In One Piece the Sabaody Archipelago continues! The Straw Hat crew are currently amidst a heated battle against the Celestial Dragons in order to save Keimi (their mermaid friend) from being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Our main protagonist Luffy ends up turning the auction house into a pirate-style brawl and beats the snot out of the Celestial Dragon (Saint Charloss) after he brutally attacks Hatchan. While witnessing Luffy’s heroics, Eustass Kidd & Trafalgar Law (Pirate captains from the next generation of pirates) take note of Luffy’s comradery and to me – I think they’re quite impressed.
For those who don’t know hurting or even sneezing at a member of the Celestial Dragons is disastrous – these guys are from the bloodline of the creator of the world government. If you insult them you go to jail for 20 years and if you oppose them you get targeted by one of the Three Marine Admirals (three of the most powerful characters of the entire series).
In desperation, Celestial Dragon (Saint Shalulia) holds Keimi at gunpoint and when we think hope is lost, Rayleigh (the man the crew are looking for) appears and saves the day using Haki. It’s revealed that Rayleigh isn’t just any old ship hand, but in fact Dark King Silvers Rayleigh – the famous Gol D. Roger’s right hand man.
While the crew have now saved Keimi, it has now landed the Straw hats into a heap of trouble – Admiral Kizaru and the entire fleet of the Marines have now been summoned to stop any pirate on Sabaody Archipelago at all costs (especially the Straw Hat Pirates).
It’s now time to make haste and for all crew’s to escape Sabaody Archipelago unscathed by the marines. From here this arc becomes action packed with battle sequences, you get to witness Eustass Kidd, Trafalgar Law and Luffy have fun in a tag team battle. I’ve heard a lot about Kidd & Law, but wasn’t too sure in regards to their powers. It seems that Kidd has magnetism powers, where he can magnetise any weapon and repel it, or magnetise an accumulated lot of weapons into a gigantic one – which is quite cool. Law’s gets a tad stranger and I’m sure I’ll get more insight as the series continues, but he casts a magic circle and slices through it, he can re-arrange people’s body parts – it’s a bit wacky, but seems effective.
Luffy, Kidd and Law split ways and agree to meet again in the new era, which I’m guessing will lead to a much larger storyline in the future. Luffy is rescued by the loveable Duval and the flying fish-men and return to the safe hold of Shakky’s Rip off Bar.
During the next episode we get insight into Silvers Rayleigh as he tells the epic story of Gol D. Roger from his perspective. I won’t go into this much as I’ll let you enjoy the ride for yourself, but after the tale is told Luffy is gobsmacked, inspired and more excited than ever to continue his journey on the Grandline. Rayleigh is impressed by Luffy’s dreams and agrees to coat the Thousand Sunny for free, however the catch is, it’s going to take three days and the Straw Hat crew have to lay low to survive.
Admiral Kizaru has now reached the island with Nephew Sentomaru and the true battle begins! From here on we now see battles between different crews from the next generation of pirates battling it out in order to save their necks. These captains are referred to as the 11 Supernovas (or the Worst Generation) and consists of characters such as Trafalgar Law, Monkey D. Luffy, Rorona Zoro, Eustass Kidd, Scratchmen Apoo, Basil Hawkins, X-Drake, Jewellery Bonnie, Capone Bege, Urouge & Killer.
The main focus as always however takes hold on the Straw Hat crew that are confronted by a new enemy – Bartholomew Kuma, but as the fight goes on they sense something different, though his power is great, the same techniques aren’t the same as the previous battle with Kuma. We later find out that these are some sort of clones named Pacifistas, which are human weapons used by the world government – think of them as giant versions of Franky.
After an intense battle the crew lay down a massive Straw Hat combo in order to take the Pacifista down. By this stage the crew is exhausted but unfortunately the next threat enters the ring, Admiral Kizaru and Sentomaru.
While Rayleigh steps in and helps the Straw Hats keep Admiral Kizaru busy, the real Bartholomew Kuma appears and Luffy is forced to watch in horror as Kuma makes his beloved friends vanish one by one until the rubber man ends up a lonely castaway on the island of Amazon Lily!
This collection I though was fantastic, it had so much action, new characters and pure emotion! This time I got more of a grasp of the characters involved in the new generation of pirates – with displays of their devil fruit powers they bring to the table and how they could be feared adversaries for Luffy in the future. The later episodes with the Straw Hats vs Kuma battle was incredibly emotional for me – there was just something about Luffy loosing each of his crew members, like every crew member that disappeared was a little bit of his dream getting ripped away. During this ordeal not knowing if they were facing death or getting sent to another destination – totally edge of your seat stuff!
After such an intense part of the series, it made me laugh out loud with Luffy appearing on Amazon Lily (a female only island) lets just put it this way apparently all of Luffy’s body parts stretch – there was a lot of sexual innuendo in these last few episodes – but completely done in good taste!
Yet another fantastic release from Madman, I’ll be hanging for the next volume – which hits shelf’s in January – keep an eye out!
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.