Hello! What exciting times to be able to take the reign’s and begin reviewing Eiichiro Oda's adventure, One Piece. My name is Declan, and if all goes well I will be providing a weekly recap review for the latest One Piece Chapters. With the manga progressing into the New World, One Piece is sailing into some climatic arcs. I look forward to breaking down chapters weekly with you ladies and gentlemen. I will save introductions for next week if this review is successful, so what are we waiting for?!
Chapter 699- The Morning Paper
We begin Chapter 699 with a worse for wear Vice Admiral Smoker who is about to be on the wrong side of a finishing blow from Donquixote Doflamingo. To G5’s shock former Marine Admiral Aokiji (Kuzan) appears behind Doflamingo, and prevents him from finishing off Smoker. Doflamingo is able to survive Aokiji’s ice attack, as his heart was unfrozen.
Doflamingo, calm as usual before the former Marine Admiral, asks which Kuzan stands before him. Doflamingo reveals that what he “heard through the grapevine aint pretty” in relation to Kuzan. Doflamingo flees with his comrades, leaving with the ominous statement that it is easy to tell the difference between “a vagrant wandering aimlessly or a man standing firm by his convictions”.
Kuzan reveals to Smoker that he never held the Marines and World Government in high regard, even in his time as a Marine. The nature of Kuzan’s allegiance and mental state is questionable. Smoker reveals that Kuzan’s being on Punk Hazard, and knowledge of the situation, reveals he has involvement, if only for information, in the underworld. Kuzan reveals that Doflamingo is a massive threat to the New Marine HQ.
We switch the Law Straw hat Alliance, with usual shenanigans occurring. Mono is bathing with Robin, to the shock and jealousy of some of the more perverted crew members and passenger. Mono uses a little charm to get close to Nami too!
Things get serious the next morning as the newspaper is in. Donquixote Doflamingo has relinquished his Shichibukai status and Royalty of Dressrosa, as per Law’s demand. It is revealed that Kid, Apoo and Hawkins themselves have formed an alliance in the New World. We are left with the fall out of Dressrosa only beginning, as the world reacts to an immediate and unexpected change in the balance of power.
WOW what a loaded Chapter! So much happened, as the story begins to pick up speed quickly, following a pretty evenly paced Punk Hazard Arc. For a very long time the New World has been built up to be the seas of the elite, and so far, its depiction has lived up to that and then some. I know a lot of people found PH very slowly paced, but coming out of this arc, we have a real understanding of how the New World Works. It’s been revealed to us the dynamics of that Sea, where to survive you must be under the protection of and Emperor, or at their throats. The Supernovas have banded together, and it has become clear that surviving in the New World is not at all as simple as surviving the first half of the Grand Line. It’s going to be very interesting watching how Luffy operates, in what is obviously a lot more political Sea, where planning and strategy is required as well as skill and ability, with his carefree nature. Personally I’m very excited for the collision course of the Supernovas, when we will get it, and in what capacity remains to be seen. But for certain right now, with the revealing of the dark underbelly of the New World, pulling strings from the shadows, and depiction of alliances, it’s becoming clear navigating the New is intense
It was very interesting to see a more rugged Aokiji. What kind of involvement he has with the Underworld remains unclear. However Aokiji has always followed his own way of justice, so his involvement in the plot is going to be very interesting. A lot of talk has been centred around his training Smoker. Personally I think this is something we will see in some capacity. Oda is meticulous in the way he likes to get across the strengths of his characters. Smoker has been positioned in this Arc, while being strong, to appear very much a cut underneath the elite names. Aokiji is obviously fond of Smoker, but more than that Smokers brand of ‘justice’ is very similar to Aokijis, such as when he let the Straw Hats escape, and denied promotion earlier in the story. He too appears to have a stand offish relationship with the World Government. Smoker will be elite by the stories end, and this could be a very likely avenue to get him there. But time will tell.
I loved the comedy with the Straw Hats. It’s the a great way to break up a lot of seriousness, and allow the reader to digest what they have just been given, before revealing anougher lot of pivotal information, in the worlds reaction to Doflamingo’s resignation. The perverted nature of Sanji and Brook always make me laugh. Doflamingos resignation creates volatility, which has been heavily foreshadowed if not outright stated in Law’s speech to about the World Government when fighting Vergo.
To conclude, SO MUCH HAPPENED, and with a great mix of seriousness and comedy in between, we have a lot going forward. The New World begins to take shape. We have more questions than answers for Aokiji, and the effect of Doflamingo’s stepping down looks big. Next week is 700, and the story seems to be quickening in pace. Much to look forward to!