Story/Art: Eiichiro Oda
Translation: Stephen Paul
What They Say
The Straw Hats head for a new land of adventure, the kingdom of Wano! But awaiting them there are Kaido’s powerful forces and all sorts of new problems!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having landed in Wano, Luffy finds himself all on his own… and watching a battle between a giant baboon with a sword and a massive komainu. Not that he knows what either of them are, mind you. Of course, he gets wrapped up in all the commotion and beats a random henchman in no time flat, and in the process rescues a young girl named Otama. However, she’s not just any random little girl, as she has the power to make dumplings from her cheeks that she can use to tame creatures! And it’s through her and her attempt to repay Luffy for his aid that we first learn of the state that Wano is in. Which is to say, the common folk are poor and can’t afford proper food, the water and creatures wandering about are full of poison from Kaido’s factories, and the bad guys are living lives of luxury! And it certainly all works well as a nice device to draw you in and introduce you to the rather flavorful new land.
In the course of trying to help Otama out further, Luffy ends up meeting up once again with Zolo. Now, despite the fact that they’re apparently supposed to be keeping a low profile, that certainly doesn’t happen, as the pair pretty much immediately end up in a fight with Basil Hawkins, who is now working under Kaido. And I’ve got to say, I really love his powers now that we get a good look at just what he can do with his straw-straw skills. Not only are they neat in terms of how they’re used, they also make for some real great visuals, too! And from there things only continue to heat up as Luffy gets involved in a sumo wrestling match, a man with a lion for a stomach runs wild, and… Otama tames a horse woman?
However, just what does it mean when our hero finds some graves with some very familiar names? And more importantly, after stirring up such a commotion, just how badly has Luffy thrown off Law’s carefully formed plans?
This volume is our proper introduction to the land of Wano, with the arc really getting rolling here. And fortunately, it’s already showing a ton of potential. The kingdom just oozes flavor, with its mix of old school Japanese flair being hit with some more modern problems. Plus, the villains are already starting off rather intriguing, with one familiar face in particular making a great, flashy showing here. I also appreciate how smoothly we’re eased into things, starting with just Luffy at first and then steadily introducing what’s been going on. Add to this some fun fights and solid emotional beats, as well as plenty of intrigue, and you’ve got a great start to a new arc!
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: August 6th, 2019