One Piece: 5 things about the series that disappoint fans (& 5 that everybody loves)

There are many things that fans love and dislike about Eiichiro Oda’s shonen series (Image via Toei Animation)
There are many things that fans love and dislike about Eiichiro Oda’s shonen series (Image via Toei Animation)

Throughout its 25 years of manga serialization, One Piece has earned a massive fanbase, thanks to many aspects of its story and imagery.

While many consider it to be one of the best world-building series out there, Eiichiro Oda’s shonen masterpiece also has some of the most well-written characters in anime and manga.

However, not every aspect of the series is universally loved by fans. In fact, there are many things that even the most diehard of fans criticize. Here are five aspects of One Piece that disappoint fans and five more that everybody loves.

Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinions of the writer

Forgotten plot points and 4 other things that disappoint One Piece fans

1) Fake-out deaths

The surplus of fake-out deaths in One Piece is easily one of the most disappointing aspects of the series. Since the first instance appeared in the Alabasta arc, fans have been seeing it all too frequently.

The recently finished Wano Country arc was a particularly bad offender, with at least three definite fake-out deaths taking place during its serialization.

This is a frustrating, shock value trope that Oda has unfortunately abused unnecessarily throughout the series.

2) Long arcs

While not every fan dislikes the longer arcs in post-time-skip One Piece, many are unhappy with this approach. These arcs have been criticized for failing to keep fans' attention as well as for bouncing between characters and situations without a clear purpose.

Many fans also point to the Wano Country arc as a particularly egregious example of how plot points can be overlooked in such a format. While Oda typically makes good on his foreshadowing, there have been many times when he has not.

3) Forgotten plot points

Forgotten plot points don’t necessarily restrict themselves to a singular arc. Oda's beloved series contains many instances in which overarching forshadowing was largely ignored when people thought it would be referred to.

One example from the Wano Country arc is the City of Gold alias for Ancient Wano, which many initially expected to be likened to Shandora from the Skypiea arc. However, this ended up not being the case.

While only Oda knows if this was purposefully ignored, many fans suspect that the mangaka must have unfortunately forgotten about it.

4) Multi-year teases

One Piece has always featured multi-year teases that span several arcs. However, just because they've been a part of the series for a long time doesn't mean they're widely liked or even looked upon favorably.

Many fans believe these long-winded teases are detrimental to the story, as they can shift readers’ focus from what’s happening in front of them to what could happen later.

5) Infrequency of appearances

One of the most frustrating aspects of One Piece is the infrequency with which some of the fan-favorite characters appear in the series.

Red-Haired Shanks is one such character. His screentime is in the same range as insignificant characters like Captain Foxy of the Foxy Pirates. It’s incredibly frustrating to see such a legendary, well-liked character be reduced to cameo appearances at an infrequent rate.

Characters and 4 other things about One Piece that fans love

1) World-building

One of the strongest aspects of One Piece is its world-building, which Oda meticulously plans out during his preparatory work for the series. The level of detail, attention, and care he puts into building the world is evident both to first-time viewers and those looking to start the story all over again.

Many fans consider Oda's world to be one of their favorite parts of the series overall. They believe it makes new arcs, islands, and chapters so incredibly exciting.

2) Lore

The lore within One Piece is ever-expanding and always unpredictable. It is one of the series' biggest strengths as a result. Fans can spend all day theorycrafting and analyzing the series only to have their expectations completely subverted by Oda himself.

While some argue that Oda's writing style is inconsistent, many more appreciate the series' unpredictable nature. Like his world-building, it makes each new hint, titbit, or fact that much more interesting and engaging.

3) Characters

The characters are one of the most heavily praised aspects of One Piece, even among fans who harshly criticize the series. A very limited number of poorly-written characters appear in the series, and almost none of them receive significant screen time.

Each of the series’ central characters has fleshed-out characterizations, from origins to dreams and everything in between.

4) Flashbacks

Many One Piece fans love how excellent the origin story flashbacks can be in the series, especially pre-time-skip. Fans often rave about how even side characters like Montblanc Noland have some of the best flashbacks in the series.

While this isn’t a universal truth that applies to every flashback, the hits far outnumber the flops. While some argue that post-time-skip flashbacks aren't as strong, there are still many gems like the Law and Oden flashbacks.

5) Action

The action is one of the best aspects of One Piece. Oda’s fight choreography and overall action art have been impeccable since the series’ beginning. They are becoming more beautifully refined with each passing week.

While no artist is perfect through and through, many consider Oda’s action work to be incredibly close to that standard.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh