With the One Piece manga only 22 chapters away from 1,000 and the anime only 71 episodes away, it’s a daunting task to try and catch up on the series from the beginning. There are so many episodes to watch and chapters to read, starting in on the shonen epic is intimidating, to say the least.
Since 1997, One Piece has rewarded its most ardent fans with a consistent flow of exciting content. The series has managed to stay relevant and prevalent not just because of its longevity, but because the manic, wildly imaginative story and characters appeal to fans across generational lines. The tale of Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Crew is one that has survived for two decades because of the dedication of series creator Eiichiro Oda and the fans of his work. That said, One Piece is massive. Is the last of the Jump Big 3 really worth the time it takes to get through? Is it even possible to jump in this late in the game?
The world of One Piece a vast one, intricately woven with its own history and unique locales with their own stories to tell. Beyond the typical shonen drag-out battles, Luffy’s world gives readers and watchers something to really marvel at, as Oda makes each place the Straw Hats visit truly memorable. Unfortunately, a sprawling world makes for a sprawling story – which isn’t always great for drawing in new fans. With the show clocking in at 925 episodes, that’s over 600 hours of anime. Assuming one watches 10 episodes a day, it would take over three months to finish. Meanwhile, the manga has 975 chapters and 96 volumes. Reading is considerably faster since there’s no filler, but reading at a pace of three to five volumes a day will still take weeks.
No matter the angle of approach, trying to catch up on One Piece is a mighty undertaking. No matter how fast one reads, or how much one streams, it’s almost impossible to consume enough One Piece to get up to speed in just a week or two. But that might be a good thing. Neither the One Piece manga or anime will be finished by the end of the year, so those sadistic enough to try and catch up on the series as quickly as possible should really consider slowing down. One Piece is a series meant to be savored, fans are meant to grow with the characters and journey with the Straw Hats as if they were one. Speeding through the story just to catch up might mean missing out on the true experience altogether. Easing through One Piece is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy it, taking the time to truly indulge in the series is a chance to find the same bliss one might in an old anime favorite.
So, yes, One Piece is still worth reading, and definitely worth catching up on – but maybe not just yet. Unfortunately, with no end in sight for the franchise’s eternal story, the better option might just be to enjoy it later down the line, no matter how tempting the call of the Grand Line may be.
With the series nearing 1,000 chapters AND 1,000 episodes, is it even possible to catch up on One Piece?