ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘One Piece: Ace’s Story,’ Vol.1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One Piece

One Piece: Ace’s Story Vol. 1 is a light novel adventure written by Sho Hinata with the original concept for the novel being created by the mangaka of One Piece,  Eiichiro Oda. VIZ Media is publishing the first-ever English release of the novel. The novel tells the origin story of Luffy’s adopted brother Ace and tells of his thrilling quest for the legendary One Piece treasure.

Portgas D. Ace and an unnamed man are washed up on the shores of a deserted island at the edges of the East Blue Sea. The two men come from very different backgrounds but are united by their shared thirst for adventure. One man, Ace, follows in his father’s infamous footsteps as the fearless captain of a pirate crew. The other man, Masked Deuce, becomes the very first crewmember of Ace’s Spade Pirates.

Initially, Masked Deuce is standoffish towards Ace after he learns about his infamous family’s heritage. However, when he becomes desperate for food and unsuccessfully tries to ambush Ace, Deuce is remorseful of his actions, and the two become friends. Together they combine their efforts to escape from the deserted and head off for the pirate adventure they both desired.

At 144 pages, Ace’s Story is a pretty light read. Nonetheless, it has a great story and adds a lot of value for One Piece lovers, especially for those who are big fans of Ace. Personally, Ace is one of my favorite characters in the One Piece series, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and getting more details about Ace’s mysterious origin.

For example, most fans of One Piece know that Ace got his powers for eating the Flame-Flame Fruit, one of the cursed Devil Fruit that allows a person the ability to create, control, and transform any part of their body into fire. An interesting fact about the Flame Flame Fruit revealed in Ace’s Story was that Ace shared the fruit with Deuce, having no idea it was a Devil Fruit. It was by complete chance that Ace gains the fruit’s the powers because he just so happened to take the first bite.

Something else that I enjoyed about Ace’s Story was that it gives us a more in-depth look into Ace’s character. The author, Sho Hinata, does this by telling the story from the perspective of Ace’s first crewman and trusted friend, Masked Deuce. Initially, I thought it was odd not to have the story told from Ace’s perspective. However, as I got into the story more, I think having the story told from one of Ace’s closest friends was a great decision. Deuce is a very perceptive character, especially when it comes to his observations of Ace.

From Deuce’s point of view, we can see some deeper layers to Ace. For example, Deuce compares being a captain to being like the sun. Just as the sun is at the center of everything, a ship’s captain is at the center of the crew and can bring people together instinctively. That is exactly how he views Ace. Deuce also recognizes that just like the sun, Ace attracts and brings people together, and they in-turn, admire him.

However, just like the sun, nothing can get very close to it, or else they would burn up. Deuce recognizes that Ace can bring his comrades together and give them a place in the world to call home and feel at peace. But questions if he and crew could ever do the same for Ace. I found this analogy to be very fitting because even with all of the admiration and fame Ace gained as a pirate, it shows that there was a deeper side to him. Sure he is surrounded by his comrades and has gained a lot of respect over the years as a pirate, but he still feels alone and isolated on some level.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed One Piece: Ace’s Story Vol. 1, and I can not wait until the next volume to see where the story goes. It is an enjoyable light read that has a great story and gives greater insight into a fan-favorite character’s mysterious past. I highly recommend this to all fans. Whether you’re a long-time fan or are relatively new to the One Piece franchise, Ace’s Story will only pull you further into the series.

One Piece: Ace’s Story Vol. 1 will be available at bookstores and online on May 5. To find out where to buy, check out Viz.com.

One Piece: Ace's Story Vol.1
5

TL;DR

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed One Piece: Ace’s Story Vol. 1, and I can not wait until the next volume to see where the story goes. It is an enjoyable light read that has a great story and gives greater insight into a fan-favorite character’s mysterious past. I highly recommend this to all fans. Whether you’re a long-time fan or are relatively new to the One Piece franchise, Ace’s Story will only pull you further into the series.