One Piece Volume 11

Today on the chopping block is Volume 11. According to the spine of the volumes, this is the last volume of the East Blue saga. There’s a little bit more time we spend in East Blue in the upcoming volume, but it’s also the start of the next saga, which is pretty exciting. I think I’ve mentioned it before, maybe in last week’s post, but in my head this arc went on for longer than it actually did. The fact that we go from Arlong Park to almost entering the Grand Line in the span of one volume feels unreal, but let’s read through it to see if it makes more sense afterwards.

Now I’m going to put a warning in here. The final paragraph of this post will contain some big spoilers for recent arcs. If you’re not fully up to date on the manga, I suggest you skip that paragraph completely.

With that out of the way, let’s dive into this week’s volume. For starters, the cover stories in this volume we’re continuing the story of Coby and Helmeppo. They’re bringing Axe Hand Morgan to Garp’s ship. Garp gets ambushed by the man and he takes Helmeppo hostage. Coby does his best to save his friend but things aren’t looking great. We don’t get an end to this story yet, but we’ll find out soon enough I’m sure.

Let’s tidy up Arlong Park, shall we? Luffy and Arlong fight for a bit, with Luffy stealing some of Arlong’s teeth for himself. It’s very fitting of Luffy’s character, but I thought it kind of took away from the seriousness of the fight. With some of the scenes after the fight being comedic in nature, I don’t think that was necessary and it did interrupt the flow a bit. The next scene took place in Nami’s old cartographer’s room where Luffy realizes this place must be like a prison to Nami. It’s such a powerful statement of him to destroy the room for her so she can finally be free of the chains that bind her. And with a powerful statement and a more powerful kick we end Arlong Park. It’s not said explicitly, but the rat navy captain takes away Arlong and his men and they go to prison. 

The same guy calls up the navy to say that Straw Hat Luffy needs to get a bounty on his head. The first bounty out of many that the crew gets throughout the years. His bounty is higher than any of the other big names in East Blue, but that’s not difficult. East Blue is considered to be the weakest of the four seas, and Luffy is probably the strongest captain to come from this area in a long time. What’s arguably the most interesting part about this whole bounty are the next two things:
First, we learn that Mihawk and Shanks know each other. Mihawk tells Shanks about the bounty on a boy whose name sounds familiar since Shanks has mentioned him before. They’re such good friends.
Second, we get some news that isn’t particularly relevant to most of the story, but it’s really the first mention of big events outside of what the crew does. Nami reads in the paper that there’s a coup d’etat in a country called Vira. We learn later in the story who was responsible for this coup, so I’ll update you all on that when we get there. 

After we complete Arlong Park, the crew sails to Rogue Town (Loguetown) where Gol D. Roger, king of the pirates, was executed all those years ago. It’s fun to see the crew go shopping and goof around for a little bit. We meet Tashigi and Smoker, two mainstay figures in the navy who actually seem to be good people. That’s fairly rare amongst the navy, as we’ll learn throughout the story. They’re a very corrupt, fascist organization. It’s almost like One Piece is just a way for Oda to do social commentary. But we see some old faces here again. It turns out the cover stories of Alvida and Buggy weren’t there for no reason. We see them again with an attempt to kill Luffy. He gets saved by a higher power though and ultimately survives the attack. That’s where we leave the volume off. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and if you did, leave a like. There’ll be another paragraph down below which contains massive spoilers. Read at your own risk!

There are major spoilers below this image. Final warning.

I’m on top of the world

Are we all good on that? Excellent. It’s nothing super important for the post, but I did think it would be interesting to include it. Zoro and Sanji ask if a higher power just saved Luffy. One Piece dives into many topics, but I believe religion isn’t a big topic. Sengoku turns into a giant Buddha, but it’s not really explored in such a way. Enel starts his own cult on Sky Island but it’s once again less a religion and more of a cult. The biggest mention we’ve had of gods so far is Luffy himself. As has been revealed in a recent chapter, he is Joy Boy, also known as the Sun God Nika. So the fact that Zoro and Sanji refer to a higher power in this moment is pretty neat. In reality though, we’ll find out in the next volume that Dragon has been messing with the weather to give Luffy a proper send-off. I can’t wait to close out East Blue and get started on the next big arc. We’re about to meet some characters that are very important to the story in Laboon and Arabasta, as well as get more crew members. This should be fun!

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