The Straw Hats have officially entered into the New World! We’ve only seen one page of this sea so far, and it is already crazier than the first half of the Grand Line combined. Raining lightning and the sea is on fire, this is going to be exciting. Let’s see what adventure awaits the Straw Hats in this next arc.
The Straw Hats have jumped from the frying pan, into the fire--literally! It looks like next arc will feature an island that is constantly on fire called Punk Hazard. So the next arc after being stuck under the sea is the complete opposite, a being stuck in a sea of fire. So the story goes that the Straw Hats receive a call of help through a den-den mushi. A nameless underling requests that the Straw Hats help them because a samurai is killing them all; one which eventually kills the caller. He tells them to go to Punk Hazard, which must be the island closest to them.
Now when I read Brook’s explanation of who the Samurai are, I almost blew my lid. So if the next arc’s villains take on a Japanese theme, that means they must have ninjas there as well. And we all know what that means: PIRATES VERSUS NINJAS! We will finally get our answer on who is the strongest among them, though this medium might be a little biased. Also Punk Hazard seems to be a hidden marine base, and is most likely some kind of secret laboratory for Vegapunk due to the similar use of the word punk and the fact that Vegapunk most likely likes to set things on fire.
Another great aspect of this chapter is that we get to see Smoker again. I thought he was bad ass when we last saw him, but his bad ass factor has increased tenfold. His bad assery increases at an exponential level! So once they enter the island every takes off their clothes and start to explore the place. Soon after they run into the only creature that can survive in this environment, a dragon! Perhaps Oda is playing Skyrim a little too much like the rest of us?
If Zoro is not Dragon Born, then I’m dropping this manga like a sack of door nobs.
THE VERDICT 4/5
I really enjoyed this chapter because it opens to doors to so many different cool things in the future. Dragons, Samurai, lots of fire, Vegapunk, shirtless Straw Hats--ect. Usually the first dangerous thing the Straw Hats meet on an island is a good guy, so I’m expecting Luffy and the Dragon to become good friends. Luffy, you need to make the Dragon into the next Straw Hat pirate, forget about Jinbe.