only by her community but her own blood family as well, that even with all that the Big Mom drills into her kids that only by following her can there lives go smoothly and her family is the only true family so much so that some of them don"t view there step fathers as even family. She has no place outside of her "family", she's the "monster" , the doll to be used/controlled that has to hide her "real" self and "fit in" to be the favorite and only because of her abilities not for any real genuine care for her or love for Pudding its all fake. Pudding never had a Sora, a Reiju or even a Zeff to save them from the hellscape like Sanji had again Imagine Sanji if he didn't have a Zeff or stayed in Germa? The closest she may have had was Lola who left and we still don't know there full relationship yet.

    Monsters aren't born they are made in this case.

    Next time we focus on Sanji and Pudding (we saw in 863 both escaping the falling Wedding Cake together), we see Pudding trying to drive Sanji away denying what he said to her up on top of the cake and her own thoughts/internally conflict atm, but she also trying to fulfill the mission she was given with taking his life and failing (with Sanji dodging the shots and probably what is made clear in a bit) knowing what will happen if she doesn't.

    What Pudding is saying is not only directed at Sanji but mostly at herself trying to rationalize what has happened and denying herself by saying what she presents as the true self is the real her, that Sanji/Her inner self fighting are disillusioned that she fooled others so by that her "Evil"self is the true self. Sanji rebuttal to this is a question, that has she fooled herself into this role she is playing?

    [​IMG]
    She denies but we as reader aren't meant to take that at face value since not only can we not see Pudding face but we do see her physical reaction, Pudding struggles to hold the gun straight and her body is shaking said body language speaks louder then her words.

    [​IMG]
    Sanji comes in and grabs Pudding saving her from being hit by Daifuku Entrance as she was distracted, (so I guess Daifuku was planning to strike both with his attack), so when Daifuku makes his appearance not only does he call his little sister useless and says she done here (even with Pudding pleading he says she failed her chance) he smacks across the face to get her away with litte care for her well being. Yeah even in high stress situations a brother doesn't start hitting his sister/siblings willy nilly, usually since he does it in the open this hints at a sign that its a common practice within the family so this could be a history of sibling abuse Sanji is obviously mad/shocked that much a thing has happened.

    Sanji never interrupts or speaks over Pudding neither does he assert he knows more then Pudding just cause he is a man like in the video above, Sanji is able to call out Pudding because he himself played up a facade this arc earlier with trying to drive away Luffy and even has a history of fooling others with a facade (Nami, Crocodile, Marines) heck I beat if Pudding was there in that moment she see straight through Sanji just like Sanji is seeing straight through her, just that one is in denial. Both Sanji and Pudding put of facade/masks to protect one self or others and both were revealed openings in said facade with tears.

    This one will be brief, while this moment could be used to say Pudding is jealous of other woman with Sanji and yes while I understand how one can reach that conclusion I really don’t think it is. For one we don’t see Pudding facial reaction to the moment nor really good enough body reaction like in 864 with the gun to really judge Pudding state of mind.

    Two even later Pudding seemingly didn’t have a negative reaction to Nami later on in 876 & later like another love struck woman in the series would have and react if it was her man or react even like her (Hancock)

    I would more so say the moment was just another chipping away at Pudding facade and her questioning of weather Sanji is what he says and presents himself as you know genuine, she most likely solidifies her opinion of Sanji being what he is and not Pudding preconceived notions of him not jealousy like shitty shippers try to paint as.

    We really don't get back to Pudding until chapter 873, with the Big Mom pirates scrambling to come up with a plan to save Totland from one of Mamas rampages especially with head chef Strussen down for the count, this is also around the time the fandom was wondering weither Sanji and Pudding will bake the cake and shitty shippers wondered and argued Pudding would stay "evil".

    With all hope lost as the dream cake to satisfy Big Mom seems impossible to bake before all is destroyed even Katakuri is worried what will happen when up in the sky a voices calls down answering their worries.

    [​IMG]
    (creepy smile carpet)

    Pudding comes to save the day at this moment her plan is to grab Chiffon and bake the cake not only is Chiffon an expert in chiffon cakes, Pudding is the best with chocolate in all of Totland so the two will save the day. The idea of Pudding being the best at chocolate will come up again in a moment later on that I think there is more going on then people think (Chapter 879).

    While she covers the worry of how she will recruit Chiffon, Pudding says she is doing this to get back at Sanji for humiliating her and if Big Mom eliminates them well she deserves a treat.... To anyone that isn’t blind in there ways, Pudding was clearly not truthful to her family right there as we find out later on but even then with Pudding thinking back to Sanji during the wedding, if people remember that moment its not emotions of embarrassment she expressed, it was emotions of being touched emotionally etc.

    Even what Pudding says at the end with rewarding Big Mom and Sanji embarrassing her brings out confused expression from her family with ?!
    [​IMG]

    So Pudding flies away and catches up to the escaping Bege in the best panel of that chapter:

    [​IMG]
    (Cute Pudding face and great Bege expression)

    A little detail but I like how Pudding call Bege her brother even though what happened and even Bege himself was gonna call Pudding Miss but had to correct himself before he points his gun at her in a way to intimidate her to no eval as she wishes to see Chiffon, as we can see she isn't pointing her gun or using force like she said to her other brothers and sister back in town.

    But even with the return of Mama hunger pains knowing what will happen, Chiffon refuses Pudding saying she no longer cares for her mother or for her home but before Bege and Chiffon can leave Pudding reveals her true motive. She isn't doing this for her country, her siblings or her mother... Pudding wishes to stop Mama before she kills Sanji and his friends.
    [​IMG]
    The veil is lifted, the pretense has dropped what she said back to her family was a lie to get them to go along with her plan of saving the straw hats and the truth of her actions were saved for Chiffon, someone whom would whole heartily help those that saved Lola (Is Pudding aware of the past on Thriller Bark?).

    You would think at this point people would just accept that Pudding truly wishes to help the strawhats after it is clear Pudding wasn't telling the truth as her as her words in 873 didn't reflect what Pudding really felt and as she pleaded to Chiffon in 874 to help her stop Mama again showing the selflessness and caring we saw earlier in the arc as Pudding fully knows what happens to traitors in the Big Mom family which again includes death, torture, dismembering, etc.

    But here is Pudding, risking everything as she tries to save Sanji and the others from death by her Mama in the end without the events of the Wedding between Pudding and Sanji the strawhats would die would die without Pudding.

    Pudding has clearly fallen for Sanji at this point, and even the next chapter proves adds further credence with Pudding reaction to seeing Sanji again, her heart starts beating faster she begins to freakout a bit and even has heart in her sentences awwww cute and uwu but this is also where Pudding big contexialized humanized gag arrives:

    [​IMG]
    Just as before with her family, Pudding comes down from the sky offering a plan to save there butts but before Pudding can really speak the others begin to question why she is here before Sanji silence them all happy to see that Pudding has made it out without scratch and for the first time in the series, Pudding goes all love cook with Sanji sprouting three heart eyes its a miracle true love.

    [​IMG]
    Called out of her love mode by Chiffon, Pudding focus returns to the rampaging Big Mom coming there way but only for a bit before Mayadere Pudding makes a return eating the scenery, her relishing in the current situation the straw hats find themselves in in generally funny before she realizes its not what she really meant to say. As the plan is relayed to the gang by Chiffon, its time for prime Tsundere Pudding with the best panel (and one of Pudding best faces) in the chapter of her while denying but ultimately revealing why she has come this way and why she come up this plan; She Came to stop Mama because she didn’t want Sanji (particularly him) and his friends to die.

    [​IMG]
    san

    Sanji unknowingly jump up onto the flying carpet unnoticed during the Spear of Elbaf attack from Big Mom witnesses Pudding save his friends as they were about to enter the seducing woods, not only does Pudding point the gang into the right direction to the Sunny; Pudding uses her memory powers to clear the Tree Homies standing in the way to make a clean path to the Sunny.

    Sanji thanks Pudding jumping while making a face quite similar to one Pudding displayed before back in 851 with what she imagined Sanji expression of shock would be with her third eye, Pudding and Sanji have a back and worth that include Sanji heart compliments and pudding being bashful.

    These few chapter is to show the audience not only that Pudding is 100% genuine in her mission to save Sanji and the others no matter the cost even if she could end up exposed as a traitor. Not only that but we get to see some more of how Pudding truly is personality wise, where she not just the character from 828 the cute sweet bubbly girl that just wanted to help but that the "evil" Pudding role that Pudding is still around as its been the dominant mind set for Pudding many years now so its not just going to go away which is mostly shown in her dynamic with Sanji as we will see throughout the rest of the arc.

    Before we get to cracking eggs and whipping up a cake of dreams there a little a moment I want to talk about in Chapter 879, as the Three Chefs head to Cacao Island Chiffon talks about Lola and how she used to be the Minister of Chocolate on Cacao Island and the seat has been empty since then.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (Look how cute this is and funny)

    Pudding herself refuses to fill the position holding out on the idea that if Lola were to ever return she would have her old job/position, in vain knowing if Lola were return she would be killed on the spot but Pudding still holds on to the idea of seeing her sister again.

    The Minister of Chocolate is one of the last vestiges of Lola being on Whole Cake Island and if that position is ever filled what reason is there for Lola to ever to return, meaning Pudding will have to let go of ever seeing/talking to Lola again. When you lose someone be it death, leaving or another reason so young like Pudding, you protect and lock away whatever you have of them as a way of holding on to them and not letting go.

    This job is the same for Pudding, this is the last thing on WCI of her sister and if Pudding takes the Minister role then Lola is gone.

    @Chris Mic
     
  6. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    Chapter 880 begins with Pudding arriving in Chocolate Town with Chiffon (in chains to keep appearances of forcing Chiffon to bake) as the mayor informs Pudding that all the preparations have been prepared and the chefs have arrived as the populace is sad not only about Big Mom but Pudding wedding but she reassures them:

    [​IMG]

    Pudding announces to the Island that once the doors are close that no one must come into or look into the Sweet Factory as the Chefs will need all the concentration they need and cannot have any distractions, but we know this is all just a cover so Sanji can help with the making of the cake without alerting suspicion. Now all thats left is the chefs to deal with but Pudding quickly handles that by editing the memories of all the chefs so they can work with Sanji.
    [​IMG]
    The story Pudding has planted into all the chefs memories is that the Wedding went off without a hitch and she and Sanji got married but the cake was ruined by weather, with that story established Sanji and Pudding meet back with the chefs...

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    (Hilarious, also one of like three middle fingers in the series; First was Law, then Sanji and now Pudding)

    After this the plan is explained as this is a race against time everyone must complete there objective not only faster then normal but within a few hours or else there no ope for the cake to be ready in time before disaster hits so after some screaming from Chiffon the baking extravaganza begins with Pudding focusing on her chocolate, Sanji on the cream and Chiffon on the cake.

    I think now is as good a time as ever to talk about this, earlier I talked about Contextualized/Humanized Humor.

    I love Oda sense of humor, when it comes to his characters with nearly every single character has some sort of gag/quirk that helps make a character more unique and distinguished from the rest. I think people forget just how goofy this series can be and is when this is the series about a man who literally made of Rubber that can stretch his dick and sticks wood up his nose at certain moments and dances. Sometimes these gags range from non sequitur like Brook being a pervert, some have historical nature to it like Zoro sense of direction since he is a wandering samurai, now the best gags/quirks in my mind are those that are contextualized/humanizing gags; ones that not only are funny but in a way makes sense not only for there character but also has the effect of humanizing the character making them more relate-able and lovable.

    To use a few examples:

    - Usopp lying about practically about anything came be annoying to people on the ship and even readers.
    [​IMG]
    But even then all the lying stems from trying raise spirits and himself; weither it be with his mother yelling pirates are coming to raise her spirits as she was dying hoping to see her husband and for Usopp to see his dad, to the sick girl of the village telling her tales and such she would never be able to experience to make her happy, to dumb crewmates to keep them entertained & boost there confidence which even works to boost his confidence. Also the added benefit of the meta where nigh every single lie Usopp has told has come true.

    - Nami she likes money and she stingy with her money, she likes to have lots of money to pet and rarely lets others have her treasure this is constant and practically ever present to annoyance of fans.
    [​IMG]
    This mentality all stems from her past, Nami & her sister Nojiko grew up poor surviving on all the money Bellmere could get but they lived even though Nami didn't like getting hand me downs and shit, when Arlong came in to the picture Nami became a thief to raise a massive fortune to pay Arlong off and save her town so she herself penny pinched and amassed the money that would be her savior. Now days she still saves money for when they will really need it like for a new ship or to save a person they just meet from being sold as a slave with all there fortune with no hesitation.

    - Pudding's mayadere swifts in emotions from being "evil" to Nice and vice versa when it comes with Sanji weither it means him being nice, complementing her, etc can even be a bit weird like even Sanji doesn't know 100%

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    (https://twitter.com/nyaponi/status/922790661211832320 )

    But it all stems from her own past teaching her everything with how people would feel & treat her once they saw the third eye, that its not only such a shock to her system as we can see it also changed Pudding perspective its really the first time ever Pudding got acceptance, her reaction is still to be like she was before Sanji came into her life as such with the evil/malice/mask she wore for so long, while immediately after regretting what she has said knowing that doesn't reflect how she truly feels at all with her feeling regret for what she has done/said. Even her extreme reaction to Sanji in her love mode is again more due to her past, never in her life has really anyone been genuine with her when it came to things such as kindness or even love like Sanji has given so Pudding reaction is the extreme just like Sanji.

    And even vice versa her being nice and then the mask comes up and so on, she has never dealt with someone like Sanji.

    And I would say the same for Sanji, he himself has never dealt with a woman quite like Pudding. While there moments where he does get her like at the wedding and such, he also doesn't know her past and was unable to really have any sign of her mask earlier on during points when he wouldn't want to go through with the wedding and obviously suspicious but I would even say with her quirk Sanji doesn't know how to approach her like in 896 still thinking they are enemies even though he cares for Pudding, in a way Sanji also never dealt with a woman that no offence, actual has feelings for him beyond platonic which is pretty much unlike every other encounter Sanji has had with a woman call it Shonen Love unawareness a disease that has stricken many a shonen series most notably Yu-Gi-Oh media make the universe nearly as sexless as a Capcom Universe especially Resident Evil.

    [​IMG]
    As Luffy and Katakuri fight in the mirror world enters its final stage so does our time and development between Sanji and Pudding for now, with the cake delivered and distracting Big Mom all thats left for the group do to is grab Luffy and Cacao Island and escape Big Mom territory.

    There a little thing here in the anime (WCI Anime is great) where before Sanji and Pudding head of to the Sunny, Pudding and Chiffon say goodbye to each other with Pudding asking if her sister is happy? Chiffon says yes when you find love your life will never be the same basically saying she has found happiness with Bege despite her time in WCI she has found her true love and family, Pudding tells her to not let go of that happiness with Chiffon telling Pudding to do the same.

    The moment by all means spells it out that just like Chiffon Pudding has found her happiness and just like Sanji with Zeff found a place she felt like she could belong which was with Sanji but even if they both care about each other due to circumstances they cannot be with each other which at this moment and ultimately foreshadowing where Pudding lets go of her happiness for the time being.

    You know call it serendipity, call it instincts or even just luck Big Mom creates and weds off her sons in daughters in political marriages to strengthen and enrich herself every single marriage/couple that Big Mom has paired do love each other. Aladine and Praline are the couple we see the least of but the two generally care for each other outside with Aladine wanting to negotiate with Big Mom when Jinbe leaves in-order to stay with Praline and Praline saying she would choose him over her mother any day hugging him tightly (that and helping the strawhats escape thus becoming a traitor). Chiffon and Capone as stated above found happiness with each other despite Capone just entering the marriage for his own plan he did fall in love with Chiffon so much so they have a kid. I've already gone over enough with Pudding and Sanji but its pretty clear they do care for one another and would risk there lives for each other despite everything the two have been through.

    So congrats Big Mom, you may be a monster who uses her own children as ploys and tools for your own self gain and worth and value them on what they could do for you.....but you are quite the match maker.

    So at long last we have made it to Chapter 896 as the clock is ticking down to the time when Luffy will step out of the mirror world, Sanji lies in wait with Pudding knowing as soon as Luffy steps out he will be attacked so Sanji got to grab him and get out of there but before that can happen a sad goodbye must happen between the two before they head there separate ways as Sanji remembers the time he spent with Pudding with a fond smile on his face as Pudding approaches him.

    [​IMG]
    Sanji remarks about the weird circumstances that brought the two of them together but Sanji extends his hand to thank Pudding for everything she has done. Pudding inside that Sanji shouldn't be thanking her considering she tried to kill him and played an act when they first met if anything she still wishes to apologize for what she has done but before she can say what she really wants to her mask returns and tells Sanji to be quite saddening Pudding she still can't say what on her heart.

    Sanji takes this as that Pudding is still very cold to Sanji but he just laughs it off thinking that Pudding views him as an enemy and not the love of her life, but he just tells her even if the entire thing was a trap by the Big Mom Pirates and that they were still enemies he was glad/happy he got to meeting Pudding and was happy that if anyone played the role of his bride to be it was Pudding.
    [​IMG]
    (One of Oda's best ugly cries)

    Brought to tears over Sanji words Pudding touched that after everything Sanji still cares about Pudding; knowing what she is going to do, as she wipes her tears away and steels up her heart with Sanji worried he made her cry...Pudding asks Sanji-san for one last request before they depart as she removes Sanji signature cigarette from his mouth as we cut away.

    We won't truly find out what happened till Chapter 902, the anime section made it more clear that Pudding removed the cigarette so that she could give him a goodbye kiss while the manga readers just had to figure out why remove the cigarette. There was some dumb talks about why she removed the cigarette: Some thought Pudding disapproved of Sanji smoking and wished him to stop, some thought it was some thing the "evil" Pudding would do, some thought she was gonna use it to burn all of Sanji's memories of her.

    But until then we get a brief scene with Pudding in Chapter 900 as it announced all over Totland by her older brother that she is the Savior of Totland and as all the Islands sing there praise of Lady Pudding and breathe a sigh of relief that its all over now we cut away to Pudding sitting alone in a dark alley way as she hears the citizens cheer for her but she isn't happy (normally anyone else would be happy to be lavished with praise and such) Pudding has a sad look to her saying its not true.

    [​IMG]
    Now to the chapter that made me weep, Chapter 902 the last chapter of the Whole Cake Island arc simple titled: "End Roll" & Episode 877: "The Parting Time- Pudding's Last Request"

    Before I get into the chapter I want to recite the Opera song that plays over the entire chapter that not only is about the arc itself, but Totland, Sanji & Pudding, Big Mom, etc.

    "Soul Pocus..Soul Pocus The words of the Soul onward we go, by breeze and by brine...minds with heavy thoughts...of the bloody seas left behind" "Though Sugar is hardly its intended focus the enchanted flowers and trees sing the sweetest Soul Pocus Greedy Mama's false plot was both devious and smart" "Matching Fairy-Tale Prince and Princess Fair....in a sham that was meant to keep them apart....when sweet alluring nectar has its own bold mind sweet sentiment can be so bad for the heart" "A death defying fight ensues...love lost in the confusion...Take your candy coming in and leave by execution, the fun is finding out who wins at the grand resolution"

    Both the magnificent Episode 877 and Chapter 902 created a spectacular finale for Whole Cake Island with its bitter sweet tone, questioning of safety, reminding me alot of Empire Strikes Back but with the emotional gut punch that WCI ultimately had going but for me and judging by the titles of both I imagine Oda and Toei agree the biggest and thus most touching moment was Pudding.

    In a way WCI began with Pudding and so it ends with Pudding.

    We see Pudding during Soul Pocus in a matching shot with Sanji, same identical expressions and emotions both with heavy minds filled with the events that transpired over the last 4 or so days and now its time for reflection of all that has happened now that the film reel is close to ending. As we can see in the panel, even though Pudding is close to the fighting she is paying it no mind as she is absorbed in her own thoughts as she sits alone tears brimming her eyes as she examines the memory strip.

    The only thing that really pulls Pudding out of her own internal thoughts is the announcement/learning that the Sunny has made it out of Big Mom territory thus Sanji and co are out of Totlands territory, with this Pudding thinks back to the beginning of this twisted tale with Sanji.
    [​IMG]
    Oh course it all begins with Big Mom using Pudding for her own selfish goals as she asks her daughter to fool Sanji just as she has done to others in the past remarking n how Pudding is just a cute charming doll for her to use. Yeah that what any kid wants to hear your not a person, your just a doll for me to use when its convenient that won't have damning effects on a persons psyche, even Pudding recognizes that her own mother just sees her as a play thing clearly sadden and upset that her mother views her as one while proclaiming she not some doll she a person.

    Even with the touching conversation with Sanji her own self only came out for a brief moment before Pudding mask came back on as she remembers what life has told her from the day she was born: You won't be loved, you won't be accepted, everyone is just a fake using you, you are a monster, freak, and anyone that learns what you are will be just like everyone else.

    But as we know at the Wedding on top of the cake as Sanji lifted the veil and saw Pudding third eye for real for the first time all the Big Mom Pirates and Pudding herself expected Sanji to reject Pudding to recoil in disgust and think/call Pudding a freak but thats not what happened. Sanji accepted Pudding for who she was and found her eye beautiful shocking Pudding to her core, but even after everything between them Sanji still in the end accepts and cares for Pudding...which leads us to the last request.

    A beautiful full page with borders like a film reel as the audience finally learns what happun and what Puddings last request was.
    [​IMG]

    Yep Pudding ran up, kissed Sanji hard shocking him to where he could even move and as she pulled away she thanked Sanji for everything and removed his memories of the kiss before saying goodbye and running off to where we see her now crying alone with the memory strip in her hand.


    Now as to why Pudding removed Sanji's memories of the kiss imo is rather simple, its all for protecting Sanji which is something Sanji himself would have done.

    The entire impetus from the beginning was to stop Big Mom and to help Sanji and co escape, at no point has the goal of helping Sanji escape changed for Pudding just like how Sanji goal to escape with Luffy and co didn't. With the kiss Pudding made a passionate stance on where she stands with Sanji making it clear to the audience and to Sanji himself that she loves him, if Sanji retained his memories things change. Now its not just getting Luffy back to the Sunny a feat that Sanji and the vinsmokes were barely able to pull of before and escape Big Mom territory, if Sanji knew of Puddings feelings for him this complicates things.

    It distracts Sanji from saving Luffy, he has to deal with the thought of leaving Pudding here despite the fact he leaving someone who cares deeply for him and that he cares for too (which also complicates and completely changes his dynamic when it comes to woman, which i wouldn't mind but Oda won't change that when we are still a ways from the ending), which means Sanji feels guilty for leaving Pudding behind or even worry for her condition which could lead to Sanji just wishing Pudding to come with him or him just grabbing Pudding along with Luffy which not only makes escape much more complicated and hard since considering how vital Pudding is to the Big Mom Pirates just paints an even bigger target on there backs along with forces being more aggressive changing making the situation even worse.

    Pudding herself now is only really coming to grips/terms/dealing with her own guilt, her own feelings towards Sanji, her own history and view on life all of which is already a bitter enough pill to swallow without having to make things more difficult with her admitting and making clear her feelings.

    Pudding expected nothing but to be betrayed and thought of as a monster/freak, to never be loved or accepted what else is she supposed to expect when her own home, family and country have done nothing but reinforce this belief into her and through years of abuse and self hatred eventually "evil" Pudding was born as a mask to protect Pudding to help her survive. Even with Sanji confessing his love and wishing to marry her, deep down Pudding wished it were true but knew Sanji would just be like everyone else.

    [​IMG]
    This evil side would push people away so that Pudding could no longer be hurt, but in the end Sanji saw more to what Pudding was putting on with her "true" self and Pudding herself saw alot of herself in Sanji hell both were tormented and rejects by there own parent and just used when its convenient to further there own parents goal.

    Pudding entire worldview is built on the years of abuse, rejection, hatred and how people view her and that all those that know the truth will just reject and find her disgusting, so much so that Pudding believes she is not deserving of love or acceptance and even with everything she as done to him, said to him and what her family had tried to do, Sanji still accepts and cares/loves Pudding which shattered her worldview.

    So Pudding despite knowing how much she will miss Sanji and how much she would want to be with him, Pudding makes the selfish but sacrificial choice with no hesitation of kissing Sanji & removing his memories of said kiss so Sanji can continue on his way. Not only able to show her feelings to Sanji and keep a memento of him but Sanji is able to finish his goal all the while Pudding is hurting on the inside having to do that to Sanji even if it meant to protect him she is sacrificing her own happiness and wishes for the one she loves while she still resides in her own hell even if she knows that she can be accepted, which again sounds alot like something Sanji has done.

    I hope with my long as discussions I was able to not only give you more insight and understanding to characters even if it ultimately doesn't change any minds, but in the end it felt good to get out what I felt about certain characters in WCI especially Pudding so with this section done its time to move on to themes.

    @Chris Mic
     
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  7. Chris Mic

    Chris Mic

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    filler
     
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  8. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    3: THEMES

    1. Family & Environment:

    Families are regularly shown throughout One Piece ranging from blood relation family like Robin and Olvia, Usopp and his parents and of course Luffy with not only Garp training him and being an influence in his life when he could like training him in his own unique way and Dragon seemingly while abandoning Luffy but protecting and watching over him but for the most part when we see families for the main cast its not the blood relation, most of the families for the strawhats are adoptive which is a nice touch showing you don't need to be related by blood to have a strong family.

    Bellemere with Nami and Nojiko (even Genzo as the father figure), Chopper has Hiriluk & Kureha, Sanji obviously with Zeff, Franky with Tom, Kokoro, Iceburg and the Franky Family, Jinbe with Arlong and Fisher Tiger and as we have learned Luffy had Ace and Sabo. All these relations yet not a single speck of shared blood between them yet just as if not more meaningful then regular family and thats just in the strawhats there more if I want to expanded outside them.
    [​IMG]
    The most important family of all in a way are the strawhats themselves: None of the strawhats have known each other for that long (8 months max and less for the newer ones) and yet through there trials, enemies fought, hard times, there shared journey for there dreams they developed bonds and connections that run as deep as family that will never be broken now. What emphasized this the most is both Luffy and Robin:

    Robin herself basically spent most of her life alone running away trying to achieve her dream and live, she never found a home a place where she could smile as she always had to keep running until Robin found herself with the strawhats which is why she was ready to sacrifice herself to protect them but luckily her family came to save her and now she never been happier and its been nice to see the evolution of her being more open and funny (even if she still can't get a fight :p sorry Imperial Bishop )
    [​IMG]
    (https://twitter.com/nyaponi)

    For Luffy, he has always been the rock of the strawhats when ever they needed someone, needed a helping hand to get back up, a lender of will and confidence that exudes from him when needed, or to throw a punch they couldn't Luffy more then ready to fight. The strawhats could always depend on each other and Luffy was the heart that connected all of them and the same to Luffy without each other they would not be where they are. When Luffy was broken and depressed after Aces death, Luffy lost that unshakable will a position he was never in before the lowest point ready to give up on his dreams and adventure...what pulled him out?
    [​IMG]
    It was the Strawhat crew (and Jinbe) he still had them even after he lost so much and when Jinbe helped pull him out of his spiral he wanted nothing more then to meet them again and it was the same for everyone else, when they each learned Ace's death they all in there own ways tried to get to Luffy no matter how hard it would be knowing they needed to help him.

    Which is why I've never been keen or really like shipping the strawhats together, they are a family there bonds are different you don't have to be in a romantic relationship to have such deep bonds, trying to paint what have always been platonic dynamics as romantic in nature has been silly to me considering you don't need that with the strawhats trying to make them romantic would just weaken the overall family dynamic.

    Now why have I gone through this, well for the most part families in One Piece are overall positive/good families, there wasn't really any example of say bad families that is until we got to Whole Cake Island and saw not only the Vinsmokes but Charlottes, not only in an arc do we examine the dynamics of two blood related families we see that not all families are not all happy or close really these families are ABUSIVE
    [​IMG]
    (Sorry cannot find the source for this)

    The two central figures when it comes to that abuse angle are Sanji and Pudding, not to say that Pudding was the only one abused in the Big Mom Family there is Chiffon herself who was beat by her own mother just for looking like/reminding Big Mom of Chiffon but Pudding is defiantly the one who gets the most focus and exposes more of the abusive family history/traits within the Charlottes, while both these families have different make ups there a few similarities that can show how twisted they are:

    -Both families acted fake in front of the other & both had plans to screw over the other when making the arranged marriage. (Judge planned to take Pudding with Germa and use her as a bargaining chip so they would get the benefits of the BMP but have power over her and avoid doing certain stuff, Big Mom Pirates behind pleasant pleasantries planned to kill all the Vinsmokes and steal their tech to advance their own goals)

    -Both have brought life into the world with unnatural means (Germa with using tech to create clones to serve and die for them & Big Mom breathing life into so far the nonliving objects)

    -Both have used the Kindred Spirits to each other of the respective family that were tormented & abused in their youths as the bride and groom for their nefarious schemes.

    - Both parents have no intreats in the hopes, dreams or what their own kids really want to do with their lives, both Big Mom and Judge use their own offspring as a means of furthering their own ambition.

    - Judge and Big Mom had both Sanji and Pudding hide aspects of themselves, hell both cover their last eye with hair.

    - Both families have physical abuse in the form of siblings beating a little sibling.

    - While the two heads of the household have abused their kid until they fully pushed them away/able to escape and until they presented some use in to the parental figure. (though even know in this arc there still some family abuse with the brothers beating on Sanji and Pudding getting slapped away at the wedding)

    -(more like a fun fact) Both Sanji and Pudding used knives in acts of aggression/plans of there; Sanji planned to stab and kill Zeff so he could get his food bag, Pudding used a knife to fight back against her tormentors.

    Those are just some of the top of my head but you get the point, both of these families are messed up and in both cases the cause for such abuse lies in the parents/head of house in both families ie Big Mom and Judge. In what they value, how the perceive their children, their own world views and goals have shaped the family and environment that there kids would grow in and while the intention may have been well meaning in the end it was abusive.

    1.1 Germa:
    [​IMG]
    Sanji history with his family isn't really delved into until Judge hits the scene before hand we just know that Sanji wanted nothing to do with these asshats and we quickly see why that is. Judge is a war monger whos prides himself and others on strength and ruthlessness, to achieve such strength Judge has twisted science to his own advantage all the while being morally reprehensible (Judge abuse is more direct):

    1. The aforementioned Soldiers who are breed not only to serve Germa as staff and be the majority of Germas force but are breed to follow Germa orders even if it means dying they are compelled to follow the orders of there masters basically born in servitude and to die for fatcats.

    2. The second is just as questionable and the first act of abuse for Judge when it comes to Sanji, the manipulating of his Kids genetics: Basically Judge wanted perfect soldiers so Judge manipulate there DNA against there mothers wishes to accomplish a few things:
    - Out right removing (or weakening in R case) emotions to make them more effective soldiers ie removing stuff like empathy cause Judge views it as a weakness.
    - Just like the Breed Soldiers, the kids are forced to obey orders mentally of the head of house ie Judge even if its aganist there own will.
    - Manipulated there DNA to make them stronger like having an exoskeleton.

    [​IMG]
    Again, Judge did this to his own kids to make them soldiers for the Germa cause (ie for him) the kids had no input in what they wanted to be it was decided for them before they were born against the will and wishes of there mother who didn't want her children to be manipulated into monster soldiers with no emotion so that why she took matters into her own hands to stop Judge even if it ultimately lead to her death, in the end due to her action Sanji was free from Judge's pre-birth manipulations.

    So while Sanji was able to avoid that abusive manipulation from Judge, Judge and Germas abusive mentalities and tendencies didn't stop there as I said Germa is a country of ruthlessness, emotionless and nearly everyone is the same in mentality that Sanji differences just made him stand out and that wasn't good.

    Sanji liked too cook, Sanji liked to take care of animals, Sanji didn't have much intreast in getting stronger and fighting wars unlike his brothers and sisters, which is why Judge did everything in his power to drive this out of Sanji in vain attempts to make him a perfect solider like his other kids. Judge destroyed any meal Sanji made saying royalty doesn't cook or care for lower life forms and forced him to train, he pitted his own kids against Sanji, Judge made Sanji work three times as hard as the others, all the while calling him weak and useless.

    Such an environment created a toxic environment for Sanji which was further exacerbated when his own brothers started to beat him and belitle him as Judge just sat back and did nothing basically out right encouraging it, in the end Judge hit his limit at a point giving up on Sanji and casting him into a dungeon with an iron mask so as he could no longer shame him.

    [​IMG]
    All this because he was considered weak and had emotions.

    Who knows what would have happened to Sanji if he didn't get his chance to escape and flee, would he still be locked away in his cell for the rest of his life to be beat by his brothers? Would he have after all the time become so depressed have taken his own life? Or would he have succumb and try to be more like his family and loss himself?

    Luckily we don't have answers to these questions, cause Sanji was able to leave his blood family (even though he still has scars from his time) and find a place that was able to give him the home, family and development/fostering he needed for his dream and his character with the Zeff and the Baratie and eventually the Strawhats.

    Zeff and the environment he created helped create and foster the Sanji we see today for better or worse from instilling in him a talent and love for cooking, his selfless attitude/sacrifice to helping those hungry no matter what to even his actions with Woman. It's not some two-way street with only Sanji caring, Zeff clearly wanted the best for Sanji and wanted to push him out to sea cause he knew it was best for Sanji and its what he really wants to do.
    [​IMG]
    (https://www.deviantar****m/amanomoo...er-902-Sanji-Zeff-Cooking-Ending-Co-741266554)
    Even outside of Zeff Sanji found a home with the strawhats: A places where dreams were never laughed at no matter how high but encouraged, a place where he developed many friendships and a brotherly rivalry, a place where people helped him through the tough times in life where he replicated and they all cared for each other, again a place he dreamed of finding one that he would do anything to protect even if he suffered, which shows again with Sanji cherishing & loving Pudding in 846 that without the two other places Pudding provides the same feelings the others did.

    Germa had its effect by solidifying Sanjis world view countered against his family, even beyond what they did to him in the past its why Sanji is cold to Germa they stand for everything that is wrong to him and why he wants nothing to do with them, even if he has moved past his abuse and got away that trauma still has an effect on him as seen shivering when seeing his brothers which is a sign of abuse.

    3.2 Charlotte Family:
    [​IMG]
    When it comes to the history of abuse not only in the Charlotte family but in Totland itself there not really a singular point you can start off at like you can with Sanji, the abuse is spread out through everything in Totland you cannot escape the abuse and exploitation. Everything goes to Big Mom, it all goes back to a time before Totland even existed;Big Mom herself worships the lessons and parenting style of Mother Caramel and adopts it not only to Totland, but her own family.

    Totland, hell Big Mom empire is built from the ground up on the promise of the dream world that Mother Caramel preached about back in Linlins childhood, even relatively good people like Pekoms believe whole heartily in the ideals Big Mom talks about. Yet look at the dealings Big Mom makes and how she really uses that dream:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Big Mom's entire empire is built through extortion using people as a means to further her own goal under the pretense that everyone following her will be happy and this is needed to build the land of dreams and if you say otherwise prepare for punishment. Even your value as a person is judged by what you can do for the dream/mission, those deemed useless and failures are slapped and beaten away once your worth is used up:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    (as I said you don't go around insulting & beating siblings without some kind of history or even encouragement from parents)

    Pudding entire value as a person to Big Mom and by extension the Big Mom pirates is entirely determined by what she can do for them, not by you know who is is as a person, the significance of having different race or perspective around to give insight, etc nope its all what you can do with that Third Eye, DF and acting skills for Big Mom all this love is fake and would evaporate in a heart beat. Hell even to the point of dehumanizing Pudding by calling her a doll, not my precious daughter or little girl no Big Mom called Pudding a doll; a play thing a tool to be used and thrown away when used shit thats just damaging to think of what your mother thinks about you.

    Linlin really doesn't care about her kids, otherwise she wouldn't dehumainze and belittle Pudding, she wouldn't beat Chiffon for just you know looking like her identical twin sister,

    Charlotte Children aren't the only victim of this mentality, just look at Step Father Pound, as soon as Chiffon and Lola were born Linlin saw no more use for him and threw him out and his own step son proceed to basically kill him throughout WCI arc fulling knowing he was there father once. Lola could have been the most precious daughter to Big Mom if she married Loki of Elbaf, but when she left to marry a man of her own choosing Big Mom to this day wishes to find her daughter just so she can kill her for ruining her biggest deal yet.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    If the above was it for the toxic mentality of Big Mom Family & Totland that be one thing but there more beyond just the exploration and valuing of human lives, but Big Mom seemingly cannot deal with problems of punishment unless it effects her in someway otherwise Big Mom just absolves everything rather then dealing with the root of the problem Big Mom just asks for forgiveness and just get along..mhh just like her own mother:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    (its uncanny how similar Big Mom and Mother C's smiles are so similar)

    Yes Linlin forget your own kids being violent towards each other like Dolce saying he gonna kill little Ana one of these days just tell them to accept each other and just get along I'm sure everything will be okay, not realizing/understanding how damaging that is and even if Linlin is well meaning in her approach all this does is let the cycle of abuse to continue if you are just telling people to just get along without actually dealing with the issue. Ohh Pudding the citizens are dehumanizing you calling you a monster and freak...well you do look creepy thats for sure just grow out your bangs and everything will be alright.


    Yes just ignore pretty much racism and I'm sure the problem will just go away just ask the US, which leads to problems within Totland itself.

    Now the living proof that not Totland (and by extension Mother Caramel teachings) were wrong is in fact the three eyed woman we are all familiar with; Pudding.

    In the land of Totland with weird people (to us) from Minks, Fishman, Snake Necks to even Tonttas all these races together, the one whom we know faced adversity from the populace of being called a monster, to be creepy for something you are born with by which your own Mother told you hide it away, to being tormented and force to show what you are against your will even if you were told by others to hide it and ridiculed for it. All this happening just because of an extra eye on her forehead even though she is the most normal one of them all (especially if you look at her family) and like I said that only with Pudding, considering there is still active slavery within One Piece with Fishmen and Mermaids being kidnapped & sold, minks being viewed as lesser, not even getting into Linlin's deals with giants, etc considering Big Mom non-caring nature....

    Totland isn't genuine its utterly fake in its message of all races living together in harmony, the love her Mother and by extension her family isn't genuine which has massive effects on Pudding and the Charlotte kids in general, Pudding who unlike Sanji wasn't able to escape and find a place to nurture her but was instead consumed by her Mother and Totland.

    "Evil" Pudding born from self hatred and torment taking everything in, her own mother (a being of warmth and comfort for most) calling finding her creepy and unappealing asking to hide herself, citizens of her home calling her a monster and a freak, and even kids her own age bullied, tormented her, and ousted her as a third eye when she was trying to hide what she was born with (even as the anime going so far as to cut her own hair removing her attempt to blend in and hide what she was born with that people hated her for). Her evil side was a facade a mask born to protect herself as a matter of survival, a type of coping mechanism that turn her into what everyone said she was: A Monster

    [​IMG]
    Pudding is just as much of a survivor of abuse as Sanji.

    2. Threat & Struggle:
    Weither this was a theme Oda intended or not I do think it deserves recognition that for really the first time in the time skip, our heroes have really struggled and were over there head at points throughout this arc.

    The first two arcs of the timeskip that being Fishman Island and Punk Hazard, were of little struggle for the strawhats for a couple of reasons ranging from the Strawhats themselves were much stronger then the opponents they fought seemingly beating them with little effort to having allies at quick intervals to help with the difficulties of the arc. Dressrosa is similar where as while the Doflamingo Pirates were stronger and put up more of a fight the arc suffers because of the issue I raised above that as soon as Luffy goes Gear 4 the arc is pretty much over, even Zoro and Law made quick work of the Executives they dealt with doesn't help again that it has the worst ticking clock in the series with the Birdcage but moving on.
    [​IMG]

    When it came to WCI at no point was this arc ever an easy ride for our heroes really besides for the initial meeting with Pudding, through out the arc its pointed out and made explicit that fighting Big Mom and her crew head on together is nothing short of death in waiting that they stand no chance there only hope is to try the quick assassination as its the only way to deal with Big Mom. But as soon as there plan fails shit goes sideways, as the forces like Katakuri and Smoothie march and entrapped our heroes. Even when they try to put on the offense to get Capone out of there, Germa quickly dealt with showing the overwhelming might, Big Mom deals with Gear 4 with no effort and Sanji and Luffy are beat and captured.
    [​IMG]
    The only thing that saved them all from being executed was the Tamate box destroying the foundation of WC Chateau causing it to collapse, this isn't even the only dire barely made it moment in the arc. Even in her weakened state Big Mom nearly drove Chopper and the crew to a suicide attempt just to sttay her off which luckily the cake arrived to prevent the attempt, or how without Pudding the strawhats would have never made it out of the seducing woods, or how the Sun Pirates made sure the Sunny would be safe and get our heroes out of her territory when all seemed lost.

    The Yonko threat was real throughout and every little victory, ally and power was utilized in order to make this escape possible as I said earlier if one of these things didn't happen escape is nearly made impossible or without heavy causalities and loss.
    [​IMG]

    Looking things at a personal level:
    - For Luffy the struggle came from an outward force ie Opponents whom not only tested his strength like Cracker who Luffy struggled to defeat Cracker giving Gear 4 Luffy more trouble then Doflamingo ever did and needed Nami help with her weather and trees to stand a chance. Katakuri who Luffy not only struggled to beat with his strength proving he still needed to grow in the New World but unlike the rest of his opponents he needed to learn from Katakuri in order to able to get some room to ultimately beat him ie with future sight and even with that and Gear 4 Snake Man Luffy the match with Katakuri was still close, Luffy also couldn't have an ally here since Kataluri would have ade quick work of them.

    - For Sanji it was the struggle of wanting to sacrifice himself and push those he cares about away to save them yet at in his heart he couldn't leave them, for the first time really in the series a woman has ever tested his character and ultimately the struggle to confront and deal with his "family/father" that he hoped to have left behind him in the past all those years ago.

    For the WCI Gang, besides for when Jinbe pulled off the green room trick and the cake no single action brought left much breathing room to catch breath they always needed to be alert:
    - Pedro despite his sacrifice did as much as he could but soon Big Mom and Perospero (who he tried to take out) were on top of them with a giant wave saved by Jinbe which bought them a few hours

    - Nami distracted the homie cannonballs but they were soon surrounded by Daifukus fleet

    - Carrot slowed down Daifuku but soon after Big Mom was upon the Sunny,

    - Strawhats together were able to push Big Mom off but she was able to get right back up and continued chasing them (only to be taken out of the equation from chasing the strawhats for the rest of the arc by the cake pretty much).

    - If Nami couldn't entice Zeus she not only would have him in her possession but they would have died back in the forest

    - Pekoms betrayed to help Luffy escape but that only last a bit till Oven came in and now he may no longer have eyes.

    - Capone came in to help save the cake when Oven was causing havok on Cacao Island

    - Germa came in with all its military might and was able to buy time for Sanji and Luffy to get to the Sunny but afterwards couldn't deal with Big Mom Fleet

    - To secure there escape not only did the Fishmen Pirates have to stay and fight Big Moms Fleet (till they were a safe distance away), they lost there ship but ultimately Jinbe stayed behind to make sure his crew was safe.

    - And then Big Mom came to Cacao Island so who knows what happened.

    - Brook struggle to grab the Poneglphys he got them in secret but not before he was defeated and became a big mom toy being utterly humiliated.

    Pudding was the struggle of her world view (not only how she viewed herself, but her family and Totland), her own struggle to save the one she cares about and the strawhats, and her secret to defy her family throughout the latter half of the arc.

    With Katakuri it was his own reputation and character he has built up not only for himself but for the family, that and his relationship with Luffy.

    Though knowing some anime fans they wouldn't find much here and would rather talk about rain, suitcases foreheads, etc trying to find deeper meaning to a bunch of shit that doesn't matter and trying to make it something but come of as pretentious idiots thinking there deep.


    4. One the Other Hand:
    This section is just for brief criticism and problems I personally had with WCI, like I said before I loved Whole Cake Island but there were a few things that I think either Oda could have handled better or I just didn't like in the current form. Besides its good to lists some critiques as introspection so its not all just praise.

    1. Chopper didn't get a Moment:
    [​IMG]
    Chopper is cool, he has very fun and unique power that changes when the situation needs it, he is very funny character, smart and has a really good heart and story with his character, Chopper is awesome. Which is kinda a shame that Oda didn't give Chopper his own moment during WCI, now I don't mean to say Chopper didn't do anything during the arc:

    -Mirror World (with Carrot)
    - Defended the Sunny (with Brook)
    - Pushed Big Mom back (with the other strawhats)

    But the key is the in (), Chopper always had someone else there during those times he never had a signature moment to himself where as through out the arc Oda gave singular moments to many characters of this arc:

    - Brook secured the rubbings, smashed the picture, soul king, etc
    - Nami not only had the giant Zeus Bolt but tamed Zeus to use for her own
    - Jinbe stood up to Big Mom and the green room
    - Sanji had his reactions to Pudding, his travels to Luffy, Standing up to his father, cake, etc
    - Luffy had Snakeman, Tankman, fighting for Sanji, etc
    - Pudding had her evilness, unique power usage, cake plan was all her, etc
    - Katakuri had standing up to Flambe, Donuts,falling on his back, etc
    - Brulee powers created unique scenarios, was generally funny, had a touching moment with learning about her admiration with Katakuri and patching him up.
    - Carrot had Sulong moment
    - Pedro had boom

    Hell even Pound had his signature moment this isn't even adding Capone or Big Mom. So it kinda sucks Chopper didn't get a defining moment to call his own during WCI when pretty much everyone else did.

    2. Pedros Big Flop:
    [​IMG]
    If you are in the One Piece OT I did make a post saying I was never a fan of Pedro that I may leave at the bottom of this, but that all could have changed in what was seemingly his last moment with blowing up and stuff but honestly thats the moment where it does fall flat for me. Besides for really Brook & Sanji (since at least Sanji flash-backed to a moment) we don't get to see the other strawhats bond or have any real moments with Pedro before his sacrifice for how many chapters he was around I feel like Luffy and the others bonded more with Shirahoshi and Rebecca then they ever did with boring here not to mention good ones like Mr.2 which overall weakens the emotions behind the scene.

    But honestly those are small potatoes to where I think it fails the most, which is more so the mentor relationship that Carrot and Pedro had. Before Pedro death we are really given no hints to any sort of mentor relationship between the two or really any prior relationship besides for a small bit before they leave for WCI which doesn't imply the mentor relationship. Even before Pedro death, his relationship with Pekoms was established more with them being crewmates when the Nox Pirates were still a thing, both looked to each others as brothers (Pekoms even in front of Big Mom pleaded to her to spare his brothers life), etc.

    Where as we don't learn of the teacher/student relationship until the chapter after Pedro dies, I seriously do wish Oda had established more of there relationship or dynamic before hand maybe just even tiny moments. Like when Chopper and Carrot pull Pedro to the mirrorworld, Carrot gets all sad or even angry at Pedro for trying to sacrifice himself trying to leave her/die when there still more she wishes to learn more and or spend time with her master where you could have Pedro repeat that she knows he doesn't have much time left or something and its my choice to die how I wish but he ultimately comforts Carrot by like patting and rubbing her head.

    I do hope we see more of the relationship between the two, but I can help but feel Oda dropped the ball here in WCI by not establishing it earlier which sucks cause I like Carrot, she a fun character unlike Pedro.

    Like compare it to the last dead mentor with Corazon, we don't know anything about Corazon till Dressrosa but we see that Corazon means alot to Law before the audience even sees him:

    - Law Jacket in Dressrosa has Corazon printed on the back
    - Law thoughts when he gets shot by Doflamingo are of Corazon
    - Law states he is doing all of this because of Corazon, that he saved him

    Law also is the Captain of the Heart Pirates and has a giant heart tattoo on his chest, Corazon literally means Heart in Spanish. Even before we learn of there relationship we see that whom ever Corazon is Law thinks of that person very highly.
    [​IMG]
    Its also kinda worse that theres another sacrifice that I think Oda handles better with Pound, a character who was here for way less but personally his sacrifice hurt more You know fuck it time for Pounds Character

    9. Pound:
    [​IMG]
    - His relationship with his daughters are established quick as he is introduced (he remembers/hears about them and never got to see them after they were born so they don't remember or recognize him)

    - His relationship with not only Linlin but his step kids are established quick too and adds to the mess up ness of not only Big Mom, Charlottes but Totland which is that nobody cares about Pound.

    Pound is barely in ten chapters of One Piece, yet his stuff is all established like wishing to see his daughter Chiffon and say one thing to her, when he tries to meet up with her not only do the people barely remember him and not let him in, inside Chiffon and the others ignore him Oven appears and beats up to drive him off.
    [​IMG]
    Pound finally sees his daughter from a distance but Chiffon is soon captured by Oven, where he tries to stop Oven and free Chiffon whos only reaction is wondering who the guy is. Not only does he not save Chiffon himslef he gets beat up again trying to stop Oven.

    Pound finally not only sees his son in law but grandson remarking just how happy they look as a family (as Chiffon just calls him a freak) with Pez in childlike wonder knows Pound is his grandpa and is happy & laughing to see him even at a distance. Oven tries to stop Chiffon and the others with his heat powers, with Pound making one last attempt slamming a giant piece of wood over Oven to get him to stop as Pez tries to reach out towards his grandpa. Pound's final action of such devotion to his daughter that he never got to see or hold in his arms who doesn't even know who he is not caring he is going to die or be remembered.
    [​IMG]
    He succeeds but know Oven is solely focused on ending Pound, his final moments he looks towards his grandson who he doesn't even know his name wishing that he is happy with his parents hoping he knows his parents love him and that he loves his parents back something he was never able to do with his daughters since Linlin threw him away once they were born. His final thoughts are of Chiffon happy that he finally got to see her and despite the current situation she seems happy, sorry he couldn't be there for the hard times, when she was lonely and needed him before seemingly dying he congrats Chiffon on her wedding as Pez cries from afar as his parents try to comfort him wondering why he is crying.

    Pound shows that not only bad people get wrapped up with Linlin self-serving nature, how Big Mom effects on not only her family but all of Totland mad many not care or remember Pound. Pound may be a giant goober but ever since they were born he would do anything for his family even sacrifice his own life to save them even though they will never remember him (outside of Pez).

    But now to my last point.

    3. The Vinsmokes Kids (outside of Sanji) are flashy but BOORRRINNGGGGG:
    For a group based on Super Sentai characters they sure are boring to me outside of there designs which some of them like Reiju are just clear homages to Moth Girl and even then its just a novelty, but I do wish there was more to them outside of just basics because there isn't much to them as characters. If you like them, thats fine more power too you.

    From when the brothers were dicks, bullying and messing up Sanji both in the present and in the past it was boring they couldn't move even into deliciously evil territory. Like look at Dio Brando in part 1, he is an absolute jerk and bully to Jonathan but Dio takes it up to 11 and enjoys being deliciously evil to his brother going the extra mile like during the boxing match. It isn't enough that Dio is beating the shit out of Johnathan, but during a punch to the face Dio tries to extend his thumb to gouge out Johns eye, thats pure being a dick for being a dick lets not even get lighting and killing his dog on fire.
    [​IMG]
    Even in WCI we had better evil characters, Perospero is absolutely eating and enjoying the scene where he has the Vinsmokes against there back he was just absorbing and licking the despair and sadness off from Judge just watching Judge squirm as his life and dreams were about to be gunned down.

    Big Mom loved being who she is and the evil ways, when she describing the killing plan she is happy and excited over the fact taking joy in her plot to murder, how she was just happy with having Brook as a toy or use Pudding as a doll for her schemes, the only thing Big Mom didn't up up was the scenery with how much she was hamming it up. Pudding actions in 850 and 851 are spectacular and throughout when she was playing her part, this entire stuff was just great:
    [​IMG]
    Even outside that, The Vinsmoke children are just poor characters which doesn't help the boring problem (yes even Reiju). With the brothers outside of the general umbrella of being jackasses there isn't much to them personality wise to differentiate them besides for one thing: Ichiji is the strict one, Niji is more so the hateful one, and Yonji mostly the dumb one of the family. Reiju doesn't have much character at all outside oh the nice caring sister that got so old to me in chapter 852 unless you want to argue being hot is character trait and there way better female characters this arc then her (Big Mom, Brulee, Carrot, Chiffon, Pudding, etc) if you want the nice sister character with more to her then just that go to Brulee.

    They don't even have quirks, gag or little characters stuff to make them interesting or at least have something; I mean I guess the brothers do have a bit of Sanji's heart eye (which isn't unique its just borrowing from Sanji) thing but that just stealing a gag from the best of the family and they can't even take it to funny (or funny at all) extremes antics like Sanji even if that can get grating at points at least it elicits an emotion.

    Like here a quick brainstorm of something:
    - Ichiji powers are like explosions or something so lets have him be really into explosions, like have him love and be into explosions like Deidara and see it as an art or have him be like a pyromaniac, or have him break down the science of his explosive attacks in his head as he is doing them.

    - Niji: You know what fuck this woman beater and fuck the fans trying to blame Sanji for Niji beating Cosette.

    - Yonji: Have him be like a tinkerer or an inventor, his powers just seems to come from gadgets and doohickeys so why not have him be the maker of them like the extendo arm thing. Hell have him make a bunch of stuff like useless shit/failures like an electric hammer, mirror that tries to do your hair but messes it up, makeup shotgun, etc.

    - Reiju: Like let Reiju have a secret love of insects and especially things like moths. Have that be the original basis for her powers like in her room on Germa let her room be like a hot house for insect and moths saying she is using them for like research purposes but just like the little insects and gives them a home to nest in.

    The kids don't have layers like an onion, hell there more to Judge then any of the kids put togehter, and look I get they have weakened emotions but thats no excuse for poor characters I mean just look at the Charlottes. Alot of the Charlottes didn't get focus like Pudding and Katakuri, yet even in there brief appearances or actions had more personality, character and were more interesting then any of the Vinsmokes.

    Mon'tdor has a different design, a very cool interesting power he uses effectively, has character shown throughout his moments leading and organizing various forces of the Big Mom pirates, Pero has a wacky crazy design but is menacing throughout the arc, his powers seem boring at first but he uses them terrifyingly, leads the charge chasing the strawhats and directing big mom and more, even Smoothie has a better design and interesting power set compared to the Vinsmokes being like a human sponge draining people and even growing herself (there also the small bit where if you notice throughout WCI that she only drains females). Cracker had two good designs and an interesting thing with the WG not knowing what he actually looked like along with an interesting an unique power, fuck even Flambe had more with her wishing and wanting to be the little sister queen a title and inner big mom ranking system she made up and wished to be Katakuri fav little sister along with being an incredible shallow person like a good amount of her family and vindictive.
    https://images.ecosia.org/MqykP0FwQj2ddsDfX9Cglax7yos=/0x390/smart/https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleuserconten****m%2F-2zpRDDcxEes%2FWf9jznhQ-cI%2FAAAAAAAASd4%2FWLNwS8AY6DML-EG63tsUXGS4Jqcd-MRYQCJoC%2Fw530-h431-n%2FOne-Piece-Spoiler-884.jpg

    Even there powers are less interesting an area in which they should have shined: Reiju poison powers come no where close to as interesting, lethal or creative utilization as Magellan or as cool as Smoothie:
    [​IMG]

    Niji electricity is a snore compared to Enel, Nami or even various lightning related powers in the series like Electro (which seems like its static electricity)
    [​IMG]
    Ichiji is explosions but CC shows his powers up and aren't even utilized in interesting ways like Mr.5, a man who flicks explosive boogers.

    Yonji has the coolest powers but next to the Charlottes he gets blown out, Oven powers are cooler with how he utilizes them heating opponents and the area around him just with touches which is interesting use for fire/heat based power.

    Also doesn't help they lacked a strong second act after being gone for 30+ chapters that could have help the transition better when then reached and helped out at Cacao Island.

    Ultimately there problem for me is well they are boring, uninteresting & barely characters who outside of the novelty of being Sentai they don't have much going for them especially in a arc where interesting, fun and creative is brimming.

    I did have more theme such as self sacrifice, kindred spirits, etc but I felt I covered it well enough and didn't want ot be redundant.

    Thought any of those would be better then some of th naval gassing clearly reading more then whats put into it some fans make such as:
    - forehead
    - rain
    - suitcase
    - 944

    Closing:
    In closing I hope this thread has give people and readers more appreciation for WCI and at least to me there is more going on in the arc itself then people tend to give it credit for and even if I didn't thats fine too it felt good to write all this even though there was more I could have gone on about. Like I said while WCI isn't a perfect arc I was enraptured in the arc from beginning to end and you can just look at the One Piece OT here and on the old site that I wasn't the only one, basically the entire thread was (not everything I wanted to write made it since its already toooo long)

    The themes, characterization, art, settings and the emotional connect has made this arc my favorite One Piece arc and an experience reading it, watching it and just enjoying it will be one arc I won't forget and I can't wait to see these characters again and how they will end up at the end of the series.
     
    playa4321, Sorous, Luna <3 and 4 others like this.
  9. J.mena13

    J.mena13

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    UAu. Incrédible.
    Great analysis
     
    playa4321 and Izaya X like this.
  10. Jaime Reyes

    Jaime Reyes

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    Thanks took alot of time to write
     
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