Things are heating up under the sea!
Story/Art: Eiichiro Oda
Translation: Stephen Paul
What They Say:
The Straw Hat crew are the only ones standing in the way of the New Fish-Man pirates taking complete control over Fish-Man Island. And when Hody puts his diabolical plan into action, only Luffy can stop him. Luffy may have become much more powerful thanks to his training, but how can he hope to defeat a Fish-Man at the bottom of the ocean?!
As the volume starts, Luffy continues to rampage through both Hody and his troops. However, Luffy’s assault is at least temporarily halted when the massive ship Noah appears above the island. In order to save her people, Shirahoshi begins swimming away from her homeland in order to spare it from destruction. Upon seeing this, Hody hops aboard the vessel, with Luffy following hot on his tail. The battle continues in the ocean, with Luffy at a distinct disadvantage. Fortunately, he is able to hold his own with the help of the princes. Sadly, Hody is able to slip away with a particularly goofy looking attack, and manages find time to stab Vander Decken. Apparently, Hody’s plan is to have Decken die and his powers cancel out, leaving the ship to fall on Fishman Island with no means to stop it.
His task completed, Hody turns his attention back to killing Shirahoshi. Meanwhile, the other battles continue back in the square, with the Straw Hats showing off plenty of cool new abilities throughout. Things take a turn for the worse when Decken finally passes out, sending the ship hurtling downwards. To make matters even more dire, Prince Fukaboshi begs Luffy not to destroy Noah, as it still has an important role to play in the future. As the battles come to a climax, it is revealed that Hody’s motives are nothing but pure empty hatred. Realizing that this pure hatred was born from the underside of Fishman Island, Fukaboshi finally begs Luffy to save the people at any cost.
With that, Luffy and crew finish off their battles in a spectacular fashion, and Luffy begins destroying the massive ship.
The Fishman Island arc seems to be finally hitting its climax with this volume, and there’s plenty to enjoy here. The crew’s battles are the best of what’s displayed here, with plenty of new abilities and awesome moments on display throughout. Meanwhile, Hody and Luffy’s battle has a nice setup and definitely has its moments, but it does feel a tad weak. In both abilities and motivation, Hody simply feels like one of the weaker villains in the series, so much so that he doesn’t feel like a great threat even with Luffy being handicapped. Even so, there’s a lot of action and excitement to go around, so even a soggy villain isn’t enough to bog this volume down completely.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: November 6th, 2012