One Piece: Is Sanji About to Abandon His Humanity for the Sake of His Nakama?

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Chapter #1031, "Warrior of Science," by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul, and Vanessa Satone, available in English from Viz Media.

In the past few chapters of One Piece, something troublesome has been affecting Sanji. The scientific modifications, conducted by his father and the scientists of Germa Kingdom in order to grant his sons superhuman feats when they were infants, have seemingly started to take root. Now, with Chapter #1031, we see that this latent activation has even begun to affect Sanji's true character.

We return to the Left brain Tower of Onigashima's Skull Dome where we see Sanji being berated by a group of geisha bunkering down in one of the pleasuring rooms. One of them is accusing Sanji of having attacked a young geisha caught in the crossfire with a terrible wound. Sanji is in radical disbelief as he's only reminded of the time his brothers beat the female chef, Cosette, to the point she fell unconscious.

Just then Queen arrives, having chased after the troubled cook, although Sanji pays the brachiosaurus hybrid no mind. He replays the events back in his head, remembering the woman who stood in his path as she begged for sanctuary. The next moment, she had been knocked clean off her feet and was bleeding from the forehead, staring back at Sanji with an expression of pure fear.

For better or worse, Sanji's biggest weakness when it comes to battle is his chivalry preventing him from ever attacking a woman. It was the reason why he lost completely to Kalifa when he fought her in Enies Lobby. Now, we see that part of him, driven in by his adoptive father, Zeff, overtaken by his biological father's inhuman experimentation. Sanji is only left conflicted about which two options would be better to serve his captain with: The same old pervy cook who turns into an absolute buffoon at just the sight of a woman, or the cold emotionless warrior who eliminates anything in his path? The cook takes out his Raid Suit canister from earlier, stating "I've made up my mind."

Sanji assumes that the Raid Suit must have activated his latent abilities, and realizes that he can't take that back, but he can stop it from going any further. Sanji crushes the canister under his foot with a blast of fire igniting the ground beneath him. It's enough to disappoint Queen who wanted to see the transformation for himself. Sanji bids farewell to Germa as he's determined to win this fight on his own.

He then rings up Zoro with a transponder snail, who is currently deflecting blows from King, outside the dome. Sanji tells Zoro that victory is close at hand and then asks the swordsman, if he isn't in his right mind, to kill him. Zoro doesn't understand the request, but he accepts it anyway, on one condition, telling Sanji that he can't die before then. Sanji thanks Zoro before turning off the transponder snail and that attacking Queen in a fiery strike.

To be frank, Sanji latently awakening his Germa superhuman abilities was worrisome, but our fears have been put to rest. The inner conflict of Sanji wanting to be useful to his friend and wondering if sacrificing his own humanity to do so was well executed, especially with tying back into his chivalrous personality. Zoro putting his absolute faith in the cook as well is very in character, and a nice touch to end on. It's uncertain how this may develop, the Germa science is still present in his body, evident by his eyebrow curl changing direction to match his body, but we know, at least, that moss-head will have his back.

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