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Oh, yeah! Double digits!
…Well, in most cases, this would be a big deal, but for One Piece, the series is barely getting started. As I expected, the battle at Arlong Park will continue into the next volume. The other three guys all got a chance to fight a member of Sawtooth’s gang, and even Usopp gets a victory. He will probably be the one to grow the most.
I was wondering why Luffy didn’t try to stretch his head above the surface, but Oda finds a reason to prevent Luffy from doing that. The fruit sapping a person’s will when in the water seems a bit cheap, but Luffy’s weakness would seem easy to work around without it.
I was a little disappointed Nami didn’t really get a moment in this volume. Even her sister really did more than Nami herself.
Also, the translator’s notes for Sanji’s attacks were pretty useful. I recognized “mouton” and that’s about it. I know nothing about cuisine.
Well, I expected Buggy to make a return due to all those title pages, but I thought it would be more comedic. Instead, Alviria steals the show. I bet a lot of people would trade the ability to swim for beauty.
Genzo’s pinwheel had a purpose. And Nami gets a new tattoo…and the last laugh. I also wish I could get newspaper birds to deliver the paper to my house. But only if all the coupon inserts are included. Tashigi looks like a fun character since she could either turn into a kick-butt officer or pretty much insane.
Oh, hi, Shanks. You don’t look like you’ve aged well. Wonder when you’ll be reunited with Luffy. And Luffy’s worth 30 million berries? Bounties must be like sports contracts: they keep going up and up. (Did you see Andrew Luck’s contract? Holy crap.) I am finding Sanji’s crush/devotion to Nami pretty funny. A lot of female characters would just beat up annoying ladies’ men. But why not make him work? Plus, treating cooks well is always a good idea. Don’t mess with cooks, especially fighting cooks.
All in all, I’m kind of mixed on this volume. Are we setting up for a long arc or short diversion? I’m just not sure. I also wanted Nami to do more than deliver a couple of revenge blows at the very end and beat up Nezumi. I hope she gets a Big Moment soon. The arc was about her, but I wanted her to get really ticked up and make a big show. Something with an emotional punch like Luffy destroying Nami’s old room and maps. That was an awesome moment.
And we’re off to the Grand Line! Well, first, let’s take a detour to…a whale? Monstro, is that you?
When I saw the hatch Luffy spotted, I was expecting the whale to be some sort of Navy submarine or pirate ship. Then there would be a big battle and stuff. But instead we get another sad story of a lonely pet. Darn you, Oda! How many animals left alone are there going to be in this manga!? Then when they went inside, I was expecting a lot of Pinocchio references. Or at least a lot of jokes about Usopp’s nose.
Then there was a bunch of explanations I didn’t understand but basically amount to “Oda can do whatever he wants to Luffy’s crew”. The preview for the next volume calls them Straw Hat Pirates, but have they actually used this term in the manga yet? I don’t remember them doing so. Maybe when they designed the flag and I just missed it?
Also, I shouldn’t read manga when I’m tired. I read the “will kommen” sign as “kill women” at first. Oops.
Two new villains are introduced. Tuesday and No. 9 reminded me of Jesse and James from Pokemon. Their plots are foiled by a boy, they lose their important item, then they are worked to the bone. Yep, they also need to retake Villainry 101. Don’t drop important items when you’re committing a crime. But leaving your driver’s license behind or filling out an application with your real information just before you rob a place certainly makes for interesting stories. You don’t get away with money, but you earn your 15 minutes of fame.
Also, you’d think in Rogue Town there would be a ton of log pose shops. It should be the log pose capital of the world. Or maybe it is and Nami just spent too much time on trolling the clothing store owner to notice.
The whale world was weird. I really have no idea how long the Straw Hat Pirates will stay on Grand Line. How many more abandoned animals will they encounter? (Please be 0.) But with people living inside whales, fishmen species already confirmed, and a whole range of devil fruit, Oda really has room to be creative. People there don’t have a lot of technology, but they can still make some calls. Guns exist, but they aren’t the only weapons around. All this probably really helps One Piece‘s popularity since the rules of the world are pretty loose. Again, “do whatever the heck you want” seems to be a theme for Oda as well as his characters.
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