Contains spoilers for Ginka & Glüna Chapter 1!
The classic Shonen Jump manga One Piece has changed drastically over its hundreds of chapters, but fans of that manga's original arcs should check out the new series Ginka & Glüna. Shonen Jump has recently developed a spotty record with its newer manga series, as it has not been green-lighting as many as in years prior. In addition, those it does approve often get axed very soon into their runs. Hopefully, Ginka & Glüna will be able to last long enough to make its mark, just like its predecessor One Piece.
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda has become one of the most popular manga of all time. A big part of this is due to its extremely complex world, with a cast of hundreds of characters and various factions, and a plot that plays out on an ever-growing scale. But before One Piece evolved into the behemoth that it is today, it was a much simpler story about a young boy named Luffy who wanted to find a crew and become the king of the pirates. At that point in the story, the manga was much more about the joys of exploration and making new friends than it was about toppling the World Government. This is the simple premise that hooked a lot of readers on the series and while much of this has faded into the background in recent arcs, the new manga Ginka & Glüna seems to be attempting to recapture this spirit.
The first chapter of Ginka & Glüna by Shinpei Watanabe introduces the two main characters, a young girl named Glüna and a magical snowman named Ginka. Glüna lives alone in the mountains and dreams of becoming a magician and exploring the world. When she meets Ginka, she convinces the snowman to teach her magic, and the two become close. When Glüna finally becomes skilled enough to set out from the mountain, Ginka reveals that he won't be joining her because he can't survive outside the cold. Glüna refuses to accept this and manages to figure out how to use her magic to bring him with her as they set out to explore the world.
Manga's New Luffy
This is a very sweet story that can stand well on its own, but also hearkens back to the early days of One Piece. Glüna is very similar to Luffy, with both having dreams that take them beyond the only home they have ever known and each refusing to leave their friends behind. To accentuate this similarity, the first chapter of both manga ends with the main characters destroying a giant monster that gets in their way.
The series is still in its early stages, so it is unclear whether it will continue to resemble early One Piece as it evolves. After all, even One Piece’s latest chapters don’t resemble its early arcs. But for now, fans of One Piece’s original tone and themes should check out Shonen Jump's Ginka & Glüna.
Ginka & Glüna chapter 1 is available to read from Viz Media.