In chapter 1015 we see Nami and Usopp are on route to the performance stage for Tama to deliver her message to the Smile users awaiting her instruction. Following up on the scene from last week, we see Zeus has indeed inhabited climatact after Big Mom ripped his soul from his previous body. Nami was able to successfully rescue Zeus at the last moment and thus he now lives inside climatact.
In Chapter 1016 Zeus explains that Big Mom wringing out his soul for Hera to consume left him in a leaky state where he could posses another object like how homies are created, fortunately the climatact was inside Hera’s mouth. Zeus says nothing about losing part of his soul or being weakened, so it’s fair to assume Hera got tingles eating only charged cloud.
We see that as a part of climatact, Zeus is actually able to manipulate its’ shape at will. I admit the visual effect of this was a bit jarring at first, though the utility is made clear a few pages later and I think it could open up a number of interesting possibilities for Nami in combat.
Nami, Usopp, and Tama enter the rear of the stage just as Bao Huang is about to deliver the message of Momonosuke’s apparent death, when suddenly Ulti attacks from behind, sending Usopp to the ground and seizing Tama. Last week, I said the return of Zeus exponentially increased the chances of Ulti returning to settle things with Nami and that’s exactly what happens in this week’s chapter. Ulti blames Tama for not only swaying the Smile users, but also turning Big Mom against herself and Page One. Nami tries to free Tama by attacking Ulti with Climatact Zeus and we see him transform her weapon into a club.
Nami herself seems put off at the idea of what she describes as an annoying sentient weapon at first, but I think here Oda demonstrates Zeus could improve Nami’s close combat capabilities by transforming her staff at will into a variety of weapons. The first thing that came to mind when I read this scene was the concept drawing of a character who appears to be Nami from Color Walk 1. In what appears to be a very early iteration of her character, she has a robotic arm and wields a massive battle axe. While I much prefer Nami’s final design, I did always think this was a cool character concept and so perhaps here Oda will bring back elements of proto-Nami by giving her a transforming melee weapon for close combat fights.
Of course, Nami’s attack doesn’t do a ton of damage because ancient Zoans have particularly tough skin, which is the main reason Ulti is even able to stand after Big Mom’s attack a few chapters prior. I was happy to see Zeus is able to still take on his cloud form. Zeus can inhabit weather phenomena that Nami generates from the Clima-Tact, allowing him to perform lightning-based attacks like he is used to if Nami generates a cloud using him. Nami does seem a bit surprised when he emerges from the climatact, but it makes sense and now that his soul is bound to Nami’s weapon, I have to wonder whether he’ll be able to take on a wider variety of forms.
Nami attacks Ulti, but the lightning bolt misses, leaving her open for Ulti to strike, but Zeus changes course and redirects himself straight through Ulti’s back.
This is a big win for Nami as her first major one on one battle in quite some time.
This is again something I mentioned in the 1015 review, but I really do like the fact that Nami, the Cat Burglar, has received such a major powerup by essentially stealing a piece of Big Mom’s soul. Nami’s battles have never been about displays of brute force like Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji. Instead, she has relied on her wits and clever use of tactical weapons like … the climatact. The fact that Zeus provides an accuracy buff is kinda cool and makes for a nice surprise in this fight, but in the future, I think Oda will have to find the right balance where it still feels like Nami is the one directing Zeus rather than him calling his own shots.