It’s understandable that a series so long, so time consuming can be overwhelming to be invested in. I mean there are so many other great anime that’s only 12 or 24 episodes long. Not to mention there’s so many wacky and goofy looking characters in One Piece that just seem so weird. So is One Piece worth watching??
One Piece is one of the longest running shonen manga/anime series with over 900+ anime episodes and nearly 1000 manga chapters. Over two decades in the making, the series has never managed to be lackluster in its delivery and has continually push out quality content throughout its serialisation.
From its amazing character design and storytelling to its massive world building and environment design, One Piece has managed to engage viewers of all ages in this seemingly never ending story about a boy who wants to be the pirate king.
One Piece Philosophy
Beneath the surface, One Piece is actually an incredibly philosophical anime that always puts the viewers morality into question. Are pirates evil? Are the marines and the government righteous? Are people born evil? These are the themes that are challenged from the beginning of the series and has been continually challenged through its serialisation.
The series also tackles some serious topics such as racial discrimination, poverty, slavery, corruption, and classism.
One piece is not a character driven series. If you’re looking a a show with great character progression, this show is not for you. Instead, it’s a plot driven series.
The Luffy you see in episode one will be the same old Luffy you see in episode 900. Sure he’s stronger, but at the end of the day, he’s still going to be immature and childlike while having the ability to be serious when he needs to be. You might be disappointed by the fact that characters don’t progress mentally however, it’s completely aligned to the themes of the story.
This does not mean that One Piece doesn’t flesh out it’s characters. Every character whether it be the protagonist or someone insignificant has their own backstory and motivation.
The themes of One Piece
Ultimately One Piece is about dreams and having the incentive and will power to achieve it. Luffy, from day one already has the determination and motivation to become the pirate king. There are rarely any trials and tribulation he has to go through to question his decision. It’s set in stone that he will achieve this goal because that’s just the man he is.
One of the reasons Luffy is so likable to most viewers of the show is that he embodies the essence of what most of us want to be. He has the confidence, strength and the will we all strive for and wish we had.
Instead of seeing how Luffy and his friends grow, we see how they affect the world and people around them.
A living world
One Piece has a world that feels alive. The characters in the world continue to move whether the protagonists are present or not. There are always plots and events brewing around the corner. Infact, some of the major events in the series happen when the protagonists aren’t even there. This makes the world feel alive and real while giving the viewers more direction towards where the overall story is heading.
The cover page for each chapter provides information about past characters and how they’re moving about in the world. It provides a story of its own and is one of the most creative ways I’ve seen a Mangaka flesh out their manga.
You see, once a character, whether an antagonist or an insignificant joe appears on the show, they’re never forgotten. They manage to make it back on the screen one way or the other. This level of detail and love Oda gives to the story is nothing short of amazing.
Grand way of One Piece
One piece has a perfect blend of humour and seriousness. I have found myself either crying from laughter or crying from some of the most gut wrenching and emotional parts of the show.
The show does everything in a grand way. From parties and gags to more serious action scenes and tragedy, everything has to be pushed to its limit. If two characters fight, they don’t simply put their life on the line. They must put all their dreams, hopes and aspirations on the line. If they party, they party for an entire week until they pass out. Even the gags are taken to the very extreme!
So to answer the question “Should you watch One Piece?” is yes! It’s definitely worth checking out for its sheer popularity, let alone everything else it has to offer.