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Before you set sail on the second round of voyages for One Piece, brush up on who you’ll be encountering in this latest volume of nautical nonsense

Going Merry. How can a ship be a character? The Going Merry is more than just the Straw Hats’ vessel – it’s the heart of the team! Although introduced towards the end of the first volume, given to the crew by Kaya and her butler Merry as a reward for rescuing her, it’s in this volume that the team really begin to bond!

Krieg. This fierce brute of a captain leads the eponymous Krieg Pirates, the most feared bunch of ne’er-do-wells in all of East Blue! Krieg rules his followers through fear and abuse, even going so far as to execute any who should disobey, doubt or disappoint him just to reinforce his dominance to the rest. While he’s known for his ostentatious golden armour, an outward symbol of his arrogance and egotism, he’s tough enough to back it up in a fight too. His cruel nature and obedient crew makes him one of the toughest foes that Luffy and pals have faced yet.

Arlong. Did we say Krieg was tough? He was just a warm-up compared to Arlong! With the highest bounty of all the pirates in East Blue, this blue-skinned, tattooed, saw-nosed beast already has a terrifying reputation – and that’s before you realise he’s a walking shark! A member of the Fishman race (one of two sentient aquatic species in the world of One Piece, the other being Merfolk), Arlong took up piracy years before and used his immense strength and savage instincts to take over many coastal cities –including Nami’s home of Cocoyasi Village, killing her mother during the invasion. He considers humans inferior to water-dwellers, and holds no compunctions over killing them en masse.

Nojiko. Nami’s beloved older sister, and a bit of a bombshell. With short blue hair, killer tattoos and a punky but level-headed attitude, Nojiko is a tough young woman. Her hardened exterior has helped her protect her villagers under the years of Arlong’s pitiless rule, but she’s a kind and gentle soul to those who deserve it. Since childhood, Nojiko has been hugely supportive of her baby sister, even going to far as to trust that Nami had a long-term plan when she joined up with Arlong’s crew, despite her initial anger. The harsh experiences of her youth make her angry at people she sees as wasting their lives.

Nezumi. A corrupt captain of the East Blue Marines, Nezumi has long been accepting bribes from Arlong in order to overlook his violent rule of Cocoyasi. He considers his rank alone to be enough to earn the respect of those around him, and his general arrogance is overwhelming. When it comes to a fight though, Nezumi will scurry away and hide – he’s a low down dirty rat at heart, and his appearance backs that up!

One Piece box two is out on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

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