Posted by: 紺月明 | August 19, 2009

One Piece to be simulcast starting August 29th!

Earlier today, FUNimation released this announcement on their site and through e-mail stating that FUNimation, Toei, Shueisha, and Fuji TV have agreed to continue an online simulcast for One Piece. Starting on Saturday, August 29th at 9:00 p.m. CDT, one hour after airing in Japan, simulcasts will begin starting with episode 415 of the Amazon Lily arc and will be released every subsequent week via the official One Piece website: www.onepieceofficial.com. They also announced that they will stream episodes starting with 391 from the Sabaody Archipelago arc starting Friday, August 21st at 9:00 p.m. CDT. FUNimation will add three episodes daily leading up to the simulcast of episode 415.

 

This news actually makes me REALLY excited! One Piece is the sole popular anime series I closely follow presently. In Japan, I fondly remember sitting with my host father, brother, and sister (my host mom was the only person not really into it, but had to bare it nonetheless) on Sunday evenings, watching newly airing episodes of One Piece over dinner. We shared ample conversation and I even let my host father borrow the two manga volumes I bought in Japan and have sitting in my room right now.

It is true that this series has been going on for a very long time, I mean 400+ episodes is quite a feat (I think the only other long-going series is Pokémon, but the plot line and addition of new lands and pokémon boggles even a long-time follower) but I think the complexity of each individual character’s background story and how they’re brought together and united under Monkey D. Luffy is something else. They’re pirates, but not evil, selfish, or heartless… they all have dreams, dreams that they all want to realize together. Their camaraderie has continually been put to the test. Even as I write this, in the current story arc, Luffy has actually been separated from every single last nakama. All he cares about is finding his way back to his crewmates. Of course, nothing’s ever easy and Luffy finds himself having crash-landed onto Amazon Lily, an island of only females and dealing with one of the Shichibukai (7 warlords of the sea sanctioned by the world government), Boa Hancock. It’s been full of laughs and running gags about the difference, particularly anatomically, between men and women but it gets serious and Luffy has to fight. But that’s all I say without giving out anything else about the anime for those who follow it.

I guess the last thing I’ll say is that yes, maybe it’s unfair of me to say this because I haven’t really sat down seriously to watch them, but I’d still choose One Piece over Naruto and Bleach any day. I hope that the U.S. audience’s appreciation for One Piece grows to match that of Japan’s because it is definitely the case there. What can I say, it’s a fun, good story without any love triangles but full of laughs, gags, tears, and conflict but the number one thing is the concept of nakama, always and no matter what. :) Doesn’t mean I don’t like to slash and pair characters up in this series. *cough, laugh, cough*

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