Manga done right


For non-fans, it may be surprising to learn that Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece is the third best selling comic of all time, and the best selling manga – but it’s likely that you’ve heard or seen its impact in one of its 934 chapters, 831 episodes (of the anime) or 51 video games since its release over 20 years ago. It’s an adventure which sees unprecedented and unrivalled popularity in the manga industry, and its strong visual style, loveable characters and wacky story all contribute to a unique and enjoyable experience.

The heart of One Piece lies in its vast and impressive world and the characters that inhabit it. The universe of One Piece is compelling, with every small detail being carefully thought out in advance – even the most irrelevant event in an early chapter can have a massive impact later on. The world of One Piece mirrors a lot of the real world, and themes such as mortality, the economy, the law, gender, war, slavery, dictatorship, the gap in wealth, abuse of power and inequality appear frequently.

The Story

The story of One Piece focuses on Monkey D. Luffy, an aspiring pirate with attitude. He’s one of many hoping to find the legendary treasure, One Piece. Inspired by his role model, Red-Haired Shanks, he sets off on his grand cruise to find the One Piece and follow his dream to become the Pirate King.

The Character

Luffy’s character is accessible and enjoyable, but he is only really completed when he is with his crew. It’s the unique friendship they share that gives the series one of its key selling points. Oda’s unique character designs help bring them to life. His layout of the panels is always exceptional and dynamic, and none of the interactions between the characters feels forced. This all contributes towards an amazing feeling of interconnectedness, which helps keep the story fresh in such a long-running franchise. So if you haven’t read it yet, try something new. You’ll enjoy the journey.