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Considered by some to be the heir to the throne of Dragonball in terms of Japanese market penetration One Piece is certainly a phenomenon The mangas print run recently outpaced Dragonball and the series at more than 130 episodes is still going strong Its easy to see why One Piece follows a very simple and very successful shonen action formula It worked in the past for Rurouni Kenshin and Dragonball and its working wonderfully for One Piece The premise is pretty basic Luffy D Monkey an irrepressible youth ate the Devils Fruit which gave his body extra-strength elasticity Hes searching for the One Piece a legendary treasure that will make him the King of all Pirates and finally allow him to prove himself to his childhood idol a selfless pirate by the name of Shanks Along the way he collects an army of somewhat freakish rogues including a tough swordfighter named Zoro who fights with a sword in his mouth and Nami a spunky thief Together they have wacky adventures beat up the bad guys and collect treasure It all sounds pretty harmless right Well right it is One Piece is completely harmless entertainment The battles can be surprisingly brutal at times but overall this is pure shonen action entertainment It is entirely unpretentious and knows exactly what it wants to be and excels at that That having been said One Piece is not a particularly deep show although the characters are well developed The focus seems to be on the crazy villains and the endless string of fights the main characters go through Luffy and his crew of misfits go from town to town saving the repressed masses and eliminating evil pirates who stand between them and the One Piece In some ways its very reminiscent of Rurouni Kenshin Kenshin and Luffy are both laid-back badasses with hearts of gold that surround themselves with surprisingly capable outcasts and defeat circus freak-style enemies in episode
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