Are the legendary tv show and manga one piece finally dying after 20 years? The answer might surprise you… if you’re an idiot.
Ever since Demon slayer took the world by surprise by outselling one piece in 2019 a popular question has been, is One-piece dying? Is it starting to drop in sales? Well, it turns out it’s not…The one-piece manga actually sold 2 million more copies in 2019 than the previous year. But It would make sense if you started to believe that it’s starting to die because of the long-ass time one piece has been serialized.
Regardless if you enjoy one piece or not something that has baffled me and many others is how has one piece dominated manga sales for so long? I mean dominating for 20 years(fact check this) is no joke and is the first manga to ever be this successful despite the 10s of 1000’s of others that try and fail. So what sets one piece apart from the rest?
In this video, il be going over what i believe to be the one thing one piece mastered that helped it become the most sold manga in history.
Synopsis Of one piece
If you haven’t watched one piece, I don’t blame you, it will likely ruin most other anime, sorry Fairy Tail fans. But seriously, The time it takes to watch one piece would equal to playing the main story of The Witcher 3, Every elder scrolls game, watching every harry potter movie, all the marvel movies, One punch man, No Game No Life, Death Parade, and still will leave you with enough time to like and subscribe. Now don’t get me wrong I love one piece but fuck, it’s too long. So il give a brief synopsis to the people who haven’t watched it.
One Piece is a shonen manga made by oda which got its anime adaptation in 1999 by Toei animation. It’s about Luffy a young pirate born in east blue in a small village where he looks up to Shanks A pirate. Luffy decides that he too wants to become a pirate and sail the seas in order to find the one piece tressure and become the pirate king.
What is Comic Relief?
There are many reasons why one piece can continue to still be enjoyed even after so many years. However, in this video, I’m going to specifically focus on one thing, Fan service… Just kidding its Comic relief.
Comic relief is an amusing scene, incident, or speech introduced into serious elements, to provide temporary relief from tension.
If you don’t watch a lot of anime, a great example would be its use in marvel and dc movies. But it’s probably unintentional with dc… If you’re an anime fan you won’t see it as much. which leads me to believe why its a big factor when it comes to the success of one piece.
Now don’t get me wrong it’s used in a lot of anime but not even close to the level one-piece uses it.
Comic Relief is important to keep the viewer interested and often goes hand to hand with good pacing. I mean if you tried watching movies like infinity war or anime like Hajime no Ippo without comic relief it suddenly becomes much harder to watch. This is mainly because the viewer needs that break from all that tension or they get tired of the pacing.
To make things simple let’s say the pacing is like a rhythm. When a rhythm stays the same it becomes boring and you anticipate what’s going to happen next because it’s obvious. But when it doesn’t that’s when it takes you by surprise and keeps you interested. Because let’s face it a rhythm that’s not predictable is a hell of a lot more entertaining than something that is. This part of the reason why comic relief is so useful in keeping one piece alive and popular even after 20 years.
How many times have you started an anime then after an episode your like fuck… This character is like a Walmart brand product, a bad imitation that’s slightly cheaper. Luckily another plus of Comic relief is that it can be used to explore the characters of a story more or show feelings of the characters without directly telling the audience. Let me tell you there’s nothing worse than when the creators of an anime cram down the most obvious information.
One-piece and comic relief
Now you might ask well how does comic relief actually help one piece? Even though it sounds silly. Comic relief helped a lot when it came to the enjoyment of one piece. It strengthened the audience’s love for the characters and made the pacing more enjoyable. Yes, there are other factors like its great world-building and character development but comic relief is barely talked about and its enormous effect especially in a long-running manga and anime like one piece.
A great example of comic relief is during the dressrosa arc when everything rests on the shoulders of ussop to knock out sugar. Sugar is a little girl who turns the citizens of dressrosa into toys and makes them slaves. Fuck that sounds wrong… anyways When ussop gets defeated all hope is lost when suddenly… (He eats Tobasco grape) This gives a breather to the audience since we just saw the tragic story of the toy solder’s life and his despair of turning into a toy and being helpless to save the people he cares about. When I watched this for the first time i couldn’t help but laugh. For some reason, comedy is sometimes best when it’s inserted in the most built-up moments which one piece is notorious for. This part was also very random at the same time which is something I did not anticipate happening but I’m glad did. In a way, it also helped me appreciate ussop as a character more since when he is around you always know something funny is about to happen. Honestly, this part helped keep me interested during the Dressrosa arc and without it and the many other parts I would have not been able to finish this arc due to its slow pacing.
Another great example is during the Enies Lobby arc when robin is being taken to the gates of justice. This is a very intense moment where robin is on the verge of being unrescuable. She fights to stall so she can get saved when Spandam assures her that. no one will save her. Even if the straw hats make it there’s a mine near the entrance that will make sure they don’t. When the mine gets set off the audience loses all hope that robin will be saved since none of the straw hats are even close to her. when all a sudden… (Ussop shooting Spandam)
This is probably one of the most intense moments in one piece which gives it the perfect opportunity to insert comic relief. The audience gets a breather before going back to the intense fight between Luffy and Lucci and the straw hat escape.
But the comic relief in this part does more than just relieve us from the tension It also shows the importance of ussop a character. Since let’s be realistic at times he feels more useless than sakura, yamacha, and jar jar binks combined Which is not a pretty sight. but one thing stands true about ussop is that when it counts he will never miss.
One-piece will use comic relief a lot in the series which makes it overall more enjoyable. It’s hard to imagine one piece without it and is much needed especially for the insane length of the series. Even though I’m a big fan of one piece It would probably be impossible to finish the show if it didn’t have anything to disrupt the flow of pacing in an already slow-paced anime.
So as you can see comic relief is an important factor in the success of one piece. Maybe not as important as fan service but It can keep the show and manga interesting even after 20 years of running. The reason is that it can provide the audience with a break during stressful events so the audience can catch a breather and so they don’t get tired of the pacing. Comic relief can also help establish characters without cramming it down there throat and goes hand to hand with one piece’s legendary character development.
Anime adaptations are often made to increase the sales of manga and are changed by production committees to make more profit which usually ruins its story. This happened with Rosario + vampire a manga which I’m a big fan of and one day I decided enough is enough so I’m glad to announce il be working on a trailer to make a fan anime version that will be much more true to the manga and will show tskune the protagonist as a badass instead of the whiney simp he is in the anime. The project will come out in the upcoming weeks. If your interested subscribe and hit the bell notification to know when its out.