Story/Art: Eiichiro Oda
Translation: Laabaman, Stephen Paul
English Adaptation: Lance Caselman
What They Say:
With their queen dead, the people of Fish-Man Island carry on her will and hope to one day achieve her dream. But Hody Jones and the New Fish-Man pirates have other ideas, including ruling the kingdom themselves. The fate of Fish-Man Island will rest on Luffy’s shoulders, but will he destroy it instead?
As the flashback continues we find that Hody has apparently located the assassin, a human. The people mourn the loss of their Queen, and King Neptune is forced to restrain himself from violence in honor of her memory. Even so, Shirahoshi and the Princes send a message to the people, telling them not to let their hatred be the end of Otohime’s dream.
Back in the present, Jimbei tells Nami to punish him however she wishes, but she waves him off saying that it wasn’t his fault. Shortly afterwards, Hody appears and announces himself as the new king, forcing the people to swear their loyalty to him. He also proclaims that he will execute King Neptune, threatens to destroy the letter that Otohime received, and declares that he will use signatures gathered as a list of “traitors.” Luffy is ready for action, but Jimbei tells him to think through how it’ll look if a human ends up defeating Hody and his fishmen pirates. The two begin fighting as they discuss the matter, and Hody’s pirate underlings are more properly introduced. Hody also strangely changes forms and becomes more powerful after an overdose of steroids.
Things go from bad to worse as Jimbei and Shirahoshi (along with Megalo) are captured and brought to the execution ground, alongside the princes and the king. Furthermore, Hody brings together his army of 10,000 fishmen and human slaves. To rub things in even further, Hody announces that he was Queen Otohime’s true assassin! However, Shirahoshi shockingly admits that she knew this, but didn’t act on it as she promised her mother not to hate the killer, no matter who it was. When things look their worst the citizens call out, asking Luffy to destroy the island instead of letting it fall into Hody’s hands.
Right on cue, Luffy and crew appear from inside Megalo, and the fighting begins. An epic battle ensues, with the 10,000 serving as cannon fodder for the Straw Hats’ new abilities, and Hody’s henchmen serving as more potent opponents. As the volume comes to a close, we see the giant Ark Noah approaching the island, having been “thrown” by Vander Decken.
This book makes for yet another solid entry into the series, but nothing too spectacular. A good bit of the volume is used setting up the enemies, as well as getting the pieces into place for a great big showdown. Even these parts have their moments though, as Jimbei and Nami settle things between them and Hody proves just how despicable he really is. Of course, what really steals the spotlight here is the battle. The Straw Hats get a particularly nice entrance here, and of course we get to really see their new abilities shine. While we may have seen them in action earlier, this volume really feels like the payoff of all their training. To top it all off, the volume ends with what may be the coolest use of a power yet in the series, and something that is sure to cause our heroes trouble!
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: September 4th, 2012