Monkey D. Luffy News

Monkey D. Luffy is a anime/manga character in the Toriko franchise
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2014 was somewhat tame in terms of anime; sure, there were some decent releases, but nothing really exploded on screen like in previous years.

That isn't a bad thing, but sometimes, as an otaku, it is nice to have that one anime which is so thrilling to watch that you cannot wait to devour every last episode in your possession.

Manga never disappoints; every new year has a star or two that shines above the rest, whether new or old. And in 2014 the Big Three were fairly popular talking points for different reasons- Naruto for its finale and Bleach for what some people viewed as a leap in quality, others as a continued slump in this final arc.

The One Piece conversation however didn't change much, with the same old issue arising no matter the forum you frequent: the decline of One Piece.

For most One Piece fans, discussions of One Piece declining are just bitterness and jealousy manifesting from manga fans that simply cannot help but whine about the popularity of a manga they cannot stand in light of poorer performances from their own favorite titles.

Yet, being a mild One Piece fan myself, I don’t think this issue should be dismissed so casually, especially in light of recent sales figures.

And I have chosen to use Naruto and Attack on Titan to answer this question.

So, Is One Piece Declining in Popularity?

Well, a better question is:

+DOES IT MATTER?
Whether or not we are willing to admit it, the simple answer is: yes. It is a naturally reaction of the typical individual; if you like something, you want everyone else to like it just as much, or at least so much more than what someone else likes and which you aren’t very keen on.

Practically it doesn’t matter; if One Piece suddenly dropped to the bottom of the sales list in 2015, I highly doubt that would compel any fan of the Manga to actually drop One Piece, not unless the only reason they read it was to keep up with popular trends in the industry.

Technically, people do care how well their favorite series are doing.

And that leads back to the primary question of this post: Is One Piece Declining in Popularity? Has this emperor of Manga began to witness its last days at the top?

The simple answer is YES and NO, and I will argue these two points briefly by contrasting One Piece against Naruto and SNK.

+ONE PIECE VS ATTACK ON TITAN
Let’s look at this practically; has One Piece began its decline? Take away all the bias and all the figures seem to be pointing towards a resounding YES.

Think about this; all the hullabaloo revolving around 2014’s Top 30 Manga List seemed to emanate from the fact that One Piece had somehow come out ahead and continued to reign even over Attack on Titan as the biggest manga in the world.

But let’s be realistic here; One Piece might have sold more copies in 2014 than any other manga but it isn’t reigning over Attack on Titan, not when both of them sold approximately 11 Million copies.

The 200,000 copies that One Piece sold more than AOT allowed the manga to maintain its top position, but One Piece hardly destroyed the competition.

In which case you could argue that both titles tied in the top place, more or less, right? Well, not quite.

An interesting point to note; Attack on Titan sold 13 Million copies in 2013, which means a drop of 2 Million between those two years.

A damning decline, right? Not really, not in comparison to One Piece which sold roughly 18 Million copies in 2013.Yes, 18 Million, that is a drop of 7 Million copies in sales. Yes, 7 BLOODY MILLION copies.

You might be wondering why this topic, all this talk about One Piece finally falling, will not die.

Well, no one would be talking about it if both AOT and One Piece were only separated by 200,000 copies but still managed to squeeze out 20 Million copies each; even 15 million copies would have been an acceptable drop.

7 MILLION! Say what you want about the fickle nature of otaku, you cannot ignore that drop in figures.

So, YES, One Piece is most definitely declining in popularity. And this is in comparison to Tokyo Ghoul which leaped forward by a whopping 5 Million copies, skipping from number 23 to 3 on the table.

When it comes to retaining its crown at the top, One Piece should be worried. If we are talking about the real winners of 2014, that would have to be Attack on Titan followed by Tokyo Ghoul and then One Piece.

+ONE PIECE VS. NARUTO
Study Naruto over the last few years and the first thing you notice is the manga rarely falls out of the top five ranked titles of each year; more important however are its figures.

Naruto is one of the more stable series on this list, sometimes hitting 6 Million and even 7 Million but mainly standing around the 5 Million mark. Its position on the list might change but that is largely due to series either rising or falling around it.

Naruto itself rarely undergoes drastic changes.

And why is that? After all, as so many otaku like to phrase it on the internet, Naruto has been ‘Shit’ for a very long time. So who buys the volumes?

Well, it’s simple really.

Kishimoto has, for several years now, been writing specifically for his fans, and those fans like what he’s been creating; it is odd that so many people would raise their voices to complain about the direction Naruto has taken over the last five years, only for Kishimoto to continue along his pre-determined story, with no attempt to make any major alterations (that we know of).

And why would he? For all the complaints, Naruto is still pretty popular; Kishimoto has always known the Naruto story he’s always wanted to tell, and those people that have continued to purchase Naruto over the last four years, they like what Naruto has become.

They are what one would call true Naruto fans; they would have continued to purchase those Naruto volumes had the manga continued for another ten years. And that’s because that so called ‘shit’ is what they like. Kishimoto found his core fan base a few years ago and he hooked them, those few million people that were ready to stick with him till the end.

And how does that apply to One Piece? Naruto is the future that One Piece is eventually going to become.

Consider how One Piece came to reign over the manga industry. How exactly did that explosion of popularity happen? Someone is most likely going to say something about One Piece’s consistently quality story line.

And I would disagree. Here’s why One Piece became the best selling manga in history: Hype.

There was a point in time during the latter stages of the Sabody Archipelago arc when the One Piece hype train first began picking up; that point where One Piece became that hushed whisper no manga reader could avoid.

Then the story hit Impel Down and the Hype train picked up tremendous speed; by the time Marine Ford came around, One Piece was on fire; it was that manga trend you simply had to try your hand at if only to figure out what all the fuss was about.

And that is when a massive portion of new readers made the jump to One Piece; we are talking about otaku who had consistently refused to give Oda’s masterpiece a chance finally giving in, flicking through these massive arcs and becoming immediate converts to a manga that proved to be everything everyone said it would be and more.

You can follow this trend with Attack on Titan, a flea of a manga that became a giant simply because of hype; the difference here, though, is Attack on Titan can actually sustain its hype.

Fans jumped onboard because of the cool action complimented by the shocking gore and unpredictability of the story; and that is what we have been getting from Shingeki no Kyojin for the last few years.

That is what we can expect the manga to keep generating for the foreseeable future; Attack on Titan is here to stay, and who knows what will happen when the second anime season premiers in 2016.

You cannot say the same thing for One Piece; the Marineford crowd came bursting out of One Piece’s greatest arc expecting Oda to not only maintain that pace but possibly even build upon the scope.

What they instead got was a very mediocre fish man island; Punk Hazard picked up the pace but even the few highlights didn’t make the arc anything special, and the current Dressrossa arc might boast some really explosive moments, but it also had some of the slowest chapters in a while.

Observe this trend and a rational pattern emerges; you have a new horde of One Piece fans, largely enamored by three of One Piece’s greatest arcs, exiting the Marionford story, expecting Marioneford2.0 at the other end.

Oda doesn’t deliver in this regard, and they start to slip away one by one.

It might not make sense if you consider the fact that these three arcs, including Fishman Island, where largely decent during their run; why would a few dissatisfying chapters and some slow pacing alienate so many people?

And the answer is simple: it wouldn’t, if they were One Piece fans; except that this isn’t a crowd of One Piece fans that I am talking about, but Marineford fans.

So, the question: Is One Piece declining?

Well, technically, No. Rather the chaff is simply falling away, those persons for whom the highs of One Piece were Marineford and Impel down. It is these buyers for whom the current One Piece has become an unworthy investment. This same crowd is simply waiting for the next big One Piece arc to arrive to jump on board once more.

+CONCLUSION
Let me just say that the One Piece anime hasn't done any favors for the manga; as so many people have suggested, we need to get Madhouse on this project.

One Piece is just at its halfway point; and as it progresses, it is going to fluctuate, with different arcs attracting fans in the millions, while others might alienate an even bigger number.

Eventually it is bound to create that core fan base, for whom One Piece is perfect as it is and who will stick with the show for the next 10 to 20 years.

You cannot really predict where One Piece will eventually stabilize; it might be at 2 Million; it might be at 30 Million. One thing’s for sure.

Nothing lasts forever and no king can remain unchallenged.

One Piece will be dethroned, eventually; and that should be a good thing, because by the time a new manga takes that top spot, it will have proven its worth in terms of quality characters and storytelling, hopefully in a manner that blows One Piece out of the water.

And that can only work in the favor of us manga fans who only want to read great manga stories.
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Hello, everyone! And welcome to another blog by DHK. Sorry, I haven't been writing that much blogs, I have been busy with life and also sorry for not doing that contest I said I'll do in the last blog (I still planning to do it, just need the time). Any who, before January ends I'll do my top 5 list of 2013. I decided to go with the best chapters of last year, because last year was the year of the Simulcasting Manga. With that said, here is my rules for my list

There will be spoilers in this list

  1. I only using chapters that came out in 2013
  2. I only using chapters I read in 2013
  3. I only using the official chapters
  4. I only using one chapter per series

I guess, I'll start with one honorable mention. This chapter is awesome, but didn't cut it for the real list

Honorable Mention

One Piece: Chapter 731 - Operation Dressrosa S.O.P.

This was an amazing chapter of One Piece, it have one of the best moments in the series. The reveal of Sabo was nicely done, and both him and Koala being part of the Revolutionary Army and Koala being the first human user of Fishman Karate was just amazing and made sense in story. And we found about Toy Soldier's plan and the person behind turning people into Toys. It was all round a good chapter. But I don't feel it was the best for this year

My Top Five Chapters Of 2013

5. Fairy Tail: Chapter 358 - The Devil Particles

This was an amazing chapter of Fairy Tail, it build up the villain of the arc to be a force to deal and show how dangers they our by taking out Laxus and his Thunder God Tribe and killing one hundred people. That show, the usual Fairy Tail's brute force won't work on these new enemies and they have to be more careful. But with recent FT chapters the villain feel like the same villains from the other arcs, so I hope FT build threat back up

4. World Trigger: Chapter 40 - Yuma Kuga: Part 8

World Trigger didn't start out that good, but it have been growing on me. This chapter show Yuma wasn't like the other Shonen heroes who usually new to everything and pure, Yuma is different because he already a skillful soldier who have seen combat in has day. He pretty much a cold blood killer when he isn't making a duck face. He pretty much destroy Shun Midorikawa for disrespecting his pal Osamu

3. The Seven Deadly Sins: Chapter 22 - A Pursuer to Fear

This chapter was a great battle chapter, it introduce one of my favorite characters of the Deadly Sins, Holy Knight Guila. I really enjoy the art and the action, it show Guila was a force to deal and how far she'll go to inforce her sense of Justice. I also like the fact nobody really explain their powers to the enemy (Bleach), it them feel more smarter in figuring out their enemy powers. Also the cliffhanger with Ban and King was cool

2. One-Punch Man: Bonus Chapter

One-Punch Man is one of my favorite Manga at the moment, I love the story and the art it was an all round good manga. Anyway, this bonus chapter was amazing. It show us the point of view of a police force in a super hero world and how they are being overshadow by the Superheroes. In the mainstream comics, we never really a view of the police and how they feel about the heroes, they usually cart the villain to jail or high five Spider-Man for doing a good job. It was pretty cool seeing the police's point of view in the matter

1. One Piece: Chapter 700 - His Momentum

This is my favorite chapter of 2013, this chapter is the reason why I love One Piece. It pretty much show you how important Don Quixote Doflamingo title as Warlord is, it pretty much throw some countries into chaos. We also get to see the new Warlord the Genius Jester Buggy and it stand up the villains of the arc pretty well. And last but not lease, we found out Doffy have the Flame-Flame Fruit

Well, that my list for 2013. I might have miss some stuff, but I feel pretty good about this list. Tell me what you think about my list and share with me, your favorite chapters of 2013. Next blog (I'm hope) is Viz's Shonen Jump vs Simulpub

Thanks for reading and remember to support the Anime/Manga industry

Sorry if their was any typos.

Also here some awesome blogs to check out

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Hello everyone, I'm Taka, your neighborhood wiki editor. In this blog, I'll share my experiences getting into One Piece and Toriko from a Fairy Tail fan's perspective and tell you whether you should or should not try these two Shonen series if you're unfamiliar with it.

How I got into One Piece and Toriko?

I got into One Piece back in Summer 2012 while I got into Toriko back in November 2013 because I saw a lot of folks talking about it. In One Piece's case, DestinyHeroKnight and ShadowKnight508 were the ones who pushed me into One Piece. For Toriko, I got interested because of Taichokage, Othus12, SpeedForceSpider, and the rest of the battle gang.

Note: I hit my word limit for the blog''s title.

Should FT fans Get Into One Piece?

One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

Monkey D. Luffy refuses to let anyone or anything stand in the way of his quest to become king of all pirates. With a course charted for the treacherous waters of the Grand Line, this is one captain who’ll never drop anchor until he’s claimed the greatest treasure on Earth – the Legendary One Piece!

Yes, most fans will get into One Piece because there is so many similarities. It's a lot easier to transition into One Piece from Fairy Tail because of the similarities. Here is a brief list of what these two franchises share in common.

Luffy's crew and Natsu's Fairy Tail guild gets into trouble with the law. Both sides fight for their Nakama and time skips. The differences are that One Piece is about the exploration and fight towards their dreams. Fairy Tail doesn't really have a goal. It seems like an endless adventure with evil guilds and groups who messes with Fairy Tail guild. For Natsu, he was searching for his father, Igneel, in episode 1. It never pops up again. Both series are warm hearted and funny, but One Piece's fight scenes have some blood, and it isn't afraid of showing people dying, both manga and anime. Fairy Tail's anime is bloodless compared to its manga.

Sometimes, you wonder if Fairy Tail is ripping off One Piece with its scenes and certain characters (Shanks and Gildarts Clive).

I posted this table in DestinyHeroKnight's I prefer One Piece over Fairy Tail a long time ago.

One PieceSimilarities and DifferencesFairy Tail
Monkey D. Luffy
Monkey D. Luffy

Similarities

  • Both Natsu and Luffy are oblivious to women's feelings for them. (IE: Luffy to Boa Hancock and Natsu to Lucy (who's unsure).
  • Both are big eaters and smile a hell lot.
  • Both won't back down when their friends' lives are at stake.
  • Both have scars. Luffy has one underneath his left eye and a big one on his chest. Natsu has one at his neck.

Differences

  • Luffy is a rubber man who can stretch while Natsu's a Dragon Slayer with fire powers.
  • Occupations: Luffy is a pirate, and Natsu is a mage. Same goes for everyone in this list
  • Weaknesses: Luffy can't swim, and sharp objects are bad. In Natsu's case, motion sickness.
Natsu Dragneel
Natsu Dragneel
Nami
Nami

Similarities

  • Both love money and have large breasts.
  • Both lost a loved one. (IE: Nami's adopted mother Bellemere and Lucy's Layla Heartfilia)

Differences

  • Background: Lucy comes from a rich family while Nami's family is poor.
  • Nami is a navigator who knows geography and anything in her field well. Lucy is book smart in Celestial Magic.
  • Nami has a tragic past.
Lucy Heartfilia
Lucy Heartfilia
Roronoa Zoro
Roronoa Zoro

Similarities

  • Both lost a loved one who is also female. (IE: Zoro's Kuina and Gray's Ur).
  • Both compete with the main character, Zoro w/ Luffy and Gray w/ Natsu. Though, Natsu and Gray' are more rivals than Zoro and Luffy.
  • Both are brawlers.
  • Both attract strange women. For Gray, it's Juvia while for Zoro, it's Perona.

Differences

  • Zoro is a swordsman while Gray is an ice mage.
  • Zoro has no sense of direction.
Gray Fullbuster
Gray Fullbuster
Chopper
Chopper

Similarities

  • Chopper and Happy are sort of like the comic relief characters.

Differences

  • Chopper is a doctor while Happy has no profession.
  • Happy loves to troll his friends while Chopper is a bit respectful.
  • Chopper has several forms.
  • Only Happy can fly.
Happy
Happy
Nico Robin
Nico Robin

Similarities

  • Both have tragic pasts, but they differ. Nico's story is her people being massacred when her home island, Ohara, was eradicated off the map. She was always on the run because folks would betray her and turn in. For Erza, she is a former slave forced to resurrect Zeref at the Tower of Heaven.
  • Both lived on islands.
  • Both are well endowed.

Differences

  • Nico has seen her parents, but Erza has never seen hers.
  • Abilities: Nico has the Hana Hana fruit while Erza has the ability to requip different armors. Erza has a uniform fetish.
Erza Scarlet
Erza Scarlet

Quick Breakdown of One Piece

For Fairy Tail fans, you should try One Piece out. I quickly list some pros and cons.

Pros

  • Different Style of Humor
  • A wealth of characters that have quirks (such as laughter Saul's Dereshi and that Amazon's Za za za)
  • Origin Stories are pretty deep
  • Characters die permanently or stay dead in One Piece. You will shed a tear or at least sympathize with the characters. Fairy Tail is too soft with its character deaths (with the exception of Simon and the others). I got angry at Fairy Tail for bringing back one character (L****a) and never expand her relationship with one character.
  • One Piece capitalizes on exploration than Fairy Tail.
  • Fight Scenes - One Piece's longer for sure. The quality of the fight between the two series depends on the fan's tastes. If you want serious fights, One Piece and Fairy Tail will disappoint you. There are comedic moments where the good guys and enemies fool around. I notice that fans hate Sting's fight with Erza's Fairy Tail group because it ended without much resistance. One Piece's fights go all out.

Cons

  • Story arcs in One Piece are way longer than Fairy Tail's (might be a hit or miss for fans who prefer shorter arcs)
  • Fan Service - Fairy Tail has more T & A than One Piece until the time skip in One Piece. However, Fairy Tail went full on nudity with Lucy and the gang, more hot spring and beach scenes. Fairy Tail is quite liberal with clothing damage than One Piece. Lucy's clothes fall apart faster than Nami during battle.
  • No Lolis and Other Fetishes - I don't think One Piece has girls like Wendy Marvell. Fairy Tail caters to a wide variety of fetishes than One Piece. One Piece (after time skip) emphasizes on boobs. Fairy Tail got boobs, pettanko, maids, waitresses, and megane.
  • Fillers - It's hard to say. Fairy Tail had a huge filler arc at the end before the tournament arc. Fairy Tail doesn't do flashback fillers. I remember in Water Seven, One Piece did a few episodes that recap the Straw Hat crew's struggles.
  • Romance - You definitely have some shipping in both series. For One Piece, it's mostly unrequited love between Boa and Luffy. In Fairy Tail's case, part of the fun is with the cast who can be shipped and teased in many ways. Fairy Tail has more romance in it than One Piece.

Should FT Fans Try Toriko?

Toriko by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro

The world is full of deliciously deadly ingredients that the wealthiest appetites in existence can't wait to devour. Toriko, the legendary Gourmet Hunter, is ready and willing to track down the rarest animals on the planet and put them on a plate!

Toriko is a different Shonen beast. Like One Piece, Toriko is about exploration with an emphasis on food. When I first read the premise, I was puzzled on how a show can be all about hunting the best ingredients and filling out one's Full Course Menu. A Full Course Menu is a Gourmet Hunter's dream menu. I admit it was awkward getting into Toriko, but I enjoyed it after reading the first few chapters. For the characters, One Piece and Fairy Tail's characters start off weak. For Toriko, I believe they start off strong. Toriko is well known due to his Four Heavenly King reputation I haven't read past chapter 80 or so, the Century Soup Arc. I might be wrong.

Quick Break on Toriko

Pro

  • Fight Scenes are pretty great and brief. Since I haven't got far in Toriko, I can't really confirm if Fairy Tail's fights are longer or shorter than Toriko's. The fights in Toriko are like One Piece. Characters will use their wits and their abilities to beat their enemies rather than powering up like in Natsu Dragneel's case.
  • A compassionate, weak character who is a Dude in Distress - Komatsu was one interesting side character. He remind me of Manta Oyamada (Shaman King) more than Krillin of DBZ. Fairy Tail does have weak characters, but they're not a key supporting character.
  • Toriko isn't sexist - I could be wrong here since Othus12 and the gang told me Tina was a damsel. I haven't watch past episode 10 in the anime. Since Fairy Tail has more girls, Lucy and some of the gals were damsels. Toriko actually had Komatsu do a bit of gender reversal role. Toriko doesn't rely on sex appeal for its audience. It's worth noting it. One Piece's Time Skip went with the fan service route, Nami, Boa, and Nico.
  • Story arcs - Fairy Tail and Toriko's are roughly the same length up to the part where I left off, but I could be wrong here.
  • Toriko has more bromance than Fairy Tail.

Con

  • Fan Service - In this current era of anime, I'm surprised that Toriko has a huge male cast just like Dragon Ball Z. Most anime series you see out there have a cute gal who tags along with the male hero (IE: Ichigo and Rukia, Natsu and Lucy, and most harem series). Though, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball manage to deliver fan service and beautiful women. Being left off at the Century Soup Arc with 80 chapters in, Rin is the only predominant female character. For the anime, they introduce Tina. It depends on your tastes. Most Fairy Tail fans I know love T & A (some don't admit it, but I know they do), so most of them will find Toriko disappointing in this section.
  • Fillers - I leave this blank for Toriko fans.
  • Lack of Romance - I haven't seen much love. Fairy Tail's romantic relationships are fun to watch. Fans would ship characters. When I got into Toriko, the only person shipped was Rin and Toriko. Though, Toriko is like Goku and Luffy. Plus, Rin doesn't have much of a spotlight. It's hard to root for Rin.

I do want to make a table for Toriko and Fairy Tail's characters, but there isn't much similarities and not enough girls on Toriko's side.

Thank everyone for reading this blog. I hope you enjoy Toriko and One Piece. Feel free to drop a comment or a correction (since I wasn't far into Toriko).

TorikoSimilarities and DifferencesFairy Tail
Toriko
Toriko

Similarities

  • Both Natsu and Toriko are oblivious to women's feelings for them. (IE: Toriko to Rin? and Natsu to Lucy (who's unsure).
  • Both are big eaters.
  • Both have a sharp sense of smell.

Differences

  • Toriko is human with superhuman qualities (Nail, Fork techniques) while Natsu's a Dragon Slayer with fire powers.
  • Occupations: Toriko is a Gourmet Hunter, and Natsu is a mage.
  • Weaknesses: I'm not sure about Toriko's weakness. Natsu has motion sickness.
  • Toriko is more mature than Natsu.
Natsu Dragneel
Natsu Dragneel
Tina
Tina

Similarities

  • Both appeared often (anime for Tina only)
  • Both are damsels in distress
  • Both have pets. Lucy has Plue while Tina has Kruppoh.

Differences

  • Lucy has hots for Natsu, but she won't admit it. Tina and Toriko are friends, nothing more, but that's not what Rin feels about Tina and Toriko.
  • Occupation: Tina is a reporter while Lucy is a mage.
  • Tina is not a fighter.
  • Lucy wears more revealing outfits than Tina. Lucy's bustier than Tina.
Lucy Heartfilia
Lucy Heartfilia
Komatsu
Komatsu

Similarities

  • Both are side characters
  • Komatsu and Happy can't fend for themselves.
  • Both are Dudes in Distress

Differences

  • Komatsu's a chef while Happy is a flying, talking cat.
  • Happy got a girlfriend, Carla, but Carla doesn't reciprocate it back. Komatsu is single.
Happy
Happy
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On November 21, 2013, the NEW YORK TIMES, one of the best selling newspapers in the U.S., hosted an ad for the blockbuster selling manga series, ONE PIECE. This full page ad can be found on Page A15.

This was apparently partially to celebrate ONE PIECE selling over 300 Million copies of Eiichiro Oda's creation. 130 Million of these having been sold since 2009. In every sense of the word, nothing in manga or comics sells quite like this series.

To give a little perspective. Last year, Shueisha published four collected volumes of ONE PIECE and those sold over 23 Million units. It's closest competitor KUROKO NO BASUKE's five volumes of the same year sold just over 8 Million copies. That doesn't even calculate in back issue sales.

-Kristoffer Remmell ( FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ FoxxFireArt

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I went looking for this topic on Google because i found myself suddenly and randomly curious about the matter before going to bed yesterday; i was surprised that with every straw hat related topic that compared and contrasted the straw hats with each other, the purpose was to determine who was the strongest, or who would kill who in a battle.

So i thought i would tackle this topic myself. So, first i should first explain what i mean. When i say ‘best’ i am not referring to the strongest straw hat. In a way i am speaking about current stature, which includes how strong they are but in relation to the difficulty it took to get there. Each of the straw hats has a different story to tell about their past and backgrounds and each of them has a purpose he or she serves on the ship, but only because of what they went through in their past and the journeys they took to gain the skills that would make them a worthy crew mate on the thousand sunny.

Maybe there is a different, possibly better way to describe ‘best’ but i cannot think of it right now. Maybe the character as a whole matters, but i keep coming back to what they had to go through to get to where they are and how much they overcame. I will give a BLEACH example. Both Ichigo and Chado can take on an arrancar right now and win. But while Ichigo would win in a heart beat, it is Chado’s win that would be the more impressive victory, because we all know that if Ichigo had met an arrancar during the Soul society arc, he probably would have beaten it.

So the straw hats are Ussop, Nami, Zoro, Chopper, Sanji, Robin,Franky, Brook and Luffy. I will ignore Luffy mostly because it will create complications in comparing him to zoro. This is my ranking:

1. Ussop - I was going to go with Nami but i gave it a little bit more thought and realized that Ussop deserved the title most as best straw hat. We know that when we first saw ussop, he was basically useless. Besides lying and less than impressive shooting abilities, Ussop originally didn’t look like he served much of

a purpose to Luffy besides being funny. But we saw him blossom on the adventures he undertook with Luffy and, starting with basically no usable skill, molded himself into a pirate worthy of the name straw hat. Ussop’s most significant feature is the fact that, especially in early one piece, he would walk into danger, usually after convincing himself to run away but somehow choosing the more honorable route, with no conceivable way of achieving victory, no devil fruit, no special strength or speed or really anything beyond his intelligence. Whether he won isn’t even really the point (he lost quite a lot), beca

use every single drop of blood he shed would give Luffy a little more time to wrap things up on his end without interference. I still remember the Alabasta arc, that moment in the anime when Ussop took a baseball bat to the forehead while moving at incredible speed, and this skull cracked. I was shocked, held my breath for several seconds and waited for him to die. But he stood up again. He had no business rising up. Luffy would have eventually returned to save him, and even the villain he was up against didn’t really affect Luffy’s chances of completing his mission. But he stood up none the less.

You could almost say that Ussop is a mystery, sometimes you don’t really know why he does what he does. I still think he is stupid, but the fact that he would fight Luffy to save the ship, well it irritated me because it was just a ship, but it showed heart in Ussop. At the present he stands proud as a very capable straw hat, and the funniest man in one piece besides buggy. So yes, best straw hat.

2. Zoro - i say zoro here at number 2 because of his strength. I have mentioned this before, that the reason Zoro stands out is the fact that he is so powerful without a devil fruit. He stands up their with the very best of them, be it pirate or marine, with nothing more than his three swords. The fact that Zoro Vs. luffy debates are still raging up to this point is a testament to his skill. His will to stand up in a world full of super human beings and face danger each and every day with little more than his swords and skills is admirable, and while he hasn’t had the hardest rise to the top, he deserves the number two spot as second best straw hat.

3. Number three is a bit tough. I was tempted to go with Nami, considering all she went through with Arlong and the lengths to which she was forced to go to keep her village safe in operating as Arlong’s agent. Sure it was traumatic but i do not know if it really changed her, not in a way that is tangible at the present. More importantly, it was through Luffy’s will and effort that she finally escaped her old life, not her own strength and effort, so i am not sure if i can call it a triumph for her, more like luck that Luffy happened to pass by.

Nico Robin on the other hand thrived in the face of danger. She faced great hardships as a child, traversing great difficulties in confronting the ugly side of humanity. For all intent and purpose she should have crumbled and disappeared into non existence; yet she fought the fate that had been thrown at her, through sheer will she survived in the harsh world, doing whatever she could to keep herself safe until that day that she met Luffy and made the choice to join his crew. It almost feels like she invited her self. As far as great straw hats are concerned she stands far above Nami. She is the kind of character they wouldn’t get anywhere without, especially not in the dangerous and uncharted territories of the new world.

Franky is, well, Franky. There is not much to say about him. Same thing with Brook. So if i was to look at this critically, i would say that the third best straw hat would be Robin. If i was to allow bias to affect me, i would give the position to Chopper because, well, it is chopper. Who doesn’t like the little rain deer thing?

Like i said, i do not want to consider Luffy because that would immediately pit him against Zoro, which never gets anywhere. What i will say though is that if i was to put him in the ranking, what i would say for sure is that i would still stick with Ussop as the best straw hat.

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Here is the thing; one piece has a ridiculous ton of characters and it is a testament of Oda’s skill as a story teller that he some how manages to give each and everyone of them something to do. And as we have seen in so many similarly cast anime and manga series, that isn’t something that everyone can do; most series that i have come across with such large casts have allowed many of their characters but the central cast to lie dormant besides one or two introductory arcs.

The size of one piece’s cast is such that the straw hat pirates are merely one facet of the whole; sure they are the primary protagonists and it is their story we are following, but what i love is that unlike most shows, the world of one piece doesn’t revolve around them. In fact, for a very long time, the straw hats didn’t matter as far as the larger pirate world was concerned and it was nice to know that while they indeed played their part in the overall story, these four or five kids weren’t the one force the world was waiting for to save it or something, as is done by so many series.

While Luffy was passing time fighting Arlong, greater events were occurring on a much larger scale; wars and battles whose outcome would affect the future of the word were happening; even now, with the straw hats finally emerging on the world stage and making waves through out the known world, it is clear that there is still more to the one piece world, specifically the new world than we have seen; more characters still wait to have their moment on stage and arcs that will further catapult the straw hats to greater more important status as far as the future of the world is concerned are yet to happen.

My point is, in the times that the topic of one piece has risen to the fore of my thoughts, maybe during a particularly interesting one piece episode, i have sometimes found myself wondering about the importance of the straw hats, specifically if they are the reason that one piece is, well, one piece. They are the centre of the one piece story but are they really the nucleus, the core, without which the whole collapses?

In other words i am asking, would one piece be as good without the straw hats? Could it survive without the weight of their characters? Are they really the best pawns and pieces on the board that is the one piece world. Could one piece be the amazing story it is without the straw hats.

I personally looked at this question from Oda’s point of view, in that i believe he possesses the creative capabilities to create a one piece story that could thrive without the straw hats. And if that is the case, then what would be the best replacement for the straw hats as a central cast of characters around which the story rotates.

Like i said, one piece is blessed with a cast that isn’t only large but also very interesting and as far as i am concerned, capable of carrying the mantle of central character. So if the straw hats couldn’t be the central characters; maybe they died in the first few arcs, maybe they never existed; what ever the case, what other crew or character would be able to carry the entire one piece story on its back? I mean a cast of characters that you can imagine having watched or read about all these past 600 something chapters, a cast that would provide as much action, deep back story and great plotting to make a series as good if not better than the original straw hat based story.

When i considered this, i came up with three possible replacements for the straw hats:

1. The white beard pirates – who doesn’t like the white beard pirates, though it makes sense to wonder if we should still call them white beard pirates when white beard is dead. None the less they are an interesting and eccentric looking group of people. I say ‘looking’ because we still do not know anything about them,

and all Marine ford revealed to us was their powers. There are still stories to be told about this crew, stories that we will probably never learn because of the sheer of number of the characters in one piece but which i suspect would be intriguing. If the white beards were the main characters of the story, i could see this story occurring from two different angles. First of all, we might follow Edward Newgate’s story; we saw him as a kid, or a young man-i couldn’t tell. We know he grows up to be the world’s strongest man but we do not know how that happens and what adventures lead him to possess the title and status he does now. It would be interesting to watch him follow the ‘luffy' path’ of going on quests and gathering nakama but on a larger scale, since we know the white beard pirates are a larger crew than the straw hats and that doesn’t take into account the alliance he leads.

IN the second scenario, we could start from the marine ford arc and white beard’s death, at which point we would follow Marco’s story and what happens to the crew after the leader falls. Maybe the plot will revolve around the crew retaking the power they lost and re-gathering territories lost after their captain’s death. It would be interesting to see Marco try to control a crew that large and powerful; at least from my point of view i can see enough story to last several hundred chapters.

2. Buggy- i say buggy because i do not remember what his crew is called. And i know having his crew as the primary protagonists would change the show into a more comedic series, but that wouldn’t necessary be the case. We know that one piece is a silly story about silly characters in a silly world, yet it somehow manages to be serious; if he wanted to, i am sure Oda could take buggy and turn his story into something more serious and interesting. I can see potential in him; maybe the story would revolve around his rivalry with shanks, and weak as he is, it would be interesting to watch him lie his way to the top. The straw hats could even feature as his closest rivals that he must beat to stand a chance against shanks. Maybe its because i like baggy but i believe that it would be a good story

3. Coby – Coby is the one character i believe would have a far more interesting story than Luffy, because his character, at least as far as i am concerned, looks like it could be far more interesting than the basic shonen type character that Luffy is. Of course his story would occur from the marine side of things and like Luffy, Coby would have to fight both pirates and crazy marines; like luffy he would be striving to reach the top of the marine world, to become what ever that giant Buddha guy with glasses is, and on the way he would have to contend with both admirals and the four emperors. Now granted this might still happen in one piece but in my scenario it would occur in a more detailed format which is what would make it so interesting. I can see luffy taking a shank’s like role in his life as the person who made him who he is and who coby eventually has to find beat.

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Time skips are a pretty common element in anime, so i am by no means saying that only these series are involved with using them in their plots. These four are simply the most popular series to use time skips so it makes sense that i look at them specifically. The question is which had the better time skip. I might as well say it right now that my answer to the question is Naruto and fairy tail.

The purpose of time skips is to change things up a bit. Maybe a story has reached the end of its road as far as current events are concerned, or maybe all the mystery has been squeezed out and the author feels it necessary to inject fresh life into it; or maybe it is a matter of changing the characters and adding some further development that wouldn’t be possible in the current timeline; either way time skips will bring about the change of that era in anime or manga and start a new one, so it is almost like the anime is starting anew.

In considering which anime executed the time skip best, it is a simple matter of looking at pre-time skip, post time skip and how much impact and influence the time skip had on the overall story line, not far down the line but in the immediate future, usually the first arc after.

Pre-Time skip:> All four had pretty epic finales to the first parts of their stories. Naruto saw Naruto and sasuke finally face off, Sasuke came int

o his own as he mastered sharingan and his cursed seal transformation, naruto finally showed sasuke what he could do and Orochumaru finally made his second move. Bleach saw Aizen’s fall and Ichigo

reach his peak, power wise. One piece caused events to enter the new world and brought about a change in the era of piracy while seeing the demise of several characters. Fairy tail delved deeper into the fairy tail guild with the S-Class test, the introduction of the passed fairy tail masters, the three holy fairy tail magics and final showdown between fairy tail and the dark alliance’s strongest guild, Grimoire Heart. Hades, the strongest villain to date made his appearance and we finally saw some dragon, with Archnologia bringing the first part of fairy tail to a close in a most spectacular manner.

Of all the four, Bleach had the weakest ending. You would think that seeing Ichigo achieve final Gentsuga tensou and unleash Mugetsu, Seeing Aizen activate the Hougyoku, Ishhin’s appearance, Urahara’s fight and everything else that happened would have a spine tingling effect; and it would have, if all that had happened nearly 110-150 episodes ago or 50-100 chapters in the past. By the time these events happened we were all pretty much tired of this arc and Aizen; so a lot of excitement was over shadowed by relief that he was finally gone. Kubo dragged events out too long, to the point that everything that happened at the end just couldn’t muster the impact and epicenes it should have had. Even the revelation of Gin’s true intentions didn’t matter as much as they should have and i will admit that i didn’t care much for his death. Bleach messed up here and only a few moments, like Yamamoto’s fight and Ichigo Vs. Uluqiora saved this arc.

One piece had the strongest ending. technically the first part closes with the Marine ford arc but i would say that it stretches back a far as sabody Archipelago. That is where the gears first began turning in moving one piece towards this awesome end. I re-entered one piece and began the Sarbody Archipelago arc after marine ford was over (or nearly over) so i had the privilege of watching it all at once, over a period of a few weeks. There were way too many moments here for me to zero in one just one thing that made it so epic. The straw hat’s defeat was spectacular and logical and you could really believe that they were

completely overwhelmed.

The appearance of the white beard pirates was everything i expected it to be; there were so many characters at play with so many different powers and stories and intentions, both on the pirates side and the marine side. It felt like the whole world had come to Marine Ford. Of course White beard and Ace ( and Baggy whether you like it or not) stole the show.

Any Naruto fan can remember that final arc and knows why it was so epic. Many would point to the sasuke naruto battle being the pinnacle of the arc, but i would point to the Konoha 11 battles. They proved themselves to be more than genin.

Fairy tail changed things around and for once focused on the guild and its battle against a powerful enemy, unlike the norm where Natsu and crew go off to have an adventure. It was hilarious, especially the scenes with that big guy with the voodoo dolls; we saw god slaying magic for the first time, Cana of all people got some actual character development, Hades was every bit the monster a master should be and of course Achnologia blew me away as a fairy tail fan. I actually didn’t see the fairy tail time skip coming, which made it all the more epic. It caught me off guard.

Post-Skip:> I am not a fan of how One piece and Bleach executed the events following the time skip. it was cool to see the straw hats reunite. The idea of a shonen post time sk

ip arc is usually to show off how powerful the characters have become. The idea is to show case strong enemies that the heroes are now able to annihilate with their new powers that they couldn’t defeat before. The fish man island arc was terrible

for a post time skip arc. I might have accepted it before the time skip but not after. I could waste time mentioning so many things that were so wrong with it, but i will keep it short. The enemies were simply not worth the time. Not Luffy, not Zoro, but Ussop and Fanky could have wrapped up that entire affair by themselves. What is the point of a threat that event the weakest members of the team like Nami and Chopper could have eliminated.

It seemed like a waste, the amount of time spent simply keeping these characters busy running around because it was obvious that if they met the villains, the villains would be instantly defeated. So much of what happened here was unnecessary.

Bleach is no different; the full bring arc was crap. Again the villains were simply ridiculously weak, and what makes me hate that is the fact that they were so ridiculously hyped yet when it came for them to deliver, they fell flat on their stomachs. Even Ginju (if that is his name), after al the hullabaloo of going bankai, couldn’t touch Ichigo. It was obvious that the idea was to show just how much stronger the characters had become, but Kubo failed that when he made the villains so weak. Seriously, none of the shiningami had to do anything new to beat the enemy and i had been looking forward to seeing how strong Rukia had become with her promotion. But of course Kubo chose to put her in a stupid situation with bears and toys. Kubo could have found an easier way of giving Ichigo back his powers. What irritates me the most is how cool some of the designs he created where, especially Ginjo’s bankai and how wasted they all were. Fairy tail is still going strong in its first post time skip arc and, even with some of the glitches of the Daimatou enbu, it is setting up to be fairy tail’s best arc ever. We saw all out brawls between fairy,

every other guild they ever introduced and a whole new set of mages and magics, all determined to contend for the big prize. Beyond that is the absolutely thrilling mystery that has been written into the overall plot by Hiro, who is proving to be a master at deception and misdirection. With the introduction of Eclipse, the royal family of Fiore, powerful mages like Kagura (maybe my favorite outside Erza), Minerva, raven tail, Eclipse, possibly zeref and the dragons, this arc has more than tripled the quality of the previous S-Class arc.

Clearly fairy tail isn’t a better series than the other three. But in considering the arcs before and after a time skip, fairy tail is miles ahead of one piece and bleach.

Naruto stands only a little higher than fairy tail, if not at the same level. The saving Gaara arc was actually exciting to watch, at least much more than fish man island or full bring and did quite a lot in finally introducing the Akatsuki to us, Gaara Vs. Deidara, Sakura Vs Sasori and a host of other events. We entered into a new place in the story and there was a freshness to the arc, like the series was starting a new. Here Naruto stands above one piece, bleach and even fairy tail; there are blunders made by Hiro that i simply cannot ignore.

Time skip impact:> It would be easy to say that Naruto can’t be considered to have had the most impact because it had its time skip ages ago and thus had more than enough time to

build upon its story while beach and one piece and even fairy tail are all fairly recent. But that would be false reasoning as i am not talking about ov

erall progress that has occurred in the story since the time skip but immediately after, in the first arc. In Naruto we finally got to see Sakura in action against Sasori. Sure she couldn’t have beaten Sasori on her own but neither would Chiyo have achieved victory without her; either way she faced an Akatsuki and won, in her one and only moment to shine in the series. We saw Gaara’s rise, how he had achieved the title of kazekage and gained the hearts of his people, clearly a result of what Naruto did to him. He showed himself a totally new individual, both i spirit and in power. That fight with Deidara was incredible. It had me on the edge of my seat, not really knowing who had the upper hand at any one point in time.

Naruto did a lot in that first arc and showed that the entire series had in a way changed, and taken on a darker more serous tone. This was new Naruto.

Bleach, there is really nothing to say about it. The exact same characters before the time skip were the exact same characters presented after. Nothing changed, besides making Ichigo a little more whiny. The time skip, as far as i am concerned, had absolutely no impact on the story. If Naruto impact had the greatest impact, then bleach had the least, or rather no impact at all. It was a waste and truth be told absolutely unnecessary. The story could have done without it.

Fairy tail sits in the middle in that the main characters didn’t actually undergo a time skip; the world did, which makes the time skip here unique. The characters were all the same but everyone they knew and everything had changed. So basically the time skip impacted everything there was to impact in fairy tail, which would make it superior even to Naruto if not for the hiccups in this present arc.

The primary characters in fairy tail had more of a struggle because the world had changed around them and even the weakest of mages that they knew had become a threat; and thus they had to find a way of making up for lost time in as short a period as possible. Many people disagreed with the second origin plot, that it was power too easily acquired and given away, that fairy tai didn't have to work for it and thus it invalidates any development they might show. That was true when second origin was first introduced but not now; because the second origin power up hasn’t been used by anyone except Erza and even she didn’t need to use it until the very last battle. IN other words during the time skip the fairy tail mages weren’t left behind, it was every one else that finally caught up to them and their power, otherwise a daimatou Enbu seven years ago would have been pointless; fairy tail would have won it without trying.

This time skip was necessary whe you consider that fact, because none of this competition to fairy tail’s might would have been possible before; Hiro found away of making a lot of strong enemies available in a short time. it was clever and well done as it forced event the likes of Natsu to (some what) grow and learn to overcome the new foes.

One piece falls in line with bleach. We saw very little impact of the time skip in the fish man story. Sure they were stronger and you could see that, but the enemy was simply too weak for it to matter. It wasn’t the best foot first into the new world. I am not afraid to admit that fish man island bored the heck out of me.

Overall i believe Naruo had the best time skip and made best use of it in the short time, followed by fairy tail. As some might point out, One piece is still developing and bleach, well, like is said, bleach didn’t need the time skip and even with the interesting events of the thousand war arc, the time skip doesn’t play a role.

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Toriko x Dragon Ball Z x One Piece!
Toriko x Dragon Ball Z x One Piece!

Source: ANN

Two commercials began airing for "Dream 9 Toriko & One Piece & Dragon Ball Z Chō Collaboration Special!!" — the hour-long crossover television anime special between Toriko, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z that will air on Sunday, April 7 at 9:00 a.m.

In the story, Toriko's International Gourmet Organization has sponsored "Tenkaichi Shokuōkai," a merciless race with no rules (and a nod to Dragon Ball Z's Tenkaichi Budōkai tournament). The showdown may determine the strongest of the three franchises' leads: Toriko, Goku, or Luffy.

The special will feature the following cast of characters:

Toriko: Toriko, Sunny, Zebra, Coco (the "Four Heavenly King" Gourmet Hunters), Komatsu, Rin, Setsuno

One Piece: Luffy, Nami, Chopper, Sanji, Zoro, Franky, Robin, Usopp

Dragon Ball Z: Goku, Gohan, Goten, Trunks, Kame Sennin, Android No. 18, Vegeta, Piccolo, Krilin, Announcer, Mr. Satan

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