One Piece Chapter 917 Review: Food Treasure

This chapter seemed to go by quickly. We see more of the corruption, starvation and cruelty inflicted upon the citizens of Bakura Town. Another, Hundred Beast Pirate member is introduced, Speed. Oda must be running out of names because that is a generic one. Anyway, she’s a “horse” SMILE devil fruit user. While bringing the good food in town she stumbles upon the fight between Luffy and Holdem.

Holdem threats to have his lion stomach, Kamijiro “bite Tama in half.” He assumes that they are apart of Shutenmaru’s bandit crew the Atamayama Thieves. He’s a master thief that has been stealing from Orochi’s farm. Kiku warns Luffy that if he angers Holdem, it could invite the wrath of Jack. One of the “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. He has a Billion Beli bounty and ate the Zou Zou no Mi, allowing him to transform into a mammoth. 

It was believe that Jack was killed at sea, but he clearly survived. Of course Kiku’s warning means that Luffy is going to anger Jack. I’m hoping that he does encounter Jack that fight would be epic. Lady Speed arrives with the food, Luffy gets angry at the injustice regarding food distribution. He asks Zoro to “handle” the food situation. 

Meanwhile, Basil Hawkins is intercepted by Law in disguise. Hawkins one of the few people in Wano that knows his identity and Law plans to “finish him off.” Elsewhere, Luffy and Zoro, rescue Tama and steal the food good respectively. After Tama tells Luffy that Holdem used pliers to try to make her “dangos,” he gets pissed and uses his Red Hawk on Holdem. 

Luffy’s epic crushing hits never gets old. Of course Luffy had to punish Holdem for his terrible behavior. A lot of big players are involved in this arc already. Jack, Kiado, Law and Hawkins. I’m excited at the prospect of seeing the other two “Disasters” of the Beast Pirates. If Jack has that high of a beli bounty the others should be just as strong. 

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One Piece Chapter 916 Review: Wano Country Sumo Wrestling

Kiku seems to be surprised that Urashima was enraged that she cut off his topknot. This doesn’t make any since to me, considering what I assume is a cultural fact regarding Sumo wrestlers and the value of their topknot’s. Regardless, he attacks her as she apologizes, however, Luffy counters with Gomu Gomu no Thrust. It’s an open palm thrust that clashes with Urashima’s. They both lose their balance and are about to fall out of the ring. They recover, Urashima demands Luffy move so he can “tear Kiku limb from limb.”

Obviously, Luffy would never let that happen. He challenges Urashima to a Sumo match, claiming that he’s “super good,” at Sumo. The newly minted “Sumo Aspiring Pirate: Luffy no Umi,” Luffy get attacked by Urashima’s Bodhisattva Palm. Luffy dodges eat attack without difficulty. Urashima uses Ear Crusher and Eye gouger. Luffy questions where these attacks are against the rules. Luffy uses his Gomu Gomu no Giant Thrust on Urashima.

This sends Urashima flying, as a massive gust of wind blows over the crowd. Zoro gets outed for being the killer of the magistrate and the crowd assumes that they are “rebels.” They go on to save Tama. Kiku apparently is a bit of a ditz. I don’t like that characterization. She’s a clearly competent Samurai, but I didn’t really by that she was so helpless to make decisions for herself. Anyway, Lord Holdem finally shows himself. Tama is being held with in his lion’s mouth. I don’t feel that Tama’s in any real danger, I’m predicting that she use her abilities to make the lion like her. All this as Law and Hawkins arrive.

One Piece Chapter 915 Review: Bakura Town

We are introduced several other SMILE users. One of them is Holdem. He’s a SMILE user whose devil fruit ability allows him to create a lion’s head and forelegs on his waist. What makes him interesting is that the lion is sentient and thinks on it’s own. This leads to them getting into conflicts with each other, they physically assault each other but they inflict damage to themselves because they share a body. Regardless, he asks Tama how she was able to tame the animals. She’s unwilling to tell him and lies. However, Holdem tells her that she “pulled something from her cheek,” he tells his subordinates to “bring pliers,” so he can pull her cheek bu force.

As they are riding into the town, Luffy catches a sumo wrestler that is sent flying. Urashima is dominating other sumo wrestlers in the ring. He apparently has broken, “10 arms, 15 legs, 52 ribs, 4 skulls and 7 spines.” He’s undefeated, he sees Kiku and assumes that she came to be his wife. This triggers the women in the audience who assume that she is a gold-digger. He sends his boys to go get her, Zoro lets them take her. I doesn’t matter as Kiku takes it upon herself to cut Urashima’s topknot off.

This chapter went by real fast. Not much really occurred other than the introduction of more villains. They will almost certainly be quickly defeated by Luffy and Zoro, so they don’t feel like threats. Also I’m not afraid for Tama’s safety. I’m interested is how strong Kiku is compared to say Zoro. I’m not an expert on Japanese culture, but I know that cutting of a samurai’s topknot is considered a major insult if not worse. Will Kiku be able to defeat Urashima? Finally, I literally though the lion was Pekoms. LOL.

One Piece Chapter 914 Review: Leftover Town

O’Tama’s recovery

O’Tama quickly recovers as Zoro notes. Apparently, Bugleweed is a “wonder” drug. The weed doesn’t eliminate all the poison however. O’Tama is sweet and adorable, but I found her humility to be so what annoying. She refuses to accept the food Miss Tsuru offers her. Maybe I’m being too unforgiving. Year of starvation probably make her value food even more that most. Regardless, she does seem to evetually accept the food. It strange that she has issues with starvation, considering her devil fruit ability that allows her to create food like dumplings. She claims that it doesn’t help.

Leftover Town

Zoro ask why the town is called “Leftover.” Basically, when the Shogun Orochi took control of all the food and land they began hording it for themselves. The powerful officials send their rotten food, refuse and other things that they don’t want to be purchased and sold. That is why Leftover Town received it’s name. 20 years ago the Kozuki Clan ruled Wano, the Lord planted a field to feed the people. Oda is clearly setting up to restore the Oden’s to power.

The Gifters

We are quickly being introduced to new villains in this arc. The Gifters are a division of the Beast Pirates, they have been giving “Artificial Devil Fruit,” and each possesses a pair of black horns. They were created by SMILEs, which ” gives them the ability to transform some parts of their body, such as their arms or ears, into different parts of an animal’s body even some animals that live in the ocean.” Batman shoots an arrow at Tsuru for “bad mouthing the shogun,” he claims to have super hearing.

Meanwhile, the Gifter Gazelleman kidnaps O’Tama. Kiku, Luffy and Zoro give chase. It is revealed that Kiku is a samurai herself. I assumed that Zoro would get the legendary sword, but maybe Kiku will keep it. As they enter Bakura Town and prepare for battle, Law is alerted to their presence. He states that they must be stopped otherwise they’ll make a scene. I for one am looking forward to see how Law and his pirate crew fits into this arc.

One Piece Chapter 913 Review: Tsuru repays a favor

Luffy and Zoro face-off against Basil Hawkins. Hawkins says that there’s a 19% chance that “one month from now you all will be alive.” It’s unclear who “all” includes, is it just Luffy and Zoro, or all the Strawhat’s. Regardless, his prediction does not mean much because there’s really no way any of the Strawhat’s will died. Right? It clear that Zoro will receive the legendary sword from Luffy, who clearly has no use for it.

Hawkins has always had a strange power, that feels too powerful but has clear drawbacks. The Wara Wara no Mi devil fruit is a paramecia type, that allows for “the ability to create, manipulate, and transform into straw with damage-redirecting properties at will.” To be more clear you could use straw in a variety of ways, limited only by the imagination of the user. It’s unclear however why the user can use nails as weapons.

Furthermore, Hawkins uses his devil fruit with cartomancy ( fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards) and voodoo magic. Hawkins uses these abilities together, creating “straw men,” that represents other people lives. This allows him to “redirect a single instance of damage,” to another person. His uses his Life Minus ability while fighting Zoro and Luffy. As long as he has multiple “straw man effigies,” he will not receive damage. He states that he had 10 lives at the start of battle, but now he’s left with 9.

One of the reasons I love One Piece is that the devil fruit abilities are so varied. Luffy often displays that varied himself, but Hawkins is another good example. Basil having other abilities makes his devil fruit more valuable. It creates a contrast when Luffy doesn’t use the sword in good conjunction with his devil fruit ability. The fight between Luffy, Zoro and Hawkins ends abruptly as Komachiyo takes them away.

Hawkins uses his Card of Retribution, sending a straw man armed with a sword after them. Zoro faces off against it and while he’s hit with nails he quickly defeats it with Nigiri Toro Samon. He lets Luffy and Zoro escape. The woman Zoro rescued turns out to be tea-house mistress, O-Tsuru. She offers to save O-Tama and heal Zoro. Finally, we see some of the Heart Pirates, Shachi, Bepo and Penguin watching the Luffy and Zoro. This of course signals that Law is also in Wano. I’m really excited for the possibility that Law and the Strawhat’s may join forces against Kiado. This arc continues to get more fun as it gets more intriguing.

One Piece Chapter 912 Review: Amigasa Village

This chapter reminds us of Ace’s and the Whitebeard pirates influence. Ace was one character in One Piece that didn’t have much characterization. One of the small problems of One Piece is the shear volume of characters. This often leaves a lot of characters unknown. Regardless, Oda does seem to be adding to these characters during this arc. Ace apparently was once stranded on the Island where Amigasa Village is located.

As a result of X Drake destroying the village and killing the samurai protecting them, the village became a “lawless wasteland.” When Ace arrived, Amigasa Village was going through a famine, they stole the food from Ace’s ship. Ace got free, but decided to stay with the villagers, growing close to Tama. Luffy takes Tama and goes in search of a doctor, food and water. Luffy is given a kimono and takes a “cursed” O Wazamono-grade sword.

Tama awakens, she continues to accuse Luffy of lying about Ace’s death. As Luffy heads for the weapons factory, he hears someone chasing a woman in the distance. At first he thinks it’s Sanji, then it’s revealed to be Zoro. He’s been hunting animals (that are poisonous) and eating them. This all gives him a stomachache, but it doesn’t stop Luffy from eating. Finally, Basil Hawkins arrives stating that “to survive in Wano Country, they can only either follow the strong or live in hiding.” Luffy and Zoro prepare to fight.

It’s interesting to see how some of the pirates that were billed as Luffy’s equals, Hawkins and X Drake have been bullied into submission by Kaido. They were all apart of the “Worst Generation” the top rookie pirates that had bounties over 100 million beli. I think this speaks to their character or lack thereof as I couldn’t image Luffy working for Kaido. Zoro and Luffy getting together again is exciting, I can’t wait to see how they compare to Hawkins.

One Piece Chapter 910 Review: Now, to Wano

This chapter was largely a throw away, were I’m concerned. It’s not that it doesn’t do anything to progress the story, spoiler alert they reach Wano, it’s that well that’s all that really happens. As I’ve mentioned in the last chapter review, the visual styling of the Wano arc is striking. The koi fish were impressively rendered, I really like the use of thick outlines. Wano seems like a world separate from the rest of the One Piece world.

The chapter opens showing that the Strawhat’s have learned what going on in Reverie. Luffy, Sanji and Chopper get into their usually hi-jinks, fighting with one another as they rip the pieces of the newspaper that they want to read while Nami’s reading it. Oda seems to intend to infuse this arc with Japanese cultural references. Oda’s homage to the famous woodblock print  “Great Wave off Kanagawa” by Hokusai on page 9 was great.

One potential criticism is that Oda seems to be setting the Strawhat’s for yet another separation. The Strawhat’s are already split in half, I don’t think they also need to be separated individually, it’s tedious. Obviously, I don’t know that Oda is going there but he tends to do that. Finally, giant animals with katana’s is epic.

One Piece Chapter 909 Review: Seppuku

One Piece is just always exciting to read. The world is so big, with so many fun characters. This chapter entitled, “Seppuku” shifts focus from Reverie to Wano. We get more background on some of the characters that may have been forgotten. Nekomamushi and his Mink crew arrive to Whitebeard’s home island. We get reminded that Marco the is alive. Marco the former commander of Whitebeard Pirates, has basically been hiding out trying to do right by Whitebeard.

He fleeing from another character that I forgot about, the alleged son of Whitebeard, Edward Weevil. Also known as Whitebeard Jr, Weevil is alleged to be the biological son Whitebeard. His mother Miss Bakkin claims to have been Newgate’s former lover. She completely controls her son, who is strong enough to be a Shichibukai, with a former bounty of 480 million Beli. Together with his mother, has been hunting down former Whitebeard crew mates looking for Weevil’s “inheritance.”

Marco has been hiding out from them, acting as a doctor. We learn that Whitebeard was orphaned on the island that was too poor to join the World Government. Whitebeard send some of his ill gotten gains back to his home island. Regardless, he tells Nekomamushi that he can’t join Luffy but has a message for him. Meanwhile, we pivot to Wano Country, where we get to see the remaining members of the Strawhat crew.

Kin’emon tells Franky, Usopp, Robin and Zoro that they must assimilate into Wano society, to rally support to overthrow Kaido ally, Kurozumi Orochi. He says that it’s important that they keep a low profile. The first thing that struck me about Wano is it’s vibrant and beautiful. While being in black and white of course, I know that it would be a highly colorful. Wano is clearly based on Japan. Regardless, the Strawhat’s are not suppose to get unwanted attention, or they will alert Kiado.

Meanwhile, Zoro posing as a ronin, is under arrest for allegedly murdering 3 people. Due to Zoro having possession of the famed swordsman Ryuma’s, sword Shusui. The clearly corrupt magistrate orders Zoro to commit “Seppuku.” Zoro comments that ” the magistrate himself smells like blood and queries if he is the true culprit,” he then slashes him with the small sword he was given to commit seppuku, seemingly killing the magistrate while cutting the building and part of the ground.

With that epic moment the Wano arc officially begins. Oda has expanded the One piece universe greatly. I wonder how he will balance both Reverie and Wano. This arc seems perfect to witness Zoro’s new skills he hasn’t really fought since the time skip. This chapter creates so many questions. Will we get proof that Weevil is Whitebeard’s son? Will the rest of the Strawhat crew arrive in time? Will we see Kiado in action? Anyway, I’m excited to see what this arc brings.

One Piece Chapter 907 Review: The Empty Throne

Oda continues to up the stakes and add to the lore of this magnificent series. It was already stated that Kiado and Big Mom had some connection, in this chapter they both want the head of Luffy. Kiado threatens to “kill” her if she interferes. Big Mom refers to a “debt,” that he owes her from a long time ago. Garp later confirms that both Big Mom and Kiado were on the same pirate crew at some point. It’s not made clear why but Garp became “the Hero of the Navy,” because of his dealing with the Yonko. I assume he either defeated or killed their former leader. Hina references a “Rocks,” which is referring to a era before Gol Rogers.

We are shown the “Empty Throne” an aide tells Sterry that he cannot sit on it because “its vacancy symbolizes that the world is not ruled by a single figure, sending a message of peace by making all royals equal before it.” Even the Five Elders and the World Nobles are forbidden to sit on the throne. Something tells me that Sterry is stupid enough to violate this long held rule. Considering, stupid royals, Charlos proves that I was right in my last review. He has his giant slave attempt to kidnap Shirahoshi in full view of everyone. Rebecca and Vivi unsurprisingly are horrified and Sai and Leo only to defeated by Rob Lucci and CP-0.

Lucci says that whatever a “god” wants they get. Neptune plans on attacking CP-0 and Charlos, he states that he cannot bring his his people to the surface. Surprisingly, someone attacks Charlos with a club apologizing for Charlos actions. He reveals himself to be a World Noble named Mjosgard from the Donquixote Family. He’s says he owe’s Ryugu Kingdom a great debt. Apparently, Otohime “showed him the error of his ways and made him into a human.” Up until now we were lead to believe that all World Nobles were terrible, elites that abuse their power. Mjosgard seems to be different, even though he still benefits from slave labor. Finally, Shanks appears at Mary Geoise to speak with the Five Elders.

One Piece Chapter 906 Review – The Holy Land Mary Geoise

This chapter begins at the “top of the World,” or the top of the “red Line” to be exact. The “Holy Land Mary Geoise,” is a sight to behold, grand in size and design. However, true to One Piece all isn’t as it seems. We are introduced to moving ground called the “travelator,” it is quickly revealed that beneath its surface it’s powered by slaves. Oda immediately kills our wonderment showing the reader that the man made forest and moving ground that amaze the privilege comes at the cost of the downtrodden.

As the Ryugu Royal Family enters into the Mariegeoise Pangea Palace, Charloss, the spoiled, nose picking World Noble whom Luffy punched into unconscious, takes note of Shirahoshi. It wouldn’t surprise me if he created an international incident by trying to kidnap her. Inside we get to see the luxury of the royals. While bodyguards are permitted, weapons aren’t. Several fathers approach  Shirahoshi with their unattractive sons, she accidentally insults them.

Meanwhile, Vivi and Carue meet Rebecca and Leo. They talk about their love of Luffy, we also are given a recap of who some of these characters are. The recaps are short and probably needed, but I was reminded how long the One Piece series has been releasing chapters (over 20 years). We also are reminded how much the Strawhat’s have done to liberate kingdoms around the world. One thing I did notice was the similarities between how Rebecca, Shirahoshi, Vivi and Nami look. I love Oda’s art, but clearly he has a creative blind spot, because they all look the same.

We are reintroduced to Sai, King Cobra, Dalton and Dr. Kureha. Finally, we see Doflamingo in Impel Down Level 6. He believes that he will be assassinated for what he know about the “secret treasure found in Geoise. A mysterious shadowy figure enters a seemingly cold room that features a large Straw hat. One Piece continues to amaze me, even a chapter with no action had me on the edge of my seat.