Things are heating up in the underwater prison Impel Down.
Writer/Artist: Eiichiro Oda
What They Say
Luffy's got some backup in his former enemies Buggy the Clown, Mr. 2 Bon Clay and Mr. 3 as he tries to rescue his brother from Impel Down prison. But now Warden Magellan, with his Venom-Venom powers, is out to stop him! Can Luffy survive such a dangerous attack from a person whose very breath is a deadly weapon, or could his ace in the hole possibly be a "queen"?
At the start of the volume, we find Luffy and his group in level 4 of Impel Down, a blazing furnace known as Inferno Hell. Unfortunately for our hero, the prison’s upper management has finally decided to take matters into their own hands. As such, Luffy soon finds himself in a difficult situation, facing Warden Magellan as his group flees for their lives. Luffy puts up a good fight, but Magellan’s Venom-Venom powers prove too potent for the young pirate. The defeated Luffy, engulfed in a multitude of poisons, is then thrown into the frozen wasteland of level 5 to die. Luckily, Bon Clay managed to disguise himself as the Under Warden and soon hurries to Luffy’s aid, only to unfortunately pass out during a fight with savage wolves.
When Bon Clay wakes up, he finds that he is now in Level 5.5 of Impel Down, a hidden paradise that “missing” prisoners escape to that even the prison staff is unaware of. This strange level between the 5th and 6th floors is also known as “New Kama Land” and is led by the eccentric “King of Queens,” Emporio Ivankov. This drag loving oddball possesses the powers of the Horm-Horm fruit, allowing him to freely manipulate hormones. With this power he can alter anything about the human body, resulting in advanced healing, a burst of power (though it comes at a cost), or even the change of a person’s gender. With these powers, he has started treatment on the gravely ill Luffy, though he informs Bon Clay that it’s mostly up to the strength of Luffy’s will. Upon being informed that Luffy likely won’t survive, and that even if he does it’ll take 5 days before he’ll be active again, Bon Clay proceeds to cheer for his friend so he can recover faster. Thanks to Bon Clay’s effort and Luffy’s strong will, Luffy is able to recover in less than a day. After shoveling in an inhuman amount of food, Luffy departs to save Ace, and Ivankov mobilizes the forces of New Kama Land to fight alongside him upon hearing that Luffy’s father is his old friend Dragon. With their combined strengths, they quickly make it to the 6th level, only to find that Ace is already gone, and the prison staff has set up a trap to lock them in. However, by freeing both Crocodile and Jimbei, a Warlord of the Sea who disagreed with the Navy, they are able to make it back to the 4th level, and begin freeing prisoners along the way in order to cause a diversion.
With this latest volume, things really start to heat up in the underwater prison. Luffy manages to both breach deep into the prison and gain some powerful (though rather odd) allies along the way. Ivankov in particular seems odd even by One Piece standards, and it’ll be interesting to see what role he plays from now on, seeing how he appears to have ties to several important characters. We also get to see the true power of Magellan, leaving the question of how Luffy will possibly beat a man who he can’t even touch. All said, a very interesting volume that brings a number of intriguing characters both old and new into play.