By Leroy Douresseaux
March 22, 2014 - 17:52
|One Piece Volume 70 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T” for Teen
Since he was a child, Monkey D. Luffy has dreamed of becoming “King of the Pirates.” The enchanted “Devil Fruit” gave Luffy the ability to stretch like rubber, while taking away his ability to swim. Undeterred, Luffy set out to sea and, in time, became known as “Straw Hat” (because of his straw hat). Gradually enlisting a motley crew, they became known as the “Straw Hat pirates.” The Straw Hats sail the oceans aboard their ship, the Sunny, searching for the legendary treasure known as “One Piece.”
The Straw Hat crew reunites after two years of training and sets sail for the New World via Fish-Man Island (the site of a great adventure). The next stop is Punk Hazard, a mysterious island that is half-covered in fire and half in ice. The island is a former government laboratory where a terrible experiment took place. Now, it is ruled by the mad and vile scientist, Caesar Clown.
As One Piece, Vol. 70 (entitled Enter Doflamingo; Chapters 691 to 700) opens, Caesar’s plans seem to be falling apart. Baby 5 and Buffalo, both possessing Devil Fruit powers, come to rescue Caesar at the behest of the clown’s master, Don Quixote Doflamingo a/k/a Joker. Straw Hat pirate, Franky, however is determined to stop them.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Straw Hats, Naval G-5, Trafalgar Law (one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea), and the kids (upon whom Caesar experimented) make a mad dash to leave Caesar’s lab. The fearsome Land of the Dead gas is close behind, moving to overwhelm them. Plus, Law makes Joker a deal he cannot refuse.
THE LOWDOWN: The One Piece manga is in the midst of one of the series’ best runs, thus far. As one arc ends, the narrative prepares to move into another storyline or arc. One Piece Volume 70 is Part 10 of New World. One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda offers a satisfying end to the craziness that is the adventure on Punk Hazard, as he seamlessly moves into the next chapters.
At this point, Oda is at his inventive best. The wild action is wilder than ever (of course), and, as usual, the pages are crowded with elements and information. However, the slapstick comedy, quiet satire, and surprising poignancy reveal that One Piece is more than just comics for teen boys. It’s a bag full of manga tricks for everyone.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for the best of all-ages shonen adventure-fantasy manga will find it in the Shonen Jump title, One Piece.
Rating: A+ /10