Andreas Radicci ’24
One Piece is a manga and anime series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, debuting in 1999. The story follows Monkey D. Luffy, a boy who ate the “Gum-Gum fruit.” This fruit gives its consumer rubber and elastic-like abilities. With these new found powers, Luffy sets out to find it the ultimate treasure: the One Piece.
At first, the storylines and even the characters’ voices appear incredibly ridiculous and annoying. This makes the first 30 plus episodes a chore to watch. Nonetheless, there is something about One Piece that keeps one intrigued. The graphics are bold and colourful. The scenes are full of action and enthusiasm. And the characters themselves have quite bizarre and interesting abilities.
Take our protagonist Luffy for example. He has the ability to turn his body into rubber. How interesting is that? Oda could have given him a more traditionally ‘cool’ superpower such as super strength or speed, but instead he chose to give him such an underwhelming power. At least, one that appears underwhelming. It turns out that Luffy has an incredibly wide range of attacks. When he’s fighting, I’m always quite excited to see what move he will make next. What too captivates me is each character’s unique, distinct design.
Unlike other anime where the designs are generic and somewhat predictable, Oda’s are unique, and that’s one of the best parts of the show. Every character and their design are idiosyncratic, whether it is Zoro’s green hair or Usopp’s long nose. This only adds to their far from boring powers.
Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is a manga where pirates sail to different islands, each with a unique inhabitants. This makes every story arc memorable. There are spooky islands, winter islands, even islands in the sky! The imaginative and creative work of Oda is endless. Oda also has a way of creating the most fascinating villains with captivating personalities and quirks, making each encounter with Luffy a treat.
One of the things that Oda likes to do is improve his disliked characters, Areturing them to the series later. Captain Buggy is a great example of this. When you first meet him, you will find that he’s quite annoying. However, 500 chapters later he comes back in, and is absolutely hilarious (and one of my personal favourites). Another one of my favourite aspects about One Piece are all of the side characters. All the characters that were in each Arc guiding Luffy and his entourage. Despite being in the reader’s eye for a short period of time, they never cease to amuse me.
One Piece is a long series, yet I am amazed by how much I’m invested in the story. Coming home, turning on the TV, and watching One Piece is always the highlight of my day. I love how much it keeps evolving. With dozens of mysteries yet to be solved I have no idea what could happen next. The only thing I can truly say is that I recommend One Piece to everyone. No matter who you are, you will fall in love with the story and the characters.
Photo Credit: IMDb