One Piece 45
April 24, 2010
Eiichiro Oda – Viz – 2010 – 57+ volumes
As far as in-between volumes go, this one is… not so light as it is a huge plot dump. A lot of stuff comes out of nowhere, and a lot of things that happen here have far-reaching consequences. Of course, the series is only about ten volumes further on at this point, but all of it is based on what happens here.
We are introduced to Vice-Admiral Garp, who is one of the more entertaining characters I’ve seen in awhile, and we also get to hear about his son, the revolutionary Dragon, who saw Luffy off in Rogue Town just before he entered the Grand Line. We also get to catch up with several old faces, including Shanks, Whitebeard, Blackbeard, Ace, and… Koby and Helmeppo. Helmeppo’s parts made me laugh pretty hard.
We also learn about Franky’s dream, and unlike all the others, he has the opportunity to make it happen in this very volume. He tells the Straw Hats that his dream is to build a ship he designed out of adam wood (something he explains) and to have it sail around the world and become the greatest ship. He himself plans to stay in Water 7, but when you find out he will be building the Straw Hat’s new ship, and also because he’s super, you can also assume that he will be joining the crew as the shipwright.
He doesn’t want to. The Franky Family beg the Straw Hats to force him. Iceburg bullies him. The campaign to get Franky to join the Straw Hats is probably one of the silliest, most over-the-top and hilarious things the series has done yet. It was completely uncalled for, involved a lot of pain, nudity, and embarrassment, and was… well, super. Only Franky could still strike a cool, manly pose while all these terrible things were being done with him.
There’s also the problem of Usopp, who isn’t a member of the Straw Hats anymore. That has to be resolved before the end of the volume. Sadly, this happens in the middle of a fight with Vice-Admiral Garp, who winds up hurling cannonballs at Luffy because, well, stuff happened and he had to send him to a watery grave.
His new ship, the Thousand Sunny, is pretty amazing, although the SBS corners go into more detail in the next volume, and we also get to see it in action a little later.
Also in this volume, we find out that the crew’s bounties went up after bringing down Enies Lobby. There are lots of amusing things that go along with this, chief among them Sanji’s poster. Not only is it good for a laugh now, but it comes up again later, courtesy of someone who’s not him, doesn’t know him, and isn’t even a pirate.
In short, this volume is magical. But not as magical as the next five volumes, which are all Thriller Bark volumes.
Thriller Bark is my favorite section of the series. Hands down. Because Brook is simply one of the best characters ever made.