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One Piece and why a man is only as good as his word

Brook: “He may think that we’ve betrayed him, but if he’s waiting even now, how miserable must he be? […] I can’t help but think that he’s believed in us all this time.

Luffy: “Your nakama may be dead, but from now on I’m your rival!

I love One Piece. I love how it can make me care, deeply, about such a rag-tag bag of bones and his long lost friend, a giant whale called Laboon. This is a complaint about One Piece that I’m used to reading, that the art-style is too cartoony to take seriously. While I can understand that opinion, isn’t it a tad superficial to rely quite so much on how a character looks in order to feel empathy for their plight? “He’s a man!!” says Franky, because Brook, despite everything that’s happened to him; dying, losing his body, even after having his shadow stolen, he’s a man because he’s still thinking about his dearest friend and the promise he made to him some 50 years ago. All that time has passed and he still cares. I could watch this anime forever. After all, skin or no skin, a man is only as good as his word (or his afro).

Comments

qwertypoiuy says:

oda is a great writer
i have completely forget about that whale makes me wonder how far has oda planned his manga

i am really happy that we are still in the middle of the story as oda said
and i am sure that i will be amazed more and more

Jayme says:

Oda said he planned for Brook during the Laboon arc, if I remember correctly. I thought this part of him was amazing when I originally read it, “Everything meaning something” is something quite unheard of in the shonen world. In terms of what is being chucked back into action, It seems like Oda has a lot planned, Even more so in the latest manga arc. Everything seems so huge, in a sense.

Also, I was quite pleased when I saw this piece on Nakama Britannica. Whilst I was watching 362, I was thinking that I would love to see Bateszi view on this, and although it doesn’t seem like your there yet. You’ll continue loving it.

Ivy says:

Considering myself an avid anime viewer it would probably resound echoes of “Oh” and “Ah” from typical anime fans to know that I haven’t touched this show yet, yes, not even the first episode. I’ve just gotten so terribly wary of anything shonen-like, loosely speaking of course (I’m so fond of Souleater its getting unhealthy hee). After the abominations that are Naruto and Bleach, both extremly mainstream and derivative (Naruto Shippuden’s glacial pacing doesn’t seem to be able to reach a fraction of the good old Naruto days, Bleach’s Bounto-arc completely threw me off the hook and out of the limbo). I’ve been hearing good things about One Piece as I hear its relatively consistent (which says a lot about shonen shows) with fresh art, solid production quality and stories about friendship (the last part is a little iffy but they usually work out fine, cliched and safe). With that in mind I’ll give it a chance, I mean you seem to love it..how bad can it be right? Plus I’ve seen a few screens, seems very promising!

AnotherGeek says:

I will guarantee this, you will absolutely love it. The art in the anime may stay the same over time but if you ever want to try out the manga, you will be impress. Oda style improve VASTLY over the years. Compare a chapter in the current arc to the first chapter, you won’t this this is coming from the same author. Whereas Naruto and Bleach, the author seem more lazy or something but there art style stay the same or even degrading (lesser details, panel with a face and 1 tone background, etc.) You won’t see that in One Piece.

blissmo says:

I’m also quite amazed that the characters in One Piece can be so deep, but I like the cartoon-ish pictures despite how it may make the anime seem as if it’s just a children’s show with the usual moral of “achieving your goals”. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen the dubbed version of One Piece on tv, so when I tried checking the un-dubbed version of it, for some reason I just couldn’t stand it any more. But nevertheless, I enjoy seeing characters who would sacrifice everything and do whatever it takes and share what they have with others despite owning so little.

Crappinometer says:

Oda is just fantastic. One Piece has it all: Action, plot twists, comedy, drama, creativeness, and so many more. My only criticism for One Piece is the “Nobody-dies-except-in-flashbacks” thing. Could have been better if some not-so-important characters died rather that miraculously surviving.

In the end, I’ll still take One Piece over Naruto + Bleach. Especially with what’s happening in the recent manga chapters… Man… I always end up wishing that the next week would already come :D

qwertypoiuy says:

damn i have been hearing a lot about the current arc of the manga makes me want to read but i must resist

Ez says:

One piece is awesome. I’ve been following the manga for the past 8 years and I’ve got to say it’s never let me down yet; each new chapter is just keeps that wonder one piece brings to me.

okiru14 says:

@blissmo: I’ve been watching fan-subbed One Piece since the beginning. I decided to check out the 4Kids dubbed version and couldn’t stomach it. The soundtrack had been dumped (I love the original orchestral soundtrack) and the voice actors didn’t sound convincing. While I haven’t seen the Funimation version, I’ve read that it’s reasonably good.

I’m very biased, but I don’t watch anything dubbed. That goes for foreign films, TV, as well as anime. I feel that the original [voice] actors do a much better job with the material that any dub artist (regardless of country of origin). That being said, I also feel that Japanese anime voice actors generally do a better job with their craft than their American counterparts.

@qwertypoiuy: I resisted reading the One Piece manga until the close to the end of the Skypia arc. Then I couldn’t stand it any more and dove in. I haven’t regretted it for a moment. I still watch the anime and enjoy it just as much. We’ve all heard the saying that the movie is never as good as the book. Well, with the One Piece anime being so good, imagine how truly incredible the manga is.

bateszi says:

Hey everyone. To be honest, when I published this post, I was worried that it was too short, too personal and too obscure to get much of a response, so much so I nearly didn’t post it at all, yet to read all of your replies since then has been such a pleasant surprise. Thanks, and please keep them coming.

@qwertypoiuy: I’ll be sad the day Oda publishes the last chapter of One Piece. Who knows when that will be, but regardless, I know I’ll miss it dearly.

@Jayme: Yup, I watched 353 just last night, so catching up slowly but surely. Anyway, as I’m making an effort to blog a lot of the shonen anime I’m following at the moment, I’ll have more to add down the line. And one has to wonder about the imagination of Oda… Seeing Luffy’s flashback to the Straw Hats entrance into the Grand Line, it’s baffling and wonderful to think that was just the beginning. I’d love to go back and write about Nami’s Arlong arc sometime.

@Ivy: I’d go so far as to suggest that the One Piece anime is the finest adaptation of shonen anime you’ll ever see. Yes, it has occasional fillers, but even then, it is watchable. You should try it, but be sure to give it time to hook you in, as it doesn’t really hit top form until episode 31, which is the beginning of the Arlong Arc. That’s the first time we understand exactly what it means to be a comrade of the Straw Hats. Episode 37 contains one moment in particular that is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen full stop.

@AnotherGeek: At this point, I think I’m too attached to the anime to even think about looking at the manga. Without the voices, or the music, I’d be worried the story might lose something if I tried the manga instead. It’s the same with Naruto, I’ve felt so much attachment to the anime that it would be too hard to let go. Thanks for the advice though, just as a matter of interest I might track down earlier art from the manga and compare it to the contemporary stuff. I need to start collecting the manga anyway.

@blissmo: You should try it again. Juding from your blog, you seem to enjoy shonen anime, and the genre doesn’t get much better than One Piece. I have to say the 4 Kids version was a travesty of justice and I’m surprised you couldn’t stand the Japanese voices, as for me, it’s got the best voice acting of any anime I’ve ever seen. Alright, One Piece is my favourite anime of all time, so I might be a little biased ;)

@Crappinometer: When you think about it though, a character dying isn’t really as true a victory as literally breaking their will to fight on. I think it’s kind of interesting how each fight seems to come down to a clash of philosophies. I know what you mean though, the fact Oda tries to avoid death does seem a little underwhelming and some what undermines an important sacrifice (I wonder how Pell survived the bomb exploding right under him during the Alabasta arc?), and no matter what, some characters (like Crocodile and Rob Lucci) might be better off dead.

@Ez: You and me both. I spent nearly 4 years catching up with the anime, but every minute spent watching was worth it.

@okiru14: You’re really tempting me to take a look at the manga… Must resist. I might start collecting the older volumes, as I’m fairly sure that even when I’m an old man sleeping in a rocking chair by the window, I’ll still adore this story.

okiru14 says:

@bateszi: Glad to tempt you with the One Piece manga. Oda’s pacing is supurb, and getting to watch his drawing style evolve is wonderful. The anime changes a few minor points from the manga (like how Zoro’s sword is destroyed) and it’s actually fun to notice the differences and see how well the anime adapts the manga. I can’t praise One Piece enough, especially the manga.

blissmo says:

@okiru14:
Actually, I don’t really enjoy dubbed anime much either, but I heard One Piece was extremely good so I couldn’t help watching it. Maybe I didn’t give the Japanese version much of a chance since I really liked the English OP (the tune was so darn catchy), so when I heard the Japanese one, I was like “wahh?” But still good nevertheless, lols. Besides, I did watch a few episodes of the Japanese one, but maybe I just got tired of the plot and not so much of the voices.

@bateszi:
You checked my blog? Did you get my email? Oh wait, never mind lols. Anyway, I really like short posts that say a lot, so keep up the good work! Oh, yes, I adore shounen series! I think I should watch One Piece again since when I watched the Japanese version, I was actually re-watching the episodes I’ve already seen on tv. Oh and I like Sanji’s Japanese voice (I think that’s his name …. the blonde guy), and he’s also my favourite character XD

Naruto says:

Yes, the afro on Brook is just amazing. I think for a while that although the story is great that the art in drawing has gone pretty stagnant for me. However, with the new world I think One Piece has really reinvented itself. In a way Oda kinda had to since the popularity of Naruto kept on rising. Regardless I’m glad what he did what he did. :)

Omisyth says:

His resoluteleness is a great thing to watch; it’s annoying how he loses to the samurai anyway.

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Wild Blue says:

Gosh I love One Piece. I have seen many different styles of anime, but there is none I love more than One Piece. This said “cartoonish” quality of the art means nothing. It is truly the content of the series that makes me come back and watch the antics of Luffy and his nakama again and again. Oh yes and ditto on hating to wait A WHOLE WEEK for 23 min. of and episode. Especially since I know what is coming (the manga is always a head of the anime, naturally).

ORA ORA ORA says:

I’m a huge fan of One Piece, if anything it’s my 2nd fav manga after Berserk. The last time I found myself so interested in a shonen was back in the days of Dragon Ball manga. I’ve never been one to stick with an anime, I’ve always enjoyed the fact that the manga will usually churn out more consistently improving work, especially when the author is of such caliber.

However this one movie is easily the only One Piece movie so far that I’ve enjoyed as much as the manga, not that the others are bad or horrible but the manga really outshines the anime by that far in my opinion.

As such, I think it’s a shame for fans of Japanese narratives to have prejudices against shonen or seinen. Shonen and seinen have been the ones to have produced most of the classic masterpieces. Give each story a shot depending on how interesting it seems to you. If I were an American and my first exposure of One Piece was from the tv show, I would have hated it instantly.

As Naruto and Bleach taking that much heat from fans, I do agree in some parts as to how it’s not as great as One Piece and other assorted masterpieces but you know what? I’d read them before I read another silly Marvel or DC comic that takes itself way more seriously yet has a script that isn’t aware of how juvenile it is.

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