Everyone Should Watch One Piece

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A promotional image for One Piece’s recently concluded “Wano-kuni” arc. Monkey D. Luffy (right) stands proud with his allies “The Worst Generation” to face powerful foes. (Photo Courtesy Toei Animation.)

In Shonen Jump’s vast array of weekly manga, One Piece stands above the rest as a timeless piece of literature. One Piece’s riveting tale of heroism and adventure can be enjoyed by people of any age or gender.

The author, Eichiro Oda, published the first chapter of One Piece on July 22, 1997. For over 25 years, he has drawn and written a chapter of One Piece every week. 

Storytelling

The premise of One Piece is simple: A young teen, Monkey D. Luffy, seeks to obtain the greatest treasure in the world, the mysterious “One Piece” and become King of the Pirates. 

This simple tale of a young man’s adventure in a fantastical world flourishes into a years-long voyage in which he meets curious characters from around the world and liberates them from dastardly foes.

Although it is a comic published in a young boys manga magazine, its emotional story and compelling characters will hook any first-time watchers. Most One Piece fans start truly loving the series once they finish the first saga “East Blue,” with the emotional conclusion of the “Arlong Park” arc.

Uniqueness

When it comes to creativity in the anime/manga industry, Eichiro Oda stands alone as the pinnacle of imagination. Oda’s ingenuity when it comes to the aspects of One Piece’s world knows no bounds. From an archipelago amusement-park, to a floating graveyard, or an island atop a 20-mile tall elephant, Luffy’s crew never fails to draw the reader in.

Besides being an adventure story, many viewers would also consider One Piece to be a “battle-shonen,” a type of manga where many story events are centered around battles between characters. Oda excels with the concept of Devil Fruits as well. 

In the world of One Piece, Devil Fruits are mystical treasures, that when consumed grant the eater fantastical abilities. Some powers vary from the self-explanatory Flame-Flame fruit, to the strange Jacket-Jacket fruit, in which the consumer of the Devil-Fruit has the ability to transform into a jacket. Oda’s creative use of these wacky abilities gives originality to every battle of One Piece.

Something for Everyone

At over 1100 chapters, One Piece has managed to carry a little something for everyone. Monkey D. Luffy’s adventures give ample opportunity for the story to shift in many different ways, offering comedy to those who need a laugh and heroic victory to those who need a pick-me-up.

One Piece’s comedy is regarded as one of the best, with CBR ranking One Piece as its number-one funniest manga. Oda’s massive cast of characters can bounce off each other in hilarious ways, and any combination of characters from its 25+ years of serialization is sure to give you a laugh.

For those more musically inclined, the One Piece anime is also lauded as having an amazing soundtrack, with its opening themes (such as the original “We Are!”) receiving countless praises from fans and critics alike. One Piece’s recent movie One Piece Film Red also received special awards from the Japan Academy Film Prize Association for its stellar soundtrack.

How to Start One Piece?

One Piece stands to be one of Shonen Jump’s longest running manga, and the 1000+ episode count tends to intimidate new viewers. However, there are many ways for new watchers to dip their toes into the water of One Piece. The original anime is available on many streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. 

If you find the original anime to be time consuming, abridged cuts of the first three major arcs of One Piece (East Blue, Alabasta and Skypiea) are also available via the “Episode Of” movies. These feature-length films are easily available to stream on both Netflix and Crunchyroll. 

While they cut original content to fit feature-length, the “Episode Of” movies offer a much more approachable way to consume the first 200 episodes of the anime, in a more modern art style.

Netflix also offers a live-action adaptation of the series, which may be the most approachable to those unfamiliar with manga/anime. The live-action series went viral after its release in August of 2023, and Netflix plans on releasing even more seasons in the future.

For the most authentic experience, I would recommend reading Eichiro Oda’s original manga. Consisting of fifteen-to-nineteen page chapters, the original manga is the easiest to mass-binge in the shortest period of time.

Currently, Shueisha offers the entirety of the One Piece manga on MangaPLUS, allowing for a single free read of each chapter all the way up to the most recently released chapter.

One Piece is one of the most influential anime of all time and will entertain fans of all demographics. New readers should start their journey soon, as “One Piece” has almost been located, and online spoilers will spread quickly once it’s found. This anime is the “one piece” of media you should have at the top of your watchlist.

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