After all these long years and more than 2 decades, One Piece manga and anime both stand strong among fans. The One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by our favorite Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 1997. The popularity is just increasing with every volume or anime season. I know a few people who used to watch one piece in their childhood and now they are watching it with their kids!!! But the question arises why one piece is so successful or why one piece is still alive?
In the shonen genre, One Piece has always been on the top. When we see other successful/popular series like Dragon Ball, Naruto, or even Bleach, they all were one of the longest-running series but they don’t even come close to one piece in the numbers of manga sales or active fan base. I mean Naruto main story ended after Shippuden ( Boruto is a sequel ) and Dragon Ball Super is also a continuation to the original, But One Piece story is a straight line and according to Oda it will take at least 5-7 years to finish the main story of one piece manga. Let’s talk while focusing on what makes One Piece have such longevity in the manga/anime medium?
Vast & Unexplored World of One Piece
This is one of the first reason why One Piece story is so long, because we haven’t fully explored the world of One Piece, we clearly do not understand its working or its history. Most people think that it is a pirate world with pirate fighting each other for treasures ( which is very much true 😝 ) but it is also more than that. We have people with super powers by eating some fruits, Ironically they cannot swim in ocean but still they are pirates. We have a corrupt government who wants to control everything and everyone also with people having super powers. We have mad scientist, giants people, creatures who are half humans and half animals, fishes who can talk, samurais fighting a dragon and this does not ends here.
In every new arc, we see new places with new people as well as stories linking to characters introduced earlier. Oda’s imagination draws inspiration from different stories and real-world cultures but despite that everything is still new and unique. This gives fans a whole new imagination for what this world could be and leading to crazy fan theories on forums and YouTube. It makes this point a very legitimate reason for why One Piece has such longevity.
Death & Emotion
The moment I really cried watching One Piece is when Ace died to save Luffy, the quality that also differs it from other anime is deaths. While in series like Dragon Ball Dead character comes back to life, but it is not the case for One Piece if the character dies this means he/she is gone for good. Emotions are embed in the very fabric of this story. Example like Robin crying or Shanks giving his arm to save Luffy.
Even the side characters have their own tragic story: Senor Pink’s backstory, Norland and Calgara’s friendship, Law and Doflamingo’s tragic childhood, you name them. Despite being a fictional story One Piece still becomes very close to reality with these qualities. The story is not a cheesy drama but explores the sense of loss and how you have to keep moving forward despite the loss.
The Art Work & Character Designs Are Like No Other
The artwork & character design by Oda is just over the top. It resembles like nothing else available to compare with. The designs are so unique for every character, despite that it is easily recognizable. Each manga panel has just so much information that many people like me read every chapter twice to get all of it. One Piece series really embrace its quirky art despite being difficult to follow. Every panel or scene has a unique depth to it with some sense of awesomeness to it be it any fight scene or emotional one.
While Naruto & Bleach uses modern design and Dragon Ball’s designs have also evolved over years, One Piece still stands out with its unique approach. This is the second point for why One Piece has such longevity.
Writting & Character Development
One Piece Story has one of the most well-written characters. Each and every character fits into its palace. As a talked earlier the side characters are also well. If a person is bad we know why he/she is bad. Each character has its own different personality be it Zoro’s ignorance or Sanji’s nose bleeds. Backstories that build a character and how people change with time but still remains the same, One Piece conveys it brilliantly.
How your beliefs can drive you is also a core value that One Piece conveys to its audience. Each member of Straw Hat crew wants to achieve a goal. Their motivation isn’t the same as Luffy’s but they follow Luffy because his dream aligns with his in some way. Chopper wants to be the world’s best doctor. Nami wants to be the best navigator and create a world map. Sanji wants to find the “All Blue.” Zoro wants to be the world’s best swordsman. Everyone has their own identity.
When these personalities interact with each other we see some of the best as well as organic jokes. These jokes compliment their personalities and traits. It could be Nami’s money minded thoughts, Sanji’s nose bleeds or Luffy’s hunger.
Mysteries & Adventure
The world of One Piece is full of mysteries, every twist or turn has a different adventure waiting for Straw Hats. We as the reader always get a small glimpse of what could come next. Oda teases every bit of the upcoming arc way earlier in the story like Kaido was teased way before the start of Wano Arc. Most of the time these build-ups pay off with some big revelation or big event. We still have no clue about these things below and Oda always grips the readers towards the very end.
- “The Will Of D”
- The Void Century
- What Is “One Piece?”
- Yonko’s Power
- Devil Fruit Awakenings
- The Gorosei Power
- Dual Devil Fruit Ability
- The Voice Of All Things
Oda & One Piece Fans
The last reason that makes One Piece have such longevity is Eiichiro Oda himself. All One Piece is born with his effort and imagination and to be honest, he has never disappointed us One Piece fans. Oda is dedicated to One Piece for the last 24 to 25 years, this fact alone actually is the one-line answer, One Piece main story is not finished then how can Oda quit making it and One Piece fans quit reading it. Oda makes it with full heart like the first day and we read it with the curiosity of the first day.
Thanks guys for reading this one, this is written with the perspective of a One Piece fans as I haven’t really talked about the business side of things. let me know your thoughts in the comment section.
Also Check Out
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- List Of All One Piece Movies
- Who is IM-Sama – Vivi Connection & Will of D.