When I first started watching One Piece, I had no idea what manga was. I was just learning about anime, so I was what you could refer to as n00b. When a friend first showed me the manga I thought, “What’s all this? I can’t make sense of what’s going on, everything’s so cramped and tiny. And what’s up with the art?”
At that time my only complaint with the anime was that it kept stopping and starting over again, so I kept seeing the same episodes over and over. That and I couldn’t help but wonder why Nami was clawing at her shoulder…and then a few seconds later Luffy is standing next to her and…is that a knife? So yeah. I didn’t see it uncensored the first time. Fortunately I was in Switzerland at the time, so we got the German Dub, and I was blissfully unaware of the existence of 4Kids.
So, seeing the same episodes over and over again, obviously there were going to be certain arcs that I’d dread the most. We all have our least favorite storylines for whatever we watch, or read. In my case I came to hate the Baratie and Drum Island Arcs. Both of them just always struck me as incredibly boring, and I always skipped over them when they came on TV.
Then, for a few years, I stopped watching One Piece.
Years later I decided to get back into the series. I’d just finished reading Bleach and Naruto all the way through, and was well on my way to becoming a true Otaku (well, actually fake, since I think part of really being an Otaku is that you have to be Japanese). I remembered how much I loved the series when I was younger, it ranked right up there with Ranma 1/2 for me at the time. So I decided to ignore the art, and give the manga a try. I think I skipped the Baratie and Drum Island Arcs.
Cut forward to a year later, I start buying the One Piece tankobon. I tell myself, I’m going to read them all the way through, and I do, including the Baratie Arc. Which actually was pretty awesome.
I continue buying and reading, and finally make it to my second most hated One Piece Arc, Drum Island. I start off enjoying Luffy carrying Nami up to the mountain (I’m a shipper, don’t blame me), which I always liked. Then we get to the flashback, which are hard to get right, in any series. By the end of the flashback I was sobbing like a baby. Keep in mind I was reading this on the bus, so I quickly put the book away. Last thing I need is to look like a dork and a sissy.
So, I can officially say:
ONE PIECE HAS NO BORING ARCS!!!