ONE PIECE HAS CEMENTED ITS PLACE AS AN ALL TIME CLASSIC.
BY Ken Andrew
Thumbnail Photo Courtesy of mangaplus.shueisha.co.jp
One Piece is a Japanese animated fiction television series (commonly known as anime), which is also available in a comic format (known as manga).
As it is with most Japanese anime, the manga starts and runs for a while before the production of the anime. This explains why the One Piece manga started in 1997 and it debuted on television in 1999. The creator and writer of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda, through the years has kept on wowing the audiences with brilliant story arcs and commendable character development that have helped in growing the already huge fan base.
The series has withstood the test of time and even receives high ratings from critics to date. It is even considered amongst the “big four” anime which is like a Mt. Rushmore, but for anime. Bleach, Dragon Ball and Naruto round off the list. One Piece follows the adventure of Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate who dreams of becoming the ‘Pirate King’ by finding the legendary treasure One Piece. Luffy, gathers a formidable crew, each playing a key role in helping him achieve his dreams and their own dreams also.
The crew is named the Straw Hat pirates, a name they got from the symbolic Straw Hat that their captain Luffy wears. They travel the seas and become one of the most notorious pirate crews in the world hence amassing large bounties on their heads because of the trouble they cause the World Government and Celestial Dragons. Eiichiro Oda also uses this anime to address some social injustices present in the world at this time. In such cases, he uses Luffy and his crew (even though they are pirates) as the protagonists and the good guys who take down the oppressors. Crimes and injustices such as slavery, human trafficking, racism and drug abuse have been brought out in one way or another by Oda.
This just goes to show the awareness and sense of justice of the writer. The genres in one piece are numerous but it is mostly full of comedy, action scenes and dramatic moments. The action blends well with the drama thus the availability of many iconic scenes that fans cannot get enough of. The availability of the different genres and the blending of the ideas have helped one piece become one of the most lucrative comic franchises.
It even recently surpassed the Batman comics to become the second best-selling comic in the world, only behind the Superman comics. One Piece has also held its own against other Japanese anime/manga
franchises be it the big four or the newer ones but with fellow big four heavyweights Bleach and Dragon Ball set to drop massive projects in coming months and year, will they overtake One Piece in the race to
become the outright number one anime/manga of all time? We will see about that but what a time it will be for all anime fans!
With still a lot of questions raised in the series yet to be answered, One Piece is set to continue for a couple of more years. Obviously we cannot get into those questions or dig deeper into the anime because of spoilers, but with the recent story arcs, the show has really picked up and fans are left buzzing after each episode, drooling for the next one to drop. To date, nine hundred and ninety one episodes have been released alongside one thousand and twenty six manga chapters. The show is definitely worth binging. Will Luffy find One Piece and become the Pirate King?
Straw Hat Pirates crew members and roles and bounties*
NAME ROLE BOUNTY**
MONKEY D. LUFFY CAPTAIN 1,500,000,000B
RORONOA ZORO FIRST MATE 320,000,000B
USOPP SNIPER 200,000,000B
NAMI NAVIGATOR 66,000,000B
VINSMOKE SANJI COOK 330,000,000B
CHOPPER DOCTOR 100B
NICO ROBIN ARCHAELOGIST 130,000,000B
FRANKY MECHANIC 44,000,000B
BROOK MUSICIAN 83,000,000B
JIMBE HELMSMAN 438,000,000B
*CREW MEMBERS LISTED ARE ACCORDING TO THE RELEASED ANIME EPISODES.
** THE BOUNTIES ARE