Manga Review: One Piece Volume 16

One Piece Volume 16 is a manga by Eiichiro Oda, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2007. The series is rated “T” for teens; from the 16 volumes that I’ve read of the One Piece manga series, I would agree with this rating.

One Piece Volume 16
Written by: Eiichiro Oda
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 6, 2007

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: Zoro, Usopp, Nami, and Sanji.

Volume 16 sees Luffy and Sanji trying to carry an ill Nami up a mountain in order to get her some medical attention. Unfortunately, they have angered the large rabbit-like creatures known as Lapins, and the creatures cause an avalanche. Luffy and Sanji try to outrun the avalanche. While trying to fight the Lapins, Luffy and Sanji get a nastu surprise when Wapol and his cronies catch up to them. While they battle with Wapol, they get some unexpected help from the Lapins.

An injured Luffy makes it to the top of the mountain while carrying the ill Nami and an injured Sanji; unfortunately, part of the mountain gives way as he gets there. They are rescued by what appears to be a large creature.

When Nami comes to, she sees a small blue-nosed reindeer named Tony Tony Chopper, and he’s not very trusting of humans. Nami and the others also meet Dr. Kureha. From talking with Dr. Kureha, Nami learns about Chopper’s backstory: he was scorned by the other reindeer because of his blue nose, and then he ate devil fruit that allows him to become almost human-like. The other reindeer cast him out, and humans were afraid of him in his near-human form. Later, we learn about how Chopper came to meet Dr. Hiriluk, the time they spent together, and what Chopper learned from him before the doctor died. From there, we see him studying under Dr. Kureha. Luffy decides he wants Chopper to join his crew, but Chopper doesn’t give any kind of answer. Wapol also makes an appearance at the castle, and Luffy just starts into a fight with him when the volume ends.

Meanwhile, at the bottom of the mountain, Vivi and Usopp fin Zoro, who had been buried in an avalanche; he’d gotten lost while taking a midwinter swim. When they return to Bighorn, they find the avalanche has buried Dalton and that Wapol’s men won’t allow them to dig Dalton out. Zoro ends up fighting with Wapol’s men. Then the race is on to dig Dalton out from the snow.

Once Volume 16 sees Luffy reaching the top of the mountain with Nami and Sanji, the focus ends up shifting rather strongly on Tony Tony Chopper. His backstory is rather moving and rather sad; Oda wrote and drew this backstory in such a way that it not only provided backstory for Chopper, it also made the reader really come to care for Chopper. I can say without fail that Chopper’s backstory was my favorite part of Volume 16.

The section of Volume 16 that takes place at the bottom of the mountain provides some much needed humor between Usopp and Zoro. Considering how serious Tony Tony Chopper’s backstory is, the scenes at the bottom of the mountain helps to keep Volume 16 from bogging down with the serious material.

It’s hard for me to say too much more, since I’m further along in the One Piece anime than I am in the manga, and I don’t want to inadvertently provide any spoilers. However, I will say that from what I saw in the anime for this story arc, it will continue to be just as strong as what was seen in Volume 16.

I enjoyed reading Volume 16, even knowing what’s coming up from seeing this section of the story in the anime series. If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous 15 volumes of One Piece, then I think you will also enjoy Volume 16.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of One Piece Volume 16 that my son checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about One Piece:

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