One Piece Chapter 1096 Review/Recap
On the last piece of One Piece, the Straw Hats, Bonney, and Vegapunk were left helpless against the wrath of Jaygarcia Saturn of the Five Elders. With Bonney about to die at Saturn’s hands, though, the story shifted focus to the memories of her father, Bartholomew Kuma. We saw how he’s one of the last members of the Buccaneer race, and thus enslaved by the Celestial Dragons. Then, after years of living as their slave, Kuma was taken to God Valley to be hunted down as part of their depraved hunting of people. However, before the hunt could begin, Kuma was saved by fellow slaves Ivankov and Ginny. Now, we get to see how the three escaped to freedom, with their plan directly leading to the God Valley Incident and the fall of the Rocks Pirates!
As the Celestial Dragons begin their depraved native hunting competition, Ivankov tells everyone present the harsh truth: even if they survive the three weeks of the game, the Celestial Dragons will still kill them. Their only hope is to escape, and they plan to do that. They’ve discovered that the prizes for the winners are powerful Devil Fruits like the Paw-Paw Fruit and the Fish-Fish Fruit, Model: Dragon. If they get their hands on one of them, they can use its powers to escape. In addition, Ginny skillfully leaked news about the game to the outside world. The two most powerful pirate crews, the Rocks Pirates and the Roger Pirates are coming to God Valley.
The arrival of these and many other groups plunges God Valley into utter chaos, and while Big Mom gets the Fish-Fish Fruit, Kuma manages to eat the Paw Paw Fruit. Unfortunately, he’s then confronted by Saturn himself! Defying Saturn’s choice of living as a slave or dying, Kuma declares he’ll live free and save as many people as possible, just like Nika would. With Roger, Rocks, and now Garp all on God Valley, the island plunges into chaos, with the outcome not shown. However, it’s revealed that Kuma, Ginny, and Ivankov escaped to the Sorbet Kingdom, with Kuma having saved 500 people with his powers.
Now that he’s freed, Ivankov sets out to sea to enjoy his new life, leaving Kuma and Ginny behind. The two begin a new life in the Sorbet Kingdom, earning money while Kuma uses his powers to help others. For the first time they can remember, they can eat until they’re full, something that moves them both to tears.
The ending to this chapter moved me, and likely a lot of other readers, to tears. It’s heartbreaking knowing that Kuma and Ginny’s lives were so cruel that being able to eat their fill would be considered paradise for them. What makes this thought even worse is that there are kids out there right now who go to bed hungry. The Celestial Dragons are absolute monsters; whatever happens to them at the end of the series, they will rightfully deserve it.
This chapter shed a lot of light on Kuma’s backstory. Not only did he befriend Ginny, who’s almost certainly Bonney’s mother, but he also met Ivankov, his future comrade in the Revolutionary Army. Seeing Kuma promising to never get his face only makes his inevitable fate all the more heartbreaking in the long run. That said, it’s amazing that the God Valley Incident occurred thanks to Ginny leaking news about the hunt to the world. That one event has shaped history in One Piece up to the present day. It’s a testament to how one decision can impact the entire world.
The Rocks Pirates on Full Display
The real highlight of the chapter, though, was the double spread featuring the Rocks Pirates and the Roger Pirates in their heyday. We got to see a younger Roger, who still posseses the Straw Hat that will one day be worn by Luffy. At this point, that hat is a crown!
In addition, we got to see more of the Rocks Pirates, and there were a lot of faces fans should recognize. Besides the future Yonko were the likes of Stussy, Shiki, Captain John, and, in a major twist, possibly, Gloryosa, AKA Elder Nyon, AKA the woman who raised Boa Hancock and her sisters. It’s incredible to think that she was one of the Rocks Pirates.
What an Amazing Chapter About Kuma and God Valley
This chapter was amazing. Seeing so many legendary characters in their prime was a rare sight to behold, and only serves to flesh out the world even more than it already is. Seeing Garp rushing to God Valley when he heard Roger was there is hilarious. That man truly was obsessed with catching Roger.
This chapter seems to set up Kuma’s eventual rise to become king of Sorbet Kingdom, and it contradicts his nickname as “Tyrant.” I’m curious to learn how he got that title, but knowing the World Government, they could’ve spread lies about him. If Kuma shows up on Egghead Island in the present day like I think he will, I hope he pays Saturn back for the pain he caused years ago!