One Piece is the undisputed king of shōnen anime and manga. But with its widespread popularity, fans of its two best-selling mediums are locked in an endless war.
Reading the manga or watching the anime has been a constant debate within the community, with each side vehemently justifying their choice is better.
With a huge amount of content to cover in every medium and the contradictory arguments or outright hate being hurled across the fandom, it’s increasingly difficult to decide how best to approach the series.
One or none is the popular notion, but I think we should have the best of both worlds as manga and anime are an experience in their own right with their respective pros and cons.
This page contains One Piece (anime and manga) spoilers.
3 reasons why you should read the manga.
1. Stellar Rhythm
The manga scores a win for its exceptionally smooth pacing and effective storytelling.
It’s perfectly drawn to convey entire story arcs beautifully and in a reasonable amount of time. Moreover, it prioritizes its hard-hitting scenes and accordingly distributes suitable panels to develop its depth and characters.
In stark contrast, the anime is extremely turtle-paced with multiple reactions, recaps, padding, and unnecessary pauses that only milk every bit of the manga for a few precious seconds of runtime.
To put it into perspective, an anime usually fits 2-3 chapters per episode, which is a far cry from ½-1 chapter stretched for 20 minutes in One Piece anime.
It’s obvious the studio has sacrificed quality for a successful business model that generates revenue, keeps the show going on a daily basis, and most importantly, never tops the manga.
And that’s honestly a shame because the seasonal releases would have worked well in building the hype and effectively telling a story without the clutter.
On that note, one of the most striking benefits of reading the manga is experiencing the authentic version of Oda’s story.
It looks natural as it flows seamlessly without any unnecessary exaggeration or emphasis on minimally essential sections.
Another positive is that you can catch up with the story relatively quickly compared to the anime. Plus, it’s a huge bonus if you’re a quick reader or a beginner who wants to dive straight into the nitty-gritty.
2. Consistent art style
Only in the manga can you witness the perfectionism, immense love and care Oda poured into his masterpiece, as reflected in the incredible artwork that has maintained its consistency over the years.
Although his famous wacky style is bold and throws realism out the window, the characters are better proportioned and devoid of annoying features.
In fact, whatever over-the-top designs Oda comes up with, they help make the character memorable. Unlike the anime, where fan service is played to the extent that character impact is lost.
Another loss to the anime is the messy design of background characters that are reduced to blotchy mass or unidentifiable shapes that lack proper detail.
On the other hand, the manga’s black and white color scheme offers great expressions and enhances a character’s presence or even the scene.
There are also several examples of 2D art rivaling the smoothness of animation.
While the anime initially adhered to Oda’s designs or at least recalled them, its quality dropped sharply after the Enies Lobby arc and continued to fall out of pattern until the Wano Country arc unfolded.
With over 600 episodes of mediocre artwork, the manga is way ahead of the anime when it comes to this category.
3. Zero censorship
All the props go to the manga to never shy away from the most jaw-dropping and chilling violent, gory and gory aspects of the story.
Although One Piece offers fun adventure and light-hearted friendship lessons, it has so much more to offer. And the manga did a phenomenal job of encapsulating that.
From weighing in the dark impact of a scene to expanding a character’s personality or emotional rangehere are great examples of how the manga wins a mile over the anime –
- Whitebeard gets half his head burned by Akainu’s magma fireball hits harder when you realize Yonko’s demise is inevitable.
- Zeff gnawing on his leg after hitting it with a rock gives us a whole new perspective of his perspective as he makes the difficult decision to lose his most valuable weapon and let Sanji survive.
- The widespread use of the finger to convey childish irritation and, most notably, Law knocking people down as his signature trait added to his overall personality.
But since such brutality and profanity are not suitable for children, the anime watered it down to amp up the story’s cheerful perspective and appeal to its underage audience.
However, in doing so, he lost much of the deep impact these scenes might have had.
3 reasons why anime is worth watching.
One Piece animation is a double edged sword with its ups and downs.
On the plus side, it’s refreshing to see your favorite characters come to life in the most colorful and energetic way. As the highlight of every anime, the show’s fight scenes vary between surreal, ingenious, and downright comical.
Credit is also due for spectacular moments like Luffy’s showdown against the Admirals, his battle against Magellan, and the awesomeness of his Gear transformations.
But on the other hand, only a small fraction of the show matches the animation of the final boss fights, as most sets have shoddy motion that undermines the gravity of several scenes.
However, changes have finally been made with the recent Wano Country arc, with the animation and even the art style soaring to incredible heights that deserve praise.
2. Voice and music
The anime prides itself on excellent voice work and rowdy songs.
The voice actors did a phenomenal job of imbuing each character’s life by bringing out their distinct personalities and quirks.
Every intonation and expression is perfectly matched and practically becomes the character’s authentic voice every time you read the manga.
The voice actors carry the emotional impact of the entire show, especially the heartfelt moments and hard-hitting scenes. They also fill each character with an extra layer of depth and passion.
While the sub is fondly remembered and cherished by the fandom, the voice acting is associated with mixed feelings, thanks to the 4Kid fiasco. However, Funimation’s adaptation has done wonders to remedy this.
The anime also has some of the best and most nostalgic tracks in the industry. Popular numbers like “We Are” and “Fight Together” excited and hooked viewers, while the show’s overall tune enhanced its atmosphere.
3. Fun fillers
While the anime lags in the pacing department, it makes up for it with its creative and wacky loads. Although many of these bows are shunned as recycled tropy material, few stand out.
The Straw Hats’ adventure after Loguetown, the Warship Island arc, and the ever-popular G-8 arc passed the stereotype, with fans even deeming them canon.
Additionally, several anime specials and movies have expanded the One Piece universe with new characters, exciting new tales, and recreations of the current narrative.
All in all, One Piece’s fillers are an enjoyable and relaxing getaway from the main story.
Ultimately, One Piece consumption comes down to prior preferences and expectations. Loyal manga readers and anime fans will always have an inherent bias towards one medium or the other based on what they have read or seen so far.
However, it’s always good to sample both, as each offers a uniquely immersive experience.
Although the anime has some glaring flaws, the echo chamber surrounding the manga leaves much of the colorful and vivid world behind, despite an effective story.
So, as long as the internal feud continues, the two sides are missing out on some hugely distinct yet thrilling takes on the series. But for newcomers, it is better to finish the manga then watch the anime.
About one piece
One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997.
The man who had acquired everything in this world, the Pirate King, is Gol D. Roger. The last words he spoke at the tower of execution were “My treasures? If you want it, I’ll let you. To look for; I left everything there. Those words sent many out to sea, chasing their dreams, heading to the Grand Line, in search of One Piece. Thus began a new era!
Seeking to be the world’s greatest pirate, young Monkey D. Luffy also heads to the Grand Line in search of One Piece. Joining him along the way is his diverse crew, consisting of a swordsman, sniper, navigator, cook, medic, archaeologist, and cyborg -shipwright, it will be a memorable adventure.
Originally written by Epic Dope