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Silly side-stories like One Piece: Ace's Story make the main manga better

Just because it is relegated to a spin-off doesn't mean it isn't worth knowing.

Ace in the One Piece anime
Image credit: Toei Animation

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A little bit of backstory can be a dangerous thing – knowing what to reveal and what to keep unsaid can be the difference between a well-paced story and bogging down your audience with unnecessary details, which is why side stories like One Piece: Ace’s Story are so important to the world of One Piece. They let Eiichiro Oda flesh out the background of one of the anime’s most important side characters without sacrificing the pacing.

Originally released as a pair of novels before being turned into manga in 2020 that is finally getting a physical release in English, One Piece: Ace’s Story shows Portgas D. Ace near the beginning of his pirate career. We get to see his first encounter with Masked Deuce, who would go on to become his second-in-command in the Spade Pirates, and how he obtained his Devil Fruit powers. Through the two-volume prequel manga, Ace rises through the ranks of the pirate world and becomes a thorn in the side of both the Marines and other pirate captains alike.

Plus, we get some random insight into the nature of the Devil Fruits. Did you know that, if two people share a Devil Fruit, the one who eats it first gets the powers while the other gets nothing? Now you do, thanks to a seemingly throwaway moment in a One Piece prequel manga.

It is completely unnecessary to the overall plot of One Piece, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading. We know that Ace’s story ultimately ends in one of the most tragic moments in One Piece's history, but that makes it even more interesting to see the road he took to get there. In the main manga, Ace will always just be Luffy’s older brother, but in the pages of One Piece: Ace’s Story he gets to be a more well-rounded, complete character.

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About the Author
Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon


Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)