One Piece is a long-running sho'nen manga written and illustrated by Eiichira' Oda, that has been serialized in Weekly Sh'onen Jump magazine since 1997, making it one of the longest running and most established features in the magazine. It appears in the monthly English version of Shonen Jump magazine as well. One Piece has been tremendously popular in Japan, and it has gained a cult following here in the States.
Volume 1 of the serialized manga is a must have for fans, as it tells the backstory of the main character in One Piece, the rubber-limbed and ever-excitable Monkey D. Luffy. As a young boy, Luffy is befriended by Red-Hair Shanks, a pirate captain of uncommon bravery and ethics. Luffy accidentally eats the legendary fruit of the Gum-Gum Tree, giving him the power to turn his body to rubber at will, but cursing him as well, since those who eat one of so-called Devil Fruits are doomed to never swim in the seas again lest they lose their powers and drown. Shanks saves Luffy's life, giving him his trademark straw hat as a remembrance. Luffy then dedicates his life to adventure, vowing to become the King Of The Pirates by sailing to the Grand Line and recovering the fabled treasure of the famous pirate king Gold Roger. This treasure is known as....One Piece.
Volume 1 also introduces two of the other main characters in the manga, swordsman Roronoa Zolo and thief/navigator Nami.
One Piece is violent and sometimes profane, but the action never wanes as Luffy's story careens from one improbable situation to another. The art is wild and outlandish, the plot is full of good humor and endless adventure, and the tale just seems to propel itself along. It's outstanding fun and I can't recommend it enough to folks who love comic action. Luffy is truly a pirate with a heart of gold, who always goes out of his way to do the right thing.
Romance Dawn indeed. This is a great place to start for anyone who wants to really get into the series.