As a child, Monkey D. Luffy ate the enchanted “Devil Fruit” and gained the ability to stretch like rubber, but lost the ability to swim. Undeterred, Luffy set out to sea and, in time, became known as “Straw Hat” (because of his straw hat). Gradually, he enlisted a motley crew, and Luffy and company became known as the “Straw Hat pirates.” The Straw Hats sail the high seas aboard their ship, the Thousand Sunny, searching for the legendary treasure known as “One Piece.” And Luffy still wants to be the “King of the Pirates”
As One Piece, Vol. 85 (entitled Liar; Chapters 849 to 858) opens, the true intent of Charlotte Linlin, a.k.a. “Big Mom,” the captain of the “Big Mom Pirates” has been revealed. Straw Hat Sanji's planned wedding (with a tea party) to Big Mom's 35th daughter, Charlotte Pudding, is merely a sham. Big Mom is planning to kill Sanji and his family, the Vinsmoke family, and then, to take over their kingdom of “Germa” and its wealth and property.
Luckily, Sanji is reunited and reconciled with Luffy, but with his back against the wall, how will Sanji react? After all, even with himself, Luffy, Nami, Tony Tony Chopper, Brook, Treetop Pedro (the Jaguar Mink), Carrot (Bunny Mink), and a surprise ally, there are only eight of them against Big Mom, her pirates, and the entirety of Cake Island. Luckily, the Straw Hats are in for a reunion or two.
THE LOWDOWN: The One Piece manga continues the “New World” story super-arc. The series usually rolls on with new characters, places, plots, and concepts because creator Eiichiro Oda is probably the most imaginative and inventive comics creator working today in the entire world. Sometimes, however, rather than invent, he simply reprises some beloved characters and conflicts.
One Piece Graphic Novel Volume 85 is the 25th volume of “New World.” One Piece can be so frenetic at times as to be incomprehensible, but Vol. 85, like the Vol. 84, is pretty straight forward. Translator Stephen Paul captures the intensity of the countdown to the big moment, One Piece's version of a “red wedding.” Paul also captures the craziness and eccentricity of characters returned. This is one of the times when familiarity recalls the delight of story arcs past.
Because Oda can stretch a single battle over several volumes worth of chapters, readers know things are about to get really crazy soon. So as always, keep reading, fellow Straw Hats!
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Readers looking for the ultimate pirate manga/comic book will find it in the Shonen Jump title, One Piece.