Impel Down, the toughest prison in the world of One Piece, with level upon level of terrifying torture and tight security. With the sound of screams and the sight of blood being the norm, Luffy has his work cut out when he breaks into the place to save his brother, Ace. Can he avoid being locked up with all the other pirates, or will he manage to make this a successful jail break? Thankfully he has a few ‘friends’ to help him.
Breaking into prison is a new dangerous setting for our favourite rubber pirate. Gone are the tropical islands of magic and mystery, instead a horrifying place of spiked trees, messed up monsters and starving prisoners sets the scene. Each level further down under the sea the intensity increases and the display of detailed chambers and nasty torture bring this messed up world alight. The workers all have some type of demonic appearance too, Warden Magellan looks like one dude not to mess with, especially with some goopy poison powers at the ready. The setting is perfect for the prison invasion and each floor provides a new look and set of features.
It isn’t a solo journey for Luffy however as he has to team up with some of the cell mates he meets and these aren’t just any old unruly trash. Starting with the hilarious Buggy the clown, Luffy seems to go to each floor with a new comrade in tow, even if they just want to escape. Seeing Luffy work with past villains is a joy to see and Oda has picked some of the most idiotic to bring some comedy to Impel Down. Character interactions make up the highlight of this volume and the journey into the depths of hell couldn’t be more smile inducing. Old favourites, new enemies and a tense time based plot will make you forget the lack of his crew, who we get some rather exciting, if brief information on. The only poison upset to the proceedings is loved up Hancock, fawning over Luffy at every possible moment. Get a grip!