One Piece, Vol. 72

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

When I reviewed the last volume, I said that there was a bit too much going on for me to get a handle on all of it, and that goes double for this volume, which rarely stays on one character for longer than a few pages. As such, I think it’s time to bring out the bullet point review style, which I haven’t done in some time.


— So we get to see Sanji’s reputation as a loser who is easily manipulated by women, but this is undercut a great deal by having him actually be right about her needing help, of course. Sigh. One day I’d like to see a pretty girl who isn’t swayed by Sanji’s annoying chivalry. (Well, one can argue Nami and Robin perform this function…)
— I like the reveal that Donflamingo had the press send a retraction on this quitting the Warlords 12 hours later, right after all his enemies would have taken the bait. It’s quite clever. I also like that Law, given an easy chance, still respects Luffy enough to not take it, and proclaims that they are equal allies.
— Naturally, Usopp playing the hero is getting him into all sorts of trouble, as now he has to lead a Tontatta army to rescue their missing princess (who is apparently a horrible person, but is one of them, so must be rescued). Meanwhile, Robin is resting after using up her one big surprised face last volume, so she’s mostly stoic here.
— Nami, Chopper, and Brook get very little to do, but I have to admit that Oda still knows how to use fruit powers to his advantage. The Picasso fruit allows him to try styles for the characters that are both horrifying and hilarious.
— As I suspected last volume, the big reveal about the toys is that they were once people – and, tragically, they remember this, but the people who they were connected to (wives, children) do not. This is incredibly sad if you think about it, especially as it’s been going on for years. I wonder how this will fall out once the Straw Hat Pirates save the day?
— Much of Luffy’s fight in the ring is taken up by a bunch of seemingly awesome fighters who get taken out by a slew of other even more awesome fighters, as in most tournament arcs. I did like the Ideon ref. The one to note here is Chin Jao, who, as per One Piece tradition, has a backstory both extraordinarily sad and extraordinarily stupid at the same time. (Seriously, without his head being pointy, nothing can happen? He’s that much of a can opener?) That said, in the end it’s Luffy punching the grudge out of him.
—And then there’s Rebecca, who has an even more tragic backstory, which resembles Nami and Robin’s a bit too much for my liking. She’s going out their to kick ass, but I have a sinking feeling that she’s going to need saving. There was much discussion when she appeared that she might join the crew, but her tragic past flashback is only a few pages, so chances aren’t good. We shall see.

Oda is still doing what he does best, and tehre are some very clever twists in this volume. One Piece fans should be quite satisfied.

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