In the world of anime, there are some series fans consider to be cornerstones. For shojo anime, Sailor Moon is a classic show fans continue to revisit year after year. When it comes to shonen, shows like Naruto and One Piece are often brought into conversation. New anime fans are often directed to these shows when they’re looking for content, but there’s just one problem with One Piece.
You may already know, but there are more than 750 episodes of One Piece out to date - and the series is still going. Having debuted in 2001, the long-running series has racked up an impressive episode count, and there will be more to come since the One Piece manga is still in publication.
If you have always wanted to watch One Piece, then you know how daunting the task can be. Just watching the first season will take you more than ten hours, and then there are more than fifteen seasons lefts to go. Here at ComicBook.com, we’ve done some digging and came up with a (mostly) painless way to catch up on One Piece. So, get comfy and have a pizza delivered because it’s time to delve into the world of Captain Monkey D. Luffy!
Anime or Manga? How About Both!
So, you want to catch up with One Piece but don’t know where to start? It’s easy; You start with the anime or manga. Depending on your preference, you may want to strictly take in the Straw-Hat Pirates by watching or reading. Anime gives fans a visual experience of the story by bringing colorful characters to life while the manga wows readers with art. But, at the end of the day, the manga is what dictates the anime’s canon. If you find yourself tired of watching drawn-out episodes, you can skim over stories quickly by reading the One Piece manga. So, should you get bored, there is always an option of reading through a few episodes in the manga.
Look Over The Story Arcs
Before you get into One Piece, you would be wise to familiarize yourself with the anime’s story arcs. There are dozens of storylines housed in the anime, but there are several key ones which you can explore sequentially. In fact, there are nine main manga story arcs like Alabasta, Water 7, and Summit War stories. By checking the One Piece wikia, you can get a handle on what each arc entails and see if any of them catch your eye. And, most importantly, you will be able to suss out just where any dread filler arcs lie in One Piece as well.
Start Where You’re Interested
After you’ve looked over the anime’s arcs, you have the freedom to start where you want. Sure, you may not catch onto previous pieces of characterization or inside jokes, but One Piece does a good job at staying contained. The mark of a good anime is seen when anyone can start the show wherever they want and still feel engaged. Should you start towards the beginning of One Piece, you will find fast-paced stories and bumbling pirates at every turn. Starting on the opposite end will leave you with complex, even dark, storylines that pit Luffy’s crew against corrupt higher powers. Fans don’t have to watch a series in chronological order to understand a story; One Piece is easy enough to move around and reassemble on your own!
Skip The Fillers
Like any long-running anime, One Piece has its problem with filler episodes. These anime-only stories are not considered canon to the overall series and are only included to keep shows running. While One Piece does not have as many fillers as Bleach does, the anime has its share, and you should feel free to skip over them. They may be fine to watch at a later date, but the time they take will only bog down your understanding of One Piece's actual narrative.
Test Out Movies
If all else fails and you’re feeling left out, try out a One Piece movies. These anime features don’t relate back to the anime, but they are essentially condensed story arcs put into 120 minutes. Fans can use films like One Piece Film Z to figure out if they like a certain aesthetic of One Piece. And, after fans have made that decision, they can trace back where the film and anime would have intersected for a fresh binging experience.