Instinct (One Piece #14) ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Instinct
Series: One Piece #14
Arc: Baroque Works #3
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 188
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“Someone’s Out There”

“Deadly Improvisation”

“The Red Ogre Weeps”

“I Knew”

“A Dead Body is Useless”

“Luffy vs. Mr. 3”

“The Tea is Good”

“Candle Champion”

“Instinct”

Baroque Works agents Mr. 3 and Miss Golden Week are on the island in search of the Straw Hats and the bounties on the giants’ heads. With the help of Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine, they rig the giants’ fight. After thousands of draws, Broggy strikes Dorry down and, while weeping over his friend’s body, is captivated by Mr. 3’s wax-creation powers. Zoro, Nami and Vivi are captured and placed on a large candle with a rotating top, designed by Mr. 3 to slowly turn them into wax figures by covering them in vaporized wax. Luffy, Usopp and Vivi’s ostrich-sized duck, Karoo, come to save them. Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine chase Usopp and Karoo, while Luffy fights Mr. 3 and sends him flying into the jungle. However, Luffy is no match for Miss Golden Week and her hypnotic paintings. Joining forces, though, Luffy, Usopp and Karoo destroy the wax structure and free their friends.

My Thoughts:

I was looking at the dates on the inside cover. Oda copyrighted this in 1997. The english copyright wasn’t until 2007. TEN YEARS!!!! What a world the 90’s and early 00’s were. Nowadays the translated books come out a month after the japanese release. 10 years, phhhtttt.

While I was reading this one of the side characters uttered this phrase about a fight they’d been in: “….how could I dishonor him by showing mercy!!?”

A part of me understood the reasoning behind that phrase. But the greater part was disgusted at such pride and selfishness. No, not disgusted, but horrified. Because if you are not willing to show mercy to others, you in turn will not expect mercy nor will you take it when offered. To take mercy means you can accept that you are not good enough, that you have not measured up, that there is a standard to which you have failed to live up to. The attitude on display says “I am good enough!” The problem arises when somebody greater says that you are not good enough and offers you a way to be good enough, you won’t accept it. That gesture of mercy will be tossed away.

The battle at the end is utterly ridiculous. It’s meant to be that way but the badguy, Mr 3 fights with wax and there is nothing serious about a guy who fights with wax. However, it does allow the whole crew (except Sanji) to work as a team and help each other out. This volume ends with Sanji accidentally answering a call meant for Mr 3 and talking to Mr Zero.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] It’s All Right! (One Piece #13) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: It’s All Right!
Series: One Piece #13
Arc: Baroque Works #2
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 188
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“A Question of Duty”

“The Night Isn’t Over”

“The Secret Criminal Organization”

“Luffy vs. Zoro”

“It’s All Right!!!”

“The Course”

“Little Garden of Adventure”

“Big”

“Dorry and Broggy”

Zoro fights the four remaining bounty hunters as a far-greater threat enters the village: the high-ranking Baroque Works agents Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine. Their target is not the Straw Hats but Miss Wednesday, whose true identity is Nefeltari Vivi (princess of the kingdom of Alabasta). Vivi runs for her life; Nami (who had feigned sleep) makes a deal to save Vivi’s life with Mr. 8 – who is actually Igaram, captain of the Alabastan Royal Guard. Nami then forces Zoro to take on the agents. Out of immediate danger, Vivi tells the Straw Hats that Mr. 0 (in charge of Baroque Works) plans to use the organization to overthrow her country and reveals his true identity: Sir Crocodile – like Mihawk, a member of the government-sanctioned Seven Warlords of the Sea pirate group. The Straw Hats agree to bring Vivi to Alabasta. They reach the jungle-covered island of Little Garden, where the giants Dorry and Broggy engage in a hundred-year-long battle.

My Thoughts:

Oda, the manga-ka, makes it really obvious from the get-go just how fragile Baroque Works is. With each paired teir looking down on those below them and despising them, coupled with the secrecy and mystery, everyone but Mr Zero is expendable. Oda also does a fantastic job of showing how Luffy doesn’t take someone fighting against him as a personal insult. He can be fighting someone one minute and then trying to be friends the next. That is quite a seesaw to balance and I’m impressed with how smoothly it happens, time and again.

The rest of the crew gets a very good showing in this volume. Zoro ends up fighting some of the higher up from Baroque Works. Nami gets involved with Princess Vivi and blackmails her to get their help to free her kingdom. Usopp and Sanji get the short end of the stick in regards to the plot but they do make for great foils for the others.

I’ve included the picture below because it perfectly illustrates the characteristics of the 4 crew members. Zoro and Sanji are always trying to one up each other. Nami and Usopp are always trying to stay away from danger. And Oda brings his unique humor to the whole situation. I just laughed at the last panel 🙂

I’ve been including the story arc info in the info block because I find it helps me to focus on the story at hand and not to be wishing I was still reading about the previous line. Luffy and co have moved out of East Blue and having a different name for the arc just helps me keep that straight. It also helps my expectations. I think that will make a bigger difference in future volumes.

We also meet Miss All Sunday, Mr Zero’s counterpart. She makes it clear she holds the crew no personal grudge, which just makes my point about how fragile Baroque Works is. I seem to remember Miss Sunday plays a bigger part in the series than just as Miss Sunday, but I might be mixing her up with another character. Oda isn’t exactly making his female characters super distinctive, unlike say Usopp and Zoro.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] The Legend Begins (One Piece #12) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Legend Begins
Series: One Piece #12
Arc: East Blue #12 & Baroque Works #1
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 191
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“The Legend Begins”

“Reverse Mountain”

“And Now, the Grand Line”

“The Whale”

“Cape Promise”

“Log Pose”

“The Town of Welcome”

“Moonlight and Tombstones”

“100 Bounty Hunters”

As the Straw Hats try to flee the island, Smoker gets in their way. Luffy fights him, but is quickly pinned to the ground. With the help of a man named Dragon, he escapes. The Straw Hats enter the Grand Line by crossing Reverse Mountain, where they are swallowed by the giant whale Laboon. In its stomach they meet Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday (who try to kill the whale to feed their village) and Crocus, Laboon’s caretaker. Crocus shows them the way out, telling the whale’s story, and introduces the Straw Hats to navigating the Grand Line. Luffy impulsively gives Miss Wednesday and Mr. 9 a ride to Whiskey Peak, their home village. Their arrival is celebrated by the townspeople, who are bounty hunters for Baroque Works. With his comrades fast asleep after the party, Zoro must fight the roughly 100 bounty hunters himself.

My Thoughts:

When I started originally reading this series back in ’07, it wasn’t obvious that there were different story arcs going. Thankfully, with this re-read and new editions, it is stated right on the front cover, or inside cover, when an arc ends and a new one begins. I am finding it extremely helpful in terms of what to expect.

This volume ends the East Blue arc, where Luffy and Crew sailed around preparing to enter the Grand Line. It also begins the Baroque Works arc, which appears to have the Crew going up against an Organization known as Baroque Works. When I was reading way back when, this change kind of caught me by surprise because the storyline also changes. Knowing there are going to be changes sets me in the right frame of mind to accept those changes.

The end of the East Blue arc sees the Crew escaping Captain Smoker (who has eaten of some sort of fruit that gives him powers as well) as well as Alvida and Buggy. But it looks like all three of them will be chasing after Luffy so it seems Luffy will have old enemies as well as new once he reaches the Grand Line.

Then the crew makes it onto the Grand Line and come to a Cactus Island, where they are feted and pass out from food and drink. Only Zoro stays sober and ends up fighing against the whole town, who are bounty hunters who take down pirates before they get too big on the Grand Line. With Luffy’s 30 million berry reward, he’s worth the effort. Zoro tests out his new swords and shows why he was the best swordsman on East Blue. He defeats all the ordinary bounty hunters so some of the bigger honchos have to get involved, namely Mister 8, Miss Monday and maybe some others. Obviously Baroque Works was running short on ideas when it came to secret names BUT it makes it super easy on me as a reader to figure out just who is where on the Power Ladder and who needs to be defeated in what order.

This volume ends with Zoro getting ready to go head to head. I suspect he’ll beat a couple then get whipped by somebody higher up on the food chain and then Luffy will get involved, blah blah blah. Should be fun 🙂

Oh, on a complete side note, anyone have any ideas how I can make the titles for these a bit cleaner? I’m stuffing in manga monday, the title and the series and then the rating and it just looks super messy to me. But I don’t know how to convey all that info in the title without it being messy. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] The Meanest Man in the East (One Piece #11) ★★★★✬

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Meanest Man in the East
Series: One Piece #11
Arc: East Blue Part 11
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 188
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“Darts”

“Happiness”

“Going Down”

“The Other Villain”

“Spin, Pinwheel”

“The Meanest Man in the East”

“Kitetsu III”

“Dark Clouds”

“Luffy Died”

Arlong and Luffy exchange blows until Arlong impatiently picks up his large sword. Tearing through Arlong Park, he chases Luffy into the cartography room where Nami spent years drawing maps for the fish-men. When he sees blood stains on her pen, Luffy decides that he must destroy the room. He breaks the blade of Arlong’s sword, and crushes the fish-man and his park into the ground. Overjoyed at their regained freedom, the island’s inhabitants celebrate for three days and nights. Johnny and Yosaku take their leave and with Nami on board and the Straw Hat Pirates set sail for the next port – Lougetown, where Gold Roger (the king of the pirates) was born and executed. News of Luffy’s victory over Arlong and the first bounty placed on his head by the World Government reaches the ears of Navy captain Smoker; Zoro meets sergeant-major Tashigi (Smoker’s second-in-command) and Luffy visits the execution site, seeing his former opponents Buggy and Alvida.

My Thoughts:

This was an emotionally satisfying volume. Luffy beating the snot out of Arlong and destroying him and everything he had created was fantastic. And it wasn’t all man-serious either. The manga-ka once again balanced humor with the grisly fighting in a perfect dance. The following just made me laugh out loud because it displays Luffy’s happy go-lucky attitude even in the midst of a fight for his life:

Once Luffy and Co hit the town where Roger Gold (the King of the Pirates) was born and executed, things start to move along. Luffy has a 30million berry reward on his head now (for perspective, Arlong only had a 20million reward), Alvida and Buggy the Clown make their reappearance and attack him and Zorro finds out one of his swords is a legendary one worth millions of berries. We also see the next Marine Captain on tap and he appears to be a real tough guy. So Luffy is going to have it wicked tough from both the Pirate and the Marine side of things.

The volume ends with the crew running back to the ship while the marines and other pirates are chasing them. Next volume should be fun 😀

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] Ok, Let’s Stand Up! (One Piece #10) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Ok, Let’s Stand Up!
Series: One Piece #10
Arc: East Blue Part 10
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“OK, Let’s Stand Up!”

“Luffy in Black”

“Zombie”

“Three Swords vs. Six”

“Heroism vs. Fish-Man Cruelty”

“It’s All Over!!”

“Die!!!”

“Trade-off”

“What Can You Do?”

The Straw Hats charge into Arlong Park. Luffy takes out the fish-men’s pet sea monster and most of the crew, but his feet become stuck in the ground. Arlong uses the opportunity to dig out the ground containing Luffy’s feet and throw it into the sea. Zoro, struggling with a severe injury received from Mihawk and armed with only one sword, fights the six-sword-wielding Hatchan and Sanji uses karate on the fish-men with swordfish-man Kuroobi. Genzo and Nojiko try to save Luffy from drowning, and further inland Usopp duels with the long-mouthed fish-man Choo. All of Arlong’s crew are defeated except for Arlong himself. With Zoro’s last bit of strength, he buys Sanji enough time to dive under and remove the rock from his captain’s feet. When he is free, Luffy takes Zoro’s place and his final fight with Arlong begins.

My Thoughts:

This was a solid shonen volume, with fights galore. Even Usopp grows some stones and takes on a fishman and wins (kind of). Luffy’s curse of not being able to swim or deal with water plays a major part in the fights and I hope this gives the crew something to chew on in regards to future fights. Luffy needs to wear water wings or something, hahahaha.

The other thing I noticed is that the little standalone pictures between chapters has moved on. In the previous volume Buggy the Clown (from volume 2) finally assembled his full body and got his pirate crew together. Now we seem to be following the 2 boys who joined the navy to become marines. So far, all they do is chores and scrub the ship. I find it interesting how Oda gets to tell another completely separate story, one panel at a time, and not only that he does it, but that he does it well. It does make me wonder if Buggy the Clown is going to make a comeback into the story at some point. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] Tears (One Piece #9) ★★★★★

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Tears
Series: One Piece #9
Arc: East Blue Part 9
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 207
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“Proper Living”

“Monsters of the Grand Line”

“Business”

“Of Maps and Fish-Men”

“Sleep”

“The First Step Toward a Dream”

“Belle-Mère”

“To Live”

“A Thief is a Thief”

“Tears”

To save the life of the villager Genzo, Usopp angers Arlong by shooting at him. Zoro (freed by Nami and told to run away while he still can) defeats Arlong’s low-ranking crews at Arlong Park and meets gullible octopus fish-man Hatchan, who brings him to Nami’s hometown. Usopp is captured and brought to Arlong Park, where Nami is accused of hiring Zoro to kill Arlong. To increase the crew’s mistrust and save Usopp’s life, she apparently kills him and kicks his body into the sea. Luffy and Sanji arrive; although they want to help, Nami turns them away. In a flashback, Arlong’s crew arrives and extorts protection money from the island’s inhabitants. Nami and Nojiko’s foster mother, Bellemere, who cannot pay for all three of them, gives up her life to save her daughters. Nami joins Arlong’s crew as their cartographer, and they agree on a price for which she can buy her village back. In the present Arlong breaks the agreement, and Nami accepts Luffy’s help.

My Thoughts:

This had ALL THE FEELZ, just as the manga-ka intended. A huge part of the book is Nami’s backstory and the revelations about her past, her interactions with her adopted mom and adopted sister, how the village was everything to her but most of all, how she became the completely self-reliant woman we have seen so far. It was pretty good stuff but it setup the scene perfectly for when she asks for Luffy’s help. Below is that one page scene.

I think part of why it is so moving to me is that it reveals someone beyond the end of their rope. Nami has been betrayed by Arlong the pirate in a way she never saw coming and realizes she’s in perpetual slavery to him and her plan to buy the village is an impossible hope. So she’s lost all hope but she realizes there IS somebody who can help her. And she reaches out to ask for that help, revealing all her own weaknesses and inability to deal with the situation. It is a moment of complete vulnerability. That type of thing always gets me.

On the flipside of the emotional coin is Arlong the fishman pirate. Ohhhh, he’s bad. He’s the kind of badguy you just want to see turned into clam chowder. He’s the kind of badguy who is so tough that you EXPECT him to be a badguy and he fulfills those expectations 100%. He goes on about the superiority of the fishman race and how humans only deserve to be enslaved, etc. It’s really uncomfortable stuff. So the book ending with Luffy getting ready to do battle with him is splendiferous!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] I Won’t Die (One Piece #8) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: I Won’t Die
Series: One Piece #8
Arc: East Blue Part 8
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“I Won’t Die”

“The Mighty Battle Spear”

“Prepared”

“The Chewed-up Spear”

“The Soup

“The Fourth Person”

“Arlong Park”

“The Great Adventure of Usopp the Man”

“Lords of All Creation”

While the cooks (ordered by Sanji) tend to the poisoned Gin, Luffy charges at Krieg. Although the commodore uses his many weapons to severely injure him, Luffy wins; with his debt repaid, he is free to go. However, Sanji still refuses to join Luffy’s crew. Only after an attempt by the cooks to convince him he is unwanted does he finally agree. Nami is welcomed back to Arlong Park, the base of Arlong’s pirates (a crew consisting, aside from Nami, only of fish-men – beings who are half fish and half human. Zoro and Usopp learn separately that Nami is one of Arlong’s officers – Usopp from Nami’s adoptive sister Nojiko, and Zoro from Nami when he is captured and dragged into Arlong Park.

My Thoughts:

Luffy ends up beating Krieg and getting Sanji as part of his crew. Of course, it’s immediately revealed that Nami double crossed them and sailed off to another pirate crew run by a guy named Arlong, who is part fish and his entire pirate crew is part fish part human. Making them very powerful. They run a protection scam on about 20 villages and have visions of becoming even bigger.

With Zoro captured by Arlong, Nami revealed as one of Arlong’s crew and Usopp hiding out in on of the tribute villages, you know Luffy’s going to follow them and there’s going to be a big fight, just like this one. Part of me is already rolling my eyes and the other part of me is hoping the story gets better than that.

I do suspect I’m going to have to be patient and let Oda tell the story at his own pace and in his own way though.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] The Crap-Geezer (One Piece #7) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Crap-Geezer
Series: One Piece #7
Arc: East Blue Part 7
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 200
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“Pearl”

“Jungle Blood”

“I Refuse”

“If You Have a Dream”

“Crap-Geezer”

“Sanji’s Debt”

“Resolution”

“The Demon”

“MH5”

Luffy and the cooks defend the restaurant until Gin takes the one-legged head chef Zeff hostage, hoping to resolve the situation without Sanji’s death. Fearing for Zeff’s life, Sanji stops fighting but does not surrender the ship to the pirates. In a flashback, a young Sanji and Zeff (a renowned pirate) are shipwrecked. Zeff gives Sanji a small bundle of food and sends him to the other side of the island to keep watch, while Zeff keeps a much larger bundle for himself. Weeks later, a famished Sanji returns to take the pirate’s food only to discover that the bundle contains nothing but gold and that Zeff has devoured his own leg. In the present, Gin realizes that he cannot save Sanji’s life because he is hell-bent on protecting Zeff’s restaurant. Instead, Gin decides to kill Sanji with his own hands. When the time comes, he cannot do it and begs Krieg to leave the restaurant alone. Outraged at Gin’s disobedience, Krieg uses poison gas against his right-hand man.

My Thoughts:

Another thoroughly enjoyable romp with Luffy and Co. This volume mainly focuses on Sanji, the cook on the Floating Restaurant ship who Luffy wants as his own cook. We get his backstory about how he came to know Zeff the Pirate Cook and why he’s so loyal to him despite fighting with him all the time.

And despite Dracule beating the snot out of the pirates previously, Don Kreig and Crew show Luffy just why they were the scourge of East Blue. Luffy talks big and does his best to take Kreig down but each time Kreig prevents his attempts. You know Luffy is going to eventually win but it is impossible to figure out HOW he’s going to win.

The volume ends on a sappy note with one of the pirates giving up his gas mask to save Sanji’s life because Sanji gave him food when he was starving. Thankfully that wasn’t dwelt on very much, or my eyes might have rolled out of my head.

In the previous volume, and then this one, the little pictures between chapters were following Buggy the Clown and his Pirate Crew from the second volume. They are actually telling a mini-story, one picture at a time instead of just being funny pictures of Luffy & Co. Whether this mini-story will ever tie into the main story I don’t know, but I do like what Oda is trying to accomplish here.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] The Oath (One Piece #6) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Oath
Series: One Piece #6
Arc: East Blue Part 6
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 200
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

Chapter List:

“Before the Storm”

“An Uninvited Guest”

“The Don’s Offer”

“Steer Clear”

“Storm”

“A Parting of Ways”

“Zoro Overboard”

“The Oath”

“Mackerel Head”

Luffy is a kitchen assistant and waiter until the torn-up flagship of Pirate Commodore Don Krieg lays anchor next to the floating restaurant and a half-starved Krieg, leaning on Gin, staggers inside. He begs for food, which Sanji provides without hesitation. When Krieg’s strength is restored he reverts to his normal self, demanding ownership of the restaurant and food for his 100 men. Nami leaves with the Merry Go, and Mihawk arrives. The master swordsman followed Krieg from the Grand Line, where he had wiped out his entire fleet. Zoro challenges him to a duel and, despite his best efforts, is defeated. After the fight, Usopp, Johnny, and Yosaku take Zoro aboard the bounty hunters’ boat and set sail to follow Nami. Luffy is left behind to pay his debt to the restaurant by defeating Krieg and his men.

My Thoughts:

For whatever reason, this felt like a more “serious” volume than the previous ones. I think that comes down to the fact that we realize just how “under-powered” everyone that Luffy and Co have met so far are in comparison to the people they are going to meet on the Grand Line. We meet Mihawk Dracule, the world’s greatest swordsman and my goodness, he is a veritable god of ability. He destroys a whole fleet of ships with just a sword for goodness sake.

We also get an explanation for why this arc is called East Blue. The world is divided by the Red Line and the Grand Line and various sections get called their designation. So Luffy and Co are in the East Blue quadrant, which Mihawk assures them is the easiest quadrant to live in. Zoro faces off against Mihawk and is so easily defeated that it is stunning. Mainly because we’ve seen how Zoro just rolls over anyone he’s come up against so far. It’s classic shonen but I hope that Oda can do better and tell a good story along with the shonen components. Once a series goes strictly shonen, it tends to become rather dull and uninteresting. I’ve experienced that with two other series, Hunter X Hunter and Reborn!.

Overall, I am glad to see something a little more serious from Oda, as it shows he has a deeper understanding of writing and has the ooomph to pull it off. Silly and Zany are good but it does need to be leavened and this volume felt just right in that regards.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

[Manga Monday] For Whom the Bell Tolls (One Piece #5) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Series: One Piece #5
Arc: East Blue Part 5
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 200
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

Chapter List:

“After Them!!”

“Captain Kuro, of the Thousand Plans”

“Pirate Crew”

“For Whom the Bell Tolls”

“Usopp’s Pirate Crew

“To the Sea”

“Yosaku and Johnny”

“Sanji”

“Three Tough Cooks”

Django, ordered to kill Kaya after forcing her to write a will favoring Kuro, chases her through the forest; Zoro and Usopp are chasing them. On the shore, Luffy and Kuro fight one-on-one and the Straw Hats prevail. With Usopp the newest addition to the crew and a ship named Going Merry as a parting gift from Kaya, they leave the island. At sea they meet Zoro’s former bounty-hunting partners Johnny and Yosaku, who tell them about a floating restaurant near the Grand Line where the crew might find a cook and (to Zoro’s delight) “Hawk-Eye” Mihawk – the world’s best swordsman – was reportedly sighted. When they arrive, Luffy accidentally damages the restaurant and injures its head chef. In compensation, he agrees to work there for one week. When he sees assistant head chef Sanji give free food to Gin, a starving pirate, he decides to persuade the cook to join his crew.

My Thoughts:

This wrapped up the little adventure of Luffy & Co facing off against the Pirate who wanted to go legit, by faking a will and murdering the girl. Captain Kuro reveals that nobody and nothing is worth his time and everything is simply fodder for him to use to advance himself. This rubs Luffy the wrong way and really winds him up. Luffy defeats Kuro in a typically zany One vs One battle. Of course, Nami has been robbing the pirate ship this whole time, ha!

Usopp officially joins the crew and Luffy is on the lookout for someone to be their chef. Man has got his priorities straight is all I can say. They meet Sanji at a floating restaurant and the book ends with Luffy telling Sanji he wants him to be their cook. During this whole time Sanji and the 2 other cooks have been fighting with a customer and with each other and it made me laugh. It was ridiculous and honestly, it really shouldn’t have worked but some it did. I guess that is part of the mangaka’s magic, he simply makes work something that shouldn’t.

The little standalone pictures between chapters weren’t random images this time. They told the story of what happened to Buggy the Clown after being defeated by Luffy. He chases a little bird to eat it and it runs to its parent, which then chases Buggy and when it tries to eat him, spits him out as being bad food 😀 It was just amazing what Oda could express in Buggy’s facial expression and no words.

Rating: 4 out of 5.