One Piece: Baroque Works (Vol. 16-18 – Omnibus Edition) by Eiichiro Oda (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
June 12, 2013 by Dennis Amith
Action packed and a lot of fun! The Straw Hat Pirates have a new member joining the crew and Luffy’s brother Ace also makes an appearance in “One Piece: Baroque Works (Vol. 16-18 – Omnibus Edition)”, which is setting up an explosive confrontation between the Straw Hat Pirates and Crocodile and Baroque Works for the next omnibus. Recommended!
Image courtesy of © 1997 Eiichiro Oda. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: One Piece: Baroque Works (Vol. 16-18 – Omnibus Edition)
STORY AND ART BY: Eiichiro Oda (尾田 栄一郎)
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC
RATED: T for Older Teen
Available on June 4, 2013
This best-selling manga of high seas adventures just got bigger with this collection of the Baroque Works saga of One Piece!
As a child, Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally gained the power to stretch like rubber…at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, Luffy sets off in search of the “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…
When a demented king shows up to reclaim his island kingdom, Luffy and his crew are there to stop him! As the Straw Hats battle the royal interlopers, they get to know all about eccentric Dr. Hiriluk and his reindeer assistant, Tony Tony Chopper. But can they possibly overcome King Wapol— whose body changes depending on what he eats—and survive the scheming of the Baroque Works crew on the island of Alabasta?
The adventure continues as the Straw Hat Gang plan to go to Alabasta to return Princess Vivi and Carue back to her land. The problem is that when the gang fought from their last battle in the island, Nami was bitten by a bug and now she is growing sicker and sicker by the day. Worried about her health and the fact that she may die without medical care, the group knows they need to stop at an island and find a doctor for her.
So, the gang end up in the frosty island known as Drum Island who is run by a dictator named Wapol and his henchman. And while at Drum Island, the Straw Hat Pirates realize that these people may not be as kind to help them.
What is “One Piece”?
“ONE PIECE” is a popular anime series based on the popular manga series serialized in Shonen Jump by Eiichiro Oda. Suffice to say, “ONE PIECE” is the highest selling manga for Weekly Shonen Jump and its popularity has extended to various anime (via the TV series, OVA and films) and video games in America and also worldwide. The series is so popular, the episode count currently in Japan is over 540 episodes, one of the longest running anime series in Japan.
“ONE PIECE” is an adventure anime about a young man named Monkey D. Luffy who gained enormous strength (and stretching abilities) after eating a magical demon fruit. He eventually teams up with a group of pirates and have the name “The Straw Hats”. Luffy’s driven to one day obtain the most sought out treasure known as “One Piece” and eventually become the King of the Pirates.
Back in vol. 13, Ms. Wednesday was revealed to be Vivi Nefeltari, the princess of Alabasta.
She and her assistant infiltrated Baroque Works to find out who is responsible in creating an uprising in her home country.
But with Baroque Works now knowing the truth about Vivi, No. 9 pleads with Nami and Zoro to take Vivi back to Alabasta and if they do, they will get a reward. And Nami always the type to not say no to money or treasure, takes the job.
With the “One Piece: Baroque Works” (vol. 16-18 Omnibus Edition), one can call it the “Tony Tony Chopper” or “Drum Island” saga as the storyline focuses on the group in Drum Island but most importantly, how they gained a member of the group. Definitely a popular saga, Tony Tony Chopper has become one of the more popular characters in Japanese animation, even being voted in the top 5 characters of “Shonen Jump” and other polls. Needless to say, the character has become a major mascot of the show and a fan favorite. So, if you want to know everything about Chopper, this is the volume where it begins!
The last volume, we are introduced to Luffy’s brother Ace and the group finally arrives at the country of Alabasta, a desert that has its fair share of trouble.
But the Straw Hat Pirates are determined to bring Vivi back home and help her take on Baroque Works which is led by Crocodile. With Crocodile planning to overthrow the Alabasta government, Luffy reunites with his older brother Ace who joins the gang during the trip through Alabasta. Vivi quickly learns that things have changed so much in her country that the villages affected by the drought are hurting and people are starving for food.
And this makes Luffy want to go after Crocodile even more!
The Straw Hat Pirates consists of:
Monkey D. Luffy – The young captain of the Straw Hat Pirates and dreams to be a pirate king by getting his hands on the “ONE PIECE” artifact. When he was young, he accidentally ate a devil fruit which made his body rubbery and can stretch and blow up. An airhead of sorts, loves to eat but always believes and fights for his friends.
Roronoa Zoro – A skilled swordsman. A skilled and very strong fighter. Wants to be the greatest swordsman in the world.
Nami – The navigator of the group. The main female crew member and really good at weapons.
Usopp – A marksman. A talented inventor and artistic. Known by his long nose, his marksmanship with slingshots and weapons are great.
Sanji – The chef of the crew. A skilled fighter that uses only kicks in battle and is passionate towards Nami.
Vivi Nefertari – The Princess of Alabasta and trying to infiltrate Baroque Works and find out who the leader is. She and her duck Carue join the Straw Hat Pirates and are on adventure to get back to Alabasta.
Carue – A duck like animal who understands what the crew are talking about and although used by Vivi and others to ride on, Carue is also protective of Vivi and the others.
With the release of “One Piece: Baroque Works (Vol. 16-18 – Omnibus Edition)”, the continuing Alabasta arc is my favorite earlier storylines of “One Piece” thus far and with this latest volume is the introduction to Tony Tony Chopper!
The storyline focuses on character development around the main characters of Drum Island but also major character development storylines built around Chopper. By no means, does this mean that the series has hardly any battles because there is quite a bit of fighting as we see Wapol take on the people of Drum Island (including Dalton) and of course the Straw Hat Pirates and Chopper taking on Wapol and his men.
While we also get to know more about Princess Vivi and what her country has endured but also we see a little of her past. Also, we are introduced to Luffy’s brother Ace (who is one of the most popular anime characters in Japan according to a Shonen Jump poll). There are a good number of hijinks with these episodes as the group are in a hot desert and are lacking food/drink supplies but for the most part, what I found enjoyable are the number of Baroque Works top members being introduced and needless to say, you can tell that this is setting up for a major battle between them and the Straw Hat Pirates (which I am definitely looking forward to) and Baroque Works.
So, these three volumes is a pretty awesome buildup to a major battle which will be featured in the next omnibus!
As always, Eiichiro Oda’s pages are like a smorgasbord of artwork. He manages to fill every scene with characters and sometimes plenty of destruction or beauty. He puts so much into his artwork for his manga series and that’s just one of the reasons why people love his work. Also, with each major chapter conclusion, he answers mail from his fans with a humorous take and if anything, this latest storyline is delightful and fun! There is no doubt in my mind that “One Piece” fans will love this series!
Overall, these earlier “One Piece” volumes are fantastic and are full of action and humor but it’s interesting to read about two major characters. One is Tony Tony Chopper, who will become an important member to the Straw Hat Pirates and you also have Luffy’s brother Ace, who becomes very important later in the series.
Action-packed and a lot of fun, “One Piece: Baroque Works (Vol. 16-18 – Omnibus Edition)” is highly recommended!
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