I don't necessarily think HXH is that superior as a manga and OP is actually pretty good if it didn't had some really bad arcs recently. At any rate HXH by volume is around #3 out of Shonen Jump so it's not exactly the underdog here. Generally speaking the longer everything goes the less likely you'll have a consistent worldview and it seems like HXH sort of just stopped before the worldview could get totally out of control. Perhaps that's why Togashi is taking such a long time to finish it, since it is difficult to think of a satisfactory resolution.
I've outgrew manga/anime for a long time so I can't speak from a 'fan' pov, but I'll speak as someone from an outsider's observation.
I remember a few years back there was a time when OP was suddenly propelled to mainstream media in Japan, being celebrated as this 'national series' for EVERYONE, it appears on mainstream fashion magazine, talk shows, TV programs, etc....all these top idols and actors are coming out to say they love One Piece (and as usual most of these celebrities are heavily dictated by their agency in what they say in public and how they act, like Johnny's)...etc. Coverage like that just kept pouring that out one after one (during those couples months...don't ask me for links and references). There're all these crossover projects where non-anime/manga related people (artists, musicians, etc) are paying tribute to One Piece... Basically you can't escape it if you live in Japan. It was after that it truly became this best selling phenomenon that even grandma reads...well the media saids so and the numbers proved it.
Now in hindsight, it felt a bit like media hype machine...Japanese economy continued to slump and the once 'something for everyone' anime/manga industry had degenerated into this embarrassing niche moe/otaku-centric sub culture market that alienated everyone else. I wonder if there was a desperation in finding that 'nice, inspirational, friendly, interesting-enough but never too edgy' National 'series' that can united everyone, to finally have a face and name to make manga/anime mainstream friendly and 'safe' again to non-otaku market. A lot of people in Japan (Asians in general) are rather sheep-like and will like what the media tells them to like. OP would have been still popular but not THIS untouchable 'god work' level if weren't for the mainstream media push.
Anyway I read OP till vol.15 and gave up...couldn't get into it at all.
For the most part OP is more focused around delivering a consistent product as opposed to a brililant one, though there must be brilliance involved to not screw up for so long. You can talk about the nonsensical 'nobody ever dies' attitude in OP or that every story is basically the same thing (Straw Hats arrive at some island, finds some great injustice/mystery/whatever, beats everyone up and saves the day), but even while the story is dragging on it's always maintained a very high level of consistency that nothing else on Shonen Jump comes close to. You can say all the stories in OP are the same cheesy friendship stuff but it always managed to do the cheese well.
That's until "Nobody calls Whitebeard chicken" came along. I've yet to see anybody came up with a reasonable explanation on how this scene can possibly make sense.
I don't know if OP's surge in popularity has to do with all the obvious attempts to sexualize the content around the Pinnicle Battle arc too, but that's another possibilty. Look at Nami at the beginning of OP compared to now and there's no way they can even be the same person.
I have my doubts that One Piece will still be VERY POPULAR if it will be on Hiatus at a very long time.
Majority of the fans of One Piece are also fan of other popular mangas, popular mangas that majority of HxH Fans doesn't like that much.
A hiatus on One Piece can also diminish it's fans. It will still be POPULAR but not VERY POPULAR anymore.
Most of the Hardcore One Piece Fans that I know like the FLASHBACK THINGS in One Piece such as their Flashback when they(Strawhat Pirates) were still a child.
They are impressed with the plot twisting revelations such as Ace is Gol D. Roger's son, Gol D. Roger was the original owner of the Strawhat etc.
That is probably the one of the best features of One Piece, the revelations.
while the other One Piece Fans that I know became a fan of One Piece only during the Marineford War.
I personally put One Piece as the "Best Manga Existing Today" before
But now I guess One Piece will be on the 6th or 7th in my PERSONAL RANKING
while HxH suddenly rose to number one when I encountered Nen and specially the CHIMERA ANT Arc.
Togashi doesn't need characters like Ace, Whitebeard, Akainu, Doflamingo, Kizaru etc. to be popular.
Togashi's Morau and Knuckle is enough for me.
Powers from Devil Fruits, Haki, Rokushiki is too simple for me if you compare it to Nen.
Also Luffy has so many powerful friends/allies that are not part of his crew(Strawhat Pirates) such as Shanks and the Red Hair Pirates, The Revolutionary Army of his father, Jinbei, Boa and the Kuja Pirates, Silvers Rayleigh, Trafalgar Law and the Heart Pirates. It's so unfair. But I think the reason for this is because Luffy need these guys in order for him be to become the Pirate King. The world itself "KING" You cannot become a KING unless you have many supporters more specifically powerful supporters.
Gon, on ther other hand doesn't have so many allies but his adventure/story is still going well.
One Piece DEPENDS ON MANY CHARACTERS while HxH does not. That's the very big difference that I saw.
We all have our own PERSPECTIVES. Please don't take this so badly.
Last edited by FaustXIII; October 07, 2012 at 04:25 AM.
HxH may be as popular as Naruto but there's no way it's as popular as One Piece.
---------- Post added at 03:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:48 AM ----------
But I think you could say the "brilliance" of One Piece is that it brings a constant product.
HXH has its own share of popular characters but Togashi doesn't always use them for whatever reason. OP's drama is pretty artificial as it's always guts, tears, and blood that gets you through some super epic scene but at least it does it better than anything else on the same stuff.
The problem with OP as it drags on you basically can figure out that Luffy is someone who only survives by having friends in high places. It's okay for the main character to have powerful friends, but he never has to pay for any mistake he made. Losing Ace is not Luffy's fault because it turned out Ace is dumber than him. Now Gon does some pretty reckless things too that gets bailed out too but for the most part he at least acknowledges that running into your doom might be a bad idea. He actually suffers for his transformation against Pitou even if ultimately he gets another main character bailout of it. On the other hand Luffy is supposed to be cutting into his lifespan with Gear 2/3 not to mention the whole poison ordeal but does anyone really believe he'll suddenly die from Gear 2/3 overusage while OP is popular? At worst you might see something in an epilogue like 'after becoming Pirate King Luffy died at the age of 30' if even that.
OP's longevity actually counts greatly against it because he started doing Gear 2 around the late 30s so basically he's been doing it long enough for a decent sized series now.