One Piece Volume 18 focuses on Luffy, a young man who dreams of finding the One Piece and becoming the King of the Pirates someday. As a child, he ate the Gum-Gum fruit, which turned his body into rubber and allows him to stretch himself in crazy ways. Unfortunately, this means that he is no longer able to swim and will drown if he goes into water. But Luffy is determined to achieve his dream, and he is accompanied by his pirate crew, who are known as the Straw Hats.
One Piece Volume 18
Written by: Eiichiro Oda
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 3, 2008
Volume 18 continues Luffy, the Straw Hats, and Vivi’s journey to Alabasta. During this volume, Luffy and his crew encounter two new characters: Bon Clay and Ace. One of these characters has a connection to Baroque Works, while the other has an important connection with Luffy.
But the main focus of this volume is on providing the reader with information about Alabasta and providing development for the country and its people. There’s also an important flashback included that provides backstory for Vivi, as well as for another character who appears will be playing an important role later in the story. There’s also some exposition for Baroque Works as well.
That’s not to say that One Piece Volume 18 is dull, though, because there’s still some action that takes place during the Straw Hats’ journey. It’s not as action-packed as some of the other volumes have been, but this volume is very important for helping the reader understand this new country and some of the newer characters who have been introduced to the series.
When it comes to the art, Volume 18 included several symbols that required an editor’s note to explain them. One of these editor’s note was very important, because it helped to head off potential controversy. Unfortunately, there’s a tattoo on Ace’s back that could have potentially caused readers to become very angry if they didn’t have the context for the tattoo’s design from the editor’s note.
Overall, I enjoyed One Piece Volume 18. It provided some much needed background information, and it also made me like the character of Vivi even more than I already did. Vivi was a fascinating character before this, but between getting the flashback of her past and the backstory for her country, it made Vivi an even more compelling character than she already was. This volume also provided a bit of a break from the action that’s usually prevalent in One Piece.
If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous volumes of the series, then I think you’ll want to read One Piece Volume 18.
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