A while ago I started watching One Piece
. Before I started watching One Piece, I couldn't help but think that I just "had to" start watching one of the big 3 shonen (One Piece, Naruto and Bleach). Ultimately I decided for One Piece because I heard that it is the most consistent in terms of quality, both in the long run and from episode to episode. At first it felt weird to start watching a series that started airing over 10 years ago.
With the ever advancing animation and sound technology, the fact that the series is over 10 years old definitely shows. But that didn't stop me from being engrossed in the world and enjoying the story and the characters. From the beginning of the series, One Piece sets up a grand adventure and has many likeable characters with unique characteristics.
I think one of the main reasons Luffy
and the crew are so likeable are because of their sense of duty. They do what they think is right, and stick to it through thick and thin. But, they are also not perfect. The characters make mistakes, or things don't turn out as expected, but they take that and go with it.
Sanji the chef
I just finished watching ep 22. At this point in the series Sanji
has just fed the pirate Don Krieg. Don Krieg proceeds to punch Sanji in the face, tries to take over the ship-restaurant and orders the cooks to prepare food for the rest of his crew. Despite knowing before-hand that Don Krieg is one of the most wanted and feared pirates of all time and that feeding Don Krieg could endanger many many people, Sanji cooked food for him anyway. "I am a chef, if someone is hungry I'll give them food." So far this is the only explicit principle that he himself lives by. If somebody messes up or disagrees with this principle, Sanji has no problem fighting for it.
This is a sort of duty, abiding by a principle, or set of principles. You can imagine someone saying in a more general way to Sanji, "Why do you do what you do?" and maybe Sanji would reply, "Because it's my duty. " Of course, it doesn't take a philosopher, psychologist, or lawyer to tell you that, humans are just more complicated than that. So far in One Piece, the series has used flashbacks to flesh out certain characters. I am excited to see how Sanji's character is fleshed out when we learn about his past.
I had a funny thought thinking about Sanji's principle of being a chef. What would Sanji do if a person has an eating disorder where the person eats too much, but constantly feels hungry? The cases that have been highlighting in the episodes so far, have shown Sanji helping and feeding those that were on the brink of starving to death. This seems like an obvious gray area to explore, and I hope it's looked at in future episodes.
It still amazes me that One Piece has gone for over 500 episodes now. Sometimes I am equally amazed with the possibility that someday I will catch up with this series. That maybe one day I will, alongside thousands of other One Piece fanatics, eagerly await each week's next episode. Having watched 22 episodes now, I find that even though my initial decision to check out the series might have been tinged with a sense of duty, "As an anime fan I should be watching one of the big 3 shonen." Even the desire to finish a series could be taken as a sort of duty that one should finish what one starts. Even so, I like to think that I continue to watch this series because it is presented well, is interesting and is fun to think about.
Maybe that's why I watch anime in general. "I watch anime because I want to find something interesting or fun to think about." Haha.