Review by: Eduardo Zacarias
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Genre: Graphic Novel
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
The war for Skypiea has begun and the Straw Hat pirates are caught in the middle.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, One Piece is just one of those manga series that casts a most unusual spell on its readers because the more unusual the story gets the more we find ourselves loving the series even more. We’ve seen the Straw Hat pirates in a number of unusual scenarios and met many a strange character but that’s what makes us love this original manga series. Volume 27 is proof of this as the Skypiea story arc gets exciting in true One Piece fashion.
Having pushed into the forbidden island within Skypiea, the Straw Hats discover that the forest happens to house a person that the people of the island in the sky consider a God or “Kami.” Split up from the others, Luffy, Usopp and Sanji enter the dark territory where they discover that they have a choice as to what challenges they will get to go through first and find out that – while it sounded fun – the Ball Challenge became a battle for survival.
As it turns out, one of the Skypiea’s Vassals, Satori of the Forest, can manipulate numerous balloon-like balls that contain deadly surprises when they burst. One ball contained fire while another contained sharp knives as all three Straw Hats not only try to fight back but catch up to the boat they came on when they entered the forest. Satori is one of the more troublesome foes the Straw Hats have faced off against since Crocodile and he does a number of Sanji at one point. However, together the Straw Hats are a powerful force and come to recognize Satori’s weakness.
Meanwhile, Chopper is left to care for the Going Merry when another Vassal makes his appearance. This one is “Sky Rider” Shura who resembles the Sky Knight they met when the Straw Hats reached Skypiea via the Knock Up Stream. Speaking of the Sky Knight, Chopper blows the whistle the Knight had given him so he could come to their aid and off the old man goes while Chopper tries to stay alive in the meantime. Shura is a mean foe but when the Sky Knight arrives it becomes an aerial battle with the two flying atop their strange bird-like steeds. The outcome is an awesome battle you really have to see for yourself and the Sky Knight taking a nasty tumble.
Not far from the Going Merry is Nami, Zolo and Nico Robin who wandered deeper into the forest as Nami makes an interesting discovery she waits to reveal when they’re back together. When they make a return to the ship, they find the Going Merry in a damaged state and Chopper trying to save the Sky Knight’s life. Luffy and his two companions also find the ship and their friends and each member shares what they learned so far.
As it turns out, Skypiea has a very interesting secret concerning the forbidden island forest area that seems to prove that Noland the Liar was on the right track. If that part of the story was true then maybe so is the story about El Dorado. Doing her own bit or research, Nami comes up with what might have led to the appearance of the forest and the gold that awaits them in an area in this part of the island.
It is the Sky Knight who confirms that truth about Skypiea as well as what is going on between the Kami and the guerilla warriors they met since they arrived. We finally get to see the guerilla as they begin their battle to kick the Kami off the island. While I won’t get too much into their story since doing so will reveal a big part of the island’s secret, I will say that these people have a name and they are the Shandians who are fighting for a true purpose.
We also get to meet the Kami and the rest of Skypiea’s Vassals who have gathered to prepare themselves to not only defeat the Shandians but take down the Straw Hats that has so soundly defeated one of their own in battle. The rest of the island, the Kami says, is open to all and the true challenges are now available so you can bet the Straw Hats are in for some tough times ahead.
Volume 27 of One Piece is a strange and exciting turn of events for the Straw Hats as the situation in Skypiea gets violent. As the enemy is revealed and a secret about the island itself is revealed, the fight to reach the Kami is just beginning and you will not want to miss what happens next. Once again, Oda-Sensei, you continue to amaze us.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Luffy, Usopp and Sanji’s battle with one of the four Skypiea Vassals shows the Straw Hats that the island in the sky’s forbidden forest landscape contains some of the more deadliest foes they have faced so far. Meanwhile, Nami makes a most interesting discovery about that part of Skypiea as the guerillas begin their war to take down the “god” of the island.
Eiichiro Oda continues to push his art to a whole new level of coolness and his brand of unusual characters and settings that just keep getting even more outrageous in the Skypiea story arc.
Skypiea is ablaze with violence as the Straw Hats pirates find themselves in the middle of yet another civil war as they discover the secret of the island in the sky in Volume 27 of One Piece. Eiichiro Oda does a great job of setting up the story but when he finally gets the ball rolling you can bet he will not fail to keep you hooked to the very end.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media