A continuing tale of adventure on the high seas

Wani Roslan

Considered to be one of the most prominent anime TV series around, One Piece is adapted from an adventure/fantasy manga of the same name by Japanese artist Eiichiro Oda and has proved popular among enthusiasts of both media.

Alongside One Piece, in the world of anime in particular, some series have become known as “the essentials” over the years and this includes well-known favourites such as Dragon Ball, Naruto and Bleach.

One Piece tells a story of the adventures of Monkey D Luffy, a boy who becomes inspired by his childhood hero, the powerful pirate known as Red Haired Shanks, and sets off on a journey from the East Blue Sea to find the greatest treasure left by the legendary pirate Gold Roger and become the next Pirate King.

Endowed with a stretching ability after he accidentally eats the legendary gum-gum devil’s fruit, Luffy travels towards the sea alone where he is able to gather a crew named as the ‘Straw Hat Pirates’.

The Straw Hat Pirates, a crew of ten pirates captained by Luffy, include the swordsman Roronoa Zoro, the navigator Nami, the sharp-shooter Usopp, the cook and martial artist Vinsmoke Sanji, the doctor Chopper, the archaeologist Nico Robin, the cyborg shipwright Franky, the living skeleton musician Brook, and the fish-man helmsman Jinbei.

Photo shows a scene from ‘One Piece: Stampede’. PHOTO: TOEI ANIMATION

They sail across the seas in pursuit of their dreams where they encounter many challenges including other pirates, bounty hunters, criminal organisations, revolutionaries, secret agents, soldiers of the corrupt World Government and other various friends and enemies.

Many of the characters are human but possess various superhuman and supernatural abilities that they gain by eating ‘Devil Fruits’ and in this series, characters also include giants, mermen and mermaids, fish-men, sky people, minks and others.

While the popular series is generally light-hearted in its tone, it also created sad and heart-breaking moments, some of which were so significant that they sent ripples throughout the world of One Piece and among fans.

One Piece is produced by Toei Animation and has aired episodes since 1999. At of the time of writing, it has produced 20 seasons with 929 episodes and is still on-going.

One Piece also been 14 films since 2000, where the latest, One Piece: Stampede, was released in 2019 and was also shown at our local cinemas.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Toei Animation has announced a hiatus for the release of episode 930 onwards to preserve the health of Toei Animation staff.

Even though One Piece has been a long journey for anime fans, the series has never been disappointing with its amazing details and storyline.

Local One Piece fan Afif Afnan, who has watched the series since 2008, said, “One Piece has very interesting and complex characters with lot of great plots and scenes, and also heart-breaking stories. Those are the reasons I am still watching it. I just can’t wait for the release of the next episode.”

Another local fan of the series highlighted that One Piece is one of the best animes around.

“I have watched the series since 2005 and I watched all over again from the first episode while waiting for the new episodes to be released, and I’ve never been bored.

“I have watched dozens of heart-wrenching moments of One Piece to full light-hearted adventures which make me thrilled and emotional at the same time.”