Review: “One Piece: Baroque Works 19-21” by Eiichiro Oda

Review: "One Piece: Baroque Works 19-21" by Eiichiro Oda

A review by Hannah.

One Piece was started in 1997 and is continuing today. There are 81 volumes to date, which is why this series of reviews will be broken up into three volume books. From now on there will be spoilers for what happens in the rest of the series. You have been warned…

The Straw Hats are leaving Yuba and headed towards Rainbase a.k.a The City of Dreams, to confront Sir Crocodile with his crimes before the war starts. The rebels are gathering weapons for an all out attack on the kingdom’s capital Alubarna. King Cobra, Vivi’s father, learns who is behind the dance powder incident that sparked the rebellion to begin with, right before he goes missing.

In Rainbase, the crew runs into the Marines. Sanji and Chopper are separated from the rest of the group while they try to escape pursuit. The others fall for Crocodile’s “cunning” trap with Ltd. Smoker. After gloating, Crocodile and Ms. All Sunday leave their victims in a Sea Stone (a metal that neutralizes Devil’s Fruit powers) cage, in a room rapidly filling up with water and banana gators.

After escaping the death trap, the crew starts racing to the capitol. Luffy and Crocodile face off in the desert, when Crocodile snatches Luffy away from the others. Luffy learns the terrifying ability of Crocodile’s Suna(Sand) Suna no Mi and loses for the first time. Don’t worry, Ms. All Sunday saves him with her trademark smirk.

The rest of the crew make it to the capitol, where we get to see the defence against Bon Clay (Mister Two) in action. They split up to increase the chances of Vivi getting to the palace and square off against the top agents of Baroque Works. Zoro against Mr. One, Nami against Ms. Double Finger, Usopp and Chopper against Mr. Four and Ms. Merry Christmas, and Sanji against Mr. Two.

Each Straw Hat pirate takes a lot of abuse during their respective fights. Zoro loses a lot of blood, Nami gets her foot pierced all the way through, Sanji breaks a bunch of bones, as does Usopp, Chopper gets blown up a few times, and Luffy gets all the water in his body dried out of him. How will they survive?

The characters eyes are still drawn rather large, but ears and hands are more in proportion with the rest of the body. The change is gradual and feels like it’s connected to the evolution of the characters, more so than the evolution of the artist’s skills.

I appreciate the way Crocodile’s Devil’s Fruit power manifests itself. He is made of sand, so whenever he is hit directly, he explodes into millions of grains of sand. The way it’s depicted in black and white is amazing.

A lot happens in these volumes. All the build up from the last three volumes just explodes onto the pages, yet there is still time to throw in jokes, flashbacks, and tenderness. It’s an awesome rollercoaster of emotions. From the highs of Sanji and Chopper teaming up to save the others, to the lows of seeing Luffy lose, to the loop de loops of everybody squaring off against the top teams of Baroque Works.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

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