My absolute favorite story of all time is the Japanese manga ‘One Piece’. I began watching the One Piece anime in 2003. My local TV station aired new shows constantly in its anime section. From episode 2, which was the first one I saw, I was hooked from its easy and lighthearted adventure which were great and a joy to watch. A pirates theme was something fresh and fun. The action and the characters simply drew me into the story like no other story has done before. The characters did not just look awesome, but they were also very nuanced and detailed. Zoro is strong and silent. Name is a thief. Usoppen is a liar. He crafted characters you care about. Characters you simply have to love.
The superpowers, which are called devil fruit-powers, were simply awesome. My friends and I debated a lot about them. In the beginning of the show, until episode 193, which were the first ones shown, I never saw how impressivly creative it was. Like the Bara Bara no Mi from Buggy. A character that could split his body parts. Is Eiichiro Oda even aware of how awesome this idea is? Or a person which body parts could explore only to use his own booger to explore. Is he aware of how creative this is? He did not simply took something and said: This is a super power. Like Lufffy’s Gumo Gumo no Mi. He cannot simply stretch, he can also pump up his blood to attack quicker. He has developed idead to an extend I cannot even think. I would never come up wich such an idea in regard to a person whose body is made of rubber.
I began reading the manga in 2007, beginning with the Thriller Bark arc. Until I became a writer myself. When I came up with the first ideas for stories, plots and twists, I analyzed the One Piece-mythology on the One Piece-wikia (www.onepiece.wikia.com). One of the first things I saw was, that nothing (!), absolutely nothing has been done before in other creative works. I looked up the devil fruit users and was intrigued by them. A rubber man, except Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four-comic, has not been done before. Ever then I saw how all the islands they visited, were never imagined before either. Then the big picture of One Piece opened up to me: Nothing in One Piece has been done before! Beginning with the world, which is parted in four oceans, north, west, east and south blue, the Grand Line, which its magnetic routes, ’till the devil fruit users powers like hormones, wax, bombs, earthquake. Look it up on the Wikia up above. It is impressive, believe me.
Not only the superpowers, but also the places. The islands and places the protagonists visit are so unique you have to wonder. How does he come up with this stuff? He crafted a world beyond my own imagination. Even in my wildest dreams, I, could not think up this stuff.
I wasn’t just the biggest fan of One Piece before, now I am the greatest admirer of its author Eiichiro Oda. He managed to do, what barely any creative writer has done: Creating a new and original world. Full of characters with unique traits, like their laughing style. With characters that look and feel like real individuals. With ambitions, plans, emotions. People who sought power, people who sought to be a good person, people who sought to be simply strong or the very best in their discipline. The whole saga is a new world. That’s why One Piece is the greatest story ever told.