Chapter Secrets – Chapter 988 in-depth analysis

Man, the action just keeps ramping up! This arc feels like a bit of a weird mix between the Straw Hat action of Enies Lobby and the war stakes of Marineford! Let’s hope it lives up to the legacy of either of those arcs!

One Piece Chapter 988 in-depth analysis 1One Piece Chapter 988 in-depth analysis 2One Piece Chapter 988 in-depth analysis 3One Piece Chapter 988 in-depth analysis 4One Piece Chapter 988 in-depth analysis 5

Next week, the countdown begins!

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19 comments

  1. The word for “nose” and “flower” are homophones in Japanese, so Franky’s making a joke. He didn’t run over a “hana 花 (flower)” but a “hana 鼻 (nose)”

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  2. Oh boy! What a funny thing happened at the end of a chapter! Franky & Brook’s SUPER-action reminded me about Kagura’s epic “Harley Davidson!”… Truly, “Gintama” vibes were substantial xD

    … I wonder if Big Mom will lose her memory again?

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  3. I hope Sanji DOES fight King. It’s one of my wanted fights along with Franky v. Queen. (Zoro I want to not have a major fight with anyone that’s not KAIDO, I think since he carries Enma he should be an important part of fighting Kaido (And thus not be weakened by fighting other guys.)

    Now if King and Queen are to strong for Sanji and Franky, it’s a great time for both of them to get a powerup during battle, just like Luffy did during his hardest fights, and just like Zoro would need to get to be able to cut Kaido.

    Seriously, just let the SH’s catch up to Luffy a bit. Franky can finally show the full power of the Shogun and learn armament Haki (Franky GALVANIZE!) Sanji can maybe learn future sight observation haki to deal with King. Zoro can learn Ryuoo to cut Kaido.

    I can see it work!

    I also think Who and Sasaki will be strong opponents. I don’t think it’s THAT crazy that they could be strong enough to legitimately challenge the calamities. I mean is it really such an unbelievable stretch that say… someone like X.Drake could take Jack?

    And I also think people really underestimated Apoo for that matter. Because he kind of pwn’d Zoro and Luffy there. (And whilst he likely won’t get to do that again, you can’t completely sleep on him I think.)

    Now these Numbers… they’re interesting. Whilst they don’t quite feel like the main threats, there’s something off about these somewhat BFG giant looking dudes. Like they at least pack some nasty surprise that could blindside you if you’re not careful.

    Bottom line though… Why not have Luffy’s crew catch up with him a bit? OP isn’t DBZ, And that’s a GOOD thing! Luffy’s friends get to actually consistently be USEFUL, instead of mostly having to be cheerleaders or people who delay some bad guy briefly and get the crap beaten out of them until Goku finally shows up.

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    • I also believed and speculated at the start that the most fitting enemy for Sanji would be King, and that Zoro, Luffy along with Law Kid and Killer would all be fighting Kaido and Big Mom. That only if Oda Wants Sanji to stay at the monster Trio and make a notable difference from Jinbe.

      Seeing how it goes though i kinda changed my mind and i believe that it will take the whole Straw Hats crew to fight Big Mom, and that King and Queen can fight Kid and Law.

      We’ll see how things will go. I’d like better the first option, that after Wano Luffy will be Yonko level, Zoro will be Admiral level (if i may say this is between Yonko and first mate) and Sanji will be First mate level. This looks still far though.

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  4. I think O-Lin is going to return; if they start switching, Charlotte LinLin will practically have DID with both identities unaware of each other.

    That was hilarious seeing Yamato say it’s only natural to rescue Momonosuke since he’s “[her] son”. Suddenly, I’m wondering how she’ll react to Momonosuke motorboating her. “How dare you do that to your father’s chichis!” 😂

    Anyone else hoping to see Robin and Jinbei in the next chapters?

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  5. Thanks for the flower part. I forgot about that song, so I thought it was a mistranlation of nose.
    Honestly, I’m a bit dissapointed that Big Mom can’t predict Franky attack. Why yonkou like BM doesn’t have future sight haki?

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  6. This agenda of yours is becoming so embarassing.

    Yamato is a bonafide girl, full stop. Oda makes sure to remind the reader of that in literally every panel of her, drawing her in the most female ways possible.

    Yamato just wants to be Oden, that’s literally her only goal and has been from the start. It has never been about changing her sex and it never will be.

    This simply is no trans-issue, like we have with Kiku.

    Must really hurt, when you realize that 90% of the OP community realizes what this situation is all about: An actual running-gag for Oda.

    You can continue trying to shove it down your readers’ throats week after week though, so go on and delete this comment, like you’ve done in the past.

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    • I’m so happy LoO is consequent in calling Yamato a guy. He’s correct, of course, With the exception of the Odabox during the unmasking, Oda has been very insistent on having Yamato be called a guy at literally every corner, and seperate that from him proclaiming to be Oden.

      It’s not impossible he changes his opinion, but really: Currently he proclaims himself a man. And that’s all there is to it. It’s not anyones place to analyze his intentions, seriousnes or actual thoughts. We are not the superior experts here. Yamato says, he’s a guy – and that’s the end of the discussion. The only one able to change this declaration is himself.

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      • Yamato has explained countless times that she is Oden. Full stop.

        She never even once said she has changed her sex or anything. The only line even remotely controversial was “Well, since I am Oden, I have to be a man, no?” right at her introduction.

        However, even that line was done in a gag-like way by Oda and since she has been furious two times already, when Luffy actually adressed her like he would adress a young male friend (another running gag by Oda).

        Just like he has done every situation with her btw – as a gag.

        It’s 100% clear when you just look at the way Oda still draws her. You can’t draw a character more female-like. Last chapter Oda even did a massive fanservice scene where he drew some glorious side-boobs of her.

        This is no trans-matter like we have with Kiku. Everyone with a few braincells can see that.

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      • What you mentioned is incorrect. Yamato stated 僕は男になった. The verb なる, means to become something, specifically entailing going from one state to another. In this case Yamato specifically stated that he became a man, with the point of origin being that of a woman, since he couldn’t have become a man from anything else. The form た indicates past form leading into the present. Yamato is quite literally stating that he transitioned from the state of being a woman to being a man in the past, having become a man. This is the only occasion Yamato has touched on his gender, aside from the time he called himself “I am Yamato, son of Kaido”. The line “Well, since I am Oden, I have to be a man, no?” was never uttered by Yamato in the official JP release and likely came from a mistranslation.

        Yamato has also mentioned that he wants to “become Oden”, but he speaks of it like something that hasn’t been achieved completely yet and speaks of it as something that has to happen in the present/immediate future. Luffy and other characters have often berated Yamato for trying to impersonate Oden, but no one so far has ever complained about his choice of gender. Kaido hated Yamato for trying to become Oden but still accepts him as his son. Luffy gets annoyed at him trying to be Oden, but still calls him Yama-guy while doing so. While him trying to be Oden has certainly been often played as a gag, Oda has been very straightforward and serious about his gender and hasn’t even once made a gag about it, at least in the original JP version so far.

        Hope that helps clarify the situation.

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    • Since I can somehow not reply to your bullshit: You really want to lecture somebody who knows more Japanese that you as a first- or second-year learner do?

      It didn’t end well with Stephen Paul and it won’t end well with me.

      You have zero idea how to interpret the original dialogue, if anything you take things by face value, which is just flat-out wrong.

      If you understood Japanese only a bit better, you would’ve realized that this is all the dialogue is done in a gag-like way by Oda.

      It’s quite amusing to see you thinking so highly of yourself again though …

      How did your “Carrot is the traitor” theory go, where everyone and their mother told you that the presented “arguments” were utter bs and you defended it until the bitter end?

      How did your “criticism” of Stephen Paul go, when he schooled you on Twitter for it?

      You seriously have to learn how to be humble and stop doing bullshit theories about stuff that is way over your paygrade.

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  7. Hi Artur,

    I appreciate your nuanced analysis, and I find nothing embarrassing about it whatsoever. Please keep up the good work and know that you are greatly appreciated.

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  8. – Hole at ceiling.
    – King try to split Sanji.
    – Big Mom creat hole through wall
    – Zeus split by Brook

    Many thing in this chapter is about destroy something, make a hole, split in half. And chapter title ‘kept ya waiting’ is probably reference to climax of One Piece series.

    As many people predict climax of One Piece is Luffy destroy Red Line. Oda give this chapter hella premonition.

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  9. As it was mentioned in a previous comment, はな (“hana”), is a homophone in Japanese for both 花 (flower) and 鼻 (nose).

    Probably, what the official OP translator intended by using the sentence “Does someone have a runny nose?”, instead of “As long as it wasn’t a flower”, or something of the sort, was to capture the essence of the scene in the raw source.

    In Japanese, this is unmistakably meant as joke, saying “as long as it wasn’t a flower” but at the same time sounding the same as “as long as it wasn’t a nose”. This is obviously funny, because Frankie had in fact ran over a nose. Big Mom’s nose, of all noses.

    What I think the translator wanted to convey, was the fact that Franky was messing with Big Mom’s in a cheeky way, making a casual reference (asking if someone has a “runny nose”) to what happened, being that Franky actually “ran” over Big Mom’s “nose”.

    Of course, you could argue that, by translating it this way, you are missing the reference to what happened previously in Punk Hazard. But, at the same time, someone could point out as a counter-argument, that in the case you use the flower translation, you miss the whole nose joke. Some translators, might use a footnote to explain the joke, but it is not the best option IMO, as we all know that when someone explains the joke to us, it isn’t that funny anymore.

    It is obviously not a translation typo, but rather one of those times when a translator has to decide between two or more “not that satisfying options” to translate something that is untranslatable. In this case, it was a choice between being faithful to the literal translation or trying to convey the spirit of the panel, and he chose the latter.

    You did get called out because of an unfair translation criticism and just a few months later, here you have done it again. Just an advice, take it or leave it but, you should refrain from mentioning the Viz official translation and just try to offer what I think in my opinion makes people want to visit your website. That is:

    -An exhaustive look at the panels, noticing things that are not apparent at first sight (like Ulti fighting Yamato on the background).

    -Linking sentences or info with previous chapters or plot lines (like the flower thing with Franky).

    -Offering interesting meta details (like the Japanese rock song).

    -Giving insights into the Japanese language and culture by using the source material.

    If nonetheless you want to keep citing the official translation I think that at least you should try to understand where that translation comes from (as I did in the first paragraphs of my message) instead of suggesting it is a typo, a mistake or however you want to call it.

    *DISCLAIMER*

    Sorry for the many mistakes I’m sure the text will have, as although I’m not strange to English, it is not my first language (nor the second for that matter).

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    • I originally had pretty much the same idea as you that this could possibly be an intentional pun with dual meaning, but after talking with other people from the community who know JP (way better than me), as well as statements from other JP speakers in the Eng community, and checking some posts from the Japanese community too, I didn’t see anyone saying that it was a homophone. Those I spoke with said that due to the use of kanji it likely wasn’t a direct pun, as a homophone would rather favor the use of katakana or a more explicit way of delivering a pun. Furthermore, if the sentence was “as long as it wasn’t a nose” it wouldn’t make much sense either, since Big Mom not being a flower is a very clear jab at her, while saying that her nose isn’t a nose just doesn’t really amount to much (I know the sentence can come off as an affirmation, but again people disagreed on that too). Everyone I checked in with seemed to agree on this idea of it being an intentional callback to Franky’s riding mantra rather than some awkwardly-delivered dual pun. Yours is the first mention among all these I’ve seen that claims it was a joke, so I’m not sure if we can really conclude that it is an “unmistakably” one to any Japanese reader. I’m sure you’re not the only one to consider that, as I did as well, but at least from those I checked in with I didn’t find anyone seeing it that way or at least it wasn’t that unmistakable.

      I do tend to avoid mentioning the Viz translation in general, but in cases like this one, where I got several messages on social media of people being legitimately confused about the final message in the Viz release and asking me to explain it, given how many people do read the official translation I think it’s worth letting other people chime in to express their thoughts on that line. I didn’t go into detail into what was the source for this weird choice from Viz, hence why I referred to it with hypothetical terms and assumptions rather than calling it out as if it were a fact (perhaps I could’ve gone into more extent and considered several possible hypothetical scenarios, but most people believed it to be just a typo and I try to avoid redundancy in my analysis). I have taken referring to translations such as these much more seriously over time, which is why I have constantly consulted with others who know the language better than I do and simply offer my own (and theirs) viewpoint on the matter.

      Regardless of whether it was a typo during the scripting/typesetting phase (I assumed that since typing in Japanese can easily lead to typing in the wrong kanji if you’re not paying attention) or an odd interpretation on the joke, I regardless don’t think it undermines anything. I feel a lot of people condemn even the slightest possible slip or controversial choice up as if it were “ruining the translation” or an “insult to the translation” which is ridiculous. I know a bunch of other JP-speakers in the community have taken some issues with some other choices in the past few Viz chapters (Kaido referring to his “army” when using 戦力, or Kin’emon not using “dawn” despite Oda having previously romanized it that way), but I don’t think we should obsess over any criticism people have. I’ve stated time and time again that the Viz translation is of impressive high quality and I’ve defended it even in a case like this, but I don’t think the community should be refrained from disagreeing with its choices and expressing how they may think it’s different. With how versatile, complex, and nuanced translating can be, I feel that the more people get to express their view on it, the easier it is to get to a general consensus.

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