Story/Art: Eiichiro Oda
English Adaptation: Lance Caselman
What They Say:
After risking everything he had to save his brother, Luffy finds his world now shattered. Whitebeard will make one last stand against the Navy forces but when the epic pirate war finally comes to an end, the entire world will be shaken!
Everyone watches on in shock as Ace collapses in front of Akainu. Jimbei rushes forward to stall Akainu, soon followed by Marco and Vista, while Garp commands Sengoku to hold him back. As the war continues on around them, Ace apologizes that Luffy couldn’t save him, and thanks everyone for loving him before dying in his brother’s arms.
As Akainu closes in to finish off Luffy, everyone steps up to protect him, including Whitebeard, who gets half his face blown off before blasting the admiral through Navy Headquarters. Flexing his strength further, Whitebeard splits the square in half, separating the pirates and the navy. It’s at this point that everyone notices the Blackbeard pirates looming over the crowd, along with a new set of recruits from level 6 of Impel Down. Furious at Blackbeard’s previous betrayal, Whitebeard attacks his former son. Blackbeard cackles, saying that Whitebeard’s earthquakes won’t work against him, only for Whitebeard to advance forward and absolutely pulverize him. When the rest of Blackbeard’s crew jumps into the fight, Whitebeard is finally brought down, but not before declaring to the world that the One Piece exists.
As the crowd stares on in disbelief, the Blackbeard pirates throw a cloth over Whitebeard’s corpse and Blackbeard. Meanwhile, the pirates dash madly for their ships, trying desperately to follow Whitebeard’s order to escape. Aokiji starts freezing the ships in, and Akainu appears once again before Jimbei, who is carrying the collapsed Luffy. Blackbeard then exits the cloth, only to show that he has now mysteriously gained Whitebeard’s earthquake powers. Akainu catches up to the fleeing Jimbei and stabs through him, wounding Luffy’s chest. Crocodile and an unwilling Buggy help move Luffy towards the ships, when suddenly Trafalgar Law appears in his submarine and demands that he be allowed to treat Luffy’s wounds. Realizing the bloody mess that the situation has degraded into, Koby bravely steps up and shouts for everyone to stop. Just when Akainu is about to obliterate him for insubordination, Shanks and his crew appear, letting Luffy and company escape and finally putting an end to the war.
Hancock takes Luffy back to her island so he can recuperate, where he remains mentally scarred over the loss of Ace. When Jimbei goes to calm the raging Luffy down, a flashback to Luffy’s childhood begins. We learn that when Luffy was young, Garp left him in the care of a bandit named Dadan. It is at Dadan’s house that Luffy meets Ace, and Ace appears to look down on Luffy, though Luffy remains his happy-go-lucky self. After three months of chasing after Ace and getting lost in the wilderness, Luffy finally manages to follow his brother Gray Terminal. Gray Terminal is a mountain made of trash, including people that society has cast away. It is also where Sabo, Ace’s best friend, lives. When Sabo and Ace are checking on their treasure stash, which they are saving to become pirates, Luffy appears before them, asking to be their friend. Suddenly, a large pirate by the name of Porchemy appears, looking for Sabo and Ace, who had robbed him. Porchemy proceeds to kidnap Luffy, but no matter how cruelly Porchemy beats him, Luffy refuses to tell him anything. When Sabo and Ace realize that Luffy hasn’t sold them out, they rush out and save him. Sabo and Ace ask the bloodied Luffy why he didn’t give up the information to save himself, but he says it was better to be beaten then risk being unable to be their friend. Ace asks Luffy if he needs him and wants him to be alive, and Luffy says he does. Sabo then comes to Dadan’s house, and the three become close friends.
With this volume, the war finally comes to an end with an absolutely shocking climax. Previously established rules are challenged, and a variety of new mysteries come into play. Meanwhile, with this volume you really get to see everyone band together, making for some stunning scenes. However, the real star of the volume is once again Whitebeard, who puts up one hell of a fight and gives the readers quite a show. The volume ends by changing pace and entering into a flashback. This flashback is an interesting change of pace compared to the high-action and over the top powers of the war, and is sure to add extra poignancy to the events it follows. With its over the top action, startling twists, and countless touching moments, this volume is one that shouldn’t be missed.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Readers Rating: [ratings]
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: December 6th, 2011