Here I like to share my experience on what my earliest thought on One Piece was and how I got into it.The story of how I got into One Piece begins not in 2004 but 5 years earlier when I was a Digimon nut which I now regert, I had a habit of going into the Japanese Toei Animation site to find information on Digimon and yet I can’t read Japanese, I had to relay on pictures.
One day in late Oct. 1999 while visiting the site, the front page of Toei Animation was promoting a new anime, here we see a hyperactive boy with large eyes and black hair wearing a straw hat, a red vast, a blue shorts and a sandals. He look like a hobo. I can’t remember anything else on that picture but I do remember a movie clip of him jumping around and stretching. At this time I thought it was an new anime that was not based on a manga and I never knew what that guy is and what the name of that show. At first glance I was all “meh, it doesn’t look like it would be better then Digimon”
So when I saw some more clips, I thought that this anime was a death-freak show about a hobo guy must evade those that wants to kill him and there would be gore or something you would see from an horror movie. I was also wondering what is up with the large eyes or why is there bunch of people trying to kill him.
The clips however did show a pirate ship but the clip was not clear enough to show that it was suppose to be a pirate show or perhaps I was not paying attention enough.My interest in One Piece would begin in June 2004 when I was trying to go into Dragon Ball.
One time I bought a Dragon Ball manga while hanging out with my friends in the mall to watch a movie. When we sat down in a movie theater, we were waiting for the movie to start. I decided to kill time by reading the manga, my friend waved at me and asked if he could read my manga so I passed to him. A minute later he tossed it back to me, telling me that it was boring. Later I asked him to elaborate and he told me that the story was rage-filled, too much fighting and has no variety genres like love story, sad story, poetic story, silly story, drama story or happy story, like what Final Fantasy has and not just “Fight! Rage! Power up!”.
I would later begin to agree with him. I use to visit the Dragon Ball forums on Gamefaq and many of the topic there are boring due to the series being over for 9 years.One day, the dreaded 4kids announced One Piece anime dub, the very anime I saw in 1999. I never get to know the series’ name and never thought it would hit the US shores. After watching the first episode, I knew that dub may be censoring the show thanks to my experience with the Digimon dub and how Saban screwed it up. So I decided to look online to research the series, starting with TV tome (Now TV.com) where I learned that the series was based on a manga created by Eiichiro Oda that started to appear in Jump Shonen magazine in Japan since 1997. However TV Tome did not list all episode in Japan so I tried to search for an information site and found one called Arlong Park, a fan site, which is the only good fan site since One Piece was still obscure in the United States. Viz (now Viz Media) a American Jump Shonen company had adopted the manga and begun to translate it to english in 2002 but One Piece was not very well know (like how Asterix, a funny French comic was not well known here).
I googled for it and yahoo search and it mostly points me out to many other things. So I decided to explore the Arlong Park site and found many more information on it, including the author, the history of the series and how many chapters/episodes the series went through. I caught the series while it was in chapter 340. That was the middle of October, 2004. It would take me a long time to know the full story of the series and I was quite surprised that it did not end yet. So I decided to check out the manga and read volume 2 and thought it looks interesting so later became a fan. Soon I went back to Gamefaqs to promote One Piece (because it was popular in Japan as well) to have it’s own forum like Dragon Ball did (since it was popular) but the idea was rejected. So I decided to visit the Arlong Park forums. I also learned about the dual between Luffy and Usopp, I wanted to know if the 2 will go back together so I logged it as a member to get the answer but all I see was a bunch of guesses so I was forced to read to series, buy the english manga, download the raws, watching the anime raws online, and post stuff on the board.
Because I found the series so interesting and hated the dub, I wanted the series popular here like Star Wars and Doctor Who and many others. Because I have came to dislike the Dragon Ball forums because there is nothing to discuss but One Piece has much to talk about because of many things it does and it does not just go “Fight! Rage! Power up!!”So why is One Piece is so popular? Did it has a variety of genres that my friend told me about? What does One Piece have that Dragon Ball did not have? I will explian that later.