Posts tagged 'One Piece'
Whitebeard was always a big, strong guy, then he ate the Earthquake fruit and became feared the world over. He could’ve turned the planet upside-down, but didn’t. He was a cool guy, and watching him lead his men in such an era-shifting arc of One Piece was brilliant.
I’ve always found the idea of an apprentice palatable. The idea of learning directly from a ‘master’ on real-world projects is, to me, a better way of doing things. Over my years in university I can’t count how many lazy students (including the lazy student in the mirror) I’ve met who slack off simply because they can’t feel the real world gravity of what they’re working on.
Just about every shounen mangaka has spent time as an apprentice: Eiichiro Oda (One Piece) began as Watsuki Noburhiro’s (Rurouni Kenshin, most notably) assistant, alongside Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King). In turn, Nobuhiro (among others) were mentored by Takeshi Obata, of Death Note and Hikaru no Go fame. Naruto‘s Masahi Kishimoto claims to have been struck with an inescapable motivation to become a mangaka after seeing an Akira poster (penned by Katsuhiro Otomo), and all of these, including Hiro Mashima of Fairy Tail fame, are spiritual successors to Osamu Tezuka and Akira Toriyama.
And where, you ask, is this lengthy preamble taking us? Towards Yankee-kun to Megane-chan!
By most people’s standards, the above image will look a bit… ugly. It was snapped from episode 455 of One Piece, but, the thing is, I thought this episode was beautiful; beautifully animated, that is. The above is merely 1 frame in a sequence of animation depicting an old lady weeping. Her face changes its expression a lot in just this one scene, and while it may not look pretty, it’s the movement of the animation itself that conveys her emotion.
Before I start, a preamble: One Piece is a great anime. Ever since our little agreement a month back I’ve been tackling the series, from 229 onwards at a pace of about 3 or so episodes a day. Unlike the other One Piece addict around here, however, I must admit the plot and characters aren’t the focus of the experience for me. Rather, I was interested in how One Piece transitioned from manga to anime, particularly in light of some of the other Shounen Jump adaptations that came out in the neighboring years.
One Piece begins with the execution of the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. His death was intended to symbolize the power of the World Government, but had the opposite effect instead, conceiving the Golden Age of Pirates!
One Piece is full of mythology. What happened in the Void Century, anyway? What about the meaning behind the Poneglyphs? Gol D. Roger plays a massive role in this same mythology and is regarded more as a deity than as the fallible man he actually was. His first mate (Silvers Rayleigh, in episode 400 of the anime) provides us with a differing account of the Pirate King, a perspective not as much concerned with the legend as the man himself.
We learn that Gol D. Roger was dying of an untreatable disease at the time of his execution. He wasn’t caught in the prime of his life, but rather, just wanted to go out with a bang, in the words of Rayleigh, “In the last moment of his life, he (Gol D. Roger) turned his fading “flame of life” into a huge fire that enveloped the world.”
Some anime are dark and depressing, others are romantic and heart-wrenching. One Piece is a story of friendship, chasing dreams, and smiling; honestly, it is a joy to behold, to listen as Brook plays his favourite song; the music has a feeling of nostalgia. The Straw-Hats’ celebrations are always moments of sublime happiness, which is something that One Piece has always captured so well, as after such a long, hard journey, it’s only right to reflect on the adventure, and, of course, to smile.
But Brook cries instead, because his dearest Laboon has waited nearly 50 years to be reunited with him. Meanwhile, just a matter of days before, Zoro and Sanji offered to trade their lives in return for their friends. All of them were unconscious, Zoro nearly dies, and few know why. It’s a secret. Yohohoho.