One Piece is great!

That is neither an understatement nor an exaggeration. It’s something I can say without hesitation.

one piece mugiwara

Oh, how ancient

As I have said before, One Piece is one of those long-running series (ehem, Detective Conan, ehem) that I am interested in. But given its current length and distance, it has already sailed too far away for me to play row-row-row-your-boat-and-catch-up. Realistically speaking, since I am now slowly plunging into the ocean of Real Life, where it’s a more horrifying place of sink-or-swim, it may be impossible for me to catch up at all. Knowing that somehow makes me all blue, but perhaps I’ll just enjoy what I’ll be able to watch at any given time.

At the time of writing, I’ve only seen 71 episod—hey, I know what you’re thinking. Please excuse the fact that I truly am late for the party. However, I’ve seen some episodes of One Piece back when it was dubbed in Tagalog and shown nationwide on weekday morning TV. Even then, I understood the “fun” aura of the series. (Though at that time I didn’t know it is partly animated in the Philippines–specifically by Toei Philippines).

I decided to finally watch it in Japanese dub around three years ago but the supposed marathon was unfortunately cut off by circumstances I cannot recall. Anyhow, I ended up stumbling upon it recently and before I knew it I couldn’t stop watching, or catching up. It’s as if the three year gap that made me wonder what’s in the series that fans talk about it so gleefully did not happen. Heck, my guy friend’s eyes were shining when he was fanboying about it around 14 nights ago.

I’ve seen little of it compared to what others had, but I sort of understand what makes One Piece a delightful anime to get immersed in. I hope to share with you, in no particular order, the reasons I found from watching thus far.

  1. Grand, Perfect Setting for Adventure

The sea is not the natural habitat for man and so we cannot survive long underwater without the support of our sea-exploration technology. Nonetheless, what we know of our waters is significantly less than what humanity has studied on land. Hence the seas are even now full of wonders waiting to be discovered and rich in potential for explorations.

one piece

One Piece, being mainly set in a world where travelling on and exploring the waters is popular, truly lives up to the possibilities in the sub-stories that it could tell. There is believable sense of danger whenever Going Merry sets out for another journey. And the events where the crew must engage in battles do not only necessarily occur in points A and B of their travels. The time spent going to point B from point A is always not a time to relax and just “wait for the next adversary” to come. It’s full of surprises as a result of getting into the unknowns, just for the Straw-Hat crew to find One Piece. That’s why One Piece is a real adventure story—in which legends are myths until lived and witnessed.

  1. Material for the Geek Inside

Dinosaurs? Dragons? Giants? Humongous sea creatures? A lost, sunken island that resurfaces every 1000 years? One might think One Piece is full of references to every fantasy story that we’ve read or heard, but all of these are not a big deal as they work perfectly under the universe’s logic (See #1). Of course, it can also get as science-y as it wants—from the unpredictability of the weather to the tactics used in fights, though it doesn’t bother going too detailed to spare us the boredom.

  1. Believable Group of Friends

Friends spend time together and enjoy their companionship even if they don’t always have the same ideologies nor share the same goals. Luffy aims to become the Pirate King. Nami wants to build the world’s complete map. Sanji hopes to find All Blue. Zoro trains to become the greatest swordsman. Usopp wants to become an honorable warrior of the sea—though he must first work on his being a bad liar. They all have different passion, but they believe that their journey together will help them grow into the better persons they want to become, bringing them closer to their goals one step at a time. That is believable friendship, because a person will inevitably want to stick with the people who can look out for him, correct him when he’s wrong, and appreciate the things he does right, as he can for them. It’s a give-and-take relationship.

Whenever their egos clash, however, friends are also bound to fight. The more one wants his friend(s) to know and understand his sentiments, the more he is willing to fight for said sentiments and go as far as rejecting the other’s reasons. A mediator may be necessary to help get both parties acknowledge their being hot-blooded and too emotional. This was clearly shown in one episode during the Whiskey Peak arc, where Luffy had misunderstood Zoro’s actions as that of ingratitude. With a simple brain like his, he got easily mad at Zoro and vowed to kill him, much to Zoro’s disappointment and rage. Nami enters the scene, knocking out the two and providing time for Zoro to explain his side of the story that Luffy didn’t initially listen to.

All is well and good with friends who are close enough to actually poke fun at each other!

one piece

  1. Acknowledgment of the Grey Area

The story presents pirates (who are more generally thought of as hideous) as the main protagonists, juxtaposed with the supposedly morally upright Marines. The pirates are evil and only do harm to the populace, stealing properties and killing everyone in their way. The Marines are the defender of the people; their mission is to catch each and every single pirate sailing in the sea. Now the pirates are as clever as the naval militia, so the tag is a never-ending game of contemplating on morals and justice in black and white vision. That sounds great for another blockbuster Hollywood movie, eh?

But One Piece doesn’t ride on that simplistic view on things. It effortlessly shows the blurring of the roles of the “good” and the “bad” and instead embraces the ambiguity and complexity of the nature of individuals and groups.

  1. Suitable Music for an Unforgettable Journey

I can’t say much about the animation of the anime, but one of the technical aspects that deserve my approval is the background music. The pieces are mostly concert band music that easily helps build a somewhat Western feel throughout the episodes. The prominent wind instruments in them effectively help me in getting into the mood, ingraining a gusty atmosphere in the scenes which seems fitting for the sea adventure theme of the story. It’s also notable how wisely these tracks were used together with the sound effects, as if the anime was filmed in a real-life reimagining without holding back all the mass chattering, explosions, running, and yadda yadda.

  1. Story Actually Moves Along + Humor

There’s never a dull moment in One Piece (at least, from what I’ve seen so far). Even the filler story arcs are really well-written, I might not skip any of them in the future. And just as what you’d expect from a saga, not everything gets revealed at every checkpoint. After an arc ends, you’ll end up with more mysteries than when it started. But that doesn’t mean that the story hasn’t progressed from where it began. The fact that One Piece is not boring to watch is also attributed to its healthy amount of comedy—funny characters and interactions, random puns, and just bizarre situations. The odd mixture of it all just sort of works perfectly.

One Piece is great. And I mean it. I don’t know if the list of reasons-for-liking-it will get longer as I watch more and I also have this nagging feeling that I’ve not said enough, but nothing changes the fact that I have a great time watching it. It’s really worth getting on board. If you haven’t yet, want to hop on?

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36 responses to “One Piece is great!

  1. This is actually a very good review to get people into watching One Piece. I am constantly trying to get everybody to watch it. Considering how amazing of a anime/manga it is. It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me. (Don’t tell me wife)

    http://sleepinggeeks.com

  2. Pingback: The return of blog awards: Liebster Award 2015 v.2 | Anime Vios·

  3. One Piece is really great. Even though the series is long, sometimes it is worth it. It makes me laugh at random moments, and sometimes make me feel emotional. One Piece is a powerful anime.

    • Yes, I agree. One Piece is a really fun show that also doesn’t hold back when it comes to telling heartful tales of its characters. It has an overall optimistic vibe which is what makes the viewers want more and stick with the series. I think that’s why it has a very loyal fan base.

      It’s not easy to watch, considering that one has to invest time for it. But once you’ve watched enough, One Piece is undeniably charming and can’t help but think fondly of it.

  4. You just reminded me I still need to keep up with One Piece, I think there’s like 200 episodes from where I just stopped, lol.

    But I think you summed it up pretty well, I especially agree with the first and second points. One Piece’s world is really perfect for creativity run wide, lol. In every different islands the Straw Hat Pirates, we always get to know the difference in culture, systems and politics in regards to these different islands/country, it’s somewhat of an adventurous experience when watching One Piece.

    • If you have the episodes ready, it’s kinda easy to catch up. You know how One Piece, as most long-running shounen series tend to do, always includes a 2~2.5 minute recap of the previous episode. By marathoning it, you can also skip the OP and ED. It turns out to be economical compared to when watching it in short bursts. But that’s just from my experience so far, since I am not exactly busy at the moment.

      Yeah, it’s really charming that the setting is perfect to hear and know the different stories of the various people they meet. It may only be one anime/series, but it surprisingly has different ‘voices’ and perspectives because of these many non-recurring minor characters who in turn influence the main characters in one way or another. It’s truly adventurous in the sense that it packs a lot of stories in nice packages–the island hopping and the circumstances that come along with it.

  5. I absolutely agree with everything you said about One Piece! Those are the things that made One Piece so much fun to watch in the first place. Initially I find it hard to watch because I hated the character designs. But then I remember being sucked in by the adventures Luffy was having as he went around seeking to form his new crew and especially the humor. The journey, the friendships, Luffy’s need to help people and do what’s right, the crazy use of imagination to paint One Piece’s world, etc are what made this series so worth watching.

    I was introduced to this series after graduating from university actually. At that time there were already 360++ episodes. Because I was hooked, I had to source the series from several acquaintances before finally being able to catch up on my own. I fall behind from time to time still because honestly it’s a little hard to keep up with a long running series. I recently caught to the latest episode: 711th. There are freakin’ 711 episodes of One Piece! That’s how long the series is. Unbelievable.

    • Glad you like it^^

      The character designs of the main characters were okay for me as I used to see the anime on local TV. But, yes, the character designs (of other characters) could be pretty hard to get used to, especially of the minor villains–they tend to be flashy and very colorful. I think what made them come alive on screen were more of their speech (or way of laughing, they’re all distinct from one another for some reason haha) and their mannerisms.

      I truly appreciate that at even the seemingly most serious times, humor still finds its way into the scenes, making my whole watching experience more fun than expected and the stories a bit lighter to be taken by the heart.

      Yeah, me too. I got the first 49 episodes from the guy friend I mentioned above. But his computer had to be fixed, removing all the One Piece episodes from memory. Now, I’m outsourcing the earlier 600 episodes from a neighbor and friend. I was overjoyed when I heard he kept his One Piece collection. I’m already at the 140+th episode now. Man, I couldn’t stop watching. I’ll watch more after this. Whew. I thought I’d never be able to know how Robin and Chopper became Straw Hat Pirates. My curiosity about the rest of the Mugiwara gang also keeps me going. 700+ episodes still seems intimidating, but I’ll try my best to catch up. lol

      • Haha, I always wonder about the distinct laughing manner too. Gotta say, after watching so many episodes, I got a few favorites, or at least, a few I’d used when chatting with my friends who watch One Piece too.

        • I got a few favorite episodes, too! And man, I really love Chopper’s backstory. T^T

          Oh yeah, I’m still on a One Piece spree and I’m now at Thriller Bark arc! I’m pretty fast, aren’t I?

        • I’ve just started on the Fishman Island arc, that is, around episode 500+. I’m really happy I picked up One Piece! It might be possible for me to catch up! 🙂

        • So apparently the manga and anime are still both at Dressrosa arc. I’m stuck at episode 682 and about to run out of materials to marathon. 😦 It somehow saddens me that my days of excitement are coming to a close.

        • The bright side is you’ll be keeping up with the anime and can be watching on weekly basis from now on.

          Why are you stuck at 682? No source?

        • Yeah, definitely! I won’t be intimidated by the episode count anymore! lol

          You guessed it. I still haven’t outsourced the more recent episodes. For the meantime, I’ll keep myself busy doing other stuff.

  6. Miha-chaaaaaan! Oh my gosh. I’m so touched. Great post about a great series. As a huge ONE PIECE fan, I approve of this post 100%. Indeed, the sheer number of episodes in this series usually acts as a deterrent to those who have never watched it yet. It’s such a shame, really, because they don’t know what they’re missing out. But I’m glad that even if you’re still on episode 70-ish, you already appreciate the greatness of this series. And not to mention, the manga just achieved a Guinness World Record status. Ah, I’m so proud as a fan. It sounds difficult for you to catch up now, especially since so much is changing in your life, but I do hope that you do catch up. Anyway, I’ll shut up soon. I just can’t stop the words from flowing whenever ONE PIECE is involved. Once again, great post. Cheers!

    • Thanks~

      It’s such a shame, really, because they don’t know what they’re missing out.

      I do get what you mean here. However, as someone who previously didn’t watch One Piece, I won’t really say that they’re missing out on a lot. The time they spend for not watching One Piece is instead spent for other series. In one way or another, people are still bound to ‘meet’ their own favs or list of great series that are close to their hearts. Everyone is entitled to their own anime consumption and watching experience, and that means everyone has his/her ways of having great time with anime/manga. It’s just that for the people who haven’t seen One Piece yet, they simply don’t see it as something “great”–since they haven’t seen it to make comparisons. And not to mention there are people who dropped it after only a few episodes. In this case, One Piece just isn’t for them. They’re not the target audience and it’s not the series they’re looking for–which isn’t exactly a “loss” for One Piece (and the fans), or any other “great” series, for that matter.

      I already appreciated One Piece back when it was airing on local TV, but as I said the sheer length initially discouraged me from watching it. But now it’s different, since I can outsource the earlier episodes from a friend. Hihihi I’m still on a One Piece marathon since it’s so easy to get sucked in. Currently at episode 145~ I’m pretty fast, eh? Nothing much to do while waiting for job application results. lol

      Oho. What is its Guinness Record title?

      • Well said. My earlier words were from being a HUGE ONE PIECE fan, and I’m not the least bit sorry for saying those words. I still feel that way, but I understand what you’re trying to say. I’m like that, too, when it comes to “Bleach” and “Naruto”. I like them, but I’m not a big fan of them as I am with OP. I also hear a lot of people telling me “You don’t know what you’re missing out” whenever I reveal that I’m not updated with the latest episodes from “Naruto.” Anyway, I think that your reply to my comment will be a great post idea.

        I watched a few episodes of the Tagalog version of ONE PIECE. I say that it was good, although I still prefer the original Japanese. So biased, but there you go.

        Well, just be patient and the job will come. Best of luck, okay?

        I think it was the longest-running comic by a single artist. Oda-sensei is too cool!

        • Yeah. I also get what you said. 🙂 But having watched the Big 3 too, I just see clearly that One Piece is simply the most amazing of them. Man, I’m a fan now~! It never stops making its audience happy in spite of the perils and “fights” the StrawHats get into.

          I’m actually thinking of expanding my comment into a post. Hopefully soon. But given my schedule, it might get pushed back lol.

          Yeah, even before I watched anime in Japanese dub, I saw One Piece in Tagalog dub and felt satisfied with their performance. 🙂 Of course, there’s this loyalty to the material closer to the canon, being Japanese.

          Oh, about my job. I actually got an offer to a contractual job in my university. I’m supposed to start this month, going to write SOPs for the labs, and end on December. I also see it as an opportunity for self-therapy.

          I googled it last time and whoa, I’m amazed but it was a feat that wasn’t totally unimaginable, given that One Piece is such a great-scale sea adventure saga. I totally don’t see it ending so soon!

        • You got that right! It’s too cool. And I’m glad that you’re a fan now. I rewatch past episodes now and then. It’s my form of self-therapy. 😉

          Well, no pressure. Write the post whenever you’re ready. I’ll be waiting to read it. Good luck.

          Oh, good for you, Miha-chan! Congrats! Even if it’s just contractual, it’s a job, you know? Perhaps it’ll lead to a more permanent one. Let’s cross our fingers. At least it’s not one of those 1-month jobs. You get to work for the rest of this year. Good luck, okay?

          Ah. I really want to know the ending, but at the same time I don’t ever want it to end. I just hope that Oda-sensei’s health would hold out until he finishes the series.

        • Oh yeah, my One Piece marathon for these past 3 weeks has been therapeutic. Gosh. It’s an optimistic series I can’t help but feel hopeful for my own life too.

          Yeap. I’m hoping they’ll open permanent positions in school too. If not, then I can always look around the big companies. For now, this job is an important step for me. Thanks, Arria-chan!

          Btw, how’s school been?

          Right. He has written and drawn One Piece for 20 years now. Hope we’ll see it end at his best condition. 🙂

        • I’m feeling excited and happy just reading you talk about ONE PIECE. Gosh, this is insane. I love it too much, it’s crazy. But I don’t mind. Yes, it’s an optimistic series that you can’t help but be inspired by it.

          Yes, I can sense that it’s an important milestone in your life, Miha-chan. I hope that this good things keep on coming. Best of luck.

          I’m still on summer vacation. School will start next month. I’m excited to get back to school, but I’m doing my best to make the most of this summer vacation.

          I read this interesting post about an interview with Oda-sensei’s current editor. The editor revealed that Oda-sensei already has the final arc mapped out and that at this moment, it seems that ONE PIECE is already about 60-70% finished. Ooooooooh. This is so exciting. I’m like bubbling with excitement. 😀

        • Yeah. I think I can wrote a couple or more posts on One Piece. It’s really packed with humanity and all. I love how the subjects in it are right up my alley; they really get me thinking. And I love how Oda thinks. A genius in making us all happy and hopeful.

          Thanks, Arria-chan! 😀

          What are you doing this summer break?

          Oh, interesting. That means we’ll get a total of about 1100 chapters of One Piece? So that’s umm around 6 to 7 years from now! :3

        • Cool! I’m looking forward to reading your future ONE PIECE posts. I’m so happy that you’re really starting to get hooked by it. Indeed, I also like how Oda-sensei thinks.

          You’re welcome.

          I have less then a month until school starts again, but I’m very excited to return. I think I spent my summer well. How about you? How’s the working life? You started working now, didn’t you?

          Maybe. I don’t know the exact number of chapters or episodes, and I don’t want to think too much about it because it makes me panic a little. But I’m glad that we now have an idea about how long the series is going to last. I’m quite sad, actually.

        • I’m currently hibernating (from writing), but when I think of One Piece, my mind goes full throttle. Better use my glucose at the right timing, when I’m more motivated. XD

          Spent these last few weeks waiting for the call from my professor regarding my work at school. I went to my uni two Fridays ago and last heard that the papers were still being processed. Talk about bureaucracy and just the seeming lack of urgency… I’m now wondering if that job invitation is even gonna turn into reality. It’s really been frustrating me…

          That’s an expected reaction from a long-time OP fan. I’m not sure myself how to feel about One Piece ending, being a newbie here, but I do know that it’s something I look forward to–though not in the near future!

        • Well, rest well during your hibernation. Oh my gosh. Same here, but my mind goes beyond full throttle whenever I think of ONE PIECE. XD Anyway, when you do write that ONE PIECE post, I’ll surely read it.

          Wow. That sounds really frustrating. Did they tell you if the job is 100% yours? But if they already invited you and you accepted, I think anyone will assume that it’s guaranteed. So when’s the start date again?

        • Yeah, I was also thinking we could do a collab post on One Piece one of these days! Been wanting to write one with you. 🙂

          Yeah, my professor did tell me it’s mine. I was supposed to start on the 10th. Well, at least that was what he requested in the papers, which are apparently still being processed. It’s been more than a week and I’m afraid of being ditched, but I think my uni *is* professional enough to not let this chance slip away from me. (But then again, I badly need the money, causing me to be this impatient.)

        • Sure. I would love to do a collaboration with you, especially if it’s about ONE PIECE. Just let me know what kind of collab are you thinking whenever you’re ready.

          That’s good. At least you already know from your prof that you got the job. I guess the rest of the paperworks are just formalities. I really hope that you start your job as soon as possible, so that you can feel relieved soon. Good luck.

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