Need some practice, excuse the two blogs in one day but boredom leads to this sort of thing.
My thoughts on OnePiece Chapter 1
There are several things about chapter 1 that struck me over the years.
Firstly, the storyline is written in a way which OP could have taken off in any direction from. We get a brief introduction to Luffy, Shanks and DF's, we get a brief explanation on the dangers of OP pirate life.
We get a brief introduction to Luffy as a child, his desires and explanation as to his limits. By the time the storyline starts, we know for 10 years he has been training to be a pirate one way or another, though much of the storyline of this is unknown at this point. We get to know why he is a pirate despite the things against him, his goals and his dreams.
We are led to know Shanks is strong and a basic "you must be athim" set up is born from the event. We get an idea of what sort of fellow Shanks is, and even though Shanks disappears from the series for a long time he wasn't put out as a 2D character. We know he would sacrifice something like a arm to keep a friend alive, we know he doesn't do a thing unless someone he cares for gets hurt.
Higuma is introduced as a typical throw away villian, he is shown to be tough, having killed a number of people prior to his meeting with Shank and Luffy. You are lead to believe that Higuma is tougher then he turns out to be, but at the same time, you are led to wonder why Shanks didn't bother reacting to him. Then, when the incident with Higuma comes along, you see why Shanks doesn't seem bothered after his entire band except him is wiped out by Benn. The Higuma meets his maker in the form of a Sea King, showing how real the reasons Shanks wouldn't take Luffy on his ship are. The guy couldn't do nothing, and this is notable because at this point, as weak as Higuma was, Luffy was weaker then he was and if someone like Higuma was helpless against the dangers of the sea, then Luffy didn't stand a chance.
The big shame is, in all the storyline, the dynamic of Shanks' crew was really basic, to the point where outside of Shanks and Benn, nobody really stands out. But the storyline didn't concern these guys at this point and we do have the entire OP series to flesh everyone out so this is excusable. We do, however get more info on the barmaid and the major... And since we won't see much of them this series, oda gives them a basic personality.
The artwork was pretty basic at this point. The style was done basically but without moving out of the comfort zone that most SJ manga readers would have seen in past series like Dragonball, to the point I'd argue this was one of the most unadventurous chapters in the art department.
The pacing is relatively good, but at some points maybe a little slow to get to the point. But the slowness of the early chapter help develop the characters, even to the point where Benn is giving enough to go on to figure out a little bit of him. And compared to past versions of Romance Dawn, this is definitely the 'overall' best version, showing us all we need to know about the characters to look out for in the series and the world building.
A I said earlier, this storyline is written in a way, however, that it could have gone dozens of directions. But at least it gives us a foreshadowing and an idea of the start.
There is one big issue I have. Though Luck Roux/Roo kills someone, the tone of the series is quiet for a long time after this, so the tone of the following few chapters was a little unexpected in comparison, making the first chapter a little darker in tone that what OP was for a while. Furthermore, the set up of the band of pirates we get, Shankis and his crew, was a little bit different to the first handful of crew we were shown besides after Shanks' group appear a lot more villainous.
Anyway, I'll leave it there.
Hope you enjoy.