Manga Diaries – One Piece Pre-Read Thoughts

One Piece Volume 1
If you don’t know what my Diaries are, please go here. Spoilers ahoy!

Otherwise, let’s go!

What do I know about One Piece?

  • There’s pirates.
  • Luffy and gang are searching for One Piece to be the Pirate King.
  • Many One Piece fans feel like “nakama” is untranslatable.
  • One guy — Sanji? — disappeared for like two years in the serialized version. And there was a whole controversy about spoilers from raws.
  • Luffy can stretch.
  • The girl I’m pretty sure is named Nami.
  • The series is long… very long…
  • Several games have been released in the U.S.
  • Colleen Clinkenbeard voices Luffy.

That’s…about it. I know the very basics and that’s about it. I know some people (like Arria Cross of Fujinsei and Matt of Matt-in-the-Hat) absolutely love this series. I think it’s the bestselling manga ever in Japan, and it’s definitely one of the Big Three for Shonen Jump.

So why have I never read or watched One Piece? Quite simply, it’s too long.  I had a little exposure to Naruto thanks to the anime and the Shonen Jump U.S. magazine, so that’s about the only reason I got into that. (Well, besides Kakashi.) Otherwise, I try to avoid the super-long series. I like medium-length series, but “medium-length” is a bit of a misnomer. I prefer series that go well into multi-volumes but don’t go on and on. Seven, eight volumes is borderline (below that is short in my opinion), but fifteen, twenty, maybe thirty can have some excellent setups. This is my ideal range: long enough to get to know the characters and have some plot twists, but it isn’t a huge investment in time or money. It’s not that I never had an interest in One Piece, but…

The series is too damn long

(Apologies to those who don’t get the meme.)

One Piece, quite frankly, is too long for my tastes. It’s just so hard to get into it at this point. I probably will never buy it unless I know I can get all the volumes for $1-2 each. I know $3 is a bargain for manga, but that still would require a lot of hunting, and I’d still probably end up buying a lot of volumes new. It’s like a debate question: would you rather buy 70, 80 volumes of one REALLY GREAT, amazing series or several really good, good, decent, or sometimes just okay series? For me, it’s the latter.

As I mentioned, I do know one guy has pretty much vanished. I don’t know if the story has jumped the shark, is just lagging, or is still as good as ever, but 70+ volumes just sounds too long. I don’t know what the magic number is between “long” and “too long”, but I am highly skeptical of 50, 40, even 30+ volume series being fresh. I mean, shoujo manga is often accused of stalling by having stupid misunderstandings between the main couple, but shounen manga is often one most powerful villain after another. Titles for both main demographics can get stale.

So that’s why I’m glad I have a library with a nice collection. I can finally experience One Piece. Am I excited? Well, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve mostly avoided reading about it just because I don’t know much about it anyway. I thought I’d never read it, so I have always just skipped news and spoilers. I honestly don’t know how I’ll feel about it. Will the series live up to its reputation? Or will I be let down by the hype a la Fruits Basket? Only time will tell.

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  1. sindyblue10

    Ohh i also love One Piece. Except I watched it and only read it when I caught up with the anime.

  2. Dominic Cuthbert

    I adore One Piece as an anime, though I’m fearful to start the manga for all the reasons you’ve listed.

    With all the recap and op/ed out the way, the episodes can sometimes be as short as 12-13 minutes, so I can race through those much quicker than getting through the manga. But i suppose it depends on how quickly you can read.

    1. Krystallina

      800 episodes just seem so daunting even if they’re essentially mini-episodes. Either way, manga or anime, it just seems so long, especially for a series that is only about 65% complete.

      1. Dominic Cuthbert

        I agree, and with the recent 20 episode fight, it does seem daunting and ludicrous. But it does still surprise me how quickly I can zip through the shows.

  3. The Otaku Judge

    If something is too long I give up on it because I have a low tolerance for filler. When I was young I loved DBZ, but these days I don’t have the free time to commit to stuff that drags on forever. I watched One Piece’s anime for around 150 episodes before calling it a day. At least I can’t be accused of not giving it a fair chance!

    1. Krystallina

      One of the best changes Japanese studios made was adopting seasons like Western shows. Do some episodes, and come back later.
      I’d say you gave it a chance at 150 episodes!

  4. Arria Cross

    Thanks for the shout-out with my brother Matt, President Krystallina! You’re awesome. Ehehehe! And ONE PIECE rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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