I’ve been wanting to write up something on One Piece for a while as I feel some people really look down upon others who like One Piece. Let me first mention that there may be some spoilers in here, however I’ll try my best to keep it low to anyone who hasn’t seen or read the series yet. I’m also going to warn you that this may be a bit on the long side, but what would you expect from a series that has been going for 20 years, literally. I’m going to basically explain why I started watching One Piece and my opinions on the series. Please note that I also have been reading the manga as well, I’m almost up to date on it. This is journey of some girl getting into the big world of One Piece ho boy.
Anyone who has known me long enough knows the kind of shows I’m into, you’ll mostly see me watching cute girls doing cute things type of shows, idols, slice of life, some fantasy/action here and there, oh and Gundam. However this year I made the decision to plunge into something I have brushed off for years. It actually all started out with Boku no Hero Academia, my boyfriend insisted that I watch the show and said it was really good. It took me some time to get convinced because I’m not really into shounen type shows and it didn’t look appealing to me at the time.
However, I decided to give it a shot, I was not initially hooked. It took a few episodes to get there, I loved All Might’s character a lot and was pretty into it eventually. After watching both seasons of it once the 2nd season was finished airing I was pretty bored of the current shows I had been watching. It seemed everything was stale at the time, I believe it was either spring or summer season this year. I can’t exactly remember how it happened but I came across a post on Reddit about the Boku no Hero Academia’s manga author and Eiichiro Oda. I read how influenced the author was with One Piece and how Oda kindly encouraged his readers to read BHA after praising it as well. I thought how nice it was of Oda to do that, considering how popular and high status’d he was.
It was then I decided just maybe I should give the series a go. It was truly daunting looking at the sheer number of episodes and chapters (800+ at the moment). Being an usual anime watcher, I decided watching the anime might be easier for me as I don’t read manga that often. It was also easy having a Crunchyroll sub to watch it in HD with.
Now before I came to this point, seriously before all this happened I used to be the person who would think “ew, One Piece, what a stupid looking show, look at those wacky characters. It’s just another dumb shounen series like Naruto and Fairy Tail” (no offense if you like any of those by the way). Basically I would never expect myself to wish to watch this series ever, it just did not interest me whatsoever. The thing that turns a lot of people off about One Piece is the character designs, and I was definitely one of them. I thought the show was just childish and nothing else.
So I finally decided to take the plunge and watch an episode on Crunchyroll after going all the way down the list to the first arc. Seeing how many episodes were in this show, I thought it was such an impossible task to think you can watch all this and be “good”.
After watching the first episode of One Piece, I was left really confused and annoyed at some characters. I did like Luffy’s personality though, he was very charismatic and energetic. (I later found out this was not even the first scene in the manga).
Needless to say I didn’t really like it and felt like this was not going to be for me. I later for some reason out of curiosity decided to read some thoughts on other people just starting out with One Piece and saw veterans were often jealous of newcomers, because they wish they could read/see the series for the first time again. Was nothing but praise, of course they could very well be just biased.
I buckled down again and decided to give it another go after a week or two, I watched a couple of episodes starting from 1 again. The animation wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be coming from an old series but it certainly wasn’t going to win any awards.
It was very odd, the show didn’t feel like anything spectacular at the time when I was watching it but I couldn’t stop watching it. Something about it, I can’t really describe it, but I was curious to keep on watching.
I reached Zoro’s, Ussop’s and Sanji’s arc, all were quite sad in comparison. They had some very touchy feel-y subjects which I was intrigued by, it made me keep going. Even though it was pretty watchable for me at the time, something still felt a bit meh, like I wasn’t fully impressed by the series yet.
Then came Nami’s arc when she went back home, I think that was when I was like OK, now I understand why people could like this series so much. It was then that scene when Luffy gave Nami his hat and told her “Of course!” after she was crying and said “Help me”. The way all of the Strawhats walked down to Arlong with that music, gave me the chills. Even if it wasn’t so well animated, it had some impact.
Officially after finishing the Arlong arc, I felt a little guilty to myself that I enjoy this series much more than I ever expected. It was not something I wanted to admit to others as pretty much the people I know don’t like One Piece and would frown upon it.
But you know, at the time this was my guilty little pleasure, well not little, I had so long to go, so many episodes left. I began to increase the number of episodes I watched per day and was making the 100, 200 and even 300 mark of the series before I knew it.
Let me tell you something about One Piece, it will make you laugh, it will make you hate characters like really hate them. It will make you excited with goosebumps, but most of all, it will really fuck you up in the kokoro. Yes, it honestly will. This is the first show that has made me ball out crying countless of times, I have lost count how many times I have teared up. No other show has made me cry this much in the history I have watched anime.
So what makes this show so great? Why should you care about some kid wanting to be a pirate and finding treasure? Sounds childish right? Well, One Piece makes you care, I don’t know how else to put it. The more you read/watch it, the more you’ll want to see Luffy succeed, the more you want to see the crew’s next adventures. Seeing Luffy beat the crap out of a villain you really hate is the most satisfying thing. Of course there are times when Luffy doesn’t always win and you really feel bad for him.
The strongest aspect of the series is the bond each of the Strawhats have for each other, you will never find a closer friendship in a series than One Piece, I’m pretty sure of that. They will risk their lives for each other, invade a prison, pick a fight with a Warlord, fight the World Government You name it, they will do anything no matter how crazy it is. It’s insane thinking about all the things Luffy has done up until now and the series keeps shocking you with every arc and plot twist to come. Just when you think things are getting boring, something pops up just to surprise you (usually in a bad manner).
I will say one thing, this series is not “perfect”, there are some fillers (not nearly as many as you think, really low) and times where the pacing can seem to drag a bit. I am guilty of skipping a few filler arcs and boring episodes on my way here. But I personally feel the positives of the series when it really really shines bright, it shines bright enough to make you overlook it’s imperfections because it just feels that good to watch/read.
I honestly feel more people should give it a chance, even if you can only read/watch a little bit at a time, you’ll be thankful to get to certain arcs. They’re truly enjoyable and exciting to experience for the first time. There’s just something… something special about this series one can’t describe.
I trust that Oda will keep the same quality moving on as he has decided to keep this going for much longer than he initially planned. I can only say that I and many others look forward to seeing Luffy find the One Piece and get to Raftel to become the PIRATE KING!
Leaving it off with one of the saddest moments which really depicts what Oda can do to wreck your heart. You’ll find yourself crying over a ship, yes a ship. (Of course don’t watch if you don’t want to be spoiled)