Eiichiro Oda began his manga career at the age of 17, when his one-shot cowboy manga Wanted! won second place in the coveted Tezuka manga awards. Oda went on to work as an assistant to some of the biggest manga artists in the industry, including Nobuhiro Watsuki, before winning the Hop Step Award for new artists. His pirate adventure One Piece, which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1997, quickly became one of the most popular manga in Japan.
As a child, Monkey D. Luffy ate magical fruit, making his body rubberlike and unable to swim. Now 17, Luffy sets off on his dream to become the King of Pirates. On his ship, the Merry Go, with his misfit crew, the Straw Hats, Luffy sails into extraordinary adventures. The Straw Hats travel to Jaya to learn more about a fabled island in the sky. Once in Skypiea, they realize it is not paradise. Skypiea's turbulent history may be tied to an ancient children's tale about Noland the Liar and his lost city of gold. Full of humor, fast-paced action, and memorable characters, this also features stellar artwork and writing that make palpable a sense of wonder and spirit of adventure. Oda weaves fantastic tales within an intricate, imaginative world. Verdict This gem is appropriate for teens and will have appeal beyond pirate fans. Volumes 25-28 consist of parts two through five of the Skypiea saga, which is an ideal jumping on point for new readers. Viz is re-releasing the series with three-volumes-in-one omnibus editions.-June Shimonishi, Torrance P.L., CA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.