|Romance Dawn Part Deux||2 out of 4 users found this review helpful.|
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
MSRP: $9.99 (USD)
Contents: 9 Chapters / 200pg.
This volume in the ever growing ONE PIECE series closes out both the Dawn Island Arc and the Grand Line Saga, but begins the Fish-Man Island Arc and the New World Saga. Very much a landmark issue. The Straw Hats have taken a two year break from their journey to finally train and prepare for the threats ahead. But in their absence impostors have stepped in to claim the title of Straw Hats,
The two year break is pretty much a Shonen Jump standard for their long running series. It's an effective way of instilling drastic change in your cast in a short period of time. Time skips are classically sudden, but Oda has been building to this for years by having Luffy either being defeated repeatedly or failing in his ultimate goal to save Ace. It's the only way to make such an innocent protagonist realize he's not ready for what's to come.
One of my biggest concerns about the time skip was that Luffy would come out of this as a more serious character, and his charm is in his innocence. This volume clears up all concerns that the crew you've grown to love have changed. There wasn't a single chapter that didn't have a chuckle or right out laugh in it. Oda's ability to mix comedy, drama, and action is well on display here, and we get an appropriately brief glimpse at some of their growth.
Zoro's bit of numbering the crew by order of their arrival is one of my favorite running gags of this volume, Nami's defiance against the Fake Luffy's advances was pretty bad ass, and I honestly love that moment when Sentomaru meets Luffy's impostor. As I think about it. Fake Luffy is one of the best punching bags since Buggy.
When it comes to the volume's added content. Not only are there the classic SBS Question Corner and voice actor interviews. Volume 61 actually has Oda's design sketches of how he was trying to work out the crew's new look for the post time skip. There is no version of Nico Robin that I don't love.
Besides the rather pointless introduction of these new pirate rookie captains that exist only to be PX Cyborg fodder. My only real complaint with the volume is in some of the translation issues in relation to the Haki abilities. VIZ's choice of terminology is perplexing. Just to cite an example, and sort of in VIZ's defense. Busoushoku does literally translate to Color of Armor, and they translate this literally as "Color of Arms Haki". I'll just never understand their erratic choices in their use of literal translation. It's the use of the term "color" for all the Haki abilities that makes no sense. If the translation of a fighting technique is this awkward, it's better to tweak or use the actual Japanese terminology. "Haki" itself actually means "ambition", but they aren't using that. For some perspective, the word "Gum" is the Japanese term for "rubber". Could you image reading Luffy going "Rubber-Rubber" for every technique? It wouldn't have the same vibe. FUNimation found the best balance in their translation.
I think it's important to remind people that the crew have been trying to get to Fish-Man Island since they left Water Seven in Volume 45, and they are only now on their way. That's dedication to long term story telling. Even if the action of the volume is very limited, but the story is a lot of fun. This is a landmark edition for any ONE PIECE collection. This is a great place to stow away for this epic adventure.