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One Piece - 10-09-2011, 05:10 AM
This is an ongoing review of the ongoing series. From here will be individual reviews for each story arc (eventually) with this page acting as the hub.
Enter Luffy, 22 years after Gol D. Roger's execution, who decides he's going to be the next Pirate King. Thus begins his adventure in assembling a crew of shipmates, each who will have their own ambition for joining, to sail through The Grand Line and obtain the One Piece.
Pirates of the Carribean and Captain Hook this ain't. In fact, other than ships sailing an endless sea in search for treasure there's little else that gives way to the perception of swashbuckling. This isn't parrots on shoulders, wood pegs for severed legs, and growling out "arrrrr, me mateys" while making captured thieves walk the plank with circling sharks eagerly waiting below. Some characters fit the stereotypical pirate appearance, but the majoriy of characters are... well... anything else.
This brings me to one of the two biggest issues people have that haven't watched OP: the characters... or perhaps more specifically, the artwork. It's certainly not your typical character designs as they veer closer to the cartoonish, at times even caricature-esque, rather than the traditional lines of 90% of anime. Because of this, there's a large demographic that refuse to watch it... then proceed to naively proclaim it sucks. Rather, they see some of the characters or artwork and immedately dismiss it as too childish. Being part of the population myself that was guilty of that treason, I can say with complete conviction that that was the biggest mistake of my anime watching... career.
I have known of OP since it first aired on american television sometime in the early 2000's but, like previously stated, had dismissed it as kids stuff and despised the art style. It took over half a decade later before the passion of the long time followers and some heralding reviews piqued my curiosity just enough to check it out. At the time I was still reluctant to believe the goofball looking main character and his seemingly lame sounding rubber skills would be any good. After all, I, along with every other individual person, views their own taste as the standard... and anything else that doesn't fit the mold we have etched into our own minds, regardless how much praise it may recieve, is merely falsified visions of what quality is.
Thus began the epiphany, slammed into my eyes and invading my emotions, by Eiichiro Oda. What started as negative preconceived ideals on something I never saw turned into curiosity many years later. Then that same curiosity turned into the act of swallowing my pride and giving it a chance. That hesitant chance slowly changed into acceptance and an early understanding of what all the praise was about. And that understanding has now evolved into a fever, the virus Oda, the plague The Strawhats, with no cure to the disease in sight. Actually, there is a cure. It's just somewhere out in that horizon where the sea meets the sky.
So I said the art style is one of the two biggest issues for people that shrug off One Piece. The other is the initial staggering number of episodes. And I say "initial" because once you've let go of your inhibitions and set sail in the world of One Piece, the mountain of episodes vanish before you can say "nakama." When I started on the first episode I never figured I'd be where I am right now. After all, it was only supposed to be a way to appease my curiosity. And now, with a little over 100 episodes before I catch up and am reduced to having weekly struggles for each new episode to be released, it's disappointment I feel due to there only being 100+ episodes. It's funny how things change.
An overwhelming number of episodes? Only to those that haven't begun. 9.5/10
Uhhh... work in progress...