Deep into the war and Whtiebeard finally makes his move. The strongest pirate with the power to cause quakes, he means business after the marines trick a loyal follower into betraying him. Ace’s execution draws near and both sides are throwing their best techniques and plans out in hopes of winning the war. Luffy is like an ant among all these power houses, but one everyone is putting their bets on.
The war continues and the chapters of haphazard attacks and double spreads continues. This time we focus mainly on Whitebeard and Luffy’s charge which is more entertaining than the mix of elite pirates from last time, but the pacing still feels a little iffy and things don’t really pick up till the latter half when Ace’s rescue/defeat is imminent. This moment has Luffy in the lead with everyone showing their support, a continuous non stop rush with no push backs, much like the awesome Impel Down escape. Twists are unexpected too leading to a shocking climax.
More problems persist in logic and character stories though, as we learn Whitebeard has a huge father complex and one loyal follower betrayed him over a couple of lines from a dodgy looking admiral. These strange logic farts help create the drama, but it feels something better could have been put in place. Thankfully this corny betrayal and fatherly moment is at the front end, leaving the rest of the volume to show large-scale battles and the rescue of Ace before another contrived action from Ace forcing the volume cliffhanger into play. It’s a mix of the great and the okay battling it out in the war.
The war continues to be a chaotic mess, but what is a cleanly led war? A mix of explosions, tactics, fatherly love, surprise twists and more double spreads.