One Piece 52

October 11, 2012

Eiichiro Oda – Viz – 2010 – 67+ volumes

It has been a shamefully long time since I’ve read a volume of this, and it’s one of my top three favorite manga series of all time. The reason is that I’m a terrible person and spoiled myself on the ending of this story arc. But now that I know the ending to the Fishman Island story arc is coming, I need to start reading from where I left off. Which would be Sabaody. So here we are.

I’m out of practice in offering commentary on something I like this much, unfortunately, and this is a bad volume to jump in at. This is one solid action scene, from cover to cover, but it jumps between different characters and venues, and for different reasons. It starts with the Straw Hat Pirates busting up the slave auctions and freeing Cammy, then turns into a fight between the three top bounty rookie pirates vs. the Marines, then Admiral Kizaru, then mecha-Kuma, then real Kuma. All of it is fantastic. This volume is a little much since it’s throwing around so many new characters (the rookie pirates, Silvers Rayleigh, and the Admiral Kizaru are all new, and we have to figure out how they’re fighting), but I imagine it’ll all be sorted in a volume or two. The fights are all super-interesting though, since One Piece’s devil fruit powers are a bit more zany and organic than most other fighting systems in volume 52 of a shounen manga. It’s chaos, and can be a bit hard to follow, but it’s still a lot of fun.

The story ends with Kizaru and mecha-Kuma/Kuma. I think we’ll be taking a minute with both of these characters to learn more about them and their fighting styles, which will be great since Kuma’s such a mystery. Also, though he goes up against the Straw Hats, I can’t help but like Kizaru. So laid-back!

I can’t complain too much about all the fighting, since there’s also a chapter of flashback/explanation with Silvers Rayleigh relating the history of Gol D. Rodger. More of it than we’ve received since the beginning of the series. His spin on the modern age of pirates, the immortality of Gol D. Rodger, and the new age that is upon the rookies, is all very interesting, and is probably a good thing to keep in mind as the story moves forward here. So even with all the crazy fighting, we learn more about the mysterious mission and the plot of the series than we have for the last 50 or so volumes. Silvers Rayleigh knows about everything.

One thing we do not learn about is the One Piece. Luffy is most adamant about that, and it was one of those in-character moments that One Piece does so well that made me smile. Also wrapped up in the explanation is the fact that the Gol D. Rodger pirates were friends with the same lighthouse keeper that Luffy and the Straw Hats met back in volume 12, the same one that Brook’s pirate crew left their whale with so long ago.

Aaah, Brook. Still my favorite. I love that his height changes dramatically from very tall to freakish, but most normal-size people seem to come up to his waist. His skull jokes will also never not be funny.

The volume ends with a pretty serious face-off against Kuma. It carries over into volume 53, but I have a feeling this is going to be hard to watch.

So, yeah. Basically, this is still the best shounen manga ever. This and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: