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Favorite visual artistAny with a good storyFavorite moviesAny with good stories and charactersFavorite TV showsPower Rangers, Plenty of Mecha anime, DBZFavorite bands / musical artistsAny that's catchyFavorite booksStar Wars Expanded Universe, LOTR, GOTFavorite writersTolkien, Rowling, David Gaider, GRR Martin, Timothy ZahnFavorite gamesMW series, Dragon Age 1+2, Kingdom HeartsFavorite gaming platformAny that's funTools of the TradePen, Pencil, Keyboard and my BrainOther InterestsCriminology, Politics, Social issues
It was the anniversary of their marriage and Sasuke hadn't returned home. Worst yet, Sakura had an infant daughter to raise and her income wasn't getting stretched. Sakura assumed that Sasuke had some kind of inheritance or clan funds set aside from the Uchiha Clan. Considering that Sasuke and his daughter were the only living Uchiha left, Sakura figured that Sasuke was loaded with more than enough money to never have to worry about bills.
Except if that were the case, Sasuke didn't tell her anything.
So she needed a break. She left Sarada with Naruto and Hinata while she went on a long-term mission meant to pay a lot of money. Tsunade wanted her to find some guy named Luffy and capture him to use his bounty to strengthen the village treasury. Sakura traveled for months in-search of this Nami and hadn't found any trace except for towns being looted of money without any sign of who took it. Island after island reported the same thing and finally, Sakura checked into a tavern to rest for the night and try to sooth her anger.
Surely she would at least be paid for travel expenses right? ____________
"Another!" Nami slammed down the mug with several passed-out patrons surrounding her. The crew was taking a break after escaping from Big Momma's men and until she heard back from Luffy and others in Dressrosa, Nami suggested laying low until the heat blew-over. So she took the opportunity to go shopping, out-drink a few dozen bastards and pick-pocket some "loose change" from a bunch of folk who wouldn't realize what they were missing until it happened.
"Take it easy woman!" An frustrated pink-haired patron yelled. "You'll burst if you drink too much!"
"Nah! This is nothing!" Nami got two more kegs of beer and handed one to other woman. "You look like you need more of this."
The woman scoffed and took the drink. "Bottoms up then!" __________________
2 Hours Later...
"What?!" Sakura laughed alongside the well-endowed bikini woman with a pile of empty mugs behind both women. "That's...that's a great story!"
"I've got more if you have time!" The bikini pirate offered with both pretty close to their limit. "Better yet...I may have to leave..."
"Me too!" Sakura admitted and pointed out a certain poster on the wall. "I need find that straw-hat idiot! His bounty is worth a fortune!"
The pirate's smile died. "What's this about Straw-hat?"
"Yeah! I'm here to hunt down Straw-hat Luffy and capture him for his 400 million bounty-" Sakura suddenly saw another poster next to Luffy's and saw a keen resemblance between that poster and the woman staring at her. "Nami right?"
"Luffy's your captain?"
Both women drained one last keg of beer and threw them at each other. Sakura charged through her's while Nami avoided her's and caught Sakura's wrist. But her grip was broken and Nami was punched in her chest and slammed across the tavern.
"I've got a daughter to feed and a village to refinance so I'll only say this once." Sakura said to the gust that covered where Nami was thrown. "Tell me where Monkey D. Luffy is and I'll let you live."
"No." Nami accentuated her answer by unleashing a gale of wind that surprised Sakura and blew her out of the tavern onto the town's dusty streets. Sakura coughed and stood up as Nami approached with a long blue staff in her hands.
"Damn it! We don't have to fight!" Sakura pleaded even while concentrating her chakra for the coming battle. "You're not my enemy-"
"You're threatening my captain. You're a nice woman, but no one threatens my captain." Nami would have rather avoided this fight personally, but she saw that this woman was determined to succeed. Which meant that leaving her unattended to would be a threat to the crew and she could even have others helping her.
Sakura exhaled sadly and contorted her face in focus and determination. "So be it."
Sakura charged Nami with a chakra-enhanced punch and aimed the strike straight for Nami's chest. Sakura's fist connected to the ground and created a large dent in the ground while Nami had evaded to the side. Sakura kicked and punched at the navigator who dodged or surprisingly blocked Sakura's fists. Nami struck Sakura's leg with her staff and flipped Sakura off of her feet before hitting her on the stomach.
Sakura withstood the blow with no trouble and found her footing. The medical-nin brushed aside the staff and hit Sakura on her stomach to send her flying across town. Nami skid to a halt while Sakura too the initiative and punched the ground itself. The force of Sakura's strength broke open the ground and created a fissure that went towards Nami and forced her to jump to the side to avoid falling into the created chasm.
"Now's my chance!" Sakura leapt at Nami as the latter quickly did something with her staff and as Sakura got closer, she saw that the air was changed. But before Sakura could connect her strike, Nami had vanished with Sakura striking the ground instead.
"Where did she go!?" Sakura asked herself and turned to see the Navigator sticking out her tongue at the medical-nin. "This'll teach you for mocking me!" Sakura shouted and punched through Nami's chest as the later screamed in pain.
"Gotcha." Sakura smirked in victory, but realized that this Nami was not bleeding and her form appeared to be fading out instead of dying. "An illusion! She can create illusions?" Sakura then noticed a large egg being thrown at her and dodged it. But the egg cracked open to reveal black smoke that rose and grew as it emerged out of the egg.
"Weather Egg: Thunder Breed Tempo!" Sakura tried to escape, but was too late to evade the streaks of lightning that struck her body and coursed through her blood. _____________
"Direct hit." Hidden within her Mirage Tempo, Nami watched Sakura become overwhelmed by her Thunder Breed Tempo attack. When the attack was done, Sakura smoking and hurt, but still standing. "She's tough, but how much can you handle?" Nami decided not to let-up and prepared to unleash another attack.
"Gust Sword!" A booble pushed out towards Sakura who turned and grit her teeth. The resultant gust of wind blasted Sakura and threw her into a nearby stone wall which broke on impact.
"Come on! At least put some effort into evading-" Nami stopped when Sakura's beaten body vanished in a puff of smoke and left a ruptured log in its place. "She's actually a log?"
"THERE YOU ARE!" Nami looked up to see the real Sakura bearing down on her and quickly moved to avoid the incoming punch. Nami was relieved to dodge the attack, but was still shocked at the sheer strength which Sakura placed into her punches. "I can't see you, but your attacks give away your position!"
"Sure they do. Fata Morgana." Layering cold air and light refraction on top of each other, Nami stepped out into visible light alongside 4 other Nami's. __________
"More illusions?" Sakura shook her head when she saw that her opponent had revealed herself along with four clones: one was chibi-sized, another muscular, the third was tall, and the last was short and fat. Sakura focused her chakra to dispel illusion, but she still saw five Nami's instead of just one.
"Not sure what you just did, but it didn't help." The Tall Nami spoke. "Tell you what? I'll give you one free hit, but if you mess up-"
"I won't." Sakura charged the normal appearing Nami and threw kunai at the other four Nami's. All five avoided her attacks and then pointed their staves at Sakura while she tried to attack the normal-Nami. Her fist connected, but the illusion faded out.
"Black Hole: Raiun Rod!" The clones produced a chain of small bubbles that encircled Sakura and produced an electrical explosion that rocked her body. Sakura gasped in pain and fell to a knee while the four clones retreated back a certain distance. Her limbs felt numb from the assault of lightning power and Sakura could tell that her nervous system had taken a hit.
"At this rate, I'm screwed...I don't have a choice then." Sakura ran through a series of hand signs to unleash her full power.
"Cool Ball! Heat Ball!" The Nami's unleashed some kind of orb of air that quickly combined and created a large storm cloud above Sakura. "Thunderbolt Tempo!" Dozens of forks of Lightning surged down from the heavens as Sakura finished the last sign.
"Yin Seal: Release." __________
The area in front of Nami was blasted by her Thunderbolt Tempo and Sakura was lying in the ditch covered in severe injuries with smoke rising from her body.
"Way too easy." The Nami's taunted, the Fata Morgana still in-place due to Nami's caution. "Guess you're not as tough as you thought."
"I'm as tough as I need to be." Sakura stood up without effort to Nami's shook, all of her injuries were healing with intense speed and a green diamond was glowing on her forehead. "Still...to have to release my Yin Seal against you...your powers are impressive and powerful."
"But I'm on a whole different level from you. SHANNARO!" Sakura punched the ground again, only instead of an impressive crater, the entire city block erupted in dust and concrete and sent Nami flying out of the city's limits. Nami hit the ground outside of town and skid along the ground to a grinding halt before standing up quickly and shaking herself off.
"Where the hell did all of that strength come from?" Nami asked herself in shook as she saw a pink blur bolt towards her. "Oh no! She's coming back!" Nami leapt back just in time to avoid Sakura's ground-shattering punch and spun her clima-tact in preparation for another attack. "Milky Ball!" A thick milky cloud emerged out of Nami's staff and pushed down and covered over Sakura while Nami created more Milk Clouds to make a Milk Road through which to widen the distance between her and her foe.
"Now what? I can't go toe to toe with a beast like that!" Nami thought herself as she ran down the Milky Road and looked back to see Sakura push out of the Milky cloud cage and leap onto the Milky Road and start chasing after Nami. "Shit! Shit! Shit!" _________
"Come back and fight me coward!" Sakura shouted as she ran town the "Cloud Road" after her opponent. Nami seemed to be fast, but Sakura was confident that she could catch-up to her by concentrating chakra to increase her leg strength. Then Sakura saw her opponent trip and the medical ninja smirked. If the navigator really was that clumsy then sad for her, but if it was another illusion then Sakura knew exactly what to do.
Sakura punched through Nami and destroyed the entire section of the cloud road.
The clouds dispersed before Sakura's strength and Sakura didn't even bother looking upon the illusion. Sakura saw a gust of dust down on the ground and leaped down to where the invisible Nami had retreated to. Sakura was still baffled as to how she still couldn't see through Nami's illusion, but figured that it had something to do with her elemental attacks, mainly lightning from the look of things.
"Bunshin No Jutsu!" Sakura created two illusionary clones of herself that covered her flanks while Sakura tried to track the navigator. But this was a problem as Sakura wasn't an expert tracker and all she could track were some foot prints that eventually disappeared.
"She's good at covering her tracks." Sakura realized as one of her clones was dissipated by an unseen surprise attack. "There you are!" Sakura threw a series of poisoned kunai at where her clone was taken out, but none of them hit their mark and Sakura felt heat build up behind her. "Damn it...she saw me use my Clone Jutsu."
"Heat Ball!" Sakura screamed in pain when an orb of pure hot air impacted on her back and burned into her body. "Cool Ball!" Another orb of cooler air followed and created a large gaseous fog that covered the whole area. The recovering Sakura swung behind her and hit nothing.
"SHANNARO!" Sakura punched the ground to destroy the area where she was standing and dissipated the fog. But there was no sign of her opponent anywhere. Worst yet, Sakura couldn't find any of her remaining kunai. "The bitch stole my kunai and I didn't even notice it!" Where are you?!" ________
"Like I'd tell you." Looking upon the kunai that she'd swapped from Sakura, Nami came up with an idea to try and tire out her opponent, as well as buy herself some much needed time to think and plan. "But if you want your knives back, just catch them." Nami began to run in a semi-circle and threw a kunai at Sakura who grimaced when the blade cut into her skin and she ran towards where the knife was thrown and punched the ground.
Nami threw another kunai and Sakura dodged the throw and created yet another crater. The next time that a kunai was thrown, Sakura caught it and threw it back to only narrowly miss the unseen Nami. Sakura then hit the ground and created another fissure which parted the ground and nearly caused Nami to lose her balance despite being a safer distance away.
"I get it...whatever she uses to heal herself, she uses it to strengthen her attacks." Nami deduced while noting that the cut from before had strange black steam coming out of it. "That looks different from the other wounds that she's healed. Was the kunai poisoned? Good thing I took all of them or I'd be in trouble."
"Wow! Are all of the Strawhat pirates cowards like you are?" Sakura asked while looking around for her foe. "If that's true, how weak is your captain?"
Nami grit her teeth, but kept herself under control despite her anger. "I get it...she's trying to rile me up so that I'll come out and get punched."
"It's sad really. How could such a weak man be worth that much money?" Sakura inquired to her unseen foe. "Why would you even waste your life for a loser like him? Did you ride his rubber shaft and became his bitch? Or what? You're so much weaker than him that he took you into his crew out of pity?"
She really wants to play this game? Nami could play. ________
"Tough talk coming from you." Sakura's plan worked and she turned to see that Nami was out of hiding. But Sakura focused her chakra and this time would know for certain if it was an illusion or not. From what Sakura could tell, this appeared to be the real thing. "You're the one whose the bitch here."
"If this about punching you, then don't start. We could've avoided this whole fight if you'd had told me where your captain was."
"Why? So you can go back to your broken home and your daughter who doesn't even know if you're her mother?" Sakura was stopped from attacking due to the cord that Nami just struck. Despite her efforts, Sakura could not hold-back her reaction. "Careful about what you expose to a stranger. They might use it against you."
"Shut Up!" Nami dissipated before Sakura's punch and another crater was made in the ground. "At least I have a good life! You're an outlaw who steals from honest people!"
"What can I say? I like money." Nami freely admitted as she appeared to Sakura's left. "But at least I'm honest about it. And I certainly don't let people truck over me like you did with what's his name? Sasuke?"
"Don't talk about my husband-"
"Why not? He clearly doesn't give a shit about you or your daughter." Sakura growled and threw a recovered kunai at Nami which dissipated yet another illusion. "But whose worst? The guy that betrays his home and friends; becomes a criminal who wants to destroy your home and everyone in it; and treats you like dirt despite your love for him? Or the woman lies back and lets him do it-"
"Shut up! You don't know me!" Sakura struck the ground near where the last illusion was destroyed and once again struck out out. "Who the hell are you to judge me!"
"I'm not judging. I'm just pointing out the obvious." Sakura turned to see that she was surrounded by five Nami's. "If anyone's the bitch, it's you. And worst yet? You're so weak that you'll even let your daughter suffer for your inability to stop being Sasuke's bitch-"
"I've about had enough of you-" Before Sakura could strike the ground again, she realized that five eggs had hatched at her feet and created more clouds from before... ________
"Thunder Breed Tempo!" Arcs of Lightning focused upon and electrocuted Sakura under Nami's control. Sakura was brought to a knee from the continued assault, but after it was over, her body was already healing from the attack.
"SHANNARO!" An angered and frustrated Sakura roared as she punched out Chibi-Nami and saw that it was another illusion. Leaving an opening for Nami to freely exploit.
"Gale Sword!" Sakura was launched from her feet by a gale of wind and knocked onto her back. But the medical-nin quickly recovered and stood up on her feet before launching out at Muscular Nami who turned out to be fake as well. "Milky Ball!" Milk Clouds surprised and covered over Sakura while Nami followed up with another attack. "Thunder Trap!" When Sakura leapt out of the Milk Cloud, three small lightning clouds fired lightning in a triangular trap which electrocuted the medical ninja and forced her to land on the ground.
"If I keep this up, I just might win!" Wary of Sakura's strength, Nami and her two remaining illusions fell back from the recovering Sakura. But Sakura charged at Tall Nami and dissipated the second-last illusion. "Only 2 left...You've got one more shot! Make it count!" _________
"I will..." Sakura muttered to herself. Her body was healing from all of the attacks that she'd taken, but the constant barrage of damage was starting to weigh on Sakura's chakra. Not because Sakura had a low amount, but because her seal was using up more and more chakra to compensate for the building injuries from Nami's weather powers. "I've got you figured out now."
"That illusion of your's is good, but it's only good for as long as you've got someone to hide behind." Sakura called out to her hidden foe. "For one...only 1 of the 5 attacks launched from the clones are real...I applaud you for hiding it with the fakes, but it's not good enough. I already know which one is the real you."
"Then hit me with your best shot!" Nami boasted as Sakura charged for the small fat Nami.
"This has to be it. No woman that gorgeous would hide herself with a fat-" Before Sakura fully realized her mistake, her fist had already connected with the illusion's face. "Damn it! How did I fall for this!"
"Good guess, but you should've thought it over more. Black Ball: Raiun Rod!" Another chain of clouds was surrounding Sakura and exploded to electrocute Sakura in a chain of lightning explosions. "Also...Thunderbolt Tempo!" Sakura felt additional bolts of lightning strike her body and push her into the ground as Sakura glimpsed something shining in the corner of her eye.
"That's it...okay..." ________
"Thunderbolt Tempo!" Nami fired another surge of lightning at Sakura who screamed in even more pain due to the previous attacks. Then the body fell still and limp after Nami was finished.
"Yes! I won! Wait..." Nami remembered earlier in the fight when Sakura had somehow evaded an attack and had a log get hit in her place. "She can substitute herself with stuff...what she used that her?" Nami cursed herself for being right when Sakura's body dissipated to reveal a broken kunai.
"HERE I COME YOU BITCH!" Sakura shouted as she leaped towards Nami with a chakra-charged punch. Nami knew that she could dodge the attack, but the strength put into it would just throw her off-guard to get killed. Like Luffy would say, the best defense is a good offense.
"BRING IT ON! GALE SWORD!" Nami managed to get off her wind-attack, but not before Sakura's fist impacted onto her body. The sheer pain that ran through Nami's body brought one thought to her mind.
"I instantly regret this decision." While Sakura was thrown back by Nami's attack, Nami was launched through rock and dirt by Sakura's titanic punch. ________
"Cleaver girl..." Sakura exhaled and struggled to get on her feet. Fortunately, her Yin Seal was keeping her from being in danger of dying, but still hadn't fully healed Sakura just yet. Plus, Sakura was simply tired from the constant healing and from this fight itself.
However, she knew that her foe was in worst shape.
Sakura could see her in the distance, trying to stand, but falling to a knee despite her determination. Sakura's remembered feeling her fist hit and break through some sort of unseen and unfocused barrier before it connected with the navigator's lower chest which should have caused hell on her foe's internal organs. Sakura was certain that she may not even need to attack Nami again to kill her.
But Sakura wasn't going to take any chances.
"You said for me to hit you with your best shot right?" Sakura asked as she approached the now standing, but gravely injured Nami. "That wasn't my best. But don't feel bad, most people die from that punch alone. This next one? I punched out a goddess with it...think you can take it?"
"Do I have a choice?"
"No. I just thought that I'd be polite." Sakura announced and charged towards Nami with the fist that would end this battle. "SHANNARO!"
Sakura felt bone and flesh break and crack before her might. Nothing that she didn't expect.
Except for one detail. "Are you...are you crazy?"
Nami was in pain, but smiling.
A lung was ruptured, half of her ribs were broken, and something else was damaged because she felt blood in her mouth.
So what if she broke her arm?
"Did you seriously just sacrifice your arm?" Sakura inquired in surprise and shock. "What's the point? It's not going to change anything! It's just going to cause you more pain!"
"It doesn't hurt..." Nami boosted to her shocked opponent. Nami herself couldn't believe that she was blocking this attack, but it was as though something within her had surged to her arm and strengthened her grip. Seeing that Sakura was recovering from her surprise, Nami anticipated and barely ducked under another punch and pointed her Clima-tact at the Medical Nin's stomach.
"HEAT EGG!" A concentrated burst of pure heat burned into through Sakura's stomach and caused the latter to shout in pain. "Come on! I thought you were tougher!"
"TOUGH ENOUGH FOR YOU!" Sakura threw out another punch that impact Nami's hand, but instead of shattering it, the impact of the blow was negated by a strange dial in Nami's hand. "What? What the hell is that?"
"That's for me to know!" Nami shouted back and created a string of bubbles that surrounded Nami and exploded in a destructive chain of electrical energy. "Black Ball: Raiun Rod!" As Sakura hadn't fully healed from her previous injury, the electricity took the path of least resistance and flowed through Sakura's organs and blood stream for even more painful damage.
"Shit!...I can't...move..." Sakura was stunned in place while her body healed itself from the massive amounts of damage. Nami meanwhile quickly tied three strange knots onto her Clima-tact despite her broken arm and already Sakura could feel a massive amount of wind energy gather itself.
"FEEL HEAVEN'S WRATH! CYCLONE BURST!" A massive cyclone powered over Sakura like a massive bomb exploding all around her and thrust her through the eroding landscape in front of Nami... ________
When the Cyclone ended, Sakura was coughing up blood and was barely managing to stand.
It was as though every bone in her body had been broken along with every organ ruptured. The fact that she was alive and standing at all was only because of the Seal on her forehead which was working tirelessly to keep her alive and regenerate her injuries. But with the amount of damage that she just took, the seal was acting more slowly than Sakura was used to and would take a few moments to completely heal Sakura.
That was all that she needed.
Sakura sped down the path that was sent and spotted her foe. Unlike Sakura, Nami was still just as brutalized and injured from before. Sakura could tell that it was only going to take one punch to finish her off. In her state, she wasn't going to be able to sneak away like she did before and there was no way that Sakura would fall for her illusion from before.
Sakura cursed when her fist ran through another illusion.
She then saw three clouds around her and screamed when lightning surged over her body. The lightning strike her broken and still-healing bones and left her stunned even as her chakra flowed through her body to try and keep her alive.
Then the dial from before was shoved into her face. _________
"NOTHING PERSONAL!" Nami shouted as the Impact Dial hit Sakura's face before she could react and a powerful, yet familiar force pushed out and crushed Sakura's skull along with everything inside of it.
But, the backlash also ripped off half of Nami's arm.
Nami fell on her back and held the stub where half of her left arm used to be. Amidst her pain, Nami looked at Sakura's body to ensure that she was down.
Of course, the trail of guts, bone and blood that once comprised of Sakura's head put Nami's doubts to rest...
KO! _________ Verdict:
So Sarada's an orphan now...
How? How could she lose to a fucking navigator?
Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Go Nami! Go!
YOUR NAVIGATOR LOST HER ARM! WHY AREN'T YOU CONCERNED?
Cause Nami's strong, she'll be alright. Plus, Shanks lost his arm and he's still awesome. And we can heal Nami because my doctor's a reindeer!
I don't even...
And Franky can make Nami a cyborg arm!
That's it! I'm done!
Hold on my lady. The result wasn't really a surprise, but that doesn't stop it from being a very close-call. Sakura would be formidable foe as she is leagues stronger than Nami and her Strength of Hundred Seal would allow her to recover from many of Nami's attacks and fortify her endurance. But those are the only two clear advantages that Sakura has.
Plus, Nami's fought or encountered a lot of strong guys so that's nothing new. Nami's dealt with the abuse of fishmen since she was ten years old.
Sakura is fast, but Nami is not only fast enough to keep up, but she also has faster reflexes, enabling her to anticipate, avoid and counter Sakura's attacks.
Like that time she anticipated, blocked and deflected Enel's lightning bolts and that guy's one of the fastest people I've ever fought.
Furthermore, Sakura is only a threat at short-range while Nami can use her abilities at close or long range with equal effectiveness.
Nami's clima-tact powers can go through the durability of a Kuma-bot, members of Doflamingo's crew and a Dragon too. Plus, there's the mega-tan storm that she dispersed.
The word's megaton.
What she said.
Not only could Nami's more powerful clima-tact powers really hurt Sakura, they could OBLITERATE her. The sheer versatility and power of Nami's sorcery clima-tact are not to be overlooked. As these abilities are based on manipulating air molecules and alchemy, they would not exhaust Nami and can be used at-will and quickly as long as Nami's staff is intact. As Sakura has no experience with weaponized alchemy, Sakura would likely not realize that the source of Nami's power is her pole nor would she be able to see through Nami's Mirage Tempo as it's based on natural phenomena and not genjutsu. Compound this with Nami's superior stealth and deception capabilities and tactics and things become harder and harder for Sakura.
Nami's a better ninja than a real ninja!
In the end, it comes down to three major factors: Experience; Intelligence; and Willpower.
Determination doesn't equal strength.
Determination makes strength stronger.
Both Sakura and Nami are intelligent, but Nami has a greater record of effectively using her brainpower in combat and to survive the crazy world of One Piece from East Blue to the Red line. Hell! Nami has been a pirate since she was 10 years old and has encountered, outwitted and robbed many pirate crews and towns out of nearly 100 million worth of loot. I'd also point out that Nami is likely more intelligent as Eichiro Oda confirms that the only two people in the East Blue who were smarter than Nami were Ben Beckman and Captain Kuro...one of whom is a veteran of the Grand Line and the other...
Is the First mate of Shank's crew! Hell! She took what was practically a party toy and transformed it into a lethal weather destroyer...that's like taking a toy soldier and making it into a miniature gundam capable of manipulating metal!
Sakura on the other hand...is a lot more spotty. She's flawless as a medic, but not very impressive in combat, usually relying on the aid of others or sheer brute strength to win the day.
In fact, nearly all of Sakura's combat feats required aid from a sufficiently more experienced or powerful ally to even stay alive. This includes the Sasori fight where Sakura would have died if not for Chiyo or the Kaguya punch-out which was only possible because Naruto, Sasuke and Kakashi were already handling the majority of combat.
And do I even need to mention the Failfession? Or her overall uselessness in Part 1? Or when she nearly allowed two white zetsus to massacre a tent of injured comrades despite personally figuring out that there were white zetsu impostors on the loose? Or that time when she failed to take out Madara's eye and basically let the Infinite Tsukuyomi happen?
Leave Sakura alone! The poor girl's been through a lot-
Yeah, sure she has. So have Nami and everyone in my crew.
As far as experience is concerned, Nami performs better as part of a team, but has more than her share of clear and well-earned victories. Nami single-handedly defeated two opponents who were physically powerful just like Sakura and even tanked or dodged several of their attacks. Kalifa is 64 times stronger, tougher and faster than a well-trained marine while Miss Double-finger was capable of effortlessly demolishing stone/brick buildings with a single spiked strike.
Again, Nami stopped her with a bleeding, hurt leg. Nami may not be as tough as Sakura, but she's taken pretty bad beatings and still managed to give out a worst beating.
Sakura also has a bad history of hesitation and overestimating her own capabilities. This spout of emotional recklessness has often left her standing in place on a psychological level or doing something stupid that hinders or even endangers herself or her comrades. She even goes as far to as think that she's on level with Sasuke or Naruto without anything to show for it. Why? All to prove to herself that she is strong and not useless.
Nami doesn't pull that bullshit. She knows that she's weak and finds ways to get stronger without faltering or looking back. Even standing her ground and mastering her fear to use her smartness to help her friends as much as possible. And she's only gotten gotten stronger as we get closer to One Piece. While Sakura likes to take steps forward only to get even weaker soon afterwards.
In her head...she's weak in her head.
Can you say that less stupidly?
And before the Sakura fans complain that I'm downplaying the Strength of A Hundred Seal, the truth is that the poor timing in Sakura's usage of the seal puts the limits of Sakura's regenerative endurance in question. As Tsunade's usage of the seal demonstrates, the body of the user has to be somewhat intact for the regeneration to continue or else why didn't she just glue herself back together or grow new legs after getting cut in half? Plus, Sakura's usage of the Seal doesn't indicate that it's on Tsunade's level quite yet as she didn't have to face anywhere near the amount of injuries that Tsunade took and survived.
Even if Sakura wouldn't immediately die, recovering from blows of lethal proportions would exhaust much chakra and take longer to recover from as more cells are created through mitonic regeneration. The more lethal the damage, the more cells that are created; The more cells created; the more chakra that Sakura uses up; The more chakra Sakura uses, the less chakra that Sakura has; Less chakra means that it takes more time that it takes to heal; and the cycle just gets worst from there if Sakura isn't given sufficient time to fully heal. Unlike Naruto and Sasuke, chakra exhaustion is still something that Sakura has to worry about and as chakra is the key to Sakura's abilities, that's something of a major problem despite her high chakra efficiency. That's also assuming that Sakura doesn't reach her Hayflack limit from the sheer amount of damage that she takes and needs to heal to recoup.
Whats the Hayflack limit?
The Hayflick limit is the number of times a normal human cell population will divide until cell division stops. The telomeres associated with each cell's DNA will get slightly shorter with each new cell division until they shorten to a critical length.
Too much healing shortens your lifespan.
Oh! Like my Gear 2nd!
Also, there is no confirmation that the Strength of Hundred Seal does not prevent it's wearer from dying from sudden-death events such as the destruction of your heart, lungs or brain, the three most vital parts of the body. Without the brain, the body would not function as it's various parts couldn't communicate without the brain's guidance and the chakra network would not be exempt. As for the heart? Do I even need to explain that one? I'm not certain that Sakura's engine-less body could make a new heart before it expires and dies. And even if Sakura could survive without breathing, the time it's taking to create/regenerate the lungs is precious time that Sakura's body is weakened due to a severe lack of oxygen circulating through her body's system.
I don't know what Thaeon just said, but I think his point is that healing's only good for as long as you heal faster than you get beat-up.
Exactly Luffy! But it's not the tool that makes the warrior, it's the warrior holding the tool. Even if I did consider power-scaling Sakura to Tsunade's level, the results would be no different. Nami is faster; smarter; more versatile; more intelligent; far more experienced against foes stronger, more trained, more experienced and tougher than herself; and the sheer power of her sorcery clima-tact overwhelms Sakura's defenses and regeneration factor.
Nami could at least die from blood loss and internal injuries right?
Doubtful for several reasons. Nami can use her shower and heat tempos to clean wounds and seal them to keep from losing more blood. The internal injuries are a problem, but Nami's a tough survivor and it's nothing that she hasn't dealt with before. She's resourceful and experienced enough to survive long enough to get medical treatment.
Guess Sakura could've won, but her own idiocy blew-up in her face.
You're one to talk.
Hey! I am the Smarts too!
Thanks for proving her point.
Sakura + Physically Stronger + Unmatched Medic + Strength of a Hundred amplified strength and regeneration + High Chakra Amount and Efficiency + Close-Quarters Advantage +/- Clone and Substitution Jutsu helpful, but rarely used +/- Physically Tougher, but not enough on its own +/- Intelligent, but less applicable to combat +/- White Seal soaks up/heals a lot of damage, but still has limits - Tools very likely to be stolen - Unfamiliar with and has no defense against Weather Arts - Mentally Weaker and emotionally unstable/reckless - Less Combat Accomplished and Reliant without heavy assistance
Nami + Far more Willpower + More Experienced + Quicker and Faster + Smarter and more tactical +/- Haki helped, but is unrefined +/- Physically weaker, but tough enough to endure Sakura +/- Impact Dial is a double-edged sword - Reliant on Clima-tact - Less Combat Trained + Sheer power and Versatility of Weather Arts + Greater Range + Stealthier especially when pick-pocketing + Has fought, damaged, captured and beaten physically tougher/stronger and more experienced opponents
I haven't done a Logic's Insight for a while though I have several in the works.
But I do have thoughts about the unreleased Final Fantasy XV. So instead of an Insight, we'll call this a Logic's TAI.
TAI standing for Thoughts and Impressions.
With that said, let's talk about Final Fantasy XV and two aspects of the game that people have been miffed about. One of which I believe to be an unfounded overreaction and the other to be a legit concern about the character of Stella.
So let's go over some history first:
1) Final Fantasy's troubling past decade
The past decade has not been great for the series. As I covered in my Logic's Insight on Final Fantasy XIII, the final fantasy series has remarkably decreased in respectability and quality since the release of XIII. This was due to a lot of factors, the major ones being: the disappointing, convoluted Anti-RPG Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy; the disappointing and outright terrible launch of Final Fantasy XIV; the Rising Popularity and Praise for the well-made Kingdom Hearts series; and of course, the agonizingly long developmental process of Final Fantasy Versus XIII now officially known as Final Fantasy XV.
All of this contributing to a rising belief that the Final Fantasy series is dead. That it is irrelevant and stale and should just die and burn to ashes. Or that Square Enix is losing touch with it's primary fan/customer base and won't be able to compete in the industry anymore because of their lackluster approaches in recent years. Thus far, it appears as though the games that are getting the highest reception are HD Re-releases of good games from the PS2/PSP era.
You are in trouble when the HD Re-release of Final Fantasy X is better received than your actual new releases.
This isn't even due to the nostalgic lenses either. SE's quality has really dipped that badly to where next-generation games pale in content and replay-value compared to the "old school" games.
Hold on...I just now realized that the games that came out when I was 15 are now considered "old school"...now I know how the Super Nintendo generation felt when the N64 dominated the market.
Anyway, everyone's looking to Versus XV (Versus XIII+XV) as Square Enix's last ditch saving throw. The company and the Final Fantasy Series will either be rejuvenated by this game or it's going to be the final nail in the coffin. However, previews and trailers of the game show nothing, but greatness from Versus XV with the only problem being the languishing development cycle. But the wait would be worth it if this game is as awesome as it looks that it's going to be.
Oh and Tetsuya Nomura isn't the director anymore. After nearly ten years of work, he left the XV team to focus on other projects among them Kingdom Hearts III.
But, the game could still be good right? Let's discuss the demo.
2) The Demo is really impressive.
Not much to say as the demo speaks for itself.
Noctus and his "Bro Guard" are all cool and likable characters with a strong bond between them; The combat system is pretty tactical while allowing the party to have full control of their abilities and movement (Well, this game's already better than XIII right here); the open-world aspect looks interesting with a lot of cool locales and locations; the monsters are all tough and decently designed; and Noctus can summon a thunder god when he gets beaten up by over-sized kittens.
Talk about overkill...
But there are 2 things about this game that people have been talking a lot about and I'll comment on both of them. Starting with what I believe to be the least concerning of the issues and something that I regard as a minor aspect that people are overreacting to.
3) Cindy is too sexy?
For those who don't know, Cindy is the Cid-equivalent of Versus XV and Noctus' crew stop by her shop to "buy" stuff and fix/upgrade their car. They chat for a while, she and the boys are shown to have a good relationship and then Noctus' crew drive off. All in all, a good scene with some neat comedy, characterization and world-building.
In fact, here's the scene for yourself.
Is it just me or did I fail to see what pissed people off regarding Cindy's outfit?
According to Director Hajime Tabata, European players criticized the way that Cindy was dressed despite being a mechanic and that Cindy was “too sexy”. Tabata defended Cindy's design stating that “she’s actually not meant to be an erotic character” and more of a outgoing character who is a mechanic as well.
They reportedly have no current plans to change her concept, but they will make sure to “maintain the boundary” by moderating the way she is presented in the game, removing any sexual themes since this is not the way she is meant to be looked in the game.
What boundary was broken?
Did anyone see a moment where Cindy was subjected to sexualization? Where the scene focused more on Cindy's body attributes than on her character and personality? From my perspective, the camera mainly focused on Cindy's face rather than on her ass or cleavage. Is she in skimpy clothing? Not really, jean shorts and a jacket over a bikini top isn't exactly modest and could count as skimpy. But nothing overtly erotic or sexualized.
Did anyone think that Cindy just likes to wear that outfit?
Or what, does Cindy look like a slut because she's in skimpy clothing?
So by that logic, wearing skimpy clothing at any time makes the majority of male and female characters sluts, right?
Alright, that was a snowballing. But my point is that there isn't much to complain about regarding Cindy considering that despite her attire, she's actually more modest than past characters like Tifa (short top and mini-skirt); Serah (mini-dress with lots of skin showing); Penelo (Mainly with her dancer outfit in revanant wings); plenty of Lightning's costumes (which are optional, but the point remains); and do I even need to talk about Rikku, Yuna and Paine in X-2 (particularly Rikku).
To summarize: Cindy can wear whatever the hell she wants and still be a good character. As long as FFXV maintains the "boundary" that was never even broken to begin with, there is no legitimate reason to whine.
That's what the next point is for!
4) Stella Nox Fleuret
You may remember this lady showing up often in Versus XIII promotional material.
She had a cool and deep conversation with Noctus concerning the goddess Etro and a shared unique ability to hear spirits between them. A trailer even showed Noctus and Stella running towards each other only for their opposite, but equal power sources to appear behind them and then they draw their weapons. Stella holds her blade to Noctus with a determined, yet sorrowful expression while Noctus appears a bit confused and disheartened.
Feel free to forget about all of that. Because Stella Nox Fleuret sadly has been cut from FF XV as stated recently this June article: www.gameinformer.com/b/news/ar…
Instead, her role has been transferred to the character of Lunafreya Nox Fleuret who is described as someone whose important to Noctus and waiting for him after surviving an apparent assassination attempt to give him something.
In an interview with Producer Shinji Hashimoto and Director Hajime Tabata, the developers had to go through with sorting through elements of Nomura's story to decide which ones would be transferred from Versus XIII into XV to ensure a coherent story for a single game. The team reportedly wanted to keep Stella and tried to ways to tie her into Final Fantasy XV, but struggled to make sense of her character and role within the new game. After a lot of consideration, the team decided not to include Stella and go with a new heroine named Luna, who has a different role in the story.
If you're ticked about this, don't apologize. This is a legitimate bad call on the part of the new team.
That's not to say that the game will now suck because of this change. It's not to say that Lunafreya won't be a good character in her own way. Given the troubling development of the entire Versus XIII project, this is just one of many changes made in the past ten years. I don't even hate the development team for this decision and hopefully the angle that they choose with Luna will at least be entertaining.
But XV still lost something that could have been great in the character of Stella Nox Fleuret.
See, Stella was presented as a foil to Noctus. A strange serene and unrestrained light versus the reserved and cold darkness of Noctus' demeanor and character. She was a kind, yet strong woman who had the same powers and abilities as Noctus. She was assertive and didn't shy away from problems and preferred to be direct with situations and people. And Nomura promised that Stella would "stand out" from other female characters and considering Nomura's track record for strong female characters in Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts that alone showed promise.
All of that is now gone and I'm not certain that the arc replacing it will be as promising.
See, Stella was being set-up as some kind of tragic antagonist to Noctus. Someone who would end up fighting Noctus due to fate or circumstances beyond either of their control. Perhaps she'd turn out to be the primary antagonist who was motivated by a righteous goal or that she has the opposite type of power that Noctus has and the only way for either one to complete their power is to kill the other.
This has a lot of dramatic potential and could actually tug at heart strings. After all, its always sad to see two characters that you know and like having to fight each other. It's sad for the characters since they care for each other and it's sad for the audience because they can relate to and identify with either character. One may be right and the other wrong, but it still sucks to see them kill each other because you don't want either character to die.
Hell! Why couldn't they keep Stella in the game? What was the conflict between Nomura's vision and Tabata's changes that resulted in Stella getting the axe? Couldn't they just keep Stella in her role and have Luna be her non-magical twin/half sister? What's so essential about Luna's character to where Stella was considered expendable despite being an advertised main character of Versus XIII since 2006 (Including the two years since Versus XIII became XV)?
We have no clear specifics, so we can only speculate. But what is obvious is that Tabata is prioritizing his vision over Nomura's despite the latter having put the majority of work and thought into the game since 2006. It's true that Nomura departed to focus on other projects as part of Square Enix's developmental restructuring, but that doesn't mean that the new team can take a hatchet to anything that they don't like. He may be gone, but Nomura's vision is the cornerstone and foundation of Final Fantasy XV. It's too late in the development cycle to start up-ending stuff and yet that's exactly what they did with Stella.
With the lack of specifics, it's easy to assume the worst. It's easy to think that Tabata simply didn't want Stella to interfere with his "bro crew" focus and didn't work as hard as he could have to keep her in the story. It's the type of situation that reminds me of when Serah Farron was demoted to an npc in FFXIII because of unspecified developmental issues and both the character and the story suffered for it.
It also reminds me of when Edgar Wright walked from the Ant-Man project despite having put 10 years of effort and creativity into the process. Wright himself hasn't directly stated why he left other than that he and Marvel Studios had "creative differences", but there's interviews with other crew members that suggests that Wright was fed up with Marvel's constant executive meddling and script re-writes that stretched even Wright's willingness to accommodate the Marvel Movie Universe. Eventually, it got to be too much for Wright and he apparently did the only thing that he could do to maintain his artistic integrity and professional dignity by washing his hands clean of the whole mess.
Whatever happened, it's unfortunate as Wright is a talented writer and director. The Ant-man movie that will be released later this year may still be great, but it's likely to be an inferior project to what Wright would have made and there's no logical reason why it had to be that way. It's come to the point where some Wright fans like Confused Matthew have chosen to avoid the Ant-man movie out of respect for Wright's vision and talent.
I wouldn't recommend for someone to go that far at all. As I mentioned earlier, FFXV looks like it will be a great game. Which is good for Square Enix as they haven't had a legitimately good Final Fantasy game since XII and this is their saving throw. It needs to be a strong saving throw and Tabata appears to be able to deliver.
But axing Stella just put a crack in what was otherwise a strong game and the crack will remain even if covered over. Stella was that promising of a character and had a lot to offer that hadn't been seen in the Final Fantasy series. Perhaps major aspects of Stella's character will be transferred to Lunafreya so that Stella remains in spirit. But as Lunafreya is already stated to have a different role and character from Stella, it won't be the same.
Before someone grips that I'm aimlessly whining because something is different, I'm going to shut you up before you even start. See, I've gone through plenty of changes in my life and can see that it's all inevitable and can even lead to something good in the long-term if not also the short-term. I apply this to fictional works as well and I can praise, accept or criticize a change depending on three simple criteria:
1) Does this change make sense?
2) Does this change improve the story/game?
3) Was this change inevitable/necessary?
At the moment, I don't see how axing Stella fits any of the above standards.
So that's all folks.
All in all, Final Fantasy XV appears to be shaping up to be a good game at the very least. Considering Square Enix's track record, a good Final Fantasy game is a step up from a bad Anti-game like Final Fantasy XIII. The gameplay is involved and gives full control to the player with all of the ups and challenges that come with it; the story will still involve detailed medieval-like political scheming and warfare with an additional taste of free-roam exploration; the characters look to be interesting and neat; and best yet? The game may get released before 2017!
2017 is a bit of a wait, but we've waited 10 years already, 2 more won't hurt.
As for my thoughts on Cindy and Stella, I just have two last things to say:
Cindy is just fine. Just don't do anything stupid and people will realize that they were overreacting.
I don't agree with Stella's departure and believe that it was a bad call on Tabata's part. But whatever he does with Lunafreya better at least partially make-up for axing what would have been one of the most interesting parts of the Versus XV story.