One Piece Illustrated and written by: Eiichiro Oda Genre: Action, Adventure , Fantasy, Comedy Demographics: Male 8-18 years old Publisher: Serialized: July 19, 1997 Chapters (as of July 19, 2016): 838 Anime Episodes (as of July 19, 2016): 755
For starters, I just want to share a little information about the manga (comics originally published from Japan) series that I’m going to review and I hope it’ll catch your attention. Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is a Guinness Book of World Records holder as “the most copies published for the same comic book series by the same author” and as of June 2015, the manga has sold 320 million printed worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series in history.
This manga series seems really “Sugui!!” (Japanese for awesome) right? I’m going tell you how it earned its reputation and leave the judgment to you.
Plot: The series starts with the public execution of a man known as the Pirate King Gol D. Roger, before the moment he was executed he revealed the whereabouts of the “One Piece” the greatest treasure a man can obtain. Thus, igniting the spirits of the pirates to sail the vastness of the sea in search for that treasure. Two decades have passed since the Pirate King’s execution a young man named Monkey D. Luffy being inspired by a powerful pirate named Shanks, he sets off to the sea to find the One Piece and proclaim himself to be the next Pirate King. Then the adventures of Luffy started as he gathers his “Nakamas” (comrades) to sail with him on an exciting journey.
Setting: Eiichiro takes us to his world which is inhabited by humans and other races such as mermen (mermaids and mermen), mink tribe (humanoid animals), fairies, dwarves, and giants. Each island have distinction of its own with it’s unique landscape, people, history, and weather state.In this world there exist a “Devil Fruit” where the eater can possess super powers but in exchange he will lost the ability to swim. And anyone in this world have this latent ability called “Haki” (ambition) which the superiority differs to the willpower of the person. Well, this is just an introduction of what kind of world did Eiichiro conceptualized.
Theme: “With strong will power and trust towards your friends, you can achieve the impossible.” This manga series greatly evolves on the concept of friendship, sense of justice, and the mirror of how the society really works from the perspective of the creator.
Character Development: Oda-sensei doesn’t only focus on the main character (Luffy) but also gives importance to the supporting characters which he carefully classified by their views, principles, personalities, culture, and desires. Oda kept an equilibrium on gradually establishing the development of each Straw Hat crew member and other key characters whom he foreshadowed perfectly for the future chapters. Every time he introduces another character expect it to be back in the coming chapters, that’s how Oda does it, he doesn’t just throw the characters after their contribution but gives them critical roles on the coming conflicts.
The creator, Eiichiro Oda, is a perfect narrator, it shows that even if how lengthy did the manga series become having 832 chapters and approximately 65% to its completion, he grabbed hold of the readers’ interest to follow the journey of Luffy for 19 years. I know if you haven’t even started reading it seeing the number of chapters to catch up will be discouraging but mind you, if you are an adventure enthusiast this is a must-read for you buddy.