ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘One Piece,’ Volume 97

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One Piece Volume 97

One Piece Volume 97 is an action-adventure fantasy manga series created, written, and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. The English release of the series is published by Viz Media.  One Piece follows a young boy named Monkey D. Luffy who dreams sets out to become king of the pirates.  Luffy and his trusted crew members, the Straw Hat Pirates, travel the world seeking adventure in hopes of being the first pirates to find the legendary “One Piece” treasure.

Now in One Piece Volume 97, the “Wano Country” Arc continues as Luffy and the members of the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance set out to raid Onigashima, the base of operations of Emperor Kaido and his Beast Pirates. However, with Kanjuro’s betrayal revealed, he kidnaps Momonosuke in his escape to warn Lord Orochi.  Meanwhile, the samurai are left in awe as Luffy, Law, and Kid make a rambunctious entrance and first strike against Kaido’s Beast Pirates as the battle to liberate Wano finally begins.

I absolutely loved the pacing of One Piece Volume 97. A lot is going on in this chapter, but the pacing of each chapter helps not to make it feel overwhelming or confusing to the reader. For the most part, I have enjoyed the “Wano Country” Arc a lot. However, I would be lying if I didn’t say it felt like there were some moments throughout the arc that made it feel like it was dragging on a bit too much. Thankfully Volume 97 does not have that problem at all. Like other recent volumes in this arcVolume 97 helps set the stage for the final showdown against the main villain.

I remain impressed with the mangaka’s ability to balance the attention on so many characters in this volume. One Piece is packed with tons of unique characters—all of which have various motivations in the plot. But, Oda manages to include so many characters without making it hard to follow all plots taking place simultaneously.

Another great feature of this volume that aids in balancing the characters is that the first few pages give a brief introduction to the major characters. These pages give readers, whether they are long-time followers of the series or newcomers, a snapshot of the plot and the characters’ motivations.

One Piece usually delivers a story that seamlessly balances action, adventure, and humor. This volume is a great example of precisely that. Personally, one of my favorite things about this series is that it does a great job of telling an action-adventure story humorously.  For example, Luffy, Law, and Kid are bickering in the middle of a deadly battlefield in this volume.

Overall, One Piece Volume 97 is a great read, and I highly recommend picking up a copy. Volume 97 has wonderful pacing that helps to progress the “Wano Country” Arc closer to the biggest battle Luffy and his crew have faced yet. Eiichiro Oda continues to do a stellar job focusing on multiple characters and plots simultaneously. Additionally, this volume is a prime example of how Oda effortlessly balances action, adventure, and humor.

One Piece Volume 97 is available on August 17th, wherever books are sold.

One Piece Volume 97 
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TL;DR

One Piece Volume 97 is a great read, and I highly recommend picking up a copy. Volume 97 has wonderful pacing that helps to progress the “Wano Country” Arc closer to the biggest battle Luffy and his crew have faced yet.