There are two responses I get, without fail, every time I try to get someone new to watch this show. "I don't like the art style" or "I've seen the dub - NO THANKS." I'm guilty of both of these myself. But if there's one thing I need to stress before even getting started on this review, it's that the 4Kids dub is NOT One Piece. For the love of god, PLEASE do not think it is. If you've suffered the misfortune of seeing some of the 4Kids episodes, just erase them from your mind and start fresh. They
butchered it, there's really no other way to put it. They cut episodes, changed the dialogue to fit a MUCH younger and apparently far less intelligent audience (almost insultingly so), gave the characters RIDICULOUS voices, and pretty much watered down the entire series. FUNimation has done a much better job so far from what I've seen, but regardless, watching it in its original Japanese form with subtitles is really the way to go.
As for the art style, it's true, it's completely different from almost anything else I've seen. Much more "cartoonish" and maybe not what you'd expect from an anime. Despite that, you end up loving it. I wouldn't even say that you have to "get used to it" because it's not something that detracts from the rest of the series in any way. It didn't even take me two episodes before I was thoroughly enjoying it and seeing it as a fresh, new style, exciting almost and unlike anything I'd experienced before. Now, some 300+ episodes later, I can't remember ever NOT liking it, or even why I would have. Especially now with One Piece being aired in high definition, the art is crisp, clean, colorful - VERY sharp and wonderful to look at.
Now that we've got those two points out of the way...
One Piece is actually one of the best shows I've ever seen, anime or otherwise. The plot is pretty basic at first. Monkey D. Luffy has just set out on his own to find the legendary treasure 'one piece' and become Pirate King, and he's looking for a crew to sail with him. You'll find yourself falling in love with each and every new member as Luffy finds them. They're all extremely well developed, with interesting backgrounds and unique, fun personalities. They form one very quirky crew that's always discovering new adventures and somehow getting themselves into trouble as they strive to achieve their dreams. Each main story arc introduces new minor characters as well, and they're just as much fun and easy to fall in love with as the Straw Hat crew. Not one character is left out or feels like they're there for no reason. Everyone has a purpose and adds to the storyline, and one of the really cool things about One Piece is that these 'purposes' often resurface at later points in the series. No detail is left untouched, and you'll seriously be amazed by the way Oda threads together plots and characters and blends all their stories perfectly the more the series progresses.
The plot itself, though fairly straightforward at first like I said, quickly evolves into something HUGE. Much of the beginning of the series is dedicated to forming the crew and letting you get to know the characters, though it's definitely never lacking in action, but once they reach the Grand Line, you're swept up in adventure after adventure and following some of the most fantastic story arcs you'll ever watch. The battles and fights are well-paced, with the final boss fight almost always being completely EPIC. But even through the action, One Piece never quite loses it's lighthearted, humorous edge. The episodes are sprinkled with PLENTY of funny moments, never too many and never too few. There's always a wonderful balance of action and humor.
One Piece also has its fair share of heart-wrenching moments, which may take you by surprise! There are some EXTREMELY powerful scenes and episodes that kind of blindside you and leave you wondering when you became quite so emotionally attached to certain characters or other things. I've definitely found myself near tears or actually crying at more than one point. One Piece has it all - amazing characters, the never-ending yet never TOO over-the-top humor, exciting battles, fun adventures, heartbreaking moments with quick to follow touching moments. And underneath everything, there's always the theme of friendship and teamwork, of working to reach your dreams and helping those closest to you achieve theirs, of growing and maturing as a person and discovering the power within yourself to overcome obstacles of any sort, of just BEING THERE for the rest of your crew when they need you - of being NAKAMA.
In a word, One Piece is perfect. And perhaps I'm just biased, being an obviously OBSESSED fan at this point, haha, but what can I say? It's been running for 344 episodes so far and not ONCE have I wondered or hoped that it would start to reach an end. It is, simply put, amazing.
So why should you watch One Piece?
Because you're missing out on one hell of a fantastic show if you don't at least give it a try.
One Piece is by far the best shounen anime out there that I have watched.
But not all share the same views as I do, lets remedy that, shall we?
A long time ago, there live a fearsome pirate king who goes by the name of Gold D. Roger. He was able to attain everything. But alas he was captured and sentenced to execution. In the brink of death, he proclaimed that he left the great treasure, One Piece, somewhere in the Grand Line and it is for anyone to claim. This event ignited the Great Pirate Age.
In the world of One Piece, there is such
a thing as a Devil Fruit. A devil fruit is a fruit bearing some supernatural ability and whoever devours it will get a unique ability however its origins are unknown. There are three types of Devil Fruit, Paramecia, a fruit that can materialize your body into a property. Zoan, a fruit that gives humans the ability of a certain animal, but if its an animal, it gives the ability of humans. And the last but certainly not the least Logia, is a fruit that makes the consumer manifest a certain element. But of course nothing is perfect. If you eat any of the Devil Fruit, you will be rendered immobilize when submerge in the water.
And where is our protagonist? The anime revolves around our mentally impaired boy, Monkey D. Luffy or a.k.a The Straw Hat Pirate(title came from his worn-out straw hat that he always have on). When our boy here ate a devil fruit that turns the consumer's body into rubber, he sets off to find Shanks, his pirate idol to return his straw hat as promise and find One Piece to be able to earn the title of Pirate King. Along the way he gathers all kinds of oddballs for his crew, The Straw Hat Pirates.
Now how exactly is One Piece different from the hundreds of shounen out there. Well, it isnt. It is exactly what a shounen should be. It follows the lose-train-win formula. So how is it any better? Bingo. Because it incorporates the formula into something fresh and simple.
One Piece arcs can be surprisingly good. There were even times that I was shocked at some plot twists and revelations. It has a very interesting setting as well. And what might that be? The World. The whole world is One Piece's oyster. It varies from vast, scorching deserts to cold snowy mountains, the concept of adventure here is well defined, it really makes you feel that world isnt small after all. And that my friend, is what an adventure anime should really be.
One Piece knows how to pull it off, be it comedy or serious, and believe me, One Piece knows how to be serious when it needs to be. But it never forgets its roots at the same time, and that is the emphasis of friendship and the bond of Nakama/Friends that glues the whole crew together.
Most shounen anime's suffers immensely from originality. Because of this, it is hard to distinguish characters from each other, especially in my case as I have my fair share as an otaku. And most of the characters in em lack depth and substance, its hard to remember a character when you know very little about him. But One Piece is immune from this disease. Each character of One Piece is very... say....unique that you'll find it hard to forget about them. They all have their individual motives, strengths, weakness and even quirky traits. Plus, each individual of the Straw Hat Pirate Crew has an immersing past, that'll be hard for you not to get delve into. And they all have a certain role, not one character gets overshadowed by the other. They do meaningful interactions with each other. And regardless, that each member is vastly different from each other, they all formed a formidable bond. Even the by-passing characters are memorable.
In contrast to the majority, I find the animation to be creative. Just like how the characters are different and distinguishable. Unfortunately people see it as something of a turn off, and quickly judges One Piece as something infantile. I am not going to lie. One Piece will not go beyond the borders of a shounen. It is not mature. But thats not the point here. An anime doesnt need to be ripe to be good. It just needs to be entertaining. Although I do enjoy a deep, thought-provoking anime, an anime doesnt need to be complex to be satisfying. It can be anything, as long as it offers gratification. And One Piece does.
Another potential problem is its popularity. Most people consider mainstream anime's to be somewhat of a failure because of its targeted demographic, and that is everyone. "If its able to attract toddlers, then it sucks" that seems to be case for most people. Some people neglect any anime that is able to summon countless little children in its area, thus abruptly convicting it as over-rated. Heck, some people even constantly hunts threads, just to be able to crack Narutard jokes off some newcomer. Do not judge One Piece from its fans. Judge it for what it is.
Do not be mistaken, I am not saying One Piece is for everyone. In the end, its all about taste. But if your have any hint of love for shounen surging in your veins, there is no reason for you not to watch this, not one bit.
In short, the plot is very promising, the main cast is several but well flesh out, the battles are very diverse, and engaging and the comedy doesnt get old, even after 300 episodes. But One Piece is not a masterpiece. It does not break any ground whatsoever. No matter how you see it, its still your typical shounen.
Regardless of this, the level of enjoyment I receive from One Piece is insurmountable. And sometimes thats all you need. Scratch that. Most of the time that's all you need.
One Piece, a title that could probably not be any more unfitting, considering that anybody who actually tried watching this show in one sitting should most definitely be committed to an insane assylum. This thing is huge! At the time that I am writing (updating) this review One Piece has had 702 episodes. Going with an average episode length of 24 minutes, this adds up to 16848 minutes of One Piece or 280.8 hours of One Piece or roughly 11.7 days (!) of One Piece. Which makes you wonder how anybody could have even watched all of it. But then again, it is a show
that started years ago and probably a childhood favourite for many, me included. I remember watching this on TV in the early 2000's and it is still going! Holy shit, that is impressive! But sometimes you have to put nostalgia aside, for example when writing a review, and all things considered, One Piece just doesn't hold up (anymore).
So, let's start with the good stuff: One Piece has one of the most interesting and definitely most immersive worlds I have ever seen in anime. If you heard that this was a show about pirates and nothing else, you would be expecting anything but this. The character designs are great, diverse and keep you invested in the show. The entire thing just screams adventure. In that regard there are few things to complain about, the art style is fantastically creative and is sure to suck in every interested viewer. Now, if the same could only be said about the animation ...
In recent years Toei Animation has obviously stopped trying. I mean this is One Piece, doesn't matter how much effort we put into it, this shit will sell either way. Ever since the time skip happened I have been constantly disappointed by the animation as well as the art. It lacks detail and looks cheap. Character designs no longer have the edge they had before, looking way too clean, which stands in contrast to Oda's original art work. Considering that One Piece has the unfortunate problem of having started in the late 90's, the early episodes are of course not really anything impressive either. In terms of animation, all that I actually like are the episodes between the start of Enies Lobby and the end of the war, which aren't that impressive either and only account for less than one third of the series. This is probably the only show that looked better in 2005 than it does in 2015. That alone is straight up pitiful and it doesn't help that it tends to get worse with every passing week.
Then there are the characters and the problems continue. Let us start off with Luffy, our main character and the man who wants to become the Pirate King. Luffy is naive, hungry, a funny guy, but if anybody tries to hurt his nakama, he will end you. So, he is basically a copy and paste version of Goku from Dragon Ball Z. Not only that, but Luffy hardly develops over the course of the anime. This is bad since he is the main character and we want to see him mature and grow on screen, yet he never really does.
Next we get the rest of Luffy's pirate crew and while they are all engaging and likeable enough, there are some big problems that need to be adressed. Here is One Piece's biggest flaw concerning characterization: They manage to create characters that are great initially, fantastic back stories, interesting personalities, all of that. But they don't know where to take them after that, there is literally no real character development happening in this over 700 episode long anime, the main characters are exactly what they are introduced as. Luffy's nakama is pretty much the problem incarnate. Almost all of them have a great tear jerking introduction arc, where they are presented and fleshed out as characters, but they never go anywhere past that, being stale for the rest of the show. Of course, you will inevitably feel attached to these characters, just because you have spent so much time with them, but I can't really call that good character writing.
What I can't call good writing either at this point are the tear jerking introduction arcs themselves. That is not too say that I don't like them, I think that most of them are incredibly emotionally engaging, but the writer has definitely overused the plot device called „tragic past“. The back story for every single member of our main cast is pretty much the same. Their parents are dead (or not around in two cases) and there was some tragic event in their past where either someone close to them died or such a person sacrificed him- or herself to save the character. This applies to every single member of our crew and it's gotten pretty tiresome at this point, especially because the „tragic flashback“ device is also being used for at least one side character per arc.
Speaking of side characters: One Piece's approach to side characters is the good old way of adding individual oddities. Almost every side character that is of some significance has at least one of the following things: A funny name, a weird speaking habit, a unique design or some kind of odd quirk. Oftentimes it's all of them. I have to say that I actually enjoy a lot of the creative character designs that One Piece has to offer and its side characters are a lot of fun. Looking at it from a critical point of view, this is a review after all, you could argue that this is mainly done to cover up that a lot of One Piece's side characters don't have much depth to them. Still, even taking this into account, I find One Piece's cast of characters to be enjoyable enough to give it a pass.
Now let's talk about the story: I do not care what kind of story you write, but if you are 702 episodes in and barely halfway through, you have failed as a story writer, I am sorry. While One Piece's initial story is engaging, it takes far too many detours. There are 50+ episode arcs in this thing, where absolutely nothing gets accomplished. It makes you want to go and scream at the writer to be done with it already.
When it comes to the individual story arcs all I can say is that they are of varying quality. There are some that can be considered amazing while others don't even come close to the same level of quality. One Piece's arcs can also be fairly formulaic so I wouldn't blame you if you get tired of seeing what it is virtually the same stuff happening over and over again. The main story on the other hand, when you really come down to it, is basically just an excuse to explore as much of Oda's rich and detailed world as possible and while I don't like this concept at all, I can't really flaw it too much for this either, seeing how the world is just so immersive.
But the main problem of the One Piece anime lies in the pacing. Good god, One Piece has horrible pacing. And I am not even talking about the amount of episodes here. Just the simple structure of an episode is enough to get you really annoyed at this show. So, let's look at the reason for that. One Piece is based on a one chapter per week manga, which wouldn't really be a problem, if One Piece wasn't a one episode per week anime, almost never missing a week. Different shows try to deal with this problem in different manners, Naruto, for example, decided to torture us with filler for years to make up for that. While there is definitely some filler in One Piece (around 14% according to my sources), this anime goes a different route, trying to stretch out the content of a Manga chapter as much as possible. The result of this is that One Piece is probably the slowest anime you will ever watch, conquering even Dragonball Z in that regard. Your average episode consists of four minutes of opening, four minutes of recap, one minute of preview, three minutes of actual stuff happening, two minutes of reused footage and ten minutes of reaction and establishing shots. Yes, One Piece is pretty much "Reaction Shot The Animation". There is so little stuff happening in each episode, most of the time you can sum up what happened in the last ten episodes in two sentences. And while I am not a big fan of filler either, I consider this to be far worse, because you can skip filler, you can't however change the pacing of an episode and it takes away most of the enjoyment I could have potentially had with this show.
Overall, do I recommend watching One Piece? No, most definitely not. If you haven't started it yet, there is no reason to try and catch up. While there are good and interesting things about this show, I wouldn't even call it bad, the time you would have to put into this is just too much to be worth it. There are so many great anime you could watch in the time it takes to watch One Piece, I cannot say that it is a good use of your time. And if you happen to be interested in the story or the characters, then just go read the manga. It takes far less time to do and you'll probably enjoy it a lot more since it doesn't struggle with obvious pacing issues like the anime does. If you are however caught up with this, there is nothing I can tell you, you will keep watching One Piece anyway, as will I. As bad as it has gotten at times and as mediocre as it really is, we have spent so much time on this, there is no way we'd be dropping it now. And also, sometimes nostalgia just trumps quality.
If I were to say anything bad (and I will have to do that as this review is not a positive one) about this anime that would not offend the hardcore fans (and I know there are a lot) is that it's PAINFULLY slow.
Even if you leave the fillers aside, still- the plot itself progresses in such a slow pace that it's rather hard to watch. Now for a younger audience it may not matter that much, but to me as a higher age audience, it matters greatly, after all, out of the 23~ minutes of each episode 3 are spent
on opening and ending (which is usual I guess), but in most episodes, roughly 5 (!) or more minutes are spent on a recap of the current story arc, as if the creators of the show forgot it's a shounen anime and instead got the idea that the audience are elderly people with Alzheimer.
But ok, this means there is still 15 minutes left per episode right? Well, not really. In most episodes, the heroes get separated. When they do, the anime tries to keep track of ALL of them simultaneously, cutting every few minutes. This wouldn't be so bad IF after the cut, the same exact scene did not repeat itself (example - a few seconds that show one of the main heroes standing and looking at a place/ villain that is shown from a few angles. Then the anime continues elsewhere, and when it comes back to the same place, the same exact scene is shown). That may not sound as much, but in drastic cases that can sum up to a few minutes (the worst case I bothered to count was almost 4 minutes of time wasted on watching the same scene). Combined with a lot of other tricks, I'd say that a lot of episodes are left with about 11 minutes of actual content on average. That is simply dreadful.
Now to say some positive things for contrast- the story is actually very interesting and the characters are well done... BUT, no matter how good something is, if you drag it out too much (and this is indeed the case with One Piece), even the best story in the world and the best characters possible (not to say one piece has neither of those.. The story is great, and the characters are good, but not more) will not keep you entertained, and turn even the best story possible into a boring experience.
Now back to the negatives. NO ONE DIES IN THIS ANIME. This is of course an exaggeration, as some people actually do die in this anime BUT only when it's critical to the plot. At all the other times, the characters "die" just to add drama and to come back a few scenes later.. Sometimes to "die" again and add even more "drama" (added "" because at this point its more awkward/silly after one time rather than dramatic). The worst case of this I saw was with Brownbeard who "died" something like 5 times over 2-3 episodes (if I remember right), and still stayed alive in the end while the show tried to suck as much drama out of this as possible. And this brings me to the next point- fake drama. They seem to try and squeeze out as much of it as possible, at every opportunity they get. From crying children (and adults) to characters repeatedly "dying" and to the most cliche tearjerkers possible at every turn of the story. They even go as far as to try and make the villain's henchmen AND EVEN THE VILLAIN himself have a tragic past that you are supposed to relate to and feel sorry for (because seems a villain can't just be evil because that is just the way he is, he had to become evil because something bad happened (lol)). Also I mentioned crying.. There is an unbelievable amount of it in this anime. And that would be ok (I guess) if
A- they did not try to milk it for drama (yep, that's a word that sure gets a lot of use when discussing this anime huh?) every single time
B- they didn't think that when someone cries, he instantly turns ugly, with snot running down his nose and with the worst face expression possible, regardless of gender, age or how emotional he is.
I'd say a lot more, but there is already a lot of text, and it's enough to sum it up - this anime is not one I would recommend someone to watch under any normal circumstances (maybe only if someone made a shortened version with all the repeats, openings, endings and cuts removed thus making the whole anime be at around 300 episodes max), I watched over 600 episodes myself, and I can safely say that although some parts were enjoyable, it was mostly rather boring when looked as a whole, and I am regretting the time I spent watching it (as of what i watched it so long- my friend recommended it to me and I did not expect it to last this long. I usually finish what I start, but this is ridiculous.)
In my personal opinion, One Piece is one of those animes that is easy to love and is just as easy to hate. Funnily enough, those who love One Piece love it for exactly the same reasons that others hate it; the extreme characters, zany abilities, and classic artstyle all contribute to both sides. This review's goal is neither to covince you to love One Piece, nor is it the opposite. The review merely expresses my own personal views of the series.
And by the way, this review is based upon the original Japanese version. If you have had the bad luck of viewing the 4Kids
dubbed version, you have my heartfelt condolences. Right, well, anyway, moving on...
PLOT: The story of One Piece mostly consists of the Straw Hat Pirates traveling from island to island and having crazy adventures. Although each crewmember has a different reason for this, they all share the same goal: to reach the end of the treacherous Grand Line. Bound by this promise, they pass through unbelievable adventures. Given this pattern, you would think the plot would get boring and predictable, right? Amazingly enough, unlike shonen anime with similar plot devices, One Piece manages to become less and less predictable as its plot advances. As it advances, it also delves into serious situations. There is actually much tragedy involved with One Piece, but the show maintains a balance of comic relief as well. I've actually been driven to tears many times while watching this show, but I've laughed out loud just as many times, if not more.
ART: One Piece's art style is one of the elements that turns many people off to the series. The style is fairly old-school, remniscent of 90's shows like Dragonball Z. Then again, I guess One Piece started out in the late 90's, too, so that's to be expected. Either way, the quality of the animation steadily improves as the show moves along. The show is now broadcast in HD, and the quality simply blows me away with every new episode. But the show's animation style remains the same, just greatly improved in terms of quality. After all, with a show as crazy as One Piece, modern animation styles just wouldn't fit. I simply cannot imagine Monkey D. Luffy with eyes like Uzumaki Naruto; it simply does not work.
SOUND: I absolutely adore the music of One Piece. There are so many different kinds of situations in One Piece: happy, sad, angry, confused, funny, sleepy, scared, epic, cryptic, foreboding, intense, etcetera, etcetera. For each of these situations, there is a unique musical piece which plays in the background. What's more is that each character has their own style of music and their own theme. Whenever I hear a background song, I immediately know what's going on, and fall into the according state of mind. It happens subconsciously, and it adds to both the predictability and spontaneity of the show. If Zoro's 'epic' music begins to play, he may still lose his current battle. However, whenever I hear that music, I immediately know, "Zoro is going to dominate in this scene," regardless of whether or not he actually does.
CHARACTERS: I cannot think of enough synonyms for "incredible" to sufficiently describe One Piece's character development, so I'll just say that it's definitely SUPER!!! Ahahaha...yeah, that was a reference to the show...anyway, the characters of One Piece are one of its major selling points. In fact, it was the characters, not the story, that hooked me to this show. Each character has their own personal reason for sailing the Grand Line and for joining the Straw Hat Pirates, and this goal pushes them to new heights with each passing adventure. This goal is backed by an emotionally engrossing backstory which usually can encompass more than two episodes. I have been moved to tears by so many touching flashbacks I no longer possess enough fingers to count them all. The characters are all very personable as well, and are the one aspect of One Piece you can nearly always predict. You always know Luffy will be Luffy, and Usopp will be Usopp. Never would you expect Sanji to suddenly lash out at Nami, but you would certainly expect Nami to lash out at everyone else. Do not misunderstand me; I am not implying that the characters of One Piece are static. They are all decidedly not static. By comparing the current Luffy with the Luffy of the first few episodes, you can discern an obvious difference. The same holds true for all of the crewmembers. Yet the changes take place gradually over time, not all at once. That is my favorite part of this anime. Just like actual humans, the One Piece characters develop new traits and discard old traits, but always remain the same person they were when first introduced.
ENJOYMENT: When trying to convince my friends that they should watch One Piece (mostly so I can discuss the latest episodes with them), I inevitably have to ask myself why I personally enjoy the series. And then I am stumped. I mean, I could say all the above and people still wouldn't be satisfied. There would be people asking, "Well, why do you like that kind of plot? I saw this one show that had a different kind and I liked it." How am I supposed to respond to that!? That's the equivalent of saying, "Why do you like chocolate ice cream? I like vanilla, and it's way better." Whether you enjoy something or not all depends on how your brain is wired and your attitude when you try it. Just because I love One Piece doesn't mean you will, and just because someone hates One Piece doesn't mean I have to. Erm...I kind of got on a rant. Ehehehe...uh, yeah. So, I enjoy One Piece because of the above reasons. Is...that all I'm supposed to put here? It seems inadequate for some reason...
OVERALL: In conclusion, I find One Piece to be epic! Whether you do or don't, please don't discount it for any reason until you've actually begun watching it. While I can attest to the fact that the story doesn't really become exciting until the crew reaches the Grand Line, the material before that is still crucial to the rest of the story, and is still very enjoyable. Oh, and as a matter of precaution, DO NOT WATCH THE 4KIDS DUB! If you do, then you may very well suffer severe damage to your cerebral cortex. If you must watch the show in English, I recommend the FUNimation dub. Their DVDs contain about 13 episodes each, and are available wherever you buy your anime. I forget how much they cost...well, you can Google it if you really want to.
Well I'm about to do what most people consider suicide... Talk bad about One Piece...
Following: Full-fledged review and chibi review-version at the end for those who can't read:
To be clear about this: I have seen all movies and all the episodes released until now (ep 658) and while there are tons of things I'd like to talk about, one thing stands above all: One Piece never grew up like other shounen did. Naruto, Bleach, Dragonball and even Fairy Tail have become more mature and improved themselves over the passage of time. One Piece is still the same non-serious, immature nonsense that first
aired in 1999.
Well to begin with One Piece's famous strongest point, the story... I am just not impressed. Ignoring the fact that after 600 episodes the anime's new arc revolves around talking toys and chibi fairies (childish as hell), most of One Piece's arcs are practically the same. Straw Hats arrive at said island, where a tragedy has been happening despite the place appearing bright on the outside, the whole tragedy originates from 1 man who is usually evil for the most pitiful of reasons, straw hats get seperated into 3-4 groups, straw hats kick villain ass, a big feast is thrown in by the glad citizens where another arc is foreshadowed before they move on to the next island. And while people will argue that the "War of the Best"arc was different, I still didn't find it the least bit interesting (2 deaths only? really?).
Staying on the story part, lets talk about what's arguably the most important story element in a shounen: The villain. One Piece has yet to show us a villain whose appearance isn't laughable. Crocodile was wearing a coat in the middle of the dessert, Enel's ears were too long not to notice, blackbeard is missing way too many teeth to be taken seriously, Donflamingo... I can't even begin to name the things that make him not-even-slightly threatening. In general One Piece follows the brilliant rule that "evil is stupid" and the protagonist's charge-ahead thoughtless moves always prevail against the plans the villains had been setting for a few good decades now. Going for villains' backstories, it's usually brilliant writing such as: Stupid for the Yolo, big misunderstanding in the past, pity jealousy and "we will explain it some time in the future". Sorry, its just hard to take these guys seriously.
Still on the story part: Being so kid-friendly is annoying. I can't get over how War of the Best, the "grand battle" of One Piece only had 2 victims, or how the Colosseum in the Dressrosa arc had no casualties whatsoever in a "battle to the death". Oda grow some balls and KILL people. Also regarding Ace's death in the War of the Best... I am not amused by how all of One Piece fans claim it as the most tragic thing to ever happen and yet we knew nothing about Ace other than the flashbacks. You could just as easily have put a Nazi Officer in his place and I'm sure the fanbase would still be crying buckets if we saw a flashback of said officer playing with the snow as a child while some uninspired dramatic music was playing. I can't decide if I'm more annoyed by the awful writing or how moronic the fanbase is.
Humor & Fanservice: Waaaaaay too repetitive. It was funny in the first 100 episodes, now I just want to chocke puppies every time Brook makes a skeleton joke or Luffy and Chopper get overly excited about something. On the fanservice + story part: There is no female lead. Nami and Robin became important characters for their respective arcs (Arlong + CP9) but right after that they slipped in the background and became minor characters. Still on the Fanservice part: Oh yeah, sex, flirting and even love don't exist in this universe. Everyone trying to take part in one of those is either a villain-in-disguise or someone about to be tricked because of their stupidity. In general: For One Piece Sex/flirt/love is stupid (right next to "evil is stupid").
Sound Part: 1st: The variety is a total disappointment. I can't remember a single track that actually got me on the edge of my sit. 2nd: The animators don't even make proper use of the soundtracks that already are avaliable to them. For example remember the final fight Luffy had against Crocodile. Do you remember the epic music? Obviously no because some moron decided that the fight shouldn't have music at all. Now imagine if at the same scene (final moments before Crocodile's defeat) One Piece's original opening "we are" was added. Suddenly the scene becomes 100% more exciting. They already had the copyrights, it's not like adding it would hurt anyone! The sound effects are equally terrible. Just look at the brilliant sound effect of Sanji repeatedly kicking Don Flamingo in ep 655... Sorry but I have made RPG Maker games with better sound effects than this. On the voice acting part: MOTHER OF ALL ATTROCITIES, IT'S HORRIBLE. Just look at the age of the voice actors, half of them are about to die (and I'm crossing my fingers). The voices are completely unfitting for most of the cast, not sounding at all like the age they're supposed to portray (well that's a big surprise...). Of course screams of despair, crying etc etc don't sound even relatively convincing.
Animation: Just awful. Way below the antagonism. The only worse animation example I can provide in a relatively similar episode release period was the "fast-paced-action" in the Naruto Vs Pain battle, and that was an artistic mistake on the studio's part that was never again repeated for exactly that reason. I won't even go into detail describing how lazy the studio is, using the same footage OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
Action: Doesn't really exist. One Piece doesn't ever show a proper fight without something goofy (aka annoying morons making even more annoying jokes) breaking up the seriousness. When the anime does decide to get serious it's just Luffy screaming on top of his lungs cliche lines while the villain doesn't even bother debating and just tries to kill Luffy (not that I blame them). The fights mostly consist of 10 seconds of action being repeatedly shown with slightly different soundtracks playing on the background each time and villain lengthy monologues inbetween them, usually followed by concentration-breaking flashbacks of things we have already seen a million times. If you're hoping for creative fast-paced excitement look elsewhere.
One Piece is like a kid that never grew up. After 600 episodes, despite all the "hardshps" our protagonist came through, he never really matured, none of the characters did. The tone of the anime didn't mature either. a graphics improvement and a gradual increase of the cast members being the only notable changes since the beginning of the anime and for me it has just become too monotonous, too boring. Once Piece is waaay past its due, but there is a single reason it stays alive. Nostalgia. People are willing to overlook all of its flows simply because it serves as a bridge for times when things were simpler for them (or so they remember at least). But if someone was to judge One Piece for what it really is and not for the happy memories of being taken by daddy to the Luna Park he would see it for what it is: Trash.
CHIBI REVIEW VERSION:
Aweful animation and soundtrack, followed a story that quite clearly follows a pattern even for its jokes, overly repetitive and with action that doesn't really remind of action. Immature, with annoying characters that are portrayed as "smart" rather than "morons" and laughable villains. Stay away.
Story. 2/10. The story is about a boy name luffy that wants to go and reach one piece. Him and his crew member will set sail to go anywhere except one piece.
Art. 3/10 The art in one piece is ridiculous stupid looking the characters have weird over exaggerating expression. When they are shouting or just opening their mouth it's so huge it could fit 10 ships in it. Ed edd n eddy has way better art than one piece and that cartoon was made from the 90s that's to show you how bad the art is.
Sound. 7/10 the sound is
the best thing in the series this is what made me watch made me watch so much episode of one piece is because I enjoy the sound. I also like to laugh at how stupid it's and how stupid the characters look.
Characters. 1/10 The characters are cut out cardboard boxes they dont change they are exactly the same and I'm talking from a manga reader the series has over 700+ chapters and all the characters are still the same. Oda doesn't know what character development means.
Enjoyment. 5/10. My enjoyment comes from how stupid it's, I lol so much time while watching this series. it even tries to take it self seriously but failed miserable, lol and that made me laugh a lot so I had some enjoyment in it because of how stupid it's but the other 50% of the series is Luffy running up and down like a chicken without a head which is boring....
overall this series is mostly full of gag you should not take it seriously if you do you're only going to be disappointed so the series isn't the worst series I've ever watch. So if you want a series to laugh at, I would 100% recommend one piece to you all.
One Piece has been running for 15 years now and shows zero signs of slowing down. It is true that there are several anime and manga series that have run for MUCH longer, but that doesn't honestly excuse One Piece for how long it has overstayed it's welcome! One Piece has a diehard fandom and it is by far the highest in average rating out of the big 4 shonens. However, it is actually my LEAST favorite of the big 4. I'm dead serious, I really don't like One Piece and I will explain why.
One Piece reminds me of a line from one of my
favorite movies: Shaun of the Dead. Shaun: "I like having him around, I've known him since primary school, and besides he's a laugh! Pete: "Ok, I admit on rare occasion he can be funny. Remember when he was up all night drunk playing Tekken 2?" Shaun: "Oh yeah (laughs) when was that?" Pete: "That was 10 years ago! When the FUCK is he going home!?"
While other shonen series at least try to mature along with their fanbase like Naruto going to Naruto Shipuuden or Dragonball going to DBZ, One Piece is the same goofy, juvenile crap that it was in 1999, right down to the eye raping HORRIBLE art. Another problem is that it tells a continuous story, which makes it difficult for new fans to get into it or get caught up without spending 5 straight months doing nothing but watching One Piece! Pokemon has an excuse for running forever and never evolving (get it?) because new games come out and each season Ash must move to a new region and catch more Pokemon. Most people don't continue to watch Pokemon, so it is constantly getting new fans that are experiencing Pokemon for the first time. Pokemon (insert edition here) is their first Pokemon game and the anime seems fresh and new to them. They haven't seen the original Pokemon series or played the original games and it doesn't matter! Detective Conan has been running for 20 years, but like the Sherlock Holmes short stories it took inspiration from, it is completely episodic with a new mystery each week and only a few established characters. A new audience can jump in anytime and it doesn't matter if you've seen the first 15 seasons. One Piece actually tries to tell a continuous story where it DOES matter what happened in the first 10 seasons. You can't just jump in at episode 600 and expect to really enjoy it and understand it. However, even you get all caught up with the 800 episodes of the Straw Hat Crew, it isn't worth it because the tone, characters, and quality of story telling never matures into anything that someone 16 and up and having half a brain would find amusing!
All of this isn't to say that One Piece is a particularly bad anime. I have seen some REALLY bad anime, but One Piece isn't on my list of anime I actually hate. One Piece is an anime that I consider mediocre, insanely overrated, and having run WAY past its time without having the grace or decency to take a bow. It is much like the Simpsons in that last regard. At least one good thing came out of One Piece....None Piece! If you haven't seen One Piece yet, I would recommend skipping this one, but still check out None Piece on Youtube, because it's awesome!
One Piece recounts the story of Monkey D Luffy, a young man who wishes to become the Pirate King; and the rest of the crew of the Mugiwara ('Straw Hat') Pirate crew, each of whom join the crew to realise lifelong dreams of their own.
Luffy ate a Devil's Fruit as a child, more accurately the 'Gomu Gomu' fruit (gomu means 'rubber'), thus his body took on the form of rubber, enabling him to stretch and inflate himself at will - though the downside for anybody who eats a Devil's Fruit is that they can no longer swim: something of a disadvantage for a pirate. Luffy
is a bit of of a unique character in all of the anime series I have watched: he's not smart, but he's not stupid. Perhaps 'simple' is the best way of describing him, as he has the same thoughts and ideals no matter what the situation is, sees no reason in pretending to be something he isn't, and often has trouble adjusting his fun-loving character to act appropriately in serious circumstances. Although he is the captain of the Mugiwara Pirates, he is pretty much held in line by the rest of his crew, especially Nami. He does, however, usually get the final word.
Luffy's aim is to become Pirate King and to claim the ultimate treasure that the old and greatest Pirate King, Gol D Roger, announced at his execution was at the end of the Grand Line: the most dangerous, treacherous and feared ocean in the world. This treasure, 'One Piece', gives the series its name. It is yet unknown exactly what One Piece is, or what it does. However, with every island of the Grand Line that the crew traverse (the only way to sail the Grand Line being to hop from one island to the next) they are one stop closer to finding Gol D Roger's heritage.
The rest of the Mugiwara Crew consists of characters just as well-rounded, though still retaining their individuality. Roronoa Zoro, a green-haired 3-sword-wielding (one in each hand, one in his mouth) bounty hunter who has come to be known as 'Pirate Hunter Zoro' (though the name was neither coined nor furthered by the man himself) joins the crew in order to realise his childhood dream of becoming the best swordsman in the world, figuring the Grand Line should bring him a plethora of worthy opponents.
Nami, the navigator, is a beautiful yet intelligent orange-haired girl whose dream is to draw a map of the whole world - though her main passion is accumulating vast sums of money, usually via theft. She is generally the brains of the crew, but occasionally needs Luffy to show her that her heart is in the right place.
Usopp, a long-nosed man whose penchant for stretching the truth is made evident in pretty much every episode, wishes to follow in his father's footsteps and become a great pirate. Although he's not as strong as other members of the crew and has no specific 'special powers', his quick-thinking and ingenious-yet-comedic inventions have too often been known to save the day.
Sanji, self-professed 'Love Cook', is a talented chef from the floating restaurant Baratie, who can cook as well as he can kick - Sanji is generally characterised by his inability to resist stepping in to rescue a beautiful lady, especially Nami (even though she manipulates him simply because she knows she can). Sanji joined the crew after great persuasion in order to find All Blue, the legendary ocean where the four seas meet, and thus fish from all the seas can be found - a gourmet cook's paradise.
Tony Tony Chopper is the ship's doctor. Here's where it starts getting a little, well, let's say idiosyncratic. Chopper is a reindeer (not a tanuki, a reindeer!) who ate the 'Hito Hito' Devil's Fruit (hito means 'man'), meaning that he is not only able to talk (to both humans and animals - a skill that comes in very useful), but also walk on his hind legs, and even transform himself from cute to somewhat monstrous forms. Chopper wants to become a great doctor and help people, and eventually, after much persuasion from Luffy, sees piracy as a way to give his wish meaning and direction. An ongoing joke with Chopper is for him to shout "Doctor! We need a doctor!" whenever anybody gets injured, before realising that he's the ship's doctor, and so gets to work. Chopper is a cutesy/comedy character but also gives us plenty of reasons to take him seriously.
Finally we have Nico Robin, a woman with a mysterious past, and another with the power of a Devil's Fruit. Robin ate the 'Hana Hana' fruit (hana = 'flower'), and thus is able to grow hands from any surface - an ability which sounds pointless on paper but has saved the Mugiwaras from so much danger over the episodes that it has become almost integral to their survival. Robin is an archaeologist who joined the Mugiwaras at her own behest, as Luffy had saved her life against her will. She spends most of her time reading history books, and someday dreams of finding the 'one true history' of their world by traversing the Grand Line in search of 'lodestones', which have ancient documents inscribed on them.
Even at the early stage of introducing Luffy and watching him recruit the first few crewmates, I had fallen in love with this anime series. The first 20 or so episodes are somewhat slow-paced, as well as a little confusing, as the quirky sense of humour that One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda gives the series takes a little getting used to for a gaijin. The other members of the crew don't want to join Luffy's outfit immediately, but Luffy manages to convince them that becoming a pirate with him is the best way to realise their dreams, and also helps them to tie up loose ends in their homeland before setting off under the straw hat-wearing Jolly Roger.
It's important to bear in mind that these are not your classic Western, rum-toting, eye patch-wearing, "YAAAAAARRRRR"-shouting pirates, with huge beards, peg legs and hooks for hands. That isn't to say there aren't characters who fall under these categories (except for the "YAAAAARRRR"ing), but One Piece is a world filled with intensely interesting, larger-than-life characters who bring a dimension to the anime you wouldn't have thought possible. The powers of the various enemies of the Mugiwara crew bring an almost rock-paper-scissors element to the show, as the party is often split up into groups who have to survive and meet back up with the others in order to continue their journey, some characters' expertises being more useful against certain enemies than others - although the rubberman never knows when to accept defeat!
This anime contains some of the most imaginative and out-of-this-world story arcs I've ever come across in an anime series, especially one that does not take itself too seriously. One arc sees the Mugiwaras sail up into the sky to 'Skypeia', or Sky Island, where they take on an evil God who has the power of lightning. The final 'showdown' battles can span 10 or more episodes and are, for want of a better word, epic. Simply the journey undertaken to get onto the Grand Line itself is a tale worth rewatching for its many highlights, as well as being an introduction that comforts you by subtly indicating that the future escapades of the Mugiwara crew will pique your interests further.
The Mugiwaras are to a point misunderstood as pirates - they don't plunder, rape or murder everybody they meet. In most cases, they actually help those they come across, but are still very much wanted by the Marines (the main governing body of the sea), who set huge bounties for Luffy and Zoro in order to garner help from bounty hunters, as well as the many other pirate factions sailing around.
The animation sometimes lets the show down slightly - it seems the budget for the animators seems to rise and fall depending on the importance of the arc. Some battles are brilliantly animated, such as the showdown between Luffy and Crocodile, leader of the Shichibukai, but many of the filler arcs look poor in comparison. However, this does not take anything away from the fact that One Piece is a masterpiece, with a quirky Japanese sense of humour and a narrative that can be appreciated by all, but loved only by some. My advice is to give it a try - if you're anything like me it will certainly captivate your interest, and then some.
Quick warning: stay WELL away from the 4KIDS English dub. They gutted the show, stripping it of many of its best features, and hired a voice cast that could test the sanity of anybody, be you 3 or 43. The lush orchestral musical score and lively J-pop intro has been replaced by awful faux hip-hop in order to market it to Americans, some of the blood is cut while some remains (this is NOT a gory anime by any stretch of the imagination - blood is used as more of an indicator that a fight has been going on a while), characters are renamed according to whim (Zoro is renamed Zolo, either to escape copyright infringement, give a closer transliteration from katakana, or just as an effort to be utterly, utterly lame), and there are some frankly ridiculous amendments - the one that really sticks out for me is Sanji's cigarette. Sanji likes to smoke, and he always has a cigarette hanging from the side of his mouth. In the 4KIDS dub, this cigarette is replaced - in every frame - with a lollipop.
Kaizoku-Fansubs (http://www.kaizoku-fansubs.com) make by FAR the best, most comprehensive, accurate and best-looking fansubs for this show, and episodes can be downloaded by BitTorrent or by XDCC transfer via IRC (#kaizoku-fansubs on irc.rizon.net).
Review In short,
I'm Going to keep it real with you all that you would obviously see my score that i gave One Piece.
Well, That is why in my review I'm going to go over these factors as to why this isn't worth your time so that I can save you a life line. So for that You are welcome. (This Applies To Manga Also in case your wandering)
Anyway I have Dropped this series for many reasons alone that I did to where I was watching and Investing my time with this and its pretty simple why that is and why It made sense
for me to review One Piece.
Firstly Its very easy to base this series on the analogy of this being a shonen adventure series yes, however what continues to irk at my own viewing experience of watching this for a long while now and to put it simply if I were to sum up this series in a nutshell It would be summed up in 4 words...(Typical Forced Annoying Tendencies)
To empathize my point much further,
This anime has dragged onto the point where I know longer care where the story is heading now because its writer
Oda Eiichiro unfortunately likes to Time waste WAY too often in his
writing of milking hundreds of episodes of this series of its so called world building and brain wash a lot of its Japanese audience as well as those that following the whole over saturated popular shonen trend in the process to the point that the fans themselves have overate this anime in general in its own category.
Literally the story has not changed to any degree where a new plot can be implemented differently in its approach which sadly isn't the case let alone can the story mature with its premise as this is still following the same freaking formula of a repetitive lame shonen nonsense of its character troupes with most of its episodes from 1 to god knows what episode its currently on right now so far which I really question if this anime just wants the viewers attention just because of its length that can still be milked because of it?
OR does it want to be a pirate adventure shonen that can integrate an effort into its story and characterizations? Well at this point I can easily tell you that both completely Suck at making these traits realized in Oda's craft which is not engaging my viewing of the same formula with many random added coincidences that luffy and strawhats encounter on their journey and with that has lost more credibility in claiming that this is an anime about pirates in general which is even more ridiculous throughout and for the longest time after a while I just found this series to be rather boring and predictable in its long tedious dragged out boring narrative.
(Btw, Nothing to do with just its length or its terrible look in general)
I honestly got to ask those currently watching or even reading One piece
Do you really like to enjoy the same old tropes and jokes over and over again that includes many long pointless plot elements that have many cons for milking their story and character for its own purpose??
Its Just like how the Naruto franchise lost credibility thinking its own series depicts ninjas in its own way to show the struggle taking place for nonjas old and young in its own viewing in the show which shows in both naruto and one piece over time what it has lost through its extended transition in both their writing of these concepts.
As a shonen anime Its these glaring flaws that just keeps continuing on and on. That in terms of its story, characterization, progression, writing, enjoyment and any replay value what so ever for a shonen experience which becomes blatantly obvious that it fails! especially when some claim this to be the definitive shonen anime experience of a grand adventure. (Oh Dear.)
There are 2 clear things fans will use to defend this show by saying don't be put off by the shows length or its dumb cartoony animation and secondly dont be put off with the handling of the material in the way Toei Animation handles this so instead read the manga, And to that I say.. NONSENSE! Since the show already has a lot problems already that fans seem to gloss over.
You see, Reading its Guinness book of its trash manga doesn't even help or even give me value for reading through for what has loads of the same problems as I've mentioned above.
If that wasn't enough of an issue. Its story of its characters and its events always end up feeling pretty much the same Forced Melodramatic story in its writing that you have seen and heard loads of times and only forces you to endure this along with bad side stories that contribute into an even SLOWER pace for this show in each of its build up with each Arc that by over hundreds and hundreds of episodes later by then it totally becomes unacceptable, By then I don't blame certain people out there for skipping chunks of its story now and then.
(Trust me, Having tolerance for this anime should be the least of your worries here people.)
For me going through each arc to arc in a easy going manner that I approach most anime through my viewing You'd expect that this would be casual thing of ease for me right? No sweat? WRONG,
It didn't guarantee me as a viewer any love or charm what so ever to a lot of its characters like the time you are first introduce to them in the series.
Instead it only just copies and paste stuff mostly of the same scenarios that you would see far too often in this series for most if not all of these characters and YES that does includes the main crew along with their progression except for some few in the straw hat crew that show to get more abilities than others really makes it fair in its togetherness doesn't it?
(Some bonding that is if you ask me?, since only a few certain characters with plot armour that can do certain things most others couldn't do)
Even when uniting the straw hats together only just makes it for a more cheesier affair most of the time when you would obviously expect it Especially when it comes off as cliche as it does.
Which also regards to parts where one piece at some parts wants to go dark its already so desperate to up the ante that a blind Ray Charles can easily tell from miles away that its only going to result into a similar conclusion like before.
I mean come on! its way past most of the amount of standard shonen episodes! which reminds me of Detective Conan, However in Conan's case the Difference is between these 2 series is in its Fandoms.
One Piece fans try to Over hype the crap out of this which is really unnecessary even when lots of people know clearly that it is the case.
A terrible excuse for making points along this series own progression just because its stretched out as it has been for the premise inexcusably which is a joke for those who try to justify this notion.
Look, We already got the basic gist of things going on in this series from the beginning, Even through its dumb world building and set up and even till now is still not even well structured since it throws random places for us to be distracted so that fillers can help maintain its bad pace let alone does it even make that much sense to begin with especially when trying to use foreshadowing to justify the ridiculous amount of episodes that is in this series as it is to make us feel like we have feel invested in the unknown mysteries of the show which actually does the opposite effect.
I believe the one piece fandom have gotten mixed up with what world building actually is with the amount of episodes there have been especially focusing on stuff that this show thinks I should see but I don't and no I don't need to have to skip arcs just to enjoy something, Why should I? that is just retarded. Is that why its Manga counterpart is in the Guinness book of records because of its pacing and complacency? Makes sense for whatever parts of this series gains popularity in much of its story for being pointlessly repetitive i suppose.
1. First off regarding what I've mentioned so far,
If you have an immersive world and there is already enough content in the story/journey in your world building never mind how vast or mysterious it is, Don't pointlessly drag it out instead USE IT! and stop milking it with stupid character expressions of coincidences full of plot devices and plot armour, I do not care that it is a dumb shonen. At least FMA knew this a lot better.
2. Pointless prologues to your episodes.
3. Bad morals in many different situations of the story with its writing.
4. Stupid journey objectives that hardly revolves around the plot of the treasure of one piece until HUNDREDS AND I MEAN HUNDREDS of episodes later on to the point which is unacceptable along with milking its main characters most of the time of this franchise that gets to the point where it feels like its turning into filler which by the way there are a lot of them no matter what fans try to say against this.
5. Dumb fanservice depictions of its females making video games like dead or alive and Onechanbara look a lot more tolerable.
6. Stop foreshadowing something in the story that was mentioned hundreds and hundreds of episodes ago as its not good story telling neither is it clever in any way since it never justifies its consistency for constantly dragging on in the way it does.
7. Over hyping stronger characters that don't really get involve in the story that much anyway.
8. Its lame music score that should sound great but it doesn't.
9. Most of the times bad animation no doubt, AKA Toei Animation VERY LAZY INDEED and are swimming in pools of Yen around them like fat sewer Rats.
10. Devil fruits abilities in the way with any other devil fruits that are demonstrated looks stupid and nonsensical to the overall balance and power scaling with variations of different class devil fruit users, which in term of supposedly creating unpredictability and uniqueness to a devil fruit user's abilities only serves to unfortunately create a convoluted mess of an explanation of devil fruit powers in general to those that are Logia, Paramecia and Zoan in their own element even in terms of their weakness which is badly depicted on in the show.
11. Haki creates a lot of bullcrap deus ex machinas later on as an excuse of not explaining a lot about devil fruits all that well and lots of times is used mainly for plot armour for certain characters of the writer's choice which is lazy nor does it add anything new to the battle scaling in fights more like unneeded add ons.
12. its voice acting well its just mostly tedious and over the place nothing great or over the top despite how Oda writes the story (Bad writing Btw) that even after listening to lot of these characters it just makes me want to listen to a dying mule instead. Nothing weird or wonderful about that my friends.
With all that being said, Its only qualities that I like about one piece are the art designs of certain characters and the fact there is a series that stars pirates, since there are very few anime series that have pirates (not that they are suppose to be role models in any way)
but those are the only positives with this series in general for me and honestly nothing more.
Overall its an over exaggerated series of repetitive outcomes that I have not enjoyed in its long run about dumb wannabe pirates quote PIRATES! It's only real positive here is HEY ITS ABOUT PIRATES WOW THATS RARE TO FIND IN ANIME ISN'T IT???..WRONG BECAUSE CONSIDERING WHAT PIRATES ARE LIKE IN REAL LIFE WHO CARES ANYWAYS.
That is like me wanting to write a story about slavery on different Ethnicity/Races but NOOOOOOO............. that won't be right, so why not glorify slave traders into being these nice dumb heroes? because you know It sounds interesting right? RIGHT??... WELL WRONG AGAIN.
Now going back to my point of Watching this crappy cartoon this only makes me or most viewers seem to have to glorify such a pathetic outlook of a premise with its stretched out world building that is not even incisive enough to its history of the story, neither is it memorable for me enough to even care about it to watch it any longer as it doesn't reward me growth in their characters, a decisive objective or consistency of its so called journey within its story in general.
Last but not least The fights really suck! seriously do yourselves a Big favour there are better Shonens and many other Animes out there that is worth watching that has better characters, better story, better pacing and better growth than this long turd of a show that seems to overate a lot in Japan above others which unfortunately is the world we live in today. Consider this dropped and good riddance.
Excuse me for being honestly critical as I am as I do not sugar coat a series if that is what you really wanted about this show in general, well too bad. You can go to other reviewers that are giving out tens towards this Overrated piece of fiction that's overstayed it's welcome.
To all of you who have read my review thanks for taking the time and take care.
I haven't written a review in almost a year so i might as well start with this
80% of all user made reviews will be positive no matter what. The best way to evaluate anything is to read the negative reviews as well. This is a good rule to go by for anything (games, movies, appliances, etc) With that being said I'm not giving this series a 10.
- Story (4/10) Its an infinite loop story, shounen boy being the greatest in the world and it follows him in all his wacky adventures.
- Art (6/10) It is indeed
a very well animated series but you can easily see many common ways to for the studio to cut corners.
- Sound (8/10) Voice acting is top notch, everyone has a wide range of emotions but some overreact too much in one episode. Whats with all the yelling?
- Characters (7/10) You'll either love em or hate them (or both) Regardless you''ll have your share of favorites and luckily you will know all about them.
- Enjoyment (8/10) Main story arcs are great but what grinds it to a halt are the long drawn out situations in the vein of the Dragon Ball series.
I kept getting bugged and bugged about when i was going to pick this show up. Ever since 2004. Fast forward to 2008 and I finally picked up and started watching this show from episode 1. I started watching this show with very limited expectations since everyone keeps hyping the hell out of this show. And to be honest, the best way to watch this show is to have very low expectations. Because as soon as the story arc for obtaining Nami started (eps 031- 044), I definitely fell in love with this series.
That story ark had everything a shounen anime should have, comedy, drama, action, and serious business. Basically an edge of your seat roller coaster ride trying to figure out what will happen next. Sadly, the story arc's like this are far and few between. The structuring of most arc's usually focus on one or two of the main characters which is perfect for a long running series like this. Don't get me wrong, alot of the adventures are good clean fun which most will enjoy. It's fine if there's no continuity what so ever and plot holes you can fill a 10 gallon trash bag in. It's all about over the top slapstick adventures and it does that well, even perfectly.
So why in the hell did I give the story a score of 4? I could make a 10 page essay if I listed them all but the main issue is its whole premise. It is a LONG RUNNING shounen anime. That means they will do anything and everything to make a story arc as long as possible. A perfect example is that the opening AND closing credits will average between 90 to 150 seconds each, a last episode recap will last around 5 minutes , and a next week preview will last for about a minute. Add all that up and that roughly adds up to ~15 minutes of non essential story telling. FIFTEEN MINUTES!! Granted, new story arcs wont have as much time shaved off to start but the typical formula will repeat itself every time. But even then its like why bother watching last weeks episode if you can almost tell half of last weeks story today? Its an infinite loop that we're doomed to be in.
Since they are a long drawn out stories, they also suffer from the Dragon Ball virus. Having a face off between good guys and bad guys for 30+ episodes and essentially 'filling' in the time with flashbacks or side stories really insults the viewers intelligence in my opinion. They even have the gall to replay back story arcs that lasted upwards to 10 episodes and 'rehash' the arc into one or half an episode. I could have easily skipped over 260 episodes if i knew they were going to do that. I know it is to acclimate new young viewers to how their lovable characters came to be, but isnt that what dvd's are for? Or at the very least, don't bother to tie them in to a story arc.
One more thing I must mention, try not to think too hard when people look like they're going to die one minute and the next, they're up and jumping around like nothing happens or any inconsistencies like that. It will make your head explode if you do.
If you are willing to forgive the aforementioned problems with this show (or any long running shounen anime) I'm sure you will notice they do carve alot of nice stories that you will more than likely enjoy. As the actual stories told in the series just look so much fun. It's like watching Indiana Jones NONSTOP. Although it will take forever for them to tell you a story, you'll either be laughing crying or enjoying the wackiness that is One Piece.
The creator did do a wonderful job of making VERY unique and non static characters, although some might appear typical or cookie cutter, they usually do something completely opposite or you will discover things you never thought would happen (inconsistencies aside). On top of that, the voice actors are very memorable and fit their characters awfully well. Although most of them yell more than i would like, the sheer number of cast members is staggering and is hard for me not to be impressed. I agree I am not a fan of a few of the main characters but knowing so much about them (due to side stories) its hard not to cheer for the straw hat crew!
This series is far from perfect, but it is very enjoyable.
Well my first review, Ill try and make it a good one.
One Piece, well i gotta be honest, I didn't like it at first. I thought that the voices were stupid and that it had really no plot whatsoever. This is all thanks to 4kids making the crappiest dub ever. I stopped watching it after, ep 20 or so, but then i heard to try it again using subs. I thought nah, it might sounds really stupid, but i still tried. After episode 20 or so, I was like "WOW", this is awesome and from then on i was watching it non stop until
episode 280 where i caught up. (yea i watched about 250+ episodes non stop) :D If you plan on watching it, watch it subbed please. Well that's enough of that. Onwards.
The story is really amazing. At first i didn't find anything entertaining, but I pressed on and continued watching. The plot is really amazing. Its different from what most mangaka does, and that is power. The story is all about achieving your dreams, getting nakama(companions/friends), and overall having a grand adventure. The story is original in a sense that it gives you a feeling of ease and hilarity when reading it. I for one, have always enjoyed a chapter and in each chapter is very powerful and/or funny.
Well to be honest, I find the art interesting. I mean its cool at times but then in some episodes its really crappy. Thats probably the only thing I dont like. But the fight scenes are amazing. The character design is very interesting and very original. The animation is pretty...crappy at times but that's to be expected in some animes. I mean not all of them would be amazing but there are quite a few that really have good animation. The animation for most fight scenes are really well drawn and intricate.
I have only one thought for this. JAPANESE VOICE ACTORS OWN AMERICAN VOICE ACTORS. Seriously, they sound so much better and once you hear them, your instantly hooked to them. 4kids really did the crappiest dubbing ever, and that was mainly why i stopped watching it. Also their gum gum rap( american opening) was so terrible. Thanks to Funimation for at least making an "ok" dub. But subs are still the best. Their voices mesh with the characters personality so much that it's amazing.
Wow. The characters are really amazing. From the air-head captain to the greedy, money-loving navigator, it really is the most unique anime ever. They are all different characters with all different dreams that power them throughout the show. They all have alot in common, but really the biggest thing they have in common is that they all believe and support their captain, because he has saved them where they needed it the most. Every character in One Piece is different from everyone and they are all entertaining. Every episode is funny and most of the time it is Luffy that makes it funny. Luffy is pretty much the most unique character made. He is a simple minded captain who has no other thought other than one piece, his nakama, and MEAT. Yes meat, he loves meat, but if you watch it you will learn that :p
Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The fillers are much better than Naruto or Bleach fillers and they are alot more exciting. Again the fight scences are amazing. Every episode you will definitely laugh, because Oda-sensei (the mangaka- the one who made One Piece) is awesome. He is pretty much the most creative mangaka, and the person i definitely want to meet.
Overall, I give One Piece a 10/10, well because it is pretty much amazing. The characters are very loveable, especially Luffy. Every episode i laughed, every episode I was always at the edge of my seat. If people tell you that One Piece sucks or that its not all that great, then don't listen! The only bad thing about One Piece is that 4kids made the dub first and then ruined it in America, don't listen and just watch it. Listen to me and not them okay :D
Ask any person on the internet what their favourite kind of warrior is and you are bound to get one of these 2 answers. Ninja or Pirate. Now we ALL know Ninja\'s are a plenty in anime. But Pirates? Try finding a anime about that!
Eiichiro Oda to the rescue!
The legendary Pirate Gol D Roger. Once acquired everything a pirate could. But before he was executed he told people he hid his treasure \"One Piece\" at the end of the Grand Line. This started the great age of pirates!
One Piece is set in the time of pirates. Even though there are references to real pirates. Bellamy,
Alvida etc, its more of a fantasy world. And what a fantasy world it is! Weird creatures, giant monsters and people with a \"Devil Fruit\" ability. Devil Fruit grants the person who eat it unique abilities such as transforming their body, or giving them special skills. The one consequence is it takes away their ability to swim.
One of the people who ate a \"Devil Fruit\" Is the young man Luffy. Blessed with the Gomu Gomu fruit (Rubber) He is a rubber man. and he wants to be the \"Pirate King\" (The person who acquires \"One Piece\") He and his crew of weird but unique characters set of to the \"Grand Line\" to find One Piece.
Eiichiro Oda created some really amazing characters! Rorona Zoro a swordsman who uses 3 swords. Liar Usopp, Navigator and Money maniac Nami, Chef and Love freak Sanji, Reindeer misfit Chopper and more. Even though the characters seem a little bland at first after a few episodes their characters really start to shine.
Humour is a really big part of the series. You will constantly laugh your ass off at the weird and just downright funny humour this series has to offer. But its not all comedy. Heck no! Fans of action and drama will also love this series. the fights are simply incredible! with the Devil fruit users being the highlights of the series. But just like that the series can take a much darker turn. And will certainly manage to bring a tear to your eye. (Nami\'s background being one of those times DAMN YOU ARLONG!)
But it never turns into a emo fest.
Its a pretty long series (counting over 310 episodes) and even though there are some filler arcs. It just keeps getting better and better.
Well not long ago started watching this series and now have "watched" quite lot. And I don't get it how people have so high opinion of this series.
Is quite boring honestly, if you like watch same joke 10 * in episode for 700+ episodes then this series might be for you. Nothing interesting happens until Summit War arc. In that arc there was interesting development in characters and connections to other characters. And during that time there Luffy did as he peaces and didn't give a damn what other we're thinking. That is only reason I gave this series even 6, would have been
4 or even 3 without that arc. But at Fishman Island arc it went to back to boring as there doesn't seem to be any reason for any fighting again.
Well quality in art is like a roller coaster in this this series, some scenes it is good and some bad. But I like old feeling what art style gives and that's why I rated it to 6. Could have been much higher if quality would be stable good. Color themes are also pretty good in this and seems to be they're not scared to use colors what I'm happy about.
To be honest, nothing too fancy but quality is mostly stable if some side character voice actors not counted in. Music could be better in some situations but good overall.
Well characters in this series are 90% of boring or fanservice. There is literally none character development in this series so I don't get it how this series are even going on anymore.
Pretty good character but I have watched over 500 episodes and still personality exactly same as beginning of first episode of whole series. As a fighter he is getting stronger but it don't feel like it at all because still sidekicks gives him hard time. I know when they go deeper in Grand line there are stronger mobs but honestly.
90% of boredom. He don't have growth at all in whole series as person. As a fighter he has grown a little but his personality ruins this character wholly for me, crying help or crying to Luffy to stop all the time. That's everything this character is, nothing more or less. I don't even get a reason of this character because of...
Tony Tony Chopper:
Chopper are pretty similar to Usopp but he gets things done if situation requires it. Chopper is as character is direct upgrade for Usopp. He cries also Luffy to stop and cries help but if situation requires it he can get things done what Usopp don't. Pretty interesting character and this one I would keep in this series.
This character is 100% of fanservice and nothing else. She don't have anything to give to series and can be also annoying you-know-what. I hoped when I first time saw when she was rescued by Luffy that she is just side character who drops after she's arc end but no.
This is most interesting character in whole series, he is actually only one who has grown as person in whole crew, and that's pretty sad considered how long this series has already run.
After Usopp this is second most boring character in whole series. He has not developed as person nor as fighter at all. And his obsession to women joke is gone too long and got boring already. I actually hope he dies on nosebleed somewhere. Not gonna miss him at all.
Can be quite interesting character but feels like he's going to be in same category as Sanji. Same joke over and over again and does not do anything new. At first in Thriller Bark arc he seemed really interesting character and was quite good but when I went to Luffy's boat he went to bottom, he honestly don't give anything new to series and seems to be he is just there for filling Sanji, Usopp and Chopper jokes so they don't repeat same joke 3 jokes whole episode but 4.
Sometimes just for fanservice but much better character than Nami. Personality much better and honestly in a big role to drive story forward.
Last but not least, this character actually got interesting design as a character and he has grown quite lot. I hope they don't ruin this because Franky got a lot potential as MC.
Well as I said in story, this series is quite boring and I have been "watching" this. Only "watching" not watching cause it's hard to enjoy same jokes over 500 episodes. And usually I keep this rolling for background sound so when I'm doing other things. I actually had quite high hopes for this series because this has run so long but looks like expectations was crushed hard. Most likely I watch this series till it ends but just for background noise, not for entertainment.
Well this section is more like TL;DR for me
- Do you like watch same joke in every episode till you die? sure watch this. Otherwise stay d*mn far from it.
- Do you like series what are 90% fanservice and otherwise boring? sure watch this. Otherwise stay d*mn far from it.
- Do you like characters don't grow at all (even after 500 episodes)? sure watch this. Otherwise stay d*mn far from it.
- If you want to watch this you can skip straight to Summit War arc cause there really isn't any development in this series so you won't miss anything.
From a scale of "over 9000" to "too damn high", how autistic am I You say?
well judging from watching this garbage I'd say a 9 will suffice for the
I like it, but in all honesty its not good.
So To begin my review, Let me start of my experience of watching OnePiIISSWuaaaa!!!!
Please do understand this is not me taking shots at this series in any way, this is just me expressing my views on the show in terms of its merits and failings to see if its as great as fans really suggest this to be.
For a long time you see I've watched
the series of One Piece back on television during the great Toonami era which basically is The western TV version of saying HELLO JAPAN!!
The dub for 4kids was what I watched at first and no surprise It deserved it at the time because the show wasn't that special from the get go from when it started off to where its currently at now with DOH Flippin Flamingo.
And yes I went to funimation and the japanese for there take on its characters voice and music etc which still did not make any difference apart from seeing some dumb unrealistic violence and yet the show still hasn't grown up to where I am now in the series, it could be possibly I'm not acknowledging the show in the right way despite that I'm still watching it or maybe Oda just isn't Goda anymore
OH NOOO! THE HORROR!!.
The Basic story premise is about pirates with super fruity power ups known as Devil Fruits (Laughing excessively here at this point)
More to It lies with our main character Monkey D Luffy a wannabe young man who wants to be king of the pirates.
(Wow had no idea there was royalty to begin with pirates but oh well)
Luffy strings up a group of people to join his pirate crew within different arcs of the story to help in searching for a treasure known as OnePiIISSWuaaaa!!! that was foretold by the greatest pirate known as
Gold D Rodgers who apparently hides the treasure in the Grand Line (because thats the name of the big game I guess?) and by the time our hair turns grey we might actually find out as to why and what it is, (that is either you or Oda stays alive until then.)
At the time of Gold D Rodger's death sentence he makes his last infinite statement that he says he left everything in OnePiIISSWuaaaa!
Oh yes Gotta love that D eh Boys and Girls ?
So far in the midst of everything the story tries its hardest to keep building up and gets messed up at an early point right after 50 episodes which was supposed to be its greatest strength but also becomes its greatest weakness.
You probably wont believe me for saying this but that weakness being is WORLD BUILDING.
Basically what I mean by that is constant dragging on of episodes to make you feel that you are on a long journey of some sorts but in reality,
All it really is doing is STALLING on the part of the mangaka Oda Eiichiro's Art design and writing for whatever wage he seems to be earning on demand at the moment and yes its fact since the industry supposedly is hard on the condition of writers on a weekly basis. In other words the PACING OF THIS ANIME IS AWFUL.
Sounds familiar?? Its pretty much very similar to Hunter X Hunter mangaka Togashi Yoshihiro's approach in the story that constitutes for being excessively greedy in its approach, then again quite a lot of Shounen animes are like that I guess.
Its like the anime is holding up a sign saying:
HEY NOTICE US PLEASE!! PLEASE TAKE NOTICE OF US! OR WE'LL KEEP SLOWING DOWN FOR WE SEEK THE ATTENTION!!!!
Anyway enough of the issue at hand before some of you start feeling like I'm trying too hard to be negative on purpose.
Think to yourself THIS, If this was such a great shounen for examples like death note or even FMA Brotherhood why the need for SO many episodes??
Why am I so serious..??
very simple answer, Again its World building! which demands many SLOW pacing in a lot of episodes, So much so that they probably need LOADS of spin off specials and movies like you haven't watched enough of this already as it is in and outside of this franchise,
(also referring to Japanese one piece merchandise of course.)
by the time you get your toys at whatever time period this show continues, you ALL would of already grown out of this at some stage in your life unless your an Otaku then fair enough.
This is No Rant here, I'm only stating the obvious critical point towards the show as a whole. But like I mentioned its because of this World Building this leads to the major reason why the story at most becomes tedious and below mediocre at best on a consistent level in almost EVERY Arc.
Oh and also FILLERS whether the fandom wants you to know or not know, there are a lot of filler characters which also includes badly forced gags for no progressive purposes except for you to question say ''Hey maybe I should watch something else for the time being,'' and me being an honest critic of this generation I will gladly say this, that You should not be force to be put through too much of the same stuff that you don't really want to SEE in a long series like this.
Can we be honest and say for any anime watchers out there that loads of episode can harm World building because of timing and pacing problems such as this?
When you are chock full of content like this, it should be constructed and executed better! Never mind the BS on the whole it started in the 90s kinda nonsense.
YOU have the content for viewers to be engage in the show yet this anime stretches out the same shit you already witness before without some even realising it (Naruto I'm looking at you on this notion here).
So don't go into this series thinking there ain't gonna be any fillers because I can most assure you there are, and quite a lot of them even if some of the extreme fandom don't seem to believe so.
The Art is okay and at the same time can look very BAD in terms of the details of a lot of characters. marines look stupid and quite similar to one another and just well fodder really,
females in this series turn out to have the same physique as every other hour glass shaped female in the show. wait is this fairy tail??
(Oh boy I might of hit the nail on that one)
Big tall men have extremely wide bodies and extremely skinny legs for no reason, at least whitebeard is the more convincing one out of them.
Other characters which includes non human characters look ridiculous and just too nonsensical to be taken seriously not matter what dragon ball like power they seem to possess.
almost like I'm watching a Disney cartoon back in the day if it was on LSD.
and for the love of god why is usopp's nose a DILDO??
I don't care what third dimension of Disney this is suppose to be?
THIS does not appeal to me thank you.
Now on to The Power schemes and structures of OnePiIISSWuaaaa! such as
Body manipulation over their own bodies, environment, or produce substances.
having the power of natural elements or force of nature.
Transformation of species and inter-species hybrid forms at will.
Ah, you would think this category would be solid?
While some powers in the series I'll admit can be used to good effect, others can look completely ridiculous and nonsensical even in their own category which for the most part makes the power balance of this series
even more unbalanced.
Oh and lastly
Haki AKA (Haki of the Color of the Conquering King): Domination of the wills of others is the dumbest made up BULLSHIT! in the entirety of this franchise.
(Oh wow Conquerors Haki! OMG! That guy just looked at another person and that person fell DOWN!! OMG!!) seriously?
Don't get me started talking about the different fighting styles in this series, its lame and not worth mentioning for they are like an excuse for characters that have to fight for the sake of having fights as their only true purpose and nothing more.
Villains in this show are typically One dimensional, There the kind of villains that like to displays cruel tendencies to other characters that you really wouldn't care for,
BUT I guess because the straw hats appear (Oh Whoopie) You are force to unfortunately,
at times It can seem some what tiresome Especially if you are already familiar with this Shounen pattern again and again and again and AGAIN.
How long has this series been going on for? (No Seriously)
So now on to characters where the show for the most part kind of develops, but only due to back stories to further a fully purposed plot for them later on from the get go but it never really makes ground breaking attempts to carry along in this stride in every arc which is a real shame.
So this wouldn't really be shocking up to this point, ESPECIALLY if you have already watched a shit ton of episodes till the current episode you are at right now.
Main Characters The simple short version.
Luffy: IMO, as the Lead character he is one of the most uninspiring main character leads I've ever seen in shounen he has 2 fixated moods DUMBASS Or Constipated Raging Man child, Take your pick.
Zoro: is useless in direction making the punt of his efforts in lots of situations where he is lost at every turn very stupid which in turn leaves his three swords style.
But then who cares when you see characters like Killer Bee from naruto who uses his own 8 swords style So right off the bat what so impressive about this 3 swords style?, Haki Right?, ''the only answer to just about anything dumb in this show, thats cool I get it.''
Sanji: is basically Brock from pokemon as he is just a generic character who tries to be a hit with the ladies and never gets any including that he is also a chef and STILL never gets ANY WOMAN or PUSSY. Poor bastard.
Franky: I guess you can say he is the Cyborg technician of the ship who thinks he is SUPER MANLY but most of the time he is just a complete Super douche mentally and physically speaking.
Nami: is Tragic navigator turned tragic Fan service. which gets dudes thirsting ''WHeres that nami Hentai at!!??
Chopper: I don't want to know any further about this annoying Doctor Yogi Bitch.
Brook: Probably my favourite straw-hat pirate out of them all but Oda sometimes devalues his character like others.
Nico Robin: is Tomb Raider but with a cool ability if I might add.
And to be fair I liked the back stories of the characters.
However, what I didn't like was over using the same sad theme for each of their themes with streams of over exaggerated tears. (talk about milking moments like these here to give people quickly them feels.)
which gets old really fast.
As for the sound department, its lacking but by no means bad, it suits whatever mood you could be feeling in this long ass snail pace of a series. the voice acting quality were few and not so many.
Animation wise Can look really decent when they put there time into it like marineford for example and a lot of other times can look pretty abysmal most of the time according to Toei Animation.
Overall am I enjoying this series? I am trying to, but because of those obvious glaring flaws on the surface still exist just like the treasure OnePiIISSWuaaaa!!!!!
I'll admit I have put this on hold during the arc of Doh Flippin Flamingo because I still intend to finish what I started. otherwise why go in over 600 episodes deep just to drop it?
You see I'm a watcher not a reader of forever long mangas so I intend to keep it that way plus I have no time for comparisons between the anime and manga I have better stuff to do in my long life so I leave you with this.
If you want the most silliest longest Shounen adventure ongoing where everything changes with the times except this then by all means give this a shot you might end up loving it, just not in the same way it has been for me.
I never write reviews but I think this series deserves it.
NOTE: This is obviously not a bad-ass/cool-mysterious guy on a seemingly complex mission that is trying to mind-fuck you. This is SHOUNEN. Straight-forward and easy to understand for younger viewers and deep enough for the older. This is business as well as entertainment ei: MAINSTREAM.
Sure it has a VERY generic shounen anime base-line but it has a lot more depth to it that only a mature audience can understand. This can't be seen within the first 20 episodes; it's one of those things where you have to grin and bare with. Most likely, your efforts
would be worthwhile.
I'll just follow the trend and comment on the sections; starting with the weakest qualities.
1. ART: (6/10)
This is a HUGE issue and it takes a lot of perseverance and patience to get used to the art style of this anime. It took me about 6 months to get used to it.
At first, everyone looked like overly-hyper, 12 year-olds being too loud and just looking at them made me want to stop. Noodle-like arms and legs, weird anatomy etc. the list goes on. But if you power through however long it takes for you to get used to the art, the characters appear as catalysts of nothing but pure emotion. This puts you in a weird, neutral position. You know that the art isn't great but you can't seem to imagine this series in any other way. Changing the art style becomes a bad idea.
The only reason why I'm giving the art style a 6/10 is because it's so damn hard to swallow. In the end, anime isn't just eye-candy, it's storytelling first and foremost and I think One Piece knows this very well.
2. SOUND: (8/10)
The sound in this series isn't bad but it isn't spectacular though it does have golden moments during heavily emotional scenes. What IS fantastic is the seiyuu's performances throughout this colossal series. They (generally) capture the essence of their characters, flaws and all. For example: The annoying idiot aspects of Luffy. Mayumi Tanaka was THE voice for Luffy. No one could fill her shoes.
The opening themes usually sets the correct tone for the series; an up-beat, "let's go on an adventure" kind of feeling. Corny? Maybe, Childish? Very, Effective? Absolutely.
For what One Piece is and what it does; the sounds in the series definitely supports. It's doesn't suit my taste in music but it's very "One Piece", which adds to the experience.
3. STORY: (10/10)
The depth of this story will surprise anyone. I had very low expectations for this series, having started years after it began airing but after watching it for a while, I truly believe that this is one of the best shounen stories to date.
Despite being from a very obvious shounen base-line, One Piece delivers fantastically. One Piece explores society in a very extreme manner; often exaggerated to enhance the hype of the moment. You can see that this is deliberate because of how everything within the story drives to one particular moment.
I don't think One Piece's story should be compared to reality because it's simply not realistic: It's not supposed to be but we can certainly compare and relate the ideas and themes within the plot.
This is a truly well thought-out plot, beautifully integrated with the characters to provide a very wholesome experience. If you sit there and watch it -searching for flaws- you will be missing the point of One Piece. If you approach it with a "What the hell but whatever, lets see how this goes" attitude, you are guaranteed to enjoy this plot more.
NOTE: Fillers are NOT stories, they fill empty spaces. That's why they're called 'fillers'. They are meant to be half-assed to buy time for the author. You can't judge a series by fillers, that just means you're stupid.
4. CHARACTER: (10/10)
First impressions are important when it comes to characters. Unfortunately, One Piece fails at this and fails pretty hard. We are introduced to a very typical hero, off to be some king of something and be the biggest, baddest man on town: in this case, the world. Then we meet a typical tough-guy/Mr. Cool. etc.
The thing that is amazing about the characters in One Piece is that though they appear very standard; they somehow manage to break their cookie-cutter mold. Each character basically has one strong quality about them but that one aspect of their character is what makes each character special.
They then develop as the story progresses; being faced with challenges each character's physical, mental and emotional state to their limits; tests their judgment and instincts. They are never perfect but it's how they work around their shortcomings and utilize their few strong aspects to survive in the hostile world of One Piece, that puts the characters of One Piece in a league of their own.
Once you get used to the whole atmosphere of this series, you will find that you won't be able to help but feel very attached to almost every character you come across.
5. ENJOYMENT: (10/10)
It's fabulous. I can't think of any other series with this much depth; in character design and the execution of the plot. There is a lot to read into in this series, people just need to take a deep breathe and allow themselves to be drowned and suffocated by it. It won't kill you I promise.
6. OVERALL: (10/10)
I obviously love this series. It's completely underrated and is constantly being flamed by 'mature viewers' that think they've actually grown up just because they watch brain-raping anime with what SEEMS like a complicated plot when it's actually just another generic anime to their related genre.
This series deserves a lot more than that. It is worth the trouble of getting used to the painful art style. It is worth credit. There IS a reason why it's popular.
We, in the Western world tend to think that it's mind-boggling to see that THIS is one of their most popular animes but I think it's our arrogance and denial that is causing this negative reaction. Apparently, anime is just pretty colors, characters with big eyes and crazy hair, and big tits or a scifi-novel with moving pictures.
One Piece is a fantastic combination of business, entertainment and art. It's obvious why this series is such a success in it's homeland. It's just tragic how a disgrace to mankind (4Kids Entertainment) got hold of this gem before it could reach a wider audience.
This is not a masterpiece; but it's pretty damn close to being one.
There is no such thing as a perfect show.
One Piece is a freak show. With over 700 episodes aired so far, there's no end in sight.
So One Piece is a battle shounen anime, which follows the adventures of one Monkey D. Luffy, who aspires to be the King of the Pirates. He is the captain of the Strawhat Pirates, a crew consisting of both males and females, who all play an important role that helps keep the crew going.
Luffy is our typical, dumb shounen hero, who is a glutton, grins a lot, and is happy-go-lucky. He is a rubber man, whom can stretch parts of his body, gaining this ability after eating one
of these "Devil Fruits" when he was younger. The rest of the Strawhat Pirates all have unique personalities, with their own quirks, and you're likely to find a favourite among them. Although, some of them can be annoying sometimes.
The art style is something you'll either love or hate. It can be either appealing or unappealing to look at. In my case, I don't have a problem with it, and that there are worse-looking anime than One Piece. It's quite cartoony, and has a distinguishing look to it. The designs of the Strawhat Pirates look fine. But it has some of the ugliest-looking supporting characters you will find in an anime.
The animation is ass. Produced by the infamous Toei Animation, the animation is average and just looks outdated compared to other long-running anime that aired (or is airing) around the same time. It's just disappointing and I know it could look better if another studio had done it, or if Toei put more budget into it like in the films. Along with this, the fights (which are mindless) just look unimpressive and are dull compared to the fights in other battle shounen anime (like Naruto and Bleach), and it also uses a lot of still frames. There are also no fluidly-animated episodes for the episodes with high-action scenes either. Barely any of the fights are memorable, they don't have strategy, nor do they have much rewatch value, and the choreography for the fights are just lame. This isn't a show you want to watch for the fights.
The sound effects are somewhat annoying. I personally hate the sound effect of a heart beating. The music is a mixed bag. It's upbeat most of the times, which goes well with the theme of the show. The first opening sounds amazing, and made me revisit the show frequently early on, but other openings are just painful to listen to. The main characters have their own theme music, which I always liked the idea of in anime in general, and they fit with the characters. The voice acting in both the sub and dub are great. I personally prefer the dub.
The pacing is fine from episodes 2 to 301 (episode 1 was slow-paced), but it becomes permanently slow-paced starting from episode 302. Most of the filler episodes are surprisingly decent. Though in latter episodes, there are almost no filler episodes to speak of, which results in snail-pacing for the canon episodes.
There are some things that have always annoyed me while watching this show, other than the fights. There is a lot of crying in it, from both main and supporting characters. Not only that, but they make these ugly, exaggerated expressions on their faces when they cry. It's probably a staple of the show, but it feels like they went way overboard with the tears, and it gets irritating the more you watch it and hear them wailing. Accompanying this is the constant melodrama. Hate that shit. It tries too hard to make the viewers cry.
Another thing is the lack of deaths. Basically, for the most part, nobody dies in this show (outside of flashbacks). Like nobody. This gets noticeable the more you watch it, and it kind of ruins the suspense. Like I wasn't expecting any characters to die within the first 100 episodes or anything, but damn, does it take a long-ass time for the first actual death to take place in the show (we're talking about hundreds of episodes). I don't mind lack of deaths in an anime that has a realistic setting, but One Piece has a fantasy setting, and it's unacceptable to me for a fantasy anime like this have virtually no deaths. What also irks me are the moments where the show makes it look like somebody has died, but later on you find out that they didn't. After realising how rare deaths are in this show, I just roll my eyes whenever a character, in a non-flashback scene, says that they're going to kill or decapitate another character. And speaking of flashbacks, why do most of the characters have to have overly tragic backstories? I get it! They had it rough! Stop making me feel sorry for everyone!
I also don't really like the humour; it's just childish and involves slapstick and retorting. In other words, it's mostly unfunny, at least to me. And I just don't like the general tone of the series. You often see these minor, nameless characters scream their lines to whatever is going on in front of them in a silly way in dramatic moments, and it's pretty annoying.
Overall, the main characters are the strongest aspect of the anime, and is the biggest reason why I try to continue to watch the anime. I admit it's fun to see the Strawhat crew's adventures. It's a pretty silly show, not taking itself seriously at all. However, the abundance of melodrama might be a turn-off for some people. The arcs are also formulaic for the most part, so it gets repetitive too. If you have a lot of time on your hands, and like adventure, then consider checking this show out. If you're looking for a battle shounen with spectacular fights, then I suggest you look elsewhere. The fights in One Piece are crap. I myself grew tired of watching this show after the Thriller Bark saga. The show peaks in the Marineford arc, and there's little reason to continue watching this show after the timeskip.
ONE PIECE EITHER GOING TO BE A LOVEABLE ANIME OR A HATEFUL ANIME FOR YOU. BELOW I WILL SHARE MY EXPERIENCE OF WATCHING ONE PIECE.
The story is simple. It's somewhat drowned on most of the time. The fighting is ok and very entertaining to watch at times. On the other hand, the action is bad compared to other anime. The most stupid thing is how Luffy just randomly pulls power out of nowhere when needed -.-. Let him lose properly, let us see him gain strength, not just randomly give him magic powers in the next episode. Hunter x Hunter is a great example of
showing to the audience how Gon gained his strength.
Overall the let-down is in between the start of the arc to the end (meaning pretty much the whole story). During these times one piece finds a way to add lousy speech, action and can add a cheesy sad story to make the audience try to relate to it, just doesn't work. For this reason, I am giving the story 4/10
Animation & Sound:
One Piece animation is unique and can draw you in. The arts get better and better as the story progress. It's the same story with sound. However, you would expect the success of one piece would let it improve the animation standard to 2013/2014. It still lacks quality compared to animation that came years before now. For this reason, I am giving both of them 5/10
One Piece universe has a wide a wide range of characters. The main crew is fun to watch but also can be annoying at times. The downside is newer characters are just not getting their screen time worth. We don't want to wait for another 100 episodes to find another fact about them. Well, I guess they done it to drown the anime on. Another downside to characters I would say is the villains for Zoro. I mean come on! One of the biggest badass in the anime yet they can't even be bothered to create a more interesting character without a cheesy or disinteresting story to fight him. Overall I give it 5/10 for the poor background information on the characters we are given.
Overall, if this is the first anime you chose to watch, you might enjoy. If you have seen other anime that set the bar high, such as FMA, then you will be disappointed. The newer arcs just feel like Oda is doing his best to try and rake in money rather than continuing putting soul into the anime.
However, I would say that it can be enjoyable for a younger audience or someone who is new to the anime world.
One Piece is honestly the most amazing series I have ever watched or read. The plots are well-written and hold my attention without taking themselves too seriously and adding unnecessary drama that causes me to lose interest. The characters are some of the most endearing, well-developed and likable characters and the art, while not appealing to me at first, took a grand total of TWO episodes to get used to before I found it to be incredibly unique and my favorite anime art style to date.
While this series has serious moments, it never stops being funny. Something important about the humor in
this series is that it's ORIGINAL. None of the typical jokes that are recycled in every anime and even the serious moments I was talking about are sprinkled with clever and endearing humor that keeps me watching.
Something that is important to me in a series is the characters. If I don't like characters, chances are, I'm not going to like the series. The lead cast to One Piece has won me over in their own individual ways. There is not a single one I don't like and I seriously thought that was IMPOSSIBLE.
I could go on and on about this series but it's not my job to tell you EVERYTHING great about it! Just take my word on it!
You know what I really miss? The good ol' days of shonen anime/manga where something could have an outrageously bizarre concept with an equally bizarre universe which can be light in tone and set the stage for some grand adventures to unfold. Nowadays, it seems like most shonen anime and manga try to be all dark and edgy in order to defy those sort of preconceived notions that all shonen anime and manga is light-hearted and/or childish. While that's all fine and dandy, I can't help but feel that we're losing something special in the process of this sort of transition from light-hearted adventures to
dark and grim tales of survival.
With the cancellation of the Hunter x Hunter anime (further compounded by the manga's hiatus), it seems like brutal survival games chock full of fan service and outrageously violent battles are all that's left of shonen series. Then enters One Piece: one of the most popular shonen anime/manga series out there which is still going strong despite being around for 15-something years. It's had a lot of ups, downs, and more than its fair share of criticism levied against it but all things considered... it's something like a breath of fresh air in this stale climate that shonen anime/manga seems to have immersed itself in as of late.
***THE CONCEPT AND SETTING***
One Piece takes place in a world completely dominated by maritime travel that's currently experiencing something known as the "Golden Age of Pirates." The "Golden Age" was brought about by the death of the so-called Pirate King, Gold Roger and his final words about where he's put his entire life's fortune. Whosoever finds Gold Roger's treasure, the eponymous "One Piece" will then become king of the pirates (or so the legend goes; I question how finding a dead man's riches will automatically make you king of all maritime bandits, but that's beside the point).
While many people might dismiss this concept as childish, this is one of the very things I love the most about One Piece. You want to know why? The reason why is that despite the simple set-up would seemingly get repetitive over a short span of time, Eiichiro Oda steps up to the plate and manages to deliver plenty of adventures that are so grand in scope that you'll have a hard time trying to keep your jaw attached to your face. The way that Oda manages to so is quite clever and something that I never really get tired of: the fact that the Grand Line (the place where the vast majority of One Piece takes place in) is pretty much a perfect canvas to unleash his creative mind.
The Grand Line is literally a place where common sense won't get you anywhere. Conventional means of navigation are impossible because each island emits its own, strong magnetic field that interferes with regular compasses. Instead, you need a special compass called a "log pose" which basically leads you to the next island and that island is completely random. In addition to that, it takes a certain amount of time for the log pose to reset itself and lead you to the next island. The log pose can change at a moment's notice, so you can't even trust the calm of the seas or the weather. On that note, weather in the Grand Line is incredibly chaotic due to the irregular magnetic field that encompasses the entire area.
On the topic of weather, every island in the Grand Line has its own climate, fauna, and such. Some islands are cloaked in perpetual winter while other islands are quite literally stuck in prehistoric times with dinosaurs and everything. Going back to the log pose, sometimes it can point you to seemingly impossible locations. Would you believe that there's an entire arc in One Piece that takes place on an island IN THE FUCKING SKY?!?! I'm not even kidding. Whenever Eiichiro Oda puts his mind to it, he really can surprise you with what he can come up with. In fact, when it comes down to the world-building, only Fullmetal Alchemist and Hunter x Hunter come close to matching it. Of course, One Piece and HxH opt for a sort of "make it up as you go along" approach while Fullmetal Alchemist is more carefully crafted.
A rather important part of One Piece's universe is the existence of the so-called "Devil Fruits." Whosoever devours one of these strange fruits will be given great power at the expense of their ability to swim. It should be noted that throughout the entirety of One Piece (thus far), there is absolutely NO explanation behind the mechanics of Devil Fruits and their effects on humans. Some people will undoubtedly take umbrage with this, but I don't. One of the things that irritate me the most when it comes down to shonen anime and manga in recent years is the fact that there's always NEEDS to be an explanation to EVERY SINGLE THING.
Don't get me wrong, there's always going to be shit that will need explaining, but I find it infuriating whenever there has to be some sort of pseudo-scientific explanation given for practically EVERYTHING that happens to our characters whenever they gain/use a superpower. In One Piece, the Devil Fruit superpowers are indeed important but they're not the overall focus of the plot. I suppose you can consider the Devil Fruit powers to be analogous to Nen from Hunter x Hunter or chakra from Naruto if you need something you can compare it to (even then, it's not quite like those two). Another thing to note is that no two Devil Fruits will bestow the exact same power.
One of the biggest problems that the One Piece anime suffers from is a VERY slow start. Like most shonen series, the story of One Piece is told arcs. The first 61 or so episodes encompass what I like to call the "East Blue" arc (which comprises of several smaller sub-arcs). Basically, it's where Luffy is recruiting his crew and the various adventures that follow suit. By the end of Episode 31, the final crew member joins and the team is ready to set sail to the Grand Line... although that's not quite the case. After Sanji joins the team, Nami briefly defects as we go into an arc that dives into her own back-story before she returns and becomes a permanent fixture of the Straw Hat pirates.
It's not that these episodes are bad or anything, but I just got done telling you all this amazing shit that happens in the previous section and yet none of that shit actually goes down until AFTER these episodes. Well... to be fair, these episodes were produced well over a decade ago when the manga itself was still rather young. I suppose it's like Phantom Blood from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure in the sense that it at least provides us with the foundation for these grand adventures to unfold. At the same time, I can't help but feel like Toei Animation could've at least skipped over some of the more superfluous stuff from the manga. Whatever, it's too late to do anything about that now.
Aside from that, the story of One Piece is pretty damn good. For a series that's been going on for well over 15 years, it's surprising as to how consistent the overall story quality remains across the board. Yes, there are points where the storytelling takes a downturn, but this generally happens in filler arcs and whenever there's some excruciating padding in an episode to stretch out the chapters (more in the next section). Of course, there are also moments whenever you can tell that Oda didn't quite bring his A-game to the table in a particular arc. Yes, a man like Eiichiro Oda can also suffer from dry spells where his storytelling isn't quite up-to-par with what he usually brings to the table. He IS human, after all.
Considering that One Piece is a shonen series, it's no surprise that themes of friendship and loyalty are quite prominent. What's more is that in a vein similar to "classic" shonen series like Dragon Ball, it's going to be a tale of adventure that is rather light in tone (for the most part). Does this mean that One Piece is automatically childish garbage? HELL TO THE FUCKING NO. Surprisingly enough, One Piece is fairly capable of taking itself seriously when the time comes for it to do so and what's more is that friendship/loyalty will ALWAYS be themes no matter what since those are hallmarks of the genre. No sense in complaining about something that's part of the course, you know...
The overall arc structure of One Piece is fairly predictable, but that's not an inherently bad thing since it does offer a degree of consistency with the storytelling. The basic formula generally goes like this: the Straw Hats land on an island -> residents of the island hate them -> the Straw Hats meet the island's bad guy(s) -> they beat the bad guys -> residents of the island now love the Straw Hats. Keep in mind that this is simply the framework for an arc and the way an arc actually plays out may very well end up surprising you. This goes back to One Piece's greatest strength: giving us amazing adventures that are so grand in scope to the point where you can't look away from the screen for a moment.
Surprisingly enough, Toei Animation did a relatively good job of remaining filler-free in a series as long as One Piece (roughly 98 episodes). It also helps that most of the filler arcs tend to be rather short (typically 2-5 episodes) across 670 episodes. It also helps that a good portion of them basically got their origins from ideas that Eiichiro Oda wanted to put in the manga but couldn't for various reasons. But does that mean they're worth watching? Well... I suppose you can go ahead and sit through the filler but the G8, Ice Hunter, and Ocean's Dream arcs are the only ones that I consider worth watching since the other filler arcs tend to be more hit/miss.
Going back to how Toei Animation mostly managed to subvert filler, it was through adaptation expansion. Eiichiro Oda is a guy who packs quite a lot of detail into his stories, so it's easy for writers to expand upon concepts he brought up but didn't quite flesh out. Unfortunately, Toei Animation has this nasty habit of taking things too far. While the adaptation expansion was good enough that occasionally bordered on great in the first half of the anime, the latter half of the series (Episode 405-onward) is where Toei Animation's adaptation expansion takes a downward turn for the worse.
After the Sabaody arc, Toei Animation decided to up and scrap the idea for filler episodes entirely and instead adapt the chapters at a 1:1 ratio. Considering the fact that not every chapter will have ~20 minutes' worth of stuff to adapt, Toei Animation had to improvise and they did so by means of VERY excruciating padding. It REALLY got ridiculous in the Marineford arc where you're basically panning over shots of the crew and have to put up with Buggy's pitiful attempts at comedy. It even got to a point where they showed one character looking for milk before going back to a fight. Now with that said, it DOES get better and it's really noticeable after the time skip but it's too little, too late by that point since the time skip is fairly recent (around episode 515?).
Considering the fact that One Piece has been going on for 15+ years, it's no surprise that there would be a LOT of characters. A good deal of them show up later on in the show/manga's run, but the vast majority of them are more or less just there for one arc before the focus of the story shifts to the next arc. Surprisingly enough though, even characters that have been around for just one arc were fairly well-developed and rather likeable like Dr. Kureha whose only appearance is in the Drum Island arc. There are certain characters who stick around with the Straw Hats for more than one arc (i.e. Vivi), but they're few and far between. Despite that, they receive more than enough screen time to the point where you feel like something's missing once the time comes for them to depart.
For the vast majority of One Piece, we're stuck with the Straw Hat pirates: a rag-tag bunch of misfits with their own share of issues that also have such large bounties on their heads that rival Vash the Stampede's. The leader of the Straw Hats is none other than the rubbery Monkey D. Luffy. For lack of better words, Luffy is well... an idiot. What's more is that he's a gluttonous idiot in a vein similar to Goku or Naruto but thankfully he's not THAT extreme. A good benchmark as to how much you'll like Luffy is how well you can tolerate his airhead behaviour since it does get rather ridiculous at times. Regardless, he's got quite a few good traits to back him up and without Luffy, there would be no adventure, which would fucking SUCK.
My favourite character would definitely have to be a tie between Roronoa Zoro (the swordsman) and Sanji (the chef). Why? Well... it's a combination of cool factor AND the fact that they play off of each other (and Luffy) rather well. I just can't get enough of their constant snark toward one another, nor can I ever get enough of Zoro's santoryu (3-sword style) or Sanji's ridiculously powerful kicks. That's not to say that the rest of the Straw Hats are forgettable, boring, or whatever because that is NOT the case at all. What I love most about the Straw Hats is that despite the predominant focus on Luffy, each member receives a good amount of development and time to shine on-screen.
Of course, what are protagonists without their villains? Suffice it to say, Eiichiro Oda's creativity leads to us having quite a lot of interesting villains. Some of them are fucking AWESOME (like Enel in the Skypiea arc) while others are well... lame and stupid (like Buggy in the Orange Town arc). Honestly, this is something you'll have to put up with over the course of One Piece. You think that a limitless well of creativity is free? Oh fuck no! While Eiichiro Oda manages to hit the mark 95% of the time, there are moments where you have to put up with some of his ideas for villains that aren't stupid in an awesome way but are instead just well... stupid (ref: Buggy). Thankfully, arc villains aren't the only ones that the Straw Hats have to deal with.
Considering the fact that the Grand Line is so vast in scope, there are a LOT of threats that the Straw Hats have to put up with, two of which being the Marines and the Seven Warlords of the Sea. The Marines are essentially your maritime police force which deals with pirates while the Seven Warlords are essentially government-sanctioned pirates. In exchange for a cut of the treasure that the Seven Warlords find, the government allows them to basically pick off smaller pirate ships that try to traverse through the Grand Line. Whenever an arc deals with one of the Seven Warlords, there's no doubt that it will be intense.
***THE ART AND ANIMATION***
If the seemingly childish concept, Luffy's stupidity, or the sheer length won't repulse you, chances are that the artwork will make or break your overall experience. Personally, I feel like Eiichiro Oda's artwork has quite a unique charm to it. What I love most about it is that there isn't a single anime/manga series out there that has this exact art style (and before you say anything, Fairy Tail does NOT count). I can understand why some people wouldn't like it since it's rather cartoony and most shonen series nowadays tend to have realistic character designs. Regardless, Hunter x Hunter has a similar "cartoony" art style and yet people praise the everliving Christ out of it so if you're gonna talk smack about One Piece's artwork but not levy the same criticism against Hunter x Hunter, you're too stupid for words.
Of course... there is one little gripe I have with the art style and that is the fan service. Seriously... One Piece's fan service is something that I can never quite get accustomed to despite having watched the anime AND read the manga for well over 6-7 years. Maybe it's just me, but I really don't find huge tits on top of a skinny waist and lanky limbs to be that attractive. If that weren't bad enough, post-timeskip Nami's outfit is essentially a bikini-top and low-riding pants. Come on, Oda! You expect me to believe that Nami just went through a growth spurt? Don't lie, she paid Chopper to give her a boob job and you know it. Same goes for Nico as well! But, I digress. While I can certainly complain about it all I want, the fan service isn't as bad as OTHER popular shonen series (i.e. Akame ga Kill, Fairy Tail).
As for the actual animation itself, it pains me to say that Toei Animation doesn't really have that good of a track record when it comes down to animation quality because they have this nasty habit of producing several long-running anime series alongside one another as they're airing while rotating between animation teams that tend to vary wildly in terms of quality. There's a tendency to go off model every few episodes and it's actually gotten a lot sloppier in the more recent episodes with character proportioning changing at the drop of a hat (let's hope that these animation errors get fixed in an upcoming Blu-ray release or something).
The first 206 episodes were more or less par for the course from Toei Animation. There was a lot of good, a good deal of penny pinching along the way, fights were decently animated but nothing worth getting excited over, etc. Episode 207 is when the show makes the switch to HD and a 16:9 resolution and from that point forward, the animation became more fluid and the artwork became a lot cleaner as it ditched some of the line effects and such that it used in the earlier episodes. A general rule of thumb I use is that if an episode I'm watching on Funimation's website has been dubbed, I'll watch the dub instead because dubbed anime generally uses the footage AFTER it's been cleaned up of most of its off-model errors.
Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot about One Piece's OST that really caught the fancy of my ears which is quite bizarre since there's usually one or two pieces of BGM that would stand out to my ears while watching. The OP/ED themes are fair enough, and I do have a fondness for a few of them (although I forget their numbers and I'm WAY too lazy to look them up at this point). I will say this though: Skypiea had some pretty damn good BGM even though I couldn't remember any specific tracks that stood out.
If you've ever done a basic Google search on One Piece, you'll probably find out that it had a rather turbulent distribution history here in the USA. It was initially picked up by 4Kids Entertainment and was aired on FOX during Saturday mornings (only to eventually air on Toonami during Saturday nights). Unfortunately, 4Kids has this nasty habit of editing the anime they license WAY past the point of compliance with FCC guidelines. For a full list of 4Kids edits, you can Google it. Most One Piece fans will urge you to stay away from the dub and honestly... I can't really blame them for that (especially now, since Funimation has been distributing One Piece for damn near 7 years and their dub is significantly better).
But if we were to take away the content edits that 4Kids was responsible for and focus solely on the actual dubbing, you'd be quite surprised. The actual dubbing isn't quite bad and if you want a real surprise, Marc Diraison (the voice of Guts in the English dub of Berserk) voices Roronoa Zoro in the 4Kids dub of One Piece. It's no stretch of the imagination to think that he's my favourite performance in the entire dub. Erica Schroeder, the voice of Luffy did a fair enough job in her role but some of her lines came off as a bit forced and unnatural (although I blame the ADR director for that, since the woman really is a talented voice actress).
As for the Funimation dub, I'd have to say that it's pretty damn good stuff. It's common to hear dub haters say that Colleen Clinkenbeard as Luffy and Brina Palencia as Tony Tony Chopper make their ears bleed, but that judgement is really left up to you. Both Clinkenbeard and Palencia do a great job with the roles they've been given, but I will concede that they can get rather irritating at times (of course, I blame the characters since their voices can be grating in the Japanese dub too). However, my favourite performances would definitely have to be Luci Christian as Nami and Christopher Sabat as Zoro (although I wish that Marc Diraison was still Zoro's voice actor because Guts). It's nice to hear Luci Christian's regular voice and Christopher Sabat not being a large ham and I wish more Funi dubs would play them straight rather than having Christian and Sabat doing exaggerated roles.
***ANIME VS. MANGA/HOW TO WATCH***
When it comes down to anime vs. manga, the manga always wins hands-down for one simple reason: lack of padding. Were it not for Toei Animation's overuse of padding, I'd heartily recommend the anime over the manga since it does have quite a lot going for it. However, it should be noted that you can alternate between the anime and the manga so that you don't have to plough through 760+ chapters or spend 6 months trying to catch up to the One Piece anime. Thankfully, the One Piece wikia can tell you what chapter(s) the episode you're watching is adapting and vice-versa.
Rather than sitting through the first 61 episodes, what I recommend is reading the first 100 or so chapters from the manga (it's not as much as it sounds, trust me) and then moving over to the anime at Episode 62. If you ever feel like an episode is dragging on in pace, look up the episode on the One Piece wikia and see what chapter(s) it's adapting, then go ahead and read the corresponding chapter so you don't have to sit through 20+ minutes of something that you could easily read in less than 3-4 minutes. If you feel like the chapter you're reading is confusing or whatever, look it up on the One Piece wiki and then watch the corresponding episode. It's as simple as that, really. What made you think you had to sit through all 670+ episodes to begin with? The manga does exist for a reason.
On the whole, One Piece is a very interesting beast to tackle. I like to imagine One Piece as the boss of the Big 3 with Naruto and Bleach standing by its side as its bumbling and incompetent henchmen. While the sheer episode count and turbulent distribution history may put you off from watching it, don't let that scare you. Whereas Studio Pierrot only began adapting Naruto and Bleach in 2005, One Piece has been going on since 1999 so of course there's going to be a stark difference in terms of episode count. For a series that's been going on for 15 years and counting with no end in sight any time soon, it's amazing as to how Eiichiro Oda is able to keep up this level of creativity. Are there low points? Of course, but thankfully they aren't THAT low and are instead very brief. Don't buy into the hate against this series since it's actually quite lovely.
***ALTERNATE ANIME RECOMMENDATIONS***
1) Hunter x Hunter (2011)
- The bonds between Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio are similar to the bonds shared between the Straw Hat pirates and what's more is that they both take place in bizarre worlds where fanciful occupations set the stage for tales of grand adventures just waiting to unfold.
- Both InuYasha and One Piece are more about the journey rather than the destination itself. Both shows comprise of large arcs that are split up between many smaller, easy-to-watch sub-arcs and standalone episodes. Both shows also put a lot of emphasis on friendship and trust (although InuYasha does so for different reasons; it IS a partially romantic story, after all).