One Piece 892-895 – Manga Review
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.
Not too much happens over these four One Piece chapters we’ll be discussing today. Chapter 892 is focused on guiding our characters towards each of their new scenarios/events. As the Straw Hats and Sanji meet up and Bege lures Big Mom with the cake, Luffy continues his fight with Katakuri. It’s a very wordy section, focused less on flow and more on giving the audience all the information we need to shift things around and send us to the climax of this chase.
Meanwhile Luffy’s in over his head. Master Oven plots to trap and catch Luffy by destroying all the ways out of the Mirror World, save one, forcing him into their clutches. Chapter 893 ups the action as we begin a major shift in attention from the Straw Hats to Luffy’s fight with Katakuri. While the action is superb, and generally easy to follow, the developments are a tad ho-hum and expected. Classically one of Katakuri’s sisters interferes with the fight, causing Luffy to start losing again, and Katakuri to become mad that his honorable fight has been tainted. He stabs himself through his torso, right where Luffy took a similar wound, to again make the fight even.
It’s very predictable, and a tad tired from overuse across Shonen as a whole, marring an otherwise pretty bad ass fight with plenty of strong art and back and forth writing. There’s an interesting element tucked away in here, where Katakuri finds himself rejected by his sister for his appearance, but it’s so quickly dismissed in favor of the fight it feels of little consequence. During all this we get a multi-page flashback into Luffy’s training with Rayleigh, primarily serving to justify Luffy’s burgeoning ability to “see the future” and match Katakuri’s power. Luffy apparently has the ability to sense emotions from other people, giving him his own ‘version’ of future sensing intuition.
Luffy and Katakuri’s fight takes a big turn as Luffy activates Gear Four, and introduces a new form “Snake-Man.” What I like a lot about this development is how Luffy doesn’t immediately overwhelm Katakuri just because he’s come up with a new way of fighting. The whole chapter still has a lot of back and forth to it, with Luffy trading blows as equally as he’s receiving them.
Unfortunately there isn’t much else to discuss, as the rest of the plots are in a kind of holding pattern. While Katakuri receiving help against Luffy, and wounding himself for it, was a tired development, the rest of the fight has been one of my favorite confrontations since the time-skip and I think serves as a strong highlight of this arc in particular.
That’s it for today’s review! Let me know what you thought of these chapters in the comments below!