Our second volume of One Piece covers a large chunk of the Buggy fight. As the series has grown, I found myself finding some of these earlier arcs a little bit boring. Not until Arlong Park do things really start to pick up steam, and with Arlong Park also being my favorite story arc of the entire series, it’s hard to not feel like the parts before it are a bit weak. Nonetheless, knowing that the arc was written more than two decades ago and is still an enjoyable read to this day, after I’ve consumed it a handful of times already, it’s not bad.
Oda is slowly starting to find his pace here, introducing another big pirate in the East Blue saga by the name Buggy the Clown. We get to see him a lot more often throughout this series and his story is pretty interesting in and of itself but as of right now he’s a clown pirate with a big red nose. His crew is supposed to represent a circus with several members looking like clowns and his first and second mate being a lion tamer and an acrobat respectively. The lion tamer, Mohji, gets into a fight with the dog that’s protecting a pet store. This volume really narrows in on treasure and how different things are important to different people. Luffy gets the most angry when someone damages his friends or his treasure. Second to that is the anger he displays when someone else’s treasure gets needlessly damaged. In this case that’s the pet store that Mohji and his lion Richie destroy. He quickly deals with them and later adds insult to injury by referring to Mohji as a “Fuzzy.” I’m pretty sure they’re called furries.
Buggy’s second mate, Cabaji, is not really an interesting character at all. He’s a mean person who uses acrobat tricks and plays dirty to win fights. In actual fights between pirates I think fighting dirty is probably encouraged but in a world like One Piece’s you want to root for the good guys and not the backstabbers. Luckily, Zoro is in a league of his own and has no problem defeating Cabaji even while he himself is pretty badly wounded. The real big fight is going to have to wait until the next volume though.
I did laugh a little bit at Nami’s introduction. “I hate pirates. I love money and tangerines. I only date guys who are over 6 feet tall.”
Alright I might have added the last bit myself, but it really read like some sort of social media platform. Oda gets better at show, don’t tell later on in the manga, but I thought this was done so blatantly that it was actually funny. It helps that Luffy at this point couldn’t care less to the point where he thinks Buggy’s name is Nami and vice versa. They do strike a deal and work together against Buggy, but as we all likely know, that won’t go super smoothly. The three end up with only Buggy remaining as their enemy, but as the only one they’ve encountered so far with a devil fruit power, aside from Luffy, he’s definitely a serious threat.
There’s probably not a whole lot I’ll have to say about some of these earlier volumes. The cover pages of each chapter are still just pictures of Zoro and Luffy hanging out, which is nice, because these pages are always a nice display of the crew’s solidarity, but later on we get more interesting stuff on the cover pages that’s worth talking about a lot more, especially since a lot of it never gets covered in the anime. For now, I’ll leave you all with this, and I hope you’re enjoying the manga so far. I’ll hopefully see you all again here next week for Volume 3. Thanks for reading!