One Piece, Volume 8: I Won’t Die
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: October 10, 2005
Format/Genre/Length: Manga/Shonen/192 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: Teen
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Luffy, Sanji, and Gin survive Don Krieg’s poisonous gas attack. Luffy stands up to the pirate, proclaiming, “I won’t die.” And he means it! He attacks, and actually succeeds in bringing Krieg down on one knee, a feat never before accomplished! But can he handle Krieg’s Mighty Battle Spear?
As Chef and Sanji watch the battle between Luffy and Krieg, Chef comments on Luffy’s toughness. “In the end, it’s not about weapons,” he says, “grit counts more than steel.” The fight continues. Whatever Krieg throws at him, Luffy comes back with his usual tenacity, and using the weapons in his own gum gum arsenal.
After Krieg is defeated, Gin takes his leave, deciding to stay with Krieg, but his parting words for the unconscious Luffy state that he expects their paths to cross again on the Grand Line.
Sanji tells Luffy he can’t join his crew, but Luffy doesn’t believe him. Sanji asks him if he’s ever heard of the All Blue? The cooks on the Baratie start behaving strangely (even for them), claiming that Sanji’s cooking is horrible. It’s obvious they have ulterior motives, especially when the Crap Geezer asks Luffy to take Sanji with him.
Luffy and Sanji leave the Baratie and sail on in order to catch up with Nami. Along the way, Luffy learns about the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and how dangerous they are. Hawkeye Mihawk, who defeated Zolo, is one of them, and the other six are even worse. They head toward Arlong Park, home of the fish men, led by “Saw Tooth” Arlong. Yosaku thinks that is where Nami is headed, judging by her interest in a wanted poster containing information on pirates and bounties. Sanji, being obsessed with Nami, is all for following her.
Meanwhile, Zolo and Usopp are also hot on Nami’s trail, and make a couple of new friends.
Most of this volume is taken by the battle between Luffy and Krieg, which is pretty good, unless you don’t like battles, of course. We see some interesting moves on both sides. Naturally, Luffy prevails. He’s the hero. Then it’s time to move on.
The floating restaurant was a cool idea, but it’s time for the action to resume in other directions, and to catch up with Nami, Zolo, and Usopp.
As the series progresses, we see more and more of Luffy’s qualities, especially his loyalty to his friends, and his never give up attitude. He’s a good role model for people of all ages. I like the depth the author gives his characters, as well as the humor, and the action.
By the time the series is done, I know I won’t remember all of these characters, there are so many of them, but a few will stick with me for a long time to come: Luffy, Zolo, Shanks and Usopp among them.
Luffy’s indefatigable good humor and buoyant spirits, and his willingness to take risks to achieve his goals make this an enjoyable series for everyone.