Monday, August 18, 2008

Manga Monday: One Piece

One Piece (Volume 1): Romance Dawn
Eiichiro Oda
One Piece is an extremely popular manga that follows ambitious Monkey D. Luffy as he strives to become the King of Pirates, the tale beginning with his inspiration for becoming a pirate in his youth, when he befriended a group of pirates who anchored at his seaside hometown. During these early years, he ate the gum-gum fruit, and his body was made rubbery, so he's pretty much impervious to harm and can do some winding punches and more, but it's also made him unable to swim for life, as he would simply sink. This doesn't discourage him however, as he sets off on a small boat to gather a crew of pirates and search for the coveted "One Piece" treasure that many people seek during this golden age of piracy.
This book is great. Luffy is one of those happy-go-lucky characters that's hard to take very seriously, but his enthusiasm is infectious, which is probably why he attracts the people that he does. His adventures within this first volume mostly arrive accidentally, but he sets off with a purpose that doesn't seem too far-fetched for him to achieve as he grows, though the journey has been set up as being rather difficult to undertake. Oda seems to already be setting things up for future volumes, as people come in and out of Luffy's life, and battles are waged with cut throat (but completely one-dimensional) villains. One volume in, I can't imagine how this wouldn't captivate an audience, so it's no wonder that this volume I have is the seventh printing of the book. It's a great light-hearted action comedy told in an amazing cartoony style that suits its characters and the fun world that Oda is slowly building.

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