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One Piece… of epicness and greatness…Waters 7 to Thriller Bark

November 30, 2010 3 comments

Wooooh! Finally just about one of my favorite current titles, on the block of Manga Movable Feast…and yay what a giant this is. This month’s MMF is once again hosted by David Welsh of The Manga Curmudegeon. He also writes a post that links up to past MMF’s which I had participated in four of seven.. and now five of eight.. Happy readings for manga lovers, and interested readers!

One Piece that is by Eichiro Oda, hits the record of outselling Harry Potter in Japan, and the anime/series is probably slated to go on for years. Some comparisons to Dragon Ball were made, down to cross over products, and films. As a fan, though, there are consistent observations, in just how much product and goods there are concerning this series…so what else can I say than to go and make a project of getting into this series, or continuing to be a fan? Going into 55 English volumes, 60 Japanese volumes, and around 400+ episodes, One Piece is such an epic title/journey, that I seriously would encourage any and all to tackle on this series.

I have seen hygiene products, food products, magazine covers, stationary goods, toys, automobile accessories, fashion accessories, and electronic accessories. One Piece covers all types of products.. and from my own collection of manga, art books, shitajikas, figures, DVD’s, CD’s, jigsaw puzzles, electronic accessories, kitchen accessories, I don’t really regret any of it. Even when this blog initially started from around four years ago, it began a small devotion to recapping episodes and purchases made. I even put together a Twitter background recently to push my feelings along.

Background

I am on currently hiatus on watching the anime, and the manga I decided to go on a path of reading two arcs: Waters 7 to Thriller Bark (vol 33-50). I decided to do this for several reasons.

  1. It covers characters that I like a lot…namely Robin, Franky, and Brooks. There is also a significant growth to the character of Ussop that definitely raised my impression of him.
  2. There are sufficient themes covered, that makes it a well though out process. Up to this point, there was just the journeying/adventuring, but Waters 7 and Thriller Bark has sufficient plot points.
  3. Lots of other reviewers in this MMF will be covering other various parts of this long series, I wanted to read a part that made a distinct impression with me.

Just for a bit of a warning, my experience with One Piece is from the anime initially, so reading the manga has definitely made me noticed some details. I am really really glad that Viz did a series acceleration, catching up to the Japanese release, so at this point, the United States is only five books behind Japan. Another warning, this is going to be a post on the assumption that people at least have some knowledge of the series. I don’t believe that I will spoil that much parts of what I have read, but I will probably jump from parts of the series, and all around in general.

Media impressions

Since my initial foray into this series was from the anime, I can definitely say that I have had my eye on the print side of things. During my college years when Shonen Jump began to be sold in the United States, one of the earliest series I read was One Piece, at that time there wasn’t a series acceleration, so reading the manga in English felt way more slower than watching the anime. Still I digress, both mediums have its advantages and disadvantages.

Watching the anime, with a visual action in sight, and the acting talents of the seiyuus. Many people may very well prefer the anime over the manga, but with the manga there are some advantages as well and these are some what I feel are advantages of the anime.

  • The manga is the source of what the anime is, so with how visually stimulating the anime is, the manga will always be faster, and so for readers this is an advantage to take in.
  • There is an SBS column, where Oda has a question and answer columns, giving insights into the series from his creative or comedic perspective. Comparing this to the columns of Hideaki Sorachi of Gintama, there is definitely more of an organized outline, with the feelings of the mangaka revealed to the world.
  • With every chapter title page, there is a mini story within the bigger picture of the manga. In the anime, many characters who’s arcs are finished viewers never really see them again, but Oda definitely is fantastic for building character bases and a clear result of what eventually happens to these characters that gets dropped in the anime. Comparing this with why I dropped Bleach, One Piece has way more developed characters/villians/supporting.

Where to begin?

Walsh has an entry that talks about opinions on where to begin reading. There was a comment that Davy Fights Back might be a good place to start reading this series, yet I disagree with that. I feel that the richness of the adventuring and comradeship is not as really understood if a reader starts from Davy Fights Back, it is already 33 books into the series. So it is my opinion that readers if they want to skip the beginning, start from when the Mugiwara Kaizoku Dan (Strawhat Pirates) leaves East Blue, from Louge Town onward.

Impressions

Waters 7 includes the ending of the Skypiea arc, to the manga filler of Davy Fights Back. Compared to the anime, there were some parts definitely fleshed out, and other parts muted. It was great to see Zolo/Sanji fight in Davy Fights Back, since I was quite reminded with the opening of the anime. I was debating on whether or not I can put the actions of Waters 7 and Thriller Bark into suitable imagery, and decided that it might be more reflected in the openings from this period in the anime.

Davy Fights Back – I am quite glad that the manga is way more shorter than how the anime dragged on. Even if this filler arc was considered to be comedic, I really didn’t care for Foxy, but compared to other villains.. he’s more of a moron. Now as far as the island is, I felt the island was slightly on the ridiculous side of things. Edo in SBS column definitely mentions the toilet possibility of how a character is stuck on stilts for seven years.

Waters 7 – Entering into the island with a goal of repairing Going Merry, exploring a new island is always a fun aspect in my opinion, mainly because reading of the character’s various interactions with the location, and the locals that they meet. I liked how this island is designed with canals and such. There is an actual emphasis on placement and organization in an urban structure. Personally I am am a fan of urban structures and forms of transportation, so with how Drum Island, Alabasta, and Little Garden were, Waters 7 is definitely a city I want to visit. I am continually reminded of the manga series Aria, since both works/places are inspired by the Italian city of Venice. Since Water 7 sets up for Enies Lobby, the duplicity and treachery of villains get reveals later.


Enies Lobby –I am continually on the mindset that Enies Lobby should have been a separate arc. Putting it all into under the category of Waters 7 Arc pushed the arc count up to around 13 books. It is a collector’s quest, so I can only say that the library is the best friend a person can ask for in terms of going on a binge to read this. So if you skip reading the first couple of books, with Davy Fights Back, that would have lessen the amount of reading.

Enies Lobby was also part where I had a tissue box near my hand continually. The pacing was tight, and the action was just right. So I was either wiping away tears or wringing the tissue, (sighs). I really felt that my heart was on my sleeve for the most part during this arc. I am going on a limb to say either this arc or Alabaster that had me believing firmly that Oda is such a great mangaka.

Also up until this point, Luffy had battled foe after foe, testing his abilities with his devil fruits power. This arc sets the stage of moving Luffy’s strengths into the realm of probable disbelief, if he continues to go on his own ability, Oda writes Luffy with the devil’s luck.

Now for the villains in this one, I really really disliked CP9, of course with the consistent idea that the World Government is there for the regular people, makes the world more gray than black and white, very similar to reality. I am not a big fan of hypocrisy, but with Spanda being introduced, I was so totally cheering at the end of Enies Lobby for what happened to him.


Thriller Bark-With Waters 7, Enis Lobby, and post-Enis Lobby out of the way, the growing crew gets onto a detour from traveling onward at the Florian Triangle that reminds me of the Bermuda Triangle, but ends up running in another potential member as well as another battle to overcome. Up to this point Thriller Bark is another arc I simply faced as another location, it is a ship though that is quite big enough to maybe be mistaken for an island, since there is a castle, forest and grave yard on it. Many location in One Piece reminds me of how small humans really are, and overall, the villains in this one are quite detestable. I wasn’t as fond of Perona and it really gave me a huge laugh to see that she gets defeated by Ussop. At points of the crew’s battle with Oz, there are some funny moments. In the end, Gekko Moriah is set to be a making an appearance again in latter chapters.

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Volumes to be read, some missing - but later read.

Thus this ends my reading quest for the manga at the moment. One reason why I am on hiatus for the anime, is mostly because of a bad worry at Impel Down. I am lucky that most people I know won’t tell me what happened.But with the American release catching up to the manga in Japan. I am getting into the mindset of reading the manga before watching the anime. Also in December, 2010, Oda will be releasing his latest Color Walk, which is the manga artbook series of this series… which I absolutely am drooling to purchase.

Kimi ni Todoke – Midway Review (8-9)

December 7, 2009 4 comments

Ahh so this my impressions of a midway point for this series. Since there is only going to be 12 episodes, this blog entry is slightly delayed. But so far, I have been ooohing and ahhhing over the series. Mainly because the show is cute and the art is nice to look at. All sparkly and such.

In the ninth episode, I just noticed how nice it was where Kazehaya fans himself with a paper while he blushes. That movement just seems so smooth, I can only imagine how much paper it would take for the cells to be like. Then I recall that this is a Production I.G. anime, so most likely scenes is a computer generated movement, with some cells, but not every movement a cell drawn image.

So the pattern of Sawako being pretty embarrassed to having that much friends continues, but with the interactions of other characters other than herself, it makes the work more exciting to look at.

There are several elements thing that plagues this work, and puts in my book as a shoujo that is not as bad to watch as other *series.* The issue is the continuing jealousy and love triangle that would should bring some conflicts to the shy relationship of Sawako and Kazehaya. Nearly everyone around them, would know of their feelings for one another, except for the main couples themselves. Gendomike of Anime Diet wrote his perspective on points that I feel that might be relevant to where my idea is going.

I don’t particularly care about how this would probably end the anime, since there is only twelve episodes scheduled. But I also realized that this is a high school situation, probably not realistic to reality at all. The conclusion of the anime is going to be prompting any viewers to go to the manga, as they have with series like Kare Kano or Fruits Basket, or Special A.

I don’t really recall much shoujo series being animated for the entire series, other than Fushigi Yuugi, Ayashi no Ceres, Marmalade Boy and Hana Yori Dango, but even then those might have some differences that I am not aware of. I still have yet to read the manga yet, but yes the manga will be continuing the series. I will probably miss the anime when it ends though.

Categories: Anime

Kimi ni Todoke Impressions

October 20, 2009 7 comments

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Ahh.. well this was on a mental list of mine to check out for Fall 2009, and so far of the anime I have seen and it hasn’t disappointed me for the bit, unlike some other anime titles. I am looking forward to reading Viz’s release of this manga.

So far have seen the first two episodes, and while the artwork is slightly softer or perhaps more linear than what I am expecting. I really like the backdrops of Japanese rural towns. I do have some fears, better throw that out before I get upset that my worries did come true.

Hoping that this anime won’t be repeating its themes all the time. So far audience knows that Sawako is really scary to look at, but if she continues to have that kicked/accepting complex, it would be pretty repetitive, and turn off. She better develop a backbone, and accept the friendship before tearing or getting shy all over the place. However, this may be the metamorphism of her character from a shy caterpillar to a butterfly, so I will be watching this series with a keen eye.

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The love love implications between Sawako and Kazehaya are really cute though, first love. Somehow in my mind I am brought back to the same feelings, I experienced when I watched Kare Kano back in High School. They’re similar, and not similar titles.

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Hearing Sawako’s seiyuu as Mamiko Noto makes me pretty happy. I liked her in Jigoku Shoujo, but so far haven’t been able to persist with much of her series. So hearing her as Sawako is pretty sweet.

Categories: Anime Tags: ,

Personal speculations on a release of an anticpated series?

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

As I was in the midst of updating categories, and checking old youtube links to see if the videos were dead or not.. I came across this youtube video, and am in the process of pinching myself to see if this is going to be reality or not.. If this news is accurate, then am very very glad that the series is coming over. Will have see it dubbed or not. But the excitement is probably going to give me palpitation.. >_< Slightly disappointed that the 80's version is not going to be translated, but if I can see the 90's versions in full.. then..

Categories: Anime

Ristorante Paradiso – Low Self-Esteem picker upper

April 26, 2009 2 comments

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My mood probably picks up as night time draws near. I don’t believe I am going to be blogging much about this series, but this is among my anime to watch this season. A slice of life anime without any frills or grills, as Random Curiosity points out. There always seem to be a message in slice of animes, that makes me like them so. A point made in Episode 3 made me think of my own life.

Nicolette said that she is jealous of other people’s lives, at the fullness of other people’s lives. That is a common reaction for people who has a low self-confident for their lives. and this is what I worry about a lot. It is a human sin to be envious. But if it’s human nature, it will happen irregardless.

Still watching episode 3 reminds me of what it is, and how often the truth behind a smiling face can be oh so different. Wonder how will this anime turn out.

Anyhow.. life is going to be going on, and I am always searching the correct answer on how to become more confident on life. Still working on it, but I know if I escape by watching some anime, then I can probably see what would happen. Then try to focus my life on improving in that angle.

Categories: Anime

Impressions of Saki: Episode 3

April 22, 2009 Leave a comment

So this episode began the conflicts.. and rivalry feelings occur between Nodoka who I though felt jealous for Saki’s + – ability. Not fun for Saki to hold out against Nodoka who wants to win with all her might.

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Give me back those scenes of the players playing those mah jong games. That is my reason for watching this anime, just to watch the technical fantastical mah-jong hands.

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I can’t say that I am addicted to this game, but following the trends of seeing a lot of the older generation Asians play this games, makes me really want to play it, but can’t so I follow from afar, just as I do with Go.

I was kinda annoyed that the reporter pointed out her big boobs. Then what type of anime is this, shoujo? Does this mean that in Japan, the standard is for any games manga or anime, that the target audience is for guys?

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Still the sempai has entered their mah jong club into competitions, so let’s see more of those goddess battles, and with the characters winning and losing, eventually I guess this anime would bring about the message of the fact that the characters must go on, even if other enemies will be stronger than them. Next episode is featuring the cosplay situation.. >_<

Categories: Anime

Impressions of Saki – Episode 2

April 15, 2009 2 comments

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Good grief, from the eternal blush to pulling out the Goddess/Megumi card. I am still very skeptical of continuing this series, but I can’t help continue with it. This is one of those series where the protagonist will go from feeling insignificant to discovering that they love the conflict, and then try to surpass to become the best.

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Typical shonen plot, that had me wanting to smack my palm to my head several times, when I watched 25 episodes of History’s Strongest Disciple, before quitting the series, on the reason that it became too much to bear. Same thing that happened with so many shonen series, that I fear this will be the same path of Saki. This episode they showed the god like strenght of playing mah jong at the best, with these god like unbelievable hands – and then they reveal a sad background for the protagonist. Still a lot of barrier for those who don’t really understand the game, so technical details will be lost for those novice to playing the game (ie. self included)

I am not really searching for that excuse to cut watching the series, since this was on a mental list of mine to watch in Spring 2009. But man what a surprise.

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