One Piece Review Final
At 714 episodes and counting, “One Piece” is listed in the top ten longest running anime. With charismatic and quirky characters, mangaka Eiichiro Oda has been keeping fans entertained since the first manga serialization in Shonen Jump on July 19, 1997. It currently has 78 manga volumes. It began airing on Japanese television in 1999 and to date has 13 movies, two OVAs and five television specials. It is currently free to watch on www.crunchyroll.com.
The story centers on a seventeen-year-old boy sailing the seas as a pirate, searching for the legendary treasure ‘One Piece’ to become the new King of the Pirates. Along the way he picks up a crew of unique characters and a ship by saving people from a corrupt World Government wherever he goes.
The setting is that of a water world, with various islands and oceans. The only continent, Red Line, is a band of rock that bisects the planet like an equator. The perpendicular ocean is called theGrand Line, considered to be the most dangerous ocean in the world. It is lined on either side by the home of sea monsters, Calm Belt. The remaining oceans are North Blue, South Blue, West Blue and East Blue.
Monkey D. Luffy, the protagonist known as “Straw Hat” on his wanted posters, and the first four members of his crew hail from East Blue. He idolizes the captain that gave him his signature straw hat.
Roronoa “Pirate Hunter” Zoro (first mate) wields three Katanas in battle and seeks to become the greatest swordsman in the world. Luffy recruits Zoro after saving him from execution.
“Sogeking” Ussop (sniper) uses a slingshot and pachinko balls instead of a gun, a weapon he upgrades continuously as they travel. He joins after his island is saved from a cat themed pirate.
“Black Legs” Sanji (cook) uses only a kick fighting style to preserve his hands, and grew up in the sea restaurant Baratie.
“Cat Burglar” Nami (navigator) joins the crew with a wooden staff that splits into three parts, later upgraded to manipulate weather phenomenon as a weapon. She is the only person Luffy has allowed to wear his hat. Nami is the character I identify with most, with her extreme love for collecting money and treasure.
After they leave North Blue for the Grand Line they pick up Tony Tony Chopper (ship doctor), “Demon Child” Nico Robin (archeologist), “Cyborg” Franky (shipwright), “Soul King” Brooke (musician) and the still to come “Knight of the Sea” Jinbe (job unknown).
Four of these crew members are Devil Fruit eaters. The Devil Fruits are a rare, oddly shaped and colored fruits that gift the eaters with a rare, one of a kind power for the price of losing the ability to swim. No Devil Fruit gives the same ability as another of its kind. And each fruit has unique quirks that you might not expect from its name.
Luffy ate the Gum-Gum fruit which turned his body into rubber. He can stretch every part of his body, and is entirely immune to electricity.
Chopper is a young, blue-nosed reindeer who ate the Human-Human fruit. Still technically a child he was raised by a quack doctor learning medicine and can turn himself into various human and reindeer forms.
Brooke ate the Life-Life fruit, allowing him to come back from the dead one time. He has used up that chance, but it took him 50 years for his soul to return to his body. He is now a living, breathing, walking, talking and singing skeleton man bearing an afro.
Robin ate the Hana-Hana fruit, or flower-flower. This fruit enables the eater to bloom any part of their body from anything like a flower. The description doesn’t even begin to cover the ropes made from her arm grown out of her palm several times over or arms she’s grown out of enemies to put them in restraint holds. Then slap them repeatedly in a six hand cycle.
With a slightly cartoonish art style that continues to evolve as the story progresses, it makes humorous jabs at the abundance of fanservice in anime by using it in the most satirical ways.
The anime was originally released by 4kids TV, who believed that since it was a cartoon it must be for children. The English dubbing and consequential editing of things such as cigarettes into lollipops made for a horrendous mistake. Eventually they dropped it and it was picked up and redubbed by Funimation in 2007. Overall the changing of voice actors when the words remain the same has had little impact on the personality and portrayal of the characters.
In the end, I give this anime 4.5 out of 5 stars.