One Piece: Fourth Time’s a Charm?

I’d failed in my three prior attempts to put up with Luffy’s carefree idiot schtick as he lucked his way through needlessly close battles against weak opponents. Since then, like an indefatigable shonen hero, I’ve once again leveled up my ability to tolerate shitty anime, this time by quitting anime for a year. With my standards temporarily massaged to their lowest point in over a decade, could I find One Piece tolerable?

Previous Grade: ~

Current Grade: +

Legitimate Enemies

A poor man’s Hisoka

Enemies before the Grand Line include:

Enemies from the Grand Line are actually strong enough to make Luffy fight seriously.

Luffy is Overpowered

I used to think Luffy was just some random dumb kid who got a mediocre superpower from eating a magical fruit. Turns out Luffy is a ridiculously overpowered dumb kid who got a mediocre superpower from eating a magical fruit.

While I applaud the author for handing his main character a power that hasn’t been beaten to death, let’s face it, there’s a reason why nobody has gum powers: lightning, fire, ice, dinosaur, and other traditional superpowers are far superior. Even Hisoka’s bungee gum needed to be equal parts sticky and elastic to become viable in battle. Gum by itself is just a silly-willy kiddy power with limited practicality.

Luffy could take damn near any power and become the Pirate King. First of all, he has the most broken luck stat in the universe. While this is annoying at first, it proves so over-the-top as to become a running gag. Second of all, his insane bloodline would’ve made him an elite fighter even if he hadn’t eaten a Devil’s Fruit. Once you recognize his innate talent, it becomes much easier to accept that so many of his fights are won mainly with luck and skill, while only superficially drawing upon the physical properties of gum. It’s also much easier to tolerate all his screwing around when you know he has the strength and luck to pull through.

More Crew Members = More Plot

You can’t count on finding good simultaneous subplots outside the shonen genre. My craving of this long-standing checklist element was the primary reason I was willing to give One Piece a fourth shot. Crew members are always being split up and sent on their own mini-adventures, even if there’s often a half-assed excuse for it (Luffy being stupid, Zoro getting lost, etc.).

Filler Guide

Navigating One Piece with a filler guide is like having an eternal pose to point you past all the filler islands you’d otherwise need to linger at indefinitely.

It also helps to skip the five minutes of recap at the beginning of each episode.


Luffy is still an idiot.

I was too lazy to draw the rest. Use your imagination.

I get that his stupidity makes him pure of heart and whatnot, but there are less annoying ways to go about it.

The show has also been bogged down by fights with minor bosses and underlings. The worst is when minor bosses and underlings have prolonged fights against temporary, location-specific allies.

21 Replies to “One Piece: Fourth Time’s a Charm?”

  1. Y’know whose fruit is overpowered?


    It gives him the ability to be immune to all slashing attacks, no matter how thinly he’s sliced. Now, imagine that he slices himself up (through a paper shredder or something) into his constituent molecules. He can arrange his feet molecules to stay on the ground and manipulate the molecules of the rest of his body to flood opponent’s lungs, and eventually reconstitute them into fists, or something. A giant fist suddenly appearing in your lung = not good; furthermore, since you won’t detect individual molecules, he’ll be entirely invisible.

    That’s right, folks.

    Buggy is the leading cause of all lung cancer worldwide.

    • Too bad he’s not immune (mune?) to getting kicked in the nuts. The logia-types would be immune to nut kicks as well as slashes.

      Now that it’s been revealed Buggy was on Gold Roger’s ship, maybe he is overpowered after all. We’ll see, I’m sure the series has plans to bring him back.

  2. So, hope you’re patient enough and not drop it the fourth time! Which episode are you in now? And the anime needlessly drags on with in-episode fillers…and thats the annoying part. With series like Bleach or Naruto,where they have arcs of fillers, you could just quit them…but for OP the fillers are mixed with the main plot.
    So,you could just go on with the manga..but the fight are better experienced watching the anime!

    • I’m on Thriller Bark.

      It’s the old “drag vs. lag” debate. Drag (in-episode filler) is the worst. It’s a shame, too, because I’d definitely rather watch the fights animated.


  3. You really really should just read the manga. The anime just draws everything out so terribly, which draws attention to all the series’s major hangups, absurdities and points of frustration. Watching Usopp act like a bitch for 10 minutes of the episode is not entertaining, despite the anime creators doing so in an attempt to pander to the lowest denominator of comedy fan. Alternatively, in the manga, that’s just like, 2 pages, and it’s on to more important shit. The same with any number of other situations like this, that was just an easy example.

    • What? That whole thing was only a few pages in the manga? Not only did it annoy me this time around, it annoyed me when I watched a few random episodes with my roommate back in the day. To think, if they’d animated it properly, I may not have dropped it back then.


      • That’s exactly it. For Oda, a gag is a one liner, or an Ignorant Statement (Boke) and then a Response (Tsukkomi). No more than that is necessary. Then, the next chapter he might do the same thing and have someone else on the crew comment with something like “Stop that already!!”. That’s it. 1 or 2 panels the first time, and then the second time maybe 3. In the anime, that can be an entire scene and not always a well executed one.

  4. I don’t mind One Piece, just the fact that it drags on and on and on int the anime. I agree with almost everyone else in the comments in that the manga is infinitely better. And I applaud you for being able to continue to try to watch something you have already established you don’t like. I would just say “Screw it” and do something else much more entertaining.

  5. Luffy is unpardonably idiotic. But what I like about his character is how stripped down he is. Oda has made him more of a walking, breathing plot device than an actual character and somehow… it works. He literally does nothing other than eat meat, be dumb, and beat people up. It’s the Shonen hero formula boiled down to its purest essence.

    Oda doesn’t mess about when it comes to story. It’s probably the greatest strength of the series. He sets up the the personalities of the main crew members as they’re introduced, and then pours all his energy into world building and setting up plots that each pay dividends later. The story arc after Thriller Bark is so satisfying because it takes plot threads and storylines that have been built up for twelve years, only to crash them together into a glorious shitstorm of portents.Each chapter after the next is nothing but “holy shit!” moments.

    The characters are paper thin caricatures at best, but at it’s core One Piece is the most densely plotted Shonen series ever made. That’s why I’d recommend sticking with it this time.

    And Luffy’s not made of Gum; as he’s oh so fond of reminding people he’s a rubber man. Not his fault that Japanese poeple call rubber gum. Gonna agree with the others on dropping the anime and just reading the manga instead. Takes up way less of your time for a start.

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