One Piece Manga Chapter 923 Review: Kiado

This chapter went by quickly, but boy did it reveal something profound. First I was wrong about the effect of Luffy’s hit. While he managed to knock Kiado to the ground, Luffy was largely ineffective against Kiado. After he hits the ground, Lady Speed falls out of Kiado’s cape. Luffy goes to her and is told that Kiado fought Lady Speed. It is implied that he also hurt Tama. 

In the One Piece series, Luffy’s most important personality traits are his simple-mindlessness and recklessness. The combination of these to aspects tend to result in Luffy getting into trouble, usually resulting in him getting a lot of attention and a higher bounty. However, Luffy is more complex than that. His sense of righteousness leads him to defend the weak, even when it will be easier for him not to. 

I say all this because the moment that he finds out that Tama was hurt by Kiado, he becomes enraged. Kiado can come across as a funny character, that can lead the audience to like him, forgetting that he’s evil. I think Oda was reminding us of this fact, noting that even children aren’t safe from him. Luffy being Luffy he goes into a rage and attacks Kiado. 

He calls Kiado’s attention, then attacks with Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gatling. He manages to knock Kiado out of his dragon form. He then quickly shifts into Gear Fourth: Boundman, using Gomu Gomu no Kong Organ. The barrage doesn’t do much as Kiado simply get’s up and uses Eight Trigrams Thunder-Clap, KOing Luffy while mocking his claim of becoming “Pirate King.”

I think Oda is trying to impart to the audience that the feeling that Luffy is so powerful that he’s the “fifth Yonko,” is completely false. While, we know that Luffy didn’t really fight Big Mom, let alone defeat her, some people (like myself) felt that the gap between him and the Yonko was close. While, I think Luffy did earn his bounty, it is somewhat inflated. Luffy has been defeated easily before and he will recover. The result of this encounter was unexpected.

If Luffy can’t touch Kiado (right now) then who can? Oh, What happened to the other Strawhat’s? So far the Strawhat’s have been on a bit of a winning streak, especially Luffy having successively defeated Doflamingo and Big Mom (though not head to head). He needed to run into a conflict that he couldn’t defeat simply by being head strong and barreling without fear. Kiado will provide a major challenge, that Luffy can’t easily overcome. 

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One Piece Chapter 922 Review: Beasts Pirates General: Kaido

Luffy takes off to confront Kaido. Having seen that Okobore Town is under direct threat Luffy heads there. Law reveals that he, Luffy and Zoro have been exposed. However, he claims that “this shouldn’t effect the plan.” He plans to join Luffy against Kaido. Meanwhile, at Bakura Town the civilians flee as Kiado begins his assault. 

Kiado is revealed to be drunk, resulting in Jack fearing his rampage. Hawkins informs Kiado that “Luffy and Law are at the ruins of Oden Castle.” Even though this is true, Hawkins tells Jack that he lied to ” Kaido in order to stop his rampage and also to try eliminating a suspicious light there that has led to rumors about the Kozuki Family’s return.” 

Kiado immediately attacks Oden Castle, as the Strawhat and allies flee. He uses a massive attack that destroy’s Oden Castle. It’s not clear that the Strawhat’s got away in time. Regardless, the people of Kuri watch as Luffy jumps above Kiado and uses Gomu Gomu no Elephant Gun on the unsuspecting Kiado. Too much didn’t happen in this chapter, but the initial attack from Luffy on Kiado was shocking. 

Most of us probably thought that it would take longer for Luffy to encounter him. Considering, Kiado’s drunken state and the fact that he didn’t seem to notice Luffy, I think he will be knocked unconsciousness, but remain won’t be harmed. This will save the village by ending Kiado’s rampage. Finally, I think there’s zero chance that the Strawhat’s and their allies are harmed. I think the Kunoichi would have help them disappear before the attack.

Images by Mangastream

One Piece Manga Review Chapter 921: Shutenmaru

Kin’emon explains how he plans to recruit three samurai, Kawamatsu, Denjiro, Ashura Doji. He reveals that Kaido is considered to be the “Wisdom King.” He is considered to be the protector of country. We learn more about Kin’emon personal life, like he’s married to Tsuru. He assigns several different responsibilities to the Strawhat crew. Zoro and Usopp have been expected to “look for allies in the Flower Capital.” 

Franky is undercover as an architect in order to obtain blueprints for the residence of Kaido. Robin has become a geisha, hoping that she can meet with Orochi to spy. Brook will acquire food, Sanji will cook it, Nami will pretend to be a kunoichi (female ninja), Chopper and Carrot will go to Inuarashi. Introducing more characters in the form of 3 samurai seem unnecessary considering the large number of characters in this arc so far.  

That said I’m very interested in seeing what they look like and how they act. In this arc, the Samurai and Ninja have been the most dynamic characters both in there personalities and style. I would imagine that these three will continue that trend. Meanwhile, we are introduced to Shutenmaru, the leader of the Atamayama thieves. He and his thieves steal the food that Luffy gave to Okobore town. 

Without any samurai remaining, Shutenmaru suggests that he won’t be stopped. An elderly woman states that she believes in the prophecy that states that “nine samurai,” will arrive to carry out Oden’s wishes. Before, he kills the old woman, Jack arrives and defeats several of Shutenmaru’s men. Jack tells him that he’s “only been left alive this long because Kaido wants him as his subordinate.” Shutenmaru attacks Jack, landing a large cut across his chests. Shutenmaru is able to hold his ground against Jack, considering Jack’s power that’s impressive. 

Suddenly, large dark clouds appear. We see that’s it Kaido in his dragon form. He tells Jack to bring him Luffy. Obviously it’s surprising that Kaido has a dragon form. When Kaido was first introduced he was revealed to be quiet durable. Having been “caught and tortured 18 times, has survived 40 attempts to execute him and even jumped from 10,000 meters in the sky, crashing into the ground unharmed. I have assumed that his devil fruit ability was connected to his “invincibility.” 

Having seen Luffy “fail” to defeat Big Mom in combat, I have even less hope that he or anyone else can defeat Kaido. However, maybe the three samurai have such power that they can rival his power, but I doubt it. It seems unlikely to me that Luffy and the Strawhat’s will flee from a Yonko for a second straight arc. Of course a fight with Kaido wouldn’t necessary have to be one on one. Regardless, I’m interested in seeing who can stop him and if Luffy will match up. 

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. 

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.