One Piece Volume 9


I knew I was going to enjoy this volume because it has my favorite chapter of all time. But I didn’t expect to have to take a break twice because I couldn’t see the panels through my tears. That’s a lie, I kind of did expect that if I’m totally honest with you all. Nami’s backstory and her cries for help are my favorite part of this manga. I even named my cat after her. Here’s a picture of her sleeping earlier this morning. She’s the reason I have to air out my bed several times a week, but she’s adorable so I forgive her. Anyway, let’s dive into volume 9 of One Piece. We’re quickly nearing the end of the East Blue saga. In my head there were quite a few more volumes after this, but I guess not. I do remember the anime adding some filler right before we went into the grand line, so maybe that’s padded the content in my memory.

Chapter 75 finally closes off Buggy’s sidestory with the entire crew being reunited. I thought it already ended last volume but I was wrong. Oops. I do read these one volume at a time and I don’t think I should be going back for every small error I make. I was talking with a friend of mine earlier today about Alvida who appears in these cover pages. I forgot how often she was included in the story. Apparently she doesn’t vanish for the next thousand chapters. This is part of why I’m reading this again, because it’s been so long since I last read it. I think it might actually be seven or eight years.

Zoro tricking Hachi by just not really saying much will always be funny. Hachi is like that one underling that got roped into things and doesn’t really know any better. Don’t get me wrong, he does help plunder the villages and intimidate the people and he’s well aware of his actions, but it always feels like he doesn’t really consider the severity of his actions while the rest of Arlong’s crew are actually bad people.
Speaking of the rest of the crew, one thing that was a breath of fresh air is how much Arlong cares for his crew. He thinks of them as his crew and not as disposable underlings like both Krieg and Kuro did. Even Buggy didn’t appreciate his underlings and used one of them as cannon fodder because he thought he insulted his nose. But Arlong cares about his men. Doesn’t help his case that he’s incredibly racist towards humans though.

Zoro does a run around the island trying to find Usopp while Nami is trying her best to convince Arlong that she’s still on his side. She goes to extreme lengths for this, even stabbing herself in the hand pretending to kill Usopp. Arlong does seem to fall for it.
What I find curious is how these early few arcs lay the groundwork for the corruption of the navy that we see throughout the story. First we had Morgan, who was basically being a dictator in the city he was stationed in. Then we had Fullbody who is just a rich guy pretending to be important and now we have mr. rat who has been trying to make it big from working for Arlong. It’s no wonder that the people have no faith in the organization this far away from Mariejois. They’ve basically been abandoned.

After all is said and done we get to the big turning point of this arc. Arlong proves to Nami that he is not to be trusted at all and the promise he made was one he had no intention of keeping. The villagers are understandably furious at them abusing Nami for eight long years but Nami desperately wants to keep them safe from Arlong and his goons. Even at this point she still thinks she can rebuild and get the hundred million berries she needs to pay for buying her village. The villagers are having none of it though and charge Arlong Park only to be stopped by Johnny and Yohsaku. Meanwhile Nami reaches her limit and in a fit of rage stabs her tattoo. Luffy is the one who stops her and we finally, finally get to my favorite chapter in this series. Nami, who has been shown to be extremely strong willed and resourceful, has been brought to her limit. Her pride put aside in a desperation she pleads for her crewmates to help her out. Without a moment of hesitation they do so and we get the famous walk to Arlong Park where all four walk up the house, bust through the walls and ask which one of these losers is Arlong. I get slightly emotional just writing this paragraph, that’s how good I think this chapter is.

We only have a few volumes left in the East Blue saga and the next one should get us pretty deep into the Arlong Park arc. I’m excited to keep reading. I do think the best part of this arc is now behind us, but there’s definitely some good stuff coming up. One thing I’m really appreciating about reading the manga as opposed to rewatching the anime again is the pacing. The anime really did slow things down from the very start and not having to deal with that is very pleasant. But that’s basically all I have to say about this volume. I hope you enjoyed it at least half as much as I did. Look forward to another volume next week and if you would be so kind drop a like below. Thanks for reading.

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