One Piece 47Posted: May 1, 2010
Eiichiro Oda – Viz – 2010 – 57+ volumes
Lots and lots and lots of zombie fights in this volume, which is fine by me. We are also introduced to Gecko Moria, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and his powers. His devil fruit abilities don’t seem terribly useful until you pair him with Dr. Hogback, which is what makes this story arc so interesting. It’s similar to the situation with Crocodile, where Crocodile found a place where he could flourish and exploit his power, but Gecko Moria’s powers are a little more… exotic and sinister. Gecko Moria also has a much more grand plan than Crocodile did. Also, Geko Moria is huge. Not a giant, but still quite big.
Anyway, we find out exactly what Dr. Hogback and Gecko Moria are doing on the Thriller Bark, where all the Straw Hats are disappearing to, and what the deal with the disappearing shadows and zombie army is. One of the more unlikely things, that all the strongest members of the Straw Hats got taken while Nami, Usopp, and Chopper remain at large, is also explained. Surprisingly, by an enormous zombie spider that Franky and Robin fight. Those two make for a surprisingly good team since Franky is so over-the-top and Robin is so straight.
We also find out the deal with Brook, what happened when he got his shadow taken on the island, and what his “dream” is. Brook’s story is super-sad, and it gets even sadder later. I mean… he died, and so did all his friends. But Brook’s dream was one of the things that made me really snap to attention and take a close look at One Piece and all its loose plot threads. Eiichiro Oda really does plan on coming back to all that stuff later, and I can’t believe he had the plans for Brook in place as early as… volume 10 or 12? Usually manga series that have gone on this long build on themselves and (I suspect) make up a lot of stuff as they go based on what’s popular. It pleases me immensely that One Piece is so tightly scripted.
I’ve got one more volume before I have to wait for the next batch of five. I’m devastated that Thriller Bark is interrupted in the middle, but I’m willing to wait for more Brook. Always. I know he will reward my patience with a cute song and a terrible, terrible pun. I mean, seriously. Not only is he a skeleton, he’s a skeleton that tells the absolute worst jokes. About being a skeleton. And enjoys telling said bad jokes immensely. Even when he’s serious, he interrupts his narratives with frequent “skull jokes.”
He’s the best manga character ever. I’m sorry, Monkey D. Luffy, you’re just not as novel as Brook is.