Review by: Edward Zacharias
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump Manga)
MSRP: $7.95 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
The battle for Alabasta begins!
Having followed the One Piece manga (and later anime) series for a long while now, it is Volume 19 that compelled me to write a review. You see, Monkey D. Luffy and his crew of Straw Hats have been through a long, strange yet fascinating journey that makes this one of the coolest and fun series that is getting better with each volume.
Volume 19 follows the Straw Hats continuing journey towards the city of Rainbase after having finally reached Yuba and what was left of a city ravaged by a severe drought. The citizens of Alabasta are conflicted and don’t know whether to continue trusting in the King or join Koza’s revolt with the rebel faction that promises to punish the King for the “Dance Powder” incident. On top of that, Baroque Works has pursuing Princess Vivi who is traveling with the Straw Hats that are, in turn, being pursued by the Marines led by Captain Smoker.
The journey to Rainbase, however, proves to be grueling but Luffy is determined to go there to find Mr. Zero (or otherwise known as Sir Crocodile in his hotel/casino called Rain Dinners) and kick his tail for the crimes he committed. When they do get there, though, they find out that Crocodile has plays a much bigger role in the upcoming battle to save Alabasta and there’s even a connection between him and the missing King that rules over Alubarna Palace.
Thanks to Luffy’s impatience, though, he’s leads Nami, Usopp, Zolo and even Captain Smoker into a trap inside Rain Dinners by none other than Ms. All Sunday. Outside the casino, Princess Vivi fights her way towards Rain Dinners only to find Alubarna’s own Pell the Falcon swooping in to come to her aid for the final time. Unaware of the impending attack by the rebel forces and Baroque Works, Princess Vivi finally confronts Crocodile who tells her how he plans to have the two groups begin a slaughter that would devastate all of Alabasta. It’s a plan that, so far, is working thanks to the loony Mr. 2 Bon Clay who is posing as the King and stirring up trouble.
Princess Vivi quickly finds herself with one hell of a dilemma when Sir Crocodile offers her the choice to run off and warn the stop the upcoming battle in Alubarna that would eventually save a lot lives or save the Straw Hats from drowning in a cage not even Zolo can rip right through with his sword. To make matters worse, the key to opening said cage was tossed into a tank filled with Bananagators. You heard me, I said Bananagators. Big ones with bananas growing out of it. Thankfully, help arrives by the most unlikely person and let me tell you that he not only saves the day but manages to remind us that he’s more dangerous than he looks.
One Piece, Volume 19, is one of the more exciting volumes in this series. This is definitely the time to pick up this series if you haven’t picked up a One Piece volume at all like our own Clive Owen who is kicking himself for having missed out on the last 18 volumes. For those who have been reading it, this story arc is certainly the more riveting one and this volume will definitely have you waiting for Volume 20.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
What can you say about a single volume brimming with awesome battles, bananagators and the Straw Hats fighting to save a city from falling? While Luffy and the gang find themselves in a struggle for their lives, Princess Vivi takes a stand against Crocodile.
Is it me or is Eiichiro Oda’s art getting better and better with each volume? His style is definitely his own and we love him for that.
One Piece has certainly been getting really good and Volume 19 simply shoots to the top of my favorite One Piece volumes. Luffy and company has certainly come a long way and now it is up to them to save the people from the plans of a truly evil mastermind. All I can say is that I cannot wait for Volume 20.