So, given that we have all of this free time these days, I decided to use it to good advantage and dive into the Manga One PPiece. For those of you who have never heard of it, it's one of the most popular comics in the world today and has been for years.

The story follows Monkey D. Luffy (hereafter referred to as Luffy) and his merry band as he sets out on a great journey to become the king of all pirates. Because of a special fruit he accidentally ate as a child, Luffy has the unique ability of being a rubber man (think Mr. Fantastic, but without the intelligence). However, there is a consequence to those powers, as anyone who consumes the "devil fruit" loses the ability to swim(makes being a pirate much more difficult) 

Luffy is accompanied by a crew of people who also have lofty adpirations:

Zoro, a swordsman with a unique three sword style (he holds the third in his mouth), who wants to become the world's greatest swordsman  

Nami, a gorgeous thief who also happens to be an outstanding navigator. She's in it to make maps and get her hands on as much money as possible.

Usopp, an inveterate liar and also the team's resident sharpshooter (his weapon of choice is a slingshot) and tinker. He's a bit of a coward and complainer but seems to step up when he needs to (think Volstagg but skinny) . He's after adventure and to make something out of himself.

Sanji, the ship's cook. He's got extremely powerful legs-in fact, he doesn't use his hands during a fight--and is mainly interested in cooking great food and meting as many women as possible .

That's the core crew, but there are others, and other characters who have their own desires and motivations. 

The storytelling is pretty basic: Luffy and crew run into a villain--usually another pirate--get into a big dumb fight and eventually win. Rinse and repeat. It's not the deepest plot in the world  but it doesn't have to be in order to be entertaining. 

I would say the biggest strength of Oda-Sensei is his ability to craft good villains and his pacing. He's very good at ratcheting up the drama and excitement when need be, but also at creating cooling off periods for the reader as well. 

Another strength--but also a weakness--is his art. His style tends to be fairly cartoonist, which looks great sometimes and adds a lot to the dynamic of the presentation. However, his line isn't the tightest  and his fight scenes can be difficult to follow. No colorist to blame either, as the comic pages are all in black and white .

So, am I recommending One PPiece? Yes, I am. I definitely think it's worth reading, at least through a certain point (I haven't finished it and it's still ongoing). It can get a little repetitive  but it's also a lot of fun.

Anyone else read this? Thoughts? 

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