One Piece

Nowadays, the traditional shonen formula of simple intense action tends to steal the limelight, and some eventually turned out to be a massive hit in Japan and worldwide (ever heard of this little series called Dragon Ball Z?) . And even with a decidedly average animation, One Piece has become widely successful due to its straightforward fights, excellent character design and an overall appealing premise. Not to mention that the Anime now has more than 170 episodes up its sleeves.

Story: It was the age of the pirates. The legendary pirate king Gold Roger left all his fortunes somewhere along the waters of the Grand Line, and it inspires the people far and wide to become pirates and search for it. His ultimate treasure, the One Piece, has yet to be found in those treacherous waters, said to be a place where just about anything can happen. And lots of pirates never returned after entering the Grand Line; some did but were barely alive.

And then there’s the story of a simple boy (as in ‘crazy and and totally hilarious’) called Luffy who wanted to be the King of Pirates. He sets out to gather a crew and eventually did, and with each of them having life-long goals to achieve, they teamed up to sail for the Grand Line, facing a whole lot of adversaries along the journey. And another thing, Luffy ate a ‘devil fruit’ which gives him a rubber-like body, although now he’s cursed by the sea and will never be able to swim in the water. His companion includes the navigator Nami, swordsperson Zoro, cook Sanji and, uh, whatever role Usopp’s supposed to take, apart from being a liar all the time.

One thing for sure, this Anime is very long. Most of the main arcs could last up to ten episodes, which sometimes can be a bit tedious. It takes thirty episodes for Luffy to gather all of his mainstay crew members, but thankfully, right after that is where the really good stuff comes along. If you can stand the first two lengthy arcs (the Kuroneko and Baratie stories), you’ll definitely be up for the next, say, seventy episodes. Most of the time everything is filled with action-packed sequences and comedy, but there will be occasional emotional moments (especially the flashback stories).

All in all, One Piece offers everything a casual shonen fan craves for. Although it’s always hard to keep things interesting after more than a hundred episodes, the series have so far done decently to make fans keep coming for more, aside from the fact that it’s already highly addictive. The fights are way cool, enemies and friendly characters alike are weird but wonderfully designed, and it’s also packed with a good dose of humor. And for all the sane reasons, the premise is focused on pirates. So what the heck are you waiting for?


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