One Piece

Rating: 2½ Rampages

Episodes seen: 1-3 of ? Mister Rolling-pin-axe-hand strikes again!

The legendary "Pirate King" Gold Roger is dead, and a golden age of Pirates has begun. Vicious corsairs everywhere are searching for his treasure, the One Piece - but they've no clue where to find it. Enter this weird kid named Monkey D. Luefy. Rendered virtually indestructible (and rubbery) thanks to a mysterious fruit he ate as a child, he's decided he's going to find the One Piece and become the Pirate King. There are a few setbacks to deal with first, however...lack of a ship and crew, to begin with. But Luefy isn't letting trifling matters like that get him down, not when there's treasure to find and bad guys to beat up!

The cast

Herself the Elf sez: Okay, this show is just weird, but I'm not sure if it's good weird or bad weird. It was so excruciating at first that I actually had to force myself to keep watching after the first episode. It did grow on me a bit; some parts are funny, but on the whole I got more enjoyment out of riffing it.

The character designs are unbelievably dumb and look like they were done by a 14-year-old--Captain Morgan with his rolling-pin axe hand (?!) and his son who dresses like a colorblind pimp, for example, or Zorro (yes, Zorro) and his three-sword technique (one in each hand, and one in his teeth...suuure)--and Luefy looks like he's always on crack with that creepy maniacal grin he's always wearing. The names are really dumb too (as evidenced by Luefy's name above), and many of the characters are so obnoxious as to be difficult to watch.

Luefy is entertaining at times, usually due to his Mr. Fantastic rubber-boy abilities. He's kind of an idiot-savant, bouncing cheerfully around in his quest to become Pirate King, and incidentally trouncing bad guys sort of as a side note. It's occasionally funny, but the humour is really over-the-top and not really to my taste; in addition, the plot is really wonky and doesn't really make much sense.

The animation quality is barely average, and certainly not what I'd expect from a new show. The music is fairly unremarkable; occasionally they'll use some nice orchestral music, but other times it's synth-crap, and the opening and closing songs are rather annoying.

It's certainly a novel premise for an anime; the pirate adventure genre hasn't really had much of an anime treatment, but after looking at One Piece I'm not so sure that's a bad thing. If you're a huge fan of anything pirate-related and/or the Victorian sea-adventure story, you might get a kick out of One Piece. Otherwise, I'd pass it up for something better.

Available fansubbed.

Created 26-10-01