After a four week break, agonizing or not (Oddly, I was the latter), One Piece is now back in it’s normal once a week run. Two years have passed since the last chapter, and while I thought the changes in character design would be massive, they are still changes indeed. I guess Oda took the more safer route in order to still keep the familiar designs of the characters we love. Franky however looks a bit too ridiculous, but we’ll see how that pans out eventually.
Brooke: Brooke didn’t change much, except some outfits, but he’s a freaking skeleton so nothing could really change.
Franky: Franky seems to have a gigantic body of some sorts, and if that’s permanent, I’ll be a little sad as he looks completely ridiculous. It seems like his new body is modeled after a gorilla, but he shaved his trademark hair!
Chopper: Chopper also didn’t change much, which was also expected. His hat looks similar to Strong World’s. Studying medicine doesn’t really change an animal does it?
Robin: Robin had slightly longer hair, but it is now slicked back, showing her forehead. Not the most attractive hairstyle for me, but her oddly conservative dress was a little interesting.
Sanji: Sanji earned a moustache and a goatee. Also not too much of a change. Doesn’t look bad on him, but I like Sanji with a more clean look. Who knows, maybe he’ll finally find a lady with his newfound ruggedness.
Mansopp: Mansopp raised 10 mantier levels with his bulging pecs and stubby beard. Also, man eating plants as weapons.
Nami: Nami now looks like a mermaid with her long hair, and her body proportions look worse than ever. Those jeans are so lowcut, it defies the laws of gravity. Another question is, jeans and a bikini top? Odd combo.
Zoro: Zoro scares me the most. From the cover spread, it seems as if he lost one eye and even one arm. That would really suck if that were true. I’d put more bets on the eye though, because he wouldn’t be able to do his signature santoryuu if he lost an arm.
Luffy: Battlescar +1. A gigantic X plastered over his chest, which is rather distracting. I can’t say I’m a big fan of this, but whatever. I’m betting Rayleigh or something almost killed him, and that scar is the result.
Minor complaints really, digging most of the changes so far. In retrospect, Oda really shouldn’t have shown all the character changes on the front cover. It would have been much cooler to have them revealed one by one.
Although there’s no significant changes, it’s what will be shown in battle that should show the real fruits of the time skip. Since the crew was gone for two years, an imposter crew has shown up, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be giving up easily. The crew will probably gather up next chapter and show off some of their newfound powers against the imposters and hurriedly escape to their ship in classic OP fashion and make haste to merman island. Soon we’ll be back into the ol’ one island, one arc story again. How nostalgic.
All in all, I’m going to have to say this chapter was slightly underwhelming, if only because I was disappointed that it would actually take more than one chapter to really show the weight of the time skip. In fact, I have a feeling it’s going to stretch out to be much longer than just one chapter. Honestly, this really should have been a 50 page chapter or something, because waiting for next week is going to be more agonizing than the four weeks before… Oh well, less is more right?