Thriller Bark Arc, A Recap and Why You Ought to Watch it Again.
This post is more of what I took away watching thriller bark not only because its full of exciting info I missed watching it earlier, but mostly the various fact and info mentioned in this arc seems to echo or reverberate throughout the post time skip arcs, and wano is not any different (as from recent chapters, we are still to see the last of moria and said ability). Before now it was one of my least favorite arcs which is ironic given how am a die hearted Michael Jackson fan (God bless his soul) and Oda chose the name of his Best selling album of all times to be the name of this arc. If anything thriller night.... Bark was the opposite of scary and frightful as the whole art design and world building aimed it to be. As such I thought as recommendation during this weeks chapter break we could spend time going back OP memory lane as well ours in revisiting what I consider to be the top 3 best arcs of the pre time skip. But here’s my resume or what I took away from this arc;
-Moria’s ability is reminiscent of Big mom’s as he created an army of soldiers with the shadows of others, almost the same way Big mom used the soul of others, except she preferred objects or plants to infuse their soul into rather than corpses, and we all know why Moria preferred corpses.
-Shadows are the physical manifestation of the soul or spirit form, as such when one’s dead, moria can no longer steal the person’s shadow and the same is true for someone with a stolen shadow who dies as the shadow ceases to function in what ever capacity moria designed it into. That’s why the sun rising on a shadow-less person sought of erases this anomaly.
-The Straw Hats arrival in thriller bark may have been the end of Maria’s activities there, but the true beginning of the end was when Lola got caught up at thriller bark, for unlike brook she understood the true potential of the kage-kage no mi thanks in part to being big mom’s daughter and observing her abilities up close. As such she knew that the stronger the original owners of a shadow, the stronger the shadow will be as the abilities of the previous owners are imprinted on the shadow. That’s why she bid her time and waited for the right person capable of withstanding the force of the shadows she collected over the years. Because frankly I don’t see how the straw hats could have won without Lola being present in thriller bark.
-The freezer in which oz was kept had me wondering if that was the same scenario at marijoa were a huge straw hat was kept in cryogenic chamber. What I mean is, could they have been more than a straw hat in that room basement of marijoa, like a corpse but still having a particular ability and power preserved but gradually deteriorating?!
-Brook was unable to defeat a zombie who died over 400 years ago using his own abilities, as we know a zombie with a said shadow can’t know more than the original owner. I mean just how strong Ryuma was alive…….??!! Yes indeed zoro would have never defeated the actual Ryuma alive…..at least pre time skip.
-Perona like Enel met her natural enemy, and the expression on her face upon discovering this fact was no different from enel in skypiea. And all her accompanying actions after that only reinforced the fact that she was no match for ussop as he did it better; lying, bluffing, tricks, pranks, running…..Ussop even put it better when he told perona her mistake was trying to defeat him with bluffs and lies for he reigned supreme in that department.
Can perona’s ability work on Mihawk? Can it be countered with CoC?
-Personally I think perona’s ability is the weakest when one thinks hard about it. As humans we all get negative thoughts every now and then, especially Nami and Chopper, and zoro, luffy and sanji are far from human. I guess my point is after falling to perona’s ability once, all u have to do is perceive negative thoughts of impending doom and that all it’ll take for her ability not to have any effect on you. The ghost hollows feed on positive thoughts contrary to the opinion that the give negative ones: Even ussop’s most positive thinking’s was capable of making the ghost hollows depressed. Its basically like dementors in harry potter.
-Sogeking was not just a cover-up for ussop, but also his alter ego to deal with his mounting fears and insecurities in the face of danger. Surely this is something he had for a while, probably during the alabasta arc when name confronted him on just how weak they were and how they had to do something about it. Because it’s around that time Ussop took weapons upgrade seriously and surely made a deep assessment of his own competence as a fighter. Infact sogeking bonded ussop and the result was someone Perona could not recognize. She couldn’t tell if it was still the same ussop she fought earlier.
Ussop’s sniper technique: Ultimate Atlas Comet took the form of a beetle. Was this Oda’s foreshadowing of where Ussop will receive training before the post time skip?
But something incredible happened to ussop in thriller bark just like in dressrossa, Sogeking ceased to exist, as ussop embraced everything about himself, his fears his insecurities his strength, his all.... To hand perona’s first defeat ever.
-Sanji like BB had a df encyclopedia and had his eyes on the one in which Absalom (RIP) had and now Shiryui has. In fact it was the understanding of this df ability that allowed him to defeat Absalom even without having CoC. This has made many to wonder if Sanji will face Shiryui and if he having this
fruit will make any difference to a good CoO user like sanji.
-Thriller bark is the most real life pirate themed arc…..walking skeletons, ghost ships, florian triangle, treasure islands, dead men tell no tales and so on.
-Uso in ussop stands for lie in Japanese…..
-Perona is a goth queen that is scared of cockroaches…strange. Even ussop was bemused.
-Cindry’s body void of her soul still had a will of it’s own and even resisted hogback...if not of the shadow in her. Robin put it better; some things are just beyond scientific human comprehension.
-Kuma’s bond with the sunny begins with thriller bark as he dispatched perona and zombie Co trying to escape thriller bark.
Perona’s defeat at ussop’s hand left her with all kinds of insecurities that she made the most adult decision until recently to leave moria, and kuma only made it better by granting her deepest wish or fantasy. Moria didn’t fall for kuma’s trick though.
-Strangely to grant perona’s wish he had to open the Bible. In real life the Bible is the Book of man’s salvation. The story of God’s unending love and journey with mankind. But in op world, I like to think it’s more of a giant encyclopedic book with geographically references as to what humans seek or hope to find on the four seas, deeper and richer than a log book. The cross shaped sign on this book is also something borrowed and used on the wg flag to show its power and influence on the four seas. As such the cross in essence is basically the red line and the grand line dividing the waters into 4 seas, hence the cross shape of land on a map. So we shouldn’t read too much into this especially from a spiritual aspect.
-Oz is the proof that luffy without a will or particular incentive to fight will make a terrible fighter let alone a villain.
-BB’s original bounty when he was made a schichibukai was zero….! Can u believe it?! Especially when he has the highest bounty in op now?!! Even wb and marco and jinbei knew there was something up with him. Too bad ace did not take him seriously enough. So yes BB was till date the person with the lowest bounty made a schichibukai (not Buggy). Bc technically speaking, all pirates have a bounty on their heads due to their activities.
-What if Moria accepted kuma’s help?
-The fallout of Lola abdicating the marriage proposal in Tottoland may have had a psychological effect on her. Because it doesn’t make sense that she declined prince loki of elbaf’s proposal knowing who he was and how important it was to her mother, and go about asking about everybody to marry her…..well not everybody but still……
Surely she wanted to have her destiny in her hands and not just a pawn in her mother’s game of thrones...chess. But maybe just maybe she’s guilt ridden of the way things ended in tottoland which will not be shocking giving how nice a person she is.
-Luffy’s first shadow implant was a sword user, a foreshadowing of wano and the nidai kitetsu? Is it also a fore shadowing of a serious power up to defeat kaido? I mean we know he’s training in udon prison mine as well as df awakening is on the way, but is that really enough. Remember even in dragon ball, sangoku needed a power boast by shenron to defeat booboo; and here comes the CoC to sustain said power ups.
-Moria’s pride led to his demise. Bc luffy took in 100 shadows, the dude decided to take in 1000 shadows, mindful of the fact that some of those shadows were those of very powerful individuals like luffy and zoro.
-Luffy while in gear 2, used gear 3….! It was the fusion of gear 2 and 3 to produce and attack that was just as fast and devasting in destructive physical ability…something he lacked while fighting Rob Lucci in gear 3 form.
-Nami actually invaded perona’s closet who had planned to use the sunny gou in escaping. Her fought outfit screams perona with the goth crown, colour with skull.
-Lola’s resolve was just like Chiffone’s in her determination to save the straw hats.
-Sanji actually turned down a woman’s (lola) proposal..incredible!!
Paw-paw fruit...my best df ability may not be taken seriously in name. Robin upon hearing the name of the fruit thought of cats, and franky even doubted kuma’s strength only to regret that seconds later.
-I think the best name fore the fruit is glide-glide fruit. Because its an ability that allows the user to ignore air friction, as such with the least force or effort can easily displace himself or any object it touches. Its basically an anti gravitational horizontal force. And to displace an object or person to a specific location km away only makes this df ability truly terrifying. Paw paw is just the physical attributes of said ability.
-A pacifista unlike a cyborg is devoid of human basic functions, a process that fully took effect after saboady, but for a special exclusion by dr vegapunk to protect the sunny gou.
-Does vegapunk have a df, like a future intellect or innovation df that enables invent things far ahead of their time? Maybe I’m way off base here given that sanji’s dad was also a genius in a way, but man Vega’s intellect is beyond comprehension even by OP standards.
-Zoro actually considered the others as his crew not crew mates when negotiating with kuma. Was he saying this because he saw himself as co or vice captain (which in a way he is) or was he simply talking on luffy’s behalf? I think it was both. Which brings me to another point, luffy and co are a very unusual pirate crew. In fact they are known around the world as the straw hat crew unlike how other crews are called: wb pirates, BB pirates, bm pirates, 1000 beast pirates (kaizokudan) and it goes on, but never have I ever heard someone call them the straw hat pirates. Because though having a jolly roger and so on, their actions right from east blue doesn’t really reflect that of a pirate group. Unlike pirates who plunder and steal, they on the other hand save people’s lives, countries, properties and dreams. So I’ll say theirs is more of an adventure group. Even aokiji said that at pre water 7 arc that the reason the wg has been ignoring them is bc so far they have been taking down bad guys, but he wasn’t fooled. That not all, every member of the strawhat crew (mugiwara no ichimi) has a goal or an objective brought under the goal of luffy’s ambitions. And that was the argueing chip zoror used in bargaining in luffy’s place. Apart from that, non of the SH ever came out and outrightly declared he or she would be a pirate except luffy (yes, not even ussop), and some of them like zoro, nami, robin and franky killed, stole, deceived and robbed from pirates as a past time. And luffy’s most inhumane like actions are hogging all the meat for him even stealing it, refusing to share, and that’s it. So its straw hat crew…mugiwara no ichimi.
-Zoro practically abandoned his dream to save luffy, so clearly even as zoro warned luffy that if he is to follow him, he shouldn’t interfere in his dream, it seems to me that luffy’s goals is a priority for him……and sanji as well and I dare say the entire members in the crew.
-Zoro took all of luffy’s pain and was still standing...well before passing out.
And he did all that having injuries of himself incurred in his fight with moria’s oz and kuma as well. Good God!!! So yes that is proof that zoro has more stamina or endurance than luffy. Don’t get me wrong they both have incredible endurance. I think the real difference between two parties is that luffy unlike zoro heals vey fast. After luffy passes out, he needs at least two or three days to heal and regain his strength …and that’s it (surely accompanied with a 3 days worth of meal. Zoro on the other hand after some rest and food still never really recovered and saboady and the humandrils just made it worst.
-For all the connections kuma has with luffy’s dad, I like to believe he saw himself in zoro than luffy, hence the test he imposed on him. It wasn’t just about testing zoro’s resolve but making him understand the burden he’ll have to carry in trying to make luffy pirate king whom as mihawk told luffy in baratie was a far difficult feat than being the greatest swordsman. The resolve of zoro (and probably the other members of the crew) at thriller bark pushed a very obedient wg “dog” out of his way to safe them at saboady, hereby the training they would eventually receive on various islands dispersed to.
-Absalom’s body is a combination of various animal tissue by hogback in a fit to achieve an inhuman strength, but his face for some reason seems vaguely familiar to pedro the jaguar....was it the fate of all jaquar related animals to be killed off in op?
-So much for Nami being a treasure lover and expert, she passed on the most important treasure of all (well physical object any way), not knowing its value or significance at all. Whereas luffy without even planning to picked up the the most valuable treasure of all the loot from thriller bark; Captain John’s treasure, or at least the marker to it. Truly all that glitters is not gold and the reverse is true, as nami was limited only to what was actually in front of her eyes. So clearly the real treasure expert in OP is buggy.
-Nami actually gave away her treasure (well some of it, like 0.99%) for the first time to the utter shock of luffy and ussop, as the had to shout out to the others saying “NAMI IS GIVING TREASURE AWAY”
-Brook plays any instrument.
-Brooks former captain, yorki like Nami got infected by some strange disease from a jungle, but sadly enough they had no chopper or rather doctorine with them who’s medicinal know how is unparalleled in op.
-Brooks never been to a sky island.
-Luffy ended up having one of the 4 top people he wanted is his crew for a long time…..A Musician.
-In the news of at the time, Iceburg had launched an audition for a new secretary needed. I mean seriously after kalifa, I thought he would have lost interest in that. I know he’s a very preoccupied and busy man who needs someone to manage his time schedule but still….
-Zoro gave yubashiri (killed by Captain Shu of the marines) a proper burial.
-One of lola’s crewmate boasted of a mermaid whose beauty surpassed hancock’s. Of course they meant shirahoshi, but do u argree?
-Most pirates get fucked up in the new world, but Lola, the daughter of a yonko got herself in a messy situation in paradise, just barely making it to the first half of the grand line. Its true she bid her time planning her counter attack but still…..
-What was lola thinking in giving nami her vivre card?! And can any one blame big mom’s rage at nami as to why she had the card on her?
-Thanks to Lola we got to know more about vivre cards and how it was even made.
-Luffy saw ace’s vivre card for the first time since alabasta and through lola was
made to understand that said persons life is vanishing. But I think luffy was like meh…its ace, he’s strong and he will figure something out. After all they both have their own adventure.
****And the biggest mystery of both pre and post time skip OP, was the issue of some strange giant creatures hidden by the mist of the florian triangular, as we are made to understand that disappearances occurred every 100 years long before moria arrived there 10 years ago. Just what were those things?!
There’s not an arc as rich and incredible as this post time skip, Brook’s heart wrenching story, the pain of living in darkness bythose whose shadow were stolen, the SH’s resolve, especially zoro’s as well, crew team work and dynamic in taking down oz.
I’ll like to end with an except of my favorite journalist Lois Lane who said “The truest darkness is not the absence of light, but the feeling or conviction that the light will never return….” And yet the characters in this Arc being in one of the darkest and scariest moments of their lives defied that feeling of despair to press on in the believe that the light surely will return…..Brooks struggle against all the odds to see the light of truth just to fulfill a promise made to a whale, chiffon’s defiant stance in the blistering ray of light gradually erasing her shadow less existence but refusing to run back to the darkness again until she’s reclaimed what’s rightfully hers, and the unwillingness by the SHs to permit the slow undoing of what makes their crew so unique, that they'll never betray or turn their back on a nakama….
Did i miss something, feel free to add or subtract. Thanks for reading patiently.