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Let's Talk Anime # 6 | One Piece



First Impressions


Even though I'm a MAJOR One Piece fan and it's now my favorite anime, I wasn't always like this. I was far from it. I don't even think it was something I was interested in trying at first. I kept starting and stopping this anime; to be honest, I almost gave up on it. However, I think a college boyfriend or an ex-boyfriend at the time kind of encouraged me to give it a try and I ended up caving and taking it seriously.


I determined that I was going to give it an actual effort this time and put everything else aside. Immediately, the first thing I noticed was how bad the animation looked to me. I also noticed how disproportioned their bodies looked. Specifically, I remember their hands looking really big and as if they didn't match their bodies.


All in all, it was pretty weird and took some adjusting.


No matter how many times I stopped and start, I never could initially get over that


Not only that, it was a super long anime to catch up to, but that didn't really bother me back then because I ended up binging it during college summer break.


Of which I had nothing to do anyway.


Anyhow, I'd say it was mainly the animation that made me not want to try it. Not the lengthy episodes or anything like that, purely the animation. However, the animation did get better and I fell in love with the story and the characters pretty quickly. So much so that I forgot I had a problem with it in the first place. I believe if anyone can look past the animation being kinda crappy and if they get past being intimidated by the length of episodes, anyone and everyone would enjoy it.


They'd see why One Piece is the best-selling manga of all time and why it has so many episodes. If anything, that's a good thing, and if nothing else; the amount of episodes One Piece has should speak volumes for how good and popular the series is. It's definitely not for show.


Dislikes/Complaints


How did Usopp survive a hit to the head?

So believe it or not, I actually don't have too many complaints about One Piece. At least I don't think it's too many; I only have a few and I don't think that's necessarily bad. One complaint I want to discuss off rip is about Usopp. I mean how exactly did he survive a bat to the cranium in Alabasta?


This was during his fight with Mr.4 and Merry Christmas. I mean, it's not like I have anything against Usopp, but I think that's something that should've killed him.


Or anyone for that matter.


That was a direct hit!


Anyway, I know sometimes anime logic just doesn't make sense and this might be one of those cases, but this scene has always bothered me.


And it still kinda does from time to time.


Why did Usopp choose a ship over his friends?

And while we're on the topic of Usopp, I don't like how he acted in Water 7. Personally, I feel like Usopp was being really inconsiderate and selfish. Luffy, Zoro, Chopper, and Sanji rushed to Usopp's aide and confronted Franky's people on Usopp's behalf, who had been beaten pretty badly, and it seemed like an insult for Usopp to turn around and disrespect Luffy in front of everyone like that.


And over a ship, no less.


Now I'm not saying that it was just any ship because it did carry value and meaning. I mean, I can understand and see why everyone was so attached to the Going Merry, but what I don't understand is why Usopp was so outraged with Luffy. It was clear that Luffy didn't want to part ways with the Going Merry, but he also knew that they wouldn't make it to the Grand Line with the condition their ship was in.


Luffy wasn't getting rid of it for no reason or just because he wanted to.


Luffy was prioritizing everyone's safety and understood that even though this was a tough choice, it was one that needed to be made in order for them to continue their journey together; they were looking at the bigger picture. Anyhow, after Usopp fought with Luffy after this, I agreed with Zoro one hundred percent. At the end of the day, Luffy is the captain and Luffy calls the shots and he needs to be respected.


The title of captain has no meaning if everyone doesn't respect the title.


Designs


Franky's Design

For the most part, I only have an issue with three character designs: Franky's, Robin, and Chopper.


In Franky's case, I don't like his post-time skip design. I feel like his current design is way too flashy and I honestly prefer his previous design. And maybe that's because it didn't feel too over the top. In addition, his previous design kinda suited him and I feel like he was a little more serious. Now it seems like Franky is mostly goofing around a lot even more so now than ever.


And maybe that's because he's happy and he's in a different, positive, and exciting environment. I mean, I get that he is a cyborg, but if it was anyway possible for it to be dialed back just a bit, I'd be a little happier. Or at least let him wear clothes that actually fit him and don't bulge through.


It literally looks as if he can bust out of his clothes at any moment, with even the slightest of movements, and I personally just think it looks bad.


Robin's Design


I'm just going to come on and say it; similar to Franky, I prefer Robin's old design. Now it was explained to me later on, that Robin probably felt happier and more comfortable around the Straw Hats. So, that was why she lost the mysterious and sophisticated aura surrounding her character and is now more easy-going.


And sure, that's great in the grand scheme of things.


Happiness is important, after all.


But I really enjoyed Robin's darker outfits, they really seemed to suit her personality and her slight morbidness. Not to mention, Robin just appeared so sophisticated and that was something that played a role in Robin's attractiveness. At least to me because I found Robin absolutely gorgeous; it was mostly due to that certain mystique about her.


Plus, I feel like her previous design suits her profession a lot better. That's exactly what I would expect an archaeologist to wear. Reserved, sophisticated, and intelligent. I really got that aura from here. That's what made her stand out from Nami and most women; however, not so much now anymore.


Chopper's Design



Now I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't pick up on this immediately, it was actually pointed out to me. Chopper does look a lot more kid-like and I don't like that. Again, I prefer the previous design. Chopper still has an important role as a doctor, but he looks like a plushie or some sort of prop to be put on display.


So it's kinda hard to take him seriously when he looks all cutesy and child-like. If anything I wish they'd make him look a bit older instead, not younger. His previous design suited him just fine and in a way, reflected the harsh background he had. Thus, he appeared a bit rough and scruffy, but mature.


At least that's how I feel.


What's going on with Nami not doing much anymore? Wano Arc.


So I could be missing things here, but I wanted to see more moments of Nami taking down opponents and holding her own. However, it doesn't feel as if we're getting those moments anymore; they seem so far and few in between. I always enjoyed seeing Nami fight because it was nice seeing her use her head against others in a fight. She was no Zoro, Sanji, or Luffy, so Nami basically had to fight a particular way.


Using a weapon which is also known as the clima-tact.


Now obviously, I'm not expecting Nami to take down Big Mom or Kaido or anything, but I also don't expect her to run away when opponents happen to come her way. Like Ulti and Page One, for example. Even if Nami doesn't run, show me her at least trying. I mean that was kinda what she did with Cracker during the Whole Cake Island arc. Obviously, she couldn't take someone down like Cracker, but she did what she had to do to put up a fight and buy Luffy some time.



Turning Points


The Women Play a Part


So I'm going to be honest here. I get tired of seeing damsels in distress. It gets redundant and then not to mention, the characters that are acting as damsels in distress end up becoming useless for the most part. Like that's some sort of trait or something. It's disappointing and it takes away from the story, in my opinion. I find that if the damsel in distress thing is overused, I will inevitably get annoyed. Needless to say, this happens to be one of the reasons I enjoy One Piece. Just about every character you come around, female characters in particular, are pretty strong and I honestly feel like that makes One Piece so good; it's like even the women are being utilized too.



The Side Characters Aren't Useless


I've probably stressed this a bunch of times before, but I don't mind stressing it again. I absolutely love that every straw hat has a role only they can fill and then some. Like, Nami is the navigator, Sanji is the chef, Franky is the shipwright, Chopper is a doctor, Brook is a musician, Robin is an archeologist, and Zoro is a pirate hunter.


But that's not all.


They're also able to be relied on and work together as a team when it comes down to it. Like, Luffy isn't just doing everything and there are certain instances where he has to rely on others. Like Jimbei, Bon Clay, Boa Hancock, and many others during the Paramount War. For lack of a better word, everything feels balanced and I really enjoy that a lot. I love how Luffy isn't taking everything on himself and we do get to see others in action like Law, Kidd, and even the Samurai.


It extends beyond his crewmates and we see multiple uses out of plenty of characters like Buggy and Bellamy; it's not a one-and-done thing. Jimbei is also a great example of this as he helped Luffy in Paramount War Arc, Luffy helped Jimbei out during the Fishman Island Arc, and Jimbei, later on, ended up joining Luffy's crew.


MC Has A Weakness


Now, this is really great. I like this because it eliminates predictability. Now besides the Devil Fruit users not being able to swim, there's also the fact that Luffy doesn't win every fight. I enjoy that a lot actually because it's not as predictable and it forces the main character to either retreat or uses their head a bit more. It also forces them to overcome their struggle and it's always nice seeing Luffy's back against the way and watching him trying to weasel his way of that.


I can honestly say this is one of the reasons why I enjoy One Piece so much, and I also can help but have immense respect for Luffy.


Impactful/Emotion Character Deaths


Alright, so this is my last turning point at the moment. Now even though I can probably count on two hands the number of characters that died, it doesn't make their deaths any less impactful. More importantly, it's always done extremely well; the writing is impeccable. Like there's not too much death and then it's also not treated as if death is completely nonexistent. I guess this is one of those things that need a middle ground.


I mean, you can't have too many character deaths because it doesn't mean anything after a certain point. This is what happened to me with Akame Ga Kill. And then you can't have too little death, because then it seems like there aren't really any consequences. Or, if they're repeatedly coming back like in DBZ. But in their defense, the show is literally called Dragon Ball Z. So I can't really be mad at it or complain about it too much.


Anyway, I felt emotional towards every loss and it may have not affected me the same, but it affected me to some degree. Anyhow, I think that pretty much sums up everything.


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