One Piece (Water 7)

One Piece (Water 7)

One Piece anime logo
One Piece Logo

Introduction

The Water 7 saga of One Piece is the fourth saga of the series and covers two main arcs: Water 7 and Enies Lobby. As with each consecutive saga, Water 7 was better than the previous one, Sky Island, but that doesn’t mean it was perfect by any means.

What this saga in particular taught me was that while I enjoy the adventure aspect of One Piece, I don’t care about most of the fights. In fact, this arc included only one fight I found enjoyable, and it had a lot of fights.

I think there are two main reasons for my feeling this way about the fights in this series. The first is that there are no rules. I get that One Piece is supposed to be crazy, but when there are no actual rules governing what can or can’t be done with a specific power, anything can happen.

And, if anything can happen, I’m simply not as invested in the fight because I know that someone’s just going to suddenly develop some new ability to help them win in an absurd way. Further, while the Devil Fruit are supposedly special, there are countless other ways to get equally strong powers, so what’s the point of them?

The second problem with the fights in One Piece are their choreography. There almost isn’t any fight choreography in this series, and because of that the fights simply aren’t fun to watch. Even Naruto uses choreographed fights when necessary.

Water 7

Of the two main arcs for this saga, Water 7 is the better one, and also the one which includes the only fight that actually mattered to me. The arc takes place on an island of the same name, Water 7, which is known for its master shipwrights.

Because of this, both pirates and marines alike come to Water 7 to have ships built by the legendary shipwrights of Galley-La Company, led by a man named Iceberg. The island is also home to the Franky Family, which is a demolition crew that breaks down old ships.

Since the whole island’s economy is centered around ships, it only makes sense that the island’s appearance should reflect this, and so it does. No, it isn’t shaped like a ship. Instead, the entire island is connected by canals, much like the real-world city of Venice, Italy.

There’s also a sea train which connects Water 7 to the next island, Enies Lobby, which was built by a legendary shipwright known as Tom. Tom and his two apprentices, Iceberg and Franky of Galley-La and the Franky Family respectively, were originally known as Tom’s Workers.

But, one day Tom was killed by Marines due to a combination of things such as him building the ship used by the King of the Pirates, but mostly because Franky disrespected a World Government official. However, there was also a secret reason for the killing of Tom, and that has to do with blueprints he made for a super weapon.

The World Government doesn’t want anyone to be able to get their hands on a super weapon, and so the one Tom was rumored to have drawn up were considered to be a world-class crime. This is the same reason searching for the Poneglyphs is forbidden and Robin’s home island of Ohara was destroyed.

So, where do our Straw Hats come into all of this? Well, they’re in need of a shipwright for their crew and Water 7 is the perfect place to find one. However, the shipwrights of Galley-La inform them that the Merry is beyond repair and that they’re better off buying a new ship.

And, this is where the best fight of the anime so far comes into play. While the Merry is important to all of the Straw Hats, it’s most important to Usopp both because he’s the one who made repairs to it and because it was a gift from the girl he likes back home, Kaya.

When Luffy decides to get rid of the Merry and purchase a new ship, Usopp leaves the Straw Hats and challenges Luffy to a duel for ownership of the Merry. He knows he has no chance of winning, and that he might even be killed, and yet he refuses to give up on the Merry.

After defeating Usopp and leaving him badly wounded, Luffy tells him that he can take the Merry, because the Straw Hats have no need for it anymore.

There are a lot of reasons why Usopp is the best character in One Piece, and I’ve mentioned this before in other posts regarding well written characters, but this arc showcases much of what I like about him. Maybe I’ll write a post exclusively dedicated to Usopp at some point in the future.

But, while Usopp really shone during this saga, Robin was the real focus. Shortly after arriving in Water 7, Robin is contacted by a secret World Government organization known as CP9. CP9 plans to take her into custody, and she willingly goes with them because they threaten to unleash a buster call on the Straw Hats.

A buster call is what destroyed Robin’s home island and left her as the last of the Oharans, so it’s kind of a trigger for her. We then learn that many of the top-level shipwrights from Galley-La were actually undercover CP9 members.

Together, the members of CP9 take Robin and Franky, who they believe to be in possession of Tom’s doomsday device blueprints, to the judicial island of Enies Lobby. Needless to say, the Straw Hats aren’t going to let Robin be taken away without a fight.

Enies Lobby

After making their way to Enies Lobby by sea train, the Straw Hats and Franky Family take on the World Government itself.

Although Usopp is no longer a member of the Straw Hats, he still sees Robin as a friend and can’t idly sit by while she’s captured. But, at the same time he’s unable to confront the rest of his friends, and so he comes up with a persona, Sogeking, king of the land of snipers.

Honestly, I like Sogeking more than I like Usopp, and that’s saying something considering how much I like Usopp and the fact that they’re actually the same person. I think what I really like most about Sogeking is his character design. The bandages, cape, and mask really make the man.

The Water 7 arc was good because it explored a new island which was vastly different from those we’ve seen before, and like I said earlier, that’s the part of One Piece that I like. Unfortunately, the Enies Lobby arc doesn’t work the same way.

There’s no exploration of the island and its inhabitants. Instead, this arc is just a series of fights against marines, giants, and CP9 members. And, as I also mentioned earlier, the fights in One Piece aren’t really all that entertaining to watch besides Luffy vs. Usopp.

Nami, Zoro, Luffy, Sogeking (Usopp), Sanji, and Chopper from the Water 7 saga of the One Piece anime
Nami, Zoro, Luffy, Sogeking, Sanji, and Chopper

Skipping ahead, the Straw Hats obviously save Robin from the World Government and CP9. However, they’re escape route has been blocked by a buster call which has been called in to destroy the island of Enies Lobby to ensure none of the pirates escape.

At this moment, the Merry appears out of nowhere and tells the crew to jump off the bridge they were fighting on and into the ocean. The crew all listen to this mysterious voice, and the Merry whisks them away back to the safety of Water 7.

When the voice of the Merry was telling the Straw Hats to trust it and jump into the ocean, and when Luffy remembers that they have one more friend, I really didn’t think the Merry was what came to save them. I was convinced that we’d see the whale from when the crew first entered the Grand Line.

Poor whale, forgotten back at the base of Reverse Mountain.

After successfully rescuing Robin and Franky and returning to Water 7, the Straw Hats say their final goodbyes to the Going Merry and set her on fire at sea. Franky and Iceberg then team up to build the greatest pirate ship ever devised as a gift for the Straw Hats, the Thousand Sunny.

Franky then joins the Straw Hat crew as their shipwright, meaning the only crew member they need now is that musician Luffy has been wanting to find since the very beginning.

Characters

The newest Straw Hat crew member, Franky is a cyborg who has a multitude of weapons built into his body. Although he’s a shipwright, I think it would be closer to say that he’s a mad engineer, because ships are only one of his many mechanical interests.

While the front of his body is made of steel, the back is still regular flesh because since he made himself into a cyborg, he wasn’t able to work on his back. He also gets his power from cola, which he puts directly into his chest, bottle and all.

Needless to say, Franky wasn’t always a cyborg. When Tom was killed by the Marines and his body taken to Enies Lobby via the sea train he created, Franky attempted to stop the train first with a rocket launcher and then with his own body. The injuries he received from the train resulted in him engineering a new body for himself.

A fun fact about Franky is that he never wears pants. Instead, he just wears a speedo.

While not a permanent character after this saga, another new character is Kokoro. She works at one of the sea train crossing points and is the former wife of Tom, the leader of Tom’s workers. Although Tom was a fishman, and Kokoro is a mermaid, their granddaughter, Chimney, appears fully human.

We learn from Kokoro that when a mermaid reaches a certain age, her tail separates into two and becomes legs, which is why it came as a surprise to everyone when it she was revealed to actually be a mermaid toward the end of the Enies Lobby arc. This still doesn’t explain Chimney’s appearance.

There are many more characters I could go into, and I could have gone into more detail about the rest of this saga in general, but I don’t want this post to get too long. So, with that in mind, I’ll just go over one more new character, the primary antagonist of this saga, Lucci Rob.

Lucci was one of the CP9 members who had been working undercover at Water 7’s Galley-La Company to gather information on Tom’s Workers. While undercover, spoke through his pet pigeon by using ventriloquism, I assume as a way to hide his identity.

However, if he was trying to hide his identity, I don’t really see how just not speaking would work. He didn’t even change his name, and he’s apparently a famous agent of the World Government. Further, although CP9 is supposed to be secret, none of its members seem to have an issue with blurting out their allegiance to it.

Speaking of CP9 supposedly being a secret organization, all of the marines have apparently heard of it as well, so I don’t think it’s really all that secret.

What makes Lucci such a formidable enemy is his combination of abilities. Not only is he a Devil Fruit power holder, but he’s a master of the “six techniques” or something along those lines. These techniques allow him to do things like harden his body, use his fingers like bullets, move at super speeds, or even fly by kicking the air.

His Devil Fruit power allows him to change into a leopard. This ability doesn’t really seem to be very unique, however, because as far as I can tell it just boosts his speed and power. The Zoan Devil Fruit powers really aren’t that interesting in that regard.

Conclusion

Although the Water 7 saga of One Piece was the best one up to this point, it’s still a 6/10 like the previous two sagas. I think it could have made it up to a 7 if the Enies Lobby arc didn’t drag on for so long, but it seems like 6 is going to be the peak for One Piece.

If you enjoyed this post, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. You should also follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama to receive notifications every time a new post goes live. I think next week’s non-episodic review is going to be A Certain Magical Index II, so stay tuned for that.

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My review of the next saga, Thriller Bark, is available here.

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