Chapter 856 of immensely popular manga One Piece finally allows fans of the Straw Hats pirates to rejoice as the much-awaited reunion takes place. However, the danger that the band of pirates faces, as well as those they care about, and the duo’s decision will steer the course of the series.
[Warning: One Piece manga Chapter 856 spoilers/recap ahead]
The previous chapter was quite joyous for fans of One Piece manga. Those rooting for Pedro were proved right. Despite being in the clutches of Big Mom, the skeletal member of the Straw Hats pirates had managed to steal the Road Poneglyphs. Brook revealed his handiwork after Carrot, Chopper, Pedro, and Jinbei, in particular, pulled him inside Brulee’s Magical Mirror World during a daring rescue mission.
Carrot had been able to manipulate the mirrors by drawing portraits of the Straw Hats members who were still missing. While the majority of the group that landed on Big Mom’s Whole Cake Island has been reunited, the mirrors are unable to offer any location information about Sanji and Luffy probably because the duo was out in the meadows looking for each other. Nami realizes the same and recalls the fight between the Straw Hats captain and Black Leg, causing Chopper to well up.
However, level-headed Jinbei reasons that Sanji would have had to perform some important task as a Vinsmoke, and hence convincing him to return with them might be difficult. It is apparent that the group is unaware of the fact that Sanji knows about the betrayal by Lady Pudding. But Jinbei reveals the evil plan Big Mom has hatched, omitting the fact that it involves killing the Vinsmoke clan. He also mentions Pekoms, who cleverly separated himself from the Straw Hats group when they reached the Whole Cake Island.
In the previous chapter, Big Mom had sent barmaids to the Vinsmoke’s dining room, and as expected, the clan is heavily inebriated, but owing to their genetically enhanced bodies no one passes out. Instead, Judge Vinsmoke and his three evil sons, Ichji, Yonji and Niji, discuss their side of the evil plan which involved dangling Sanji as bait for Big Mom. Judge Vinsmoke gloats that with Big Mom on Germa’s side, they can finally launch an offensive on the North Blue and capture the territory. He keeps on referring to Sanji as the “failure” who came through for them.
Right outside the Vinsmoke’s room, Big Mom’s ministers go over their plan, which involves restricting the movement of the clan merrymaking within. According to one of the soldiers, every last one of the Vinsmoke clan, including Sanji and Reiju, has been accounted for. It is apparent that the soldiers are still unaware that Sanji is out in the meadows, while Reiju is contemplating tomorrow’s action plan.
The scene shifts to the meadows, where Sanji and Luffy had come face-to-face in the previous chapter. The effects of extreme starvation are quite apparent on Luffy. In his exceedingly weakened state, Luffy sniffs out the bento lunch box that Sanji had initially prepared for Lady Pudding. Sanji is deeply saddened by Luffy’s poor physical condition and offers him the lunch box. Unfortunately, the lunch box is quite ruined as Sanji had dropped it. Moreover, the rain had soaked the contents. Sanji calls himself a failure as a chef, but Luffy is beside himself with joy for getting something to eat. Ignoring Sanji’s melancholy-filled dialogues, Luffy eagerly devours the food and even appreciates it, causing the former to get even angrier thinking Luffy might be acting sarcastic and lashes out. Luffy notes that Sanji had prepared the lunch box with the group’s favorite foods.
Having devoured the meal, Luffy appears to regain his strength and vigor. However, he is shocked to hear Sanji asking him to leave the island. Interestingly, Sanji appears to have thought long and hard about the reasons why he wants Luffy to leave the island without him. Sanji mentions that disrespecting his captain is reason number one. He reveals that Zeff and the Baratie staff are being held captive to ensure Black Leg stays compliant. The chef also mentions the plans Big Mom had hatched which involved killing the entire Vinsmoke clan. Interestingly, Sanji admits that he despises his family, but can’t let them die.
Back when Sanji and Luffy had gone their separate ways, the former had brutally hit the latter. After Sanji lists the three reasons explaining why Luffy must abandon him, the latter returns the favor. A tight slap puffs up Sanji’s cheek and sends him crashing into a big tree. It is clear to Luffy that Sanji isn’t telling the whole truth and demands that he be completely honest with him.
Sanji reveals that he wishes to return to “Sunny,” but he doesn’t have the courage or the willpower to leave the Whole Cake Island and abandon his family. Never the one to shirk from a challenge and an adventure, Luffy reassures Sanji that it is just his kindhearted nature, and hence, they should head back to the Whole Cake Chateau and wreck the wedding together.
One Piece mangaka Eiichiro Oda has confirmed that the series will be on a break in the coming week. Hence the next chapter of One Piece will be delayed. Nonetheless, Oda has clearly implied that an epic confrontation is expected.
[Featured Image by Eiichiro Oda/One Piece Manga/Shueisha]