One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at over 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those who haven’t been watching from the start to jump on board. One Piece Diaries tracks one writer’s experience with this daunting rite of passage. With hype for the highs and critique for the lows, this column will help you decide whether to take your own One Piece journey – or let you relive the one you’re already on. It will update biweekly every other Thursday.
Episodes Watched: 246 – 251 – Water 7 Arc
Water 7 is proving to be one of the most intense arcs that I’ve seen so far. So for this review, I’ll be covering just six episodes. These episodes focused on Franky’s backstory, while also revealing Robin’s reason for betraying the crew.
Let’s start with Franky’s backstory. After being abandoned by his pirate parents, Franky started living with and working for Tom, a shipwright known for his exceptional skill. Because Tom sold a ship to notorious pirate Gol D. Roger, he was nearly put to death. He made a deal with the local government – if he could finish building a sea train that would connect Water 7 with other islands and communities in ten years, he’d get another trial. Ten years later, he made good on his promise and created the Puffing Tom.
But on the day he was supposed to be pardoned, disaster struck. A government agent named Spandam wanted to get his hands on blueprints for an ancient weapon named Pluton, so he framed Tom and his workers by stealing the ships that Franky created in order to destroy the town. Tom was executed, and Franky was devastated. What’s more, he felt responsible – the ships that he built just to see if he could have hurt one of the people he loved most in the world. Iceberg, who was like a brother to him, had already warned him this might happen.
One of the last things that Tom said to Franky is that no matter what his ships were used for, a shipwright should always be proud of his ships. Meanwhile, Iceberg told Franky that when you build a weapon of mass destruction you have to think about who it might hurt.
Tom might have been trying to save Franky – a kid he’s been raising for years – from unimaginable guilt. He might have really believed it. But I have to side with Iceberg on this one. Creating destructive weapons just because you’re curious about whether or not you can is actually pretty horrific. As a teenager, it’s understandable that Franky didn’t internalize that message, which is exactly why it’s so painful to see his father figure refuting it.
I’m not sure what the series’ ultimate take on this issue is going to be. The same conflict is cropping up again with Robin. She wants the blueprints because she wants to understand all the Poneglyphs that exist in the world. Right now, she doesn’t seem concerned about the potential consequences of this pursuit. Something about her past in Ohara is driving her to it.
But it’s not just the pursuit of knowledge – it’s also the desire to help her friends. The government apparently has permission to issue Buster Call on the Straw Hats and will do so unless Robin cooperates with them. This means that some of the most powerful members of the government will personally descend on them. Robin is willing to help resurrect the weapon and threaten the entire world in order to ensure her friends’ safety. While this is a powerful display of loyalty, it’s also short-sighted – does she think her friends will be safe if their enemies get their hands on one of the deadliest weapons in history?
I’m really not sure what to make of Robin’s motives, but I’m looking forward to learning more.
Before I sign off – shout out to Chopper for his heroism! Carrying two severely injured men out of a burning building is no small thing.
One Piece is one of the most beloved anime in history, but at over 1,000 episodes, it’s tough for those whoCOMICONRead More