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Series: One Piece #40
Arc: Water Seven #9
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
“Enies Lobby Main Island Express”
“Luffy vs. Blueno”
“Signal the Counterattack”
“There Is a Way”
The Straw Hats lay waste to Enies Lobby, defeating anyone who tries to keep them from Robin. As the rest of the crew deals with the less formidable guardians of the island, Luffy goes ahead and calls out to CP9. Only one member of CP9, Blueno, agrees to fight him, remembering how quickly Luffy was defeated in their last encounter. As the battle progresses Luffy demonstrates his ability to use one of CP9’s abilities. After using his “Gear Two” and before demonstrating his “Gear Three”, Luffy defeats Blueno and calls out to Robin that he is there to rescue her.
This could have been a fantastic volume. It was one massive battle as the Straw Hat Pirates and Frankie’s “family” came to rescue Robin and Frankie from the stronghold of the World Government. I could actually follow most of the action, which isn’t a given with how swirly the manga-ka usually does his battles. I also thought how the various crew members getting stronger was well done. Even Usopp, excuse me, I mean “Sniper King” is getting better at surviving extinction level events. And Luffy’s battle with one of the CP9? It went fantastically.
There were simply too many double paged spreads. That might work in a paper magazine or even in a tankouban (the manga you see in a bookstore) just fine. But I’m reading this digitally, on my computer. And my options are to either shrink to a 2 page spread (and lose a ton of details and possible what the characters are saying) or to stick to 1 page at a time and have to flip back and forth to get the full picture of the action as it is spread across 2 pages and goes from top to bottom. It was incredibly frustrating.
In the manga-ka’s defense, digital wasn’t nearly as big when this was originally published. But I’m reading it now, not 13 years ago. And even then, trying to open a tankouban fully usually meant breaking the spine or having details on the inner edge being lost to view. SO NOT GOOD. THEN OR NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! HERE ME RAWWWWWWR!
Therefore I am going to be inventing time travel so I can send Oda-sensei this review, so that he flipping knocks it off. There’s no need for double page spreads. Period. And if he continues them, well, then you’ll know the REAL reason why Kyle Reese and the T800 went back in time.