One Piece 10 by Eiichiro Oda: B-

Arr! Belay reading on if ye not wish to be spoiled.

onepiece10From the back cover:
Luffy’s navigator, Nami, has been working all along for “Saw-Tooth” Arlong to steal enough treasure and buy back her village. In return, the pirate has handed over her fortune to the Navy! Now Luffy and his crew prepare to risk their lives for Nami’s sake against their most ruthless opponent yet.

It seems that for each volume in which the plot advances, we get one like this, which is almost entirely fighting. Answering Nami’s tearful plea for help (see note at end of review), Luffy and friends square off against Arlong and his crew. Predictably, Arlong just so happens to have three powerful minions, which means that Zolo, Sanji, and Usopp must each face off with their opponent before the real fight—between Luffy and Arlong, of course—can begin.

For the most part, the fights follow the typical shounen routine. The good guy takes a beating that would kill a normal man, rallies, and eventually defeats his opponent. All moves have a name and these names are shouted as the moves are executed. The one exception is Usopp’s battle. His first instinct is to avoid conflict, but when he thinks about the comrades who are depending on him, he manages to fight in his own way, which is less face-to-face and more about sneak attacks. I thought this was a nice way to keep him in character while allowing him to contribute something to the battle.

Although the fights still manage to be fairly entertaining, despite going exactly as one would expect, my favorite scene occurs at the end. Nami can no longer stand being away from the battle that is being fought on her behalf, so she arrives and challenges Arlong. He forces her to decide whether she’ll return to his crew, in return for him sparing the lives of the villagers, or whether she wishes to align herself with Luffy’s crew, who is looking miserably beaten by this point. She chooses to believe in Luffy, which is a big turning point for her. I appreciate that even in a volume full of brawling, Oda-sensei still manages to work in moments like this.

Note: Have I been pronouncing Luffy’s name incorrectly? I’ve been thinking that it rhymes with Buffy, but in one of the storyboard presentation pages we see the rough outline of Nami’s tearful plea again, and the katakana she uses for Luffy’s name could be romanized as “roofy.”

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  1. mark thorpe says

    I guess the name rhymes with goofy, at least in the anime they pronounce it that way. I thought it rhymed with Buffy too at first. Zolo is actually supposed to be Zoro, but L’s and R’s tend to get mixed in translation.

  2. Yeah, in Japanese it’s an oo sound, not uh. But I was never sure if the English pronunciation was the same.

    • Michelle says

      It seems like they could’ve made a note about it but I guess some people don’t go around pronouncing names in their head like I do. 🙂


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