I am a huge One Piece fan, this is why I am doing weekly One Piece impressions. The reason I chose to do the manga instead of the anime is quite simple: The anime is very good, however, since the Enies Lobby arc, the anime has been a bit of a roller coaster. They really need to slow down or think of a good way to filler up the anime in order to give the series some breathing room. Normally I’m not the kind of person to ask for filler, but my love for the One Piece series wants to see high quality anime, not 20 minutes of Buggy and Mr. 3 running away from some hungry wolves. As much as I would hate not seeing it, I hope the series takes a break for a year or two. They are at a good stopping point, they could call it “One Piece: The New World” or “One Piece: Newgate’s Age.” Maybe they could spin off for a while and show us the other 100 million plus rookies rise to infamy. Anyway, the manga has yet to disappoint, so I shall keep to it. Now on to the chapter, which is a good one to start impressions with!
The last few chapters have been set-up chapters, just revealing to use the others and their reaction to what happened, however, this is one of the biggest chapters ever in the One Piece manga. Oda mentioned earlier this year that One Piece might go on for another 10 years and this chapter sets up the final years of the manga quite perfectly. Starting off with the resignation of both Sengoku and Garp, this was to be expected, well, at lest Garp being removed from power. I was quite shocked with Sengoku’s pick for the next Fleet Admiral. Maybe it is just that Sengoku really hasn’t had much face time in the series so we truly don’t know who he is and what his views are, but we all know Aokiji. If Aokiji becomes the next Feet Admiral there might be changes to the way the Marines. I would bet that Smoker becomes some kind of new elite unit directly under his command. I have always made bets that one of the ways the series will progress is that Smoker will lead a group of Marines that will battle The Straw Hat Pirates at some point, that group would include all the major players that we have seen so far, like Coby, Helmeppo, Fullbody, Jango, T-Bone, and Tashigi. That would make for some great fights too. Who wouldn’t want to see a T-Bone x Brook fight? Not only would it be elite, it would be hysterical. It probably isn’t surprising to anyone that Coby gained Haki, I always loved how Oda explained the ablity to hear “voices” during the Skypeia arc by making it a Haki ability, Coby gained that during the fight, so it was to be expected that he would gain Haki. Last thing I want to say about the Marines is that last chapter Buggy got some kind of message, one could probably guess the possibilities of what the letter proposed, but I am sure now it is definitely to become one of the Shichibukai. It would be a great way to gain control over the prisoners that escaped from Level 5 and have a man known to be one of the former Pirate King’s crewman as a Shichibukai.
Moving onto the New World.. Surely their next stop is Fishman Island, but the Straw Hat Pirates are headed there and it looks like it will hold up to the One Piece fame. One thing One Piece has always done is make the next leg of their journey seem epic and that is exactly what Oda is doing here as well. I think it is obvious that Smoker, Kidd, Black Beard, and Dragon will all big major figures over there. I mentioned earlier that Smoker will have to battle Luffy at some time and the only way I see it being a major fight is if Luffy gets involved with the Revolutionary army during some Arc. For the Straw Hat Pirates to survive in the new world they will all have to level up and it is obvious they are. I have my bets on Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji all having Haki abilities when they get there. I always thought that those three would probably all have the King’s Dispostion Haki , if not just a high level of it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Coby was packing it too. I loved how in one box it showed Sanji injured with Ivankov in the background. That means he is training with him and since Ivankov uses Haki, I bet Sanji will learn how to use it as well.
I always wondered if Hancock would join Luffy’s crew and while I still think that would make for some great moments, in the end I doubt it will happen. The Straw Hat Pirates are all up and coming in the world with no real reputation until these epic events occur. Hancock would throw that off and it would feel different if a pirate of her prestige joined their crew. I hope starting in the next chapter they all start getting back together too. I liked how they were forced apart, but in the end I love the Straw Hat Crew and want to see them together.