When Does One Piece Get Good?

    So, When Does An Anime With A 1000+ Episodes Get You Hooked? Let's Discuss!

    The first anime that I became properly obsessed with was probably Naruto Shippuden. Like, yes, I liked anime before that as well, but my Naruto phase felt like it ran forever. And I feel like it never really ended, considering how it’s still part of my identity today. I wrote fanfiction, collected the merch, and even cosplayed Tsunade Senju from it. However, just like with One Piece, I can’t imagine starting a long-running anime series like that anymore, despite how good they might be.

    It’s not a matter of when One Piece gets good, because I’d argue it was always good for those following it. But whether you can commit to it for that long. Fans say that if you are 40 episodes in, and the show just isn’t clicking, then it’s likely not going to be worth the effort down the line. And an effort it is, considering we are currently on episode 1041 (!!!!). I mean, you can try but yikes.

    I’m not trying to discourage enthusiasts from trying. Plenty of fans advise that you need to get to the Water 7 arc, some 200 episodes in, to have it feel worth it. But 1000+ episodes are no joke. Even Naruto Shippuden capped itself off at 720 episodes, with 200 of them being from the original Naruto anime, back in 2002. But it’s fascinating to see how, despite it being so tediously long, it not only kept its old viewers’ interest over the years but also managed to bring new fans on board. You just don’t see that type of loyalty anymore.

    Then again, you don’t see the same monster-length anime in Shonen anymore either. And I think that has been an interesting shift to see. Anime has come far and beyond in the past 2 decades, and yet, One Piece has remained a pillar in the community. So, it’s safe to say that it has always been a good show. But what helps its longevity? And why isn’t it as common anymore? Let’s discuss this.

    One Piece Stands The Test Of Time:

    One Piece

    I think the easiest thing to understand when it comes to One Piece’s massive popularity is that the story, while extremely long, is genuinely well-written. Eiichiro Oda isn’t just stretching the story out for the sake of it. There is a cohesive narrative going on that had a beginning and will reach its climax at some point.

    Everything about One Piece evokes a time that feels so nostalgic. The Big 3 will always be seen as the biggest forces behind the Anime Wave in the 2000s. They are what put anime out into the mainstream. It’s the characters that were both over the top and heartfelt in the same vein, and stories you could relate to, even if they were a little fantastical. The aspect of friendship and bonds was something we craved as kids that made us feel less lonely. So, when they started ending, with Bleach going on hiatus, it truly felt like the end of an era.

    But, for some reason, One Piece persisted. The story kept re-inventing itself, becoming something more serious as time went on. Stakes got higher for Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates, and it almost felt like your favorite characters were growing up alongside you.

    Why Long Running Shonen Are Dying:

    Going Merry One Piece

    But just because it worked for One Piece, doesn’t mean it’s a sustainable or reliable formula to keep up. Mangakas are famously known for overworking themselves when it comes to creating their art, and it’s become a cause of concern. So, shorter manga just feels less burdensome.

    In hindsight, our attention span just isn’t what it used to be either. I can’t start a new Shonen that has, what, 500 episodes out? Like it might pull me in but won’t keep me hooked. It’s why Kimetsu No Yaiba: Demon Slayer was such a surprise hit when it took over One Piece in popularity and ended within a reasonable time frame. It made good use of its popularity and hammered out an amazing ending while the iron was hot. Now, it’s practically an industry legend.

    Shonen manga and anime might have become much smaller than their lengthy predecessors, but that also means we’re getting a huge focus on quality over quantity. However, One Piece remains on top so if you want to dive into it, go right ahead!


    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi is a writer, licensed dentist and certified Uchiha fangirl. When she isn't doing root canals or listing down anime waifus, you can find her screeching about her favorite JRPGs across social media.

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