One Piece Volume 7

Here’s a little fun fact for you. This volume has a Question Corner at the end of chapter 54. Oda answers a question about a door being fixed when it should be broken in volume 1. He chalks it up to Mr. Minatomo, the carpenter. There’s even a small illustration of the guy. Now why does this guy look so familiar? Oh that’s right, he’s a legendary Carpenter from Wano, who doesn’t show up in the actual story until Chapter 909. Sometimes you have a character in mind and have to wait two decades to actually put them into your story. Oda-sensei, are you okay? Looking into this character a little bit, they’re apparently not the same character, but they’re related to each other. I wonder where Oda addresses this, because I can guarantee you someone has asked him that question before. And that’s how a joke character you have to make up to hide your own mistake for a quick joke becomes part of the lore. 

So this next one is a pretty well-known change between the anime and the manga. In the anime we have Sanji’s flashback where Zeff jumps into the water to save him after he gets washed overboard. His leg gets stuck on a chain and he has to cut it off to be able to escape from drowning. That’s pretty hardcore already but it’s a change from the manga where he literally cuts off his own leg for food. I can imagine you might not want to show  that in a children’s cartoon. So it’s an understandable change, but it does take away a little bit from Zeff’s coolness. It’s also even more sad looking back at this arc knowing the rest of Sanji’s story. Without going into spoilers, his story does get explored later in the manga, and this is only just the beginning to Sanji’s tale. Fortunately they somehow manage to pull through here.

Now back to a reality check. In the next Question Corner someone complains that the manga volumes are too expensive at 410 yen a piece. I did some quick math comparing it to our currency (which at the time this came out was still the Gulden and not yet the Euro, that feels like it was forever ago) and it was around 3 euros (at today’s conversion rate). Now it’s around 14 euros. Minimum wage has only gone up by about 70% since then while this manga is almost five times as expensive. Crazy stuff.

Gin and Pearl are the two main underlings in this arc. Gin being the terrible bloodlust murderer who is on the verge of starting his redemption arc. He started this problem but after the kindness that Sanji showed him is struggling to end the problem. Pearl on the other hand is just a ridiculous character. He apparently grew up in the jungle, which I initially mistook for a PTSD joke when they said “you’re not in the jungle anymore.” I thought it might be referring to the Vietnam war, but it was nothing so dark. Pearl gets taken out by Gin who gets taken out by Don Krieg. Perhaps the moral of the story here is that if you only work with terrible people, they will eventually let you down and betray you.

We wrap up volume 7 with the fight between Luffy and Krieg still in full effect. It’s honestly a pretty decent volume but it feels a bit less good than the two that came before. I said this in a previous post as well but I just don’t really like Don Krieg as a villain. He’s just a bad man for the sake of being a bad man. It’s for good reason that a lot of the villains from East Blue Saga are never seen again in the future. The only ones that come back in the story are Buggy and the upcoming villain from the next arc. And even he only gets mentioned and doesn’t actually appear. But both Don Krieg’s and Captain Kuro’s crews are not interesting at all.

We also wrap up Buggy’s side of the aftermath in this volume with the cover stories and move to the other half of this tale, where his remaining crew needs to navigate without their captain. They decide who becomes their new captain while Buggy is absent and of course the lion wins, because why wouldn’t he. We’ll get to see more of them in the next volume where this arc wraps up and we dive into the next one. I’m excited for it, I hope you are too. As always, thanks for reading.

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