Review by: Edward Zacharias
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shonen Jump)
MSRP: $7.95 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Now Available
The Straw Hats fight back!
The magnificent desert city of Alubarna has been drowned by a sea of violence as members of the Royal Forces still loyal to its King clashes with the Rebel Forces determined to bring peace after being suckered by agents of Baroque Works. Caught in the middle of this massive war is the Straw Hat pirates that have come to the aid of a Princess determined to save her Kingdom and her people. Things have definitely gotten a lot more thrilling in the world of One Piece as we can see in Volume 21.
With Luffy left behind, the others manage to push onwards towards Alubarna and then distract members of Baroque Works in order for Princess Vivi to reach the Palace and put an end to the chaos that just erupted right in front of her. In Volume 20, it was Usopp and Tony Tony Chopper who went up against two of Baroque Works’ most dangerous agents and their battle was certainly a brutal one that pushed both Straw Hats to their very limits in the volume’s most memorable fight. It also set up the confrontation the others will have to face on their own.
In the opening of Volume 21, it is Sanji who makes it loud and clear to Mr. 2 Bon Clay that he will not let the eccentric shape-shifter to pass without a fight. Unfortunately for Sanji, Mr. 2 Bon Clay is not only a good fighter but he also knows how to use Sanji’s weakness to his advantage by transforming into Nami. Sanji just can’t bring himself to hit an opponent that looks just like the girl he has a major crush on since she joined the Straw Hats. We’ve seen Sanji in some tough spots before but this one-on-one battle is by far one of the most memorable.
Speaking of memorable moments, one of the chapters that really stands out in Volume 21 is Nami’s one-on-one battle with Ms. Doublefinger who, along with Mr. 1, managed to catch up with Zolo and Nami in the North Block of the city. Zolo manages to get Mr. 1 away from Nami but Ms. Doublefinger gives chase up until the point Nami decides to stop running and fight. As a thief and navigator, Nami hasn’t really managed to go up against opponents of Ms. Doublefinger’s level but she does so with the aid of a weapon she had Usopp make for her. As it turns out, though, the weapon doesn’t show its true potential until after Nami finishes displaying all the neat party tricks it can perform.
More importantly, though, it’s great to see Nami standing up and no longer wanting to be a burden on her friends. Her battle is actually one of the more impressive ones seeing as Ms. Doublefinger’s Spike-Spike Fruit powers nearly skewer Nami during the lengthy battle. You really do have to see Nami in action for yourself. In the meantime, Zolo’s fight with Mr. 1 feels a little on the one-sided thanks to the fact that ever inch of Mr. 1’s body is a sharp blade as a result of a Fruit power. Zolo thinks back to his training with his Master in order to find out how a sword can cut through steel itself.
As the Straw Hats fight seemingly impossible battles against Baroque Works, Princess Vivi finally reaches the Gates of the Palace with a plan that shocks the loyal Chaka as well as all the Royal Forces troops within earshot. The real shocker comes when Vivi sees that Sir Crocodile is already there with King Cobra pinned to the door. It’s clear who has the upper hand here but Princess Vivi makes it known that she’s not going to give up even when Crocodile reveals his sinister plan that will kill many people in less than thirty minutes. Things certainly look grim on this front.
Volume 21 of One Piece certainly throws in enough fights to makes this one of the more action-packed couple of chapters that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Lately, One Piece has been like a rollercoaster with so much happening and if it keeps up this is certainly one rollercoaster we will be more than happy to continue to ride.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
While Usopp and Tony come out of their fight as winners, Nami, Sanji and Zolo individually face off against members of Baroque Works in one of the three most vicious fights of their lives. Meanwhile, Princess Vivi reaches the Palace gates only to find that Sir Crocodile has already made it there first. Things are definitely going to turn sour.
By far one of the most visually impressive volumes in the One Piece manga, Volume 21 looks downright amazing with a number of visceral fight scenes. Leave it to Oda-sensei to make massive battles look so epic.
In one of their finest moments, the Straw Hat pirates put their lives on the line as the conflict deep in the city of Alubarna becomes even more deadly in Volume 21 of One Piece. As the battle to save a kingdom under fire is in full swing, things not only get exciting but this story arc is quickly becoming one of our top favorites this series has produced so far.