One Piece Vol. 1: Romance Dawn by Eiichiro Oda

A guest review from Teen Room Staff Brandon!

Can you remember a time when comic books were the coolest thing since sliced bread, to be cliché? Well, their time has come once again, but in a different form. The new craze sweeping the teen scene is manga, which is Japanese for whimsical pictures can be loosely translated to comics outside of Japan. Manga is different in its style as well as its format. Traditional books are read left to right, but manga comics are read right to left, beginning with what (in the American style) would be the back cover. If that doesn’t sound like your style, then you might just want to skip this review and move onto the next. That said, let’s move onto the book.

Romance Dawn opens the One Piece saga with a young Monkey D. Luffy, the protagonist. He is always seen trying to join his idol, Shanks’ pirate ship, but Shanks won’t let him. Thus, he hangs out with Shanks at the local tavern where he accidentally eats the Gum-Gum Fruit, which allows his body to stretch, much like a rubber band or piece of chewed gum. This presents a problem because Luffy is determined to find the One Piece, the greatest treasure in the world, and eating one of the Devil Fruits (there are many) deprives the eater of their ability to swim.

The book fast forwards to Luffy when he has grown and goes out to sea. He befriends a couple of rogue sea people, a bounty hunter turned pirate, and a thief who steals from pirates. Romance Dawn follows their adventures on the East Blue Ocean.

The first volume in the series, Romance Dawn establishes the wonderful writing and illustration style of Oda. Driving dialogue help propel and keep the reader interested in the several substories present underneath Luffy’s grand quest for the One Piece.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all its subsequent volumes. It is well written and has appeal to many age groups, from youth to adult.


P.S. from Melissa--even if you don't think you'll like Manga, give one a try! You might really be surprised!