One Piece, Vol. 62

By Eiichiro Oda. Released in Japan by Shueisha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump. Released in North America by Viz.

Now that the gang is back together, we are off to Fishman Island. No, really! Really and truly, they do finally arrive at Fishman Island this time. Which sort of ends up being a mixed blessing, I will admit. I’m afraid that Fishman Island’s arc is similar to Skypeia and Thriller Bark – you like it more on a re-read, but at the time, it just annoyed you. Still, being annoyed by One Piece is still superior to being entertained by other, lesser shonen series.

Of course, first we have to get to the island, which is not as easy as it sounds. This is the better half of this volume, with each of the crew showing off why they’re awesome – everyone gets to fight (except Nami, whose navigation skills are what’s awesome here), we get another dumb goofy villain who actually seems to have more staying power than we expect, and Luffy tames a kraken. Of course he does.

Unfortunately, it turns out that Fishman Island is not quite as welcoming as you would have expected given our adventures with Cammie and Hachi. It turns out that the island was under protection by Whitebeard, and with him gone, power balances are quickly shifting. Another of the Four Emperors – Big Mom – is supposedly protecting them now, but this seems more like mafia protection than anything else. What’s more, the issues of prejudice – on both sides – that we’ve seen before in the Arlong and Sabaody arcs are still around, and there’s some particular nastiness when it becomes very hard to find a blood donor for Sanji, who is dying due to idiocy.

No, I won’t ever stop complaining about this. I will give Oda credit – when he decided to overuse a dumb idea, he really goes all out – but I still hate Sanji’s complete incompetence around women, even if you do acknowledge that he was on the okama island for two years. We see everyone else’s flaws here as well – including Nami’s lust for money, which hadn’t come up in a while – but it’s just harder to take with Sanji nosebleeding all over the place. Even if he is surrounded by gorgeous mermaids.

Having arrived at Fishman Island, our heroes are escorted to King Neptune and his beautiful daughter, but there’s already a conspiracy against them, as the local fortune teller has said Luffy will bring ruin to Fishman Island. Sounds like one of those self-fulfilling prophecies to me, honestly. A bigger problem is that we’re simply introduced to too many characters too fast here – there’s at least 20 new characters, each with boxes giving names and what time of Fishman they are – and there’s simply no way to know at this point who we have to be paying attention to. Well, except for Hody Jones, who appears to be the villain of the arc so far.

On a side note, the last cover page shows Makino with a baby?!?! Oh Oda, why you gotta destroy the Shanks/Makino shipper dreams? :)

There’s lots of cool action here, and some fun goofy humor. I also like that Oda is not forgetting about Nami’s past – there’s a great shot of her shuddering when she sees one pirate has an Arlong tattoo. But the arc is a bit too new to see where the plot is going, and thus this whole volume ends up being a bit more confusing than I think it really deserved to be. Hopefully next time we’ll see Jimbei and things will begin to get knit together.

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  1. Yeah, as the follow up volume to the characters all getting back together I was a little disappointed. After two years of the crew being split up there was just something missing from the story.


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