One Piece, a series that blends power of blind optimism and friendship


One Piece. PHOTO | POOL

Amidst a world where everything appears tailored to showcase our human shortcomings, it's surprisingly uplifting to find a Netflix series that centres around the concept of bringing out the best in individuals.

"One Piece" weaves a pirates-based narrative about the enduring power of friendship, even when confronted with adversity. The show is a live-action interpretation of the continuing Japanese manga series from 1997, authored by Eiichiro Oda, who played a significant role as a creative consultant throughout the development of the show.

The show is a collaborative effort between Kaji Productions, Tomorrow Studios, and Shueisha, the very publisher of the manga.

It features a talented ensemble cast, including Iñaki Godoy, Emily Rudd, Mackenyu, Jacob Romero Gibson, and Taz Skylar, portraying the initial five members of the Straw Hat Pirates

You might be wondering if you haven't watched the 1071 episodes of the anime or read the 1057 chapters of the manga series whether this show is suitable for you.

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I can relate to that concern because I haven't watched or read the manga or anime either, but I can assure you that the show is quite accessible since this feels like the beginning and everything is explained very well.

Monkey D. Luffy

Monkey D. Luffy is a different kind of pirate with interesting abilities thanks to a “devil fruit”, he is an immensely endearing character, the kind of character that makes you yearn for individuals like him in the real world. What immediately captures your attention about Luffy is his unshakable optimism.

His drive and aspirations are evident from the moment he graces the screen. Luffy is a pirate with a clear mission: to obtain the highly coveted One Piece and become the king of the pirates.

Luffy consistently radiates a carefree and cheerful demeanour, but that changes in an instant if you tamper with his cherished straw hat or harm his friends and crew.

The primary focus of the first season of One Piece revolves around Luffy's efforts to assemble a crew, acquire a ship, and secure the map to the Grand Line.

The good

This show seamlessly weaves together compelling storytelling, richly developed characters, and a proficient production process.

The inaugural season serves as an intricate origin tale for each character, with Nami's narrative standing out as a pivotal element in uniting the crew and illuminating the arduous journey to charting their map.

What sets this show apart is its dedication to fleshing out every main character's backstory, ensuring viewers comprehend their diverse perspectives and motivations.

Each character undergoes a distinct arc, masterfully brought together by the writers and production team in a natural and coherent manner.

This episodic format allows for a comprehensive exploration of their motives, a distinct advantage.

Furthermore, the show adeptly employs its villains, such as the Buggy a Clown who has the peculiar ability to detach body parts.

These antagonists are ingeniously utilized to propel the storyline forward, enhancing the overall narrative.

Remarkably, the visual and special effects on display here surpass expectations for a television series.

Even characters like the Fisherman People, requiring extensive prosthetics and makeup, appear nearly flawless. The visual effects exhibit a level of quality that rivals productions with much higher budgets.

The editing and pacing contribute to a viewing experience where the 40 to 60-minute episodes seem to fly by.

Cleverly incorporated flashbacks provide context and maintain viewer engagement, defying conventional storytelling conventions but working exceptionally well in this context.

Cinematography employs wide-angle lenses, creating an intimate atmosphere during close-ups, especially in emotional moments.

This unique visual characteristic lends the show its distinctive identity. The expansive, sweeping shots effectively capture the various locations, ensuring the audience never feels disoriented.

The set and costume design further enhance the show's visual identity and tone, elevating it into a captivating adventure. This well-rounded blend of elements makes for an immersive and visually stunning experience.


One concern I had about the show is that certain episodes, particularly episodes 4 and 7, delve into some very weighty themes, the kind of themes that remind you that this is a show about pirates.

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While they are really entertaining, they occasionally seem to deviate from the overall light-hearted tone of the series.

One Piece is an uplifting pirate adventure that evokes laughter, tears, and introspection.

It's a series that champions the values of camaraderie, self-confidence, resilience, and the importance of pursuing one's dreams relentlessly.

It's the kind of show that has a magical way of bringing a smile to your face.

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Twitter: @stanslausmanthi