Why One Piece's Length Isn't a Problem

When talking about Eiichiro Oda's One Piece and trying to recommend it to others, one of the first major points that is raised against it is its massive length. But at the end of the day, it's not really a problem. My perspective on the series is skewed because it has been a part of my week for over 15 years at this point so it's near second nature, but even knowing that it's not the massive undertaking potential new fans think it is. That is, if you end up liking One Piece in the first place.

The reason One Piece's 900 plus anime episode and manga chapter catalog seems like a mountain too high to climb is simply because you don't like the series yet. Even if you do, there's no reason to rush through the series at all as it's not really going anywhere. You can go through it as quickly or as slowly as you like.

Length becomes an issue when there's a deadline. Watching anime or reading manga has become a completely different experience in the last decade. Not only are the increasing amount of seasonal hits increasing the pace necessary to keep up with current conversations, but these days sometimes it feels like watching something older isn't as enticing because there will be fewer people around interested enough to talk about it with.

one-piece anime
(Photo: Toei Animation)

It's a totally different arena with One Piece. Because it's been around for so long, and because it's been such a significant part of many dedicated fans' weeks, it's almost like a soap opera. An epic story with an ending in mind, but that ending itself is not as important as watching the characters experience new adventures every week. This episodic nature of the overall narrative means that talking about One Piece with others isn't talking about the entire story, but is broken down into arcs and best moments.

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One Piece's length isn't a major undertaking because it's so easy to compartmentalize it and experience it through short bursts (such as the recent batch dropped on Netflix). The best part about such a long series is also the dedicated fanbase who always love to talk about the best moments of the series with newcomes and experienced fans alike.

It's undeniable fact that One Piece is a long story, but that just makes it an epic. There's no reason to rush through any of it, and if you like it, it won't be long enough. If you don't, who cares how long it is?!? But what do you think of One Piece's length? Is it too long for newcomers or just the perfect cure for the quarantine? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!

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