Thursday, July 20, 2017

One Piece Revisited vol. 2 - Buggy the Clown

Despite having him draw in color on the cover, I always imagined Mohji as having yellow fur/hair. And Buggy looks about as badass as anyone with a clown nose and pig-tails coming out through his hat can be.

Now THIS is the first volume of One Piece I ever owned. Must've read it a dozen times. I admit I'm a big fan of the piratisms the Viz translations use in these early volumes - phrases like "belay that!", "aye aye, Cap'n!", and "arg!" are often on the lips of Buggy and his crew. It's not appropriate for every character, but I appreciate that sort of piratical lingo. Buggy strikes me as a pirate captain cut from the same cloth as Captain Hook in Hook, and he's always a hoot.
I love it when the villain asks the rhetorical "Who am I?" question and his henchmen respond. You have to train your henchmen like that, it builds character.
I mentioned yesterday that One Piece drew action like nothing I'd ever seen before, and I can point right to the page that sold me on the series. Luffy pulls Mohji in and decks him with a solid right, almost like a JBL Clothesline from Hell. I'm not sure what exactly in this spoke to me so, the way the impact is just drawn as a splash of blood? The lack of obnoxious motion lines to make it blindingly clear in what direction everything is moving? The way there's a trail of blood still on Luffy's knuckles? All I know is, compared to the wild haymakers of the comic books I was familiar with, who tended to show the point of impact instead of the immediate aftereffect, this was illuminating.

The punch heard round the world (at least to me)

Another stirring image is that of Zoro picking up the iron cage. It's a far cry from the future feats of strength he'll engage in, but I really like how you get a sense of effort from it. It's not supposed to be easy! He's not like Superman picking up cars, this is hard for him! But not too hard to be impossible.

Maybe another aspect is how the muscles, not usually emphasizes, bulge when doing strong things. As opposed to Marvel Comics, where everybody is 0% bodyfat and flexing every single muscle in their body all the time.

The plot of this volume is nothing special, Luffy makes friends with a guard dog and sympathizes with how Buggy is destroying on the Mayor's town, and that's enough to set him going. I get the idea that what upset him isn't that the town is being overrun, but that the Mayor's dream is being trampled upon. Poor guy built the town from the ground up with his friends and soon-to-be citizens, and now it's all in danger of being ruined. This will become a recurring theme, the importance of having and protecting one's dream.

We also meet Nami properly, though we'll come to learn her true motivations and backstory later. Not TOO much later, it's not a hidden secret that was made up after the fact to add melodrama to the story, but you can already see the signs. Sure, hating pirates doesn't sound unusual, but she's oddly pedantic about it, despite being a thief herself. Plus the mention of needing 100 million Berries to buy "a certain village".
I'm not sure who has a higher canonical alcohol tolerance, Nami or Zoro, but it's gotta be close.
Love that part of her character.

Favorite Page (that wasn't already mentioned):

I sit like this in all my chairs, too.
Buggy has a rather silly design, but Oda's art makes it work. He's not quite Joker-level, but he's still got the air of a dangerous crime boss who might snap at any second. Note that in this page (where he's seemingly levitating some poor bastard in the air) you can't see his left hand. That's because he's using that hand to hold the guy! I didn't notice it the first time, but after learning about his powers I think it's a subtle way to avoid revealing anything too early.

No comments:

Post a Comment