I’m normally not one to watch the “popular shows“, but recently I’ve found myself watching One Piece. While I was never able to bring myself to watch it until now, the moment I started, I became hooked. I’m not sure what initially lured me into its utter randomness, but something did, and I am proud to say that I have watched a decent amount of episodes in the past few weeks. I believe this new found obsession is caused by three main reasons; the strength of the anime’s characters, the power of its message and the wonder of its lore.
Let’s begin with everyone’s favourite thing about anime: the characters.
Characters are figments of the author’s imagination that embody a form which everyone can relate to. While I do love a good story and tend to be drawn into the plot, this particular anime’s characters so firmly grabbed my interest that the plot was was completely overwhelmed. Thinking on it now, this possibly stemmed from the fact that I am more able to relate to these characters than most other anime I’ve watched.
Typically it’s hard for me to relate to any anime character as I have a tendency to criticize their every fault. I was however able to do so with most of the characters of One Piece, mainly due to their thought processes and their ability to dream big. The thoughts of the characters are almost always random but still somehow manage to be vaguely constant with a touch of earnestness. The other reason, the ability to dream big, is not only the reason why I relate to the anime/manga’s characters, but is also the second reason for my One Piece obsession.
All the characters have a dream that is larger than life. For example, the male protagonist, Luffy, wants to be king of the pirates; and to accomplish this he surrounds himself with nakama who also possess goals of epic proportions. Though the enormity of these dreams stagger the everyday individual, the Straw Hat pirates move from adventure to adventure with little doubt that their dreams will come true.
This screams the message “Dream as big as you want, and let nothing and no one stop you from striving to achieve your dreams”. The very open expression of this in every aspect of the anime was a pleasant surprise; as I was only expecting to be treated to a good plot, and well defined character profiles. So strong is the show’s message that the absolute randomness of the episodes do not affect its impact; leaving viewers (especially this viewer) more deeply impressed with its message then any other anime that I have seen.
The final reason that I really enjoy watching One Piece is its lore. Most of the story has some point of mystery. For example the Devil Fruits; all of these magical fruit have some sort of power that is given to its eater as soon as it is eaten; the “All Blue”: the one place in the world where fish from all four seas are located; and the fish men and their cunning powers. However, like reality, everything has its price. The Devil’s Fruit makes its eaters unable to swim; and every individual power has its weak point(which if I told you would spoil the show). In short, this perfect blend of a child’s fantasy, and life as we know it, keeps me watching from episode to episode.
With such an undeniable level of appeal, One Piece is definitely worthy of being any one’s obsession. It possesses factors that I have not seen in other anime and constantly calls the viewer back for more. I’m proud to say that it is simply amazing and will forever hold as one of my favorites. It, my dears, is a work of art in the world of anime.