One Piece 859-861 – Manga Review
Reviewed by: Tom
Synopsis: Monkey D. Luffy had always wanted to be a pirate. But against his better judgement he ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, gaining the power to stretch like rubber– but in return lost his ability to ever swim again! Eh, no matter, Luffy decided to become a Pirate anyway, his dream to one day in fact become King of the Pirates! Over the course of his journey he assembles a crew of bizarre characters, from Zoro the three-sword wielding swashbuckler, to Nami the treasure whore, and more.
(Warning: Spoilers to Follow)
Now, having saved the kingdom of Dressrosa, and gained a few temporary crew mates: Kinne’mon and his son Momo, two Samurai seeking a lost ally of theirs, Luffy and his crew move on to the island of Zou to continue their battle against one of the four emperor pirates: Kaido. Reaching the island, actually a giant elephant, Luffy and his crew helped to save the Minks from trouble with Kaido’s pirates and in turn learned a startling number of revelations about their ongoing journey. But, despite the need to take on Kaido, who’s grown unhappy with Luffy’s interference, he’s instead decided to go save his crewmate Sanji; who’s been forced into a marriage contract by the pirate empress Big Mom, who Luffy has already pissed off.
Bege lays out his plan for assassinating Big Mom. Apparently, it can be accomplished in just five seconds with the exact circumstances. Ceasar was brought on to make use of a certain weapon that deploys poison gas shells that should finish off Big Mom, assuming they could get past her hardy, nigh-unbreakable skin. But luckily, with the wedding on the horizon, there’s one moment where Big Mom could be severely weakened. Apparently there’s a framed picture of Mother Carmel, some member of Big Mom’s greater family that only she knows. If that picture were to be damaged, Big Mom would collapse from the sheer shock and be severely weakened.
There’s a bunch of details, and hiccups, and things that need to be dealt with, but it sounds like a potential plan and one Luffy is willing to join up for. With that agreed upon the wedding day arrives. The Vinsmoke family is non the wiser, and Big Mom hasn’t clued into Brook’s rescue, as she’s too distracted by the promise of the wedding cake and party. Meanwhile Pudding bemoans that she’ll have to brainwash everyone to forget about this massacre if she wants to keep her good girl image. It really is too much of a huge pain in the butt for her.
It’s a pretty thick and wordy chapter, but I think remains interesting based on the details and hints alone. While the Mother Carmel thing seems to come out of left field, because there’s still so much mystery behind it, it feels more like a tease of greater truths to be revealed than a beacon of hope for Luffy and Gang’s success.
Moving back to Pekoms situation, we learn through a flashback how Jimbei is prepared to give his life to help Luffy accomplish his goals, and ultimately why he decided not to leave Big Mom’s group the ‘honorable’ way, as her little roulette wheel was asking for more lives than his. It’s great to see Jimbei’s reasoning here and a better understanding of why he backed out of Big Mom’s deal. I don’t put too much stock in the idea that Jimbei might actually lose his life though. Since the big death I’ve been pretty confident that there aren’t going to be anymore major deaths in One Piece.
The Vinsmoke family heads for the wedding, with Reiju the only one any the wiser of the situation. She wonders why Sanji is still going through with all this when he knows the truth.
Numerous guests arrive for the wedding and we meet a massive host of new characters. Bege and his group is charged with guarding the party doors and one of the incoming guests is shot dead by Big Mom’s 2nd Son Charlotte Katakuri, who has extreme powers of observation, which will make it very hard to fool him when they’re ready to start the plan. This is demonstrated by him killing a party guest, who’s true intention was to try and kill Big Mom for the death of his brother.
Katakuri has the look and feel of a major bad for this upcoming battle, but these pages are so cluttered and confusing. Having gone back and read some of One Piece’s early chapters, it’s very clear Oda is struggling to keep this exploding cast in check and still make the story visually understandable. Oda has real talent and I think things could be a lot worse if he didn’t, but I continue to feel like, visually, One Piece was at its best early on. It had less characters, but that made it easier for panels and pages to flow together and visually convey information quickly, without any confusion. As it is now I find myself often having to linger and make sure I understand who is saying what and who is where, because there’s oh so many characters to keep track of.
Inside Big Mom greets the attendees and prepares to get the ball rolling.
With everyone inside Bege gets ready to enact the plan, although the living doors to the party start to suspect something. Which is weird that no one at all seems concerned that the door is hearing all this, and based on Bege’s reaction later it almost feels like they don’t really notice it. Weird considering there’s such fear of the plan getting leaked.
Inside the party the picture of Mother Carmel arrives and one guest attempts to ask who she is, although Big Mom is only angered by the inquiry. To appease her everyone offers up treasure chests and Big Mom is reminded of her Tamate Box acquisition, which she has brought out and intends to open during the ceremony.
Back outside Bege is almost ready to go, but the doors have become quite suspicious. One of his crew slices the door into two, ‘killing it.’ Inside Bege’s body, since he can store people in there, he checks if the Straw Hat crew is ready to go. They’re all asleep but Jimbei assures him he’ll wake them when it’s go time.
In a waiting room Sanji and Pudding prepare to head down the aisle and Sanji has trouble remembering how evil Pudding really since since she’s just so darn cute! Although on the inside Pudding is screaming with frustration at Sanji’s persona. With that the ceremony begins. As Sanji and Pudding are carted out Bege can’t believe how incredible an actor Sanji is! He generally looks happy!
Overall these three chapters generally offer a solid build up to the big event. In some ways I feel like we’re rushing ahead now, but I welcome the quick pace as this arc has felt a bit slow from time to time. With the wedding just around the corner I am incredibly excited to see just how badly this whole plan goes, as I really doubt Luffy and Bege will accomplish this victory without a few hitches.
That’s it for today’s review! Let me know what you thought of these chapters in the comments below!
One Piece is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 828-838 are contained in Volume 83, releasing on August 1st, 2017. Chapters discussed today, 859-861, will be collected and released sometime next year.