Today we’re looking at the 15th Volume of One Piece. Last week we read about the conclusion to Mr. 3’s candle wax statue and this week we continue to finish up the little garden arc. It turns out both giants are still alive. Their weapons are old and haven’t been able to properly deal enough damage. It makes sense, if you don’t take care of your equipment for a century of course it’s going to wither and get weaker. It’s a miracle it didn’t break much earlier. Sanji continues his phone call with Sir. Crocodile and swiftly deals with the Unluckies who are sent to check up on him. Crocodile tells Ms. All Sunday – whom we’ve seen before – do figure out what happened and send Mr. 2 to deal with Mr. 3. Not a very efficient method of running an organization, if you keep disposing of anyone who’s even remotely underperforming.
We have a quick interlude telling us that Smoker and Tashigi are on their way to Arabasta to deal with whatever problem is arising there. There’s a rebellion happening and it sounds like Mr. Zero might be involved. The crew gets ready to depart with the eternal pose that Sanji took from the Unluckies. The two giants send them off by killing the giant sea monster that was keeping other people from leaving the island. The crew is now well on their way to Arabasta. I’m sure they won’t stop on the way there and run into trouble at all.
On their way to Arabasta, the crew runs into trouble. For starters, Nami gets sick and that’s pretty bad. It’s a good thing they’ve picked up Vivi because none of the other geniuses on this crew know how to handle anything that isn’t fighting. They try to find an island with a doctor, but all they find is Wapol and his pirate crew, attacking them. They’re looking for Drum island, which is an island with no name apparently. They make their way to this island after dealing with Wapol and there they get led to the village by Dalton, the village mayor. Drum is a snow kingdom and the only living doctor on the island is a witch apparently. We’re off to a great start. I love how Oda flexes his wacky world building here in Drum by having a bear that’s a mountaineer and apparently it’s polite to bow to this bear. Those kinds of lore things don’t have to be included in a story like this but the fact that they are makes it that much more fun to read.
In their unending wisdom, Luffy and Sanji decide to stroll up the mountain with Nami on Luffy’s back. To be fair, the alternative wasn’t much better but it still seems like an insane thing to do. They strap in and go on their way. Dalton then introduces a very important name to us: Blackbeard. Apparently the pirate named Blackbeard and four of his crew members invaded Drum Island recently and kicked out the king, Wapol. Blackbeard is a character that we’ll hear a lot about in the future, so we won’t talk about him too much, but it is cool to see how early Oda put in some of these characters. There’s a lot of lore happening already that we get to see again in chapters far in the future from what we’re talking about. But let’s go back to the present and continue with this particular volume.
I recently watched an episode of the Trash Taste podcast where one of my favorite political streamers, Hasanabi, was a guest. He talked about One Piece quite a bit and about how overtly political of a story it is. It kind of blew my mind that the guys on the Trash Taste podcast didn’t find this nearly as obvious, so let’s dive a little bit into that next week. For now, we get an explanation as to why Dr. Kureha is the only doctor on the island. The rest of them all work for Wapol who has just found his way back to the island.
We learn a little bit about Kureha and her assistant, a reindeer by the name of Tony Tony Chopper. They’re currently curing a child over in a village a little ways out from where the crew is. While Luffy and Sanji are fighting murderous rabbits on the snowy mountain, the doctor was so close all along. It seems pretty dire, especially when we look at a preview for the next volume where Luffy has bleeding hands and is scaling the rocky mountains. We’re learned a lot from this volume about upcoming characters and we are going to get so much more information soon that I can’t wait. Wapol is an important character in this world’s lore and we hear about him more times in the future.
The cover stories in this volume continue where we left off last time. Django is still just kind of hiding from the law, trying to get to safety. He keeps running into trouble but avoiding it. One nice bit of information we get in this volume is the fact that Kaya, Usopp’s friend, is an apprentice doctor. It ties in with the sort of island they’re at right now, with doctors missing. It’s nice that we hear about these characters through these cover pages. It’s often that characters get forgotten at the end of a story arc but Oda clearly does not forget.
That’s volume 15, I’m excited to explain why One Piece is a socialist manga next week, so get strapped in for that. But for now, I hope you enjoyed this little dive into One Piece and I would like to thank you all for reading.!