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Title: The Legend Begins
Series: One Piece #12
Arc: East Blue #12 & Baroque Works #1
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
“The Legend Begins”
“And Now, the Grand Line”
“The Town of Welcome”
“Moonlight and Tombstones”
“100 Bounty Hunters”
As the Straw Hats try to flee the island, Smoker gets in their way. Luffy fights him, but is quickly pinned to the ground. With the help of a man named Dragon, he escapes. The Straw Hats enter the Grand Line by crossing Reverse Mountain, where they are swallowed by the giant whale Laboon. In its stomach they meet Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday (who try to kill the whale to feed their village) and Crocus, Laboon’s caretaker. Crocus shows them the way out, telling the whale’s story, and introduces the Straw Hats to navigating the Grand Line. Luffy impulsively gives Miss Wednesday and Mr. 9 a ride to Whiskey Peak, their home village. Their arrival is celebrated by the townspeople, who are bounty hunters for Baroque Works. With his comrades fast asleep after the party, Zoro must fight the roughly 100 bounty hunters himself.
When I started originally reading this series back in ’07, it wasn’t obvious that there were different story arcs going. Thankfully, with this re-read and new editions, it is stated right on the front cover, or inside cover, when an arc ends and a new one begins. I am finding it extremely helpful in terms of what to expect.
This volume ends the East Blue arc, where Luffy and Crew sailed around preparing to enter the Grand Line. It also begins the Baroque Works arc, which appears to have the Crew going up against an Organization known as Baroque Works. When I was reading way back when, this change kind of caught me by surprise because the storyline also changes. Knowing there are going to be changes sets me in the right frame of mind to accept those changes.
The end of the East Blue arc sees the Crew escaping Captain Smoker (who has eaten of some sort of fruit that gives him powers as well) as well as Alvida and Buggy. But it looks like all three of them will be chasing after Luffy so it seems Luffy will have old enemies as well as new once he reaches the Grand Line.
Then the crew makes it onto the Grand Line and come to a Cactus Island, where they are feted and pass out from food and drink. Only Zoro stays sober and ends up fighing against the whole town, who are bounty hunters who take down pirates before they get too big on the Grand Line. With Luffy’s 30 million berry reward, he’s worth the effort. Zoro tests out his new swords and shows why he was the best swordsman on East Blue. He defeats all the ordinary bounty hunters so some of the bigger honchos have to get involved, namely Mister 8, Miss Monday and maybe some others. Obviously Baroque Works was running short on ideas when it came to secret names BUT it makes it super easy on me as a reader to figure out just who is where on the Power Ladder and who needs to be defeated in what order.
This volume ends with Zoro getting ready to go head to head. I suspect he’ll beat a couple then get whipped by somebody higher up on the food chain and then Luffy will get involved, blah blah blah. Should be fun 🙂
Oh, on a complete side note, anyone have any ideas how I can make the titles for these a bit cleaner? I’m stuffing in manga monday, the title and the series and then the rating and it just looks super messy to me. But I don’t know how to convey all that info in the title without it being messy. Any thoughts would be appreciated.