After the beautiful city of water, Water Seven, the Straw Hat pirates now head into the world of horror. Zombies, skeletons, ghosts and more creepy things await as One Piece goes Tim Burton… Yo ho ho ho!
Thriller Bark is the name of the new arc and it’s off to an awesome start! As the crew open a treasure barrel at sea they end up in a trap leading them to a dangerous island full of the un-dead. They also meet a talking gentleman skeleton with an afro before that, Brooke. Brooke immediately is a fantastic character. He cracks jokes about being all bones, grows impatient over dinner, and asks to see the girl’s panties. What a guy. Despite his crazy joyful nature, when he says how happy he has been to see humans, suddenly the depth develops and you want to know more. With a missing shadow he can never leave the dark and Luffy vows to save him so he can join the crew. So begins the adventure on ghost island.
The crew split into two groups. First we see the coward group venture forth, Usopp, Nami and Chopper, which is of course hilarious. They shriek, they wear charms to ward off evil and they end up uncovering a few of the secrets while they run around terrified. Meanwhile Luffy, Sanji, Robin, Zoro and Franky are just waltzing in beating everyone up and Luffy trying to recruit everything he sees to his crew. They learn the name of the big bad of the arc. The story is crammed full of jokes and the zombie twist feels incredibly fresh in the world of One Piece. We have running zombies who quickly run out of breath, an old man tree sharing a drink with a unicorn, a walking bear rug, a woman who hates plates, an invisible pervert man and many more, the panels are crammed full of these inventions. Oda really is full of genius ideas and the dark Tim Burton style art really adds to the atmosphere, but keeps that One Piece craziness. Some of the monsters look pretty scary actually and would be if it wasn’t for all the jokes.
The new arc is fresh, hilarious and action packed. Pages are stuffed with panels of jokes, action, intrigue and monsters and it all builds up to an exciting climax as the straw hats trapped on the island take part in a night hunt. Will their shadows be safe? Will Luffy get Brooke to join his crew? Why does that Cerberus have two dog heads and one wolf head? Mysteries.