It’s not very often that you see a series that’s 75 volumes in, but One Piece has finally hit that mark here in North America. That’s one hell of a milestone, and it just goes to show that after 12 years of being released in volumes here in North America — One Piece has been running since 1997, but the first volume was only published in North America in 2003 — it’s still going strong. There have been a number of arcs over the years, but for the past couple of years we’ve been eagerly reading as the story of Dressrosa unfolds.
For the longest time, Skypiea was the longest arc with a total of 65 chapters, but Dressrossa surpassed that earlier this year and currently sits at a whopping 95 chapters. It’s been a long ride, and people have understandably been feeling a little burnt out. If you were actively reading the manga from chapter 700 all the way up to the current chapter of 795, which was published today in this week’s issue of Shonen Jump, that would have been 95 weeks — and that doesn’t include the occasional break. So when people talk about the length of the Dressrosa arc, they’re not wrong, it’s pretty damn long.
Since I’ve read the series by the volume for a while now, it never particularly bothered me. One of the things about reading by the chapter is that there’s always that level of suspense and anticipation while you wait for the next week, which is something that you don’t have when you’re collecting a series by the volume. That’s not to say that doesn’t exist when you’re collecting volumes, but you know that it’s going to be a while before you see the next few chapters in print. When you’re reading weekly, there’s a higher risk of disappointment, and sometimes a story might feel a little disconnected.
With a long-running series like One Piece, it takes several chapters to put the pieces together, and there are times when the story feels like it might be progressing a little slower. Throughout Dressrosa, there’s a lot of that, and in One Piece Volume 75, it’s also there. When you spend time building a world like this, you can’t just rush from place to place and get everything done immediately, because there’s more to it than the big fights. You have the supporting cast and the environment, and in order to truly build something, you have to devote the proper amount of care to those things as well.
Eiichiro Oda does this very well, which is one of the great things about One Piece, and is also what makes it better when read in blocks rather than by the individual chapter. Everyone loves the Straw Hats, and they should because they’re the main characters, but what about the rest of the world? What about their friends and allies, or the people stuck in tough situations like the citizens of Dressrosa? There might be slower points, but when you read the series by the volume and aren’t anticipating a new chapter every week, things start to connect.
In One Piece Volume 75, there’s a lot of those slower moments, but there are also the big ones. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that some of the highlights from the arc are included in this volume. You’ve got the start of some great match-ups that have been in the making for a while now, but you’ve also got the surprise of a few key characters doing some really cool things that end up becoming highly memorable. You’re always getting a mixed bag when you pick up a volume of One Piece, but that’s kind of the point. It’s not just about the big moments, it’s about the small ones, too.
Translation: Stephen Paul
Touch-Up Art/Lettering: Vanessa Satone
Design: Fawn Lau
Editor: Alexis Kirsch
Disclaimer: A copy of One Piece Volume 75 was provided to BentoByte by the publisher for the purpose of review.Tweet