It’s time to dive 30,000 feet under the sea and enter Fish-Man Island! An under water paradise of mermaids and bubble cities await, but it seems the Straw Hats aren’t going to be in for a relaxing vacation as the evil shark man Hody Jones is up to no good and the perverted Sanji is in danger of losing all his blood through dirty nosebleeds. When you’ve been living with transvestites for two years, it is an understandable problem. Poor Sanji.
The essence of adventure finally returns in volume 62 as the Straw Hats dive into the deep seas to visit their first new island together in two years. Prison breaks and war have stopped us seeing the mysteries and calm of the One Piece world, so it is welcome to be greeted to underwater waterfalls and glistening bright cities shining in the dark depths of the sea. The crew interacting as they learn about the ocean currents and deal with a giant Kraken is another glorious return and is appreciated more after the long painful split of the crew. It almost feels nostalgic when you see Chopper, Usopp, Zolo and Luffy say that the currents are mysterious currents after the scientific explanation from Nami. A shame the crew are split apart so quickly as they crash-land into Fish-Man Island. It’s a way to allow multiple plot points at one time and keep the character count manageable, but it’s been so long it would have been nice to have them all together for a little while longer.
The pace is brisk and the volume manages to deal with three key villains, Sanji’s perverted nosebleed sub plot, a selection of fights, the journey to and the adventure on Fish-Man island plus a whole host of new characters and fights without collapsing under the weight of all these elements. The water pressure didn’t crush everything and the Straw Hats look to be on their most exciting adventure yet. It seems they’ll never arrive on an island when something big isn’t about to go down, it’s the pirates life for they and I.