One Piece is one of the most popular – if not, THE most popular anime out there – but what’s this action/shounen anime really about? Is there more behind it than non-One Piece watchers think…?
A long time ago, there lived a fearsome pirate king who went by the name of Gold D. Roger. He was able to attain everything. But alas he was captured and sentenced to execution. In the brink of death, he proclaimed that he left the great treasure, One Piece,somewhere in the Grand Line and it is for anyone to claim. This event ignited the Great Pirate Age.
In the world of One Piece, there is such a thing as a Devil Fruit. A devil fruit is a fruit bearing some supernatural ability and whoever devours it will get a unique ability – however its origins are unknown. There are three types of Devil Fruit:
But of course nothing is perfect. If you eat any of the Devil Fruit, you will be rendered immobilize when submerge in the water.
And where is our protagonist? The anime revolves around our mentally impaired boy, Monkey D. Luffy, a.k.a The Straw Hat Pirate (the title came from his worn-out straw hat that he always wears). When our main character ate a devil fruit that turns the consumer’s body into rubber, he sets off to find Shanks, his pirate idol to return his straw hat as promise and find One Piece to be able to earn the title of Pirate King. Along the way he gathers all kinds of oddballs for his crew, The Straw Hat Pirates.
Now how exactly is One Piece different from the hundreds of shounen out there?
Well, it isnt.
It is exactly what a shounen should be. It follows the lose-train-win formula. So how is it any better? Bingo. Because it incorporates the formula into something fresh and simple.
One Piece arcs can be surprisingly good. There were even times that I was shocked at some plot twists and revelations. It has a very interesting setting as well. And what might that be? The World. The whole world is One Piece’s oyster. It varies from vast, scorching deserts to cold snowy mountains, the concept of adventure here is well defined, it really makes you feel that world isn’t small after all. And that my friend, is what an adventure anime should really be.
One Piece knows how to pull it off, be it comedy or serious, and believe me, One Piece knows how to be serious when it needs to be. But it never forgets its roots at the same time, and that is the emphasis of friendship and the bond of Nakama/Friends that glues the whole crew together.