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although some people hate the way that one piece is written go so far as using "immature", but even if the word hold true to certain extend (there are also seriousness in certain time of the story) .... one piece still entertained millions of people and most are fine and probably held great regard to this style of story telling... And for me, i am glad one piece is this way because there are way too many serious type of manga out there also (they are great too nonetheless).. but One Piece doesn't need to changed to fit to certain someone definition of "mature" .. beside if it did, a great many of us will probably lost the passion we have for it now..
As for target audience.. there people from three generations of a household who love it ... and some posters on the net are also varied in age (i meant older than the definition of kid)...
It's interesting how your perceptions change as you age.
When you're younger, the whole OMGBADASSPWNLOOKITTHAT thing seems absolutely awesome and very mature. Bleach and DBZ are two particularly famous/infamous examples, what with their nonstop power boosts and insta-kill style shows of power. They, like many shonen, are nonstop streams of "BADASS" moments.
Speaking for m'self, at least, that gets very tiresome very fast. I suspect that many of the aforementioned reasons for Bleach/Naruto/standard shonen appealing to an "older" crowd make it seem young, immature, and increasingly ridiculous as I grow up. Taking yourself seriously all the time is NOT necessarily a hallmark of maturity. Correspondingly, a sense of humor and levity in a work doesn't necessarily mean it's for little kids. In fact, I'd say the opposite's true. Series that take themselves oh-so-seriously overwhelmingly just come off as silly, with only a FEW exceptions (Gaiman's Sandman, maybe?).
One Piece, however, is an absolute breath of fresh air. Oda, the author, chooses not to go for the instant gratification or cheap fan service. Rather, he's built a long term structure in a sustainable world. And, most importantly, he doesn't outgrow his world.
In almost every other Shonen, the protagonist is somehow chosen, marked by fate in some way that somehow allows them to win every important fight and break all the rules of the universe. Because of this specialness or sheer plot armor, the protagonist grows at a ridiculous rate to conquer the known world. Things that take most people decades now take xer minutes...and the like. This has the unfortunate side effect of cheapening power in the mangaverse and making progress seem pretty worthless. Then, the mangaka has to come up with a MORE POWERFUL THAN EVER enemy as a saving throw for the bloody series. After all, the protagonist has grown at a ridiculous rate and beaten uber enemy of the known world #18. This inevitably leads to the introduction of some secret society of awesomes that we've never heard a word about before, but're capable of killing all the former uberbosses/badasses with their pinky fingers. It's a nasty downward spiral and as an end result, power/growth has around as much value as the post-WW1 German mark. Oh yeah, and everyone else is left behind the protagonist, rendering them worthless, unless the mangaka takes one of two routes; they somehow keep up with some gimmick that further strains the universe's power hierarchy OR they make the protagonist's party an exclusive club of special people chosen by fate. Both are baaaaad.
Because One Piece has a more reasonable and sustainable growth rate, the manga can actually SURVIVE and the laws of the universe aren't repeatedly broken due to special-itis. The mangaka clearly thinks in the long-term, as his protagonist rises through the ranks of his world at a reasonable rate...and plot turns are often hinted at hundreds of chapters before. The characters are well-thought out actually accompany the protagonist and are necessary in their own right, rather than simply hitching a ride on his awesomeness. Because Oda holds to his own world and doesn't shatter his power structure, these crew members can have a real part in the manga. What's more, everyone has potential, a far cry from the elite club of supers who're advanced only because of their genetics/special gift/luck-of-the-superpower-draw/heritage/X that they have no control over. If you think about it, most shonen protagonists really don't deserve their victories--they only win because of something out of their control. Luffy, however, earns everything he gets.
In One Piece, the characters may not be particularly innovative or brilliant, but they ARE fleshed out and could be actual people. While most mangaka start developing a character early on but almost immediately ignore/freeze that person's development and growth, Oda once again thinks in the long term. I hold that One Piece has the best cast out of any Shonen, not because the characters are works of genius, but because Oda's crew is far more complete than any alternative. I'll take a boring character that really grows over a genius character that's practically unscratched. Any day.
One Piece may not have the flashiest, most apparently innovative world. Its characters may not instantly leap out at you, what with the lack of supersealed foxes and uberhiddenpowerz. Instead of relying on gimmicks, which may seem more satisfying in the short term, Oda focuses on having actual substance in his world. Substance in his storylines and style. One Piece's best qualities are that it is both substantial and sustainable; you'll enjoy it more and more as you continue to read because Oda has invested in his manga, rather than simply pleasing fans. You'll continue to appreciate his work hundreds of chapters down the line, while many other shonen, such as the two that've been popping up throughout this discussion, are pretty much done and old hat by chapter 100.
That's why I hold that One Piece is one of the very, very, VERY few manga that can appeal to "adults" and continue appealing even as you yourself grow.
If you want a manga with substance that's good for more than a Gary Stu/deus ex machina zomgpwn scene or two, then you might want to give One Piece a spin.
Last edited by Shinichiro; April 01, 2009 at 01:24 AM.
Just wanted to thank you Shinichiro for giving such a respectable, reasonable and well argued position for why you like One Piece. Its a breath of fresh air and understanding.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
The art of One Piece started out fairly weak, but gradually grew to look better and better. One thing that One Piece DOES have is beautiful scenery, with Oda treating us to full shots of each island the Straw Hats stop at. This gives us a feeling that the world of One Piece really is full and exciting even without the main characters, something many other shonen series lack.
One Piece, admittedly, started as a very formulaic series. Go to island, find friend, beat foe, repeat. As time progressed and the arcs began to get a little more meat to them, the story began to come into its own. With the growing tension of forces clashing in the world of One Piece, it's becoming clear that Oda has been building toward a grand finale for some time, and the story he's telling leaves most readers waiting impatiently every week for the next chapter to come out.
The selling point of the series, for many. The Straw Hats have so much interaction and character moments that the reader can comfortably enjoy rooting them on as they move closer to their respective goals.
The secondary cast, as well, is a major plus of the series. While the sheer number of characters is as large as any series I've ever read, they never overstay their welcome. When Oda wants to use a major character, he uses them, but doesn't spend chapters recycling older characters just for fanservice. Everyone in One Piece has a role to play, and they always end up playing that role beautifully.
Friendship, reaching your goals, adventure, all the things we hear about from an average shonen. The difference? One Piece does them right.
One of the main themes, if not THE main theme, is friendship. There are so many moments devoted to simply watching crew members interact with one another casually that it's impossible to say the friendships in the series are hackneyed or cliche.
As for the adventure theme, One Piece's length really works for it here. Unlike many shonen out there, which tend to be monster of the week works, with the goals being short-termed "Beat this guy" types, One Piece has a set goal, and the enemies on the way are just obstacles. We've been watching Luffy for years as he moved closer to his goal, and when he finally does reach that final island, that wait will make it so much more enjoyable.
Of course, you might say it's the trip that counts, not the destination.
Randomly pick five characters from One Piece. Odds are they either have a ridiculously unique design or some sort of power that rarely shows itself in fiction, if ever. Many of the plot twists, character designs, and even locations visited in the series are things I've never seen before. While One Piece may draw inspiration from earlier series such as Dragonball, it is surely one of the most unique series on the market today.
With a wide and varied cast of characters, an exotic world with surprising islands always on the horizon, and a plot that was seemingly planned out from day one, One Piece is my favorite manga series to date. I would recommend the series to anyone who enjoys reading manga and would like a weekly series to follow that will surprise, amuse, and entertain them throughout.
how can redcometfm comment on the respectability and reasonableness of shinichiro's post after he bashed the manga on the previous page - along with having a difference in opinion?
btw, nice review shinichiro.
I agree, Onepiece should get all 10's. Well as you can see im a little biased but good review man.
So I read the original poster's review a good while ago...since it was one of the popular 3 shounen and I'm already reading Naruto and Bleach, I decided why not, I'mma read it.
I finally caught up with the manga moments ago...I'm not sure how long it took, but about a month. To my surprise, it has become my favorite of the 3 in just 150 chapters (take or give), so sir, I thank you for inviting me to this amazing manga.
I'm gonna go ahead and watch the old fights from the Anime, must be pretty sweet animation.
i love one piece but i'm afraid of starting the manga seeing as i am already up to date with the anime and its possibly the only decent weekly release anime i can find. (bleach and naruto are all fillers)
Never before I felt so attached to a manga. One Piece is definitely a must read. It is not merely "a manga". In my opinion, the author, master-mind Oda, contemplated a lot to draw this marvelous work. It is a work of art and contemplation. Clearly Intelligent. One Piece already reached 500+ chapters when I write this review. But, the new chapters are not dull at all. On a contrary, they are getting fresher and fresher, but still kept intact with the general storyline.
Consistency, intelligence, fun and philosophy of life. We can find them all in One Piece. It even played your emotion and brain. It tickled my brain when I was thinking about a possibility of the existence of a sky island. It's just a fantasy, of course. But, I could not think better than Oda's description of it. The list continues: water island, underwater island, bubble island, merman, giant, rubber man (completely different version from Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four), ice man, fire man, et cetera.
Some think of Oda as a genius. Well, I think of Oda as a genius and reflective person. He knows about passion. He knows about pain and suffering. May be he even experienced the pain itself. I mean, how can he conduct such a storyline, which moves the heart of the readers, without 'a spirit' in it? I cried when I saw the gesture the mugiwaras gave to Fifi. I cried when I read the story of Robin. I cried when Going Merry... I cried when Franky cried. The list can go on. Clearly, I sensed passion in those stories. I felt sad because I have had similar experiences, too, some senses of warm friendships and painful separations.
There is a proverb in Latin: nemo dat quod non habet! A man cannot give anything he does not possess. Oda had given us his whole self to us with One Piece. And he is still giving it to us. Let us accept this self-giving with a doooong!
Last edited by zozo96; September 11, 2009 at 04:04 PM. Reason: spoiler possibility
Everyone who has ever read One Piece recognizes it for the masterpiece that it truly is. However, everyone who hasn't jumped into OP believes it to be childish and crudely drawn. This is amazing because it makes OP the greatest manga of all time...while still being underrated.
One Piece is an imagination orgasm.
And to anyone who thinks this is poorly drawn....you must not understand what true artistry is.
Fond as I am of One Piece, I'd really have to disagree with a lot of what's been said here. People're saying One Piece is a masterpiece because Oda's work is exceptional, because he's a genius, because he's vastly more creative than his compatriots. I would agree that these MAY be true, but really miss the point and what stands out about One Piece. After all, words like "genius" or "masterpiece" are generic terms of praise that any decent fan would tack to their chosen manga. Hell, look at the Manga Review section, where Naruto was just called a unique and compelling masterpiece.
I think what really sets One Piece apart is that Oda, the mangaka, acts like an author. He treats this series like a novel that he's planning out.
Naruto, Bleach, etc...they all have their strong points and it could be argued that they're both masterpieces in their own ways. However, both of their mangaka would absolutely fail out of any writing class/seminar/workshop. They're artists, not authors. And for some, that's just fine. We, on the other hand, clearly appreciate Oda's more novelist approach...I think it adds significant quality and is a whole new technique we rarely see in the manga industry, where artists run the show and are expected to just turn out weekly serials which are supposed to maintain a certain level of dramatic tension in order to retain readers.
See, there are several ways to create dramatic tension, to create interest and intrigue in a story. Most manga lean heavily on shows of awesomness, on pwnsome l33t moments, and crazy action scenes. To my mind, those come off as ridiculously overdone and without anything solid at their core, sort of like a balloon that's been all blown up to a certain size, but doesn't actually have anything inside. One Piece adopts more writing elements, where Oda forgoes the instant-gratification moments and obscene action cliffhangers and carefully builds in a more compelling support structure, plot, and more...novel-y characters. For me, that's kind of like actually BUILDING a paper-mache ball as opposed to blowing a balloon. It takes a lot more time and a lot more effort...and it's going to be MUCH smaller at the beginning. But the mache ball has much more potential for growth and actual substance inside. Each reader has different preferences, of course...my background and perspective have been heavily affected by growing up on a lot of novels/literature; hell, I teach creative writing to middle/high-school students for some quick cash every summer. As a result Naruto, Bleach, etc...just seem kind of empty, vapid, and poorly written based on my tastes and history. I can't really get into the action scenes because I can't get over how...poorly written they are in an AUTHORLY way--though they certainly can amuse in a comic book way. One Piece, on the other hand, is written very...well.
So yes, I do personally think Oda's more creative than his coworkers. But that's not One Piece's greatest asset, in my mind. I think that it's his exceptional style as an author (in that he actually HAS one) that allows him to utilize this creativity; because he approaches this series as an author, rather than just an artist, his creativity can be used to its full potential.
To sum it all up, I think that One Piece is more of a graphic novel series than many of its peers, which gravitate more towards the comic book side of the spectrum. Both are reputable, but I'm a sucker for writing quality, so I love One Piece.
Edited retro-reply to zozo96 so we don't waste posts: Yeah, as a self-styled critic who's blitzed the lit before, I totally get what you mean and I personally agree that Oda...well...is at least extremely talented. Maybe even a genius. However, I think attributing OP's success to his creative talent is a mistake in that it...well...overlooks some of his more crucial abilities and what's more, it enters this realm of subjectivity. After all, genius is a highly overused term that people usually toss out to mean they like something...and what's more, I believe that using that term takes us away from a lot of OP's real values by simply dismissing them as products of Oda's genius. Oh, and it makes the review harder for non-fans to appreciate while deciding whether or not to read. So yes, I agree, but I disagree with the wording and analysis, if that makes any sense?
I believe you could have the most creative person in the world behind a manga and still have it flop miserably if he/she can't write and can't organize his/her thoughts. OP thrives because Oda's skills as a writer allow his creativity to shine through--if he lacked either of the two, One Piece would be a terrible manga. What's more, his work is far more organized than any of his contemporaries'. I don't know if he's ever received formal writing training, but it would make a lot of sense. Plenty of manga writers are creative. Oda's just about the only one I've ever seen that is creative AND can write a story and that's what sets OP apart for me.
Last edited by Shinichiro; September 11, 2009 at 08:16 PM.
Last edited by zozo96; September 11, 2009 at 04:16 PM. Reason: added a necessary link to wikipedia
I hate this is what I said some 5-6 years back when the show aired on cartoon network.
The characters looked so stupid and aweful.
I would change the channel as soon as it started.
When I started reading mangas some 4 years back, I did the same again.
It was always in the top 5 list of everyone I talked to, but I was always like, I'm not gonna get my hands on this.
Everyone wanted me to atleast read a few chapters. According to everyone, reading a few chapters would have made me fall in love with the series I hated the name of, adore the art I criticised so much, love, admire the charactes I thought were stupid as hell.
Then one day out of the blue, drunk, bored, nothing to do, I gave it a shot.
I have already re-read the series twice.
Watched the entire anime.
Am on almost every forum regarding one piece.
Rate this as the best series out there.
The art, characters, story, fallen in love with everything.
You're not the only one feeling that way. I discovered one piece via the anime in his "french" version. It was plainly horrible and childish ... but somehow I wanted to see it again & then I took the anime in jap with eng/french subtitles & once I was in the baroque works story, it becomes one of my favourite mangas. I then read the manga & was slightly disappointed by Skypiea but after Enies Lobby I had no doubt anymore: it was the best manga of his time ... & now I think it's the best manga of all time. I think I won't ever like a manga as much as this one.