One Piece, Vol. 67

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

If you had not been following along with One Piece and were trying to come into this volume totally unspoiled, well, sorry. The cover totally spoils one of the funniest gags Oda’s come up with in some time, unashamedly. There’s a whole lot going on in Punk Hazard, and I’ll get to some of it later. But mostly what people remember from this volume is the bodyswapping. The reasoning behind it is somewhat flimsy – Law doesn’t want the Strawhats getting away, so does this to create chaos, I believe – but the consequences are pure gold, even if it means putting up with Sanji trying to feel himself up half the time. Even Smoker and Tashigi get in on the act, with a bodyswap that makes your head hurt even more. (Tashigi is still, I note, dealing with “we’ll obey our captain because she’s really hot!” from the crew, and is totally unable to do anything against Law. But then again, neither is Smoker.)


Oh yes, Law! One of the most popular of the Supernovas, we knew he’d show up again, but not quite so soon. He doesn’t seem to be entirely behind what’s going on here, but he’s involved in some way, and it’s interesting seeing him scheme and plan when compared with Luffy’s “well, whatever” style of piracy. As for who is behind things, well, it would appear to be ex-government scientist Caesar Clown, who is basically the Joker from Batman, only as a mad scientist. He is creepy as hell, and it’s pretty obvious that he’s the guy Luffy will have to fight a few volumes down the road. His plot involves kidnapping and experimenting on young children, which is pretty damn dark, but then I remember the other backstories that this series has given us.

I would be remiss in this review if I did not stop to talk about my favorite character. Robin gets a lot to do here, including, to my surprise and pleasure, a huge number of jokes. No, she’s not making goofy faces, but we do see her imagining Usopp and Zoro as Duck Ferry Rides, and joining with the others in stealing the villains’ clothes for warmth, and absolutely shutting Franky down when he tries to make his usual poses and faces in Chopper’s cute body. (Robin has always had a soft spot for Chopper. Also, I sense this may be Oda trying to sink the Franky/Robin ship a bit – she’s clearly REALLY IRRITATED here.) And of course she’s making her usual references to all her comrades possibly being dead on pools of blood. If it’s Robin humor you want, this is the volume for you.

And I haven’t even mentioned the goofy samurai who’s just a head, or Nami’s maternal instincts oddly popping up (I’ll buy it, but only just – I have to wonder if she’s thinking of her own childhood pre-Bellemere), or Brownbeard, of all people, making a comeback, or the really creepy chamber of corpses, or the bird woman and what role she’s playing. As ever, there’s just so much going on here. By the time you finish this volume of One Piece, you could have read 5 Bleaches! Absolutely recommended.

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