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One Piece: How Netflix Teases A Hellish Glow-Up For Two Crucial Characters

Contains spoilers for "One Piece" Season 1, Episode 8 — "Worst in the East"

Netflix's live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda's "One Piece" carves out a respectable niche for its supporting cast. Yes, the series follows Monkey D. Luffy (Iñaki Godoy) and the Straw Hat Pirates as they quest for the titular treasure, but it also follows Koby (Morgan Davies), a timid young man with a big heart, on his quest to become a marine who protects and serves his people. Along the way, Koby becomes forced into close quarters with Helmeppo (Aidan Scott), a brash young man with a cowardly streak. Under the watchful of Vice Admiral Monkey. D. Garp (Vincent Regan), the pair is tasked with mission after mission to prove their worth as promising Marine cadets. Slowly but surely, Koby starts to accept his courage, and Helmeppo acts less on his fear.

In the "One Piece" Season 1 finale, "Worst in the East," Koby and Helmeppo stand up against their Marine mentor. Instead of punishing them, Garp the Fist says, "Following orders doesn't make you a good marine. It's following your code. All men have their own brand of justice, and you both followed yours, so well done." The vice admiral then personally offers to train them. He also notes that others have referred to his rigorous regimen as punishment, but the best would never turn down a chance to improve. And that's the last we see of Koby and Helmeppo in Season 1. If "One Piece" gets a Season 2 and the studio remains broadly faithful to the source material, the marine cadets are primed for the biggest transformation of their lives.

Koby and Helmeppo are the golden standard for rising Marines

Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp's offer to train Koby and Helmeppo references a supplemental story arc in the manga called "Diary of Koby-Meppo" where the pair of marine cadets struggle to find their place in the marine corps before earning the vice admiral's respect. Fortunately, and unfortunately, Garp the Fist's training regimen is as punishing as his previous pupils in the Netflix series must have claimed because it transforms the duo. Under his tutelage, Koby and Helmeppo grow into their own, though not without breaking first. The process often leaves Koby bloody and bruised, but he never gives up. Neither does Helmeppo, although he requires a little more encouragement than Koby to continue. In fairness, the change is best seen in Helmeppo, whose posture shifts dramatically from hunched to stalk-straight. He also changes his wretched mushroom haircut as part of his new look, so that's nice.

Garp's instruction sets them on a path for even greater change later. There's a two-year time skip in the manga and anime around chapter 600 or episode 500, respectively. In these two years, Koby earns the moniker Koby the Hero for his daring feats. Post-time skip, Koby is a Marine captain in SWORD, a special forces unit. He's taller, stronger, and more courageous than ever. He's still guided by a strong moral compass. Helmeppo did not rise as high as Koby, but he's now a lieutenant commander in SWORD. Wherever one goes, the other follows. They protect each other, and together, they protect everyone else.