By Eiichiro Oda
Genres: Shounen, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Superpower
Status: On-going (for a long while yet)
Gol D. Roger was known as the Pirate King, the strongest and most infamous being to have sailed the Grand Line. The capture and death of Roger by the World Government brought a change throughout the world. His last words before his death revealed the location of the greatest treasure in the world, One Piece. It was this revelation that brought about the Grand Age of Pirates, men who dreamed of finding One Piece (which promises an unlimited amount of riches and fame), and quite possibly the most coveted of titles for the person who found it, the title of the Pirate King.
Enter Monkey D. Luffy, a 17-year-old boy that defies your standard definition of a pirate. Rather than the popular persona of a wicked, hardened, toothless pirate who ransacks villages for fun, Luffy’s reason for being a pirate is one of pure wonder; the thought of an exciting adventure and meeting new and intriguing people, along with finding One Piece, are his reasons of becoming a pirate. Following in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Luffy and his crew travel across the Grand Line, experiencing crazy adventures, unveiling dark mysteries and battling strong enemies, all in order to reach One Piece.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Seriously, do I even need to introduce this manga to you guys? I am willing to bet that most of the male audience who self-report as a person who loves manga would have read this manga at some point in life. My best friend, who have never read any manga other than One Piece, would be the first to stand out to tell you how awesome it is. First published in 1997, Eiichiro Oda has been telling the story of One Piece for a whooping 16 years!
One Piece is often called “the Shounen Big 3”, along with Naruto and Bleach.
What makes the story so good can be mainly categorized into 2 aspects:
1) the emotional depth, and
2) the complexity of One Piece world
The sentimental scenes often leave one speechless. One Piece may not depict the most epic fights nor the most clever plot progression out of shounen manga, but it is definitely the best candidate for making the audience sob up in tears. Furthermore, One Piece has so many characters that probably only the most hard-core fans can recall the names of all characters. Mind, this isn’t to say that these characters lack individual characterizations. In fact, a complex social network exist between seemingly endless number of characters. Unfortunately, the responsibility to keep track of these relationships and how it will affect how the plot progresses fall on us readers…
In conclusion, One Piece is a super long shounen manga that epitomizes “the shounen sentiments” (friendship, good beat evil, etc.) and creates an unbelievably rich world of pirates. A warning, though; for readers who hate reading on-going manga, especially those who won’t end soon, read it at your own risk.