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.
One Piece is the most charming, heartwarming, heartbreaking, unique, well-thought out fiction I have ever read. It was life-changing for me to be honest. It manages to be hilarious while teaching amazing lessons, heartbreaking while still instilling feelings of hope, have a unique art style while still being visually stunning, etc.
It's often been said that the characters don't develop at all, and while I understand that claim, I don't agree. Characters like Robin manage to do a 180 throughout the course of the series while still retaining the core traits that made you like them in the first place.
Every moment of One Piece for me
is pure joy.
The best way I could describe what makes it stand out from other long-running shonen is that to me, in series like Naruto, you believe Naruto will become Hokage because he is the main character.
In OP, you believe Luffy will become the pirate king because he is Luffy.
OP has the best world building out of any story I've ever read, a unique and well-written cast of characters with goals and morals as diverse as they are, and a story that still manages to be engaging after 20+ years.
As much as I may love this series, I am not blind enough to think everyone will enjoy it. If you are new to the series, I would recommend reading up to the end of the Arlong Park arc (about 8 volumes in). At that point, you can get a feel for the rest of the series will be like, and decide if you want to continue.
I'm still stunned that a manga that I only rediscovered about a year ago has managed to change my life so much. I can definitely say that OP has changed my life for the better.
If you read it, that's cool! If you aren't convinced, that's cool too! Either way, thanks for reading this far!
One Piece is without a doubt something that is worthy to be called "King of Shounen," and for many great reasons. It is tough to miss since its popularity is mind blowing and growing at a rapid rate and it's everywhere. It has almost overtaken "Batman" comics, and it is not so far off anymore actually. Now, It has already set its sight on "Superman" comics, and I would say it has a perfect shot at the 1st spot too if it keeps selling like bread and butter as it has done for so many years already.
However, the popularity is justified, and it shows in
the author, Oda's writing, and the executing of this superb piece of fiction. There is a lot more than what One Piece is set out to be. I will try to do my best to get that point across and much more, so you can also at the very least, get a glimpse of what I see in this manga, which I still to this day, consider my all-time favourite and not many have managed to reach the same level as this one.
ne Piece starts with our main character, Monkey D. Luffy breaking out from a barrel in a certain pirate ship. He knows how to make an entrance if anything. His goal is to become one day the "pirate king" the person who has conquered all the seas, and the mysterious "Grand Line" as well. The path ahead of him will be harsh and not every day will be fun. He has set out from his village to find and build his crew, so he can set sail and start his grand adventure of taking the title of the "Pirate King." It is quite simple and straightforward and looking at it now, it does not seem to warrant all the popularity, and you probably don't have any idea how it got all that fame, in the first place.
As our crew begins to form and they start to set sail. The formula which will be most common for a while will be how the crew moves to an island, and then there will be a bad guy, they beat them up and move forward to the next island, and the same thing happens there. This is only the first phase before you get into a more complicated and complex situation, where the fun part begins. The first 100 or so chapters are what I would consider: an introduction to our character and world building to get you to know how the world works, what applies here, the government system, among other things.
Therefore, I would say huge do not even begin to describe this vast world of One Piece. Because, as you move forward, many exciting things will be revealed for the future, in the form of foreshadowing. You will get to know how scary the "Grand Line" really is, through someone talking about the many big shots over there. Alternatively, maybe if someone did see the strength differences of the different seas, it would make you excited for the future. This technique to get you interested in something Oda excels at and understand it enough, so he does not go too overboard. If you saw everything that the world has to offer, would there be any point in continuing One Piece? It would lose it's an effect, after all, if that were to be the case.
To, political drama, where the land is on the verge of falling, and you see the situation unfold dynamically, so you get to look at some remarkably new sides. A lot of world building which gets you very invested in the world and gave you a good understanding of all the components, like how the society works, all the different culture you will experience, you might even get some history lesson related to this world that might come up again at a later time.
Primarily, One Piece is a plot-driven series, the goal is already clear enough from the very beginning, but that only applies to our main character. One way to think of the latter is how every island you will get to visit in the duration of your journey is one big arc, where there are goals related to that island. For example, it could be something like overthrowing someone from the throne; a mad king who is entirely evil and does a thing in a benefit for himself and no one else. The thing is, this character will have their backstory, which might make you sympathy or hate them even more, depending on how it plays out. Moreover, another goal for any of the island could be something like, to retrieve someone back from an organization with their form of messed up justice. It is ridiculously hard to not go into spoiler territory; hopefully, this didn't give away too much.
This is just one of many scenarios and segments. One Piece takes use of, the author knows all too well how to write them out and end them. From my understanding, this is where even the aspect that is easy to hide between the actual main plot, gets a good and satisfactory ending. That's why, this one of the few manga that lacks some annoying plot holes, it has some, but there are not that many worthy enough to be called that. Furthermore, as already said, there are many different and fascinating cultures in the world. In a certain island somewhere far-far away, they use technology in the most unusual, and you might even call it a weird way. However, using the rules and logic Oda has established for any of the many islands, or even the world itself, he can give a not so intricate and fun description of how it works so you can easily understand the concept for yourself and get enchanted by their very own culture.
You even have your own "World Government" system which is not so simple and runs deeper than you might think. There might or not be people working and controlling them from the shadows, and who knows, there might be someone else who controls even them. One Piece has its society, land, and it is twisted and not easy to understand. There are people in this world who thinks they are fit to be called "gods” and think of themselves so highly that they don even breath the same air as the other humans. These nobles think they transcend normal human and the way they are cared for is incomparable and quite unfair to everyone else in the world.
To go even further, One Piece also goes into some very serious territory and does an impeccable job of portraying each of them. You will see everything from slavery, racism, the underworld and some very severe and dark secret which will make you feel all kinds of different emotions at once. To put it very simply, while One Piece is focused around teen and up, it goes into some seriously messed up stuff and should not be taken lightly. It's not merely for children; you will get hurt thinking that way. The later parts get quite dark, and you might start questioning if you are watching or reading the same thing.
Moving on, this world has a power, or rather the fruit which gives the user the ability to fight with many strange ways but eating something like that will make you lose a knowledge which is very crucial for a pirate and should not be dismissed lightly if you have the chance. The concept is simple enough, you eat the fruit and gain powers which can form you into an animal, maybe make you able to become invisible, or even soar high through the skies. Make bullets pass through you without you getting hurt, control the very nature itself, break the world apart and unbalance the entire ecosystem itself.
Also, you can get the ability to control one of the four elements themselves. However, there is even more to this mystic fruit called devil fruit — alternatively, something more unusual like controlling smoke. Moreover, you have another power which let the non-ability user bypass the defense mechanism some of these ability gives you. I won't go too deep in, because I could easily spoil some significant parts. What you need to know, is no one will be impossible to beat if you put these powers to use.
Even more, if you somehow combine this ability with your very own devil fruit. The combinations are endless. As long as you can imagine anything is possible in the world of One Piece. Nothing seems off, because we do get an explanation when we least expect it. Oda does an excellent job of covering all the potential plot holes.
Do not think One Piece ends at the main character goal, it's a lot more, and hopefully, this made that clear enough to get you somewhat a simple understanding what you can expect if you dive this excellent manga.
The art is unique and quite different from the other you might have seen before. It's weird and epic all at once. Oda can take on many forms with his art and manipulate it; however, he sees fit. Each character is different; there is no similarity, it is like another author drew them. I have seen some absurd and hilarious, character design from this mangaka, but at the same time, I also got hold of some experience of some quite badass and amazing designs. You can tell, he loves drawing and writing, it shows so clearly in his work and every panel always feels superbly detailed and well managed. Oda has one of my favorite art styles, just like the author of Tower of God, Siu, it is unique and his very own.
Depending on the situation, Oda can accurately change the art style just enough to satisfy the vibe you should be feeling in the moment. His facial expression is always on-point and never manages to do not give me chills if the situation calls for it or makes me all sad or angry if necessary. It is one a kind style he is using, and he is utilizing it amazingly well and not cutting any corners while doing so. He deserves all the respect and attention because he shows it clearly, he justifies for it.
Characters are not different either; there are some very unusual and bizarre ones out there. Moreover, the same goes for the opposite of the spectrum. One Piece boasts an insanely large cast of characters; you don't have just the crew, there is a lot more. Even the one that seems unnecessary gets their time to shine and show off their value. All of the characters are also unique with their quirky personality.
As stated previously, the first 100 or so chapters are to give characterization and growth to our characters, or even development if need be. You will see the backstory of every member of the crew at some point in time, so it's not like you won't understand them fully. Oda will make sure you get the best of it, and not disappoint you when the time is precise. For me no backstory fell short, I always had emotions welling up in me as I was watching or reading it unfold. You can go from hating a character to loving him or her in a matter of moments, and of course, the same is true for the other way.
The side characters themselves are also fun and make the journey more entertaining; each new island will have you get introduced to the original cast who you will be following for the time being — learning about their flaws and good points and so forth. Even the less critical background character get some focus from time to time. Nothing goes unnoticed by Oda; he makes sure to notice everyone.
The antagonist is one of the best I've seen and very well written and executed. Of course, there will be some who is not so amusing or does not hit off well. I have gone from hating one of the worst enemies to enjoying them and their character and can't have enough of them. Also, no, this is not restricted by one or two foes, but a lot more than you can count. There are so many antagonists I want to see again; I want to experience development or even get them the critical role if it's a possibility for Oda. For the most part, their goal is understandable and don't feel wishy-washy, so it's easy to come to like them.
Although, I will not deny there are some cruel and messed up people I hate with a passion from by bottom of the heart and wish to nothing but death and misfortune upon them. This goes for both the good and the so-called wrong side. Overall, though, One Piece has a fantastic cast of characters which you can't help but love and find yourself getting attached.
Like any other long-running series, if you dive into One Piece, you have to understand it's very slow paced and quite so; since it had made people drop it before it got to the excellent stuff. Not everyone will have time to sit down watch or even read over 800+ on-going chapters or, especially episodes. I would say if you don't feel any attachment by the third arc, you can drop it there, of course, to truly understand the popularity you will have to go on reading for a very long time. Which not everyone can do, and even if you did you might find yourself figuring out that this series is not for you.
Despite being a shounen, it's not the same as "Dragon Ball" franchise or even "Naruto" in some cases. If you are looking for amazing fights, then One Piece is not for you. It has a lot more than simple battle maniac guys going at it each other. It has a story which runs deep and can get quite complicated in the long run. Although, being a shounen and all, One Piece does have some great fights further down the road and a lot of them to boot. However, in the case of the shounen mentioned above, it's not quite like them, and the battle is not the main focus.
Adding on, the cast of character will get development and growth. That said, it will not be very apparent, and the process will be prolonged for the future to come. Oda has mentioned before he is afraid that people will begin to dislike these great characters he has built if he were to change them just ever so slightly. Some "fans" even complained when they saw abnormal behavior from some of them.
All said and done, nothing of these can be regarded as "negative" if you take time to think about it. They are only obstacles that depend on peoples and their expectations. My advice as with any media or literature would be to go in completely blind, anime or manga alike and make your judgment instead of relying on everyone else. Because despite my best effort to draw out the picture the fans see when One Piece in focus, not everyone will feel the same. I hope this manages to at least, grab some attention to possibly new fans.
It's apparent that I've been saying this a lot in recent times, but One Piece is easily something that should be given a chance at one point in your life. It has one of the best plot-driven stories I have seen. So along with large and amazingly well executed and written characters, including some great antagonist/villain.
This review is just a brief description of what you can get if you decide to dive in. The only want to truly understand something is to form your judgment and go from there. The world building is vast and is clear from the very start; it's one of the best in its class. Not many manga or anime has this kind of fantastic world that is ever expanding. The only other one that is on the same line or more is "Tower of God," beyond that; I have no idea of anything else that stands on the same wavelength as these two. If anything, Hunter x Hunter is close, in any case.
Whether you prefer the anime or manga, both are amazing and have their advantages and disadvantages. The anime adaptation is spot-on until the early 500s where it starts degrading in quality, and the pacing becomes painfully slow. However, before then it's a great adaptation and having seen and read both, you can't go wrong with either of them.
If you prefer to pace yourself and want solid cannon content, no filler, then read the manga and set your own pace; it's quite easy to catch up if you read it then you might think, even if the amount of chapter is a lot.
In the case of anime, you have much time on your hand, there is no hindrance in your life at the moment, and you generally prefer it because of the bonus anime brings, and you don't care about pacing or any other hindering components. Then watch it. That's all you need to decide which path you want to take.
I hope this manga review capture some attention to potential new fans. So I hope you have a great time with One Piece as I did. It's my all-time favorite, so I won't deny I have some bias toward it. My opinion is not a fact; it's simply my own opinion and my experience as I went on reading this excellent piece of fiction. To this day, it's still on-going, and things are heating up quite nicely in the recent arc of the manga, I am very excited about the future and can't wait for more. Let's dive into this together, in this modern-day masterpiece of a shounen and one superbly written and executed story.
Spoilers: I reveal the name of the crew members.
One Piece is the story of a boy named Monkey D. Luffy and on his journey to become the "Pirate King" and find the One Piece, which is the treasure left behind by Gol D. Rogers.
Let me start out by saying I used to really like OP and was a big time fan, and as of the recent updates my passion for it has really declined over the years.
1) The setting - The world of OP is vast and filled with pretty much anything and everything possible. Fishmen, Mermaids, Giants, animal people, etc. Anyone
with a sense of adventure can find some reason to like this world!
2) Tackles a lot of real world issues - Slavery, politics, corrupt government, etc. All these things appear and play a large role in the overarching story.
3) Haki is pretty interesting and I'm curious as to where it goes from here.
1) WAY WAY WAY too many characters - There are so many important characters to put up with, all with unique personalities, and powers that all play an important role in each arc. But the price for that is lack of screentime. A lot of characters get booted to the side and don't play a major role in the Arcs due to the large cast, the biggest example is one of the Strawhat members. He joined the crew in the final parts pre-timeskip and literally has had zero screen time after the skip. It's really disappointing seeing a lot potential go to waste. Even now, Oda continues to introduce more and more characters that continues to crowd out the old ones. While it's understandable that some more characters are necessary for story-reasons, the amount Oda has establish is completely unreasonable. For example, You have the straw hat crew, the navy, the pirate warlods, the Yonkos, the CP9 or whatever, the Supernovas and that's not even including their crews. This all moshed up with the required story characters really puts a hamper on the pace of the manga.
2) It's going the Naruto route. Before the time-skip, it felt like everybody on the crew were actually there and played a large role in the stories. Now we only have Luffy, Zoro and Sanji are the only really useful people, while Robin and Nami are just there for fanservice, Tony-Tony Chopper who's just there for marketing reasons and occasionally do his job, Franky who's really just there to steer their ship, Ussop who is just comic relief, and Brook. Poor, poor Brook. Even among the 3 useful ones, 1 has been out of the picture until recently thus leaving Luffy and Zoro. Again, Oda is just wasting potential by not utilizing these characters
3) Probably the one that I get the most hate for: Luffy is a really stale MC. Up until one specific arc, he literally is just the same as any other main character who fights for his dream and his friends with the only difference being that he doesn't really care about other's opinions. After the mentioned arc and he experiences the reality of the world, what does he do? Nothing. He literally does not change or develop. This really angers me as I feel Luffy doesn't develop as a character. We feel a better connection with the character when we see them struggle and overcome obstacles and then grow as a person. Which is why Zoro is the best written character in OP. He actually feels like a human for what it's worth while Luffy feels completely unrealistic. Especially his reaction in the Dressrosa arc when a certain character is introduced and he has the worst reaction ever. I would like to mention that there is one instance where I give props to Luffy for overcoming an obstacle and it's his "bloody" fight.
Final thoughts: OP is mediocre at best. It only has a few good moments that really stand out from the rest but the rest is just pretty eh. If you're into the pure essence of an epic adventure then I'd totally recommend One Piece to you, but if you're looking for more than there's plenty of better options out there.
One of the most popular manga out there, one piece is definitely a piece of wonder. Sure, it has a few faults, but are they enough to to bash it? I'm not so sure I'll explain why.
Its story is quite simple, a boy named Monkey D Luffy wants to become the pirate king, and he goes on a journey seeking adventure and new crew members. It's not definitely bad, but people are now criticizing its 'repeated' story arcs. They reach a new island, see its culture etc. and then find out that this island is not as peaceful as it seems to be as the
are ruled by a dictator like antagonist, the crew gets split and in the end the enemy ends up with a beaten up face. BUT, heres my problem, aren't there many mangas that have repeated story lines? (even though they are not shonen, en example of diamond dust and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso will be an elaborate one) It does not matter that the story is repeated one, what matters is its execution, of which one piece is a master. The arcs are different in every aspect except for their basic plot.
Another problem is that people are saying that one piece post-time-skip is of lower quality, is strongly disagree with this statement. One piece has always been a manga that has gone up and down for me. I loved Alabasta and Jaya arc, hated skypiea, liked enis lobby arc, disliked Thriller bark, and was blown away by marineford and dressrosa arcs. So no one can say that it is worse then before. And one needs to remember that Oda is building up the second part for another big war. Just like before the time skip. I'm quite sure that it will be better the marinefore. So patience is virtue.
Oda uses his ultimate move to bring color to his characters, flashback, a move very few people pay heed to. It gives great depth to his characters and ,to be honest, I was moved to tears by Nami's and Robin's as well as Luffy's flashback. And through these flashbacks, secondary characters are also brought to life.
One piece has its fair share of characters that people love and hate.And most of them are diverse in their characters. The most unusual of the pack are made Straw-hat's cre members. I mostly enjoy Luffy's nakama's personalities ( with honorary mention to Robin's , Chopper, Sanji, Usopp, and Luffy ). And then there are people like Enel and Spandam as well that I absouletl despise. Even Blackbeard is an interesting character.
One of the many reasons why one piece has not reached world domination is because a lot of people are swayed from reading it due to it's art, which they have termed as 'childish'. I have seen other mangakas draw Sanji, and to be honest, I really do not think that they will give me the same feel to the manga. Deal with it, this art is perfert for one piece.
It is the type of manga where it will be more fun and emotional if you read at least 5 chapters together, other wise the pace will kill you. It is one hell of a good read, lets hope that it does not become retarded like it's brothers. (Naruto and Bleach)
It can be frustrating at times but I'm quite sure that it will always keep you interested.
One Piece is a legendary manga. Known for its absolutely crazy fans and forums, people often chalk One Piece up to be all hype and no substance. I know people who didn't want to try it because the artwork didn't appeal to them or they didn't want to go through the 300+ chapters that it would take to catch up. Most of the people who were initially hesitant to read One Piece fell in love with it right at the second major arc.
Of the 'Big Three,' One Piece was the last I started with and I wish that I had started it earlier. Ridiculously
awesome characters, tear-jerking moments, comedy that actually makes me laugh, and Luffy. Oh, Luffy. In One Piece, very few characters are treated as wastes. Oda is very detailed when it comes to setting up a new character. It's hard to forget even the most minor of villains. And it's definitely the type of manga that sends chills all over your body. When you see a character make an epic return, when you hear the background stories of the nakama or whoever, when you watch battle being fought (often intelligently). Oda's chapters feel as if there's a purpose to everyone. The most minute of detail can easily become something big. And as Oda and his audience matured, the themes and events in One Piece did, as well. It's a manga for all ages, no doubt.
I can probably wax poetic for quite sometime regarding the sheer greatness of this manga, but I won't. Please give the manga a chance.
One piece has gathered a lot of hype in the last few years, and i have heard many sceptical views of its rising popularity. But regardless of your view, the sheer number of manga being sold suggest that there is something which differentiates this series from others. Personally, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series, regardless of my general dislike of shounen manga.
Story: at the start of the series, the storyline is quite basic and a little cliche. There is the main character who gathers friends and sets off on an adventure, fighting a series of bad guys along the way. While the story is
still exciting and enjoyable, it is understandable why many drop this series after reading the first 100 chapters or so, as it is almost underwhelming in the scheme of things. Oda also writes very long winded stories which may seem to drag on a little. However, if you power through, the plot which Oda has woven gains complexity and depth and somehow manages to move away from the typical shounen manga cliches. Each arc still has the typical structure of the main characters overcoming a group of enemies, but is far from typical in the originality of the world Oda has created and the underlying plot which strings each story together. One piece is not just about epic adventures, becoming stronger and battling pirates, but is centered around the key themes of friendship and dreams, ideas which are displayed liberally throughout the series.
overall, the story is one big epic adventure, an emotional roller coaster riddled with delightful humor, friendship, quirky characters, action and a surprising amount of depth.
Art: Oda's style is not something I would normally like at all, and it can be described as an acquired taste. Personally, I am usually guilty of picking manga by the style of art rather than story. Despite this, I have come to genuinely enjoy the art of One piece. If you like the style, great. If it is not you cup of tea, as you read, the story and characters will make up for the drawings. I think it would be a shame to miss out on this series because of the 'unusual' art style. Once I had started reading I found that I began to view the art as delightfully quirky and perfectly fitting for the story.
Character: My favorite part on one piece would have to be the characters. The nine main characters are intensely diverse and quirky, yet somehow manage to fit together and compliment each other. Each has a very strong personality and unique past, designed in detail down to their habits and ticks. Their crew is odd to say the least, but the three dimensional characters and the dynamics between them make one piece stand out as a quality piece of work.
In addition to the main characters, each and every enemy or subcharacter is almost equally quirky and unique. Every character of this series is odd and three dimensional, adding to the humor, quality and general feel of one piece. Character design is one of Oda's strong points.
Enjoyment: One piece is a series which can be enjoyed by anyone. Oda has created a world of pirates which is very unique and highly entertaining. The characters are spectacular, the story exciting and action packed and the message one of chasing dreams and true friendship. The entire series is wonderfully hilarious, riddled with just enough humor unique to one piece. It is a series that will make you smile, laugh, tense and cry, while taking you on an epic adventure.
Overall, one piece is a very good series once you get into it. It is well balanced for most of the part, though some parts are a little long. It is my favorite manga, even though i don't like shounen manga. (chapter 450/500 onwards is so good!)
The most unfortunate thing about this series is that so much is lost when it is translated. Oda portrays characters largely through dialogue, almost all of which is lost in translation. The language and its nuance is so vital to characters and story and it is almost depressing how little makes it into the translated versions. Most unfortunate is the loss of the humor. While still funny in english, Oda's humor does not translate well at all. The uniquely Japanese humor, the style of boke and tsukkomi, nuances and tempo can not really be translated or sometimes appreciated in english. Having tried to read it in english, I gave up very quickly. It is a shame if you can not read Japanese or do not know the culture very well because a ridiculous amount is lost in translation. One piece really is 10000000X better in Japanese
One Piece is the most successful manga in the history of Japan for a reason. It has been going strong for over a decade now and seems to be only hitting its peak. As shonen manga goes, One Piece far and beyond surpasses the likes of similar titles such as Bleach and Nauto in my personal opinion, and it mostly has to do with the characters.
One Piece has some of the best characters in a manga. Each of them gets a heartfelt and tragic story arc in which we get to see their past and the tragedy that of them had to go through.
But we get to see how those hardships in the past made them to who they are currently. Its that kind of attention to characters and character development that really got me into One Piece. Where most shonen fail at creating compelling character development, One Piece succeeds.
One piece may start off slow and boring at first,but at chapters 75-85 it starts to get better and slowly but surely it turns into a really amazing manga. The good things are about one piece are:1 It has a lot of good characters 2 It has a lot of interesting mysteries so it would make you think of a lot of theories and 3 It has really good world building and some really epic battles.I reccomend you read until chapter 95 and then decide if youre going to get into it or not.
I think we’re all familiar with what a fantastic adventure epic that One Piece is. Oda has created a world that is so brilliantly imaginative and exciting that I can almost confidently say that no other mangaka will come close to matching or surpassing what he has done. One Piece will make you laugh, cry, smile along with all the characters; it will make you feel like living in their world. I won’t review the plot or the battles and such, since that has already been comprehensively well-done by other reviewers, but I just wanted to share one aspect of One Piece that will always
stay very close to my heart.
No other manga has given me as much joy as One Piece. During the time I read it, I was very happy. This manga is special because it reminds us of some very important things in life. It reminds us to follow your dreams no matter how hard it seems and what other people say, to stand up for what you believe in and most of all; it reminds us of the power of friendship and human kindness. I think these are all things we tend to give up on and stop believing in as we get older.
One of the messages that had a huge impact on me was that ‘No-one is born into this world to be alone’. No matter how lonely you feel, you have to hold on to life and hang in there for people who will love and accept you. You might not meet them now, but you will eventually. I’ve never had many friends, and only formed a few close relationships with people. I’ve never found anyone whom I can call a true friend. For people like me, this message is very powerful and can lend a lot of strength. I think it is wonderful that a manga can convey these kinds of pure, hopeful feelings.
And that is one of the amazing things, perhaps even the most amazing thing, about One Piece. It gives you a sense of real, genuine joy as you read it. It really touches your heart. That is why it has managed to captivate thousands, millions of readers around the world, and why it will continue to be one of my most favourite mangas ever.
9.05 is no longer enough after Reverie and Wano have started and proven to be some of the best arcs in the series. Expect the rating to continue to rise.
It's incredible that a manga *this long* has a rating like this. In the Top 5 manga of all time list, with nearly 1000 chapters now. A monumental human effort that inspires as much as it evokes a vast array of emotions.
One day Hirokoshi, the author of Boku no Hero Academia, might have a chance at surpassing Oda like he said he wanted to in his interview, but that day may never come unless BnHA recovers
to its former level of quality. And even then, it's still not enough, so Hiro has to surpass himself a lot.
One Piece is a beautiful, beautiful manga; however, many people overlook it because it stands in the "Big Three" manga, which are highly criticized.
I admit, I did NOT like One Piece at first, and it bored me to tears at points. That was about 4 years ago, when I still did not have a full grasp on the struggles life had to offer me. I resumed OP around 2 months ago, and I saw it in a very different light.
What I saw once as a silly pirate story became a ongoing, complex story about finding one's passion, friendship (or in this case, "Nakama"), adventure, and
overall, growing up (this is especially evident in the later chapters).
You might not see it this way if you are still young, or rather, in the "I-don't-know-where-I-belong age group" (around 12-14). If young enough, this is an comical adventure story. If old enough, the plotline is amazing and the characters -- just right. I started OP when I was 12, but only after 3 years in high school did I notice the similarities in the challenges faced in this manga and real life. Whether it be a quest for an "impossible" dream or just pure acceptance, One Piece touched many edgy topics in a way that was both serious and comical.
The art is simple and unique when it comes to characters, but the background is GORGEOUS. So gorgeous that it draws away sometimes from the actual action. For example, if two characters were fighting in a room, the detailed curtain drapes might confuse you. But, overall, the feeling is not lost. The characters' features were hard to get used to at first, but then I realized Oda was a genius for making them this way: the features were perfect for both extremes of the emotional spectrum. Comical because they were flexible (especially Luffy, ha) and stoic because they were firm. One flaw I see, though, is the women are anatomically disproportionate, even for manga, being incredibly skinny with huge breasts. Huge.
Oh my goodness, this makes up the whole show. No joke. With each addition to Luffy's crew, you feel a certain connection, all because of two major points: bizarre characteristics and awesome background stories. My goodness, the BACKGROUND STORIES. I wish I could tell you more without spoiling, but I can't! They're just beautiful! However, characteristics you may see that no other character possess are Zoro's complete (COMPLETE, COMPLETE) lack of direction (COMPLETE), Chopper's insulting gratitude, and much much more.
One Piece keeps you on your toes because you don't know what's going to happen next. Of course, an adventure, but where? These places are not for ordinary people with ordinary actions. The rest of the enjoyment comes from many of the qualities above (character, especially).
I love this manga so much. So much. It makes me feel better when I'm down, and laugh even through the saddest times. It makes me cry with the characters and yell at the pages sometimes. Just don't judge it by its first few chapters, because it WILL get better and mature along with you.
Ok so I gave 10s to all: story, art, character, enjoyment, and overall.
I gave this manga a 10 even though it deserves, like, 1000.
One Piece is a battle mainstream manga. It is full of action and fights, and at first glance might seem stupid and random, but oh gods believe me, this is so very likely to be the BEST battle shounen manga you guys will have ever read. Widely classified as the top three most popular battle series alongside Naruto and Bleach, I've got to admit that One Piece is just.... way above those two. One Piece stands on top, the pinnacle of perfection,
so posh and fabulous and flawless and pretentious.
Story - The story tells us about the adventure of Monkey D. Luffy, a very fiery young boy who dreams to be the Pirate King. The story starts from when he first set sail, and he gradually collects one member at a time to join his pirate crew. To me the story is original (I mean, who talks about pirates nowadays?) and the execution is nothing less than PERFECT. Can't talk about all the arcs because this manga has more than 700 chapters at the moment, but from the very start, when Luffy met the first man to join his journey, from that time on, the story progressed real smoothly, and real intriguing.
One Piece is one of the most complex series I've ever read-- it's full of unanswered questions at the moment. All the mysteries waiting to be solved-- ahh the thrill! Even though there are still so many holes until the main story is fully revealed, it doesn't make me feel agitated at all. My curiosity is perfectly fine and healthy, and I will patiently wait until everything gets explained. On the other side, I have a rather high expectation for the revelation, but looking at past experience and how Odacchi, the author, has brought the story so far, I have no complaints.
Odacchi also doesn't seem to run out of ideas. One Piece is overflowing with wild, wild imagination. So many awesome things support this manga and make it even more surprising. I mean how many people in this world would ever think of making snails as a medium of communication? How many people would ever create mermaids with specific fish types? How many people would ever think of creating the Void Century, mysterious devil fruits, poneglyphs, the Marines and their posh Justice cape, Will of D, Sea Kings, and Yarukiman Mangrove?? I suppose nobody but Odacchi could ever make these epicness possible.
Art - The art starts off rather funny and functional, but Odacchi has always had this intricate, unique style to his drawings that is impossible not to notice. As time flies and chapters by chapters go, the art metamorphosed into something, not entirely new, but more brilliant and more beautiful. The art is really cool and it goes really well with Odacchi's wonderful imagination. There are sceneries and odd stuffs drawn so well you can't help but go whooaaa. The only minus I can note is how Odacchi draws with such vigor the fight scenes can be really confusing if you're not following well. But it still doesn't change the fact that the art is amazing.
Character - One Piece as a long running series is also supported by its diverse characters. We have seen a lot, so much characters in more than 700 chapters and despite all of the cliches and the i-will-protect-my-nakama type of people, they are still real fun and real engrossing. Our main pirate crew even consists of three inhuman beings: a living skeleton, a talking reindeer, and a cyborg wearing Hawaiian Aloha shirt. What do you guys expect? Good characters don't always have to be humans yanno. There is Surume the kraken. Even Going Merry has her own human personification. I mean, I have so many characters in my mind when I want to write their names my mind go blank. But that's it. You guys take my point.
Enjoyment - F*ck, how I enjoyed this manga. I enjoyed it too much, in fact. This manga is just simply entertaining and every arcs will keep you glued to your seat. I spent so much words describing my feelings above I can't seem to make anymore words to express how I love this manga. In short, this is a real masterpiece that nobody should ever miss, regardless of whether this is their cup of tea or not. One Piece is exceptional. When you realized it, you'll find yourself craving for more, not wanting to stop.
This series is where it all began for me. The "Romance Dawn" if you will. I remember starting the fifth grade back in 2007, I hit it off real quickly with this one boy in my class. We had loads of things in common and were constantly sharing new interests. One thing we didn't share was his love anime and manga. This wasn't because I didn't like it, rather I just hadn't experienced it yet. One day he shoved One Piece volumes 1-3 in my backpack and told that I would love it. And love it
I did. I read through all 13 novels available at the time in a flash. I read and re-read them while I waited for the next to be released. In me grew a love for manga and anime of all sorts, it was like junk food (I feel like many of you would agree). Incidentally, One Piece was, and still is, my favorite manga of all-time.
But enough about me, on to the actual review! I promise that this will be a completely objective review. I think I will start with what is great about this manga, as it vastly outweighs it's flaws.
The most important part of any story is, well, the story! One piece tells a grand tale of adventuring pirates all searching for the ultimate treasure. In a story like this, the world is absolutely massive, and Eiichiro Oda handles it so well. Every new place our characters travel they are faced with trials and tribulations. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. You never know. Each story arc is unique in setting and character development. There are new problems to solve or maybe another pirate warlord to defeat. Either way it feels pretty fresh every time. And it is all very memorable, I can’t think of a single time I felt that a chapter was just filler-garbage.
At the core of the story is its wonderful characters. All of them have their quirks, but they are not defined by these, which unfortunately happens very often in manga. This makes them feel very real. For example, the main character, Monkey D. Luffy, at face value, seems to be just a lovable idiot. But underneath this is a shocking deep, passionate person who looks out for his friends at all costs. For Luffy there are no truly sad goodbyes, everyone has a purpose and a plan so as their friend, he lets them go. The characters are what I love the most I think, you can connect with them so closely on different levels and they never get boring.
But even with a good plot and characters, what is a story if it is not enjoyable? One Piece is a fun and ofttimes, absolutely insane story. It can leave you in stitches or it will make sob like a baby. It is a well-crafted roller coaster of emotions and plots. No matter how old you are, no matter what kind of manga you like, you WILL enjoy One Piece.
Now to the bad. There is not much about One Piece that is truly bad, but nothing is without flaws. I feel like my points are nitpicky things that don’t really hurt the story.
The artwork in One Piece is normally really great. It is generally clean and simple. But occasionally the fighting scenes can get very messy and it can be a bit difficult to tell what is going on. Also worth noting, there is a lot of visual humor and the mouths especially can get very crazy looking, I can see where this would put some people off. It put me off until I got used to it.
The story can sometimes feel a little repetitive. But I feel this is very understandable, last I heard, this story is meant to take up 100 novels (if you bought the whole series new it would cost you around $1300!) so this inevitable. Although, Oda does a really great job of spacing out the similar story lines, so this is not incredibly noticeable.
Overall, One Piece is a great story and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a great series!
Also worth noting: the anime follows the manga series pretty perfectly, so if you are more a watcher than a reader, you will miss out on almost nothing.
Leader of the big three in Japan. Categorized as consistently getting better with every story arc that passes. Praised for its unique art style which is called both grotesque and absurdly appropriate.
Know this, its a fantastic manga. 80-90% of the people who don't read it are people who were influenced badly by the art or the horrible 4kids dub which destroyed its image or just had trouble getting past the slow beginning. But people who truly don't like the series aren't that common.
Don't judge this one quickly whatever you do. Read 100 or even 200 chapters
before giving up on it. Most people start liking it after the Arlong park arc, and then completely fall in love with it after the Enies lobby arc.
Synopsis: The story is about Monkey D Luffy and his quest to become King of the Pirates by travelling the Grand Line and finding the legendary treasure known as One Piece.
Pre-grand line the story isn't really that much and was all just character development. Some very heartfelt and beautiful flashbacks to each of the crew members pasts. They had some horrible incident happen in their lives which made them outcasts, but Luffy recognizes there strength and gets them to join his crew.
When they enter the grand line its still mainly about developing new characters, but Oda starts to tie the world together a little bit. The existence of the forbidden pone-glyphs, the corrupt officials in the world government. All this starts to tie itself together in the grand line.
The story itself is also a real tear jerker. I get lumps in my throat all the time listening to them. Keeping in mind that I am an emotional robot so you will probably end up grabbing a Kleenex.
power-ups I would say are done somewhat poorly. At least the first wave of power-ups during the Enies lobby arc. I would say they are 5/5 for "cool power-ups" and 1/5 for well thought out power-ups. Oda just had them evolve out of nowhere without any foreshadowing. The next power-ups though were absolutely perfect. After the time skip, they had basically been foreshadowing the abilities and changes to the crew for the duration of the manga. Absolutely perfectly done.
Another thing I have been noticing about the story. Oda is actually building towards a sequel. He's left all these hints talking about things the pirate king did and they never go into much detail but Oda leaves it open to be elaborated on in a second one piece manga. Its rather epic and grand when I think about it. That he's already putting together a sequel about the original pirate king.
Original art style designed specifically to work with the pirate theme. This turns a lot of people off, but you can't possibly claim that Oda is actually bad at drawing. Looking closely at the pictures there is so much detail in every frame that you can't think that way. Oda is the Picasso of pirate manga.
wonderfully detailed backgrounds. Every frame has them. Lots of manga write off backgrounds and just focus on stunning characters, but one piece gives you both. The backgrounds are simply amazing.
Character Art is off the charts. Every character has his own style too him. All of them are completely original and unique. Even the filler characters look good. One tiny flaw is that usually the female characters are somewhat bland in that they are all knockout babes, but I don't think Oda had much of a choice there given the market, and to be honest he does sneak a lot of ugly females in the back door on occasion.
Character development is pretty much covered in story and is fantastic. They introduce a character and give them a back-story and continue developing them throughout the series. For instance, Nami's would be weather or not she can overcome what the fishmen did to her village. They never drag the story of one character on either. It's rather elegant.
The early story was rather poorly done in comparison with the ladder of the story and you can see the mangaka improves with every chapter. So its hard to get into and like I said before 80-90% of people who haven't read One Piece is because they gave up early on without giving it a chance to improve. IT GETS BETTER!!!!
The action is more of a brawl then a strategy game which is a matter of taste really. Its actually rather easy for Oda not to screw up given the way he's done it.
Comedy is definitely there. Every character has their own quirks which never get old. At first glance they might seem like catchphrases but they are actually much deeper than that. They each have their own funny personality and quirks which play into how they interact with each other.
There's really no good way to score One Piece because early on they would rank probably a 7/10 or an 8/10 depending on how much the show suited your tastes, but with the show getting better every season its basically jumped a point every year. By now if I was to judge it just by the last year, I would give it a 15/10... IT GOT FRIGGEN GOOD!!!!
I don't necessarily despise One Piece for being a bad manga. I loathe it for being utterly mediocre. The series has a potential in each new arc to be something more, but the author often prefers to choose his tired and mundane formula.
I genuinely don't feel any kind of emotion reading this series. When I first started, I was a bit more younger I admit but there was a thing or two here and there that induced certain emotions, whether they were happiness, sadness, anger, or pride. But right now, reading the series almost feels like a chore; something I feel obliged to do after
investing in it for so long. But deep in my mind, I honestly just don't care. Whether Luffy becomes Pirate King or dies unceremoniously to some random fodder, I equally don't care. But now that I think about it, the latter option might be a little more interesting for the sheer reason that I didn't see it coming. Even though it's straight up shit writing, I'd prefer it because it would have succeeded to induce at least something.
The series main's downfall is that it fails to make the readers uncertain. Ninety percent of the events are rehashed that a six-year old could see them coming from a mile away. The other ten percent are quickly glossed over, either in arc epilogues, or in small random portions of info-dump. The side characters at this point are far more interesting than the main ones. You often keep hearing about them, but never truly see how they go about their plans until it's too late. For a series that has gone for so long, you'd expect a respectable amounts of creativity and intrigue, but the majority of the big arcs are the same story, bar the setting and the hero's outfit-of-the-week. Oda tries to force these emotions out of his readers by his dishonest, sometimes borderline manipulative attempts of characters crying buckets of water, screaming their lungs out, or saying "badass" lines. But here I am, all I'm thinking about is that I've seen this exact moment in this and that arc. This doesn't just make the interior plot incredibly easy to guess, but so are the character actions, motives, and decisions.
I could go on and on about other aspects I hate, like the poor fight choreography and writing, but these will just be droplets of water against the core issue, which is that the whole series is incredibly dull to think about.
If happiness is my favorite series, and sadness is things I hate with a passion. One Piece will be depression.
I think I gave it a fair run, I got deep in the Skypiea arc but I just stopped caring so had to drop it. It's a shame because it did have moments where it intrigued me like the whole seven pirate gods and world government but the Straw Hats get distracted and go off on these side adventures and they sometimes last hundreds of pages.
The majority of the arcs have the same structure where Luffy goes to a new town or island, beats up the local villain and moves on. A couple of arcs did this differently and were the better ones but it
just wasn't enough, repetitive stop-starts kept killing momentum before it could build up.
Don't expect a HunterXHunter where it switches the genre and tone in each arc because it doesn't happen, not in the first 250 chapters anyway and everything blurs together, the exception being the Alabastor arc which had a different setting, structure and the only intimidating villain at that point in the story.
The characters have cool designs and I did grow attached to them but they were way too overpowered and got out of scuffles far too easily without any losses. I don't think a single named character died so it was hard to feel any tension during fight scenes because I knew everything would turn out just fine.
For me One Piece is a manga that had a promising setting and premise but it never gets fully capitalised on. A shame because it's loved by so many others, I think it could have been much better if the mangaka didn't drag the story out so much and took more risks in his story telling rather than taking the safe options.
CONTAINS ONE FAMOUS SPOILER AROUND CHAPTERS 550-600
First of all, I tip my hat to the genius Eiichiro Oda and his clever assistants for creating this on-going masterpiece. I can't believe we're 903 chapters in and still going strong without a drop in quality. That point is exactly why I think One Piece is the greatest long-running series of all time. Let me explain why:
A lot of people judge One Piece ostensibly and think of it as no more than a generic battle Shōnen, but they're wrong. I used to be the same. I judged it based on its childish art and thought it was
a mere children's pirate story, but once I started it, I gradually got more and more interested in the series, and I would never have known it would be this sagaciously crafted piece of art. It truly awed me every time I underestimated it. I'd get more and more dumbfounded after each arc, and when I got caught up to the manga, I was amazed at how all this was laid out, even now.
One Piece is a pirate story in a nautical setting. It's about a 17-year-old boy aiming to be the King of the Pirates. Simple, right? I don't think so. That description is pretty underwhelming by all means for an enormous world as fleshed out as this. The intricately detailed world-building, from the unique and well-placed geography, the lively characters that occupy that geography, the profound backstories that make up who they are, the grounds on which they are afoot, the seas on which they sail, and to the dark history that encompasses the paradoxically lopsided universe of One Piece, is wholly splendorous. I believe the thing that One Piece emphasizes the most throughout what we've seen, the recurring theme of this series is none other than ... simple freedom, such is the protagonist's main goal. Freedom is an abstract concept. It is palpably deep, yet it's so simple. That very thought speaks volumes of the core that makes up Luffy, the man who aspires to be the Pirate King who is driven by his immense desire for freedom ... the very freedom that took his late brother's life away. One would think that would crush Luffy's inextinguishable enthusiasm towards attaining his final quest, yet it only added fuel to the fire. Luffy is inspired by the triumphs of the Pirate King, his potential predecessor, though he does not wish to follow in his footsteps. He is his own man; ironically, he does not want to be someone important either, nor does he think of himself as someone special. He simply sees becoming the Pirate King as the only way toward attaining true freedom. Luffy has vowed to return his treasured Straw Hat to its original owner, Shanks, only when he believes he is great enough to do so, and he has also vowed himself to his end goal.
One Piece's story is very well above the standards of a typical battle Shōnen story. It does not fall in the pit of discarding characters that could be of some use in the story, nor does it belittle the consequences of the critical decisions made by the Straw Hats or any other character. Defeat is a thing! It does not make light of character deaths, but it also isn't overly depressing. Happiness, love, and freedom can be starkly juxtaposed with bleak, depressing and disturbing themes at times. One Piece doesn't always take itself seriously, but when it does, you sense an uplifting and strong transition to a much more serious tone, and these sudden transitions can be one of the most satisfying things in the series. It tackles a lot of real-world problems that may or may not have come to pass, such as slavery, racism, oppression, corruption, poverty, sexism and even more. Every character gets its due exposure, and a lot of the characters have amazing character designs that add to their overall appeal. Character development is well-done, and it's appended into the story at the right times. The bonds of the Straw Hat crew and their interactions are an amazing sight to see. The more you read/watch this series, the more attached you get to them, and I mean: Every. Single. One. Of. Them.
One Piece also has an amazing surprise element that resonates with the many plot twists it has, and I think it does this best. The paneling is arguably the greatest in manga, even toppling Toriyama's exceptional skill at it, as far as I'm concerned. If you want eye candy, then Oda most certainly has one of the most bizarre, but keen understandings of aesthetics, and you won't go wrong with the art either since it's really consistent. A lot of the villains are written in a masterful manner with the exception of a few. The build-up is gradual, and the more you progress by reading this series, the more absorbed and engrossed you get. Every arc feels like it serves a purpose, and it's not just there for show. Oda does an amazing job by linking short-term storytelling with the long-term. The powers, the power-scaling, and the power-balance of the One Piece world feel spot-on. One Piece is also filled to the brim with subtle hints, hidden meanings, foreshadowing, parallels, symbolism, and it derives a lot of inspirations from Greek Mythology and other innumerable real-world myths, thusly becoming a godsend haven for anime theorists, and even though we have gotten a lot of revelations, we still have so many more things left to be uncovered.
Not many people acknowledge how extremely hard it is to maintain a long-term story, connect all the dots eventually, link the plot points, and keep the receiving audience interested. This story hasn't lost momentum and I doubt it ever will.
Now the best selling manga of all time, One Piece is the tale of a man named Luffy who is gonna become king of the pirates. In face of this long-running manga, that summary does many injustices; in essence, One Piece is a story of the Strawhat Pirates setting out to follow their dreams. This overview is going to be a bit long, but hang tight with me and I'll give you as much of an comprehensive overview as I can on this monster of a series.
My criticisms of the manga are as follows: as the manga goes on, the skinnier women get less and
less room to have organs while their breasts seem to increase in mass. It's not as if the author, Oda Eiichiro, is incapable of diversity, either. Oda has shown to take risks when drawing male characters, giving them a wider choice of physical design. There is also the problem with white-washing, which is much more obvious in the anime than the manga, but present nonetheless.
On the other hand of the spectrum, what One Piece does good, it does REALLY GOOD. There are many fine details of plot and characters that are continuously woven into the story; a little "throw-away" character to help start the manga series you don't think you'll ever see again? JUST KIDDING, they're back and they're doing stuff! Oda does not forget his characters, unlike some authors (looking at you, Kubo Tite). Speaking of characters, there are MANY, of many different moralities, aspirations, and identities. I've seen some people complain that there are too many characters in One Piece, but I feel that it is justified as: 1) the characters are traveling from island to island, and it makes sense to meet more people and 2) this large cast is HANDLED WELL. Unlike in other series such as Bleach or Dragon Ball where the notable characters are so large in number that sometimes their own authors forget their names, One Piece is able to establish characters well and balance the ones that will appear again and those that shall not.
One of the best parts of One Piece, however, is its sincerity. One of the reasons I can not bother myself with series like Fairy Tail is because many of its preachings ring hollow, almost out of obligation. Even as it embodies many shounen tropes, One Piece doesn't feel like it is shoving token lessons down my throat. Perhaps it's because the main characters are not totally "goody two-shoes"; they aren't going to save the world because "that's what you should do", they do things because "they want to". Sometimes that means beating up a whole town of bounty hunters and stealing their stuff, sometimes that means saving a group of children from a mad scientist--even if it is disadvantageous to them and they will get nothing out of it.
One Piece, with all it's flaws and perfections, is a lot of fun. Interwoven with a clear sense of adventure and mystery; lessons of strong friendship, love, and following your dreams; as well as very real discussions of politics and corruption, racism and other forms of discrimination, the nature of revenge, and even slavery! This is a big series with many aspects, and though long, it is worth every chapter.
If you like creative and fantastical worlds, elements of whimsy as well as an shounen spark of adventure, One Piece has much to offer you.
One Piece is not a very good manga, and I highly suggest not reading it if you haven't started already. I also think Eichiro Oda is a mediocre writer. It's nothing but a waste of time and energy.
The story is very generic. The story is about a group of pirates that want to get treasure, and the main character wants to become "Pirate King". The story isn't interesting in the slightest, but that's not the only bad part. The plot in One Piece is formulaic, and can get boring really fast. Every single arc is essentially the same thing repeated over and over again
ad nauseam. It got boring real fast.
The characters aren't very good either. Almost all of the characters are one dimensional and have absolutely no redeeming qualities. Luffy is the most basic shounen protagonist I've seen in any anime/manga. There is no character development to be found in One Piece. None whatsoever. Usopp is still a coward even though the manga is more than 900 chapters. Luffy is still being a bad captain as always. Infact, there's more character regression than development. Anytime Usopp does something brave, it wouldn't matter because next second he goes back to being a coward. Anytime Luffy acts like a captain, it doesn't matter because he'll be acting like an idiot soon. The characters and their relationships never change at all. They behave the same way they did back in chapter 1, therefore I don't find any of them interesting.
The characters become even worse after the time skip. Almost all of the characters are extremely underwhelming after the timeskip. Characters like Robin, Chopper, Zoro, etc. All of these characters are always in the background for the majority of post time skip. There's even an arc in which half the straw hats aren't even on the island for over 100 chapters. That's absolutely ridiculous.
Speaking about arcs, One Piece doesn't have any good arcs. Well I'd say Water 7 is a decent arc, but anything besides that is typical shounen garbage. As I said before, every arc feels the exact same. The crew goes to an island, befriends pepople, find out that bad guys are there, beat bad guys, and then go to another island. This is pretty much the entirety of One Piece. Now of course there are some arcs that are different, but most of the arcs follow that structure. Arcs like Alabasta, Skypiea, Thriller Bark, Fishman, Arlong Park, etc. There's just too many to name!
I'm sure everyone already knows this, but One Piece has awful pacing. Every single arc is dragged out to the point where it just becomes boring to read. Even the shorter arcs like the Baratie have awful pacing. That's just oe of the many reasons why I consider Eichiro Oda to be a mediocre writer. He's just not capable of making an arc with good pacing! I can't think of one One Piece arc with good pacing.
The fights in One Piece are very bad. They're just the typical shounen fights with two people punching each other around. The only good fight in One Piece was Luffy vs Usopp, because it wasn't just two people smacking each other around. That was the only One Piece fight that I actually enjoyed watching. The rest are absolutely awful. Almost every single fight involves the use of plot armor and asspulls. Well, at least the fights in the manga aren't nearly as bad as the anime. Either way, One Piece has poorly choreographed fights in genral. They're also dragged out for like 20 chapters.
One Piece has one of the worst art styles I've ever seen. The art just looks extremely childish and silly. The characters are drawn to be so hideous, and I have no idea why. Drawing hideous characters doesn't make your art style interesting Oda.
I just didn't enjoy reading One Piece at all. The characters are all underdeveloped and generic, the story is very childish and basic, and the art style is bad. One Piece literally has every cliche in the book. I'll still be reading it though, just to see if it gets better.