One Piece, Vol. 71

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

One Piece may go beyond the typical shonen manga most of the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s above many of the standard cliches. Being a Jump Manga, it is firmly in the cliche of “Friendship, training, Victory”. Oda is not above fanservice for fanservice’s sake either, as we see in the Gulliver’s Travels parody with Robin and the Tontattas. That said, when you read this volume and realize that Oda is beginning a Tournament Arc, it’s somewhat surprising to see that he waited this long. Technically, I suppose the Davy Back Fight may count as well, but no one really thinks of that anymore except to remember Afro Luffy. This one is clearly in it for the long haul, with dozens of named contestants, many of whom look to actually be important so we will have to try to remember them. Oh dear.


Most major arcs in One Piece start with a lot of stuff all happening at once, but Dressrosa’s arc manages to top that, as we’re also dealing with fallout from the last arc. Law is bringing Caesar Clown to Donflamingo for a hostage negotiation, and decides the best way to do this is for the Straw Hats to split up. Naturally, it takes about two seconds for everyone to go off and do their own thing, but hey, he tried. By the end of the volume Zoro is running through town with a Tontatta, getting lost as usual; Sanji has hooked up with a gorgeous woman who will no doubt take advantage of him but I suspect he doesn’t care; Franky is busy actually findning out about the plot and backstory needed for this arc (there’s something very odd about this being an Island of Toys, some of whom seem far too human); Nami, Chopper and brook are back on the ship having little to do (I hope more happens next time)…

And then we have the other two groups, who get the lion’s share of what’s going on. Law, Robin, Usopp and Caesar are headed for the rendezvous point, and increasingly are becoming aware this is a trap. They get split off even more when Usopp and Robin are captured by Tontattas, the One Piece version of Liliputians, who actually manage to achieve something major by forcing Robin to have pop-eyed reactions at their naivete. It’s still within the realm of human normal, but for Robin it’s the most emotive we’ve ever seen her, I think. As for Luffy, he’s disguised (poorly) as Lucy, a gladiator taking part in the tournament. As I said, we meet dozens of competitors (I suspect the gorgeous female fighter will be relevant later), but the most interesting is the return of one of Luffy’s earlier enemies. Remember that jerk that Luffy one-shot KO’d in Volume 25? Yes, Bellamy the Hyena is back, and he’s matured – Luffy even roots for him! He doesn’t win, but it’s always nice to see characters at least go from villainous to less villainous.

If there’s a drawback to this volume, it’s that there’s almost too much going on – I suspect I will enjoy it more when the arc is over and I can go back and find all the foreshadowing that I’m not picking up right now. But even a chaotic overcomplicated One Piece is still one of the best titles out there. Don’t stop yourself from picking this up.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind