One Piece, Vol. 73

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

I’ve talked about the disparate chaos going on in this One Piece storyline for a couple of volumes now, and while it doesn’t decrease in this new volume there seems to be a purpose behind it. The Tontatta Army states its intended objective – turn all the toys back into humans, give everyone their memory back – and then point out they realize this could lead to an outcome even worse than what they have, but they want to leave that up to the people – a sort of controlled, directed chaos. That type of chaos is seem throughout here, as we get a lot of explanations about what’s been going on, both here and through the series.


It’s not just order vs. Chaos either – the reveal that the old king of Dressrosa is still alive allows the series to contrast his rule of peace with Doflamingo’s suppressive, violence-led style. Like Crocodile, he comes into the kingdom as its supposed savior, having first set up the circumstances where he can do so. He talks about the heritage of his ancestors, but I’m not sure he actually cares about that, and a more telling speech is seen when he’s yelling at the melee fighters who tried to run away during their match, saying that taking a hit and getting bloody was better than any act of cowardice. It’s not just chaos, Doflamingo loves brutality.

We get a little more revealed about the past of One Piece’s universe, in what for Oda is a giant block of exposition, as the disgraced fighters bring each other up to date. I’m not particularly surprised that it ends up having royalty and aristocracy as the villains – the cruel rule of the powerful over the oppressed has been one of this series’ top themes, with Alabasta being such an exception that they actually had to single it out here as being different so as not to paint Vivi and company with the same brush as the others. In addition to that, there’s a strong anti-terror message here in seeing the reaction of everyone to the King’s demand for ransom money – pacifism is a noble intent, but unless one realizes that there’s a limit to it, it may lead to an even bigger tragedy, because people can be bastards.

Through all this, we have the ongoing adventures of our heroes. Sanji gets a few moments to try to look cool, which I would enjoy more if they weren’t so telegraphed and obvious. Nami has an inspiring speech used as a comedic undercut, which made me facepalm, but she redeems herself a bit with a better rousing speech towards the end. As for Luffy, he mostly spends this volume just watching everyone, but we do get a dramatic revelation as a cliffhanger. It’s presented as a mystery (indeed, Viz’s ‘next volume’ blurb has us wonder who the mystery stranger is), but anyone who recalls the flashbacks to Luffy’s childhood will have guessed it by now. It’s nice to see confirmed what most already expected.

So after as much exposition as I think we’re going to get, I expect Vol. 75 to be a series of giant fights. Should be fun. One Piece: Still Excellent.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind