One Piece Arc Review: Arlong Park

Hey everyone, I am back after a self proclaimed hiatus and am excited to give you the next installment in the One Piece Arc Review saga.

The manga just released the first episode of the Wano arc, and so I thought it was a good time to give another arc review, and it’s one of my favourite ones.

We get to see the original Straw Hats at their best in this arc, and some of the most unforgettable moments in the entire series too.

Arlong, the leader of a Fishman pirate crew, has been ruling over Nami’s home town and has been nothing short of a dictator the entire time.

When he first came to Nami’s village, he basically made everyone pay money in order to be able to live in the village. This led to Nami’s adoptive mother being killed and Nami joining Arlong’s crew, stealing money from other pirates to buy the village from Arlong’s crew.

Luffy of course comes in with his crew, and decides to help Nami and the villagers defeat Arlong. Nami, wanting to defuse the situation herself because she has always relied on herself, tells Luffy to go away…until Arlong and a marine captian steal her gold, that she had been saving since she was a child.

This devestates Nami and finally, in a fit of weakness and tears, asks Luffy for help in defeating Arlong and his crew.

This is where one of the best moments happens. Luffy puts his iconic Straw Hat, the item that nobody has ever been able to wear, on Nami’s head, and vows to defeat the Arlong Pirates.

Behind Luffy; Sanji, Zoro and Usopp are in their heroic poses and are ready to take the fight to Arlong.

Now of course Luffy et. al. win the day and they bring Nami along with them as they start to enter the Grand Line, but a lot happens in this arc that tells you a lot about Luffy, and the other Straw Hat members.

This is the biggest moment where we see Zoro in his classic “fighting against the enemy with a handicap” situation. He rarely has a fight against an enemy where he has some sort of handicap against him. We’ve seen it before, but this is one of the worst moments of it in the series.

Zoro is known to be of the toughest Straw Hats, physically and endurance wise, and surviving the cut from Mihawk, and then taking down most of Arlong’s crew is the epitome of Zoro’s physical capabilities. (Potential spoiler theory: I think he is some sort of demon)

Luffy kind of just does Luffy stuff. He fights for the weak, and defends them and the dreams they hope to achieve one day. This arc sort of just solidifies it and gives us a few more examples of his intelligence for battle, that isn’t highlighted ever in the show.

Arlong Park is also where we get to see Sanji in full swing. We see how tough he actually is and how quick thinking too. We see his capabilities as a fighter but we also discover his personality and everything too.

Usopp shows typical Usopp characteristics at first–running from danger and getting others to save him, but eventually he pulls through. He knows he is needed to stop an enemy, and he steps up to the plate, defeating one of the pirates and showing he might turn out to be a brave warrior of the sea after all.

We’ve seen Nami’s fighting abilities to a degree before this arc, but we get to see that she isn’t the cold, manipulative, trickster thief that we thought she was. We get to see that she is so much more than that.

Overall, this is probably in my Top 3 favourite Arcs. It was in a simpler time of One Piece, but it told a great story that had connections much later on after the time skip, and there were some very good fanboy moments that I love.

Advertisements

Book Review: A Crown of Swords

I just finished up A Crown of Swords just last week, and since I am morally obligated to review any book I finish recently as soon as I can, here it is.

Every time I open up a Wheel of Time book, I get a bit nervous about what’s coming for me.

I mean there are 14 books in the series, some of them are bound to be a bit more dull than the others.

Game of Thrones suffered from some dull moments, and there are less than half the amount of Wheel of Time books. So far, I haven’t been disappointing. For the most part, Wheel of Time books have a lot of moments that are spectacular, and some that are dull, but necessary.

A Crown of Swords fit that description, but one thing I will give it, that I don’t remember happening to me in any of the previous books, was that the events in the book seemed to fly by.

I’ll probably do a bad job at explaining it, but when I was reading it, I would sometimes find myself chapters further in the book, and twenty minutes had gone by.

You know the old saying, Time flies when you’re having fun. That fit perfectly when I was reading this one, and I don’t think I had experienced it in any other Wheel of Time book.

I think what made the book fun for me was Mat. As of now he is my favourite character, and he was heavily prominent in this segment of the series. That, mixed with other character plots and setting up future events in the series really made me enjoy the book a lot more than I was hoping for.

But, as much as I liked A Crown of Swords, it was not perfect. In fact, there were some classic Robert Jordan moments in it that get on my nerves whenever they happen.

Jordan likes to have an overarching villain throughout the series, which is fine, and give him some Lieutenants that sort of do his dirty work while we wait to get to the main villain.

I don’t mind the concept. In fact I’d prefer it because we can sort of see the main characters grow and become stronger over time, defeating more and more bad guys.

A problem that Jordan has though, is that he will introduce some bad guys, fleshing them out three or four books before they become relevant again, and then in a snap of your fingers, the main characters win against him/her.

Nynaeve’s conflict against Mogedhien was completely relevant. We know there’s a grudge there, and we know that the two of them fighting in some way was going to happen.

Rand and Sammael had a conflict brewing, and we knew the fight between them would happen eventually, but to me it sort of seems their fight this book was rushed and unnecessary.

Rand is scheming all the time, and I understand that, but he literally wakes up from nearly dying a few days earlier, and instantly he brings some allies to go kill Sammael.

I know the battle needs to happen, but the second after he wakes up after being passed out for a few days, and against an opponent that I don’t think was mentioned more than once in the book previously.

Rand has a lot of wasted time in this book, so giving him a few chapters to better set up the conflict between himself and Sammael would have made a lot more sense.

And the battle itself ends in almost an instant. Rand shoots off some Baelfire, and BAM, fights over. Rand doesn’t even confirm that Sammael died, he just assumes that nobody could survive that attack and leaves it there.

As annoying as this was, I am excited for what Jordan did for Mat at the end of the book.

In his last chapter, Mat is searching Ebou Dar for Olver, as the city is being attacked by the Seanchan Empire. Mat basically gets thrown and crushed by rocks as they attack the city, and that’s where it stops.

I hope that the book continues from there, or not long after. I know in The Path of Daggers, he isn’t present because of his injuries in the attack, which was the same as Perrin earlier, but Mat’s storyline is one of my favourite ones in the books, so I am excited to see where he goes from his present situation.

overall, A Crown of Swords is a great book. I’d put it in the upper half of the Wheel of Time books I’ve read so far.

Manga Review: Naruto

Naruto was one of the first anime I ever got into, and was the first manga that I started reading. I enjoyed it way more than the anime, because it wasn’t filled with months upon months of filler episodes, it was just the main story.

I am still on the fence about my final rating for Naruto though.

The biggest reason I am not doing an arc review for Naruto like I am with One Piece, is because it has been a few years since Naruto finished, and so I don’t really think people would be interested in arc reviews.

I may do one of Boruto one day, but I’m not sure.

Naruto has its moments. One aspect that really made me enjoy the series was the overall story being told. The first half of Naruto was discovering his powers and abilities, and becoming a ninja, but it was still supplemented by the overall world building and character development that helped the series springboard into the second half…which is where the most important events take place.

Part of me wants to say Naruto was this amazing manga that had no issues in it because it was the first manga I started to read. I mean it does have a great story, in typical Shonen fashion. It has a great world building aspect to it as well, and we know that there is more to the world than just what we see on the pages.

There are villains we get to learn about, these great historical figures that shaped the world that are mentioned over and over, but aren’t really brought up, and there are is even great world building within the Leaf Village due to all of the other characters we know about.

It does have a lot of pros going for it. I think any manga reader that has read Naruto would agree with me there, but I think they’d also agree that there are plenty of flaws as well.

The main character Naruto is super annoying in the first half of the manga, and even in the second half his habit of sticking to his ideals and trying to convince his enemies he is right gets annoying, because it works time and time again.

Aside from the main character, the biggest issue I have with the manga is the characters and their power scaling. Some of the characters, mainly the females, are essentially useless throughout the entire series, but because they are considered main characters, they keep coming back over and over.

That is another issue. Basically every female in the series is useless when it comes to fighting. There are some that are extremely powerful, and they’re usually pretty interesting characters, but for the most part it’s just the guys that are doing all the work and I’m not okay with that.

There are several female characters we know of that are very powerful, more powerful than some males, but they get less time. It is also a surprise that this is the case because you’d think guys, who are the main audience for the manga, would want to see women more often.

The power scaling is also annoying, like I mentioned. I won’t dive into it too much because I could talk about it for hours, and I understand it’s not a perfect system, but all I am going to say is that there are several times where a character goes from being wayyyyy too weak to becoming an overpowered bad ass master of some ability in basically an instant.

It becomes an issue when characters do it two or three times in basically a week…Naruto.

So yeah…like I said I am conflicted on how I would rank it. It’s good. I definitely recommend the read, but I don’t want to say it’s the perfect manga ever, because it’s not, by a long shot…

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

I remember reading this book years ago in highschool as the first book in the book club I had just joined.

We got to pick books out of a crate and I was one of the last ones to pick, and the cover of Legend looked interesting.

I started reading it on the bus ride home that afternoon and I was done by the end of the week.

I was hooked in an instant. It was an easy YA book to read, and it was the first book that I read that had a dystopian theme to it. I was putting my foot in the water with Legend, and quickly dove right in because I loved it so much.

One thing I really enjoyed about Legend was jumping between two different perspectives. Marie Lu wrote her entire trilogy about Day and June, two “perfect” characters, or so their tests and evaluations tell us, who have two different experiences in life.

June is hunting down Day, whom she believed killed her brother, and we get to see their interactions from both perspectives.

Usually having different perspectives in the same book isn’t much of a big deal because plenty of books do it.

That is true, but most of them have different character perspectives because they are focusing on different parts of the world, and having just one person’s perspective wouldn’t give readers a large enough scope of what is happening.

In Legend, and the other two books in the series, Day and June spend a lot of time together.

Day is from the poorer part of society, and we get to experience his life as a rebel, helping out the poor much like a Robin Hood sort of figure. He pulls off some pretty insane stunts and is a genius in his own regard, he just does things on his own.

June on the other hand, works for the “government”. She is top of her class, and like June, is able to perform some very remarkable physical stunts and is also a genius in her own regard. She is also fairly well off in life, and hasn’t known poverty.

The two different perspectives in the books is a nice change. It gives us the poor and the rich side to everything. When one character is living their everyday life, the other is exploring it for the first time, and as a reader, this style of reading was nice, because it’s different.

June knows her truth of certain events that happen in the book, and Day knows his truth. Jumping between perspectives gives us a look at the inner thoughts of both characters when the time is right, but also puts us outside of their mind and their thoughts when the stroy needs it to happen.

Marie Lu has done a wonderful job utilizing the different perspectives and making the two characters bounce off of eachother nicely.

Like I said, it is a fairly easy read, but it is good. If you like dystopian style books mixed with some spy and mystery novel aspects I recommend Legend.

Book Review: The Book Thief

When I think back about this book, I can honestly say that there are no happy memories that come to mind. From how I recall The Book Thief, it’s similar to A Series of Unfortunate Events–it’s just miserable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book as a whole. I thought it was fantastic, but there weren’t any moments that I genuinely remember being happy about it.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

I hadn’t heard of this book before I started reading it, but I really enjoyed the suspense and the drama that came from it. 

If you’ve ever read the book, you’ll remember that there is a very interesting narrator–Death. Yes death is the narrator of the story, and because this is World War Two, you can imagine how busy he was collecting the dead. 

Death foreshadows constantly throughout the story, so we know a bit about which of the characters will die. I think Death’s perspective adds to the building suspense through the story. 

You might assume that Death being a narrator can be sort of intimidating. I mean he’s Death, why wouldn’t his POV be dark and greusome right? 

The truth is, Death was one of the brigher parts of the story. He was a ray of sunshine through some of the darker moments. 

I do not carry a sickle or a scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold.
And I don’t have those skull-like
facial features you seem to enjoy
pinning on me from a distance. You
want to know what I truly look like?
I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.


The Book Thief is also a bit of a different view of the Holocaust, because it focuses on a little German girl, Liesel, who is living in Hitler’s birthplace.

And the character growth, in my opinion, is remarkable. There are many characters that we hate throughout the story, only to love them by the end. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you haven’t read it yet. It’s technically considered a YA book, but I think it has more impact the older you are.

I will give you a fair warning though, if you want a fast read, this book isn’t for you. It’s a bit of a grind at times. You’ll feel like your clawing your way through mud, but that slow crawl adds something to the story. It adds a sense of accomplishment and connection to the entire story. 

19063.jpg

I’m not one for re-reading a book, but this one is on the short list for books I plan to re-read in the future. 

I have never met someone, or found a single review that has said anything against The Book Thief. Many people state it is a modern classic. It is truly a remarkable book, and I will firmly recommend that EVERYONE should read this book if they call themselves a book lover.  

Book Review: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

A century before A GAME OF THRONES, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros…

Rating: ★★★★☆

Author: George R.R. Martin

Continueing with the Game of Thrones theme that has been so popular lately, for whatever reason, this week I decided I’d review A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, a prequel “series” to the main storyline.

18635622.jpg

Having read the main series before I got a hold of this, I had a basic understanding of some of the characters in the book.

What I really enjoy about the supplementary Game of Thrones books is that there is usually some really nice artwork to look at while you read. There is some artwork in this one, but not as much as I would prefer, and msot of it is sketches.

I read it probably three years ago now, and I still remember some of the moments in the book because of how cool they are. I remember tjere was one about Duncan, or Dunc, who is the main character of the book, and he is tried for a crime, which causes a trial by combat.

After the combat, which his team had one, multiple royal family members and Kingsguard members were left dead, all because they defended the innocence of some random guy, who was really a sorry excuse for a knight. His main feature was just finding Egg, and guiding him around the world and keeping him out of trouble.

Dunc and Egg make a wonderful pair, and become life-long friends because of the events in this book. Ser Duncan is not only a knight in name, but also one in deed. This is something increasingly rare in the seven kingdoms. There are few true knights and even fewer when the events of A Song of Ice and Fire take place.

tumblr_nvsbbpk8Ev1u2n5cyo1_500.png

Dunc is a strong and honorable knight, but isn’t all that smart. They call him “thick as a castle wall,” but that’s where Egg comes into play.

Egg is still a boy, though he has a fully developed mind that even the Maesters shall envy. He tempers Ser Duncan’s wrath, guiding him to choose the best course of action. Indeed he has the mind that Duncan lacks. However, for all his intelligence, he still has a whole world to see and understand; he still needs to develop his wisdom.

By being Duncan’s squire, he gets to see honour and decency; he begins to understand how people work, and how best to defeat them; he learns that it can be achieved through words as well as deeds.

The two embark on some interesting adventures. Their first (The Hedge Knight ) is by far my favourite. It depicts the pair’s first meeting, and they discover how important them coming together was. Dunc changes the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. The two only met by chance. Their actions lead to the altercation of who is to be the next King. So, it’s all rather far reaching stuff. The second story ( The Sworn Sword) didn’t quite work for me and felt a little flat in all. The third ( The Mystery Knight) made up for it, though, with its character defining moments.

image.jpeg

Overall they are all a short read, but nontheless are fun to read, and if you are a Game of Thrones fan, they are a necessity.

Book Review: Exploit Me by Charm Anderson

So to be honest I didn’t really know what to expect from this book when I started it. The genre wasn’t really in my wheelhouse, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. After finishing the 7 chapters that are out, I have to say I did enjoy it.

Exploit Me comes out on a weekly basis, so I am excited to read the story as it comes along because I did enjoy it.

It wasn’t my facourite book in the world, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hit home a little bit for me.

150239396-352-k912614

I’ve never lived through what Charm writes about, but I don’t think you need to have to be able to take something away from reading this.

The main character is going through many issues, and her world seems to be spiraling around her. Things are getting worse and worse for her, and we get a peak into her mind about how she deals with it.

It’s a little heartbreaking, seeing a character struggle with no end in sight. Usually theres an answer to the problem, or somebody who can come save the day, but as we read Exploit Me, these realities are becoming more and more distant.

If you’re expecting a story with a happy ending, I can’t tell you that it’ll turn out that way. So far, up to Chapter 7, it’s rough. It’s tough to read about a character that is struggling with so many aspects of her life.

I’ve been involved with people who struggle with their self-worth, and the little bit I know about it makes me aware that it isn’t easy.

To wake up every day fighting against yourself and the world. It’s not an easy job, but people do it. People do it day in and day out, fighting.

I’m excited to see where the rest of this story goes. The chapters are relatively short, and you could probably read the whole thing in under an hour if you started right now, and I do recommend reading it.

You can find it by clicking this link.

https://www.wattpad.com/story/150239396-exploit-me

 

%d bloggers like this: