Who does Luffy consider his brother

20 years of One Piece: The anime has long since passed its prime

Warning, spoilers for the One Piece anime: When I think back to my childhood, One Piece is the series that put me in front of the screen like no other. I wallow in nostalgic bliss when I look at the endless anime afternoons at RTL II that sweetened my school evening every day and made it an adventure to come home every time.

20 years ago, on October 20, 1999, the first episode, One Piece, premiered on Fuji TV, Japan. Since then, Luffy and Co. have regularly set sail for over 900 episodes and I have sailed with them with waving flags every time. But now the air is out. One Piece has navigated its way into the middle of a lull. With no wind in the sails, the anime has degenerated into a strenuous rowing act for me.

One Piece suffers from the typical problems of the Shonen anime

One Piece gave me some of the most emotional series moments that I still like to think about today. But the enormous length des anime can no longer hold back the common problems of the genre:

  • One Piece is dragging on like chewing gum and is full of filler episodes because the anime has to wait for the manga.
  • Require stronger opponents more implausible techniques. Instead of tactics, there are blunt fights. The fights lose their charm.
  • Lack of character development and questionable, visual updates damage the characters. The leap in time leaves a lot of potential.

The brilliant beginnings of One Piece

At the beginning of the trip at East Blue, One Piece had none of the problems mentioned. Here was Luffy's core crew presented. Looking back, we learned of their trauma to the individual characters and they quickly grew dear to us. A lot of character development wasn't necessary, as the journey had only just begun.

Luffy gives Nami his straw hat: One of the best One Piece moments.

The individual story arcs offered short and crisp Entertainment. The anime was able to give full throttle here because the template had a big head start. At first, two manga chapters were converted into one episode. A lot has happened in each episode.

The conflicts with warring pirates were down to earth and made creative use of the individual abilities of the fighters. Although the opponents on the Grand Line became more powerful and every third-rate henchman suddenly had a devil's power, tactic was always a tactic decisive factor. Sandman Sir Crocodile played in a completely different league than Luffy, but the straw hat captain was able to use his only weakness and thus triumph.

One Piece's fights are no longer fun

Later came the CP9, and although I consider their saga to be one of the best in One Piece, it started a trend that will continue in the upcoming 500+ episodes Curse for the series should be.

The opponents were suddenly so powerful that even the straw hats exaggerated fighting techniques had to learn. Luffy started to inflate his limbs to enormous size here, Sanji has since made his foot burn with a pirouette (what else do you need fire fruit for?) And Zorro grows additional body parts including swords with sheer willpower.

Zorro must have been secretly nibbling on the badass devil fruit.

If this saga were the anime's grand finale, these fighting techniques would be fine as ultimate skills. But since then all other duels are faced with the task, one more each time Shovel a spectacle to put on it.

So also in the fight against doflamingo. The samurai of the seas was clearly stronger than Luffy and Law in terms of sheer fighting power. So it would have made sense, Laws Special Abilities to use to defeat the puller from Dressrosa. And that's exactly what happened ... almost. Lo and behold, Doflamingo survived the ingenious maneuver. After that, it was all about Luffy being able to hit harder than everyone else.

The Dressrosa Arc lasted 118 episodes. 118 episodes with sometimes unbearably long phases in which nothing happened. 118 Consequences of building up tensiononly to be so disappointed in the end. (For comparison: In the manga, the arc lasts 102 chapters. So not even one chapter of the template was implemented per episode.)

The leap in time did more harm than good to One Piece

Also the lack of character development the straw hats gnaw at my enthusiasm. The leap in time that took place in episode 517 failed to represent an important turning point in the ripening process of the pirate gang. After their first major defeat, the Straw Hats trained individually for two years to prepare for the dangers of the New World. Unfortunately, our heroes only returned from training with a different look and with new skills.

In terms of character, nothing has changed. Usopp, Chopper and Brook are still anxious screamerseven if they have lived through a lot and should actually know that they can be strong warriors. Especially Chopper, who can mutate into a huge monster, I no longer buy the hysterical howling convulsions.

Nico Robin before and after the One Piece time jump. Do you notice something?

Nami and Robin got it particularly bad: Both were established as ambivalent personalities, torn between the desire for freedom and the shadows of their past. Since the leap in time, they have only been oversexualized mannequins, whose three-dimensionality constantly affects theirs increasing cup size limited.

Ace's fate didn't change Luffy forever

I also hoped for more from Luffy. Especially after Ace's death, the straw hat captain would have done well to reconsider his previous attitude. He always fell optimistic and irresponsible in every dangerous adventure and was always successful - up to the battle at naval headquarters when he lost his brother.

Everything about this situation indicated a decisive turning point in Luffy's life. Ace, like the rubber man, was a daredevil adventurer who overestimated himself. But Luffy learned only the bluntest of all lessons from his demise: train more and get stronger.

One Piece has hardly drawn any conclusions from Ace's death.

Sure, I don't want Luffy to lose his optimism, but would it hurt if he thought about it next time before talking to himself and his crewmembers blindly into dangerfalls. After Ace's death, it was he who vowed never to lose a friend again. In the meantime he seems to have forgotten his resolution again. Inwardly, he remains the same naive strawhead.

Where is One Piece's journey going?

Before the time jump, I had hardly anything to complain about with One Piece. Eiichiro Oda created a world that is second to none. I've been resigned to the slow pacing of his pirate adventure for a long time, but this one Battles and characters unfortunately they became less and less interesting with the entry into the New World.

I take the 20th anniversary of One Piece as an opportunity to first set the anchor and one To take a break. I'm sure I'll plunge into the waves again at some point, but currently I'm feeling a little seasick.

What do you think of One Piece and the development of the long-running anime?