REVIEW: ‘One Piece: Ace’s Story,’ Volume 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

One Piece: Ace's Story

One Piece: Ace’s Story Volume 2 is a light novel adventure with the original concept for the novel created by the mangaka of One Piece,  Eiichiro Oda, and written by Tatsuya Hamazaki and published by VIZ Media. The novel tells the origin story of Monkey D. Luffy’s adopted brother Portgaz D. Ace. The light novel tells the never before seen story of Ace’s thrilling adventures as a young rookie pirate in the New World.

Following One Piece: Ace’s Story Volume 1shortly after Portgaz D. Ace and his crew, the Spade Pirates, arrive at Fish-Man Island, they get into an undersea tangle with mermaids and fish-men. The Spade Pirates chart a course for the New World. The New World is a place where pirate masters and rookies battle for treasure and territory.

As Ace flees memories of his secret past, he seeks to obtain a level of infamy so powerful that if he were to succeed, it would change the world order. To achieve this goal, he sets his sights on one of the strongest fleets in the ocean, the Whitebeard Pirates, ruled over by a dreaded pirate and strongest man in the world, Edward ‘Whitebeard’ Newgate.

Ace and his crew make plans to take down Whitebeard but first met by Jinbe. The Fish-man pirate and one of the Seven Pirate Warlords of The Sea. The two of them fight to a stalemate for five days. Afterward, Ace and his crew meet Whitebeard. When Ace is defeated, he and the Spade Pirates are integrated into Whitebeard’s family despite his continued attempts to kill Whitebeard.

Tatsuya Hamazaki’s writing paints a fantastic and descriptive picture. The way they describe scenes or explain the geography of the land is spot on to how they appear the One Piece anime and manga. Additionally, with little exposition, they summarize the complicated power structures involving the Celestial Dragons, World Government, The Navy, Seven Pirate Warlords, and the Four Emporers. I felt Hamazaki does a great job explaining who and which every group is and the role they play in the world in a simplified way that makes it easy for long-time fans or new readers to understand easily.

One Piece: Ace’s Story Volume 2 has some noticeable differences between Volumes 1 and 2. Which makes sense each volume is written by different authors. I thought it was an interesting and necessary choice on Tatsuya Hamazaki’s part to tell the story from a third-person perspective.  Whereas Sho Hinata, author of One Piece: Ace’s Story Volume 1 told the story from the first-person perspective of Ace’s trusted friend and first crewmate, Masked Deuce.

While I really enjoyed the story being told from Masked Duece’s perspective in the previous volume. It makes sense that the mode of storytellings changes from first-person to a third-person perspective in this volume because Ace and Masked Deuce are separated for a majority of the story. This different mode of storytelling also allowed readers to have more insight into the inner thoughts feelings behind the motivations of some characters.

Volume 2 gives some great insight into Ace’s motivations as to why he desires to attain a level of infamy greater than his father, Gol D. Roger,  by killing Whitebeard. From the moment Ace learned of his lineage, he wondered is whether or not he should have existed. If the world would have been a better place had he not been born. Growing up in a world that hated his father and cursed the thought of his father having a child made him hate the world back. This hatred towards the world that hated him back pushed Ace to want to rebel against the world to make a name for himself and leave mark on it that would outlast and outshine the legend that was his father. 

Lastly, what continues to be my favorite thing about this series is how it weaves in perfectly with the source material while also showing never before seen interactions and scenes between various characters. For example, in the anime Ace and Red-Haired Shanks, the pirate that saved Ace’s brother, Luffy, is never shown interacting or talking with one another. However, in One Piece: Ace’s Story Volume 2, there are some excellent dialogue and moments between them. Hamazaki does such a great job with crafting the dialogue and scenes with them that I could totally see it fitting into the source material.

Overall, One Piece: Ace’s Story Volume 2 is a must-read, whether you are a long-time fan or newcomer to the One Piece franchise. Tatsuya Hamazaki’s writing paints a great and descriptive setting for the story to be told and their storytelling mode allows readers to get more insight into the character’s inner thoughts and motivations. This light novel series fits in perfectly with the source material while telling a never before seen story of Ace’s adventures as a rookie pirate in the New World.

One Piece: Ace’s Story Volume 2 is available now at bookstores and online. To find out where to buy, check out Viz.com.

'One Piece: Ace's Story, Vol. 2'
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, One Piece: Ace’s Story Vol. 2 is a must-read, whether you are a long-time fan or newcomer to the One Piece franchise. Tatsuya Hamazaki’s writing paints a great and descriptive setting for the story to be told and their storytelling mode allows readers to get more insight into the character’s inner thoughts and motivations. This light novel series fits in perfectly with the source material while telling a never before seen story of Ace’s adventures as a rookie pirate in the New World.