Why One Piece anime keeps changing the art style in recent arcs, explored

Why One Piece anime keeps changing the art style in recent arcs, explored (Image via Toei Animation)
Why One Piece anime keeps changing the art style in recent arcs, explored (Image via Toei Animation)

Over recent years, the One Piece anime has likely had as many eyes on it as it ever has, both in terms of audiences watching the series and critics looking to analyze the series’ quality.

While Toei Animation had clearly overhauled animation for the Whole Cake Island arc which preceded it, eyes were on the Wano arc so heavily for a very different reason.

The One Piece anime’s Wano arc would mark the first time in the series’ history that the art style had made a sudden and distinctive change both in general and in specific facets of the series. Although the series had received animation upgrades and overhauls prior, such as after the time-skip and in the switch to HD, the general art style remained the same with no distinctive change.

Now, in the aftermath of the Wano arc’s momentous change in fundamental art style, it seems that the One Piece anime’s Egghead arc will also see the series take on a brand new art style. While exciting, it does beg the question from some fans of why the anime series has chosen yet again to move onto a brand new art style after just one arc.

One Piece anime’s second change in art style in as many arcs likely isn’t something to be worried over

The anime’s art style changes, explored

Although some fans are worried or concerned over the One Piece anime switching art styles yet again in the arc immediately after the last switch. In reality, it’s likely something good for fans even if they aren’t a fan of the coming art style itself. This stems from the fact that it suggests each of the series’ final arcs will be receiving a unique art style from Toei Animation for their production.

By doing so, it makes each of these final steps in the mainline series’ journey even more momentous, exciting, and memorable. It also allows Toei Animation to more suitably pick an art style for each individual arc which will best bring it to life. This is especially significant considering how unique each arc in the series has the potential to be in terms of its visual aesthetic and setting.

This, in turn, allows the One Piece anime to more effectively adapt author and illustrator Eiichiro Oda’s manga series at a much higher quality, which is one of the show’s key purposes. Additionally, this makes the anime series that much more enthralling and effective as an advertisement for the manga, which is the show’s number one purpose per the relationship of the anime and manga industries.

Speaking of the anime industry, having each arc be a new art style allows new, upcoming, and talented animators to show their unique styles and approaches to the medium. In turn, this will help to drive the animation industry forward, potentially giving birth to new art styles and aesthetics at a much faster rate than would otherwise occur.

In short, the One Piece anime’s apparent choice to have each of the series’ final arcs be done in a new and unique art style is only good for fans and animators alike. Fans will receive a more unique and tailored product, while animators who are just breaking into the industry or into the directorial level are given the opportunity to revolutionize anime with their ideas.

Be sure to keep up with all One Piece anime, manga, film, and live-action news as 2024 progresses.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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