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One Piece: 10 Things The Manga Does Better Than The Anime – CBR – Comic Book Resources

As one of The Big Three, One Piece is one of the most popular series in anime history. However, there are many aspects where the manga excels.
One Piece is one of the longest-running and most successful manga of all time. The anime recently celebrated its 1000th episode and it seems like it still has a ways to go before it ends. It’s uncommon for a long-running series to get better as it goes on, but according to fans One Piece is just as good, if not better than it was 10 years ago.
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That said, One Piece isn’t immune to problems. The long running series has cut corners and made changes to the manga’s story. While the anime is universally praised for how it adapted Oda’s manga, there are still aspects of the story, characterization, and world building where the manga is ultimately superior.
Just like every other long-running anime from the early 2000s, One Piece has an issue with pacing. While it doesn’t rely heavily  on filler to make up time, it still uses other tricks to pad out the run time of an episode. One Piece often relies on 2 to 5-minute recaps that take up a huge chunk of each episode. On top of that, the anime often shows a reaction shot of every member of the straw hat crew, which can take up even more time. While the manga can get through the plot quickly the anime tends to take its time, which can be annoying to most fans.
Though most people think of Naruto when it comes to filler, One Piece isn’t immune to the use of filler arcs. While the filler in One Piece is handled better because it’s integrated to take up far less episodes, it still takes away from the main story arc. The episodes are already slow enough due to pacing, so it can be even more annoying for important parts of the story to be broken up by filler. Since the manga doesn’t utilize filler fans can get the story without any padding.
Characters can get lost when the story is adapted from the manga. Extra character pages that go in-depth about the character’s personalities and likes isn’t present in the anime like it is in the manga. The manga also uses supplemental material called Fan Books to give manga readers a more in-depth perspective on the characters and plot.
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For someone who only watches the anime something like the character’s weight and height may not seem all that important, but it makes the characters feel more real and gives them a sense of personality. Anyone who solely watches the anime misses a lot of information about the world and its characters that can grant a new perspective on what One Piece is about.
When an anime is adapting a manga the artists who animate the series have to know how to stay on model. The characters have to look like they do in the manga otherwise it can cause a lot of issues. Just like any other anime, One Piece isn’t the best at this, especially in the earlier episodes. Anyone who wants to see the characters as they were meant to be seen simply has to go back to the manga. Oda’s character designs are top-notch and his artwork really comes to life in the manga.
While small changes to character designs and story don’t seem like a big deal they can change a lot about how the story is interpreted. A lot of these changes are due to censorship, which is an unfortunate result of transferring media to foreign audiences. Besides slight changes in dialogue due to translation, the manga isn’t changed all that much. The manga showcases the One Piece’s story exactly how Oda wants it to be told – it’s the best version of the story.
One Piece can be riddled with serious and often violent moments but that doesn’t mean it shies away from comedy. Considering it lacks the music and voice acting of the anime, the manga is excellent with its comedic timing.
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In fact, the manga tends to succeed where the anime falls flat as the anime can be overly reliant on background music and sound effects – the manga focuses on the actual comedic moments. Since the jokes come from the manga it makes sense that the original would be funnier than the adaptation.
One of the best parts about One Piece is its world-building. No two places are exactly the same throughout the Straw Hat Pirate’s journey, each location is different – they have their own style and culture. Although the anime does a good job at depicting each location in the Grand Line, the anime lacks the vastness that can often be found in the manga. The manga can be incredibly detailed when depicting the various islands and a lot of information gets lost in the animation. While the manga panels lack color, they make up for it in detailing and depth.
Since the anime tends to make little changes to the characters and story there can be a lot of issues with consistency. This was especially true in the early 2000s when the anime changed distributors in the U.S. Fans who watched the series from the beginning had to deal with countless censorship issues and voice acting changes. This was never an issue for fans of the manga since the story came directly from Oda.
With anime pacing issues and use of filler, the episodes didn’t always end at the best moments. It’s sometimes obvious when fights are being saved for other episodes because the characters spend an entire episode monologuing instead of fighting.  Drawn out episodes are frustrating for viewers but this is never really an issue in the manga. With the faster pace and lack of filler, each chapter has a far more satisfactory ending even if it is a cliffhanger.
One Piece is great at excellent character development. Each Straw Hat Pirate has had their moment to shine and each of their stories are incredibly unique. While the anime does a great job at showcasing these stories, the artwork, writing, and pacing of the manga really pushes the character development to the next level. Oda’s artwork is so expressive, it really shows what the characters are thinking and feeling. This is not always shown in the anime, which causes important character moments to fall flat.
NEXT: Naruto: 10 Things You Miss By Only Watching The Anime
Anime lists writer for CBR. Loves watching Shonen and listening to anime OST.

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