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There once lived a pirate named Gol D. Roger. He obtained wealth, fame, and power to earn the title of Pirate King. When he was captured and about to be executed, he revealed that his treasure called One Piece was hidden somewhere at the Grand Line. This made all people set out to search and uncover the One Piece treasure, but no one ever found the location of Gol D. Roger's treasure, and the Grand Line was too dangerous a place to overcome. Twenty-two years after Gol D. Roger's death, a boy named Monkey D. Luffy decided to become a pirate and search for Gol D. Roger's treasure to become the next Pirate King. Written by
Adventure, Comedy, Spirit--the best anime to date!
FIRST NOTE THIS: Any other reviews for One Piece before 2008 regarding the dub are out-of-date, and refer to the heavily-edited 4kids version (which is indeed appropriate for young children), not the Funimation version which is generally recognized as being extremely faithful to the original.
UPDATED 2010 review:
One Piece is the best anime I've seen to date! It is difficult for me to properly convey how great it is in a review.
On the surface, the story might seem typical: a wonder-boy who wants to "be the best" fights the bad guys and always wins. But I think what makes One Piece so popular are the details that you begin to appreciate as you stick with the series.
The situations the main characters encounter have their own back stories. Even minor characters can have a chance to have their stories told, and it usually gets connected back (eventually) to the main story. This makes the story vast, but amazingly, not over-complicated. Adding to the richness are other details such as real-life natural phenomena and folklore that are occasionally incorporated and explained in the series.
The series has a sense of wonder, playfulness, and conviction that pulls you in. The drawing style may look startling at first, but is an important part of the uniqueness of the series.
One Piece follows the dumb-but-strong-and-spirited Monkey D. Luffy in the pursuit of his dream--to become king of the pirates. Not because he's hungry for power, but rather because he is hungry for freedom! He looks up to pirates who are not the typical villains you might think of. Luffy gives pirates a good name, at least with the people he meets and helps along the way.
On his journeys, Luffy recruits a diverse, yet small crew, each with their own dream. Despite having different goals and the fact they don't always seem to get along, the crew is dedicated and will put their lives on the line for their crew-mates.
The adventures the Strawhat Pirates go on are often action-packed and awe-inspiring. Along the way, there is plenty of comedy as well. There are also serious moments, especially when it comes to the crew sticking up for each other.
I'm adding an epilogue now (2010). Funimation has been doing an awesome job. And Oda amazes me more with every passing year. I know a fair amount of general trivia and stories and I am floored at how many references Oda packs into One Piece. It's everywhere from character design to plot details and beyond. For as much as I know there are still some things that I miss and I am grateful for other fans who pick up on things I haven't heard of before. You can always find something new. Unlike some writers who might use references as a cheap way to fill their own story, Oda takes things and makes them his own.
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