Today’s first words are dedicated to One Piece, one of the longest running Manga series and Anime series of all time.
Very briefly, One Piece is a Japanese manga series created by Eiichiro Oda. The series depicts the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, who sets out to become the Pirate King in Oda’s imaginary world.
My interest in One Piece began as early as 2003. I fell in love with the anime, then later I would go on to follow the manga as well. Through out the years I’ve fallen off the One Piece wagon time and again, but I always crawl my way back on.
The Cause of the Obsession
Every. Single. Character created by Oda is full of depth. The formula of a core cast (the Straw Hat crew) of characters and playing them off of each other that Oda uses is a very popular structure we see in Western TV Shows (Cheers, FRIENDS, Buffy, Serenity).
This method ensures that the readers will keep reading, just to see how the characters play off of each other, even if the plot is lacking.
The plot starts small, then unravels into a larger idea of the world as Luffy and his crew explore the One Piece world. Many teenagers and young adults can identify with this type of adventure, especially if they are also leaving their nests (home towns) and going away to college to find the person they will become.
The Many, Many Relevant Themes
There are so many different issues covered in the story of One Piece. Prejudice, Class Division, Corruption, Sacrifice, Family Values; and that’s only to name a few. These are heavy issues for a “children’s show” to be portraying, but Oda presents them well.
There’s just so much room for hilarity with the cast of One Piece. Even the “boring” interludes between story arcs are welcomed “feel good” episodes.
Even though Oda started this series in 1997, he’s mentioned in recent interviews that the series is far from finished. I’m happy knowing that… it’s the same feeling you’d get knowing that there’s a Book 7 to Harry Potter after you just finished Book 5 (that is, if you’re a Harry Potter fan).
Thanks, Oda, for sharing with the world the beautiful thing that is One Piece. I’m looking forwards to the next 15 years.