One Piece is a manga written and illustrated by Japanese mangaka Eiichirō Oda. On the other hand, Toei Animation makes the anime that adapts the manga, being broadcast on Fuji TV from October 20, 1999 to the present. With more than 1,000 episodes, One Piece is one of the longest-running anime series in history, and in this article, we are going to tell you whether One Piece is worth watching or not.
One Piece is not only worth watching, it is an absolute must-see for all anime fans. Whether you’ll actually stick around for the whole 1,000+ episodes or not, One Piece is a show that you have to see at one point in your life if you’re a true anime fan. As a member of the “Big Three”, One Piece is not just a critical and commercial masterpiece, but also a historically important title that you cannot ignore.
In the rest of the article, we are going to discuss the historical importance of the One Piece anime, thereby telling you exactly why you need to watch the show and why it is as good as you’ve heard it is. You’re also going to find out whether it is better to watch the subbed or dubbed version of the show.
Is One Piece worth watching?
Now, to give you a full insight into this question, we have decided to talk about the cultural impact and the critical acclaim that One Piece has received over the years.
The success of One Piece is almost immeasurable and while the critics don’t agree that it is the best anime in terms of quality, it is definitely the best in the commercial sense, especially if you tie the anime’s success to the success of the manga. Here are some numbers from which you can see how successful the series is in terms of finances:
|Year||One Piece content revenue in Japan|
|2012||¥28.9 billion ($362 million)|
|2013||¥16.5 billion ($169 million)|
|2014||¥15.6 billion ($147 million)|
|2016||¥15.5 billion ($142 million)|
|2017||¥12.5 billion ($111 million)|
|2018||¥18.9 billion ($171 million)|
|2019||¥16.1 billion ($148 million)|
|2020||¥22.5 billion ($217 million)|
|2012 to 2020||¥146.5 billion+ ($1.467 billion+)|
|Fiscal period||One Piece earnings|
|April 2003 to March 2012||¥14.946 billion ($187.32 million)|
|April 2012 to March 2013||¥6.186 billion ($77.53 million)|
|April 2013 to March 2014||¥5.289 billion ($63.38 million)|
|April 2014 to March 2015||¥5.537 billion ($58.39 million)|
|April 2015 to March 2020||¥40.973 billion ($395.87 million)|
|April 2020 to December 2021||¥18.472 billion ($173.01 million)|
|April 2003 to December 2021||¥91.403 billion ($955.5 million)|
As you can see, the complete franchise’s income is counted in billions, making it one of the most lucrative individual franchises in history. Now, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a guarantee of quality, but it usually is, since, as you can deduce for yourselves, no company would keep airing a horrible show for more than two decades. But, how was the anime received in general?
In February 2001, One Piece ranked ninth among Japan’s favorite television series. In a 2005 poll on the Japanese television network TV Asahi’s website, One Piece ranked sixth among the “most popular anime series.” It was also ranked fifth in Japan’s Newtype magazine’s September 2006 top 100 anime.
Speaking of the anime series, THEM Anime Reviews’ Bradley Meek said the series is high-impact and full of imaginative ideas that are well leveraged without getting lost in long-winded or in-depth explanations. He also described the Straw Hat crew as one of the most successful cast of protagonists in the anime landscape.
The Italian site Everyeye.it instead highlighted the motivational theme of the story of chasing one’s dreams with strength and will, which makes the protagonist Luffy easily identifiable by the spectators. As for the technical sector, Active Anime’s Margaret Veira appreciated the animation, stating that “it gives life and remains faithful to the style and characters of the manga.”
As for the ratings, we know that the anime have been very well-received by fans around the world. The first episode of the anime adaptation earned a viewer rating of 12.4%, behind Pokémon and ahead of Ojamajo Doremi in Japan, which was an amazing feat. Also, in Japan, One Piece has consistently been among the top five animated shows in television viewer ratings, as of 2020, which we have already established in an earlier paragraph.
When international online video platforms are concerned, the One Piece anime managed to get 1.9 million demand expressions per month in 2016, which ultimately made it the year’s most popular anime and the fourteenth most popular TV show (in general) in the world, according to the Business Insider magazine. In the United States, where One Piece can be viewed via the Hulu streaming platform, the show was 2018’s most binge-watched television show in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin, which is not much (only two states), but other states aren’t far behind, we’re certain.
The overall importance of One Piece is, as you have seen, quite obvious and it cannot be denied that One Piece is one of those shows that a true anime lover absolutely has to see. Sure, the series has more than 1,000 episodes and if you haven’t been there from the very beginning, you might have trouble catching up but it’s not impossible and it is definitely worth it in every aspect.
One Piece has a lot of stories for you that you need to watch and we advise you to go into this endeavor. It won’t be easy catching up, but the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy are something that is worth your attention. On top of that, it is a true historical masterpiece and a part of anime history; One Piece is, in fact, the only active “Big Three” anime series from the golden age of the genre.
If you add all of this together, it becomes absolutely clear why watching One Piece makes absolute sense. It is a truly great story that will lead you on some amazing adventures and, ultimately, make you enjoy all the way.
You’ve read all the praises we have for this show, both ours and of other experts in the field. If this isn’t enough to make you run and watch One Piece, we don’t know what else would help you!
Is One Piece Better in subbed or dubbed format?
Well, this is a question that has little to do with the show itself and more with the issue of how well English-language dubs are done. Now, One Piece is a shonen work so the dub is always worse than the original version, but regardless of that fact, personally, we’d still prefer the original version with subtitles, which is why we would advise you to watch that version, instead of the dubbed one.
Should you watch the One Piece anime before the upcoming live-action series?
Although it won’t be necessary plot-wise, we do advise that you watch the anime series before the live-action one, simply to get a full grasp of the world of One Piece and to have a better appreciation of the whole franchise.