Teens in Comics: One Piece

One_Piece,_Volume_61_Cover_(Japanese)

One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

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For anyone who assumes that the manga One Piece is a possible capitalization off of the ‘pirate trend’ resurrected from Pirates of the Caribbean, you’re WRONG. Created by Eiichiro Oda in 1997(and still counting as of 2014!), One Piece is an adventure series that follows the escapades of fifteen-year-old Monkey D. Luffy and his quest to become Pirate King. He assembles a crew of quirky characters whom he meets along the way.

Along with the pirate theme, there is a magical twist to this storyline; Devil Fruit, a magical substance that gives powers to the person who eats it. In Luffy’s case, he gains the ability to stretch his body like rubber.

This series is incredibly popular in Japan with good reason. While the narrative and themes featured in One Piece are very Eastern (themes of freedom, yin yang morality), the character designs and art style are greatly inspired by Western cartoons. This gives the series a familiar feel while still coming off as innovative and new.

If you can get past the artistic style, which can be chaotic at times, this series is great for newcomers to the manga format.

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