- Story: Eiichiro Oda.
- Art: Eiichiro Oda.
- Released: August 17th, 2004.
- Imprint: SHONEN JUMP.
- Pages: 208.
The butler Klahadore turns out to be the pirate captain Koro of the Black Cat Pirates. Captain Koro plans to ransack the village and take control of Kaya’s estate. Usopp overhears this plan and tries desperately to warn the villagers of the impending attack, but no one listens; thus Usopp takes it upon himself to defend the village he loves. Usopp and the Straw Hat Pirates fight their way through captain Koro’s crew. With pirates like Django, Butchie, Siam and the captain himself, Usopp and the Straw Hat Pirates have a fierce battle ahead of them.
This story is getting intense. The deception and betrayal is running deep here. Not sure why I would have thought anything less to come from some pirates, but I did not expect Kaya to betray Usopp in the manner that she did. Though its hard to blame her considering all of the lies that Usopp has told in the past. This is exactly what I had expected though, like the boy who cries wolf or pirate rather; when something bad were to happen this was bound to be the outcome. Hopefully Usopp focuses more on his sniping skills and leaves his lies behind as he moves forward. I like Usopp’s character, he’s funny, caring and would do anything for his friends. I hope we see more of Usopp in the coming volumes.
As for captain Koro he certainly is the most vile and gruesome pirate that we have met so far. Buggy had a humorous and lackadaisical demeanor, but this pirate captain is pure evil and plans to murder a young girl and destroy an entire village. The extent of his power so far is unknown but he seems to pack quite a punch and gives Luffy a bit of a run for his money. With his lengthy claws and acrobatic skills Koro proves to be quite the adversary. Koro is everything one would look for in a villain. He has all of the qualities, smoothe, calm demeanor, unassuming looks and features and everyone loves him. Naturally it would be simple for him to gain people’s trust over the years and when they least expect it, destroy them.
This volume was a bit heavier on the action rather than anything else. There were some parts that continued the story but once the fight started there was no end to the action. I eagerly wait to see the conclusion of the fight. I am coming to realize that with One Piece there is no telling what can or will happen. I just hope that nobody dies. With any luck we will get too see more of Luffy’s and Zolo’s ablities. The art in the fight scenes was also top notch. The art hasn’t altered, but the scale has changed. The fight scenes in this volume had way more pirates in them than before. How Eiichiro is able to create art of this caliber in such a confined panel is far beyond me, but it works perfectly.
Even as this volume was more concentrated on action, it was an excellent entry in the series. Though I do prefer more of a focus on story, all of the action was a nice change of pace. A bit more on the story, and character development, and this volume would have been perfect. All in all I would recommend this volume to be read if you haven’t already. This was truly a great volume, not my favorite but still a great read.