I suppose it’s not easy to be watching a series for 5 years. One has to be a huge fan or the series has to be real good for anyone to keep following a series after so long. A lot can change in 5 years. In my case though, I’ve been faithfully following One Piece because the series never ceased to amaze me. I never grow tired of it. Sure, there are short periods (a few months in between) in which I watch or read nothing One Piece related, but I’ll always come back to the series, loving every moment of it.
Why I like One Piece? It is a question I never ask or be asked until a few weeks back when I was catching up with series and thought, hey I really like One Piece and this is why. So instead of letting the thoughts come and go, I’ll write them down in this post.
Funny, little moments
Over the past few weeks, I might have tweeted two or more One Piece moments that I absolutely like. It’s not something extravagant. In fact, it probably only happened a few seconds in an episode, but I love it. One Piece is weird like that. Or I’m weird like that.
These moments don’t add much to the plot or entirely irrelevant at times, but they are what makes One Piece so special. Its part of the package – the flair for comedy is something much appreciated. Otherwise, I don’t think I can last this long watching the series. I started following One Piece when it was airing the Thriller Bark arc. That’s like 300++th episode. So to be able to catch up in the span of few weeks, One Piece has to be pretty damn hilarious for me to keep going.
I mentioned in this post about virtual wonder worlds before about how much I enjoy One Piece’s world. Places like Water 7 and Fishmen Island have touches of magic. It’s beyond my imagination.
Furthermore, the creator Oda loves to include funny characters into the series, serving as something or objects we think could work if that creature has the capability. I don’t really know how to explain this in words so I’ll give an example instead. For instance, like the penguin above. It’s fitting and clever to view penguins as possible transporter of medicine in icy weather so Oda used the animal as the vehicle to drive around medicine. He used something in real world that could possibly do the job required because it has the suitable characteristics, but not necessarily is capable of doing it.
These clever moments made me appreciate the limitless boundary of imagination.
Interactions & Dynamics Among Main Casts
People usually stick around a show, not just anime, because of the cast. One Piece is no exception for me. Perhaps, if this show is solely about Luffy, I wouldn’t like it as much. But this show isn’t just about Luffy. It’s also about his crew – Chopper, Zoro, Usopp, Sanji, Nami, Nico Robin, Brook & Franky.
Drawing comparison between the main cast of One Piece and Naruto, another series I’ve been following for even longer period of time, it’s pretty clear to me One Piece has the better casts. Sanji’s eternal drooling over women, Usopp’s hilarious self-proclaimed diseases, Zoro’s horrible sense of direction are some of the things that I actually never get bored of. You could say because they always have the right timing so it doesn’t feel overused.
Followers of the series will know the close relationships between Usopp, Luffy and Nami. How they poke fun at and tease each other, just having fun, enjoying the day, is something I love to watch. The best part is, they’re not explicitly highlighted most times. They’re things happening at the background while the focus is supposed to be on some other characters. For me, this make the characters very likeable.
This point is somewhat related to the first point, actually.
Hmm…put it this way, Luffy is the typical shounen main character. But, and it’s a very big but, he holds value that I resonate with. Like Naruto, the main character in Naruto series, he puts his friends first. Like Naruto, there are times he feels completely helpless and acknowledges his weakness. But most times, Luffy projects positivity, optimism and carefreeness (is there such a word?). And this is something I truly value.
In other words, most scenes in One Piece are not very gloomy. Even pessimist like Usopp doesn’t bring down the spirit much. Get what I mean? This is not to say One Piece is full of comedy. It’s not. The war that took Ace’s life is a great example to prove this. However, these dark moments don’t overshadow the overall positivity I feel One Piece tends to represent.
If you’re watching the anime or reading the manga or doing both, what is it about One Piece that keeps your attention?