So we finally get the reveal of the genius scientist “Vegapunk” but something tells me not everything is as it appears. For starters the appearance of Vegapunk greatly differs from the implied accounts we have had of them throughout the manga and there is just something about the Pun[k] 02 label on this character’s suit that makes me suspicious if this really is THE Vegapunk.Could this be Vegapunk’s daughter or a clone or someone pretending to be the scientist? Whatever it is, Vegapunk is behind it.
I love how the situation unraveling within this chapter was the result of an experiment and the coding of a scientific creation gone awry. It very much brings to the forefront of the One Piece world that has up to this point been primarily governed by mystical powers and lies the premise of science and technology. Despite the overwhelming possibility present within science and technology what it brings with its reign is the pursuit of truth. Where religion and greed (synonymous with the World Government that operates as a deeply corrupt “church”) stagnated the flow of progress in order to keep the world within a controllable mold, science seeks to open up the truth of the world and bridge pathways to new destinations and possibilities. There is a reason the World Government feared the MADS group for the research they had performed and sought to bring Vegapunk under their control. The events in this chapter also provided a nice platform for Jinbe to once again flex his usefulness as a member of the crew.
Vegapunk is working with the World Government not by choice but because of survival. In order to prevent their genius from being locked away under the whims of the World Government, they may have created a clone of themself to operate outside the gaze of the World Government i.e. the current place this “Vegapunk” is based. And in order to subvert any suspicion that was cast onto this clone, they may have decided to model it unlike their current form i.e. a young energetic girl. This character who has introduced themselves as the “humble genius scientist Vegapunk” may very well be a version of Vegapunk. If the Germa can create clones, I don’t see why Vegapunk couldn’t. The science and technology already exist within the One Piece world.
I am very interested to see how the Marines are going to be incorporated within this arc. The Marines in focus are ones who value comradery and exist as the part of the Marines who desire to genuinely police the world and not control it. By being party to the events about to unfold where Vegapunk reveals the truth concerning the Marines and World Government’s intentions, these members of the Marines may serve as the faction that opposes the current corrupt Marines from within. Tashigi is very well aware of how corrupt the Marines can be through her past encounters with Vergo and from what she herself has seen and experienced. The events in this chapter could lead to this group of Marines teaming up with the Straw Hat Pirates to rescue Koby.
Bonney’s reintroduction was amusing. I generally love the crude aura she gives off while calling out Luffy’s antics and ignorance. It balances out nicely the current group we have with Luffy, Chopper, Bonney and Jinbe. I am not sure how much Luffy will understand once Bonney starts explaining the significance of Egghead but thankfully Chopper and Jinbe are there to gather and filter the information. Very much looking forward to seeing what “Vegapunk” does with the other Straw Hat Pirates and seeing how science is further incorporated into the story.
Enjoyment level: 8/10