Sunday, November 15, 2015

One Piece Volume 76 Review

One Piece Volume 76: Just Keep Going

Contained Chapters: 

  • Chapter 753: Battle
  • Chapter 754: Making Acquaintance
  • Chapter 755: A Man's World
  • Chapter 756: The Fourth Step
  • Chapter 757: Trump Card
  • Chapter 758: Just Keep Going
  • Chapter 759: Secret Plan
  • Chapter 760: The Same Bet
  • Chapter 761: The Op-Op Fruit
  • Chapter 762: The White Town
  • Chapter 763: Declaration of Humanity

The volume title 'Just Keep Going' is very fitting for the first half of the volume, which is almost all set up involving the characters continuing their charge for the palace to take down Doflamingo. Aside from a few of the less notable gladiators getting taken out rather easily by Dellinger, only one named character is really defeated in the first half. We get some scenes from ongoing battles, such as Franky vs. Senor Pink and Zolo vs. Pica, and we get an idea of who will be involved in other battles, but for the most part it seemed like Oda was putting everything into place before the real action can start. Much like the last chapter, there were several points along the journey to the palace where characters on Luffy's side stayed behind to allow Luffy and co. to continue forward (some characters stay behind to fight the Donquixote Family on the second step, others stay behind the third step, and a couple more on the fourth - pretty standard shounen stuff). By the time what's left of the party does reach Doflamingo's palace, it's been cut down to a mere two fighters. 

The highlight of the first half is probably the return of Sugar, and Usopp somehow managing to accomplish a 'Go on Without Me' spiel despite being kilometers away from Luffy at the time. Unlike the rest of these battles that are left hanging, this one actually receives some resolution and, after Usopp's anticlimactic victory in their last encounter, I actually found it pretty satisfying. 

In the latter half of the volume, Round 3 with Doflamingo finally kicks off but is quickly interrupted as we get a look into the Donquixote Family's past. I think there's better ways for lengthy flashbacks to be framed than right in the middle of climatic fight scenes, but as far as contents go this is pretty interesting stuff. Seeing how the family operated back in the day was definitely engaging, and - while the flashback is still only halfway through - the feud between the family and Law that motivated this entire story arc is starting to take shape.

As much as I love it... I still have to think that it would've had a much better impact if it had happened earlier on, Either after Law's capture, or sometime between then and when the final charge for the palace started. Instead, the volume continually builds up towards a series of climatic action scenes throughout this volume and the last, finally gives us a taste of what we've been promised when Luffy reaches Doffy... and then completely halts everything so Oda can explain why all of this is happening and give us more reasons to care. The major flashbacks in the CP9 saga both had the feel of dramatic intermissions, and the latter served to hype us up before the Strawhats went up against their opponents in CP9; we didn't get into the real action and then pause it. I'm not saying that this flashback, once it's concluded, won't get us more excited for the fight scene, but my problem is all of the set up Oda fed us in the first half of the volume was already building up our anticipation. By cutting away from that action, at least in my experience, it makes the audience lose some of that initial hype when showing it at an earlier point could have complimented it. Anyways, I've ranted enough about that.

Overall, the first half of this volume feels like Oda is setting all his pieces in place for the final battle between the heroes and the Donquixote Family. The obligatory flashback that takes up most of the second half might feel intrusive at first, but its contents are interesting enough to make you happily forget that. I'd say that, with everyone now matched up against their respective opponents, this long running arc seems like its ready to be sped towards a conclusion... but there's a lot of fight scenes that have been set up which we've still only seen a tiny bit of. Either a lot of them are going to get brushed under the rug, or this arc still has a ways to go.

My Rating: 6/10

((Just to note, while I obviously am up to date with the weekly release if you look at my chapter reviews, as this is a volume review I've tried to avoid spoilers for anyone that might be reading only in this way.))

No comments:

Post a Comment