One Piece is an odd beast in this day and age. There are series like Hajime no Ippo and Detective Conan that have been running as long or longer than One Piece, but none have remained so interconnected and narratively dense. What’s even crazier is that the series is still growing, as more and more people are realizing just how grand the story of One Piece really is.
But, hey, let’s also face it… it’s nearly 1000 chapters of manga, and nearly 900 anime episodes. No one has time for that anymore. But, hey, even in Japan, kids are jumping in just fine compared to Western audiences. So if you’re curious about what the series is like, or you’re just really behind, we’ve got some tips for getting into One Piece.
Play the Games
There’s a weird trend with One Piece games where most of them just recount the entire plot of One Piece. While at first, you might think “Why would they do that when the anime and manga exist?”, there’s an advantage to this. Weirdly, playing a 30-40 hour game is actually much less time than it would take to invest in the story otherwise! These games exist for potential fans to get the gist of the story before jumping into the weekly chapters.
We recommend checking out the mobile game One Piece: Treasure Cruise. It’s free to play and can easily be blown through in a few hours while it summarizes the plot of the series. If you’re looking for something more substantial, Pirate Warriors 3 for Steam, PS4, and Switch is a solid choice. It’s one of the best Musou titles out there and should catch you up to speed with more pizazz than the mobile game could.
Don’t Be Afraid to Skip Arcs
Most people are going to tell you that the One Piece experience requires you to get through it from start to finish. While this is the best experience, it is also just not practical. Author Oda Eiichiro writes One Piece with young children in mind, so most story arcs tend to be written with being a solid beginning, middle, and end in mind even if you don’t know every detail.
If you’re just starting out, we recommend that after you read the first chapter, skip ahead to the Baratie Arc where Sanji is introduced. Many fans consider this to be where you start getting the first real hints at the plot due to the introduction of the Shichibukai. Better yet, this arc leads right into Arlong Park, which is the first “true” One Piece arc. This is the arc where you will be able to tell if One Piece is going to be the series for you. Even if you don’t quite know who Zoro, Usopp, and Nami are, you’ll get a pretty decent sense of their characters in these arcs. Otherwise, if you’re still not sure after reading Arlong Park, just skip all the way ahead to Alabasta, which is when the plot of One Piece really begins.
Take Advantage of Weekly Shonen Jump’s Digital Deal
Of course, what may be even more inconvenient than the time cost is the actual monetary cost. The anime is easy enough to just watch on Crunchyroll, but it just takes up so much time. The manga is more practical and timely to catch up with, but buying it is just so expensive. You may not be lucky enough to live near a library that happens to keep the entire series in stock.
Thankfully, if you live in the US, Weekly Shonen Jump just completely revised their policy. In addition to letting you read new chapters for free for the first 3 weeks, you can pay $2 a month to also get the entire Shonen Jump backlog! This removes a lot of clutter on your bookshelf and will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll feel a little less intimidated by the gargantuan task that is getting caught up with One Piece. Even if you’ve dabbled in the series before, some of these may prove useful for you too!
Do you have your own tips for checking out One Piece? Please, let us know in the comments below!