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'One Piece': Fictional, yet conveys real life ideals to strive for

One Piece, created by Eiichiro Oda
Image courtesy of Viz Media via

Pirates on the sea with unique powers.

Sea monsters with razor sharp teeth.

A boy who dreams of becoming king of the pirates.

Can ‘One Piece’ be considered as real?

Some say no.

Others say it’s just an anime and can’t be taken seriously. It is about pirates on the sea with extraordinary powers after all. However, if you pay attention to more than the graphics and the powers, you will see that One Piece is popular because the ideas are real to its fans.

Building friendships.

Like many anime out there, One Piece is based on a journey- on the seas to find the Grand Line and reach the One Piece. On that journey Luffy very astutely realizes he cannot do this alone. He meets Sanji, Nami, Usopp, Chopper, and a pirate hunter named Zoro and they are vastly different from each other. Yet on their journey of facing down monsters and foes and each other, they will literally fight to the death for their friends as the Enies Lobby episode exemplify with the capture of Nico Robin.

Leadership and tough choices.
In later episodes, Luffy becomes more serious as he realizes his authority is being questioned and he even finds time to “upgrade” his powers. Zoro listens to Luffy and actually follows his orders, but Luffy is not emotionless, nor is he very analytical- he feels bad for making really tough decisions but as Zoro said, “This is what it means to be a leader.”
Luffy also knew what his ship will need: a navigator, a swordsman, a cook, a doctor, an inventor- he was smart enough to know he will need a crew of talent and not just himself.

Encountering love and loss.
On any journey, real and imagined, we all find love in some form and suffer great loss. Luffy and his friends(The Strawhats), have lost friends along the way. But you can feel the love Luffy has for his crew when they banter with other and when they are there for each other, something that is rarely seen in real life.

By now you should see that although One piece is a story of the pirate age- a fictional one; the concepts of friendship, leadership and love are ideals we strive for as real people.

Eiichiro Oda, just want us to see it in a new light.

You can get the Water Seven Saga from Amazon.

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