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Wow, this volume was on steroids. Luffy returns, bird-man returns, Robin is betrayed by Crocodile, the group searches for the bomb, and Luffy returns for a second time. Oh, and Tashigi and her team work to defend the square.
The time in the manga really slows down. A lot happens in the 15 minutes or so before the bombs go off.
Anyways, the good: Tashigi putting her duty aside, Zolo getting lost in the forest and then getting yelled at by the soldiers, and Cobra’s sacrifice.
The not-so-good: the breakneck pace. I know I mentioned in my last column that Oda was focusing on one group too much, but this volume just jumped around. It also felt pretty bloody with the war raging.
Oh, yeah. What was up with those elite guards all of a sudden? “Oh, yeah, here’s the elite guards. And here’s them getting defeated two seconds later.” Stuff like that just wasted space.
I’m hoping the next volume is better. With number whoever and Father’s Day arriving, the battle can be split even further.
Oh, and I find it hilarious that the world government put a 79 million berry bounty on Robin. For when 80 million is just too much to capture a criminal. It’s like when you go to a store and find something for like $5.01. Because that penny is needed for a profit, dangit! Or when something goes on sale/clearance from $4.99 to $4.98. Bargain of the year, folks! Anyways, just curious why they decided 79 million was the perfect amount for Robin. I think someone else had the same amount, right?
Luffy won, and without a deus ex machina. That’s amazing.
So, yeah. Really not much to say here. I do think it was the right decision for Vivi as well as the story to stay and take care of her kingdom. The final image of the Straw Hats raising their hands in a sign of friendship was really touching and well done.
Bon-chan makes his return. The group’s was more dramatic than I thought. I fell for the fake and thought they’d sneak out at night.
I think I mentioned it before, but I really like Tashigi. She’s a bit goofy, but she is also able to make good judgments. She’s strong, but when she realizes how overpowered she is, it frustrates her to the point of tears. I just feel like she’s a very relatable character.
I also have to mentioned these guys have incredible healing abilities. It’s a little hard to gauge how severe their injuries are since they all get up right away (or, at the very least, ditch the bandages). One of the jokes of Love Hina was that Keitaro was invincible despite being beat up all the time by the girls. I think Luffy and his crew can give Keitaro a run for his money.
Pell’s sacrifice I felt was nice, but I think it could have had more impact if we had known him longer.
So the next volume will kick off a new arc. This one was really long, but I know this covers the first box set of One Piece. I remember seeing different arc names when I’ve seen One Piece volumes, but I don’t know how long each one lasts. I think the next one is Water something though. It finally feels like I made a dent into One Piece.
Also, bravo for a villain for having a backup plan.
Nope, it’s Skypiea. Or, as I keep reading it, “Skyclopedia”. That really sounds cool.
In his introduction, Oda’s parents mention liking the story about that deer. I assume this is one of those things that didn’t translate well. Shika = deer, tonakai = reindeer. In English, they would be right or at least pretty close.
If Eyelashes joins the Supersonic Duck Squadron, will the team be remade or will Eyelashes be an honorary duck?
So Robin lied to Crocodile. And she wanted to die. Well, at least we found out about the antidote Luffy took.
So quite a few setups in this volume. There’s the mystery about the true history of the world, the search for Skypiea is on, and we meet several new groups of pirates. The Merry Go is falling apart, but the next volume preview spoils that the ship is getting an upgrade thanks to Usopp.
Chopper’s inability to hide correctly still cracks me up.
Robin provides some much-need voice of experience and pragmatism, but I wonder if her dark “I want to give up on life” thoughts will return. I like how she wins over Nami with the bribe despite the fact Robin stole her clothes. Thief-off?
Luffy and Zolo restrain themselves even as they (and Nami) are ridiculed for believing in Skypiea. The other pirates say the Straw Hat’s Log Pose is broken, a stark contrast to Robin’s “believe in the Log Pose above all else” attitude. Makes me wonder what her backstory is, especially since she’s searching for the true history of the world. I think this sounds more interesting than searching for a sky island. Robin obviously has a lot of stories to tell since she manages to gain quite a bit of information from one skeleton.
I really don’t have much to add. These volumes really ran the gamut from high-pace action to wrapup to setup. Vivi’s out and Robin’s in. I didn’t really mind Vivi, but she really hijacked the plot. I’m hoping Robin stays a little more in the background. I mean, obviously Robin is going to be a main character from now on, but I hope her eventual arc isn’t so focused on her, you know?
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