One Piece Volume 55: A Ray Of Hope

One Piece Volume 55: A Ray Of Hope
Story and Art: Eiichiro Oda
Release Date: 4th September 2009
Covers Chapters 533-541
Shonen Jump/Viz Media

The break in at Impel Down continues, but things are going to go as smoothly for Monkey D. Luffy now the warden is on his case. In a place of mistrust and selfish actions, he needs a great friend to help him through the terrible prison. Thankfully he may just have that…

As Luffy, Buggy, Mr. 3 and Mr. 2 delve deeper into the underwater prison, the safety locks fall. Buggy and Mr.3 just want to escape and Mr. 2 just isn’t strong enough to help Luffy out when warden Magellan comes marching in. With the power of poison, he stands as a deadly threat to Luffy who just can’t keep up with this vicious threat. As the two battle in the fiery pits of level 4, a great sense of hopelessness is created through the steam, fire, smoke and poison filling each page. The end result is a horrid one as the arc shifts into a serious phase. If it wasn’t for the convictions of Mr. 2 and his friendship with Luffy, he’d be a goner. The interactions between past enemies shows just how amazing Oda’s characters are in the way they change through events and how they react to Luffy himself. I could read the adventures of Luffy and the prison mates forever, it could be a great spin off!

The second half of the volume consists of the secret floor, 5.5. Here we meet a cast of characters reminiscent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with the hormone powered Ivankov taking centre stage. This ray of hope brings back the more lighthearted and fun tone to the Impel Down trek and we quickly move into some truly epic moments. Making it to the bottom of the prison, Luffy now has to make it to the top to save Ace, who has been escorted away. It now turns into an all out prison breakout and the comrades Luffy has made on the way will provide some goosebumps forming moments of surprises. The prison may be a horrible place to be, but the characters, situations and possibilities make it one hell of a ride. To Ace!


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