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
One piece is a shonen manga so I went in not expecting much story-wise, and I got what i was expecting. I just have to point out something first. This is a manga about pirates. They sail the high seas looking for treasure, fame, and fortune. They steal and they kill to get what they want, when they want. That's why they're pirates. But NEVER in the whole manga do they go searching for treasure except for one peice. They don't kill and they don't steal. So i'm sorry, in my mind they're not pirates. This is also one of those manga where nobody
ever dies. No main characters die, no bad guys even die. The fights always end the same. Good guys win and the bad guys are knocked out. Same formula used 1000 times over. It gets old fast.
I want to break this up into 2 catagories. Quality, and style. For the quality, it's pretty good. There is a nice amount of detail put into all the panels and you can really tell that the artist put time and effort into drawing this manga. Quality alone it gets a 7,8, or maybe even 9.
Now to style: The next time i have to see a girl that has a bigger hand then a waist i'm going to kill somebody. It's completely ridiculous. Theres gigantic round people, stick women, and ridiculously sized animals. It's in all honesty, stupid looking. My eyes would hurt after reading just a few chapters in a row. Because of this it took me a fairly long amount of time to read 200 chapters. I had to keep taking breaks so my eyes could heal up from the ridiculousness. The art style drags quality down big time.
The characters are your average shonen characters. The strong, serious guy. The goofy but gets stronger when he's mad guy, the just goofy guy, the talking rein deer (okay well that ones original)...but none of them have any development. Nothing original. Nothing unique. Just blah. Loofy is probably the worst. He's always happy and stupid. But when he fights he looses all his personality and gets all pissed, strong, and serious. Theres about a million main characters like that. There is just way too much genericness to rate them any higher.
I had to stop at the sky island part. The character designs got so stupid I thought I was going to throw up. The fights all end the same. I can't even believe I made it that far in the manga. Nothing much else to say, just a pain to read.
I hated this manga. It had a long, and horible story. God awful character designs to go along with god awful characters. I mentioned wanting to throw up at one point. It gets a well deserved 1 overall.
- the world of one piece is epic, it has lot of side & twist :
1. WG aka world government : Navy(fleet Admiral, Admiral, Vice Admiral,etc) ,
CP9 (CIA Like), 5 Gorousei(5 elder), World Nobles
2. shicibukai (7 god of pirate, this pirate work for WG but has own separated agenda)
3. 4 yonkou (4 pirate that rules over half of the grand line)
4. the revolutionary that free country from WG
5. rookies pirates, other pirate(foxy pirate, etc)
6. every island has it's own unique world, organization & character
7. sea king ( lots of animal monster that live under
8. there is major secret plot : lost history, ancient weapon, devil fruit, and the story of One Piece it self
-every concept & story it's been prepared long2 away
1. one piece is the only manga that has short story that tells the progress of old character in every chapter and this story sometimes will related to the main story
2. the character that appear long years ago in short story appear latter in main story ex: camie, garp, etc
3. the time line world of one piece is so detailed & happen in long freaking epic years (http://onepiece.wikia.com/wiki/One_Piece_Timeline)
4. the ending has already been decided according author's interview
5. don't forget pandaman ^^
-the story of one piece is so unpredictable ( ODA is simply a genius)
1. the char has big mouth (con:childish, pro: it can express more emotion to the character)
2. the char is unique not like other manga, it's not a pretty boy but it has own coolness & wacky moment
3. every island in one piece has unique feel, and it's perfectly portrayed
4. the author like to draw animal, there is variety great art of surreal animal
- there are many side so there will be lots of character,the different is
1. every character has unique look & feel, it's has own unique attitude(even the laugh of every character is different)
2. every character has freaking hilarious moment ^^
3. every main character has it's own unique roles(there is no one that useless)
4. every character have unique background, and have dream of it's own
5. every main character progress is execute in slow and good way (someone notice nami breast grew larger^^)
6. the progress of other character is maintained (through short stories)
after 500+ chapter it's not losing it's grip, it's even get better
Thinking about reading this series? You are obviously skeptic. No kidding. You have every right to be dead scared to even attempt One Piece. I do not blame you, not at all. Most of us did not think we would like it at first, either. In this review, I am just going to simply tackle your skepticism and that is it. If you are skeptic, it is for one or more of the following reasons:
1. Length- It is long. You may think that there is no possible way that you can follow a series this long. You may think that it could go downhill after
awhile and let you down.
2. Art- The art is crazy. It is absolutely nuts, and don`t let anybody tell you otherwise. You are completely right when you think that the art is weird, because it is simply that.
3. Popularity- This is deadly popular and mainstream. Popular things often turn off one who likes intelligent anime, due to obsessive young fanbases or for other reasons.
4. Genre- You may be a seinen fan, like me, or a fan of some other random genre. Either or, One Piece looks stupid and completely childish. You are not alone- it is acceptable to assume that your chances of liking this manga are slim.
That out of the way, of course I will tell you that this manga is good. What else were you expecting? I cannot sit here and try to give you a critical review, evaluate the pros and cons, because there are no major cons. I am completely beat. If you are searching for an intelligent review that effectively lists the pros and cons of this manga, it is going to be difficult to find. Any bad things in this manga are not even worth mentioning, because they are overshadowed by the awesome. That sounds immature, but it is absolutely true. The thing about One Piece is that you either really love it, or you really hate it. Isn't it the same for everything that is unique?
Now, I will tackle the four points I made before:
1. Length- Every reader that enjoys One Piece will be begging for more at the end. Once you get into it, the chapters will fly by. This series does not let you down. It keeps improving, honestly. Even after 600 chapters, it is still fresh and interesting. It also maintains structure. Even the stupidest people would not be able to follow One Piece religiously like they have.
2. Art- Yes, it is screwed up. It takes awhile to get used to. Try to deal with it for a little awhile, because you will get used to it. Once you adapt to the strange art style, you may fall in love with it. You may find that the art is excellent at expressing both comedy and emotion.
3. Popularity- The manga has extremely high ratings, no matter where you look. Most popular things suck, I know. But my hands are tied. I do not want to be cliché and say that this is popular for a reason, but it truly does deserve its popularity. I mean, seriously, just look at it. This series is about colorful pirates. A. Rubber. Pirate. There is no way something like this could maintain high ratings and gain popularity among all ages without being good inside the book.
4. Genre- One Piece is shonen, but it is also its own genre, and I will repeat this phrase. An interesting fact is that more adults read this series than kids. I can see why. It has more than enough material for adults to enjoy. It may give you a laugh when you are feeling suicidal.
And maybe you won`t like this manga. Maybe you won`t like One Piece at all, but that is fine, because it is not for everyone. In my opinion, this manga is for anybody who is open minded to everything. Do not read it with the intention of dropping it, because you will do just that. Do not read it critically, trying to find extreme character and plot development, because this is a shonen. It does not have psychological warfare for seinen fans, or love stories for shoujo fans. Another thing that differs One Piece from other series’ is that it does not completely fall into the stereotypical shonen genre. While it is shonen, with its fights and non-stop action, it is something else entirely. I can`t even compare it to anything. It creates its own unique universe, and you will understand what I mean if you read it. And especially do not compare it to Naruto or Bleach, because One Piece is just too screwed up compared to them. While the shonen genre is generally screwed up by itself, this manga is an enhanced version of WTF. You need to be open minded to deal with it. I am calling One Piece is messed up, because it is, but it is also intelligent.
Did I just call this retarded looking manga intelligent? Now you definitely must think I am stupid, and maybe I am. Heck, you need to be a little bit insane to enjoy this series. There are many different ways to define an "intelligent series", and I call a series is intelligent when the creator puts a lot of time, research, and thought into it. A manga is intelligent when it maintains enjoyment throughout. The characters come to life, creates its own world, and the audience does not feel like they are reading the manga, but they feel like they are a part of the action. A work is especially intelligent when it goes down in history. This manga plays a significant part of Japanese culture and it has affected the lives of people around the world. Of course, there are many other definitions of an intelligent work, and One Piece will fit most, if not all, definitions. You can tell that the creator is having as much fun drawing it as we are reading it.
I may call One Piece intelligent- but remember, I am also calling it messed up. It is one of those things that is so weird that it becomes intelligent. You will not read anything else that can really relate to its craziness, because One Piece is a big gourmet dish made with insane ingredients. It looks awful, and when you first taste it, it may still be gross- but then after tasting it some more, you become starved without it.
Yes, it has a structured plot that is well planned out. Yes, it has character development. They are as multidimensional as shonen characters can possibly get. This is hard to believe at first, but One Piece is full of surprises. You will indeed end up falling in love and sympathizing with everyone. This series is highly enjoyable, and it will make you laugh. The character interaction is absoutely hysterical and you never get tired of it. Occasionally, it may even put you on an emotional rollarcoaster. Do not be afraid to enjoy this manga. If you like it, you will not regret reading it. It is not going to contaminate you. You can just stick with the manga, which is the only masterpiece in the series anyway.
It is not going to take your entire life to read it. There is no need to go on to the anime. However, you may feel the need to watch the anime, because the manga is that good. Just stop worrying, and just go try it. You may even end up finding out that, being as messed up and stupid as this manga is, it actually deals with a lot of real themes that express human nature and emotion. If you are not a shonen fan, but you are open to new things, give it a try anyway. Once you get comfortable with this strange series, you are in for one hell of a ride.
One Piece has officially hit its halfway mark, spanning from August 1997 - September of 2010. Yes, it has gone on for more than a decade, and it's only at its halfway mark. There will be some questions that will arise from those curious about One Piece from this little tidbit, but they'll be addressed. Anyway, I feel that since One Piece has its confirmed "first half" done, it deserves another review.
One Piece. The first thought that entered my mind when I hit the "Write a Review" button is "...where do I even begin?" This is a VERY difficult series to review, because you cannot
simply describe it, it must be experienced.
Well, let's get down to it. I must stress that if I was able to, I would give One Piece an 11/10, and that would be MILDLY putting my enjoyment of the series; I'd rather give it a 15/10.
WARNING: BEFORE ANYTHING IS SAID, I MUST WARN YOU THAT ONE PIECE GETS *SAD*! DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE ART!
This is the main draw of people to One Piece from my experience. So many things happen in such a short span of time. "But it's gone on for over 13 years!" you wail, "Doesn't it drag?" Not in the freaking SLIGHTEST. In fact, so much is jam-packed into the panels nowadays that some people think it's TOO fast-paced, but they're hardly complaining. After you watch an episode of One Piece then watch another show, you'll be tapping your foot impatiently saying "Hurry up!" The brisk pace of the story -- that somehow manages to never leave one stone unturned -- is a major perk of One Piece.
But what would a fast-paced story be without interesting events occurring within it? Many manga that are not One Piece, for one. But really, a story must be able to keep the reader's attention, and One Piece does this from chapter ONE. So many characters, ideals, oddities, etc. are introduced in chapter one that you can't help but wonder just where the heck these things will lead.
And where they lead is a vast sea full of possibilities. Oda is often known for "weaving" his story "flawlessly"; that's because seemingly unimportant characters and objects introduced right in plain sight at some point may become HUGELY important later, all unbeknownst to the reader. And they all fit into the world and lore of One Piece, which is yet another amazing aspect of the series.
The world for One Piece is absolutely ginormous. While some anime may only take place at a school and a house or two, One Piece takes place at a variety of scenically eye-popping landscapes. These range from a humble gigantic fish-boat restaurant to a water metropolis that highly resembles Rome. The islands they've been to so far in the story are well in the tens, and each one is usually HUGE with its own sub-districts.
The world may seem like a paradise at first, but it can range from that to being absolutely chaotic. When the story picks up and they head to "that place", that's when shit hits the fan, and many more dangerous characters, weather conditions, struggle for survival, etc. all come into play. And that's another thing about One Piece, it can range from a paradise to absolute chaos in its story as well. One Piece will give you a full spectrum of emotions. Tears of joy (many times), tears of sadness (many times), tension, curiosity, freedom, excitement, horror (occasionally), hopelessness, et cetera. And that is because with the environments varying so wildly, so do the locales and personalities, which can cause clashes of ideals, and turn a fun little island stroll to a dark, drama-packed boiling pot that leaves your stomach unsettled.
An initial turn-off for some for the series, a jumping-in point for others. Either way, if you haven't read the series, don't dare try to act like you know anything about the art.
The art has constantly evolved throughout the series, largely for the better, beginning with its humble simple cartoon-ish structure and eventually evolving into the super-detailed "not-wasting-an-inch" background-loaded megalith that it is today, still retaining its fun cartoon-y nature.
The art can range from "raw", to insanely detailed, to comedic. It all depends on what the story is demanding at that moment. In short, stick with it, and you will see the art slowly start to improve greatly throughout the series, leaving all other weekly series in the dust in terms of non-computer-generated detail.
Even if One Piece didn't have its super-amazing-chocolatey-fudge-coated story, the characters would more than make up for it.
While some stories may have their characters eating a slice of cake, One Piece constantly has gears moving. Every character you see is usually doing SOMETHING, and that ESPECIALLY applies for the major players. Don't like the fact that in other series one of the main characters hardly gets any time to shine? One Piece is the exact opposite in that it'll give even the ugly ducklings their extended spotlight.
After reading One Piece for a while and kind of connecting with the way the author tells the story, you will notice that he absolutely ADORES his characters and cradles them like babies. Have that one character you saw a while ago and wish he came back? One Piece has done this with many, many of its characters, making them go from zero to hero in a span of episodes, when you thought you'd never see them again.
One Piece's characters range from ... HUFF *takes deep breath*: normal people, pirates, locals, giants, dugongs that know kung-fu, giant animals such as crabs and sky snakes, transsexuals (portrayed in a completely awesome way), demons, zombies, angels, mermaids, a talking skeleton ...... I think you get the point.
No matter how serious they are, 99% of the characters are zany in some way and have a quirk. And for a cast that has more than one thousand characters (1-0-0-0), I cannot think of but a handful that I dislike, and that's a slight dislike at that; can't stroke everyone the right way. One Piece is basically THE go-to manga for badasses, quirky characters, idealists, etc. But it mostly seems to pump out badasses like a gigantic testosterone-fueled assembly line. Most One Piece characters, from the seemingly simple crew to a mass-murderer-Hitler incarnate, have multiple, realistic dimensions to them. You could find the main character agreeing with the mass-murderer one second, then kicking his ass the next.
As if the other things didn't put it ahead of other manga and anime, the sheer joy and emotion and heart you will get out of this masterpiece puts it leaps and bounds ahead. Only giant long-considered-classic monsters of manga are able to compete with One Piece, like Berserk, in enjoyment. From the interactions of the characters to the insanely detailed islands to every character getting a chance to shine to the sheer unpredictability, One Piece has MULTITUDES of things to cater to everyone, which would explain why One Piece is the most popular manga in ALL age groups in Japan, not just the teenage age group. One Piece is so enjoyed that its sales have been 23,000,000, with the next-leading manga being 3,000,000.
Basically, One Piece is proof that popularity does not make something bad, and that a God actually does exist.
It is my favorite manga of all time, and it is Japan's as well. Just to give you a grasp of just how popular it is, they have STADIUMS devoted to One Piece in Japan. Oda (author of One Piece) was voted the 50th Most Influential Person in Japan, being the highest manga author on the list.
Please note, by reading this review you only know less than 0.1% of the series. Go read it, go watch it, go change your life.
One Piece is a monument in the manga/anime world. There is not another work that can be named that is so loved, so large, and so acclaimed.
For all that, though, the sensation lingers that maybe its faults have been washed from view by the massive wave of hype and adoration surrounding it.
I have read One Piece, to the at-the-time current chapter, at least three times. It was always a struggle to maintain focus and interest. Several flaws continuously added upon themselves, until they drowned out my view.
This review attempts to address the many faults of the manga, from the most objective point of
view--that of a reader who neither hates nor loves the series, who holds no real emotions towards it.
The story reads like the ecstacy-driven doodle-comics of a child. The various arcs are surreal in basis, and character designs are fantastical. This is not in and of itself a bad thing--sometimes it is amusing to see what the mangaka comes up with next--but after hundreds upon hundreds of chapters of zany crazy hijinks, it all blurs together. There is a constant high output of crazy; however, after so many readings, a tolerance is reached, and it is no longer remarkable or engaging.
There is a well-developed fan theory that makes what I feel is a conclusive case for the end of the manga. It points to many hints and threads carried throughout the arcs, and weaves a pattern for the rest of the show, based off of real historical accounts. Many point to this theory as a sign of Oda-sensei's ability to create great plots. This is very, very wrong. This fan theory, while solid in nature, was only noticed by one reader, who had an extraneous amount of knowledge on key parts of the subject. Foreshadowing serves a purpose in literature--its primary purpose is to hint at what is to come, but more importantly, it builds excitement in the readers, and by fueling fan conspiracy, allows fans to become engaged in the work. This fan theory, while solid, is based off of hints so subtle that the audience at large passed by them, unnoticed, and if not that, misinterpreted them entirely. The foreshadowing failed in this regard.
Like the story, the art is completely surreal. This is not to the benefit of the manga. Many will point to the elaborate backgrounds and surrounding action in large panels as signs of devotion and talent. I will not dispute the former, but the latter is definitely not the case. Artists need to be able to draw the reader's attention to important pieces of action. This is accomplished in many ways--through line thickness, framing, and level of detail. Oda-sensei fundamentally lacks the ability to focus layers of the background in meaningful ways. Some panels have so many details that just looking at them hurts. There is simply too much unsorted information to process, and it meshes together into a meaningless blur. In short, complexity and details do NOT automatically make a manga superior to any one or another. It requires balance, which One Piece lacks.
Here I will address both the general character design and the artistic design. The characters are, for the most part, loud, excitable, hooplah-generating machines. While there are characters who are "quieter", like Chopper or Nico, their characters often seem to get caught up in the overwhelming wave of energy that is mass-produced from other characters. I am certain that in any other manga these characters would be excessively loud in their own regard.
By loud, I mean that the characters lack much subtlety. They all have their reasons for sailing with Luffy, and they all have goals and dreams and backstory. However, their baseline personalities are caricatured versions of the person that these histories would've otherwise produced. Sanji is OBSESSED WITH WOMEN, Zoro is OBSESSED WITH SWORDS AND STRENGTH, Usopp IS A COWARD EXCEPT HE PULLS HIMSELF TOGETHER FOR HIS NAKAMA, Franky ALWAYS NEEDS MORE MODIFICATINS, Brooks IS LITERALLY BONES AND MUSIC AND PUNS, Nami IS A STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN. It's all so superficial; they all lack nuance. It's boring and annoying and grating after 700+ chapters of the same shallow characterizations.
One of my largest issues with One Piece is the simple visual character designs. I understand that the manga is surrealistic; however, there is a limit to how noodly people can get (and I'm not just talking about Luffy!) If people are thin or normal, then they are streched out, strange thin bendable shades of people. The opposite does not improve the situation; when they are large, they are just a mountain with eyes and appendages. One can capture the essential form of a person and transform it into a surreal caricature which still manages to express the essential qualities of a person; this mangaka cannot do that. People become monstrous, and it eventually feels like I'm reading a webcomic about an entirely different species.
The manga is popular. The manga is huge. The manga grosses more money than any other.
The manga's story has been the same theme for so long that it has lost its flavor. The manga's art shows severe deficiencies in simple framing abilities. The manga's characters are as shallow as the plot.
It's not terrible, being as large as it is. However, its size has blinded people to its very real faults. It's a good manga to read if you want to understand what your manga-loving friends are talking about; it's not the manga you want to read if you want a manga to digest, thoughtfully and slowly. The appeal of this manga comes from the community, not from the manga itself.
One Piece... is just one decades long shonen battling series among others. Who likes what best and others not that much is a matter of opinion but saying that One Piece somehow objectively shines above all others is just masqueraded fanboyism.
Story? It is stupid IMHO. The main hero Luffy just one day decides without any real reason that he's gonna become the KING OF PIRATES and be the person to find the mythical treasure One Piece that countless others have tried in the past and present. Yes he has a special power, but so do many others and I'm sure he couldn't be fully unaware
about that. So how can he be so confident in himself? Making the character 'stupid' is not an excuse for poor character development IMHO. Which in turn is no excuse for a simplistic plot.
After the average beginning the series goes totally downhill. Nowadays, it is too focused in inventing new sidequests after another, new islands after another, new strange powers after another so that the main story progresses nowhere in even a hundred chapters. Also every story arc is more and more comedy and less substance, which i suppose is the main reason why One Piece is slightly more popular than Naruto or Bleach, which may take themselves too seriously. But I for one like seriousness... So...
Most characters rely only on their personality disorders with doing things, and their role in the series becomes clear immediately when they're introduced. And it barely ever changes. Nothing surprising ever happens character-development-wise. Even the cowardly Usopp's henshin into somewhat more heroic SogeKing totally fits his tendency to put up blatant lie shows so it's not real development. Side-characters likewise consist only of their 1) design 2) powers 3) a quirk or few.
The battles are IMHO duller than those in Naruto or Bleach. This is partly because the decisive move is usually something unbelievably weird stunt that only a person living in a quixotic world after watching too much comedy shows in a marathon would think of pulling out. Another reason is the concept of Devil Fruits which I liked and found having much potential. This potential however is wasted because some of the characters also have superhuman strength the origin of which is never explained, and their strength builds up linearly as the series progresses, and hence a character without Devil Fruit powers can be as strong as one having them, and a character with the powers can be much stronger or weaker physically than another user. This is stupid, and very generic.
Also some people claim it's objectively better that there's no knowing beforehand how two of the powers will do against each other. I think it's just a matter of taste, and like said above, even the potential for this to be really interesting is wasted, because the Fruit powers play only a little role in the grand scale. If a character loses Devil Fruit -wise they still can win by physical strength, and almost always do so. There simply is never the same kind of 'gaming' experience or excitement you find in the tournament arcs of some other shonen series, and good grief One Piece doesn't have one, it would be too boring for me to continue.
The only reason I gave it overall score that is "bad" instead of "average" is because there weren't any before, unlike with Naruto or Bleach which have many. It's not unreadable if you like series like it, but originality-wise it's definitely 1 like Naruto and Bleach.
One Piece is an astounding series. It has well developed characters with personalities all their own, fantasmic action and adventure portrayed in a believable format, and a sense of off the wall humor which leaves the masses laughing and gasping for air.
However, along with these beautifully defined characteristics, it does something which other mangas, and most comics in general, fail to do. It captures real human emotion.
The adventures the characters partake in and the personal struggles they go through are ones which any person can relate to.
While we may not stretch like rubber, fight with swords, or sprout extra appendages- we all have lost a
loved one, been hurt by someone we care about, or have done something with good intentions which turned out bad.
We've all laughed, we've all cried, we've all felt emotions.
We follow the emotions with the characters best during the flashbacks, where we encounter their past experiences.
How Luffy became rubber and got his hat, how Zoro made a promise and became a 3 swordsman, how Nami came to hate pirates and love money, how Usopp became a lying orphan, how Sanji almost starved and became a chef, how Chopper lost his 'father' and became a doctor, how Robin lost everything and became a fugitive, how Franky became a shipwright and lost his mentor, how Brook 'lost' a friend and died. Every person can relate to one of these stories, some even relate to more than one.
Not on a basis of what happened to the characters, for example hardly anyone is a shipwright or a swordsman, and no one who is reading this is dead (unless you're a ghost or something)
It's on a basis of what the characters felt. The pain of loss. The hardships of life.
People who've lost a parent cried with Nami, Usopp, and Robin. People who lost a friend sobbed with Zoro and Brook. People who've starved ached with Sanji. People who've lost or hurt a loved one agonized with Luffy, Chopper, and Franky.
And yet... they keep on smiling.
There is a quote from the series, it's made by Nami's 'mother', Bellemere.
"Always remember the strength to continue laughing."
That is another thing the series does which no other can do. It gives hope.
Some of the quotes I've read/heard from this series have given me goosebumps from the power of the words they've contained.
"Always remember the strength to continue laughing." - Bellemere
"No one is born into this world to be alone!" - Jaguar D. Saul
"When do you think people die? When they are shot through the heart by the bullet of a pistol? No. When they are ravaged by an incurable disease? No. When they drink a soup made from a poisonous mushroom!? No! It's when...they are forgotten."
These quotes... are ones to live by.
Whether he knew it or not when he created this series. He created something amazing, that no other could do. He created real emotions. And he created hope.
One Piece is in my opinion not only a great manga but also one of the greatest pieces of written fiction of all time. Its 22 years and ongoing run is nothing short of incredible. During its run several cultural phenomena of old rose and concluded, some beginning side by side with One Piece and others only beginning their journey to the top as the next big hit. And I can say without a shadow of doubt that nothing will top One Piece for as long as it is in publication, the stories are only getting grander in scale and the decades old mysteries of
the world are finally beginning to reveal themselves.
There’s a reason as to why One Piece has endured what to many might sound like a grueling run. 22 years as a mangaka takes a toll on a person, be it physically or mentally, at some point people break down due to the sheer amount of unrelenting work they have on their hands week after week. The manga industry not only a competitive environment that demands high performance and creativity but also an unrelenting and unforgiving beast that continues to eat at a person’s life even if you become successful. Only few have ever lasted long and even if they do, the quality of the stories either decline leading to a cancellation, or… hiatuses, long extended breaks that can last up to years.
One Piece fortunately hasn’t fallen into any of these pits. Oda has an obsession with writing One Piece and it shows in many of his interviews, he’s always extremely excited for the future of the series throwing out many promising teases for upcoming arcs. In fact, during his search for an assistant in one of his ads, he announced that the assistant should be “willing to die for One Piece.” Oda’s passion, much like the manga industry is unrelenting and it shows since the story has only been getting better despite being its best long before.
One Piece’s story is nothing short of a masterpiece and can probably never be duplicated in any shape or form. It has managed to remain fresh after so long all thanks to Oda’s versatile writing and is the reason why One Piece has endured so many years of competition. Each arc has its own distinct themes and genres so that no 2 arcs ever feel the same, one moment the strawhats are helping a princess thwart a rebellion set up by a warlord so that he can gain full control of the kingdom and the next it can go to being a prison breakout story that fails and leads to an all out war between the strongest.
There is a strong emphasis in creating impactful emotional moments in the story and they’ve never failed at pulling on my heartstrings. And this can be attributed to great character writing on Oda’s part. It’s almost like he challenges himself on making tragically sympathetic characters and he keeps on one upping himself throughout the entirety of the story.
Moreover, the fights in One Piece are not only beautifully choreographed but also expertly written. Every single encounter inadvertently showcases the character’s personality, be it Zoro’s short, no nonsense and to the point finishers that end fights in one blow being a reflection of who he is as a person or Sanji’s whacky kick style fighting because he vows to only use his hands for cooking. These might be trivial personality traits but it’s the little intricacies that contribute to further enriching the story.
However, the most important and arguably the most consistently praised part of One Piece’s narrative is without a doubt the world building. It is such an overlooked element in a lot of other stories, but it is undoubtedly one of the most integral foundations as to what sets One Piece apart from others works of fiction. Oda has crafted such a believable world rife with details, it enriches every single part of the story to unspeakable levels and contributes to huge payoffs in the story making for some really intriguing revelations at certain parts of the narrative. This worldbuilding is also singlehandedly responsible for one of the greatest mini arcs in all of One Piece and easily in all of shounen i.e. the Reverie arc, everything that has been built up and introduced in the 900 chapters all come together in this arc making for one of the most densely packed stories with mysteries upon mysteries introduced and some absolutely historical moments being unveiled.
This intricate worldbuilding is also responsible for the deepest and most detailed lore in fiction creating a lot of fascinating mysteries that have yet to be unveiled so far. The promise of the answer to these mysteries is yet another reason as to why people are so invested in reading the story because they can be nothing but mind-blowing. It broadens the scope of the story and keeps arcs from being self-contained.
Oda has crafted a living, morphing and ever-changing world that reacts accordingly to the effects that each person inflicts in certain parts of the seas. Each faction has their own goals and motivations and go about it regardless of the protagonist’s actions. At one corner of the world you’ve got a faction waging war on all nobility, in another there’s a meeting of the world’s most influential powers to discuss the affairs of their respective kingdoms. Most stories react to and for the protagonist which makes for extremely limited stories and characters that lack personality. One Piece however, rejects that long standing plot device and makes a vast world with different moving parts that don’t have anything to do with the protagonist. This makes for a believable world with authentic and genuine characters making for organic build ups to some of the most historic events in the story.
Oda’s use of flashbacks in the story is yet another praiseworthy trait of the series. Flashbacks usually tend to be reviled in most stories, it breaks the pacing of otherwise highly anticipated events and can really bring the story to a halt if done wrong. Oda however makes flashbacks a welcoming element of each arc in the story, readers love seeing the history of the island and how characters came to be. They also have some pieces of vital lore information that contain answers to some of the mysteries of the world. Oda’s flashbacks are mostly all tragic with a heavy focus on character, these lead to some of the most heartbreaking moments in the series. It adds depth to the character, expands upon the background and context of the conflict and brings about emotionally gratifying climaxes.
While there is a lot to praise in the story of One Piece, it is not without its flaws. One such flaw is the pacing of the arcs. Some of the arcs suffer from some pacing issues and are dragged out for way longer than they should be. Oda is way too ambitious with the way he wants to tell some stories, and this can lead to bloating up arcs. In fact, the Dressrossa arc that is 100 chapters long takes place during the course of one day in the One Piece universe. While it is one of my favorite arcs in the series due to the latter half being tightly written with some of the best flashbacks and drama in One Piece, it focused on less engaging plot points for far too long and introduced too many characters. Weirdly enough, this is needed because these slow parts really pay off in big dividends by the end of the story.
Oda’s ambition is his biggest strength and his weakness, he has got too much story to tell but doesn’t pay heed as to whether this information really is relevant or not. Yes, more story might be good but not at the expense of slowing down the story to a grinding halt.
Compared to the intense care and dedication Oda has put into crafting such an intricate and entertaining narrative rife with details and mysteries, an issue such as pacing can only seem minor especially since it’s not that prevalent in the story. Not to mention, upon reread the pacing problems rectify themselves rather easily.
One Piece has one of the most loveable main casts out of any series I’ve read. They are well designed, charismatic and have beautifully written, tragic backstories. This writing however is not just reserved for the main cast, every single character introduced have similarly fleshed out tragic backstories that make you feel connected to them emotionally.
Oda’s character writing has only gotten stronger as the series has progressed with him writing some of the most complex villains in the more recent arcs in Doflamingo and Katakuri. What’s even more is that each character is written so differently from the last. Doflamingo is arguably not only a great villain but also an expertly crafted character shown in a mega flashback. His twisted demeanor was so well justified and portrayed in his arc that he was nothing but captivating. Katakuri was crafted in an entirely different way, it really felt like Oda was experimenting with real time character development when writing his character. We knew and understood everything about him during his battle against Luffy, fighting off his insecurities, letting go off his decades old burdens and finally resolving his inner conflict by the end of the fight all without flashbacks. His fight told a beautiful story and it is why Katakuri is already such a beloved character though only being introduced fairly recently.
What differentiates Oda’s characters from most other manga is that they feel believable. Most shounen villains especially feel like they are all perfect godlike beings that can do no wrong. And sure, they might look and act cool, but they don’t feel believable, they feel like blank emotionless beings incapable of nothing more than being the protagonists’ foil. They lack personality, they don’t look like they have a life beyond scheming their evil plans. And this makes them all out to be rather samey and rather uncharismatic. To keep it short, they don’t feel like people.
Oda however, understands that every single person has a life of their own disconnected from the story and are rather apathetic to the protagonists’ development. For example, Doflamingo loves throwing pool parties and loves his women, he also surprisingly cares a lot for his subordinates despite his rather psychopathic tendencies. One such inconsequential detail is that he beats up the boyfriends of his subordinate Baby 5, she tends to fall in love with every man that gives her attention leading her to being taken advantage of countless times.
Similarly Katakuri loves his doughnuts but cannot express that openly due to his compromising features and his overly serious attitude that a lot of his siblings look up to.
Because no one schemes evil plans 24/7, they have a life beyond their relevance in the story. I feel like not enough characters, especially villains are shown in this light, they like chilling too! They like having fun and have their own life to look after.
Everyone has their own adventures just like the strawhats, and not all of them have to be as important as finding the One Piece. Buggy goes on his own adventure to find a stash of gold in a deserted island along with his newly formed allied crewmate Alvida, Kaya is studying to become a doctor, Jimbei goes about searching for a lost sea cat’s parents with the help of a police dog. None of these really matter but they add up, they make the world feel alive and these adventures are quite charming.
There are so many characters that live their own lives even though they’ve long lost their relevance in the story. And it’s honestly heartwarming, seeing these characters grow along with the strawhats. You’re happy with how they’ve ended up, be it by working on their dreams or waiting for the one they love to come back. Some of my favourite moments in the series is when characters react to the strawhats’ bounty and these are characters who we’ve been introduced to and long since moved on from almost 20 years ago. It’s extremely charming and heartwarming seeing these old faces again.
Finally, I’d like to disprove a misused and rather ignorant criticism that seems to be pointed at One Piece far too often. And it’s that One Piece’s characters have no development. This is simply not true. First of all, the story of One Piece takes place over the course of a mere 2 years so you cannot expect rather significant changes in demeanor from the main cast. Secondly, there are a lot of characters that go through their own mini arcs throughout the story regardless.
Usopp’s character arc is one of the most endearing and emotional rides in One Piece. His character arc was beautifully told in 2 story arcs with a beautifully written resolution realizing that he doesn’t need to be as strong as Zoro or as talented as Nami to be an asset to Luffy. What matters is that you try your best if nothing else, because everybody has their moment to shine. This is when he truly came to his own as the sniper of the crew finally letting go of his insecurities of feeling like a burden to the crew and embracing his role. It also helps that he’s arguably Luffy’s closest friend in the crew from what I’ve observed from then on.
Luffy’s arc is perhaps the most elaborate. He started off as an overconfident airhead in the beginning of the story. Beating formidable foes that boosted his ego even more only to finally hit an unforgiving brick wall towards the end of the pre timeskip era making him realise that he’s but an inconsequential pebble that couldn’t save his friends and could not save his brother. The war was a much-needed wake up call for Luffy, leading him to make the decision to train for 2 years before entering the new world.
Robin and Chopper go through similarly elaborate arcs that are just as prominent, with Robin slowly opening up to the crew in later arcs and Chopper becoming a lot less insecure of his looks and becomes far less dependent on the others for help and taking a lot of initiative in certain missions.
Another praiseworthy trait of Oda’s character writing is his ability to create hype characters. Oda has arguably created some of the most exciting and charismatic characters in shounen, the vast world he has crafted has given rise to some legendary characters who by their very nature captivate the reader even if they don’t appear for more than a snippet. Dragon, Shanks, Kaidou and Blackbeard always make me excited whenever they appear in the story. This is because Oda always keeps an air of mystery to them. We don’t know anything about them but the weight they carry in the world and rumours of their feats are proof enough that these are characters of legend, they have a commanding presence and are extremely charismatic whenever the appear on page.
Honestly the characters are all wonderfully crafted with each having their own charm. Some of them have rather whacky backstories but they are told with such sincerity that you can’t help but fall in love with them. There’s such a large variety of characters who all have their own endearing backstories. They’re all loveable, charismatic and only serve to enrich the dense story and intricately built world of One Piece.
Oda’s art style has come under quite some criticism, it probably turned off quite a few people from reading the story since they look pretty wacky. I’ll admit, I too initially veered away from the series due to its art style. But you’ll soon forget about it due to the captivating story. However, art style is all subjective.
Oda’s art is beautiful, expressive and captures emotions unlike any other manga. The way he draws people crying can pull on anyone’s heart strings. He also crafts such fantastic dream like worlds so effortlessly that they become stick in your minds years later. Sky Island and Whole Cake Island were absolutely amazing to behold and were a fantastic visual treat. The backgrounds are crisply detailed with a very proper sense of geography and he also tends to put a few tidbits of details that become plot relevant hundreds of chapters later. Dressrossa and Wano feel so immersive and grounded and similarly offer a varied visual treat.
There’s nothing to complain about when it comes to Oda’s art, it stands among the best even though it’s a weekly shounen and it only gets better as the years go by with the most recent arc possibly having his greatest work.
One Piece is an emotional ride that I cannot help but see through to the end. This is a series that hasn’t once dropped in quality, with its latest arc already introducing one of the most despicable villains in the series and arguably having one of the most emotional moments in the story.
How does Oda do it? How does he keep surpassing himself?
It’s simple… he loves One Piece, more than any of us ever could, more than any of us combined ever could. His undying love for his craft is why he ceaselessly pushes himself through what many consider to be a living hell.
I look forward to seeing how this epic saga will end, this is one of the greatest works of fiction and I believe that when One Piece ends, it will be a classic for generations to come.
Ok, before thinking my rating is outrageous, it's true. This is by far the best manga I've ever come across...well Shonen manga that is. The way Oda turns pirates into such an interesting story is amazing. The characters are given personalities that are so unique, you'd love each of them with a different reason! I have absolutely NO idea why I didn't pick up this manga long ago!
Oh~ The story is kinda repetitive at the beginning. But as you read, you realize that it is not NEAR repetitive. It has all these other mysteries surrounding the main plot, sometimes you are just
so curious and want to continue to read on. It slowly reveal to you that being the pirate king isn't as easy as most people would think it is.
Oh, it takes a while to get used to for some people. But for me, it didn't have to take even a second. Since I'm pretty much an artist myself and I accept pretty much alot of people's art-style. Oda's art is different, but every angle of the anatomy and background and details are very well put together. Alot of people would think it's childish, well, I think it's wonderful.
AH! The characters...! They are marvelous! I have no idea I can love all the characters so equally! Even Usopp! The guy I didn't really like in the beginning, is starting to grow on me! Their personalities are all so unique~ It's like people in real life, they are never the same~
Oh! I enjoyed this manga ALOT. The humor, action, etc. are all so fun and awesome. I cannot describe how much entertainment I got from this manga~! I just WISH that I could brainwash myself and watch One Piece all over again. >_<!
One Piece is an outstanding manga by perhaps the greatest mangaka in Japan right now, Eiichiro Oda.
When I first checked this thing out, the story seemed immature and poorly done, not to mention far too goofy. However I was soon corrected; it's none of the above. Luffy wants to be pirate king, but his main goal isn't that at all: It's to have as many adventures as he possibly can.
This is interesting, because unlike Naruto he does not wish to be the leader to get respect or anything silly like that. Luffy doesn't care about respect or appearances, which makes him a rather unique
hero, even among shonen. Anyway, there are a series of shorter stories in the beginning as Luffy gathers friends (read: nakama). A swordsman, a navigator, a sharp-shooter/liar, and a chef join his crew in that order.
Although others criticize him, he takes off for the grand-line with that 5-man crew of trusty but perhaps inadequate men (and woman). The grand-line is where most of the stories in One Piece actually take place.
After that, a series of longer stories begin, each one with fresh and varying characters. Most have a very touching background, especially new crewmates.
At first, the art may seem horrible to you, but that's only because you're used to things like Bleach and Naruto, which are much younger. As the series progresses (rather quickly) the art improves.
Not much to say here.
Honestly, if I could give an 11/10 here, I would have. This is Oda's specialty, which is saying a lot, given his unnaturally great talent. Not just the main characters, but even minor ones (Dalton, Red Leg Zeff, Bellemere, et cetera) are given heartwarming backstories, personalities, and emotions.
It's quite enjoyable, from laughs to tears, to desperately rooting for a fight. As it keeps things fresh and interesting, you will even find yourself guessing at who the newest crewmate will be, who the main villain is, and what fruit who has.
In short, this can only be referred to as "The Big Three" with Naruto and Bleach because of length, and by no means quality.
It's said to be the greatest manga, all the elements you love in a series is all in the greatest treasure in the world, One Piece, left by a legendary pirate mangaka named Eiichiro Oda. Ever since 1997, the new era of manga began, competing to take the number one spot of Shonen Jump, so far, none has yet to step a foot in it's path.
Once I did, I asked myself why didn't I pick the series up earlier. I truly feel that this is the best Shonen series ever made if we were to review it objectively.
Anyway, to the actual review:
One Piece initially
feels very constantly slow-medium paced which feels just right because it's mostly an adventure manga, you NEED that many chapters to finish a story and write a main character's journey. Also, Oda does an awesome job of offering the massive world which a lot of series doesnt have that feel. The external environment has more development than character wise which also makes OP so much different from other shonens out there. One huge advantage One Piece has over every mangas out there is that the crew simply expands and expands as they travel to new unexplored lands and beyond the endless expanding universe. It really has an element of adventure, excitement and romance(to adventure) to it. It is very straightforward to see where arcs begin and end, because they go from island to island, yet it's completely unexpected. Wheras in something like Naruto, you don't get the sense of that also, also the main character(Luffy) wants to explore the WHOLE WORLD, not just a city or a town and it is needed because adventure is the biggest theme. One Piece is an adventure manga, that being said, something simple as exploring new place after places but they reach a segment and events change, flipped around and find something completely unexpected. Oda does a great job of keeping the audience interested. As we all know that the Strawhats will visit next island, like someone living their everyday life, adding age one after another. That is the basic gist that we will only know. It's completely unpredictable. Obviously you know what you want to do with your life and such but you wouldn't know every events leading up to that. It's simply a broad general idea of it.
Story-wise, it's always filled with surprises. You can never predict what Oda has in store for you. This author/artist/pirate/god himself manages to incorporates various themes into some of the places in One Piece with preferences we are familiar with. For example, one of the city reminds you of Venice, Italy. Another reminds you of an Ancient civilization such as Mayans and Aztecs. There are some very powerful moments in One Piece that WILL break your heart. Even the humor is great, better than some of the American Cartoons itself which emphasizes on comedy. So far, One Piece has never disappointed me. I'm glad I gave this series a chance.
Characters are top-notch. No characters have been side-lined and left in the grave to rot like many other typical Shonen series does. There are too many lovable characters to talk about here but in every series, the main character is the most important so here we go!
Monkey D. Luffy, a young man destined for great things. He never asked to not have a mother, he never asked to be born into a world which forces him to protect others from evil and corruption, and he never asked for any of his loved ones to be hurt. Luffy is humorous, innocent, strong-willed, brave, and most of all, life-loving. His persona rubs off on others, his ability to create joy and peace is astounding. His character's even developed so far as to make his readers weep alongside when he's emotionally broken. They are confused, rendered helpless when he feels helpless. When Kuma separated Luffy's crew, no reactions would be exaggerated. Luffy lost everything he loved, and it happened right in front of him. Luffy is a character that does not treats his nakamas as if they are utterly pathetic and helpless by saying he will protect them, no he is not... He is a man that leads by actions. This is the man that encourages his friends to get stronger for themselves and to protect their captain. Not just friends inspires, he inspires enemies to get stronger as well... That is because Luffy cannot go on a boring adventure become the Pirate King.
The art isn't really something to bash about. It's very unique compared to most generic well-drawn anime that is can be topped by even better detailed art. The art is simply perfect for a series like One Piece, I wouldn't have it drawn any other way. One Piece lacks bi-shonen characters and rather opts for the wild and crazy character designs, the uniqueness and originality is top notch. Me personally, the wackier the better and having every characters look like they hopped out of Final Fantasy. The background very important in any manga and people usually overlooks this, they would rather read a series that is plagued with white backgrounds in panels over generically drawn characters. Oda's world is massive, colorful and very imaginative. Sometimes I think he goes way over-the-top but it really suits the nature of the series.
It sucks that this anime has a horrible reputation in America, thanks to Funimation or whatever the hell company. It must be the worst victim of dubbing and change.
Amazingly this anime is my second favorite ever. It's amazing how you can have such a kickass story line for sooo long..and it just keeps getting better and better.
The animation is colorful and optimistic along with the characters and story. I could read this anime until I was 100.
Go read this manga now. You are completely missing out on the fun if you haven't read it already.
Yo! When do you think people die? When they are shot through the heart by the bullet of a pistol? NO! When they are ravaged by sn incurable disease? NO! When they drink a soup made from a poisonous mushroom? NO! It's when they are forgotten. One Piece is a legend. Eichiro Oda I think is a person not meant to be a mere human, just like Vincent van Gogh. hehehe. It's not boring like Naruto and Bleach which are full of blabbering, no fun at all. One Piece combines comedy, drama and adventure in an unpredictable way. But sad to say, it is rank
third in the world right now. Common anime lovers disregard one piece because of its childish animation. There is no cure for idiocy after all. But for all of you who are new to the world of anime and manga, One Piece is the best intro to all. Please support my cause for making One Piece, the Most Famous work of art, i mean anime of all time. MANOK here. hehehe
If you could you have everything the world had to offer, would you aspire to it? With the dying words of the late Pirate King, Gold Roger, every pirate in the world set sail for the Grand Line searching for the infamous treasure he left behind, One Piece.
Here enters in the protagonist of our story, Monkey D. Luffy, a 17 year old boy who dreams of nothing more than become Pirate King himself. Thanks to the power of the Gomu Gomu no Mi, he gained the power to stretch his body to amazing lengths and become rubber. In this, he also became forever unable
Did that annoyingly long intro pull you in? Hope so. Now with most Shonen series exsist countless flaws with Story, Characters, Plot, etc. One Piece is not your generic long-running shonen manga. It is much more than that, it showed me a new side of Shonens' in an entirely new way that grabbed me in and keeps me there til this day like no series has before. I'll explain.
I already explained this aspect. Fairly basic but really expands into something extraordinary. It's slow at first but truly becomes greater and greater and adds to plot that keeps you on end. It doesn't repeat itself, doesn't bore you, & doesn't leave you not craving more. It has cracked me up, moved to uncontrollable tears, and made a reason to have a true obsession.
One Piece shines the greatest in this aspect. All the characters are well-developed & lovable. Even supporting characters are extremely well developed and become an integrated part of the story. When I say One Piece would be nothing without it's characters, I mean it. The crew itself makes One Piece all the more enjoyable for me.
This turns SO many people away from this wonderful series. For the longest time, I was the victim of this 'judge-an-manga-by-its-art' disease. (That was an Usopp reference btw.) I hated it. It was ugly to me and I stayed far from it. The art improves gradually. Oda's style from the start to end is quite a difference, but its still the same but I honestly adore it and would want it no other way.
When I decided to first started One Piece, which I watched the entire anime first and still watch it, I was like, "Hey, I think i'll watch this, it looks okay." Little did I know I had started what would become my favorite series ever. Call One Piece overrated, stupid, plotless, etc. Read it. I PROMISE you, you'll definitely change you mind. C:
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!! But if you don't care then welcome aboard. Let's set sail and see what One Piece has to offer.
The story of One Piece follows the journey of a young boy named Monkey D. Luffy who wants to become the King of the Pirates by finding the treasure called One Piece. And in order to earn that title, Luffy has to recruit a pirate crew. His ignorance of the dangers of the sea is a great barrier to his journey, so he needs a navigator. He likes people who can fight cool, so he recruits a swordsman. He is a big
eater, so he recruits a chef. Every single crewmate that Luffy recruits has some kind of important purpose in his crew, which makes the crew dynamic more and more lively and holds a strong bond for the crew.
And that is just the nine crew members of the Strawhat Pirates. The entire series has a plethora of outstanding characters some of whom are more fan-favourited than the Strawhats. Each character is either a member of a Pirate crew, a Marine, a Revoultionary or not involved in any faction directly.
One dumb misconseption is that One Piece doesn't have character development. This is a blind way to react to characters. Just because a character is the same since long time ago doesn't mean that they have bad character development, it's just that they don't have character growth. Character growth is when a character goes through a character arc. It is a good storywriting technique but one that isn't completely necessary. Character development is the term used to describe what the audience thinks of the character, their backstory, their motivation and personality etc. A story doesn't have to make you agree to a characters actions, it has to make you understand that characters actions.
Case in point, Luffy is ignorant and has a party-loving charm in him. But this is because he wants to be free from others. He wants to go wherever he wants to, see everything without being chased by the government. This is his ultimate reason for being a pirate. Pirates IRL are more likely to be associated with violence and murder and whatnot, but a core ideal in every pirate for being that way is personal freedom. Freedom from the shackles of a higher authority. Wanting to live a life in your own authority. And that is what Luffy embodies, the want to be free from everyone else. He won't join the ranks of the marines or a big pirate crew, he wants to do his own shit. And that is why we can understand all the silly actions that he takes.
The story is basically a journey. The more we read the more we go.
One of the biggest attributes of One Piece is its world-building. Every island we go to has a ditinct atmosphere and culture. Alabasta is a desert island with archtiecture resembling ancient Egypt. Sabaondy Archepalago is a mangrove forest with trees so big that they could be used like islands. Every detail of the world is given a rational explanation for why it exists or how it works.
The story structure is fairly simple but is executed properly. Every big island the Strawhats encounter, there is something wrong. It turns out that an evil organization has either been secretly planning great destruction or trying to gain power by unorthodox and unethical means. Then that plan is shattered because the Strawhat Pirates end up messing things up. It is a simple way to look at things but the varying degrees of nuances in each scenario and diverse cast of characters makes things more interesting and it never feels old.
His art isn't the most appealing at first glass. Why do the characters look so wacky and what not? Well, it lends Oda, the creator of One Piece, more freedom in creating his stories. Luffy's rubber powers makes Oda able to stretch the limitations of what can be done. And his manga flows very well. I have not read many mangas while reading One Piece probably because of the fact that I am unable to feel like reading anything that doesn't flow as well as One Piece does which has taken me a long time to realise. That realization is partly why I am now starting to read other manga's.
And the action scenes are drawn really well. There is no way to properly explain in this written language just how good Oda does action. It is just that good.
There is just this feeling I get whenever I read One Piece that makes me want to read it more. I like this series a lot. I can't really explain in words better than many others can about how I like this series. It is my most favourite manga as of now.
One Piece is widely considered to be among the most popular and highly rated anime/manga series of all time, and it takes no genius to figure out why. The premise is simple enough to follow, the character motivations are simple yet intertwined with one another and the setting is absolutely epic, with new locations always popping up and new adventures to be seen, both by the viewer/reader and characters alike. Couple that with a cast of eccentric characters and you get a recipe that's pretty damn easy to like...for most people.
Not me though. Oh no no no, I wouldn't be here if that were all
that One Piece was claimed to be good for.
In recent memory, One Piece has gained a reputation for being a shonen that for some reason manages to avoid the pitfalls of Naruto and Bleach; the story keeps moving forward at a steady pace, there is limited filler in both the anime and manga, the background art is gorgeous and there's a clear plan to move the series forward.
What annoys me, however, is that people have gone so far as to compare it with shows that are clearly more competent, like Hunter X Hunter or FullMetal Alchemist. I'm here to provide you, dear reader, with evidence that that simply isn't true.
Story-wise, One Piece isn't something to write home about. The premise is basic enough; main character wants to find the "One Piece", a treasure that all pirates aspire to find along a long and dangerous path filled with twists and turns known as the grand line. Along the way, he finds various comrades who have various goals of their own but end up supporting him and his goal.
And this is where One Piece starts to fall apart. The first half of the manga plays along something along these lines:
- Luffy (name of the main character, in case you don't know) and his crew travel to some mildly interesting/bizarre location.
- They find *insert obviously new crew member*.
- Luffy demands (without a shred of charisma or consideration to back it up) for them to join his crew.
- The obviously new member ALWAYS says no.
- Luffy discovers that obviously new party member's tragic past.
- Luffy beats down *insert random bad guy here*, who is either the source of trouble for the obviously new party member or hurt someone dear to obviously new party member.
- Luffy does something stupid that for some reason is reminiscent to something for obviously new party member which actually ends up working.
- Obviously new party member says his farewell to the location, having made peace with everything and joins Luffy and his crew.
There are mild alterations to the formula (which you know would end up being the better arcs in the series), but generally, this is the formula One Piece follows.
And guess what? It gets tiresome and irritating REALLY quickly. Everything comes off as over-dramatized, mundane and absolutely obnoxious. Everything you heard about Luffy being funny is a massive lie with very few exceptions; he merely acts stupid or does stupid things, rants about how much he loves to eat meat and about how much he wants to protect his friends. There is no supermega complex character, he's not charming and he's ridiculously protected by plot armor.
With one exception, we also NEVER see Luffy train; he merely randomly pops up against the villain of the arc randomly screaming about "I have this new move I've been practicing with" and shows us said new move. That's literally it.
The other characters are basic and uninteresting; they hardly develop after their respective character arcs and their motivations are cast to the seas for no reason other than because of One Piece's other issue; subplots.
One Piece has a LOT of subplots, and all of them feel like they're turning in circles waiting for the inevitable final arc to resolve themselves. Sad thing is, many of these subplots had opportunities to resolve themselves which didn't happen, possibly because the writer realized that the audience would lose interest if certain subplots related to their favorite character(s) is resolved. Admittedly, this makes One Piece a giant timewaster that goes nowhere for so long; it's solution to that problem is adding even more subplots and even more characters that go nowhere but add excitement to the audience.
Where One Piece also fails is its miserable presentation that portrays almost everything that is with the Straw Hats (the pirates we follow) as good and everything that is against them as evil. Yes, I said "almost". Yes, there are exceptions. No, they do not alter the overall narrative.
Another issue? There's literally no way that One Piece will have a satisfying ending that pleases everyone. The treasure being found at the end would irritate a lot of people, the treasure not being found would irritate a lot of people, a twist that changes the nature of the story would also irritate a lot of people, and do you see where I'm going here?
Artwork is fairly unusual but alright, and to its credit improves greatly as it goes. It's not my thing but I can definitely understand someone liking it. Backgrounds are gorgeous and very detailed, being immersive and interesting to look at.
I'll be frank; there's next to nothing I like about this. I hate the story and how bloody inconsistent it is (certain arcs are great, making you think the story finally picks up...only to stall even longer), I hate how stale the characters are, I find the humor childish and repetitive, I dislike Luffy with a burning passion...you get the general idea.
I do not like this series; if you do, fine, go on ahead, love it with all your heart.
Just please acknowledge that not everyone shares that view.