Manga Review: One Piece Volume 12

One Piece Volume 12 is a manga by Eiichiro Oda, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2006. The series is rated “T” for teens; from the 12 volumes that I’ve read of the One Piece manga series, I would agree with this rating.

One Piece Volume 12
Written by: Eiichiro Oda
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 3, 2006

Monkey D. Luffy is the main character of One Piece, and he dreams of finding the fabled One Piece treasure on the Grand Line. Not only that, but Luffy also wants to become the king of the pirates. Unfortunately during his youth, Luffy ate some devil fruit, which turned his body into rubber and has made it so he is unable to swim. Even with that disadvantage, Luffy still pursues his dream. At this point in the series, Luffy has acquired some crew members: Zolo, Usopp, Nami, and Sanji.

Volume 12 continues the Roguetown arc that began near the end of Volume 11. In this arc, Zolo encounters a woman who bears a striking resemblance to his deceased friend, Kuina. Luffy and the others have an encounter with Buggy the Clown and a transformed Alvida. The beginning of this volume sees Luffy and his crew trying to escape from Roguetown while being pursued by Buggy, Alvida, Tashigi, and “White Chase” Smoker.

The Roguetown story actually wraps up rather quickly, and the remainder of the volume focuses on Luffy and the others reaching the Grand Line. During their first stop in the Grand Line, they have an adventure that involves a whale, an old man, and two new antagonists: Mr. 9 and Ms. Wednesday. These antagonists work for an organization called Baroque Works.

This section of the story was probably my favorite part of Volume 12. The story behind the whale is a rather touching one, and the conclusion of this story really shows how big of a heart that Luffy has.

The final story of Volume 12 takes place at Whisky Peak, the first island in the Grand Line that Luffy and his crew go to. On the surface, it seems to be a place that’s welcoming to pirates and exists solely to entertain them. However, it turns out there’s something more sinister taking place; however, I’m not going to say what it is in this review in order to not accidentally provide spoilers.

To be honest, knowing that One Piece has already broken 60 volumes in North America, I was actually rather surprised to see Luffy and his crew arriving at the Grand Line this early in the series. Of course, this is piquing my interest as to what will happen over the next 50+ volumes in the series that have already been released, as well as the volumes that will be released in the future.

This volume sees the return of the question and answer pages between several of the chapters in this volume. For the most part, though, Oda doesn’t really seem to answer any questions; instead, these just seem to be just several random things that get mentioned and any questions that get asked tend to receive a non-serious reply.

Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed the story as it progressed over the course of Volume 12, and I also liked being able to see Luffy and the others make it to the Grand Line. If you’ve read the previous 11 volumes of One Piece and enjoyed them, I think you will also enjoy reading Volume 12.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of One Piece Volume 12 that my son checked out through the King County Library System.

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