Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece has consistently one of the most critically acclaimed series of all time and it’s no surprise that it has been the most bestselling series five years in a row.
Despite the series never being as successful as some of its other counterparts in the west, it still has a big following, and typically more of an adult one too, as the series has never been one to shy away from more mature themes. Which is one of the reasons it is easily in my top 3. Now, the idea of a series that follows a group of pirates with magical powers they all got from a fruit, searching for a treasure in a race against other groups of pirates with powers may be intimidating to some, especially with the length of the series. But I would recommend this series more than any other.
First of all, while I personally think Oda’s art style is quite crude at times it suits the series perfectly. With all the jokes, gags and the lack of seriousness the series has a more professional style wouldn’t work as well. Oda is also very aware of the medium he is working in and uses that to his advantage perfectly.
The way the characters are deigned to operate, works perfectly within a 2D comic. Luffy’s body stretches and expands, so when he throws punches it can make for some cool perspective tricks. This is the same for Sanji and his kicks. Zoro’s combat style, is so stupidly unbelievable that it would only work in a 2D comic, to the point where it felt like all his scenes were missing something in the animation series.
The pacing of this series is also perfect, with nothing ever coming across as forced or not having a reason for it to happen. While the series may have a rather slow start with the first 50 chapters being slightly underwhelming, the series really picks up after chapter 100 where they make their way on to the grand line. The next couple of arcs, which play into the larger Alabasta saga, are paced so perfectly and breaking up the story with these mini adventures just makes for a greater series as a whole ( The Drum Island arc in particular is my favourite part of the series.) And then the Sky Island arc that follows, is renowned for being its own amazing adventure.
While there is a little bit of filler in one piece, it isn’t terrible, from what I have watched.
This isn’t just the case for the story as a whole, each individual arc is paced perfectly. They’re all really drawn out and to me at least the best parts come at the beginning when they are exploring the island and learning the backstory of all the characters, which are all super unique.
Give one piece a shot, watch the first 50 episodes at least and then make an opinion on it.