One Piece 906-908 – 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)
Luffy recently challenged Big Mom, one of the world’s most deadly Pirate Warlords, who sought to force Sanji into a politically driven marriage, with the true intent of killing his estranged and powerful family, the Vinsmoke. Successfully saving Sanji, and evading capture by Big Mom, Luffy rushes with half of his crew to rejoin with the other half, lead by Zoro. However, while Luffy and Co. recover from their trying encounter with Big Mom, the world’s greatest kingdoms convene for the Reverie, a monumental occasion to discuss the major issues plaguing the world. However, things don’t seem destined to go as smoothly as usual, what with the Revolutionary Army now ready to strike back against the world’s oppressive governing body.
Chapters 906-908 are fully focused on the Reverie, spending quite a bit of time showcasing a slew of characters from the manga’s past interacting with each other, either bonding over their shared connection through Luffy, or helping to flesh out some of the darker elements at play within the Celestial Dragon’s domain. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Oda, or perhaps his editors, are aware of how unwieldy One Piece now is, taking several panels through Chapter 906 to help refresh readers on older characters to the series, offering direct, short, and to the point summaries of each arc referenced.
Largely however these chapters are dedicated to tying multiple storylines together, offering a number of surprise reveals (So that’s what happened to the real Kuma!) and some very “wtf?” moments, such as a mysterious individual holding Luffy’s wanted poster and ‘visiting’ a massive size Straw Hat. Later that same individual is involved in some kind of meeting, seemingly in charge of the Celestial Dragons as their leader (despite earlier talk of no, singular, individual being allowed to lead the World Government) and being asked if it’s time to get rid of Luffy. There’s a lot to unpack.
What I enjoy particularly about these chapters is the way Oda presents the Celestial Dragon’s domain as pristine and advanced, but only on the surface. While the Sacred Marijoa offers moving sidewalks, the reality is that they’re powered by underground slaves. This little tidbit in Chapter 906 makes it easier to swallow the sudden transition from a friendly meeting between world leaders and a disgusting incident where Princess Shirahoshi is nearly forced into servitude by one of the Celestial Dragon’s sons. Everyone looks on, with few willing to stand up to the corrupt might of the world’s most wealthy and influential men.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg however, as we see what’s truly befallen Kuma, the once powerful and deadly pirate whose visage has been used for the unstoppable pacifier robots that gave Luffy and Co. a run for their money. He’s now a slave to the Celestial Dragons, though as to why remains a mystery. That’s the thing about these chapters, lots of reveals, lots of mysteries, but few answers. In fact Chapter 908 ends with an ominous image of our shadowy villain possibly preparing to call for the death of Luffy.
Overall these chapters I found much easier to follow than some of the Reverie’s earlier teases and brief asides during the Whole Cake Island arc. Now in full swing it feels like Oda is taking the time to make the material easier to approach, and his paneling and flow to the story feels a tad stronger than in previous chapters. Ultimately I’m very eager to see where the story goes from here, as it now truly feels like we’re entering the final fourth of the manga’s story with things having grown in such scale that Luffy and Co. are now officially part of the global story, rather than ‘bit players’ rummaging their way through fight after fight.
That’s it for today’s review! Let me know what you thought of these chapters in the comments below!