Review One Piece – Heroines – Manga

The Glénat editions, quite logically, do not let go of their One Piece golden egg hen: after “Gyanzack” in 2012, “Logue Town” in 2015, or even “Stories of the crew” and “Ace” in 2019, they continue to publish in our regions novels inspired by the essential work of Eiichiro Oda, offering to find in bookstores since last October One Piece Heroines, a collection of short stories which, as its name suggests, puts honor some of the series’ most popular female figures. Starting, of course, with the two women of the Straw Hat crew, Nami and Nico Robin, to which are added the princess of Alabasta Nefertari Vivi and the ghost princess Perona. There are four stories of about 35-40 pages that await us, with the added bonus of an additional shorter “extra” story (10 pages) featuring a second time featuring the popular red-haired navigator who proudly appears in the foreground of the jacket.

In Japan, these different stories were initially pre-published in One Piece Magazine, before being consolidated into a paperback volume released there on June 4, 2021, at the same time as volume 99 of the manga. And in France, it’s generally the same pattern since we also find these stories in the French version of One Piece Magazine. Therefore, if you already have the issues of the magazine, it is not particularly useful to buy this novel. Apart from that, given the context of these stories, we advise the reader to have arrived at least until volume 90 of the manga to take full advantage of it, easily understand the context and not suffer any small spoilers.

Five short stories are therefore on the program. In the first, Nami, when she returns to the store where she bought them a pair of high heels that she is dissatisfied with, finds herself having to participate in a fashion show. In the second, our dear archaeologist helps Koala of the revolutionary army to decipher a clay tablet until he discovers certain information that fascinates her. In the third, Vivi must discover the identity of the author of a mysterious misplaced love letter, which seems dedicated to her and which inflames those around her. In the fourth, Perona sees Mihawk confiscating a succulent bottle of wine found near the castle, so out of revenge she decides to join forces with Zoro to challenge “Hawk Eye”. Finally, in the fifth short “extra”, we mainly observe the beauty of Nami through the eyes of another character.

Each story, due to its brevity, remains rather simple, but is no less entertaining thanks to several elements, the first of them being a good management of the rhythm where the number of pages turns out to be quite sufficient, in neither being too long nor too hasty. For this, Jun Esaka, the writer to whom these stories were entrusted and whom we already know in France for several novels of Naruto among others, relies on a simple and fluid writing, easy to follow, without taking head, something that the French translation by Akiko Indei and Pierre Fernande transcribes honestly. And to punctuate it all in a pleasant way, we can count on several small illustrations by Sayaka Suwa, who offers a fairly slender, fine and feminine work while remaining sufficiently faithful to Oda’s initial designs.

The main pleasure comes, however, of course, from the highlighting of characters who do not necessarily always have the opportunity to shine in the foreground. If Nami and Nico Robin are obviously often in view in the original manga as permanent members of the Straw Hat crew, it is less the case for our endearing Vivi and especially for the exuberant Perona, that one easily takes pleasure in seeing in the foreground for a few dozen pages. And to this are added other figures who are generally in the background despite their charm, like Miwawk or Koala, or even who are usually very little seen, like Koza, Vivi’s faithful childhood friend. Above all, each story highlights its heroine in a context that fits her perfectly, like Nami’s taste for luxury, Robin’s passion for archeology or the fact that everyone loves Vivi. (how could it be otherwise?).

The French edition of this novel of around 170 pages is neat, with no major typos in the texts, in a comfortable writing size, with fairly honestly printed illustrations, a dust jacket with a nice little spot varnish, and even a color double-sided fold-out mini-poster at the start. Something to properly accompany a novel that is not essential (and even less essential if you already have the issues of One Piece magazine in which you find them) but pleasant, which can be read quickly and well and which fairly well stars those who become the heroines the time of a few dozen pages.