Review: Why One Piece?

In honour of my first year anniversary in WordPress, allow me to write something about one of my fave-of-all-time manga/anime, One Piece by Eiichiro Oda.

There is so much to love about One Piece! Then again, I also understand why some would rather pick something off the shelf than this — especially Westerners. (1) It’s long, (2) it’s “boring”, (3) the art and logic are both weird, (4) there’s no romance, (5) it’s just an overrated manga/anime, and (6) there are other alternatives.

In my own way, please allow me to say my piece regarding this one. I’m sure some of you might still be unconvinced even after reading this. Still, I hope it will shed some light why, despite everything, there are still a lot of people who adore this magnificent work!

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So… why One Piece?

One_Piece_DVD_18The Plot

For one, One Piece has a solid and consistent build up, not just the plot but the characters as well. It’s considerably long, yes, but the adventure and overall premise justifies it.

Compared to some other works, One Piece has a central goal early on and it had never deviated from that goal, i.e. finding One Piece. And between the starting point and the final, Oda-sensei just gives us this arc build-ups and reveals to us various knickknacks for us to better understand the world and appreciate the story.

There’s action. There’s comedy, adventure, mystery, suspense, angst, tragedy, and even romance mixed in. So far, it’s in a continuous upward slope… the adventure getting wackier, the action more intense and the world bigger and bigger.

I really admire the overall creativity of One Piece. How Oda-sensei was able to move his characters and story without losing momentum… it’s just wow! It ain’t easy to create a unique backstory for every major arc or island the Strawhats crew visits. So once you learn to go beyond the superficial art and see through the development and story, One Piece can never be boring.

As a fan, in my opinion, each major scene grips you with a lot of emotions at once… anticipation for an incoming action, sadness because of some heart-wrenching backstory, and happiness seeing how all that tied down to strengthen not just the story and the individual, but their bond as nakamas as well.

And when you look back n-episodes or chapters later, you’d be surprised with how much everything had grown.

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The Characters

It’s not everyday when you see manga art of people with various shapes and sizes, so I get it why people get easily put off by the exaggeratedly unconventional drawings of One Piece. I was like that too~ ( ̄▽ ̄*)ゞ As a lover of ikemen/bijin aesthetics, One Piece was an absolute no-go.

Of course, everything’s different now… obviously.

Other_characters_of_One_PieceI first learned the full essence of “do not judge a book by its cover” from One Piece. The appearance may be ‘eccentric,’ but the heart of the characters are in place, their personalities as unique as their body shapes. We have this simple, honest guy for a captain, a perverted skeleton for a musician, an equally-but-in-a-different-sense perverted cyborg for a shipwright, a “coward” warrior for a marksman, the list goes on.

Moreover, what is really endearing about these characters is the importance they placed on their friends, their dreams, and their conviction to protect and lay down their life for it.

Spoilers

For example, I still can’t get over that scene when Strawhats “declared” war against the World Government just for the sake of saving Nico Robin. Or when, despite Zoro telling his captain in the first few chapters/episodes how he would “cut him down” if he ever came in between him and his dream, but not hesitating at all to sacrifice his life for his captain at Thriller Bark Arc. Or during that time in Marineford War, when all of the Strawhats’ dedication to their captain was showed off through their desperate attempts to escape the island their trapped in just to be with him and support him after reading the news.

THAT IS WAY BEYOND ANY ROMANCE ANY SHOUJO MANGA COULD EVER OFFER!

Call it technique or fanbait or whatever, but it cannot be denied how clever Oda-sensei is… to be able to successfully use all these and reel in his readers further in the world he created.

Spoilers

I FUCKING CRIED FOR A FUCKING PIRATE SHIP! A. FUCKING. SHIP! OKAY?

I don’t even care about the art anymore. To Oda-sensei, really, I’m all hands down! Well-played. Definitely well… played.

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op-worldwideThe World

Being a pirate-adventure manga, One Piece World is obviously huuge~ Not just literally huge with the many islands and characters and all, but the history and issues involved as well. To be honest, I’ve never seen any other manga/anime that tackled soo many real life issues as much as One Piece.

To be able to “subtly” bring up topics on slavery/oppression, racism, sexism, corruption, poverty, power abuse, underground criminal activities, human experimentation and then smash them… It’s just wow! Hands down a million times! It makes you question: what is justice? Is it really just black and white, or is there a grey line somewhere?

To be honest, I even think that One Piece should really be considered a dark manga/anime… with all these issues hanging around the corner. But! The comedy, adventurous spirit eases you into it. And I think that is really one incredible thing, for Oda-sensei to be able to do that.

Main_characters_of_One_PieceIn my opinion, I even think that the reason why Oda-sensei drew his characters so far apart as possible, with emphasis on their sizes and shape, is to showcase the uniqueness of every person irl as well. And not judge them based on their appearance, but what they really are as a person or as a species (referring to the fishmen, dwarves, giants, etc).

Not just the issues~ Again, as mentioned, there’s the mystery as well: The Void Century, the Will of D, the Poneglyphs, who will be the next Strawhat member, what island is next, WHAT THE EFF IS ONE PIECE?! It makes you want to stick around just to see this world expand, and know more about its secrets.

The growth of One Piece is really astounding, from its inception in the 90s up until now. Call it overhyped or overrated whatever, but One Piece became successful for a reason. It is the #1 Best-Selling manga for a reason. It might be slow-paced, but damn, at least it solidly just keeps getting better and better.


animepaper_net_vector_standard_anime_one_piece_2yl_tony_tony_chopper_218677_hao_sama_preview_ede19200Then again, why not One Piece?

There is only one reason I could think of: One Piece requires patience and investment. No joke. The character introductions can be long and “boring,” but consistent and memorable. Memorable in a sense that once you get past the “boring” chapters, it’s certain that you’d be able to fully appreciate that character more, and love them. No wonder One Piece fans can really grow attached to them characters, even the villains!

In my case, I was instantly hooked with One Piece… so subsequent chapters/episodes were never boring for me. In fact, I looked forward to it! The backstory of the arc and the people, and if whether or not this person could be a potential candidate as a crewmate. Then again, well, it varies from person to person. If you don’t have the patience, well… I don’t think you could ever appreciate this wonderful piece of art.


Rant Corner: Smashing Misconceptions

d54b62de33ce20236a3a36cd19aa28c2Also, before I end, let me just smash this wrong notion some people have about One Piece: it has no character development until Impel Down or Marineford or Post Time-Skip arcs! Boring, I get it. If your tastes doesn’t align, it is understandable. Slow character development? Okay, yeah. BUT NO EFFIN’ CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT? AT ALL? Hello?!

Just that moment when Sanji left Baratie to chase his dreams, when Usopp followed them to become a brave warrior, THERE IS SIGNIFICANT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! When they rescued Nami and she started to believe in “pirates” once again, isn’t that considered “development”? DRUM ARC? ARABASTA? ENIES LOBBY? THRILLER EFFIN’ BARK?! Just because pre-Marineford arcs aren’t as flashy, doesn’t mean there is nothing at all!

main-qimg-1edf0b95ffc93e442e35b55bb1c6edef-cAnother thing: that picture on the left.

I actually find this picture funny! HAHAHA Esp. with the Bleach part. I love Bleach! Err.. used to love Bleach. And I’m happy my OTP went down together in the end~ OMG! But Ulquiorra! QAQ Anywaay~ going back to the issue I’m addressing. One Piece has a vast universe, yeah, but to mistakenly equate this picture to a messy plotline? Hell no! As mentioned, it has one clear goal: finding One Piece. It has always been that before, and still that ’til now. How do you even define linearity in this? Moreover, the introduction of characters is even gradual, so I don’t understand how it became “messy.” I get the unbolded arrows to mean the different backstories, but I don’t get the going back, up and down bolded arrows. Unless you refer it to Strawhats crew reaching Skypiea and Fishmen? That case, shouldn’t the up be a little more on the left, and the down one a bit on the right? HAHAHAHA

Lastly, action in One Piece is kinda… different. So prepare yourself. Idk if it’s just me but… I’ve watched and read a lot of shounen mangas, animes, and light novels. Let’s just say, most of the fight scenes of One Piece is… unpredictable, to say the least. Prolly courtesy to our very “creative” captain, Luffy, plus the unique properties of Akuma no Mi. lol

Overall, One Piece is a series worth following. Being a fan already, I can’t think of anything why one should hate or not watch it. Well, it is mainstream. Then again, it became mainstream for a reason. (≧艸≦*)


DISCLAIMER on the photos. All photos photo-grabbed online. Also, special thanks to @somerandomstuffsite for the over-“coffee” discussions and added info.

If you guys think I might’ve missed something, misconceptions and whatnot~ please feel free to comment it below. Yayyy~!\(*¯︶¯*)/

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7 thoughts on “Review: Why One Piece?

  1. Yay! One Piece is my favourite series. Some say that it looks shallow, but as huge fan like me can guarantee that it has some of the most socially relevant and serious themes beneath the over the top characters & comedy. And indeed, you’re correct. This needs patience. It’s definitely a huge investment in both time & $$$. Nice post. Keep on watching OP. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG! A One Piece fan too~! ⊂(≧▽≦⊂) I knooow right?! I really love the themes, the world-building and the wacky characters (almost everything) of One Piece! How Oda-sensei was able to come up with all this AND STILL being fun is just wow! Yeah, sure, it’s “slow” but once the build up started, BAM! It’s just continuously growing/developing. I’m soo excited with how Oda-sensei will end it and tie everything! (*≧ω≦*)

      That said, imo, One Piece can NEVER be shallow! For those who said it is, I don’t think they’ve really understood/appreciated the beauty of One Piece. It mirroring our society right now is one thing, the camaraderie and dynamics of the characters is another! Idk. Irdk. I don’t understand those anti-fans perspective, nor will I ever will. For me, I just love One Piece and that’s it. lolol xDD

      Anywaay, thank you very much for the comment! I’m glad you liked it! 😀 Have a nice day! :>>

      PS. What do you One Piece really is? xDD lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay! High-five, fellow One Piece fan! Indeed, I love the ever-expanding world of One Piece. You just really don’t quite know what to expect. When you think you know, then BAM, Oda-sensei throws a curveball but still makes sense in the process.

        As for the what One Piece really is, I wrote an old post discussing some of the most common theories and what I think it is. Here it is:

        https://fujinsei.com/2016/10/22/one-piece-great-treasure/

        Have a lovely day. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Read it! It was an interesting compilation. xDD (y) I also commented there my own interpretation of One Piece. lolol I’m really so excited how Oda’s going to move his character and story, more so now in this critical more-than-half part of the plot! \(≧▽≦)/

        Liked by 1 person

  2. awww. thank you for the shout out. looking forward to more discussions on One Piece with you! also, i think the soundtracks for the anime is worth mentioning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG! You changed your wordpress name! xDD hahaha :OOO trutruuu I forgot about that. Most of them are fun and upbeat, kinda gave you the adventure-y kinda feel, but it can also get “emotional” at times. It still gets to me when they play a piano version of ‘We Are’ at critical points of the anime. I’m still sticking with ‘Fight Together’ as my favourite tho. >:D lol

      Like

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