1999 Konosuke Uda (creator). Eiichiro Oda (creator) Toei/Fuji TV
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It's the dawn of the Pirate Age. One boy, Monkey D. Roofy, embarks on a quest to fulfill his dream of becoming the King of Pirates. In his journey he meets up with friends as enthusiastic as he is, but with different goals all their own. As they partake in each other's adventures, they are drawn together as a team, sailing onwards to the GRAND LINE, the place where their dreams can finally come true.
(110 episodes as of Nib's review, 458 now and still ongoing.)
Unexpectedly addicting... >>> by Nib
There are basically two immediate & major reasons why you won't like ONE PIECE: 1.) The rather mediocre artwork and poorly rendered designs, characters and backgrounds & 2.) With 110 episodes to date and still ongoing in Japan, let's face it: somewhere along the line a series that gets to be this long inevitably becomes dragging and somewhat repetitive at times (like DBZ, Sailormoon and Fushigi Yugi).
Get past these two and you'll find that ONE PIECE can get you severely hooked if you let it grow on you. It's best feature perhaps are the characters. Early on in the series every inch of their background and personality is introduced, oftentimes making use of childhood flashbacks that meticulously follows through to their present age--tales that are more often than not awe-inspiring tearjerkers (don't worry it's not like Fushigi Yugi). It's these well-written backgrounds that make for incredible and refreshing chemistry between Roofy, Zorro/Suron, Nami, Ussop and Sanji.
ONE PIECE, like any other long-winded series, is told in various story arcs. Early on they're fairly simple: like Roofy trying to take friends along in his journey. However as Roofy's pirate team grows, the arcs get longer and more complex (hence it can get dragging even though it does manage to pull off surprises every now and then). One arc wherein Roofy's team gets involved in rescuing Nami's hometown from pirates consists of more than 12 episodes.
So if you want to be hooked on an action-comedy-fantasy-romance-martial arts anime with a solid, well-balanced adventure plot (filled with moral values on love and friendship as well) and if you don't mind crappy art and emotional stories, this'll fix ya for a looooong time.
Individual Rating: Art/Animation 4; Story 8; Characters 7; Sounds 8