Wednesday, September 08, 2004

ONE PIECE (collected volume #33)


This is my all time favorite piece of art and litterature. All I can say is it is an epic fairy tail spanning longer than the Illiad by over 8 times. That's a lot of dead trees folks!

What happens when you take Brad Pit and team him up with the likes of Pinochio, the Legendary Zoro, A mysterious Cowgirl Shaman, A princess in disguise, a Bruce Lee wanna' be, and one of Santa's Reindeer? Then you finalize the group by puting them under the command of Reed Richards love child gone wrong, a Hero with what appears to be down syndrome...in the setting of mythical pirate times; enter the imaginative oddity called: ONE PIECE. Maybe some of you have heard of it. It is probably the most famous ANIME and MANGA among teens in Japan now adays, and its name is One Piece, the manga created by master story teller/weaver Eiichiro Oda.

This Manga done by Eiichiro Oda is Dragon Ball Z meets Alice in Wonderland meets the X-Men once upon a time, somewhere over the rain-bow, and it's anything but Kanas. What I mean to say is, it is so strangly unoriginal that it becomes entirely original; in the artistic sense. Oda borrows from every fable, fairytale, and myth imaginable. Whether it be eastern or western myth, Oda plays with the Asian concepts and readings of classical western stories and combines so much conglomerated stuff into one epic adventure that you sometimes fell overwhelmed. But just sometimes. Sure enough, the story is the same old duke it out in Street Fighter/Goku with a bad hair day/Ultimate kung-fu style, but it is told in a quirky and often offbeat way. Sometimes the humor is dark, and other times just too bizarre, and the emotions of the stories are vast, ranging from soulful Operatic feeling to punk rock in your face attitude; but I will say that it is one of the most entertaining and consecutively enjoyable Manga series I have ever read. I bought the entire 33 collected issues to date, and will continue to buy the ongoing. I also bought both feature films on DVD.

Oda Sensei's art is anything but traditional. His characters don't look anime but have a mix between Tim Burton sketches and Alice and Wonderland drawings. They're is this morbid yet wonderful energy in the art that dazzles you with the strangeness of its own design, that you can't help but fall in love with it. Originally I avoided One Piece at all costs. Just like a Pokemon plague, I was refusing to get sucked into the consumer market just because it is some popular trend. But I caved in, and now I am peniless and in love. Extremely dynamic and action packed, constantly laugh out loud funny, with odd situations, strange occurances, and even stranger characters that would give Lewis Carol a run for his originallity... enter the bizarre world of One Piece. Oda aspires to create new re-tellings of classical and traditional tales, and sometimes his Asian perspectice throws me off, but regardless, he has created something entriley new from things all borrowed, and it has struck a chord with audiences all around the world. Now if you don't mind me, I'm going to go watch One Piece anime on TV and read my One Piece manga at the same time.

Small trivia fact: The issue of One Piece shown above, sold over 4 million copies in it's first week of release in Japan. That outsells every major publication in the U.S. combined, for that same month. Japanese love their comics!

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