Article first published as Manga Review: One Piece Volume Eight by Eiichiro Oda on Blogcritics.
One Piece Volume Eight is a manga by Eiichiro Oda, and it was published by Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint in 2005. The series is rated “T” for teens; from the eight volumes that I’ve read of the One Piece manga, I would have to agree with this rating.
Volume Eight picks up exactly where Volume Seven ended. The rest of the story arc that takes place on the oceangoing restaurant Baratie takes up most of the pages in this volume. Most of this story arc that appears in Volume Eight focuses on a one-on-one battle between Luffy and Don Krieg. The end of this story arc sees Sanji making a decision about what he plans to do for his future.
The final three chapters of Volume Eight begin the next story arc for One Piece. The setting for the next story is Arlong Park, and there’s a major focus on the characters of Nami, Usopp, Zolo, and Johnny. I was glad to finally see what happened to Zolo after his fight in Volume Six, because he was basically MIA in Volume Seven.
During the three chapters that take place in Arlong Park, there’s some backstory introduced for Nami. We learn that she grew up on the island, and has returned there after stealing the Merry Go. It appears that Nami is working for “Saw-Tooth” Arlong, the captain of Arlong’s Pirates. Usopp meets a young woman named Nojiko, and it turns out she’s Nami’s step-sister.
After my 15-year-old daughter read this volume of One Piece, she complained about being frustrated with Nami. Personally, I have a suspicion that there’s more to Nami’s story than appears on the surface; therefore, I’m not ready to judge her or the actions she has taken at this point in the story.
Since I’m so far behind in the One Piece manga and anime, I already knew what decision Sanji would make at the end of the Baratie story arc, but I really liked how Oda executed Sanji’s departure. It was nice to see Sanji and Chef Zeff acknowledge that they had indeed developed a bond over the years. As a reader, I found this scene to be a kind of “payoff” for this particular story arc.
Oda continues to bring a good mix of action and humor to the story that he’s telling in One Piece, with the occasional bit of drama to help keep the reader interested in the characters. I’m really looking forward to reading Volume Nine to see what will happen with Nami and how the Fish-Man Island story arc will progress.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of One Piece Volume Eight that my son checked out through the King County Library System.