One Piece 43
April 19, 2010
Eiichiro Oda – Viz – 2010 – 57+ volumes
Things I love about One Piece #857: Eiichiro Oda’s extremely entertaining author notes at the beginning of the volumes and the SBS corners, which are equal parts informative and hilarious nonsense. My favorite note in this volume was a bizarre one from a French reader that just asked if Oda had French bread in his house. Oda called him out on the question, then said that he hoped the reader was still a fan of the series in two years, since that’s how long the SBS corner would take to show up in France.
Also, I have been entertained by the ongoing reader fascination with Wanze, a one-shot villain. Questions about him seem to keep pouring in, but I think my favorite part was how freaking low he ranked in the popularity poll at the end of the volume. The readers are just curious, they don’t necessarily like him.
Anyway. I was a little uncomfortable with the goofy powers on display here with Sanji and Zoro. They border on the… fantastic. I’ve always liked that devil fruit is the only magic or unexplainable thing in the One Piece universe, and even that had rules. Everything else was a fighting technique. Sometimes you could do superhuman things, like walk up walls or make your body steel or whatever, but it was always plausible. Catching parts of your body on fire… not so much. Willing yourself to transform… er.
Tony’s transformation was a little easier to take. It’s still sad, but I was happy to see everyone stand up for him, and others seemed to be impressed by that, too.
Kalifa and Nami’s fight was pretty amazing. Kalifa turned out to be way dopier than I originally thought, but that’s all right. I also like that Nami uses her brains rather than any fighting techniques whatsoever. Not just the weather thing, but just figuring out a fight in general. I’m not fond of Nami, but she has her place.
Speaking of places, the absolute best scene in the volume goes to Sniper King, who pulls off the most perfectly heroic save in the series yet. It made me want to tear up a little, especially after everything he went through, both in the past and in this volume. He tries so hard, but he is rarely in a situation that gives him the absolute advantage with his special abilities. Even Sanji and Zoro are super-proud of him.
Other than that… there is a very disappointing fight between Rob and Luffy that is still happening, Robin is relatively safe, the World Government doors are open, and the warships are moving in. Exciting stuff is coming in the next few volumes. This story arc is great, and I can’t read it fast enough once again. I… like Skypiea a little better… but Water 7 is still plenty amazing.