We’ve made our way to Volume 3. We’re still in the early stages of One Piece and with the Captain Kuro arc coming up, which I think is one of the worst arcs in the series, we have one or two volumes to get through before things pick up and we never look back.
Buggy used to travel on the same ship as Shanks. They were apprentices on a ship. We see Silvers Rayleigh here, although at this point we still had no idea who he was and Oda probably didn’t either. Maybe the idea was there, but there’s a reason none of the other characters on this ship are named outside of Buggy and Shanks. We learn that Buggy ate his devil fruit by accident and is still mad at Shanks for being the cause. It’s obviously Buggy’s own fault that this happened, but I won’t be the one to tell him this to his face. The fight with Buggy ends on a pretty comedic note and after all is said and done, Nami joins the crew. For the time being. I think I remember Buggy being thrown in the ocean in the anime, but I’m not sure I’m right about that and I’m too lazy to check this. Either way, Buggy is one of Oda’s favorite characters as he’s said, so it’s likely we’ll be seeing more of the clown.
After getting away from Buggy and his crew, Luffy and Nami find a new island. This is where things get really silly. They find a man who’s been stuck in a treasure chest for years. His crew abandoned him and he’s been stuck trying to get to the treasure at the top of a cliff. You must be a pretty lousy pirate if you get stuck like that and don’t manage to escape after years. Regardless of that, we could have had Gaimon as our next crew member but he declined. Think of what we missed out on. We could have had epic fights like Hody Vs. Gaimon. Actually it’s probably for the best that he declined, now that I think about it. Either way, after this quick pitstop, we jump to Pinocchio’s introduction.
Usopp is the main focus of this upcoming arc. He’s the son of Yasopp, who we talked about when Shank’s crew was the focus in volume 1. He’s a liar with the ‘uso’ part of his name being the Japanese word for liar. He’s been trying to cheer up the sickly rich girl living in the mansion on the hill. He does so by telling lies. Not only that, but every day he runs through town warning of pirates coming to attack. He’s basically the boy who cried wolf in this story and the villagers know it. Luffy and companions run into him and they talk for a bit, before starting a fight with the local buttler. Before the volume ends, a strange man who can hypnotize people named Django enters the village and talks with the butler, Kurohadol (Klahadore in the official translation) about murdering the rich girl and stealing the inheritance money. Usopp warns everyone but to no avail.
I like Usopp’s story in concept, but I never could get myself particularly invested in the fights in this arc. I’ll talk more about this when we talk about volume 4, but it just felt boring to me. But negativity aside, as all volumes, this one read easily and I got through it quickly. Things are going to heat up soon and Usopp will show us what he’s made of. Seeing young Usopp again after over a thousand chapters of One Piece makes me realize how far they’ve gotten. Luffy and Zoro have always been impressive and although I’ve never liked the direction Nami’s character has taken, she definitely gets her moments. Usopp has made a complete transformation. He’s buff now, and super capable, even though he himself might not feel that way. Watching them behave like a bunch of kids again is kind of refreshing. Do keep in mind that this part of the manga is 25 years old. Can you believe that? I was 5 years old when they started publishing, that makes me, if we do some quick math, old.
But that’s this volume in a nutshell. Not much happens here that has major impact on the rest of the story except for the little bit of backstory we get of Shanks, Yasopp and Buggy. Gaimon will never be seen again (except for a filler arc in the anime), and Usopp’s story hasn’t progressed enough in this volume to have any real effect. I am excited to keep reading though, especially considering how long it’s been since I’ve read and watched some of these arcs. It’s easy to forget how good this manga is when you read it week to week. It does seem to diminish my enjoyment a little bit. Especially nowadays, when such big things are happening in the manga, but it sometimes takes a few weeks for something to actually happen. It’s much better to read in bulk and as I’m getting older I’m feeling that more and more. My attention span isn’t as big as it was and I have way more things going on in my life. But reading a volume every weekend, like I’m doing now, is quite nice. I highly recommend this approach over reading individual chapters. I can fully see myself phasing out weekly anime and manga more and more over time, switching to watching a show in a couple days or reading a volume whenever it’s released. It does help that I can afford them now, whereas teenage me could not. I feel like I’m getting distracted. Let me know what you think of this volume and what you’re expecting of the upcoming fight with Captain Kuro. Either way, I appreciate your time and thank you for reading!