One Piece: East Blue (Vol 7-8-9): You can learn so much from this manga!

East Blue 7-8-9 - Eiichiro Oda

*4.5 Stars*

Scorecard: (Out of 10)
* Quality of Writing - 9
* Pace - 8
* Plot development - 8
* Characters - 10
* Enjoyability - 10
* Insightfulness - 9
* Ease of Reading - 10
* Photos/Illustrations - 10
Final Score: 74/80 = 93%

*WARNING: Two things. One, I have not read the first 6 volumes of the manga though I have seen the anime through the corresponding stories. As I get the first two volumes, I will add them. Two, I know these are three separate volumes and I would usually break them up into their corresponding separate books. However, as this is the only way I've read them; I will treat them as the ones I'm use to.*

*The Gush*

I'll admit, when I first saw a chapter of this manga in Shonen Jump YEARS ago, I hated it. The drawing style was a huge turn off to me, the elongated bodies and morphed shapes when fighting, not to mention the whole blah blah pirates thing blah, were a huge turn off to me. And I knew without a doubt that I would NEVER want to read this stupid series.

I am now eating those words. I have Collections 1-6 of the anime and have just bought the 3-in-1 volumes 7-9, 10-12, 13-15. So here I am, hooked on another manga series I swore I'd NEVER like that just so happens to be LONGER THEN BLEACH CURRENTLY! *Sigh*

Volume 7 and half of 8 are the end of the getting Sanji story while the second half of 8 and all of 9 are the beginnings of the truth about Nami section. These have great fight scenes, wonderful character development, and some interesting plot developments. This is still early days, though we are seeing the beginnings of twilight on the East Blue section of the One Piece Saga. Luffy is facing two of the toughest foes in the East Blue, which will start to prepare him for future conflicts he will face.

The artwork is excellent. For people new to manga, this may not be readily apparent. Make no mistake, this is not Rumiko Takahashi or Tite Kubo, whose styles are more...normal perhaps then Eiichiro Oda's. His style is very distinctive, which is a good thing is the competitive manga market. What I found was that his elongated bodies imply movement to a degree that the still black and while pages seem to come alive in a way that I've not really experienced in other manga. I don't know if that is what the artist is going for but that is what I've experienced.

Something else that strikes me about this series is how diverse the information is in it. You have Sanji who waxes eloquently about cooking and uses french terms for his kicks, to Nami who talks about navigational information, to naval practices that are at least partially based on historical information...the list goes on and on. There is so much packed into this manga that there seems to be something for everyone, even someone who just wants an action pack story and doesn't want to look beyond that. For those that do, you'll learn a thing or two.

*The Rant*

The artwork might be a turn off for some people. The main issue some might have with this was something that shocked me even after watching the anime. This is not a child's manga. There are some rather dark segments of this story; not horrible or scarring for life necessarily but not for all readers. The best example of this is in volume 7 when Chief Zeff (then Red Foot Zeff) survived being marooned by eating his right leg. This was disturbing even for me as this is quite different from what they have happen the anime. It shows the desperate straits that sailors could find themselves in on the high seas but not everyone should read such things.


If you are interested in manga, the One Piece series is something to consider. In someways a unique series, it has a little bit of everything that makes it fun for many different people to read. It is however, clearly a teen book and should not be read below that level. If you are just now starting to collect, these 3-in-1 books are great ways to catch up as you basically get one of the volumes free based on the cost of three separate volumes versus one of these.