Gol D. Roger, a man referred to as the "Pirate King," is set to be executed by the World Government. But just before his demise, he confirms the existence of a great treasure, One Piece, located somewhere within the vast ocean known as the Grand Line. Announcing that One Piece can be claimed by anyone worthy enough to reach it, the Pirate King is executed and the Great Age of Pirates begins.
Twenty-two years later, a young man by the name of Monkey D. Luffy is ready to embark on his own adventure, searching for One Piece and striving to become the new Pirate King. Armed with just a straw hat, a small boat, and an elastic body, he sets out on a fantastic journey to gather his own crew and a worthy ship that will take them across the Grand Line to claim the greatest status on the high seas.
One Piece is the highest selling manga series of all time, with over 380 million copies in circulation as of 2015. Volume 67 of the series currently holds the record for highest first print run of any manga (including books) of all time in Japan, with 4.05 million in 2012. The series was a finalist for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize three times in a row from 2000 to 2002. In 2012, it won the 41st Japan Cartoonists Association Award Grand Prize, alongside Kimuchi Yokoyama's Neko Darake.
VIZ Media has published One Piece in English under the Shonen Jump imprint since January 2, 2003 and in 3-in-1 omnibus editions since December 1, 2009. VIZ Media released two boxed sets for the manga, one includes the first 23 volumes of the manga and was released on November 5, 2013 while the other set includes volumes 24-46 and was released on November 4, 2014. The series has also been published in numerous amounts of languages worldwide including; Korean, Malay, Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish, and Russian.
Frequently categorized with both Bleach and Naruto as one of the Shonen Big Three, One Piece is a romantic tale of pirates, treasures ...talking reindeer, panties, flying skeletons, Takoyaki selling Octopuses, and oceans roaming with Sea Monsters the size of which can take down fleets of ships. Crazy enough for you? This is the world of One Piece.
Being categorized with Bleach and Naruto, on the surface this might strike an unfamiliar reader as another generic uncreative Shonen series; but truthfully, comparing One Piece to Bleach and Naruto would be like comparing Disney World to an elementary school playground. If these three series are the
big three, then One Piece would be the boss sitting on a lavish chair smoking a cigarette, while Bleach and Naruto would be the two henchmen standing side by side of the boss and nodding at everything he says.
Set during the Golden Age of Pirates, the story follows Monkey D Luffy as he sets sail with his crew to conquer the sea which is inhabited by formidable pirates who all aim to become the Pirate King, the Grand Line and claim the treasures of 'One Piece' left by the late Pirate King, Gol D Roger.
Of course the goal of being Pirate King really is just a loose objective set forward that eventually throws Luffy and his shipmates into a giant boiling pot full of problems and adventures. What's special about this story is that it takes the most run-of-the-mill concepts and turns it into something fantastic and exciting. The concept of traveling from drastically different locations after locations is filled with endlessly creative characters and creatures that sets it apart from ever being dull, as opposed to say, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle where traveling to new worlds is a borefest and you can only hope the next world is interesting, and well if it's not ...have fun reading an entire arc on that filled with recycled characters.
The main plot device used in One Piece are the Devil Fruits, which grant anyone that eats them inhuman powers though at the deadly price of sinking like an anchor in the water; here the strange irony being that this is a series about pirates constantly on water. What makes this concept actually interesting is that every fruit has a different power and no two powers are the same, and Oda's endless imagination to come up with strange and hilarious powers. Above that, what makes this concept better than say, Bankai's or Kekkei Genkai's, is that you never know how two powers match up, so the weakest Devil Fruit powers in the current arc could very well be the key factor to winning a battle in the next, in that way, none of the characters ever seem so overpowered that they can completely destroy the other characters and it certainly adds an air of suspension and excitement to the battles that you wouldn't find in something like Sasuke vs. Konohamaru.
The story of One Piece may be simple and often straight out silly at times, but if you read deep enough, you'll realize that oftentimes the stories are much deeper and well-crafted than you would think they are, from the spark of a rebellion through misunderstandings to the questioning of an unfair God, One Piece can often surprise you through the story. One of the great things about One Piece when it comes to the story is that it's unpredictable, you never know where a fight is going, what's going to happen to the characters, who's going to win and who's going to turn out to be a good guy and who's going to be a bad guy, it's this element that makes everything that happens so intriguing and an extremely fun read.
Another well-done part of the story is that the stories of the characters are all intertwined so that it doesn't seem like the only thing holding all these characters together is through the main protagonist, the main antagonist of one arc may very well know the supporting ally of the next, and that just contributes to a more interesting read. Another strong point of the story is that Oda isn't afraid to bring back old characters, be it enemies or comical side characters and villains, they aren't just cut out of the story once their arc is over, they come back, some as allies and friends, this, in a sense, really fleshes out the One Piece world and makes the reader feel that the world does not revolve around The Straw Hat Pirates, but instead, the pirates of the Grand Line, all in all, it adds a sense of dimension to the story and makes it feel not as linear as it could be in the hands of a less skilled mangaka.
But what ultimately makes the story of One Piece so grand and exciting is thanks to two major components: 1) the emotional depth, and 2), Oda's masterful storytelling. The emotional depth in this series is amazing and can oftentimes leave one speechless, from the simple departure of a character to join the Straw Hats to the rescue of a friend in need, it's not emotionally complex ...it's just plain raw emotion of wanting to be loved or the sadness of losing a friend yet it achieves such a level of pure emotion and excitement that the likes of Bleach and Naruto can only dream of achieving. Now the second component that makes One Piece great is how Oda tells the story, he can build up the story to the point where you can feel the urgency, the sense of despair, and the feeling of something great happening. He creates cliffhangers, yet never makes it irritatingly frustrating, he inserts flashbacks, yet they never feel out of place or annoying to read, and the way he builds up the fights is just, for the lack of better worlds, epic. People say Gurren Lagann is exciting, well I'd like to see those TTGL fans have a taste of what it feels as the Straw Hats infiltrate Enies Lobby or when The Eleven Supernovas gather at Sabaody Archipelago.
Combine this with the perfect blend of humor (this manga is absolutely hilarious) and the sheer creativity of Oda and you got yourself an adventure of unequaled proportions.
The bad thing with the art is that Oda's action sequences are so fast-paced and ambitious that it often times becomes muddled and a bit too messy; it gets hard to tell what's happening in these fight scenes and it takes a bit of imagination to understand what Oda is trying to do with these fight scenes, or else they come off rather cheesy at times, such as Luffy's Gomu Gomu no Gatling or Zoro's Kiki Kyūtōryū: Ashura.
The good on the other hand outweigh the bad of the art through the creative character designs that Oda just never seems to run out of, even if it's a character that appears in one panel and may never show up again, the utmost attention is given to his/her design so they never appear out of place compared to the other crazy designs he gives his characters. From the Okama Mr. 2 to the CP9 crew, the characters are all so different in appearance, size, and demeanor, it's hard to imagine how Oda keeps up. The sheer variability of the Straw Hat crew itself is a primary example of what a creative mangaka Oda is, as opposed to the recycled designs of his peers, Kishimoto and Kubo. Be it skeleton, reindeer, cyborg or witch, anyone and everyone is a likely candidate for the Straw Hat crew.
Aside from character designs, Oda really make the scenes feel cinematic and exciting, the tension and the sheer majestic and romantic quality of the adventure of the Straw Hats would never be fantastic without Oda's use of great art, from the crew getting ready to bombard Arlong Park to the storming of Enies Lobby, the examples go on. In short, Oda really knows how to pump you up through his art.
Lastly, the exaggerated expressions sometimes are just downright hilarious. I swear I laughed my ass off for at least five minutes when Enel made that huge WTF face after confronting Luffy.
This is where One Piece is particularly strong in, and where this series shine at its greatest. One Piece's cast is colorful, hilarious, and unpredictable. Currently, the Straw Hat crew consists of a rubber man, a pirate hunting pirate, a thief, a long nosed sniper, a womanizing cook, a transforming reindeer, a "witch", a cyborg that doesn't wear pants, and a walking skeleton.
Each character is unique, and when you throw a bunch like them together, the chemistry and interaction between the Straw Hat crew is comedic gold. And while they are almost always fooling around, each Straw Hat member has their own back stories that truly make them much deeper than what they appear to be at first. Brook is not just a joke character for variety, Nami is not just there to act like the straight man, Luffy isn't always a senseless fool, and Robin isn't just there to act like a damsel in distress (okay maybe she is ...kidding). The thing that needs to be pointed out is that the Straw Hat crew is a complex cast that is often much deeper than meets the eye.
Outside the crew, both the friends the Straw Hat meet and the villains they confront are so freshly colorful and original, it never gets boring. The Shichibukai are just a perfect example of the variety of the One Piece cast, as well as CP9 and of course, Baroque Works. I would say it's pretty hard to find another cast so distinctive and creative as One Piece's. Of course the Devil Fruits certainly help in bringing the characters to life.
Like previously mentioned, a strong point of the characters is how connected they are. The connections between characters are complex and can get pretty surprising sometimes. Who may appear as an old man could very well be friends with the former Pirate King and that whale that you saw at that mountain? Oh he's related to a guy you'll meet up with in a couple of hundred chapters. Some authors pull this kind of stuff out of nowhere (see: Kishimoto), but Oda plans out these kind of relations so intricately and carefully, you can't help but be impressed.
Are there weak points to the characters? Certainly, there's a storyline that seems awfully repeated for the female crew-members of the Straw Hats, but the scale of the story is so big, that in the end, it doesn't matter that much and that one little slip-up never seemed like a big deal to begin with.
This is the most enjoyable manga I have ever read. It's an absolute pleasure to read. Are there dull parts? At the beginning of every arc, there is always some exposition to be done, but once things enter full swing (and that is rather fast), damn, the chapters fly by in the hundreds, this is crack in manga form. If you want to know, I have spent entire days reading One Piece, that is how addicting this stuff is. With One Piece breaking records in sales in Japan, I think it speaks for itself when it comes to enjoyment.
One Piece is my favorite manga. Period. The story is such a grand and epic adventure, with each arc topping the previous; the characters are so tear-inducingly hilarious, and the art is so cinematic and exciting, One Piece is without the doubt, the greatest Shonen manga I've ever had the pleasure of reading, and I doubt it will be topped anytime soon, if ever, as my favorite manga series. Cheers to Oda for creating this Shonen masterpiece, and may he continue to keep on going, One Piece is a manga that I love and hope to read for many many many years to come.
The key of success for many shounen anime is usually how well the anime is adapted from the manga. So when people are disappointed with the results of the anime, they usually resort to simply just reading the manga and follow the storyline through that. One Piece is a result of one of the few rare cases out there where the anime adaptation has followed the manga almost tooth and nail, with pretty much nothing lost within the translation between the two. With the anime receiving high review results here on MAL, I decided to take a closer look at the manga,
and as far as shounen stories go, see if One Piece lives up to the accepted truth that the manga is better than the anime. This is not going to be your standard review. Because of the popularity of One Piece, where most fans know what it is already about, I will delve into more of the concepts, ideals and symbolism that sets apart One Piece from its counterparts.
We begin with the story. At this point in the game, I'm sure everyone who's reading this review or simply have been a fan of anime, know the general gist of what the plot is behind One Piece. If you don't, I will be the first one to say that you're probably living under a rock. Either that, or you're living at the north or south pole, isolated away from the anime civilization itself. Without straying too much off topic here, One Piece is a story about Monkey D. Luffy and his ragtag group of pirates, all trying to accomplish their respective goals, enduring hardships, heartaches, laughs, sadness, happiness and everything in between. As you read from chapter one and all the way through the latest arcs, you'll be unveiled to so many creative story developments, places, people and idea. That is what makes One Piece so fun, the creativity of it all. Eiichiro Oda (the manga-ka) has created such an amazing and unique world that it is something that you will have a hard time finding in other anime, if at all. Though the story seems simple at heart, as you read deeper into One Piece, you'll be unveiled to secret plots and hidden agendas that will have you shaking your legs in anticipation to see how everything will mesh together in the end.
The big difference in regards with the story of One Piece as compared to other shounen is the fact that the story actually gets better as the series progresses longer, breaking the age-old cliche that shounen titles usually carry, where the story will start to suffer the longer the series goes on. Oda has managed to introduce a plethora of different sub-plots that he flawlessly weaves together with the overarching aim of the story about friendship, the sense of adventure and the joys and heartaches that come with the pursuit of your dream. It takes awhile for the sub-plots to start developing, as Oda will subtlety leave hints and clues early on in his story that will blow you out of the water when you encounter them much later. This clearly shows that Oda knows exactly where he wants to go with the story.
One Piece has fallen under heavy scrutiny from all kinds of anime fans because of the different art style that Oda utilizes in his epic story. Honestly, it is a hit or miss. I have found that you will either love it or hate it and as a result, will either love One Piece or hate the anime. As unfortunate as that sounds, its the simple truth I have discovered about the art style. However, I do urge you to give it a shot because if there is anything that grows on you, it is this art style. As you read more and more and get used to seeing the art drawn "One Piece style," you'll - hopefully - grow to accept and love the style. The art style starts off not so great, but again, as the story develops, you can easily see how Oda and his assistants were able to refine the art to something that works, and looks, beautifully.
Going into other aspects of the drawings, everything is relatively easy to follow, especially the epic fights as compared to other shounen manga out there. It's a nice change of pace where you can actually understand what's going on. Backgrounds are given a nice amount of detail and character designs are original and fresh, with different arcs having characters with different clothes and such.
Arguably, the biggest strength of One Piece, that brings it over the top, is the characters and their developing relationships with one another. Luffy's crew has the most original and different mannerism characters you'll ever see in shounen anime and its a wonder how they all get along in the first place (then again, they all don't get along). Though Luffy is your typical shounen hero who is not bright, a black hole for a stomach (though in One Piece, his huge appetite has an actual reason behind it) and courageous when needed, what sets Luffy apart from other shounen heros is his hilarious personality. His comic relief is so funny that you'll be laughing out loud at some of the things he does. The same can be said about the other crew members, and really, every major character in One Piece itself. All characters have a defining trait or quality that you'll either love to pieces or hate with a passion. Watching as they interact with one another and often times their completely opposite personalities clashing with one another, it only provides great room for developing relationships between the many characters in One Piece.
And it is these great developments between characters in One Piece that leads to the biggest theme the encompasses One Piece - friendship...or as stated a seemingly infinite number of times - nakama. However, the word nakama, though commonly referred to as friend, comrade and such, has a deep-rooted meaning that cannot be described in words. More than friends, bonds running deeper than blood can tie people together, you get the picture. In order to understand the meaning, you really need to immerse yourself into One Piece and until you hear/read Luffy (who, by the way, is the only character who can say I will protect my nakama and look cool in doing so) say exactly that.
When you come right down to it, what sets apart One Piece from other long-running shounen is the plethora of genres that not only exist in One Piece, but really come alive and apparent. To begin with, an essential part of One Piece is it's comedy. While other shounen try to input comedy as much as possible, usually it doesn't live up to expectations or is very scarce within the story. One Piece is filled with comedy that, as I stated up above, will make you laugh out loud. And this is only accentuated by the great drawings of Oda himself.
However, as much as the humor is a big part of One Piece, there are also many stunning events that will draw a lot of passion out of you, whether it be a feeling of sadness, happiness, anger or simply have you staring in the page at awe, Again, I cannot stress this enough that One Piece is a story that has every single plot element you can wish for. Well, with the exception of a true romance, but because of the nature of the characters, it's kind of hard to see a budding romance evolve. And as a result, Oda wisely has left it out to date. You'll see a everything from mystery, suspense, drama, a little dash of horror, etc.
Overall, for roughly every two or three die-hard fans of One Piece, you'll probably find one person who can't stand the series. Which pretty much goes to show you that regardless of what rumors you may hear about how amazing or how ridiculous One Piece is, it is something you must experience for yourself and give it a fair chance. I will play devil's advocate and say that One Piece is slow to start off with, where the story really doesn't pick up until the Arlong Arc. Until Luffy recruits the first four or five crew members, then the hilarious character interactions start coming alive. And coincidentally, that is when the plot starts to hit its stride, with Oda starting to leave his hints of what's to come later. It does take some patience.
If anything, I urge you to read up to there and a little further so you can get a sense of what's to come. If you still can't understand why its so epic, its safe to say you may drop the series. However, when you compare One Piece to other shounen anime of its kind, and really, all anime and manga to date, there is no other story out there as epic, as emotional, as developing, as truly amazing as what Oda is telling in One Piece.
One Piece is the most overrated piece of fiction I’ve ever read. It’s mostly about a roaming crew of do-gooder clichés that travel the high seas. Each character has a dream (which they will never achieve because this cash cow will never end) and of course a tragic backstory to go with it. One Piece is somehow popular while having the worst character designs in anime, includes countless scenes of characters sobbing like crybabies, and will drag on to the point no one will care anymore. Honestly, if you want a shonen that doesn’t insult your intelligence and make you feel like you’re reading something
written by a smarter than average 10 year old, then don’t pick this up.
Story: While there are some decent dramatic moments here and there, they’re almost always forced as much as possible and accompanied by over the top water faucet tears or something else as corny that makes you want to punch a hole in the wall. Not only that, but it’s the same thing each time.
Straw Hat crew arrives at an island, the people are friendly but something is wrong. We then meet the villain who is doing stereotypical villain things. Luffy hotheadedly decides he is gonna save the day and starts yelling. Luffy takes on the boss and his crew mates take on the underlings. They are stronger than expected, but through the power of friendship and encouragement from the people of the island they will themselves to victory with their new attacks they just invented. With everything said and done, celebration is had, and the Straw Hats leave as the citizens thank them and promise to always remember their kindness. Repeat for hundreds of chapters. If that sounds boring to you, then good, it’s very lame.
Let me add that people harp on about how great the world building is, but the world is just a nonsensical LSD theme park with clouds you can stand on and other magical stuff that never gets a good explanation and you’re just expected to eat it up and suspend your disbelief.
Art: Not much needs to be said here, One Piece’s art hardly looks like anime at all, but rather doodles from a 3rd grader’s math textbook.
Character: Characters are terribly developed and never really change. Usopp remains a cowardly person forever, Sanji remains a scrawny Johnny Bravo knock off that is impossible to take seriously, Luffy remains an unlikable annoying man child "who always stands up to the bad guy with no fear" (that's all his character amounts to though, lol and there is no originality), Zoro is your cookie cutter “badass” character, etc the characters are bad, have no actual depth, and are uninteresting.
Enjoyment: Clearly some people enjoy this, but I certainly didn’t. I read it in bursts, people kept trying to drill into my head how great it was so I kept going back, forced myself to read another 200 or so chapters, then got sick and put it back down. Now I write this review to tell you how lousy I think this comic is.
Overall: One Piece is poor. Yes, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, Attack on Titan, Death Note, and many others are great shonen stories that I encourage people to read and enjoy.
Length: 514 chapters, compiled in 51 volumes [So far. This manga has been going since 1997, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.]
Plot: It is the grand era of the pirates, brought upon when the great Gold D. Roger was executed 22 years ago. Pirates from all over search for his great treasure, the One Piece, hidden in the treacherous waters of the Grand Line.
Our adventure begins when an 8 year old boy, Monkey D. Luffy, eats the Gum Gum Fruit, one of the many Devil Fruits – a mystical fruit that will give you supernatural
powers, while robbing you of your ability to swim. He gained the ability to stretch any part of his body, as he is now, quite literally, a rubber man. His dream is to become a pirate – and he does so, 10 years later. He travels the seas, picking up crew members, fighting against evil pirates and the Shichibukai, the pirate slaves of the government, and then facing the dangers of the Grand Line in order to capture One Piece and become the king of all pirates.
Analysis: It’s a fun manga to read. When it started, it was only supposed to go on for 5 years or so – you can tell this just from the way the plot works out in the beginning. It moves along a lot faster and the fight scenes aren’t as long as they get.
The characters are more loped on than anything – they aren’t given much of a background before joining, and there isn’t much reason for them to do so. However, later on, the manga gets very exiting. Characters are given a lot more depth before we even know that they’ll be joining the crew – sometimes we don’t even know if they’ll be joining at all.
That being said, the plot of the manga is very good. Because its such an open ended dream – become king of the pirates, get one piece – there are many things that can happen in between. This is furthered by the grand line by itself – its made of up many islands, each of which has their own magnetic pull – you need a special device, called a lock post to navigate through the islands. In order to get the lock post to lock, you have to stay on each island for a specific amount of time, which can vary. Its basically an excuse to have an adventure, and it works out really well.
As the manga goes on, the characters start to reveal themselves more fully. It’s the great part about having such a long manga, that you can develop the characters a lot. It also leaves room for very long fights, most of which are really well done. They’re fun to watch, and they’re filled with suspense. My only problem with them is this – the protagonist, Luffy, is extraordinarily strong, all due to his self training that was done during the 10 year time skip in the first chapter. We never actually see him training for anything. He gains one technique in one of the last arcs, and he made it up kinda spur of the moment. It just seems very unlikely that he can beat some of the strongest pirates in the world without training.
Finally, there is the matter of the grand line. Ignoring the sheer impossibility of the entire place, in the first part of the manga, the grand line is described as a place full of horror, fear, death, and destruction. Now, while the latter two might be true [there certainly are a lot of fights there], it doesn't seem like something very scary. The only real big deal are the pirates who you can circumvent [or fight – if you're too weak, then shame on you]. Everyone makes a big deal about how scary the grand line is, but i just don't see it. Now, it is dangerous mind you – the weather patterns make it almost impossible to navigate, which makes for very scary waters to travel through. But nothing as to the extent that you are made to believe.
Now, for fun, I thought that i would compare the pirates of one piece to the pirates of the real world [Yes, there is such a thing]
For the first part, the pirate ship does not work as it does in the manga. Its not a matter of who is the strongest in terms of fighting ability – rather, for the most part, it was done democratically, with the crew electing who the captain is. Their targets would not be a treasure, whether by following a map [of which the idea entirely came from Treasure Island], but any passing merchant ships. Most of the time, pirates would be working for a government – these were called privateers. It was often hard to tell the difference. Fights were not decided by who was the stronger fighter. They were usually decided by who caused the biggest amount of damage to the other ships. In most cases pirates would win without a fight, due to their fearsome reputation.
Next is the pirate flag. The jolly roger as we know it, and as every pirate crew has [although edited some per crew] in One Piece, wasn't prominent in a lot of ships. Often it would be a black flag for fight to the death, or red flag for fight with mercy. If it wasn't this, then it would be a national flag to try and lure prizes [ships] into a sense of false security.
Pirates were not respected by most people. They were seen as barbaric brutes who only were out for themselves. This is almost the exact opposite as the manga – pirates are often seen as a hope for people, while some people hate them.
The fact that there are women pirates in One Piece is astounding. Now, i don't have anything against women, but in history there have only been 5 reported cases. There might have been more, but either way it is a very rare occurrence. The women pirates in One Piece are often very important members of the crews, and in some cases lead them as the captain.
Finally, the last thing that I can remember is the noted lack of ships on the sea. Even before making it to the Grand Line, the only ships that you see are either pirate ships or marine ships. Its as though boats only exist for those two purposes.
Please note that I'm only going to do the first 5 crew members, who are the ones that appear before the Grand Line. I'm doing this in order to avoid spoilers to the maximum, because generally a character joins at the end of an arc. I'm also not covering the villians, because they are usually arc specific. Secondary characters are not being covered as well because, even this far into the manga, we don't know alot about the important ones.
Strawhat Luffy, AKA Monkey D. Luffy: The hero of the story, he ate the Gomu Gomu Fruit [Gum Gum Fruit] when he was eight years old. Upon doing so, he gained the powers to stretch any part of his body to any length imaginable, however he gave up the ability to swim. He gained his nickname, Strawhat, from the straw hat that he always wears on his head. It was a gift from Red-Haired Shanks, a pirate whose crew used Luffy's town as base when he was young. It is his most treasured possession, and it becomes the symbol for his pirate crew.
Luffy is a very simple boy. He has a strong moral code, and he's not too smart. However, he is a very strong fighter. He has high agility and strength, which he calls out to its fullest when used in combination with his rubber-stretching powers, which usually consists of him flinging his arm back, then letting it snap forward to hit his opponent. Its more complicated than that, but its hard to describe in words. He LOVES meat - it is the only thing that can give him enough energy to do anything.
Roronoa Zoro: The second person to join Luffy's crew, and its 1st mate, he is a master swordsman. There is one difference between him and normal swordsmen however – he uses three swords [He places the third in his mouth]. He made a promise to a childhood friend/rival to become the greatest swordsman in the world, and as such whenever facing a swordsman he tries his hardest never to lose, even if losing would mean walking away alive. His strength is amazing [and his teeth are most likely made out of diamonds, as well as having a mouth as dry as the desert], and before joining the crew, was feared as one of the best pirate hunters. He has a fierce rivalry with Sanji [Look Below]
Zoro is a fun guy. Like Luffy, he isn't too smart, but he is very loyal. He has a terrible sense of direction, and as such usually gets lost. His skills, as mentioned, are very good. While he has not eaten any Devil Fruits, he can beat most of them. Fun fact about his attacks – most of them are named after food, and are puns. For example, one of the first 'special' attacks that he uses is Oni Giri. Oni means demon, and Giri means slash, so therefor it would mean Demon Slash. However, an Onigiri is a rice ball thats often eaten as a snack. The same is true for his swords – the kanji for them can be read multiple ways, mimicking food or something deadly.
Nami: The third to join the crew, she serves as the ship's navigator. Before joining them, she introduced herself as the pirate thief, stealing treasure only from other pirates. She is really one of the only ones with any brains in her head. She acts as the ship's conscience for a good part of the series, and while to start off she didn't have any fighting skills, they grew later on as a result of her feeling weak and helpless.
When Nami first shows up, you don't know whether or not she is going to join – she disappears for a while, then shows back up. She is the first one to have a real strong plot and back story appear, and as such is very memorable.
Usopp: The fourth to join the crew [Gee, I wonder if I'm going in some sort of order here ...], he is the ship's sniper. He has a very big head and is full of himself, often calling himself the captain before being shot down [Get it? He's the sniper and he's being shot down ... Ha ha ha ... Punny ... :(]. His father is a part of Shank's crew, and its partly for this reason that Luffy takes a liking to him. He's also a very big liar, and he loves making up stories to impress other people with his amazing, but very fake, deeds. For a lot of the series, he is a gag character, but he gains a lot of strength later on.
Usopp is mostly used as comic relief. Until one of the arcs, he is not too strong, but his attacks are always fun to watch. He uses a slingshot to do his sniping with, and he has an assortment of bullets, ranging from explosions to hot pepper. Contrary to what it appears, he can analyze situations very easily. His most defining feature is his nose ... which sticks out a foot in front of his face. He is also a big coward.
“Black Legged” Sanji: The fifth to join the crew, and the last to do so before the Grand Line, he is the chef of the ship. He was taught how to cook and fight by Red-Legged Sef, and as the name suggests, only fights with his legs. His dream is to find Deep Blue, a place where all of the oceans in the world intersect, that contains every species of fish imaginable. He loves women of all sort – except if they're ugly. But, even if they are, he will never hit a woman. The only times that he gets angry is when food/cooking is insulted, or if a woman is harmed. That, or any time that he is in the same room with Zoro, who as mentioned before, has a rivalry with.
Sanji is a good character. After Nami, he is the most level-headed of the crew, but he can still be an idiot sometimes. He is the third strongest in the crew, and like the first two, he has a strong code of honor. He constantly smokes a cigarette, which was changed to a lollipop in American versions of the manga/anime.
Overall, I really liked this series. Its quite addicting, even though it is rather long. I read it in a week, which was only possible because I was under a bet and I kinda forgot about doing everything else during that time. I highly recommend reading this [But definitely at a slower pace than what I did. Maybe do like 2 volumes a night]. I wish that i could have written a better summary, but its hard to do so with this manga without giving anything away. Maybe in a bit I'll go back, look it over, and rewrite it. Here are some pictures depicting some of the fights – these aren't the best in the series, nor are these comedy shots. Like I said earlier, the manga gets a lot better as it gets on, in terms of fights and comedy. I tried to not go too far into the manga so as not to ruin anything, but these pictures don't fully represent how good this manga is. Not only that, but the quality of the manga increases - another good part about it being so long is that you can see the artwork change over time.
review taken from animeruwlez, check out my profile for more details