By Lucas Paul
The anime adaptation of One Piece has seen many changes over the years, but the most recent change due to backlash has many fans rejoicing.
One Piece is one of the longest-running shonen titles in the world, boasting an episode and chapter count over 1,000. It's one of the most popular series in manga history for a number of reasons, but one thing that fans find most appealing about the epic high-seas adventure is the art style of mangaka Eiichiro Oda.
The One Piece cast features an enormous number of characters with unique, often outlandish designs, each intended to be memorable from the moment they make their first appearance. Over a decade ago, after a two-year time skip in the story, the One Piece manga returned from a month-long hiatus with a new art style. However, the anime has seen far more changes in this regard. Due to the way anime is produced, it's not uncommon for the art style to differ from episode to episode depending on who the director is for that particular week. Fans often debate which episodes or even arcs look better than others, but the most recent arc has caused more debate than any other.
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One Piece's Wano Arc Saw a Shift In Animation Style
The Wano Arc brought one of the most dramatic shifts in art styles in the history of the anime, becoming something entirely unique. The animation style looks much softer, uses brighter colors, and everything looks much smoother, particularly during fight scenes. Fans have universally praised the new art style, but there's been a single point of contention hotly debated in the community.
Shonen titles love using power auras -- glowing colors that surround a character during a battle to show how powerful they are. Previously, One Piece never made use of these, as it was simply never part of Oda's vision for the series. However, the Wano Arc's animators made liberal use of them. This sparked debate online questioning their inclusion, with fans often saying that they had no place in One Piece and calling for them to be removed from future production of the anime. Other viewers didn't seem to care much, saying that it didn't take away from their enjoyment of the story overall.
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One Piece Animators Went Overboard With Luffy's Conqueror's Haki Ability
In a pivotal moment during Luffy's one-on-one battle with Kaido, he discovered he could coat himself in Conqueror's Haki, the strongest form of Haki in One Piece's battle system. In the manga, Oda's art style delivered an awesome new power-up in a spectacular way. Luffy pummeling Kaido with his new ability felt powerful, and most importantly, fans could see what was happening on the page. When this scene was adapted for the anime, the animators went a little overboard. What was one of the most hyped-up showcases of power in the series thus far became a visual mess, obscuring an important moment for the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates.
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Fan Convinced One Piece Animators to Drop Visual Effects
Audiences voiced their displeasure online, of course, and it seems as though these complaints were finally addressed in episode, 1033. This episode featured little to no power auras and minimal visual effects. The new chief animation director Tu Yong-Ce, who animated some of the fan base's favorite moments recently, stated that this would be the case going forward.
Largely praising the decision, fans greatly appreciated the fact that these effects were toned down, with many saying that Episode 1033 was one of the best to have come out of the anime in some time. Many fans compared it to Episode 1015, which is often thought to be one of the greatest episodes the show has ever produced. Fans are hoping that Tu Yong-Ce can keep this momentum going forward, and they are looking forward to seeing what he does next for the series.