The phenomenon of One Piece is something special. It is the best-selling manga of all time, with over 380 million volumes sold. To me, one of the most interesting aspects of the series is that it has been running continuously since 1997. Now you may be thinking. "So, why should I care? Batman and Superman comics have been running for 75+ years, Marvel series have been going for almost as long, Hell even some newer stuff like TMNT has been around since the 80's." Here's the difference. One Piece has been following the same story for the past 19 years and it has all been written by the same author, Eiichiro Oda. Sure, Stan Lee created Spider-Man, but he didn't exclusively write his story for 20 years. Manga is published differently as well, running as a weekly feature. In One Piece's case, the magazine is Weekly Shonen Jump, making this story even more engaging. Oda has been working on the same story all this time with minimal breaks and still manages to tell a compelling story most weeks. But, today I'm not here to sell you on the manga, I'm here to sell you on the excellent anime adaptation. So here are 4 reasons you should try watching the adventures of the Straw Hat pirate crew.
This picture honestly raises more questions than explanations.
1. The Characters are Great
Luffy is seen here convinced that he can push a zombie back into the ground. The zombie then proceeds to call him a jackass.
One Piece has some of the best characters in all of
This creates an automatic large weakness for many of the characters in the show because they are after all pirates sailing the high seas. Luffy and every member of his crew get incredibly fleshed out backstories that you need to experience for yourself. This creates an emotional attachment to the characters, who in turn contribute to the overarching story in various ways. At its core, One Piece is about the characters and their growth. Even most of the villains and side characters are likable and interesting. They all have goals and tangible motivations.
2. The Perfect Blend of Humor and Action
Seriously you do not want to piss these guys off.
Many anime are action packed and many have a weird blend of humor. This series manages to combine the two in a believable way that blends perfectly. This is most evident through our lovable pirate crew. They can be joking, eating, and drinking one moment, and the next kicking some serious ass. Dragonball is one of my favorite anime of all time and while it can be funny at times, it has never had me laughing as hard as One Piece does. This blend of action and humor keeps an air of lightheartedness to the series while not sacrificing the emotion that it creates. The show is very smart about when it wants to make you laugh and when it wants you to feel an emotion, whether it be anger, sadness, or something else. The fight scenes are also great. Characters often are pushed to their limits and must create new flashy techniques on the fly. The coolest thing about this is how Zoro, the crew's first mate, and swordsman, can handle a situation differently than say Usopp, the sniper, or Nami, the navigator, who must use their brains or trickery to diffuse it because of their lack of physical strength. This keeps the show interesting and keeps you guessing how different characters will overcome different odds.
3. Originality and Story
Luffy is always looking for another adventure and ALWAYS looking for the One Piece.
One Piece is a wholly original concept. Sure, pirate stories have been done and sure, Shonen action anime have been
4. It's a Binge-watcher's Dream
To date of the article's writing the One Piece anime has 755 subtitled episodes, 491 of which are available to watch currently in English. In our culture today binging a series is common. This is why Netflix now releases their shows all at once. It is the new streaming model and doesn't look to be changing anytime soon. With this many episodes to watch, not including movies (of which there are 14) and manga, you could be busy watching this show for a long time. The best part about is One Piece is the type of show that lends itself to long watching sessions. You can sit down for a weekend and binge the entire Alabasta arc and feel like you made progress in the show. The other great thing is that there is no end in sight. Oda has stated that the story is only about halfway done. There has even been a time-skip to progress the characters and keep things fresh and interesting. One Piece shows no signs of slowing down and thankfully has never had a large dip in quality, thanks to the love and attention of its creator. So if you're looking for something new to watch this weekend, give it a shot.
One Piece was one of the shows that got me back into anime after a long hiatus. I was always a fan of Dragonball, Gundam Wing, and Yu Yu Hakusho growing up and One Piece scratches that itch for me. It is a very unique and diverse show that I have only begun to scratch the surface of in this article. I encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think. It is available to stream on Funimation and Cruncyroll currently and with the recent announcement of their partnership, we'll be getting more anime in the west than ever. One Piece is also currently airing on Adult Swim's Toonami block Saturday's at 2:00 AM EST. Oh and I forgot to mention, One Piece has some kick ass music that you can check out here.