One Piece Arc Review: Amazon Lily

Amazon Lily is one of the last One Piece arcs before the time skip takes place, and it is one of the smallest cannon arcs in the story.

It stands as a unique role in the story, because it isn’t an island that is used for a main story. Instead it is used as a jumping off point for upcoming arcs.

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Was humor the intent?

Amazon Lily is an island entirely of women. Men are not allowed, and often killed whenever they step foot on the island.

Luffy lands on the island when is sent there by Kuma, and the women have no idea what he is (a man).

Their naivety leads to a lot of child-like humor, mainly focused on Luffy and his rubber penis.

It’s innocent and there are a few jokes that are a bit funny, but after an entire island population being entirely captivated by Luffy, I was a bit bored of it by the end. It was no longer funny, and it hasn’t aged too well.


An Island of Women

Being an island of women, Amazon Lily introduced another Warlord: Boa Hancock. She is an interesting character that adds more depth to the world.

If you can ignore her creepy level of love for Luffy, her slavery background makes the One Piece world that much more interesting.

Her and her sisters were kidnapped and sold into slavery to the Celestial Dragons. This makes Boa more interesting than her lovestruck story that is forced down our throats. The slavery adds a continuation to the Sabaody Archipelago story with the Celestial Dragons, and makes us hate them even more than we already did the more we fall in love with Boa.


Slingshot into the future

Amazon Lily is used as a home base for Luffy for the next arc, so the introduction makes a lot of sense in this part of the story.

If it had been introduced any later than this, we wouldn’t have been able to get as rich of a story, and Luffy’s story would feel a lot more like he was getting plot armor benefits and not actually telling a story.

There isn’t a lot that happens on this island, but we do get to explore the idea of Haki more, building up on the past few arcs.


Final Thoughts

There isn’t a lot that happens in Amazon Lily. It does what it was designed to do, and keeps the story going. It does slow the intensity of the last arc a bit, but it sets up the next arc nicely.

I wouldn’t consider this one of my favourite arcs in the One Piece story, but I don’t really have any negative comments about it.


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Manga Review: Dice: The Cube that Changes Everything

Hello dear readers, I hope things are going well for you. Some may forget, but the world is weird and wacky right now, but it is important to stay safe.

Since a lot of us are stuck indoors now, we have more than enough time to read and discover new things!

I found this manhwa (Korean form of manga to put it simply) over a year ago and caught up to it pretty quickly.

It is still ongoing, but it is nearing the finale. My guess would be by the end of the year.

It does have a rather sporadic posting schedule, but you can usually expect a new chapter once a week.

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Neon Artwork

Manhwas’ artwork differs a lot from a manga’s. Usually a manga is very detailed and every panel is covered with an image. With a manhwa, the artwork is generally more simplistic, with minimal background detail, but you get color on every page, which a manga typically does not have.

The color for Dice is very bright and vibrant. At times it feels like a neon light show. It’s easy to find what your eyes are drawn to on the page, and the colors really help to put you into the feel of the story.

It’s colorful like a video game, and working along side the story, it helps you immerse yourself with that understanding.


Feels like a Videogame

The basic premise of this manhwa is that these magical dice can boost a real persons’ stats; strength, beauty, intelligence, etc.

The whole premise is set up to be an open-world video game, with quests and missions.

There is a lot of tension between different characters when quests pop up, but what I really enjoyed was that each of the main characters approached the world in a different way.

It is a lot like a video game in that sense; different play styles, different focuses on stats, different quests.


Put Yourself in the World

What I liked most about Dice is that it really made me think about how I would react in this world. What would I do if I was given a magical dice that could make me taller, smarter, better looking, or basically whatever I wanted.

I felt a strong connection with the main protagonist. Not in every sense, but in a way that we didn’t fit in our environments.

Seeing the protagonist change himself outwardly, but staying true to himself on the inside is a great way to write a character.


Have you read Dice: The Cube that Changes Everything? What did you think? If you haven’t read it yet and are looking for a fun, fast-paced fantasy manhwa this should be on your list.

One Piece Arc Review: Sabaody Archipelago

Hello dear readers, today we continue our adventure with the Straw Hat Pirates in the last arc before the time-skip: the Sabaody Archipelago arc.

I have covered every manga arc up until Sabaody, but here are are some of the more recent if you’re interested.
Water 7 —– Enies Lobby —– Thriller Bark

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Reality Kicks In

There is one main reason that this arc stands highly in my overall rankings. It’s the fact that the Straw Hats don’t have it easy like they do in every other arc.

In every other arc up until now, I would argue that it was clear the Straw Hats would make it out with no problem. Yes, they might struggle with their fights and have a hard time winning, but at the end of the day there really isn’t an issue.

Enies Lobby is the one different arc from the rest, but I would say that it seemed like there was too much despair that it was obvious the Straw Hats would survive.

Sabaody shows the crew the reality they face in the New World. It is a whole new ballgame, and it won’t be easy for them on the road ahead.

There is so much desperation and fear present in the arc, but it shows the reader the reality of the world, and that the crew just isn’t ready for it yet.


Exploring the World

For this arc, we are stuck on one “island” the Sabaody Archipelago, but we learn more about the outside world than almost all of the other arcs combined.

This is the arc where we learn of a lot of other characters that are involved in the One Piece world, both pirate and Marine.

With the brief stories we get from the new characters in the past, we learn how big the world really is, and how narrow the story of the Straw Hat’s really is.

There is a lot of story happening in the background of the One Piece world that we don’t learn about. There is something happening behind the scenes that I am certain will one day impact the main events, but we only catch glimpses of it here and there, and usually only big moments. We don’t get the little things that could change the course of the story completely.


Impact on the story

Sabaody has the most impact on the story of all the arcs so far. Not only does it give a form of a “finale” to every arc that we have seen so far, but also tears our worldview apart and sets the story on a different path.

If we put it in sports terms, it is like the Straw Hats, were playing in an amateur league against other rookies. Then when they get to Sabaody, they are thrown into the Professional league with almost no training and little idea of what to expect.

The storytelling is well done, and it sets up a two-year time skip in the story, which is common among Shonen manga.

The doors are thrown wide open for new adventures, and the story of the Straw Hats gets more exciting after Sabaody.


Final Thoughts

I would rank the Sabaody Archipelago arc in my top three One Piece arcs, Enies Lobby being the first and an arc that hasn’t been reviewed yet, but is the current manga arc as the second.

It sets up a great story and is a great ending for others, but the best reason is because it shows us the 75 per cent of the One Piece world that we don’t get to see from the Straw Hat’s perspective.


What did you think of the Sabaody Archipelago arc? Where would you rank it among your overall One Piece arcs? Let’s chat in the comments!
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Manga Review: Akame Ga Kill

Hello my dear manga readers, I feel sadness in my heart when I think back on this manga and anime.

I will be honest and admit that I did watch the anime of Akame Ga Kill before I read the manga, but I like them both for different reasons.

Akame Ga Kill is not a long manga at all, only 78 chapters long. That might seem long to some, but when I’m used to reading One Piece and Naruto that is in the hundreds, 78 is relatively short.

If you’ve read Akame Ga Kill, or have any suggestions for a manga I should read, let me know in the comments or send me a message on social media.
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Title: Akame Ga Kill
Author: Takahiro
Rating: ★★★★☆

The story focuses on Tatsumi, a young villager who travels to the Capital to raise money for his home only to discover strong corruption in the area. The assassin group known as Night Raid recruits the young man to help them in their fight against the corrupt Empire.


World-building is Key

I’m a sucker for a well-developed world that you can immerse yourself in. A lot of my favourite series are ones that build an entire world around the reading experience.

Akame Ga Kill does not do a lot of world-building, but it creates a wonderful world around it. We get an understanding of the way the world works in a narrow lens of it all. There is almost no mention of what goes on outside of our characters’ lives yet we know how the world works and the atrocities in it.

Our main focus is on a group of assassins trying to make this world a better place by killing the corrupt men and women of the capital.

We get a bit of history and lore as we discover new characters and new areas, but its shallow and only enough for the next little arc to make sense.

And that’s all we need. The story isn’t world focused, its character focused, and they drive the plot forward with their actions.


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Characters Make the Story

When a story is driven forward by its characters, there is a lot more emotional investment in what happens next. If we don’t fall in love with the characters, then we don’t get the emotional attachment to their actions and any potential conflicts they might need to face.

Akame Ga Kill does a brilliant job of making me fall in love with a group of characters, each so unique and lovable in their own way.

It doesn’t take long for you to love each of the main characters, and people all have a different favourite. No matter who their favourite is, it doesn’t take you long to feel like one of the team.

I wouldn’t say I have one favourite character, because it is often their interactions with others that make me like them so much. If I had to choose, I think I would pick Akame. There is a lot more to her than we get to see outright in the story. If we don’t pick up on subtle cues here and there, her character is a lot different.


Hits you in the Feels

I never thought I would be so emotionally involved in such a short time. You read the first few chapters, and before you know it, you’re already 10-15 chapters in and the story is really rolling. We get connected to these recent strangers with a brilliant plot of assassinating threats to a free world.

Since we mainly follow a new recruit named Tatsumi, we get to interact with each member of the team as they teach Tatsumi something new.

When each character has their important moments, you feel like you’re connected with them on a deeper level since you just went on a mission with them.

Though I didn’t cry at any point, I think a lot of readers will. My emotions were all over the place when I was reading this, so prepare yourself of you’re prone to tears.



Final Thoughts

If you enjoy action-based manga, Akame Ga Kill is a must read for you. It’s short, has some of the best manga fight scenes I have seen, and is character driven, giving the reader a real emotional connection as the story progresses.

Honestly the only reason that it didn’t get a 5 out of 5 star rating was because it did feel a bit repetitive at times, and the writer had a hard time coming up with ways to advance the plot forward smoothly.


What did you think of Akame Ga Kill, and who was your favourite character? Let’s chat about it in the comments or on social media.
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One Piece Arc Review: Thriller Bark

Hello dear manga readers, we have another One Piece Arc review today. We will be focusing on the Thriller Bark Arc.

Arc focuses on the Straw Hat Crew finding Gecko Moria, one of the Seven Warlords of the sea, and his crew on the Thriller Bark.

Though this arc came out over 10 years ago, and I won’t be ruining much, I guess I will give a SPOILER WARNING ⚠️!!!

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New Crew Member

More often than not, Luffy and his crew pick up a new crew member on almost every island. The ones they don’t seem to be the ones that hold a very important place in the story.

There are rumors floating around the internet about how many crew members Luffy will end up with, and who those crew members will be, but we won’t know for sure.

Brook, a shadowless revived skeleton of a pirate that died over 50 years before we meet him, is the next crew member in line to join the Straw Hat crew, and unsurprisingly, the reason he is a revived skeleton is half the reason Luffy wanted him on the crew; being a musician is the other half.

Obviously Luffy is a child at heart, and would want a skeleton on his crew any day, but being a musician was also a key factor, since that was one of the first positions he wanted filled.

Brook doesn’t bring much to the table now, other than the most emotional backstory of the crew in my opinion, but he keeps growing stronger and he has become one of my favourite crew members.

Brook can’t leave Thriller Bark (for story reasons) but I like the obstacles he had to try and overcome this arc. Though he isn’t entirely able to do that, the enemy pushes him to become stronger, and eventually to join the Straw Hats.


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Setting Up Future Events

Not a lot of future events are set up in the Thriller Bark Arc. Gecko Moria comes back a few times throughout the story, and Zorro’s sword plays a key part in the current arc in the manga, but otherwise Thriller Bark stands on its own.

Despite that, it fits nicely into the story. Thriller Bark isn’t really anyone’s favourite arc, but I don’t mind it. It’s a lot less stressful and almost calming than the two arcs it is sandwiched in between.


Another Warlord

There isn’t a multi-island set up for Moriah when the Straw Hats show up on Thriller Bark, but they quickly learn why he has earned the title of Warlord. He is a tough opponent, and actually requires the entire Crew, plus a bit of an enhanced Luffy, to defeat him.

It is a rare moment when we get the entire crew to fight just one member. A lot of the time we don’t even get two crew members teaming up to defeat one guy.

I really enjoyed seeing the StrawHats interacting with each other in a fight, and their dynamics with each other even though they don’t often see any of the others fight.


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The Fights

We get a few good fights, though I wouldn’t say any were overly memorable. Perona is probably the most memorable, only because of the comedy that comes with her fight vs. Ussopp. Otherwise, it is the Crew fighting against Moria and Oars that really stands out this arc.

At the end of the arc there is another big enemy that shows up, when the StrawHats are near death, and after only a few moments of fighting, the crew was able to survive and leave the island.


One of the Best Moments in One Piece

I don’t want to talk too much about this moment, because it will give it away, but if you’ve read this arc, then you know why it is so amazing. It is still one of the best moments in the whole show, and it is what made the crew member involved my favourite of the entire crew.


Final Thoughts

Many One Piece fans don’t have a lot of positive thoughts on Thriller Bark, but I honestly don’t mind it. It’s over quickly, and doesn’t drag on longer than it needs to. The arc sets up some future events, but not too many. It is a nice, small addition to the overall story that I think is put in the perfect spot in the story.

What did you think of the Thriller Bark arc, and its moments? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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One Piece Review: Enies Lobby Arc

Hello dear readers, it feels like it has been a long time since I reviewed a One Piece Arc. It is by far still my favourite manga, and there is still so much to cover!

The Enies Lobby Arc is one of the most popular arcs among One Piece fans, so I’ve been waiting at the edge of my seat to talk about it.

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Title: Enies Lobby Arc
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: ★★★★★

The Straw HatsSogeking, the Franky Family, and the shipwrights of the Galley-La Company arrive at Enies Lobby aboard Rocket Man to rescue Nico Robin and Franky. Standing in their way, however, are the forces of the World Government, including its deadly assassin organization, CP9. A massive battle ensues between the two sides when Luffy declares war against the World Government by having its flag shot down by Sogeking.


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The Fights Get More Intense

In Enies Lobby, the Strawhat crew, especially Luffy, have the most difficult fights to date. Their main enemies are the soldiers of CP-9, which is a secret Marine group that were discovered in Water 7.

Each arc introduces tougher and tougher enemies for the Strawhats and their allies, but they never really seemed like a real threat.

I would say that the only other instance where they faced any real threat was Alabasta, but the external forces of Enies Lobby made the threat much more real to me.

Each of the Strawhats get an exciting fight of their own, but what I really like is that we get development of everyone’s fighting abilities in this arc. We get to explore their capabilities a bit more, and we discover a few new interesting techniques from the crew.


Robin’s Story

Robin’s story is the driving force for the Enies Lobby arc. She has been taken in by Marines, and the Strawhats fight for their lives to save their crew member.

To me, Robin never quite felt like a crew member until Enies Lobby. I know she has been with the crew since after Alabasta, but she just joined on her own volition, she was never really asked.

She is accepted by them over time, and it seems that after Skypeia, the rest of the crew is perfectly fine with having her around, but Enies Lobby is when they fully accept her as a crew member.

Without giving anything away, she definitely has the saddest backstory of all the tragic backstories the crew has. That’s why the Enies Lobby arc is so heartbreaking and emotional, but powerful and uplifting at the same time.


Best Moments

Enies Lobby is full of amazing moments that make Top 10 Lists to this day. This section will likely contain spoilers for the arc, but seeing as this arc is basically 15 years old, its up to you to read it at this point.

There are three moments that really define this arc for me, but there are still plenty of others.

Robin’s “I Want to Live” moment is still in my top three One Piece moments to this day. It sends chills down my spine and it is the moment Robin chooses to be a Strawhat.

Sogeking shooting down the Enies Lobby flag is another brilliant moment. Not only does it look great visually, it is a defining moment for the Strawhats and their war against the World Government.

The last moment on this list is technically in Post-Enies Lobby, but it is when the Going Merry is destroyed. It actually causes a bit of a rift in the crew, but I never for a second thought I would have a strong emotional reaction to a ship being destroyed.


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Post-Enies Lobby Arc

With the post Enies Lobby arc, the Strawhats head off on their quest with a new crew member, and all seems right with the world again. They’ve conquered their enemies, saved their friends, and have a new adventure on the horizon.

PLUS, we get to see the new bounties for the Strawhats, which is something I really like every time it happens.


How the story is affected

Enies Lobby is a rollercoaster ride of emotion. It has a big impact on the future story of One Piece, and it sets up a lot of different story lines. There are things to this day that were introduced in Enies Lobby that we haven’t seen a conclusion for, and many other story lines were added to or completed.

Overall it is a fun read. I remember flying through this arc in only a few days. It was a tremendous amount of fun and if you do decide to pick up the One Piece manga, you’ll want to get to Enies Lobby as quick as you can.


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One Piece Manga Review: Water 7 Arc

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Hello dear readers, it’s that time of the month again where we review another manga arc in the One Piece series.

We’ve covered a lot of the story so far, with Skypeia being the last arc we reviewed.

We are going to skip over a few arcs, because if you’re a real One Piece fan, you know how awful they really are.

We are going to skip all arcs related to Foxy, because they are literally unbearable.

That leaves us with this month’s arc: Water 7.

Water 7 is one of the best arcs in the entire series in my opinion. It doesn’t add a whole lot to the overall plot of the story on its own, but tied together with Enies Lobby, the two are probably some of the most important arcs to date.

We get introduced to Franky, a ship building cyborg and future member of the Straw Hat Pirates.

What I like about Franky’s character is that we initially see him as a bad guy, and we almost believe that he will be the villain of the arc.

He starts off as bad, but the further the arc goes on, the more we realize he is actually a really good person.


I also like the design and the feel of Water 7 visually. It very obviously represents Venice, with a bit of a One Piece twist to it.

The story and the characters don’t mix in with the visual elements much, but I love how Oda can come up with such unique settings over and over and give them a bit of a One Piece feel to them all.


There are no big fights in this arc, well not in terms of big bad guy vs. Luffy.

We get some of the Straw Hats versus carpenters and some regular riff raf, but it’s not until Enies Lobbie we got some real fights.

There is one really important fight in this arc though, and I would say that it’s one of the most impactful fights in the entire story.

Luffy vs. Usopp.

If you’ve seen it, you know what it’s all about. You know the emotions behind it, you know why it’s happening, you know how powerful it really is.

It’s not a long fight, but it’s important to the story, and it constantly makes Top 10 lists for emotional anime moments.

Luffy vs. Usopp. Saddest fight ever.

It’s not a long fight, but it’s important to the story, and it constantly makes Top 10 lists for emotional anime moments.


Like I mentioned before, Water 7 isn’t an entire story on its own. Sure, it has its own characters and storylines, but none of it would be quite complete without Enies Lobby.

We lose one member of the crew; The Going Merry, but by the end of it we get the Thousand Sunny; a ship built by a Franky and his life-long friend Iceberg.


What did you think of the Water 7 Arc? It’s in my top 5 arcs, and if I thought about it, I’d probably put it in top 3.

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