There's No Better Time to Start One Piece Than During a Quarantine

There's no real way around this, so it's best to just put it out there bluntly. It's going to be a tough few weeks (and potentially more) for everyone as the endeavor to curb the spreading of the novel coronavirus in order to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 disease continues. This means practicing social distancing, self imposed isolation, and even self-quarantining. But there's a silver lining among it all as it means there is more time than ever to watch a new anime or catch up to some of the biggest hits out there.

One of the major franchises fans love to suggest to new anime fans is Eiichiro Oda's One Piece. But with over 900+ chapters and episodes under its belt, it's often shut down just as quickly as it's suggested for being too notable of a mountain to climb. But as the next few weeks are littered with uncertainty, there's no better time than ever to join with the Straw Hats in their massive saga.

But which way should you jump into the franchise? It really comes down to how you prefer to consume your media. If you like to read while having music or podcasts playing in the background, then the manga is the way to go. There are currently 974 chapters of the manga now available through Viz Media's digital Shonen Jump library for a $1.99 USD monthly subscription, or if you're caught up with the newest releases, you can check out the latest three chapters completely for free.

Another benefit of reading through the manga is its speedier pace, which also removes some of the stigmas about it being such a long experience. But at the same time, you'll be reading through 20 plus years of work in a week or two depending on how you want to experience it. But what about the much contested anime?

The anime tends to be slightly slower, but also has a ton of benefits from fleshing out some of the more intense or jam-packed scenes that tend to get jumbled in the manga. The Marineford arc, for example, plays out much differently in the anime simply because you will have a better grasp of all the moving pieces. The same goes for Whole Cake Island, Punk Hazard, and more.

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You can also watch the 924 episode series with English subtitles through Crunchyroll for free (with ads) or a $6.99 USD monthly subscription. If you wanted to catch the English dub, FunimationNOW offers the dub with a monthly subscription for as low as $5.99 a month. The dub does end before the Punk Hazard arc, but that's over 500 episodes in and by that point you'll know if you're invested or not. And if you have a Hulu subscription, you can find over 11 seasonal batches of the subbed release there as well!

The argument over whether or not you should dive into the One Piece saga always comes down to time. But in that same breath, it's also a series that rewards the dedication. If you truly find yourself invested, then each new entry will be more compelling than the last. The latest chapters are even capitalizing on teases several years in the making! Because if you're watching or reading One Piece, it will transform from "too much" to "not enough" in due time.