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Review Manga One Piece (Update New Volume)
NOTE: This is obviously not a bad-ass/cool-mysterious guy on a seemingly complex mission that is trying to mind-f**k you. This is SHOUNEN. Straight-forward and easy to understand for younger viewers and deep enough for the older. This is business as well as entertainment ei: MAINSTREAM.
Sure it has a VERY generic shounen anime base-line but it has a lot more depth to it that only a mature audience can understand. This can’t be seen within the first 20 episodes; it’s one of those things where you have to grin and bare with. Most likely, your efforts would be worthwhile.
I’ll just follow the trend and comment on the sections; starting with the weakest qualities.
1. ART: (6/10)
This is a HUGE issue and it takes a lot of perseverance and patience to get used to the art style of this anime. It took me about 6 months to get used to it.
At first, everyone looked like overly-hyper, 12 year-olds being too loud and just looking at them made me want to stop. Noodle-like arms and legs, weird anatomy etc. the list goes on. But if you power through however long it takes for you to get used to the art, the characters appear as catalysts of nothing but pure emotion. This puts you in a weird, neutral position. You know that the art isn’t great but you can’t seem to imagine this series in any other way. Changing the art style becomes a bad idea.
The only reason why I’m giving the art style a 6/10 is because it’s so damn hard to swallow. In the end, anime isn’t just eye-candy, it’s storytelling first and foremost and I think One Piece knows this very well.
2. SOUND: (8/10)
The sound in this series isn’t bad but it isn’t spectacular though it does have golden moments during heavily emotional scenes. What IS fantastic is the seiyuu’s performances throughout this colossal series. They (generally) capture the essence of their characters, flaws and all. For example: The annoying idiot aspects of Luffy. Mayumi Tanaka was THE voice for Luffy. No one could fill her shoes.
The opening themes usually sets the correct tone for the series; an up-beat, “let’s go on an adventure” kind of feeling. Corny? Maybe, Childish? Very, Effective? Absolutely.
For what One Piece is and what it does; the sounds in the series definitely supports. It’s doesn’t suit my taste in music but it’s very “One Piece”, which adds to the experience.
3. STORY: (10/10)
The depth of this story will surprise anyone. I had very low expectations for this series, having started years after it began airing but after watching it for a while, I truly believe that this is one of the best shounen stories to date.
Despite being from a very obvious shounen base-line, One Piece delivers fantastically. One Piece explores society in a very extreme manner; often exaggerated to enhance the hype of the moment. You can see that this is deliberate because of how everything within the story drives to one particular moment.
I don’t think One Piece’s story should be compared to reality because it’s simply not realistic: It’s not supposed to be but we can certainly compare and relate the ideas and themes within the plot.
This is a truly well thought-out plot, beautifully integrated with the characters to provide a very wholesome experience. If you sit there and watch it -searching for flaws- you will be missing the point of One Piece. If you approach it with a “What the hell but whatever, lets see how this goes” attitude, you are guaranteed to enjoy this plot more.
NOTE: Fillers are NOT stories, they fill empty spaces. That’s why they’re called ‘fillers’. They are meant to be half-assed to buy time for the author. You can’t judge a series by fillers, that just means you’re stupid.
4. CHARACTER: (10/10)
First impressions are important when it comes to characters. Unfortunately, One Piece fails at this and fails pretty hard. We are introduced to a very typical hero, off to be some king of something and be the biggest, baddest man on town: in this case, the world. Then we meet a typical tough-guy/Mr. Cool. etc.
The thing that is amazing about the characters in One Piece is that though they appear very standard; they somehow manage to break their cookie-cutter mold. Each character basically has one strong quality about them but that one aspect of their character is what makes each character special.
They then develop as the story progresses; being faced with challenges each character’s physical, mental and emotional state to their limits; tests their judgment and instincts. They are never perfect but it’s how they work around their shortcomings and utilize their few strong aspects to survive in the hostile world of One Piece, that puts the characters of One Piece in a league of their own.
Once you get used to the whole atmosphere of this series, you will find that you won’t be able to help but feel very attached to almost every character you come across.
5. ENJOYMENT: (10/10)
It’s fabulous. I can’t think of any other series with this much depth; in character design and the execution of the plot. There is a lot to read into in this series, people just need to take a deep breathe and allow themselves to be drowned and suffocated by it. It won’t kill you I promise.
6. OVERALL: (10/10)
I obviously love this series. It’s completely underrated and is constantly being flamed by ‘mature viewers’ that think they’ve actually grown up just because they watch brain-raping anime with what SEEMS like a complicated plot when it’s actually just another generic anime to their related genre.
This series deserves a lot more than that. It is worth the trouble of getting used to the painful art style. It is worth credit. There IS a reason why it’s popular.
We, in the Western world tend to think that it’s mind-boggling to see that THIS is one of their most popular animes but I think it’s our arrogance and denial that is causing this negative reaction. Apparently, anime is just pretty colors, characters with big eyes and crazy hair, and big tits or a scifi-novel with moving pictures.
One Piece is a fantastic combination of business, entertainment and art. It’s obvious why this series is such a success in it’s homeland. It’s just tragic how a disgrace to mankind (4Kids Entertainment) got hold of this gem before it could reach a wider audience.
This is not a masterpiece; but it’s pretty damn close to being one.
There is no such thing as a perfect show.