How did you get into it?
J: I’ve been an anime fan since I was young and began with Dragonball and Rurouni Kenshin. Also some of my friends were into watching it so they advised that I should watch One Piece. Mind you… I’ve always wanted to before but there were two main things holding me back. Firstly there was shitloads of chapters/episodes already released (even double that now) and secondly being an artist myself I valued correct anatomy in drawings and One Piece has like totally none of the correctness. After plenty of nagging from my friends I set myself over those two facts and started a binge watching the episodes that were released at the time. I lost plenty of days before I was caught up and almost turned into a fish eyed Gollum creature from staring at a screen for such an extended time. I got that friend back though… once I gave him all 13 volumes of the Death Note manga and made him read it all, he lost his entire free weekend over it.
K: Originally I had my doubts about the show because of how the animation was drawn. I found I really enjoyed the story though and eventually the style of the characters became part of its many charms. I am literally hooked now because of it and absolutely love the characters Chopper and Law. This is one show I didn’t originally start watching because of Joeri, but because I was quite curious about it at university. I never really got that far though and when I moved I ended up reading the manga from start-up until a certain point before we picked up the next part in the show. So I guess in a way it was kinda his influence to get me properly started with the anime. The creator, Eiichiro Oda, has done a real amazing job in winning me over.
What’s it about?
J&K: Pirates! Years before the storyline began there was a man named Gol D. Roger. He was a powerful pirate who conquered the Grand Line and became known as the Pirate King. However due to his criminal status the World Government set out on a journey to capture and execute him in hopes that it would destroy the will of all the pirates in the land. Unfortunately it didn’t go as planned as at the scaffolding of his execution he enticed the crowd with news of a great treasure called the One Piece and if anyone were to ever find it, then they would become the next pirate king. This began the new Age of Pirates.
Years after a boy named Luffy D. Monkey began his journey to become the next pirate king> To do this he started a search to gather a crew on the way, inviting anyone he wanted to join him. This show follows his journey through the many places of the world with numerous enemies and obstacles…but there’s one thing Luffy has that no one else seems to possess and that’s his fierce determination to be the best that there ever was, including Gol D. Roger.
How long is it?
J&K: Insanely long. It’s currently at 600+ episodes and still not even finished. Originally the creator of the series (and manga) wanted it to run for five years, but it seemed he went longer than expected and really has no idea when the story will finish let alone how many more years it will go on for. At the end of chapter 597, however, he stated that it marked the end of the first half of One Piece.
What appeals to you in the series?
J: Not the wonky anatomy alright, but I got used to that so I can look past that now and enjoy the character design. Mainly the solid storytelling that Oda uses in One Piece is what makes me return to the series every week. There’s plenty of mysteries and subplots in this show and the interwoven emotions of the characters that make this drive. At one point the trusty ship they had been sailing on broke down and they had to part ways in it. You as a viewer actually feel bad for the ship … yes the ship, you care enough about a vessel made out of wooden planks to feel sorry for it. The writer of the show manages to give all his characters such deep emotions, all of the characters (the non background characters) get a lot of depth, even the temporary enemies get a background story that makes you feel for them and even understand why they do what they do. Every new arc in this story just keeps you hanging on your chair and wanting more. There’s even entire forums and websites devoted to theories on who is going to be the next crew member or what the one piece is and where exactly do devil fruits come from and many more. The author even sometimes isn’t afraid to get one of his more popular characters murdered to advance the story.
K: It’s about bloody pirates! Why else would I not love it?! I guess Japanese animation is not for everyone and the show isn’t really for everyone either… but I absolutely love the power and anticipation it makes you feel when you watch fights (because they don’t always win, you know…and that’s when you root for them the most!). Don’t get me started on the hilarious connections the crew have together and their response/reactions to things while on their journey. It’s a pretty series show but is well put together with a combination of humour and seriousness. Luffy is a bit of a goof, after all…not exactly pirate king material from first impressions.
What do you hope to see in the future?
J: As long as this quality of story can keep up, even though sometimes it seems a bit silly, I’ll be more than happy. I’m sure some mysteries will start to be revealed soon and I’m looking forward to see how everything links up.
K: Mostly I hope it continues to surprise me because there are so many moments where I think “Wow okay, I did not expect that shit!”. It always seems to bring the suspense and makes me sit on the edge of my seat…so I really hope Oda continues to create the awesome that is One Piece.