When adapting any manga into anime, each version always does something better than the other and One Piece is no exception. Although the anime is still a great adaptation, there are some things it’ll never be able to do better than the manga.
As a result, many One Piece fans will advise you to read the manga instead. While the anime is more appealing as a non-static medium, it undoubtedly has its flaws as an adaptation.
10 aspects of One Piece done much better in the manga than in anime
The pacing of the One Piece manga is unbeatable compared to the anime. Rarely does a One Piece manga chapter ever go by where it feels like nothing happened. Unfortunately, the anime has many examples of episodes with awful pacing.
For some reason, One Piece characters always seem so much more expressive in the manga than in the anime. While the anime likely prioritizes expression through means other than body language, it’s still something they should be doing better than the manga. Perhaps author and mangaka Eiichiro Oda’s artwork is just that exceptional.
Indeed, the artwork for the manga does always feel superior to that of the anime. While the anime offers the potential for more fluidity in fights, this doesn’t always happen. Certain One Piece fights seem to be more entertaining and engaging in the manga as static work than with the anime. The background art from the manga is also superior to the anime’s background work, generally speaking.
4) Cover page side stories
One of the major flaws of the One Piece anime is their lack of adaptation for the cover page side stories. These special stories are told through the One Piece manga’s color page and are one hundred percent canon. Unfortunately, the anime doesn’t adapt them, and as a result, anime-only fans are left outside of the loop on certain plotlines.
5) No filler
While this relates to pacing somewhat, the One Piece manga thankfully has no filler whatsoever. This creates a much more succinct and direct narrative, which is entirely relevant to the overarching plot.
Unfortunately, the One Piece anime will often create short filler arcs in between some of their larger projects. While some of these function as movie tie-ins, they’re still optional as neither the arcs nor movies are canon.
This point again relates to pacing somewhat, but the One Piece anime will tend to draw out dialogue and scenes in general. While this course of action is understandable, it’s still far from ideal and certainly something the anime falls short in relative to the manga. The One Piece manga dialogue always feels succinct, and rarely over explains things to the point of annoyance.
The general exposition of the One Piece anime also feels very inferior to the manga. Especially in recent Wano arc episodes, the One Piece anime has dragged on various plot points to lengthen run time and create more adaptational distance. When it comes to exposition, the One Piece manga is undoubtedly the preferred source material.
8) Consistency of quality
The One Piece manga also is much more consistent in the level of quality it pushes out weekly. While the anime has truly stepped up its game in the Wano arc, essentially all prior One Piece arcs had a much higher quality overall in the manga. Animation studios will always cut corners when and where possible, but the One Piece anime certainly takes this to the extreme in some cases.
One significant advantage that the One Piece manga holds over the anime is the feeling of nostalgia holding a paper copy of the series brings. Especially for those fans who grew up reading comic books, the manga provides an incredible sense of nostalgia and childhood.
10) Celebratory spreads
The final advantage of the One Piece manga over anime is the celebratory color spreads often included with the chapters. These are fantastic pieces of artwork drawn by Oda himself and the One Piece team, and are so fantastic to look at. The anime, unfortunately, doesn’t adapt these due to lack of opportunity in an episode format.
Note: The article reflects the writer's own views.