Manga Review: One Piece Volume Two

Article first published as Manga Review: One Piece Volume Two by Eiichiro Oda on Blogcritics.

One Piece Volume Two is a manga by Eiichiro Oda, and it was published by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2003. The series is rated “T” for teens, and from what I’ve read of One Piece so far, I would agree with this rating.

One Piece Volume 2
Written by: Eiichiro Oda
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 22, 2003

Monkey D. Luffy, a man who wants to become the king of the pirates, ends up in a nearly deserted village. With him is Nami, a young woman who steals treasure from pirates. Nami tries to convince Luffy to partner with her, but he has no interest in her schemes. After finding out she’s a good navigator, Luffy asks her to join his crew. Nami learns that Luffy is a pirate, and she makes it clear that she doesn’t want to be a navigator for a pirate.

Pirate captain Buggy the Clown is also in the village, and he’s very upset about Nami stealing his map of the Grand Line. Nami uses Luffy to trick Buggy into thinking that she’s on his side and to infiltrate her way into Buggy’s company to get his treasure. Unfortunately, Nami’s plan doesn’t go as she expected. Just as things start to look hopeless, Zolo makes an appearance, and the story progresses from there. It’s revealed that Buggy also ate some of the Gum-Gum fruit, which gives him an ability that makes it incredibly difficult for Luffy, Zolo, and Nami to defeat him.

Now that more characters have been introduced, I can see more of Oda’s ability for character design. While these characters may have a rather “cartoonish” look to them, this style really fits the mood and style of the story of One Piece. Not only that, but Oda has a way of making sure that none of his characters look too similar to each other.

Oda also has quite a knack for drawing action panels. This is a good thing, since One Piece is chock full of action. At this point in the series, he also seems to have a good sense of pacing for his story. With how long the One Piece series has already run, with more volumes still coming out, it will be interesting to see if Oda can maintain this sense of pacing or not.

I’m also enjoying the character of Nami, since we only got to see her briefly at the end of Volume One. It’s nice to see an important female character this early in the series, and that she doesn’t really fall into a stereotype. While she may be a little manipulative and rough at times, you can tell that she still has a good heart. I think it’s these qualities that make Nami a likable character.

With Volume Two, One Piece is shaping up to be a manga series with a lot of potential. After reading the first two volumes, I think I can start to understand why the One Piece series has developed the Internet fanbase that it has.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of One Piece Volume Two that my son checked out through the King County Library System.

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