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Manga Review: One Piece by Eiichiro Oda – Baroque Works (Omnibus 5-8; Volumes 13-24)

One Piece_East Blue (2)

One Piece  Eiichiro Oda
Published By: VIZ Media LLC
Publication Date: February 5th, 2013 – February 4th, 2014
Genres: Manga, Adventure, Fantasy
Date Read: December 1st, 2009 – May 4th, 2010
Links: Goodreads

5 Stars

Volume 5: Island of Giants

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In their attempt to rescue a possibly nefarious princess from the numerically named Baroque Works crew, Luffy and gang land on a set of islands populated by oversized flora and fauna. It’s the scene of a larger-than-life battle in which giants, pirates, dinosaurs and strange birds duke it out in the name of honor, friendship and dynamite-spiked beverages. In all the excitement, navigator Nami falls terribly ill. Is there a (witch) doctor in the house?

Contains volumes 13, 14 & 15 of One Piece!

The new characters introduced in this Volume are some of my favourite in the series so far. The two fighters on Little Garden, the main people on Drum Island, and even the members of Baroque Works are interesting as they are pitted against the Straw Hat Pirates. This volume introduces Mr. 3.

Volume 15 leaves you once again at a cliffhanger as the crew make their way through Drum Island as the former King Wapol returns ready to attack them and his subjects!

The characters continue to grow, with Vivi teaching several of them things about themselves. Another great addition to the series, the Straw Hat Pirates are finally starting to get into some fun stuff as they make their way through the Grand Line!

Nami is the only female of Strawhat Crew, and no doubt, the weakest one. Even so, the other four men in the crew can be beaten so easily by her. She is so fierce, but in a funny way. She is so easily scared when sensing danger and always tries to avoid it, but if money is included, she will accept it no matter what.

The pacing in this volume wastes no time as we get straight to the action. Art, as always, never wavers, while Eichiro Oda tells a more simplistic story this time around. This in no way takes away from One Piece’s epicness.

Volume 6: Royal Rumble

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When a demented king shows up to reclaim his island kingdom, Luffy and his crew are there to stop him! As the Straw Hats battle the royal interlopers, they get to know all about eccentric Dr. Hiriluk and his reindeer assistant, Tony Tony Chopper. But can they possibly overcome King Wapol— whose body changes depending on what he eats—and survive the scheming of the Baroque Works crew on the island of Alabasta?

Contains volumes 16, 17 & 18 of One Piece!

This is a really strong Omnibus volume because each of the individual volumes are strong in their own right. Having watched the anime before reading the manga, it continues to astound me how to the point Oda is in his work. What took the anime three episodes he does in only a chapter or two of the manga.

These volumes tell the back story of Chopper, the end of the Drum Kingdom fight, and the Straw Hat’s meeting with Ace in Alabasta. I love these old story arcs in One Piece. They’re so gripping, and the characters are so easy to fall in love with and care so much about. Even now that the current story has progressed quite beyond these arcs, I still find the Baroque Works story line to be one of my favourites.

It’s so easy to get caught up in it and to actually care about the people and what happens to them. It’s surprising, because even if the character hasn’t had much screen time, Eiichiro Oda knows exactly how to get you to care about their plight.

Volume 7: City of Dreams

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Luffy and pals are headed for the Rainbase, the fabled city of dreams. While protecting Vivi, their royal charge, Luffy gets sidetracked by the devious pirate captain Crocodile for some cozy one-on-one time! While Vivi makes her way to the palace of her birthright, Straw Hats navigator Nami is on her own in a throw-down battle with Ms. Doublefinger of the Baroque Works!

Contains volumes 19, 20 & 21 of One Piece!

I think one reason why I like One Piece so much as a long-running shonen series is that it doesn’t have an end goal that hovers over us or the characters throughout the story. Yes, Luffy is trying the become King of the Pirates and to find the One Piece, but, to me, that feels like a “I want to be successful” kind of goal. The Alabasta saga reaches its climax! Some great moments here, particularly the Straw Hats’ battles with Crocodile’s gang.

Volume 8: Royal Farewell

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Luffy’s epic clash with Baroque Works pirate captain Crocodile continues, while deposed princess Vivi and the rest of the Straw Hat crew race against time to save the ancient kingdom of Alabasta. Just when it seems smooth sailing is ahead, Luffy and crew discover an interloper among their ranks! Who is this former Baroque Works member, and what does she want from the Straw Hats?

Contains volumes 22, 23 & 24 of One Piece!

We have the conclusion fight with Crocodile which was pretty cool but again just reminiscent of previous villain fights. We’ve now moved onto the next adventure, another new island to explore. I love the fight between Crocodile and Luffy, it’s one of my favourites.

Have you read One Piece? Let me know in the Comments!

One thought on “Manga Review: One Piece by Eiichiro Oda – Baroque Works (Omnibus 5-8; Volumes 13-24)

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