One Piece Fans Were Right! OH NO! - Part 1: Character Design

One Piece Fans Were Right! OH NO! - Part 1: Character Design

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you might have noticed there was a bit of a gap between my last two videos the single biggest gap in the entire history of this channel in fact and there are a few reasons for that between moving and flying to the anime Awards and back it's just been a super busy stressful month but also I recently made the mistake of starting one piece the manga specifically and we all know how that goes look guys I didn't want the one piece fans to be right but the one piece fans were right this series is so good
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and like everyone who starts one piece I now want to do nothing but talk about it all the time I'm not gonna do that there are a lot of other great anime that are equally worth talking about probably don't want to forget about them but as a compromise as I work my way through this massive story I am definitely going to be talking about it a lot and today I'd like to kick that off by explaining why I think the series character designs from what I've read up to the reverse Mountain arc are the best
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like maybe out of anything ever tiny asterisk specifically I'm gonna talk about the five straw hats I've met so far and their initial appearances before they enter the grand blind as well as a few of the early major villains because while I could also analyze the designs of all of the unique villagers pirates and other supporting characters who've appeared in what I've read so far if I did that we'd literally be here forever and not even the one piece fans want that I mean they've got more one piece to read and watch I want this video and
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the others I'm no doubt gonna make to serve as a showcase of just some of the reasons this series is so critically acclaimed the insane depth present behind seemingly everything that Eiichiro Oda does but also it's a warning an example of what this series does to people it's too late for me now I already feel myself becoming one of them but maybe I can help inoculate some of you against it just a little by preparing you for how good some parts of it are before I inevitably become incapable of saying any sentence that's
02:03
not a direct recommendation to watch or read it and maybe just maybe if I do that when you inevitably start reading it because I'm just that care maduk and convincing one of you might not be totally blown away by everything that's great about it all at once and you might be able to retain just enough of your sanity to help the rest of us please it's our only hope anyway character designs but first this video is sponsored by audible it can be hard to find time to read in our busy
02:34
modern corporate dystopia but with audibles space-age hands-free audio book technology you can take in your favorite stories on commutes at the gym while playing video games or well unpacking your house and building furniture as I've been doing lately visit audible.com slash basement or a txt basement - 500 500 to get listening today or stick around to the end of the video to hear more when talking about one pieces character designs it's impossible to avoid discussing the series distinct some might say cartoony art style
03:05
because the two are inextricably intertwined where the apparent majority of anime and manga aim for the same rough aesthetic target of characters with realistic proportions simplified features and exaggerated eyes and mouths to maximize their overall expressiveness one piece kinda just does its own thing its characters are goofy looking with an incredibly wide range of caricatured facial features and exaggerated often downright strange body types plus the the one that almost all of the women
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have that that's the asterisk this is still very much a shounen manga that said one piece is also still very much a shounen manga so while it's characters wouldn't look out of place in toontown the series still strives for a kind of anime realism it's not just that this is how Eiichiro Oda happens to draw his characters this is what their bodies actually look like these strange bodies are treated and framed like solid objects with meat and bones in them not lines on a page and the laws of physics
04:08
affect them like they would objects of that shape and size in the real world and this means that despite how do fee the characters can look when things get serious it feels real and when fists start flying they carry exactly as much weight behind them as the fists of the coolest-looking shown in tagging us too you can name often much more so actually monkey dee Luffy has a mean left hook there's also just something about the simple appealing larger-than-life look of this world and
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these characters that makes it that much more impactful when the series tugs on your heartstrings er sails into darker waters the world these cartoon characters inhabit is kind of horrific when you think about it the government sucks you can't go swimming because monsters will eat you there are fish men's supremacists who can turn whole buildings over with their bare hands colonizing human islands and killing and enslaving people and also oh yeah I almost forgot there's [ __ ] pirates everywhere
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pirates are terrifying the realism with which this series treats its fantastical escapist setting extends to how it handles its characters the Pirates we meet in one piece especially the straw hat crew are complex authentic human beings with complicated pasts and reasons for being the way they are that are reflected in how they carry themselves how they dress and what they choose to carry with them they're also living action figures like the really cool kind with the kung fu grip and
05:40
other gimmicks every major character in one piece has a different cool power or unique fighting style an iconic action that only they perform and their whole bodies are designed to accentuate that action for maximum impact make it look as cool as possible while they do it while also reflecting the kind of person they are their history and what matters to them most take ax hand Morgan for example I'll give you non viewers exactly one second to guess how he fights dude wouldn't look out of place
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in a GI Joe lineup [ __ ] I can practically see the little flimsy plastic levers sticking out of his back that makes the axe swing axe hand Morgan is an action figure right down to his action figure name but axe Han Morgan is also a believable authoritarian douchebag so high on toxic masculinity and desperate to project a cool tough-guy image that on top of the usual obsessive body build nonsense that guys like that often take
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part in he replaced his entire dominant hand with the [ __ ] battle ax and also grafted a metal cigar holder to his face in order to hide his butt chin which he's super embarrassed about and that's probably part of why he hates his son also he keeps his hair buzz short because it naturally grows out all silky and long something helmeppo also inherited dude's got some serious self-image issues and none of that is explicitly stated in the text it's all conveyed through how he chooses to look
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and how he acts and he's just a minor villain so you can imagine how well designed and characterized the recurring ones must be vanity is a running theme in the straw hats rogues gallery or at least it seems to be among the villains of east blue and that makes a lot of sense given how these characters are written all of them have some deep-seated insecurity that drives them to pursue power and do violence in order to validate themselves and this manifests in their designs in a variety of ways you can look at buggy the clown
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and simply see yet another scary clown bad guy with knives and he is that but he's also once again a human being one who had the misfortune to grow up around a bunch of tough mean pirates with a naturally big round red nosed buggy has been driven his entire life to prove that he's not just some clown or at least acquire enough power to make those who say he is shut the [ __ ] up and he tries to own the whole clown pirate thing by painting his face with a cool skull and crossbones to prove it doesn't
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really bother him but also he'll murder you just for mentioning it or even just for sounding like maybe you did most of that comes across in just one manga panel when buggy is first introduced the lazy swagger with which he slouches in his captain's chair bare arm and simple t-shirt hanging out of his unnecessarily fancy fur coat paints a perfect picture of who he is a common thug with a nasal Napoleon complex dressing up in the fineries of a pirate captain because that's what he thinks respect is oh and
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speaking of the shirt and also his socks notice how the stripes around his limbs resemble the clean cuts made when he separate his body parts using the power of the chop-chop fruit you know now that I'm looking at him side by side the simplified colorful look of the anime really detracts from how menacing and unhinged Oda manages to make buggy look in the manga it's definitely a poor adaptation in that regard speaking of the manga reading it also means you get to enjoy the wonderful SBS Q&A sections that come after some chapters where Oda
09:19
answers important questions about the one piece universe such as does buggy's power work on his penis and does luffy's power work on his penis the answer to both of those questions is yes anyway this video would again take forever if I ran through all of the bit characters but before I move on I just want to say that I love the way oda themes his villainous pirate crews as buggy is a clown it only makes sense that he would have a circus-themed crew and oda has a
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lot of fun figuring out how to translate the various roles of a circus troupe - as shown in battle pirate context it is just so neat seeing an anime pirate lion tamer or a knife juggling Acrobat who fights on a unicycle and I love that the random crew members look like a sideshow the buggy pirates are just really fun characters so are the black cat pirates for that matter sham and Butchie both look super goofy and adorable while feeling believably menacing as a Volvo esque twisty claw weirdo and big thick
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rasslin boy respectively Butchie somehow manages to be exactly 50% pirate and 50% heavyweight champ it's remarkable and Django mixes things up while still feeling at home among all the cats with his Egyptian look then of course there's Captain Carosi design which is just awesome dude where's 10 katanas on his fingers all the time like it ain't no thing that's close to the coolest interpretation of the whole cat claw glove weapon idea I've ever seen and the rest of his design is equally solid to
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emphasize the humiliation he feels dressing up as a butler for his grand scheme his uniform just has two big ol golden poops on it I love Eiichiro Oda so much sometimes and we can tell that Kuro is always looking down his nose at people because that's literally the only way he can see through his flimsy slippery glasses half the time on that note you gotta love how he pushes those spectacles up with his palms to avoid decapitating himself I know Oda literally mentions it in the story but it's clever enough that he
11:25
deserves to flex a little on that design detail the fact that Kuro won't change those glasses and goes out of his way to smash the nicer ones kaya got for him shows how stubborn and arrogant he is at his core Kuro is convinced that he knows better than everyone all the time even when he's obviously wrong he cares more about proving that he's right and he's got the best smartest plans than actually getting what he wants or what would be best for him and between the glasses and the poop Oda does a wonderful job of capturing what a
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[ __ ] he is while also showing us how great he thinks he is now it's fun talking about villains and one piece has a lot of very fun ones but the series would be nothing without its heroes who are both appealing and empathetic characters and freaking badass cartoon super freaks who do awesome stuff all the time stuff that is facilitated by their excellent designs Luffy's clothing choices scream pirate or possibly castaway or cabin boy either way they're definitely nautical and also definitely
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cheap they're not fancy because he's never really cared about how he looks beyond like a pirate but they are loose comfortable breathable and easy to fight in luffy shorts have rather wide cuffs and a fluffy lining which accentuates how straight and noodly his legs are and allows them to stretch easily without any of the horrible chafing he'd presumably have to deal with in something more grippy the open sleeves and neck on his vest serve much the same purpose you can tell at a glance that Luffy is a brawler with long reach and
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given how lanky rounded and elastic he already looks as soon as you see him stretch it just makes sense that he'd be able to do that and it also immediately makes sense that he hits as hard as he does Luffy's limbs are noodly but they're thick food on noodles with a lot of muscle definition when you look at them up close he looks elastic but sturdy his design also tells us exactly what kind of person he is those loose comfy clothes indicate how much he values freedom the scar under his right eye shows how tough and
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fearless he is in a fight but everything else about his appearance is goofy and friendly just like him his big hands rounded head wide grin and messy hair all give off a distinctly simian vibe true to his name and his straw hat kind of completes the monkey look evoking both a pirate hat and saucer like cartoon chimp ears it defines him visually just as his relationship with shanks which it symbolizes defines his character of course part of what makes Luffy's design so brilliant is the way
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that it changes as he does over the course of the story as do all of the other important characters but I'm not there yet again so yeah monkey dee Luffy is a dumb kid who never realized that the grand tales about noble adventurous pirates doing incredible things that he heard in his youth were mostly exaggerations and lies spilling from the drunken mouths of sailors who robbed other sailors for a living so he decided to become the kind of hero those guys made up and told him about and because
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he was too dumb to ever stop and also basically invincible eventually he did that he looks like a kids idea of a friendly brave pirate because that's exactly what he is at least when the story begins moving on to the other straw hats roronoa zoro is probably the most conventionally anime looking character in this entire series which is super appropriate because as a wandering samurai with a strong code of honor and an unbending will to one day become the best like no one ever was all because of a promise he made to his childhood
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nakooma who died literally the next day Zorro is the most anime guy on this entire friggin Waterworld Zorro is a simple dude who prizes comfort over looks but he does have a better fashion sense than Luffy at least his garb is appropriate for seafaring though not as explicitly piratey as that of his captain but he wears his samurai heart on his sleeve or rather around his waist through his harem Aki at all times also the three huge [ __ ] off swords that are hanging from it which immediately tell you that this is not a dude to be
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mess with and make you feel curious about his gimmick even before he takes on his iconic Santoro style fighting stance his facial features are likewise pretty anime looking and amid all these tunes they immediately make him look like a fighter oda also draws him with a notably strong jaw which like of course he would have zero at least when we first made him is a single-minded character who has devoted his entire life to the blade so of course his blades are the defining feature of his
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design that design changes quickly though as he collects scars from powerful foes permanent reminders carved into his flesh of the hurdles he must overcome to become the world's greatest swordsman but also of the brave things that he's done and the sacrifices he's made to protect his friends speaking of those friends nami wears quite intentionally very unassuming generic clothing when we first meet her a simple nondescript but showy striped t-shirt with sleeves just long enough to cover her our long tat Nami is a thief and in
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her line of work it pays to give as little away about yourself as possible and if you can get people to let their guard down around you so she plays the part of a normal friendly kind of cute girl despite her profession and proclivity for lying Nami is a sentimental and caring person at heart who will do anything for the sake of her friends and family and the tattoo she gets to replace the brand of her enslavement gives her a permanent symbolic connection to her adopted mother and father wherever she goes in the world
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and that's about as much as I can say about her design right now sadly Nami is a really wonderful complex character from a writing perspective but unfortunately not as much of that's apparent in her design as it is with her male contemporaries her outfit is in constant flux seemingly for the sake of fashion and fanservice first and foremost and her facial features have clearly been drawn to make her look pretty before they convey anything about her personality also also due to the same face and body syndrome she really
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looks like she's related to Belle Marin no Chico when it's a very important part of her backstory that she's not and that's just not great character design which is extra disappointing because I know for fact that Oda is more than capable of making adopted siblings look like family without looking related don't get me wrong I think Nami is cute as a button and I personally appreciate the fanservice her design just isn't as strong as that of the other major characters so far and given that she's maybe my favorite character in the main
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cast right now I really think she deserves better I've already mentioned who stops and long-nosed which immediately identifies him as a liar and that fits him perfectly because like his nose his lies are really obvious to everyone around him all the time which is what makes him likable instead of coming off as a duplicitous sleazeball speaking of stereotyping maybe I'm just saying this because who stops bagi utility overalls remind me of Dennis the Menace but between those the lack of a shirt under them sniper goggles and the
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bandanna doesn't he just looked like a guy who'd have and use a slingshot I distinctly remember watching early episodes of this show when I was much younger and thinking as soon as I saw him now that's a dude who uses elastic things to cause problems the fact that who shops closed don't really fit him right hints at his immaturity while also highlighting how scrawny he is if this guy's gonna fight all those big scary pirates it only makes sense that he'd do it at a distance at the same time the fact that he is wearing practical work
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clothes with his hair tied back tell us that he can be a hard worker when he puts his mind to it and the duffel bag stuffed the bursting hanging at his waist indicates that he's resourceful and likes to stay prepared for any situation that bag of tricks is integral to his fighting style he uses his slingshot to deliver a lot of different creative payloads not just rocks it also through its bulk further accentuates just how skinny he really is and that skinny lanky angular frame just happens to look really cool when he drops into a
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wide stance and pulls back his signature weapon if Luffy is designed to stretch then s op is clearly designed to stretch things that weapon is also s ops lone connection in his design at least to his famous marksman father which makes sense because as proud as who Saab is of his dad he never really had a chance to get to know him and most of what he knows about him is that he was a great marksman so OSAP tried to emulate that at a young age using kid-friendly tools instead of
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pistols and ended up becoming a master slingshot user as a result now Sanji the last straw hat pirate we meet in East Blue is his own signature weapon and I just love the simplicity with which his fighting style is conveyed through his design Sanji's entire lower half is basically featureless just two long black conspicuously straight pant legs capping off in a pair of solid polished shoes as soon as you look down from his torso your eye is immediately drawn to
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his feet and the abnormal length of his legs suggests that he can probably swing them pretty hard when need be and yep boy howdy can he ever swing those feet with skill and power that he clearly picked up from his own adopted father figure red shoes F most of Sanji's initial design is influenced by his relationship with his f and his contradictory desire to both uphold the old chef's legacy and stick it to the shitty old geezer at every opportunity Sanji dresses up like a polite respectable waiter putting on a nice
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face for the customers of Zess restaurant up until they piss him off and trying to look as spiffy as he can should a lady happen to walk in while he's on shift but no matter how carefully he cross his hair and presses his pants that extremely chaotic spiral eyebrow is always there peeking through and because he's got a short temper that he needs to actively keep in check and he isn't actually as professional as he makes himself out to be he's basically always got a lit cigarette in his mouth especially when he's working the way
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Sanji keeps his hair swept to one side of his face while leaving that cigarette just sort of dangling out the other makes him look very a symmetrical and therefore off-balance which shows how flimsy his calm and cool persona really is having grown up surrounded by rough-and-tumble pirate cooks and lived through starvation and other hardships at a young age Sanji's the most mature and experienced member of the straw hat crew when he first joins up and he shows that by being the only male crew member with facial hair at the beginning of the story he
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is still young though that beard is still quite thin and while it gives him an air of maturity that scruffy goatee also perfectly suits his horny on Maine teenage idiots I'd with each chapter I read it continually amazes me how much thought has gone into practically every character in one piece 8800 DES really utilizes every element of the manga form to tell as much story as he can as efficiently and artistically as possible and the really amazing thing is that
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he's been doing this since the series began you have no idea how excited I am to see how his character design and storytelling abilities have evolved in the almost two full decades since he wrote the parts I'm reading now for all you one-piece fans who are already caught up I hope this video has been a fun look back at how things used to be and for the curious potential fans who aren't here yet I hope I've made it clear just how cavernous this rabbit hole already is only 100 chapters into
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almost 1,000 stay away from one piece is what I'm saying because if you let it it can and will consume all of your brain of course one piece is inevitable even I couldn't hold it off forever but still for the rest of our sakes I hope that you holdouts keep fighting the good fight of not reading this really good story that everyone should read as long as you can if you're looking for some other good stories to help keep your mind off it for a while today's sponsor audible has you more than covered with
23:48
their massive library of thousands upon thousands of audiobooks they've got enough to keep you busy for three centuries straight every month audible members get one credit to pick any title in their catalogue plus two audible originals from a monthly selection along with access to daily news digests and guided meditation programs that's a lot to choose from so to help you narrow it down I'm gonna recommend you listen to the Discworld series like all 40 books of it Terry Pratchett is perhaps my favorite author ever and if you enjoy high fantasy at all every one of his
24:20
razor-sharp parodies will have you rolling on the floor often while contemplating fascinating philosophical and metaphysical is the entire series is excellent from start to finish but if you'd like some suggestions as to where to start I'd recommend beginning with either Mort the first book in the death series or guards guards the started the same vine saga really though you can't go wrong with any of these audiobooks head to audible.com slash basement or txt basement 500 500 to start your adventures on the Discworld today or you
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could read some other books too I guess before you go let me know in the comments below preferably without spoiling things too bad who your favorite one-piece characters are and why and also what fights from the anime you think would make for good anime lays because I'm reading the manga and I'm not really getting exposed to that stuff and if you'd like to stick around on youtube a little longer consider checking out my breakdown of what exactly is so great about my hero academia or my recent analysis of the fake game design seen in Bo Furi and infinite dendrogram I'm Jeff through
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professional [ __ ] signing out from my mother's basement

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