Manga Review: One Piece V 4 by Eiichiro Oda @shonenjump @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

I decided to pick up One Piece again because I’m caught up on One-Punch Man, and I haven’t read it in years. My reading tastes have changed, so I was curious to see how well the series works for me now. Spoiler – I like it better  than the first time I read these volumes.  The story is fun and fast-paced, and the fights are appropriately ridiculous. I have a new love for fighting manga, and with its pirates, unique character designs, and Devil Fruit magic moves, One Piece is one of my favorites.

Klahadore is, to no reader’s surprise, really a heartless pirate planning to steal Kaya’s fortune and then murder her. Pretending to be the humble, obedient butler for three years, Captain Kuro is ready to throw off his mild mannered disguise and get down to the business of killing Kaya and having his blood-thirsty pirate crew pillage the village. Only Kuro didn’t count on the untimely arrival of Luffy and crew, as well as the hidden strength of liar Usopp.

Acting as captain in Kuro’s absence, Django, the first mate, moonwalks and hypnotizes his Black Cat crewmates. Gifting them with incredible strength, the fight is on. Luffy and Zolo put in an appearance just in  time to save Usopp and Nami, who had beaten them to the beach where the pirates had landed. Fighting ensues. It’s fun. Luffy is hypnotized and falls asleep at the worst time ever and proves that he’s really kind of a weak minded idiot.  

In the past, I did not appreciate how artistically gifted Oda is. I looked at the art and thought that everyone looked weird. Now, though, it’s like a veil has been lifted from my eyes – or probably because I have read so many action series in the intervening years – and the illustrations are glorious. Detailed, humorous, and easy to follow, the art really makes this series shine. Even the ways Oda incorporates sound effects in this panels is visually appealing. So, while the character designs are kind of weird, it’s a wonderful kind of weird that took me 15 years to appreciate. This is a really fun read.

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Captain Kuro of the Black Cat Pirates was the most feared evil genius on the high seas…until he vanished. Most people believe he’s dead, but only his crew knows the truth: Captain Kuro has been laying low in a small seaside village, posing as a mild-mannered butler until the time for pillage is just right. Now that time has come, and the ruthless Black Cat Pirates are about to attack…
Unless, of course, Monkey D.Luffy can stop them! All Luffy has on his side are the sword-wielding first mate, Zolo; his thieving navigator, Nami; Usopp, a local kid with a knack for telling lies; and his own bizarre rubber-limbed powers. If these four amateur pirates want to stop the entire Black Cat crew, they’ll have to come up with a pretty slick plan…

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