What makes One Piece so great?

Bob_McMillan

Elite Member
May 11, 2020
3,591
421
88
Country
Philippines
As part of my annual "getting back into anime/manga then losing interest in a week", I've been looking into the ending of Naruto as well as the fall of Bleach, two series that were the shit for me when I was a kid. So I was watching this video:

<youtube=74REUpOg2B4>

And holy shit, One Piece is that popular? I knew it was part of the big three, but my idea of the Big Three was 1. Naruto, 2. Bleach, and 3. One Piece. That was after all the ranking of the "hottest" series on most manga reading websites. Further reinforcing that idea was that among all my similarly-minded friends (read "nerd"), not a single one of them ever expressed interest in One Piece.

Back in the day when I caught up to the then current issues of Naruto and Bleach, I tried getting into One Piece, but the story took forever to get going and the art admittedly annoyed me. I stopped after maybe five issues. So you can imagine my confusion about One Piece being the most popular manga for a whole fucking decade.

But what surprised me the most about One Piece is that it seems to actually be good. By all accounts it actually has an overarching story. Despite all my fond memories of Naruto and Bleach, I'm under no illusions that the writing is quite a bit shit. Because of this, I can no longer tolerate any shounen, with the sole exception being One Punch Man. That a manga at more than 800 chapters can still tell a story that people aren't tired of is shocking.

So TLDR; Holy shit One Piece is so popular, I had no idea, please tell me why.
 

Queen Michael

has read 4,010 manga books
Jun 9, 2009
10,400
0
0
Here's what I, personally like about it:

1. It feels more planned out in advance than Naruto did. You know that Naruto twist where we thought that one character was the big bad, but it turned out that another character was? That didn't feel premeditated. It felt like Kishimoto making things up as he went along.

2. The protagonist is way less obnoxious than Naruto and Ichigo. Those twoare like bratty kids. My man Monkey D. is more na?ve and innocent.

3. It doesn't take itself too seriously. You can tell that a sense of fun is important to Oda, even in the most serious arcs.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

New member
Aug 2, 2015
7,915
0
0
1 BIG reason is this guy:



Is ten times more endearing, and interesting than Naruto and most Shounen Jump charcaters.

He maybe the most frustratingly naive and stupid person possible, but its because of his Naivety that we like him. I mean I would not care if Naruto dies because of how much an unlikable jackhole he is, but if Luffy dies, fuck me that would devestate me.

And the other characters are way more interesting than other Anime charcaters, even Dragon Ball's cast pales in comparison to One Piece.

And lastly the world, its colorful, its varied, and the art style helps alot to distinguish itself from other Anime. I did not care for Naruto or Bleach because they look like anyother anime.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

New member
Aug 2, 2015
7,915
0
0
Queen Michael said:
Here's what I, personally like about it:

1. It feels more planned out in advance than Naruto did. You know that Naruto twist where we thought that one character was the big bad, but it turned out that another character was? That didn't feel premeditated. It felt like Kishimoto making things up as he went along.

2. The protagonist is way less obnoxious than Naruto and Ichigo. Those twoare like bratty kids. My man Monkey D. is more na?ve and innocent.

3. It doesn't take itself too seriously. You can tell that a sense of fun is important to Oda, even in the most serious arcs.
On point 3 I disagree with that because lets just say the moments where they get serious, it really devestates you:

Nami's story arc in Arlong Park, Portgas D. Ace....
 

Scarim Coral

Jumped the ship
Legacy
Apr 30, 2020
18,157
1
3
Country
UK
What I'm going to typed out is more as comparing it to the other previous big two aka Naruto and Bleach-

The artstyle- Yes people either love or hate it and I'm in the love it department. It is extremely unquie having most of the characters a wacky apperancce, almost cartoony like. It get boring seeing the usualy anime design so One Piece is above them in terms of style especially when it fits the shows. Yes Fairy Tail is kinda similar but it's a fail comparison especially when it was created after One Piece.

The powerset- I'm not sure what you called this but I'm referring to Naruto ninjutsu/ clan ability and Bleach Zanpato/ release. For One Piece, it's the "Devil Fruit". Their abilities are far more imaginative than the other two combines well mainly the logia types (awesome thing they place the powers into three types, element, animal morphing and the odd one out). Have you ever see powers like a guy turning his hands into scissor and anything he cut turns into paper, a woman who can sprot her bodyparts on any surface or a guy whose become a living music instrument of death?

Location- The beauty of One Piece being a sea/ pirate theme anime is the location is always changing! Naruto was mainly forest and Earthly location and while Bleach had other worldly location, it was mainly Earth Japan, Soul Society aka poor man Heaven and that Arrancar underworld. Naruto only change new location when the other Hokaga meet up together in that snow samurai place but it was too little too late. One Piece location isn't Earth like either as there was a place that spew bubbles from the ground, a ruin forest above the clouds, a stonr pillar like city that used water level as lift! The current location is islands are made from theme sweets!

Lore/ world building- Ok yes Bleach and Naruto got it too but One Piece is far more interesting. Bleach had those hell butterfly for communication, One Piece got those snail which are more hilarious when they ring! Not just that but they have more lore mystery like the polygsph, a cube written by an almost forgotten languages, The meaning of "D" from Gol D Rogar as certain central character has the "D" in their names and til this day, we still haven't see the face of the Marine scientist Vega Punk (I guess he is like Pain and Konan or Madara mystery).

Callbacks- Tehnically this is more of an manga thing but some do get a called back from later episodes. When new characters get introduse, they are not entirely forgotten as they may reappear again from episode relevent like Vivi and the other royal are going to meet up in the current manga/ anime or simply a chapter cover image!

Characters- I supppse others will explained it better than me but the One Piece characters are more interesting than the other two! I mean take Nami, the female out of the main group (yes I know Nico is there too), she far more usefual than Sakura and Inuone can ever be! Navi is the navigator and while she is one of the weaker characters, she fight when she has too and she doesn't suck at it unlike Sakura! Even then, the most weakest character like Nami and Ussop don't get forgotten when it come to the power level unlike Chad and Ishada. I mean yes it still end up with Luffy fighting the current powerful villain but you know they ain't sitting around as they fight the villain minions so they still have worth to them!

The mangaka KNOWS what he is doing- Unlike the other two, Oda has been planning the overall story for YEARS. Bleach and Naruto creator ultimately fall the same mistake with other manga creator by written themselves into a corner in the story, unable to plan ahead clearly. Heck you can see from the Bleach creator had lost his passion for his work after Aizen arc since his drawing lost the same dynamic apperance it used to have!

The Journey- Naruto was motiviate to become the Hokage while Bleach Ichigo pretty much had none. Yes Luffy is similar by wanting to be the Pirate King but his journey is different to Naruto. Hokage is basically the king/ mayor of the village so he had to prove his worth overtime. Bring a pirate king is different in that he has to go to this island (the full detail of becoming Pirate king is kinda iffy at the moment) so his journey to get there is a long one and thus a longer journey to see him getting there!

Protagonist- Naruto is annoying, Ichigo is bland and while Luffy is an idiot as in act before he think or say/ act the wrong thing in the wrong time but his intention is noble. He kinda like Son Goku before Z but not as arrogant and has a thirst for wanting to fight powerful foes.

Power of friendship- I feel One Piece has done it better. Naruto was overbearly due to his lonely upbrining while Bleach was just kinda there but you don't "feel" is most of the time. One Piece has the power of friendship but it doesn't NEED to tell us it is there. We know Luffy is fighting to his fullest as he doesn't want to let his friends down and anyone of his crewmate feel the same way!
 

Queen Michael

has read 4,010 manga books
Jun 9, 2009
10,400
0
0
Samtemdo8 said:
1 BIG reason is this guy:



Is ten times more endearing, and interesting than Naruto and most Shounen Jump characters.

He maybe the most frustratingly naive and stupid person possible, but its because of his Naivety that we like him. I mean I would not care if Naruto dies because of how much an unlikable jackhole he is, but if Luffy dies, fuck me that would devastate me.

And the other characters are way more interesting than other Anime characters, even Dragon Ball's cast pales in comparison to One Piece.

And lastly the world, its colorful, its varied, and the art style helps a lot to distinguish itself from other Anime. I did not care for Naruto or Bleach because they look like anyother anime.
Yes to all this, but especially your main point. Naruto is an annoying brat, but Luffy is genuinely endearing.
Samtemdo8 said:
Queen Michael said:
Here's what I, personally like about it:

1. It feels more planned out in advance than Naruto did. You know that Naruto twist where we thought that one character was the big bad, but it turned out that another character was? That didn't feel premeditated. It felt like Kishimoto making things up as he went along.

2. The protagonist is way less obnoxious than Naruto and Ichigo. Those twoare like bratty kids. My man Monkey D. is more na?ve and innocent.

3. It doesn't take itself too seriously. You can tell that a sense of fun is important to Oda, even in the most serious arcs.
On point 3 I disagree with that because lets just say the moments where they get serious, it really devastates you:

Nami's story arc in Arlong Park, Portgas D. Ace....
Yeah, I guess I was wrong there. So I'll correct myself. One Piece is always fun and playful unless a specific scene requires it to be somber. I guess that's why I prefer it to Naruto and Bleach: they take themselves way more seriously. And also there are the other reasons I mentioned.
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
2,851
474
88
Country
USA
Gender
Male
Queen Michael said:
Here's what I, personally like about it:

1. It feels more planned out in advance than Naruto did. You know that Naruto twist where we thought that one character was the big bad, but it turned out that another character was? That didn't feel premeditated. It felt like Kishimoto making things up as he went along.

2. The protagonist is way less obnoxious than Naruto and Ichigo. Those twoare like bratty kids. My man Monkey D. is more na?ve and innocent.

3. It doesn't take itself too seriously. You can tell that a sense of fun is important to Oda, even in the most serious arcs.
I'd also posit that Oda is simply much more whimsically creative. Kubo ended up going "Rurouni Kenshin with Magic Swords", Kishimoto went "Ninja-Mages"...Oda went with "Gulliver's Travels, by way of Xanth". And while I'd say that the former two eventually started phoning in[footnote]Bleach actually ended up with the dubious distinction of having filler that was arguably better than the source material, which I credit largely to the fact that the people writing it were more willing to explore Kubo's implications (including a whole arc focusing on the souls of those magic swords that Kubo tended to ignore)[/footnote] the premise their story was based around, Oda's is based in large part around the same "you want to see something interesting?" angle that Doctor Who is, and that's allowed him to keep things fresh. The cast finds a floating restaurant, then a desert kingdom being torn apart by a war profiteer made of sand. Then a flying island largely made of clouds led by someone made of lightning. Then they find a train that runs across the ocean leading to an island modelled off of Venice. Then they find the island of Frankenstein/Moreau. Then an almost themepark themed island...where they encounter slave traders and the thoroughly detestable World Nobles. Then a hellish prison which took cues from Dante's Inferno...and jumping ahead we've just seen kingdoms inspired by Babes in Toyland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

And across all of these the major characters they meet almost all have their own unique abilities/Magical Talents.
 

Neonsilver

New member
Aug 11, 2009
289
0
0
Before I lost interest in One Piece I enjoyed that I could expect serious moments and story arcs, for example Arlong Arc or Enies Lobby, but also a lot of funny moments. It doesn't become to monotonous by always trying to be funny or serious. Since the skills and special abilities of the various characters are a lot more varied, the battles are more varied as well compared to other animes.
Another thing, while the characters get progressively stronger the longer the anime goes on, it doesn't feel as ridiculous as in other animes (for example Dragonball Z or Naruto). I don't get the feeling that the weaker characters become useless either.
 

necromanzer52

New member
Mar 19, 2009
1,464
0
0
Lots of great points in this thread so far. I'd also like to add that I never feel like fights are won through some bullshit plot-no-jutsu. Most of the main cast are badasses right from the start. The first few villains they face aren't particularly strong and get defeated fairly quickly once the actual fighting starts. So, when Luffy actually does lose a fight for the first time, it's a big deal and ramps up the tension for that arc.

I never felt very engaged with any of Naruto's fights, because I knew no matter how badly he was losing, he would always pull something out of his ass at the last second and win.
 

Broderick

New member
May 25, 2010
462
0
0
I was going to write out some stuff, but most everyone already covered what I wanted to say. So, I will write out why I think your perception of the manga is the way it is. I think a lot of people were in your position because of the One Piece 4kids dub. We are talking about manga here, but I think the 4kids dub of the anime really effected people's perception of the series at large. It was a badly done, heavily censored, half baked dub which almost erased everything that made one piece great, and it really effected how people in the west saw the series. It wasn't until Funimation picked up and redubbed the thing that general consensus in the west began to shift a bit.

I know it's pretty hyperbolic, but it is one of those "you have had to be there" sort of scenarios.
 

Kitsune Hunter

What a beautiful Duwang!
Dec 18, 2011
1,072
0
0
Since most have mentioned some good points, I'll throw some in as well. Oda's planning of the series is really well thought out and planned out. Little things that may seem unimportant could have some significance or foreshadowing later down the line. For example, Sanji's wanted poster. It started out as just a running gag that Sanji was the only member of the crew to have his photo on his wanted poster to be a badly drawn image of him, but then that gag had a small bit of importance in the Saboady arc and then later on when Sanji gets a proper photo for his wanted poster, it leads into the current arc where we learn more about his past. Also there was a small part in the Jaya arc where Sanji states that he's from the North Blue which again leads into the current arc, it's little things like that which makes me like the series.

Also the characters are just extremely likeable especially Luffy and whenever it comes to him helping his friends, it doesn't feel phoned in or cringey, like a certain other shounen that is notorious for it's friendship speeches. Whenever Luffy wants to help out a friend, he's goes above and beyond to do so, the best example being his declaration at Ennies Lobby to declare war on the World Government, just to help rescue a friend.
 

PapaGreg096

New member
Oct 12, 2013
1,037
0
0
Kitsune Hunter said:
Since most have mentioned some good points, I'll throw some in as well. Oda's planning of the series is really well thought out and planned out. Little things that may seem unimportant could have some significance or foreshadowing later down the line. For example, Sanji's wanted poster. It started out as just a running gag that Sanji was the only member of the crew to have his photo on his wanted poster to be a badly drawn image of him, but then that gag had a small bit of importance in the Saboady arc and then later on when Sanji gets a proper photo for his wanted poster, it leads into the current arc where we learn more about his past. Also there was a small part in the Jaya arc where Sanji states that he's from the North Blue which again leads into the current arc, it's little things like that which makes me like the series.

Also the characters are just extremely likeable especially Luffy and whenever it comes to him helping his friends, it doesn't feel phoned in or cringey, like a certain other shounen that is notorious for it's friendship speeches. Whenever Luffy wants to help out a friend, he's goes above and beyond to do so, the best example being his declaration at Ennies Lobby to declare war on the World Government, just to help rescue a friend.
Not only that but his actual name, Sanji in which "San" means three in Japanese so yeah Oda has been planing this character's backstory for years. As for the friends part, another reason as to why the "friendship" aspect works well in One Piece is that we actually see the characters interact in instances where they aren't fighting and are goofing off.
 

Orga777

New member
Jan 2, 2008
197
0
0
Because unlike Kubo and Kishimoto, Oda actually gives a damn about what he writes, how he writes it, and the world he creates while writing. To the point that even characters that shows up for only a handful of chapters 400+ chapters before can show up again and be relevant and important again. The most minor of things can come back and be one of the most important things down the line. Everything is so masterfully woven that the world feels alive. It also helps that the characters stay consistently good.
 

xaszatm

That Voice in Your Head
Sep 4, 2010
1,146
0
0
Another good thing about this series is that every character has backstory, motivation, and goals. A prime example are the core crew of the Straw Hat Pirates. Every individual member has a reason to be on that ship and enough differing personalities that simply putting in any situation can be interesting simply due to the dynamics of the characters. It also is the reason why the world feels so alive. Characters don't exist solely for Luffy or for his journey. There's a whole slew of various factions and alliances that happen outside that affect the world and only indirectly affect Luffy himself.

Also, another thing Oda does that makes the series so interesting to read is he tries his hardest to avoid power creep. We are shown a very high powered individual early on in the series (Mihawk) and its only now that the crew could be on his power level. Characters instead grow laterally with their powers, coming up with creative and inventive ways to use their powers to combat stronger opponents. For all the antics and quirks the Star Hat crew have, it's due to their guile and creativity they succeed rather than gaining another super-power to combat the next enemy. This allows all characters, even those from early in the series to come back and contribute in a meaningful way because the power scale hasn't gone off the roof.
 

Natemans

New member
Apr 5, 2017
681
0
0
Samtemdo8 said:
1 BIG reason is this guy:



Is ten times more endearing, and interesting than Naruto and most Shounen Jump charcaters.

He maybe the most frustratingly naive and stupid person possible, but its because of his Naivety that we like him. I mean I would not care if Naruto dies because of how much an unlikable jackhole he is, but if Luffy dies, fuck me that would devestate me.

And the other characters are way more interesting than other Anime charcaters, even Dragon Ball's cast pales in comparison to One Piece.

And lastly the world, its colorful, its varied, and the art style helps alot to distinguish itself from other Anime. I did not care for Naruto or Bleach because they look like anyother anime.
I didn't care for Bleach. Dug the artwork, but did not care for the story or its characters. I have a love-hate thing with Naruto.

One Piece, on the other hand, is probably my favorite manga. Definitely agree with you on Luffy since Oda does a great job of worldbuilding along with giving us compelling characters to make us care. Luffy does fit with some of the typical tropes of Shonen heroes, but what makes him such a likable character is his determination in wanting to find the One Piece and wanting to help those in trouble. Not just his crew, but even people he barely even knows. Hell, the whole Arlong and Water Seven/Enies Lobby arcs show a great focus that no matter what, he will do what he can to save his friends.
 

Natemans

New member
Apr 5, 2017
681
0
0
xaszatm said:
Another good thing about this series is that every character has backstory, motivation, and goals. A prime example are the core crew of the Straw Hat Pirates. Every individual member has a reason to be on that ship and enough differing personalities that simply putting in any situation can be interesting simply due to the dynamics of the characters. It also is the reason why the world feels so alive. Characters don't exist solely for Luffy or for his journey. There's a whole slew of various factions and alliances that happen outside that affect the world and only indirectly affect Luffy himself.

Also, another thing Oda does that makes the series so interesting to read is he tries his hardest to avoid power creep. We are shown a very high powered individual early on in the series (Mihawk) and its only now that the crew could be on his power level. Characters instead grow laterally with their powers, coming up with creative and inventive ways to use their powers to combat stronger opponents. For all the antics and quirks the Star Hat crew have, it's due to their guile and creativity they succeed rather than gaining another super-power to combat the next enemy. This allows all characters, even those from early in the series to come back and contribute in a meaningful way because the power scale hasn't gone off the roof.
Agree. :)

Also Oda does a great job at foreshadowing and payoff.
 

Asita

Answer Hazy, Ask Again Later
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
2,851
474
88
Country
USA
Gender
Male
Kitsune Hunter said:
Also the characters are just extremely likeable especially Luffy and whenever it comes to him helping his friends, it doesn't feel phoned in or cringey, like a certain other shounen that is notorious for it's friendship speeches. Whenever Luffy wants to help out a friend, he's goes above and beyond to do so, the best example being his declaration at Ennies Lobby to declare war on the World Government, just to help rescue a friend.
That's actually one of my favorite scenes in the series because of how it played out. You've got a character with severe trust issues because since she was a kid almost everyone has told her that it was a sin for her to be alive and pretty much everyone eventually betrayed her either out of greed or because they believed the government's propaganda about her. She'd grown genuinely fond of the Straw Hats, but when she realized that they were about to be threatened because of her she abandoned them both to protect them and because she didn't want to be faced with the fact that they'd be forced to betray her or be obliterated. Because it would be them basically against the entire civilized world. Cue...this:


It's not that they don't realize what they're up against or that they're suicidally overconfident, or that they love her in spite of her past. They don't care about it. It's quite moving.
 

Vausch

New member
Dec 7, 2009
1,476
0
0
Samtemdo8 said:
1 BIG reason is this guy:



Is ten times more endearing, and interesting than Naruto and most Shounen Jump charcaters.

He maybe the most frustratingly naive and stupid person possible, but its because of his Naivety that we like him. I mean I would not care if Naruto dies because of how much an unlikable jackhole he is, but if Luffy dies, fuck me that would devestate me.

And the other characters are way more interesting than other Anime charcaters, even Dragon Ball's cast pales in comparison to One Piece.

And lastly the world, its colorful, its varied, and the art style helps alot to distinguish itself from other Anime. I did not care for Naruto or Bleach because they look like anyother anime.
I think in addition to this, Luffy is one of the few main characters in a story that has weaknesses and is aware of them, being the big reason as to why he has a crew. "I can't use a sword, I can't navigate, I can't cook, I can't even tell lies. That's why I have my friends."

What makes Luffy strong is his will and his drive to keep going. He isn't going to waste time learning to use a sword or how to navigate because he knows Zoro and Nami will be there for him, so he focuses more on what strengths he already has: hand to hand combat, and somehow being the most tactless and yet endearing person you'll ever talk to. He has a goal and will fight anybody that gets in the way of it, but he will not let anyone he cares about suffer to achieve it. He is going to be Pirate King, and he will make it there with the help of the people he cares about. And nothing is going to happen to them if he has any say in the matter.
 

Bob_McMillan

Elite Member
May 11, 2020
3,591
421
88
Country
Philippines
Broderick said:
I was going to write out some stuff, but most everyone already covered what I wanted to say. So, I will write out why I think your perception of the manga is the way it is. I think a lot of people were in your position because of the One Piece 4kids dub. We are talking about manga here, but I think the 4kids dub of the anime really effected people's perception of the series at large. It was a badly done, heavily censored, half baked dub which almost erased everything that made one piece great, and it really effected how people in the west saw the series. It wasn't until Funimation picked up and redubbed the thing that general consensus in the west began to shift a bit.

I know it's pretty hyperbolic, bubyt it is one of those "you have had to be there" sort of scenarios.
I actually live in Asia, so I'm not sure if such a dub would have made it all the way here. There's also that the anime is only slightly younger than me. There was plenty of time for the series to get big before I got into anime and manga.

I am just a casual fan though, so it could be that One Piece really isn't big in my country or it is really big and I just never noticed.