ONE PIECE #54 -- Watch & Learn

Topic started by No_name_here on Feb. 20, 2012. Last post by Om1kron 2 years, 9 months ago.
Post by No_name_here (856 posts) See mini bio Level 11
Staff

Change of pace, lunatics. We’ll be taking a break from EUREKA SEVEN and YU YU HAKUSHO for a week or so to catch up with a number of fine, new Funimation titles that have come to my doorstep. Read my thoughts on…

I don’t know if I’ll ever reach the sort of long, quiet Christmas break I’d need to get that deep into ONE PIECE’s staggering volume of material. THE SIMPSONS is only just coming up on its 500th episode, and I checked out of that show years ago. The whole “What would you bring to a desert island?” dinner table topic might have a practical answer in some definitive collection of this show. And so, when I get sent box sets of this show to review, I really have to just pick one at random for the purposes of this column, because the notion of finding the right episode to review is probably as unattainable as the One Piece itself.

This was a fun one, to be sure. Out of the “big three” shonen right now, ONE PIECE definitely has the most "classic adventure" feel to it. Luffy, as I’ve said before, is cut from the same cloth as Peter Pan and his escapades with the Straw Hat team seem like they’d fit on the same shelf as Robert Louis Stevenson's work. They key differentiator, of course, is the superhero fight elements that make Luffy's rubbery barrage of fists so integral to the show. In an odd way, this seems like what would happen if a book like the SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON or a strip like TERRY & THE PIRATES got a shonen makeover that made room for a ton of clobbering. To that end, I did prefer this episode to the last random one I saw where Luffy was having a showdown with some master foe.

I don’t know what led up to this installments and it’s unlikely I’ll find out where it’s going to, but I had fun with the intrigue about this cute little Apis and her thoughtful, but incompetent, efforts to cook for the crew. It’s simply a solid serial with likable characters you’re fine just hanging around with.

Look up this episode, "Precursor to a New Adventure! Apis, a Mysterious Girl!" and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Post by TopographicOcean (15 posts) See mini bio Level 8

This is a show that just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. Can't quite put my finger on what it is that I don't like, save for the general character and environment design. I'm thinking there has to be more to it than that, that puts me off.

I suppose it's just not my cup of tea.

Post by ShadowKnight508 (5,358 posts) See mini bio Level 19
Moderator

In my opinion, this series is quite a blast to watch (once you get used to the odd character designs and environmental design). It took me around 40 or so episodes before I fully appreciated One Piece, and I have found this series to be both funny (especially when it comes to most characters and their interactions/reactions) and interesting (the plots of most arcs and the unique characters involved in each arc make for a good watch). Now, I know that some anime fans will find it tough and/or frustrating to adapt to the unique parts of this series, but with some effort, they could most likely come to like it. I recommend this series to those who like interesting characters and decent humor, but can adapt to the odd character designs and the weird environmental locales.

At the moment, I am on the Impel Down Arc of One Piece (Ep. 436) and enjoying Monkey D. Luffy's deadly quest to save his brother Ace from the upcoming execution by the Marines.

Post by The Stegman (154 posts) See mini bio Level 7

I just...never really liked this series, as someone above said, it i can't quite explain it..it just does nothing for me

Post by Mezmero (69 posts) See mini bio Level 10

I find one of the best things about One Piece is that once you look at the art style you instantly recognize it as a cartoon. I never really see it as anime despite knowing it as fact. The nostalgic feeling I get when I look at the absolutely absurd character designs makes me feel like I'm waking up Saturday morning to catch my favorite shows. I'd say of all the shounen series this show's look and feel certainly appeals more to an American audience if not a global one. For instance the idea of "super powers" exist in this universe and almost all of them feel straight out of a comic book, but the attention to detail in the implementation of said super powers is unparalleled even among the world of comic book super heroes. There are also a plethora of pop culture references both historical and modern that you'd never expect to see in these kinds of shows.

If you are a fan of comic books and/or cartoons I don't really see any reason not to enjoy it. Regardless of how you feel about the early goings of the show something to keep in mind is that it only stays good or gets better. Unfortunately I don't think this is the best episode to start with and some might call it the worst but if you enjoyed it then I guess I can't complain. Although I keep up with a handful of TV shows these days I can honestly say none of them give me that nostalgic sense of wonderment I felt as a kid the way that this cartoon does.

Post by SpikeSpiegel88 (29 posts) See mini bio Level 11

Brilliant, you pick a random episode and land on a filler arc:P

One piece is the only one of the three big shonens i still watch.(giving up on Bleach years ago and Naruto im saving for a rainy day, probs around 8 months behind)

OP is fantastic. Yes it has some of the same issues as every other show like it which drags these kind of shows down, but like you said it really has a true sense of adventure. It has it's own VERY distinct style, some truly bizzare characters the main character being an obviouse favorite of the 3 big ones, some excelent drama, action and puns (for the most part, ofc there are exceptions).

One piece is a show that allways moves on, it goes new places (physically but also touches on issues like racism, civil war and fammin, government controll, slavery, religion in it's many story-lines). the main crew is extremely varried in personalities, appearance, fighting styles, and most importantly don't get overshadowed by the main man. (something that allways happens with these types)

Oda (the author) gave the story a clear goal, he sets up the universe brilliantly, he evolves the crew in an organic way and takes his time with it. He is also NEVER scared of showing the reader/watcher that even though these guys/gals are strong, they are still newbies in this world, the fighting can be truly epic, but it aiint earth destroying stuff (well.. i say that..)

Im only touching the very top of the list of why I like the show, and even though my interest has taken it's ups and downs I still rate the show and have watched it several times (well, big parts of it atleast) with new watchers, some taking 2 episodes (like me) some taking 30+ but all getting as hooked as i was my first time. The stories, the music, the fights ( vs Mr 1, vs Lucci, the golden bell+++), the characters the sense of exploration and adventure.... This show has a way of tickeling just the right spots at times.

Post by TopographicOcean (15 posts) See mini bio Level 8

@ShadowKnight508:

Much to my chagrin, I was forced to watch at least fifty episodes by a friend to 'appreciate it'. That may be a part of the problem I suppose. I had to force myself to watch it just to get a friend off my back about it.

That's another part of the stigma I have with the show I guess. Some of the fans (I've noticed it especially with this show, unfortunately) are oblivious to the fact that it may just not be what a person likes, and try to force it a little too much on people.

I know that the fans shouldn't affect the quality of the show in my head, but it's just put me off the entire series having to deal with them.

I shouldn't have to mention that people simply explaining why the like it and politely suggesting that it's worth a watch, such as you and Mezmero are completely fine of course.

I will say, however, that I'm completely open to actually trying the show again when I have the time to watch it when and where I want to. I'd probably enjoy it better that way.

@Mezmero:

I don't really have that nostalgia factor with this show at all. I can see how people would, but I've never been into comic books (they barely sell them here in Australia other than specialty shops, so I basically missed out from the starts XD) and I honestly didn't make the connection between the good ol' Saturday Morning cartoon and the design of the show. It's an interesting parallel, now that you've brought it up.

Post by Username_Undefined (90 posts) See mini bio Level 12

I didn't start watching One Piece until last summer, even though most of my friends were, simply because the sheer amount of content was terrifying. Even so, I watched it, caught up, and now it's tied with Fairy Tail as my favorite current series (all-time favorite is Digimon without hesitation).

I wasn't sure what exactly it was about the show that caused me to love it so much until recently I sat down and watched most of the movies. That was when I realized that it didn't matter when in the series it was, Luffy was Luffy, Usopp was Usopp, Nami was Nami, etc. Even though the characters are facing tougher and tougher opponents, they never forgot why they set out in the first place. Even after two years of training specifically to become stronger, Luffy is still a happy-go-lucky idiot, Zoro can still get lost in a straight hallway, and Nami's just as greedy, Sanji still swoons over any beautiful woman he sees (though that may be in part to the...location...of his training), Chopper still acts adorable while cussing you out if you complement him, Robin's still calm and just takes things as they come, Franky's still just as eccentric, if not more so, and Brook remains the gentleman-pervert he was when we met him. The biggest change, personality-wise, I can think of is Usopp doesn't lie as much, but that may be because he can back it up now.

I think another reason that I like One Piece is because it hasn't become a constant "reach the next power level" struggle that most shonen shows unfortunately become. It's still all about the journey and the adventures along the way. That may also be the reason I like Fairy Tail so much. There have only been four times I can think of where Natsu has been given a power-up (Etherion, Flame of Guilt, God-slayer flame, Laxus' power) and only the last one seems to be permanent (I've only been watching the anime because I feel that it handles plot twists and reveals better, so there may be more later that I don't know about).

The episode Tom chose also brings up an in teresting point I noticed about One Piece. When I first watched One Piece, I hadn't read the manga, so I didn't know what was canon or filler. The only parts that I seriously thought were filler was any time Foxy showed up. I later found out that I was only partially right, and I'm very happy that afro-Luffy is an official thing. The way the series is set up makes it difficult to distinguish between what was in the manga and what wasn't, it's always an adventure for the Strawhat Pirates. Filler isn't always a bad thing, especially when it can be worked into the existing material well. I think Naruto tried to do that and, well, we know how that turned out...

One Piece is NOT a series I would recommend to someone who is looking to get into anime. For that, I'd probably go with something much more manageable like Cowboy Bebop. However, for anyone that's already into anime and looking for a crazy, long, ride, I'd definitely say that you should check it out. I'll agree with that the art style is instantly recognizable, and though it may take some time to get used to it, it works with the world (e.g. imagine Lelouch with the Gomu-Gomu power, it just doesn't work).

Also, One Piece is the only series that got me to care about and fight back tears over a mode of transportation.

R.I.P. Going Merry, you will be missed.

@ShadowKnight508:Get ready for one of the most emotional fights wars that I've ever seen. There's a reason it's called both the Paramount War and the War of the Best. I had the unlucky pleasure of having the end spoiled, so I hope the same doesn't happen to you.

Post by zaldar (1,298 posts) See mini bio Level 15

To long and to much shonen for me to get interested in it.

Post by AURON570 (573 posts) See mini bio Level 15

I started from the beginning about 2 years ago, and I'm on episode 103 right now. Personally I like starting from the "beginning", so I can get the whole picture, but I understand the desire to skip some arcs. I've grown to love One Piece. It can pack an emotional punch when it wants to, and like you said, has a great classic adventure feel to it.

Post by Om1kron (144 posts) See mini bio Level 7

I told Tom sometime last year in March I had started watching one piece from the beginning, I think the best part about the series is although there are tons of episodes they weren't dragonball z ish where a punch lead into a flashback episode of how that character learned that punch and who from, which then sped into another flashback of the childhood and ambitions of the person who taught the original character the punch, then the next episode comes up a layer in the inception web and dicks around in the flashback to finish out the episode. Then the next episode the punch connects, and the loser now goes into a string of flashbacks.

One piece if you have the time starts out slow, and it starts out bad, and uninteresting and won't give you a lot of laughs and you'll probably give little to no crap about the show until I say usopp comes into play. You'll still be a bit lost once they pick up nami and deal with the arlong pirates, but once they make it to the chopper arc and you finish that. The show has now sunk it's fangs into you and you have nothing on your brain but to watch every episode of the show from that point foward. And with that you'll notice that after you finished watching almost 12 years of animation that the quality of the animation is worlds better, you'll know most of the music by heart, and you'll laugh your ass off every time Brook makes a horrible pun joke about being dead.

I held off from getting into this show for many years, but since I have a job that allows me to watch the crap out of whatever I want I spent nights burning through an 8 hour shift watching about 3 episodes an hour

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