One Piece Volume 37: Tom

One Piece Volume 37: Tom
Story and Art: Eiichiro Oda
Release Date: 28th April 2005
Covers Chapters 347-357
Shonen Jump/Viz Media

The secret World Government organisation CP9 have shown themselves and are after secret blueprints for a deadly weapon ‘Pluton’! It seems a man called Cutty Flam holds these documents who is non other than the crazy cola powered Franky! Why is Nico Robin getting wrapped up in all this and will Luffy be able to get her back?

Volume 37 starts with the CP9 giving the Straw Hat crew a good old thrashing. These people are the deadliest enemy they’ve faced yet, they can even defeat foes with just a finger! The struggle gives little hope in the situation and after a rather exotic transformation from ex-carpenter Rob Lucci, it seems all hope is lost. And Franky is next on the list! Everything is as chaotic as the previous set of volumes and the display of twisting plots, character development, fresh exciting ideas and action makes for one hell of a read. To think a few volumes ago everything was fine at the Davy Back and now they’ve lost two crew members, a boat on the verge of death, accused of attempted murder, stolen money and a tidal wave on the way. Oda manages to balance everything fine though, some characters or plot points may vanish for a few chapters but they will come back with full force and connection to the events just gone.

The main meat of the volume is Franky’s past. Last in-depth back story we got was the excellent one of Noland back in Skypiea so this has a lot to live up to. It tells the tale of Water Seven and how it was saved by the creation of the sea train. It shows how Franky and Iceberg interacted with each other and the fishman boss Tom is given a connection with Gol D Roger which creates some relevance with the overall story of One Piece. It is another well told story and the characters are shown how they became today perfectly. The plot twist which causes problems may be a tad predictable but the final moments are full of despair as you want to pluck the characters from the situation and tell them not to act that way!  The World Government sure seems more evil than the pirates at this stage…

Volume 37 carries over the suspense and action of before and even throws in an engaging and worthwhile back story for the increasingly lovable Franky. With the Straw Hats at a loss and CP9 ready to grab those blueprints, who knows how things will go now. Whatever happens its bound to be with a boom!

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