Things aren’t looking good for the Straw Hat pirates with Robin missing, Usopp missing, a whole lot of money missing and a ship beyond repair. Things should get better at this stage but unfortunately for Luffy things are about to get a whole lot worse. Be prepared for a wild swing of negative emotion as you watch the crew fall apart.
It starts with the case of Usopp and the money which isn’t a pretty sight to see. Beaten up by the Franky family and robbed Usopp feels he can’t face his crew until he gets the money back but this leads him into an even worse state, he just can’t keep up with the villains who just seem to get stronger and stronger as the adventure progresses. His defeat is a shocking scene thanks to his speech and anger beforehand and the way the Straw Hats silently walk to the Franky House in anger. There hasn’t been a scene of such since the Arlong arc back in the first ten volumes and to see another one is welcome though this time the Straw Hats completely decimate the Franky Family and the house they live in. Luffy looks furious and understandably so and while it seems everything will be ok now with Usopp, this isn’t the case.
Which leads to the middle of the volume as Usopp and Luffy have a squabble over the fact the Going Merry ship can’t be repaired. For the first time we see a proper fight amongst the crew and it ends with tears. The flashbacks of Luffy, Usopp and the Going Merry’s time together help stir up the emotion and the outcome will reduce even the hardened reader to crying. Things really feel messed up now and with Franky attempting to get revenge on Luffy for destroying his house and the carpenters trying to hunt Luffy down due to Nico Robin things are one big mess. Add a tidal wave ready to approach the town and the only fun comes from the strange powers the characters use to fight. The drama of the crew falling apart is the perfect way to add tension when the series avoids any deaths, it probably hurts more so and shows death isn’t the only way to make a comic dramatic with the thought of loss for our heroes. Let’s hope our favourite pirates can find a way out of this mess. Bad for the cast, but great entertainment for us readers.