One Piece is currently the longest running anime to date. With hundreds of episodes and an equal amount of characters, the show has waxed and waned in quality over the years. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at the current state of the anime and letting people know if now is a good time to jump in. There won’t be any spoilers ahead, but there will be a general plot synopsis. Also, keep in mind that the anime is still ongoing, so this is going to be a review for the current state, but this could all change.
The early seasons of One Piece are fantastic. Penned and written by some of the writers and conceptual minds behind Dragon Ball Z, it’s no wonder the show has been able to find its footing even after being around for so many years. In the same vein, the latter seasons are getting into issues of pacing, and there are definitely moments in which the show is so boring, and sluggish that its hard to keep your eyes on the screen. Also, the animation quality dips HEAVILY in the newer episodes, which is unfortunate considering that as times have gone on, they only have better technology available for animating.
The story has always been relatively good, however. Monkey D. Luffy has wanted to be a pirate from the moment his life was saved by a captain named Shanks. Shanks lost his arm saving Luffy, and in return entrusted him with his straw hat, and his hopes for Luffy’s future. At the same time, Luffy ate a “Devil Fruit” which gave him powers. His fruit is known as the Gomu-Gomu no mi (Gum Gum Fruit) which essentially gives him the powers of Mr. Fantastic. Compared to some of the other powers we see on screen, Luffy’s is relatively weak. Unfortunately, the recent arcs of the show have relied heavily on these powers, and powering up. This give the show a Dragon Ball Z feeling in which the characters end up getting ridiculously overpowered, to the point that it becomes a detriment.
One Piece’s real strength comes from its colorful cast. Meeting each crew member and getting to see how they interact with each other is one of the best part of the shows. When they’re all together, the battles are so much fun, and they’re extremely intense. I have fond memories of many arcs such as Thriller Bark in which it was the entire crew fighting a giant monster. That was awesome. Also, as I mentioned earlier, in the earlier arcs, the animation is stellar. Oh, and the show is pretty funny in the earlier seasons too. There were some points where I laughed out loud at some of the better gags.
So, to those wondering if they should get into One Piece, my answer is yes. The first few seasons are so good that they absolutely warrant a continuing watch. Skip the filler arcs, as those are all horrendously dreary, but there aren’t as many as there are in other long running shows such as Naruto. The characters are charismatic and fun, and the events that take place within always manage to keep you guessing. Unfortunately, the show ends up relying a bit too heavy on the powers in the later arcs, but the show is yet again rounding a corner and ramping up the intrigue. Its’ an awesome swashbuckling adventure that only gets better with time.
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