I have watched One Piece: Stampede. It was finally released in the US the other day (October 24, 2019), and of course I decided to watch it on the first day 😁🙈 I won’t talk about it, though, except that it’s really great, right from the start towards the end. A true One Piece fan must watch it 😍👍 And so I remember I haven’t written about One Piece for a while.
I have written several things about One Piece before, read here, and especially this one here. But I guess I haven’t written anything about why I love One Piece or other things that I can learn from One Piece. Aside from the fact that I grew up with One Piece, I think I really love the story. Yes, it’s long (2019 is the 20th anniversary!!!) but it feels really like yesterday. One Piece’s story is really like life itself. Everything seems well planned from the beginning and it doesn’t feel like it’s being prolonged just to follow or make use of the hype or its popularity. Some people call it foreshadowing, like when one thing happens in One Piece, it’s actually been hinted or foreshadowed in the old episodes or chapters, only if we paid more attention to it. So, yeah, everything is great. Everything is connected. Storyline wise. I mean, some people might comment on the drawing techniques and such, but I’m not expert at that, so I’m not gonna comment on it. Besides, I can’t really draw or make anime myself, so I think everyone who can draw manga or make anime is really great. Hence, I focus only on the story.
Well, okay, without further ado, let’s just continue with the reasons I love One Piece, or what I can learn from One Piece.
- Nobody’s perfect and that’s alright.
When I talked about Sanji (read here), I said that it’s hard to pick a favorite character in One Piece. Seriously, everyone has their own charms and charisma. Everyone is cool even with their silliness. Nobody’s perfect and that’s alright. And I really mean this, I mean, it means a lot to me. Many of us tend to search for perfection or try to be perfect. In One Piece, however, we’re presented with all these silliness and weaknesses and we can still love the character. Let’s take some examples. Luffy. He’s strong, kind, genuine, pure, etc. But sometimes he really looks stupid and silly. Like, we cannot really rely on him when it comes to planning, right? Definitely not. But do we hate him? No. We’re okay with that. We love him the way he is. We don’t wish him to be smarter or such. We simply accept him for the way he is. Now, if we can do this with a fictional character, why can’t we do so with a real character around us? Anyway, we’re gonna discuss this on the next point. Now let’s continue with other characters. Zoro. He’s strong and loyal. Totally cool, except that he loves to sleep and almost always gets lost. We cannot trust him with directions. LoL Sanji. He’s strong and great at cooking. But he’s kinda perverted (and he smokes ☹ I don’t like smokers ☹), but I’ve talked about it in more details before (here), so let’s not repeat it here 😁🙈 Then, we have Nami, Usopp, Chopper, Robin, Franky, Brook, Jinbe, etc. We can continue listing their pluses and minuses if we want to, but let’s just not because not only that everyone might have different opinion, but also because the point here is that, yes each has their strengths and weaknesses and that’s alright. Nobody’s perfect and that’s alright. We are not perfect, and that’s alright. We can still love ourselves. We can still love those around us. Of course we can always try to be a better person, but having weaknesses shouldn’t be a reason that we should hate ourselves. In other words, I think One Piece really teaches me this: to see myself and others differently, to love myself and others despite our weaknesses, without demanding for my and their perfection.
- Respect, Friendship-and Relationship
One Piece teaches me about friendship and relationship in general. First, about friendship. I’ve written in the previous post that nobody’s perfect and that’s alright. And I guess that’s what matters in friendship and relationships. We are not perfect but we can complete each other, we need each other. Each might have weaknesses, but each can be reliable when needed, and that’s what matters. In One Piece, it’s well portrayed through the role of each character: Zoro as the swordsman, Sanji as the cook, Nami as the navigator, Usopp as the sniper (and all his great “tactics and strategies” despite his cowardness. I mean, he has those weaknesses but he’s lovely!), Chopper as the doctor (he might not be as strong as the others but he’s got an important role too!), etc. And what matters more is I think the fact that, despite the rank of strengths and all, nobody feels superior than one another. Everyone is equal. Everyone is as important. Everyone is needed and loved equally. Well, okay, except maybe occasionally they love to fight each other and compete on who’s stronger, like Zoro and Sanji. Haha But I guess it’s just for comical effects, because when things get serious, they know that those things don’t matter, what matters is that they fight together to achieve a common goal. And, really, this equality thing is depicted well through Luffy’s character. I forget which chapter or episode it is, but there is this scene where Luffy says something about his nakamas/friends. We all know that he treasures all of his nakamas. He’s going to go all out to protect them, but some people think “nakamas” will just be on his way. Many even look down on his nakamas and even try to insult them, and to this Luffy always stands up for them and defends them. I remember in that scene, Luffy says something like, “I might be strong, but I still need my friends. I cannot cook. I cannot navigate. Etc.” The point is, Luffy acknowledges his weaknesses and he treasures his nakamas not because he is using them but because he respects them for the things he cannot do. He doesn’t act cocky and superior just because he’s super strong. He remains humble and sees his friends as great. And, oh, if you watched One Piece: Stampede (warning: spoilers ahead), there’s this scene where the villain, Douglas Bullet, mocked Usopp about how weak he was and suggested that Luffy get rid of such weak people in his team. But to that, Luffy says, “Then, who will I party with?” It might mean nothing for some people, maybe it’s trivial or menial, but for me, it’s really touching. We all know how weak and cowardly Usopp is, but even so, he means a lot to Luffy. Despite all that, Luffy respects and loves him greatly. And I guess that’s how true friendship should be. We don’t have to act cocky or feel superior towards our friends.
And, about relationship, I mean familyhood here. What I can learn from One Piece: The bond we have should not be limited to or based on blood relation. Sometimes those outside our blood-related family can mean more. We can see at least from Sanji’s and Nami’s story here. Sanji is abandoned by his own family because he’s thought as failure and such disgrace to the family, but he’s raised with love by an outsider, who he grew to respect a lot. And of course, his friends mean a lot to him too. Then, Nami. She’s brought up by Bellemere like her own child despite the fact that they’re not blood related. Her love is unconditional, and we can truly see it from reading the manga or watching the anime. Bellemere’s love is simply indisputably unquestionable. Well, of course we also have Luffy and Ace, who were taken care of by Dadan. Also, we can also see the brotherhood between Ace, Sabo, and Luffy even though, again, they’re not blood related. So I guess it teaches us a lot about relationship: that it doesn’t have to be blood-related to have such a strong bond with someone, i.e. it can always be thicker than blood.
- Dreams and Adventures
Well, we all know that everyone in One Piece has their own dreams. Luffy wants to be the King of Pirates, Zoro wants to be the number 1 swordsman in the world, Sanji wants to find All Blue, Nami wants to draw the world map, etc. No dream is grander than one another because everyone’s dream is the grandest to the owner. Except that maybe Zoro often says that Sanji’s dream is cheap. But again, I guess that’s just for comical effect 😂🙈😅✌ But why I put this point here? Well, I guess many of us have this tendency to compare ourselves with one another. Especially with social media, we often feel that others have a better life or greater dreams than ours. Then we feel down, we feel insecure, we feel inferior, etc. We think that our dream is not as good as the others. And sometimes we chase for something that we don’t really want or need just because someone else is chasing it. In One Piece, I was really taught the opposite: That we don’t have to have the same dream as others. That we can have our own adventures. And they’ll still matter the same. I mean, for example, just because Luffy wants to be a pirate king, which is great, I don’t have to dream to be a pirate king as well, right? I can have my own dreams. Sure we can use it as a motivation or some kind of encouragement. The way Luffy and others pursue their dreams is surely inspiring, motivating, and encouraging. But again, we don’t have to copy exactly everything. If we see our friends doing this or that, or having such great dreams, we don’t have to force ourselves to be like them. We don’t have to feel less than them. We can have our own dreams and adventures. And we can focus on that very dream and adventure of ours instead of continuously comparing it to others’.
Well, I guess that’s it for now. I’ll try to write more if I have time or realize something else. Often times, I thought of something but then I forgot to write them. So I’ll try to remember. Well, I know that these things might exist in other mangas/animes too. I’m not trying to compare or say One Piece is better than others. I just happen to love One Piece and share what I love and learn from it. Fans of other mangas/animes might feel the same about their favorite animes/mangas. But One Piece is the one that I love, and since I have no time to watch or follow other manga/anime series, I cannot say much about them. However, I really hope One Piece fans can also learn what I learn from One Piece. I hope they can love and be more respectful, not only towards others but also towards themselves 😊
PS: This post has been too long, but I just remember other things I can learn from One Piece. I’ll post it next time along with some quotes.