One Piece, Volume 2: Buggy the Clown
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: November 19, 2003
Format/Genre/Length: Manga/Shonen/200 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Teen
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Luffy and Nami are an unlikely pair—he’s a pirate, she’s a pirate robber. She wants treasure, he wants to be king of the pirates. The people of Nami’s village have been frightened away by the terrible Buggy the Clown. Nami stole a map from Buggy, showing the way to the Grand Line, where great treasure is to be found. When Luffy and Nami unexpectedly come up against Buggy and his crew, she hands him over to the clownish pirate and claims she’s come to return his map!
Buggy tosses Luffy into an iron cage and all the pirates celebrate, including their newest member, Nami. To demonstrate his superior power, Buggy loads one of his fearsome buggy balls into his cabins and blows some of the village houses to smithereens. Then he tells Nami to kill her former boss, namely Luffy! What a dilemma! If she does it, she’ll be no better than the pirates she despises. When she refuses, Buggy tells his crew to attack her and things are looking bad. What better time for Zolo to show up!
Buggy is no ordinary pirate. He and Luffy have something in common—both have ingested the Devil Fruit. Where Luffy became a rubber man, Buggy is a chopchop man! Looks like a good time for our heroes to take their leave.
Back in the village, Luffy learns that Nami stole the key to the cage, rather than the map or any treasure, and he is elated and pleased to have her as his navigator. She isn’t so sure about that. But nothing is ever simple with Luffy, and when a dog intervenes and swallows the key, then it’s back to square one. The dog guards the pet food store for his owner, who took ill and died three months ago, according to Boodle, the mayor of the village.
Enter Buggy’s first mate—Mohji the Lion Tamer. Mohji resembles a lion himself with some very weird facial hair that resembles a fuzzy mane about his face. Luffy appears to be alone, sitting in his cage; Mohji demands to know where Zolo is. When Luffy refuses to tell, Mohi sets his lion, Richie, on him, with splendid results!
Boodle has taken enough. He’s tired of Buggy’s tyranny, and his wanton destruction of his village and he’s going to do something about it! He challenges Buggy. Buggy’s second mate, Cabaji the Acrobat, wants to take him on but Buggy insists it’s his fight. Luffy takes Boodle out of the running, and it then becomes a fight between Zolo and Cabaji!
The second volume progresses well as we meet the bizarre clown/pirate Buggy, get more of the relationship between Luffy and Nami, and Luffy and Zolo, and see more of everyone’s abilities. Luffy has some slick moves, including his gumgum balloon, while Zolo seems virtually indestructible. Like a Timex watch, he takes a licking and keeps on ticking!
I’m really enjoying the artwork here, and the way everyone is drawn. Even the battle scenes keep my interest, which isn’t always the case. I love Luffy’s confidence, and his determination, and his loyalty to his crew/friends. Never a dull moment with One Piece.