One Piece, Vol. 79

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

Well, I did not quite get my wish, as we’re still in Dressrosa at this end of this volume, but the final battle has finished, and Doflamingo is seemingly defeated for good. This is done through a combination of Luffy, who uses his Gear Four rubber monster and a bunch of haki to finally punch Doflamingo into next week, and the rest of the cast, who help Luffy when he needs ten minutes to recover by fighting off minions, pushing back on unpushable deathtraps, knocking over entire buildings, or even (sigh) being a pretty princess and not fighting, because yes, Rebecca is still a massive failure of a character. One Piece shows what happens when everyone puts differences aside and fights for a common goal, and even when the goal is mere survival, it’s still cool.


The fight is good, but the aftermath is where things really pick up. One Piece has never been too much about current political events, insofar as Oda would much rather base Marines on caricatures of old Japanese actors then connect them with military atrocities. But there is a point in this volume where Fujitora, having seem enough (metaphorically speaking) of what’s going on in Dressrosa, gets onto his hands and knees and bows to the ground, apologizing to the King what what has happened, and saying that the World Government allowed it. This wouldn’t be so bad were it not being broadcast worldwide, and he ends up in a huge shouting match with Akainu later (Akainu, you may recall, murdered Luffy’s brother Ace, so is the opposite of a moral compass). There is a great discussion about ‘losing face’ vs. accepting blame and gaining trust. It’s really hard not to imagine this may be commending on some real-world events (Iraq, perhaps).

As with most epilogues in One Piece, we get several chapters showing off where everyone else has been and what they’ve been doing while Luffy and company fight. We see more of the Eleven Supernovas, including fan favorite Eustace Kidd. We see Fujitora resolving to continue to chase after and capture Luffy and company, thus literally taking the place of Smoker, still recovering from the Caesar Clown stuff, and Tashigi, who seems to have literally turned into a kindergarten teacher. We get the backstory for Sabo at last, showing how he was indeed rescued by Dragon but had lost his memory, which is why he never tried to find Luffy and Ace afterwards. It was only seeing news of Ace’s death that triggered his old memories to resurface again. (Also, again, I totally ship Sabo x Koala, as much as any couple in One Piece can ever be shipped.)

And, at last, we see the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates, who have apparently been having unpleasant adventures of their own, being chased after for harboring a mystery girl. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see Nami doing what she does best after all this time: scream in frustration about being surrounded by idiots. I am very hopeful that the next volume will unite all the Straw Hat Pirates, and most importantly get them the heck away from Dressrosa, though I fear we are going to be seeing a few Pretty Princess Dresses and No Swordfighting Ever Again before it’s over.

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