Capriccio (One Piece #30) ★★★✬☆

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Title: Capriccio
Series: One Piece #30
Arc: Skypiea #7
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 207
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Shandian Rhythm”

“Maxim”

“Conis”

“Pirate Luffy vs. Kami Eneru”

“Floating”

“Deathpiea”

“Desire”

“On the Front Line of Rescuing Love”

“Sorry”

“Capriccio”

To save her own skin, Nami convinces Eneru to take her with him. They leave for the golden ship, leaving the defeated combatants to their fate. After Luffy escapes from the giant snake, and learns what Eneru has done to his crew, he goes to meet Skypiea’s god in battle. Although initially confident that he can beat Luffy, Eneru soon finds that he is no match for the Straw Hat captain: Luffy’s rubber body makes him immune to all of Eneru’s lighting attacks. Rather than fight, Eneru traps Luffy in a prison of gold and throws him overboard, expecting the gold’s weight to keep him away. Eneru sets sail and prepares to destroy the island in the sky. He is briefly impeded in his efforts by the remaining Straw Hats, Usopp and Sanji, giving the inhabitants of Angel Island, who have learned of Eneru’s plans, time to evacuate.

My Thoughts:

Muuuuuch better. All of the cannon fodder have been expended so now we get Kami Eneru fighting against whoever opposes him. Which comes down to the Straw Hat Pirates. Eneru and Luffy have a tussle and beat the snot out of each other with the balance of the fight being like a teeter totter, first one then the other is winning. Eneru wipes the deck with the rest of the Straw Hats.

Eneru’s plan to destroy the sky island like he did his own sky island doesn’t make any rational sense. I get that he wants to leave and go be powerful down on the world beneath, but why destroy everything? Because he’s a psycho bitch, that’s why. He’s the very definition of power run amuck. Whoever his mother was did a terrible job. And his father? Should have spanked him. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is that Eneru is very powerful and has had no check upon his power to this point.

The volume ends with the plan to destroy the island entering its final phase. While I know that Luffy and Crew are going to defeat Eneru, part of me hopes that he gets away mostly unscathed just so he can run into some other more powerful Pirate Lord and REALLY get his ass handed to him. Eneru needs to die and he needs to die painfully and gruesomely.

I actually want to read the next volume now. Which was not the case after the last couple and that is a really nice change.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Oratorio (One Piece #29) ★★★☆☆

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Title: Oratorio
Series: One Piece #29
Arc: Skypiea #6
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 231
Words: 10K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Pirate Robin vs. Heavenly Forces Commander Yama”

“Pirate Chopper vs. Vassal Ohm”

“March”

“Suite”

“Concerto”

“Serenade”

“Pirate Zoro vs. Vassal Ohm”

“Play”

“Quintet”

“Oratorio”

“Divina Commedia”

Having had a specific goal for becoming god, and with that goal now in sight, Eneru starts picking off the remaining combatants to complete his plans and ensure his prediction will be accurate. Those who remain (plus Luffy’s snake-captor) are drawn into one big, final brawl. Meanwhile, Nico Robin locates the city of gold, only to find that all the gold is gone. The pieces begin to fall into place, and it is discovered that Eneru plans to destroy everyone who resides in the sky, while escaping to the seas below on his ship made of gold. With the five surviving “contestants” unaware of this, they engage Eneru (the sixth) in battle to see who will be excluded from his prediction. With his mastery over thunder, Eneru reduces the playing field to the promised five, but then decides that none of them is worthy of escaping with him to the blue seas.

My Thoughts:

I made a mistake in my last review. I had stated that volume 28 was the last volume I had originally read in back in ’10, but the truth of the matter is that it was actually volume 29, THIS volume. Just wanted to set the record straight so no one can accuse me of deceiving my adoring public.

This was a bit better in terms of plot because we learn a little bit about the island and “secret history” of the world that Nico Robin is trying to track down. Of course, that is offset by Kami Eneru monologuing in the most confusing way about some sort of god delusion. He’s eaten a gumgum fruit, gotten some really powerful powers and thus thinks he can do whatever he wants. What his ultimate goal is was lost in the babble, if it was even there. He does want to return to the blue sea people, which makes me wonder what he’d do if he ran across one of the more powerful of the 7 Pirate Lords.

Unfortunately, there is still a LOT of pointless and interminable fighting and the artwork for them just makes me skim over it all. After this, everything is completely new to me. Hopefully the manga-ka goes back to his cleaner, simpler artwork. This Skypiea arc has featured so many backgrounds that blend into the characters that blend into all the “action” lines that it’s really hard to see what is actually happening.

Thankfully, he’s still doing little one off pictures between chapters and here’s the one I liked the best for this volume:

Seeing the lion with his pinky up in approved tea drinking fashion just made me grin.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Wyper the Berserker (One Piece #28) ★★☆☆☆

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Title: Wyper the Berserker
Series: One Piece #28
Arc: Skypiea #5
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 185
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Wyper the Berserker”

“Dial Battle”

“The Many Souths”

“Pirate Zoro vs. Warrior Braham”

“Pirate Luffy vs. Berserker Wyper”

“Warrior Genbo vs. Heavenly Warriors Commander Yama”

“Pirate Chopper vs. Vassal Gedatsu”

“Pirate Nami and the Weird Knight vs. Heavenly Warriors Subcommanders Hotori and Kotori”

“Warrior Kamakiri vs. Kami Eneru”

With the war’s start, Eneru decides to make a bet: of the eighty-one combatants currently on Skypiea (the Straw Hats, the Shandians, and his own forces), only five will remain in three hours’ time. The Shandians engage Eneru’s forces, the remaining priests fight the Shandians, and the Straw Hats fight whoever is left. After two hours, the number of active combatants dwindles to twenty-five. Luffy mistakes a giant snake’s mouth for a cave.

My Thoughts:

This is just about 180 pages of people fighting each other while screaming how impossible everything the other person is doing. Over and Over and Over again. I am at the point in my life where displays like this don’t do a thing for me. And splitting everyone up so I get to see 3-5 different fights REALLY doesn’t do it for me.

This was the last volume I read back when I was reading One Piece as it was released in english. I can totally understand why I stopped here. Big, flashy and confusing fights simply do not hold my attention. Not anymore. It’s not like I’m going to stop this time but I must admit, Oda-sensei better get off his keister and start telling a story again.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Overture (One Piece #27) ★★★★☆

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Title: Overture
Series: One Piece #27
Arc: Skypiea #4
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 187
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Ball Challenge”

“Former Kami vs. Vassal”

“The Village Hidden in the Cloud”

“Ball Dragon”

“Overture”

“Junction”

“Varse”

“Aubade”

“The Anaconda and the Search Team”

Upon entering Skypiea they incite the wrath of Eneru’s four priests. As Luffy and company deal with one of the four, the “captured” crew is forced to fight a second of Eneru’s priests. They are saved by his predecessor, Ganfor, who is only able to make the priest leave after being defeated. Elsewhere, Luffy is able to defeat the first priest, and soon afterward reunites with his crew. After Ganfor is healed, he tells them of a city of gold hidden somewhere in Skypiea. To make themselves rich, the Straw Hats go looking for the gold, only to find themselves in the middle of a war between Eneru and the Shandians, the natives of Skypiea.

My Thoughts:

This was an action packed volume. At the same time I am feeling rather blah about the overall story that is introduced for the first time here. I was ok with Luffy and the Straw Hats going to Magical Island Land and trying to find treasure, but now we’re dealing with a 400 year old war between 3 factions and that gets split into a 3way war 6years before the Crew arrives. I fully understand why I stopped reading this series as it came out back in 2010. For whatever reason, I cannot immerse myself into the overall story arc as of yet.

As I was reading this, even I realized I was being really picky for no good reason that I could discern. I think my problem is that this arc is repeating the whole shonen’esque cliché that we’ve already seen in the previous “Princess Vivi (who I hate and wish was dead) Arc”. Luffy and Crew are going to fight the underlings, win or lose in very creative ways and then Luffy and Kami Eneru are going to fight and somehow the old Kami is going to be involved and the Straw Hat pirates will go back down to the Grand Line. I hope I am wrong because I want an interesting story, not just a shonen power up duel-fest.

I’ve read enough manga, finished and unfinished, to see a pattern that all to many manga-ka fall into. It is easier to draw fights and power up sequences than it is to tell a good story. That’s what happened with Hunter X Hunter. It started with a really fun story and eventually devolved into a multi-volume fight and then went on indefinite hiatus. While I know that One Piece isn’t going to go on hiatus, I want the storytelling to stay in the forefront. Luffy is a great and hilarious character and he has gathered an extraordinary crew and I would like to see the manga-ka really use his imagination with them instead of falling back on tropes.

With all that complaining, as is my wont, I realize you might be wondering WHY this still got 4 stars? That is because even the battle between 2 of the Kami’s underlings and the Straw Hat Pirates was very inventive. I have to give Oda-sensei credit, when it comes to making up fight scenarios, that man has got a really weird imagination that works perfectly for me.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Adventure on Kami’s Island (One Piece #26) ★★★★☆

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Title: Adventure on Kami’s Island
Series: One Piece #26
Arc: Skypiea #3
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 208
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“High in the Sky”

“Heaven’s Gate”

“Angel Beach”

“Dial Power”

“Heaven’s Judgment”

“Class-2 Criminals”

“Trial”

“SOS”

“Adventure on Kami’s Island”

“Satori, Vassal of the Forest of no Return”

The Straw Hats successfully reach the cloud harboring Skypiea, and soon after their arrival meet some of its inhabitants: a hostile group of apparently primitive natives, and a friendlier people of the more civilized town of Angel Island. While the rest of Straw Hats mingle with them, learning of the town’s history, and enjoying its unique technology, the ship’s navigator Nami explores the endless sea of clouds. She finds Skypiea, but learns that the Straw Hats have been labeled as trespassers and will be dealt with accordingly. Although able to fend off an initial arrest attempt, their ship, and some of the crew, is taken away by Eneru, the current god of all that lies atop the cloud. Free, but wishing to reunite with their friends, Luffy, Sanji, and Usopp enter Skypiea, Eneru’s domain.

My Thoughts:

Now that the crew are in Skypiea, of course things aren’t easy. First they’re tricked into trespassing, then they’re supposed to be punished and so of course a whole lot of fighting is going to happen. They run into some guy who takes out Luffy, Zoro and Sanji with one punch, and he appears to be some sort of psycho as well, so of course we know he’s going to be prominently featured.

We also get some old guy dressed up in armor and flying around on a polka-dotted pegasus and it’s hinted that he’s the former ruler of Skypiea, so my guess is this story arc will be about the Straw Hats defeating the false ruler and putting the nice ruler back on the throne. Hmmmm, doesn’t that sound familiar?

In a previous review Misaki mentioned that Luffy seemed to like to choose the impossible option whenever it was available and we get a prime example of that in this volume. He’s told there’s a forbidden forest and anyone who goes there will be punished so of course he wants to go there. And what’s funnier, ALL of his friends know what he’s thinking. Check it out:

Remember, this reads right to left.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The 100 Million Berry Man (One Piece #25) ★★★✬☆

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Title: The 100 Million Berry Man
Series: One Piece #25
Arc: Skypiea #2
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 208
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Noland the Liar”

“Mont Blanc Cricket, the Last Boss of the Monkey Mountain Allied Force”

“Let’s Eat”

“Pursue the South Bird!”

“Bellamy the Hyena”

“The 100 Million Berry Man”

“The World’s Greatest Power”

“Please Remember”

“The Knock Up Stream”

“The Ship Sails to the Sky”

The Straw Hats meet with Mont Blanc Cricket, a descendant of the first person to discover Skypiea. Though Skypiea is widely believed to be a myth, and Cricket’s ancestor was a liar, he searches for evidence that can confirm Skypiea’s existence. Over the years he has come to believe that Skypiea, once a part of Jaya, was launched into a cloud by a powerful upward current of water. If the Straw Hats want to reach Skypiea they will need to ride that same current, but must first locate a special bird that will help them find their way. While Luffy and company go searching for the bird, Bellamy attacks and robs Cricket in an attempt to crush his dreams of finding Skypiea. Enraged to learn this, after returning with the bird, Luffy seeks out and defeats Bellamy to recover Cricket’s belongings. Cricket thanks him, and the Straw Hats leave to ride the current to Skypiea.

My Thoughts:

This was pretty good. Luffy suddenly is overpoweringly strong and pretty much beats the stuffing out of Bellamy with one punch. I have to admit, it felt like the manga-ka wanted to move on and the quickest way was to have Bellamy simply defeated. Thankfully, so much else was going that it didn’t drag the volume down.

The whole sky stream to Skypiea was quite engaging. It was funny seeing the crew trying to find the South Bird and I must admit, the manga-ka really manages to balance the serious with the utterly ridiculous. How he does it so perfectly, without one overpowering the other is beyond me but I never feel like a scene is ever too serious or too ridiculous. (I know, I know, we’re talking about pirates on an imaginary world with super powers but still, you know…)

Overall, this series continues to keep me entertained volume after volume. It is impressive and I can see why this has kept on going and going in Japan. This is one series I would unreservedly recommend with the caveat that this genre might not work for everyone.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

People’s Dreams ★★★✬☆

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: People’s Dreams
Series: One Piece #24
Arc: Skypiea #1
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 209
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Stowaway”

“Why the Log Pose Is Dome-Shaped”

“Masira the Salvage King”

“A Walk on the Seafloor”

“Monsters”

“The Giant Novice”

“I Promise Never to Fight in This Town”

“Do Not Dream”

“People’s Dreams”

“Shoujou, the Salvage King of the Seafloor”

Indebted to Luffy for rescuing her, Nico Robin joins the Straw Hat Pirates. An old ship falls from the sky. Rummaging through some of its remains, while dealing with a rival salvaging crew led by the monkey-like Masira, and nearby monstrous sea creatures, the Straw Hats discover the fallen ship has come from Skypiea, an island high in the sky. Unsure of how to reach it, the Straw Hats visit a nearby port on the island of Jaya. There they meet Bellamy, a pirate who looks down on Luffy, and mocks his dreams of becoming Pirate King. Luffy, who had promised Nami not to fight in the town, allows himself to be beaten up and bullied by Bellamy. The Straw Hats then proceed to another part of Jaya to meet a man who might have a lead on how to reach Skypiea. However, they must first get past Masira’s brother Shoujou and his crew.

My Thoughts:

A new adventure, hurray! Now all the crew has to do is actually find this mythological floating island. Should be easy peasy…

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Vivi’s Adventure ★★★✬☆

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Title: Vivi’s Adventure
Series: One Piece #23
Arc: Baroque Works #12
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 229
Words: 10K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Ignition”

“Nightmare”

“Guardian Spirit”

“I Will Defeat You”

“Zero”

“King”

“Some Justice”

“V.I.P.”

“Strategy to Escape the Sand Kingdom”

“Last Waltz”

“Vivi’s Adventure”

The cannon is hidden in the clock tower overlooking the capital city, and the Straw Hat Pirates frantically try to reach it before it is fired. In the final moments the cannon is stopped, Luffy finally defeats Crocodile, and uses the last of his energy to save King Cobra and Nico Robin. Most importantly, it begins to rain, ending the civil war and the drought that caused it. Crocodile and his agents are arrested, and the Straw Hats collapse. Alabasta tends to their wounds and celebrates them as heroes. But as pirates, they are criminals, and are forced to flee the country in secret to avoid arrest. Bon Clay distracts the Marines to allow the Straw Hats to say farewell to Vivi, and they set sail for their next adventure.

My Thoughts:

Alabasta is saved and more importantly, Vivi stays behind as the princess so the crew (and by that I mean me) don’t have to deal with her any more. Thank goodness.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Hope!! ★★★★☆

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: Hope!!
Series: One Piece #22
Arc: Baroque Works #11
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 188
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“1”

“The Leaders”

“4:15 p.m.”

“Hope!!”

“Water Luffy”

“Nico Robin”

“The Royal Mausoleum”

“Crocodile-ish”

“Red”

“The Sand-Sand Band’s Secret Fort”

Despite his agents’ defeats, Crocodile is still confident that his plans to take over the kingdom are nearing fruition. With Alabasta embroiled in a civil war of his own design, Crocodile needs only to destroy both warring parties in one fell swoop to take control of the country. Knowing that a cannon is the most practical way of fulfilling this purpose, Nefertari Vivi and the Straw Hat Pirates try to find its hiding place before it is too late. Meanwhile, Crocodile searches for Pluton, forcing King Cobra to lead him and Nico Robin to an ancient stone called a Ponegliff underneath the castle. But when Nico Robin says the Ponegliff has no information on the Pluton, Crocodile tries to kill her and escape before his cannon is fired. Monkey D. Luffy, having recovered and learned from their previous encounter, engages Crocodile in battle.

My Thoughts:

Now, with LESS Vivi. Oh thank goodness. She and Sir Crocodile have a little dialogue back and forth and I actually found myself agreeing with him simply because I disliked Vivi so much. Ughh, I don’t like being in that position.

Everybody is pretty much kung-fu fighting everybody else and the Navy gets involved helping the Straw Hats pirates and the Loyalists and the Rebels try to reconcile all the while the forces of Baroque Works are causing chaos and destruction AND there is supposed to be a bomb that goes off at 4:30pm which will leave a crater 3miles wide.

Luffy ends up fighting Sir Crocodile AGAIN while everybody else looks for the bomb or the mechanism to set it off. We get a smidgeon of back story on Nico Robin, the infamous Ms All Sunday who while being Sir Crocodiles #1 helper has also helped the Straw Hats in previous volumes. The following picture pretty much sums up the kerfluffle between Crocodile and Luffy.

The volume ends with Luffy and Crocodile having their final showdown and about 30seconds before the big bomb goes off. Oh no, the suspense is KILLING me. Hohohoho….

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Utopia ★★★✬☆

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: Utopia
Series: One Piece #21
Arc: Baroque Works #10
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_(187_388)

“Stalemate”

“Oh Come My Way Karate”

“2”

“Climate Baton”

“She Who Controls the Weather”

“Tornado Warning”

“Utopia”

“Cutting Steel”

“Mr. Bushido”

Sanji and Mr. 2 Bon Clay exchange blows, until Bon Clay discovers the sea cook’s weakness and he transforms to resemble Nami to distract him. Bon Clay dominates the fight, but Sanji is able to defeat him after exploiting Bon Clay’s vulnerability when he transforms. Nami fights Miss Doublefinger, partner of Mr. 1, and a Devil Fruit user who can create spikes anywhere on her body, during which she struggles with how to use her new Climate Baton weapon. Unfortunately, most of that weapon’s abilities are nothing more than magic tricks. One street further, Zoro battles Mr. 1, who possesses the ability to create blades anywhere on his body. Meanwhile, Vivi reaches Chaka, the acting captain of the royal guard, but before they can stop the fighting, Crocodile and “Ms. All-Sunday” Nico Robin arrive.

My Thoughts:

The fight between Sanji and Mr 2 had me laughing. Mr 2 can make himself look like anybody else and so he chooses Nami’s face to distract Sanji. While it was funny, the actual fight itself dragged on with Sanji and Mr 2 simply kicking at each other. I’m not a huge fan of drawn out fights with limbs and body parts whizzing all over the place with devil-fruit enhanced whizziness.

However! We DO find out why Sir Crocodile has been after the kingdom all along. Drum Roll Please! PLUTON. No idea what that is beyond it is supposed to be a super weapon. And King Cobra doesn’t know where it is. So Sir Crocodiles goal is to get this super weapon and forge a government that not even the world government can stop and thus become tyrant of the world. Pretty ballsy!

There’s more long drawn out fights that I skimmed through and finally got to the end of the volume. Can’t say I cared particularly one way or the other.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.