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firecrouch



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 125

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:12 pm Reply with quote
I'd like to know what Zac considers a major success among American anime fans. "One Piece" is nowhere near the level of popularity, or at a comparable level to what it is in Japan and Europe. It hasn't blown up in the States like "DBZ" and "Naruto". However from what I can tell it's currently one of the most popular titles in American fandom right now, certainly more popular than years ago.
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Sewingrose



Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 520

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:47 pm Reply with quote
Yay, my questions got answered!

Really interesting show this week about podcasting in general, I just don't know how you guys can commit to it every week, I have to short an attention span to be really passionate about it for long.

I bumped into someone with the Podcast, who was dressed up as Donquixote Doflamingo (you can see a picture of him in the AX cosplay contest, guy in the giant pink boa coat), didn't know they had a west coast and an east coast crew.

I do think One Piece is a lot better then its shonen brethren when it comes to female characters. Still has some issues, but it is really does have it's female characters treated as characters, as compared to the T&A cut-outs or weepy non-fighters that I've seen all to often.

I think people aren't completely against characters dying in favorite series, if the deaths are done well, if they respect the character and they mean something and aren't just shocking event #5. (Hence why no one takes death seriously in American Superhero comics at all.)
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Mr Sinister



Joined: 02 Jan 2006
Posts: 128
Location: NY

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:06 pm Reply with quote
Awesome show, glad to hear the OPP guys on another show. Didn't really mean to listen to this now, but I guess I hit play and all of a sudden its an hour later.
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CareyGrant



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 451

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:40 pm Reply with quote
Ah, the suicide bomber--I'd forgotten about that little WTF? gem. On a slightly related topic, I always get a kick -in an 'Oh, really?!' sense- out of how characters in One Piece can survive (or heal from) mortal or fatal wounds by eating a ton of food and sleeping a lot.

Shot in the spine? Stabbed through the heart? Head chopped off? Just eat until your belly is distended -comically so- and then sleep like the dead -which you should be- for a day (or days) and BOOM! you're healed! LOL!

If only it were that easy...

The only other things that bug me about One Piece -the only shonen series I like and still follow- is its occasional childishness, such that Luffy's the child in charge of a boat full of adults or how, despite having a boat full of capable killers and bad asses, Luffy is the only one capable of defeating whatever boss of the week, or what have you. Or how you have people, like Robin for example, who can lay waste to entire fleets (when they're not even in their teens) yet can't manage situations or villains they should be able to handle handily--things like that.

But it's a shonen title, so I guess these things are to be expected. However, as shonen titles go, One Piece is heads about both Bleach and Naruto whom, I feel, have spiraled into meaninglessness or diluted into ridiculousness.

I also like One Piece's treatment of female characters better; that they're capable and competent and not just pretty window dressing for the Otaku to obsess over while the boys and man-folk take care of all the fighting and what not.
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Kimani



Joined: 12 Aug 2005
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Can this podcast be listened to without spoilers if you only keep up with the Funimation DVD's? (which are stalled now)
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FaytLein
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:23 pm Reply with quote
I've always found that the reason why OP isn't the smash hit it could be is that the beginning lacks the action that draws in your average fan, that OP doesn't really hit its stride until the tenth or so manga volume (Alabasta arc.) Most other shonen shows have explosions, lasers or fisticuffs to draw people in, while OP has lovable idiot Luffy fighting rather uninteresting fights while being dumb. While it works for some people, that interesting spark just isn't there.
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:40 pm Reply with quote
I'm not daunted by the size like I used to be because in three years I've already watched 5700 unique episodes worth of anime (so excluding my hundreds of rewatches), so 510 episodes isn't that bad. It was when I first got into anime, but it's chump change now since at a pace of just 3 episodes a day, I'd finish in 170 days (102 at 5 per, which is more realistic for me). The real roadblock was the price of the show. 16 sets at $50 each was way too much of an investment. However, the new season sets are merely $35 for 26 episodes, and I'll buy those. I'm looking forward to OP since it sounds really awesome, and I did like watching it every week when it was CN, so I expect to like the unedited version more.

Kimani wrote:
Can this podcast be listened to without spoilers if you only keep up with the Funimation DVD's? (which are stalled now)

Yes. I've never seen OP, but I listened anyways and they were very good at avoiding spoilers.
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ljaesch



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 290
Location: Enumclaw, WA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:46 pm Reply with quote
Admittedly, I'm not a fan of One Piece, but I figured I'd listen to the podcast anyway, since the writeup mentioned talking about podcasting in general and Otakon. I ended up enjoying the whole thing, even the discussion of One Piece.

My first exposure to One Piece was seeing bits and pieces of the show when it was airing on Cartoon Network, because my oldest would watch it while waiting for the show she wanted to watch that came on afterwards. Of course, this meant that my exposure was through the 4Kids dub, and this would have given me a rather negative opinion of the series. After hearing this podcast, I may need to see if my local library system has the FUNimation DVD releases and check them out to give One Piece another chance.

And I have to say that I think Zac and both of his guests have good voices for doing podcasts. I say this not as a fan of ANNCast, but as someone with a Radio-Television degree who was on-air talent for radio back in my college days, as well as someone who is a former Internet broadcaster. As someone with this type of background, I find the idea of podcasts fascinating, and I've enjoyed listening to ANNCast. While I kind of wish I could do one myself, I know I don't have the time it would require to put one together; it's already hard enough to juggle my writing and editing jobs with my family life.
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Primus



Joined: 01 Mar 2006
Posts: 1478
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:50 pm Reply with quote
Just want to say Zac, DragonBall (DB+Z+GT) is at 508 episodes, with Kai (which will be released entirely here) making it 605 TV episodes released by Funimation. Razz
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Lizzie_B



Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 153

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:01 pm Reply with quote
CareyGrant wrote:

I also like One Piece's treatment of female characters better; that they're capable and competent and not just pretty window dressing for the Otaku to obsess over while the boys and man-folk take care of all the fighting and what not.

Reminds me of KHR for some reason...oh wait
Beside that, loved the podcast and love OP as usual
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:07 pm Reply with quote
I've never listened to the One Piece Podcast (obviously since I've never watched OP), but I gotta ask the obvious question: Is their opening theme Down With OPP? That'd be pretty awesome if it was. Kind of surprised that it wasn't the name of this episode. Though, I wouldn't be shocked if Zac wasn't overly familiar with Naughty by Nature, so it never crossed his mind.
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InnocentSorrow59



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:35 pm Reply with quote
FaytLein wrote:
I've always found that the reason why OP isn't the smash hit it could be is that the beginning lacks the action that draws in your average fan, that OP doesn't really hit its stride until the tenth or so manga volume (Alabasta arc.) Most other shonen shows have explosions, lasers or fisticuffs to draw people in, while OP has lovable idiot Luffy fighting rather uninteresting fights while being dumb. While it works for some people, that interesting spark just isn't there.


...what? The first chapter is Luffy fighting Alvida. Then when he gets to Zoro, he gets into another fight. Then with Nami, another fight against Buggy. After that he fights Kuro in the Usopp arc. Then with Sanji again, and since the Arlong Arc (the first MAJOR arc of the series) is shortly after Sanji's arc it's a lot of fighting. How can you even say Alabasta was the first action arc?

And to be honest, I know it's been a while but even to this day I tell people "I like One Piece" and they say "That stupid kiddy pirate show?" I'd say 4kids is a MAJOR part as to why people just don't like it or are willing to try it. Aside from that, I've also found a majority of anime and manga fans are put off by it's art style. Oda's style has it's anime-likeness but it's pretty cartoony compared to other series and so they won't try it because it's different.
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TitanXL



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:01 pm Reply with quote
I agree that Alabasta was probably the first 'good action' arc. You had a character like Vivi who desperately wanted to save her kingdom from Crocodile, and he put in some sadistic way of manipulating the two armies into wiping each other out.. it was the first thing on a 'major' scale, where as before it was mostly restricted to one character, like Don Krieg attacking one restaurant, or Arlong terrorizing one town. Up until then, the series followed the standard formula of 'Luffy arrives on Island, sees it being attacked by a pirate, Luffy helps out, they move on to the next adventure'. It's pretty basic, and not until the Seven Warlords and World Government/Marines enter the story does it start to deviate from that.

And people like to blame the 4Kids dub for One Piece being in 3rd place here (behind Naruto and Bleach), but I doubt it would make much difference. Look at Naruto's dub on Disney Anime hyper; it's completely laughable with how they edit out simple things like a character drawing a kunai and pointing it at someone (from across the room even, not like holding it to their throat or anything) . Dragonball Z Kai also has a ton of edits, though since it's more about punching and kicking rather fire or knives it's less intrusive.

One Piece is very similar to Dragonball. Very goofy and slapstick, and not very serious (yes, I know they have their moments like their pasts and stuff; and the Straw Hats rescuing Robin from CP9 is an amazingly epic scene) but there's a TON of slapstick not found in Naruto and Bleach. I mean, Dragonball Z is the popular one in America, not Dragonball. In Japan, it's the Kid Goku Dragonball that's more popular.. and Luffy shares a lot more in common with Kid Goku (dumb, eats a lot) while Naruto is more just hotheaded and rushes in without thinking.

And yeah.. the stuff the characters survive borders on insulting sometimes. Pell is one of the worst offenders. I'm sorry, but that scene where he pops up at the end of Alabasta and says 'Hey guys, I'm okay, don't make a grave for me' was just really... awful. Plus it just makes it out like some Wile E Coyote plan, how he'll make a bomb to kill the Road Runner, but then he gets tricked into getting blown up instead, but he survives; so in the end, that bomb wouldn't have killed the Road Runner anyway so what's the point? So if Crocodile's bomb couldn't kill Pell, why did he think it'd take out the entire city, eh? Just that kind of writing is really iffy sometimes. No, I think OP's overall goofy style wouldn't really elevate it up to Naruto or Bleach levels here, which are more serioous.

As for females.. eh, let's not forget Nami's fights are pretty contrived Every opponent she faces has their IQ lowered by like 100 points and just stand there like an idiot as she sets up random, contrived combos with her Clima Tac, when they could just bum-rush her and kill her easily if they wanted (especially against Miss Double Finger when Nami first has to read the instructions during the fight). Coupled with the overall goofy nature of the series, I wouldn't really say it's a great way to handle female characters since it's not like much is at stake to begin with, but it's not insulting or anything since the male characters like Usopp also have this contrived set up.
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FaytLein
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Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:47 pm Reply with quote
InnocentSorrow59 wrote:

...what? The first chapter is Luffy fighting Alvida. Then when he gets to Zoro, he gets into another fight. Then with Nami, another fight against Buggy. After that he fights Kuro in the Usopp arc. Then with Sanji again, and since the Arlong Arc (the first MAJOR arc of the series) is shortly after Sanji's arc it's a lot of fighting. How can you even say Alabasta was the first action arc?


Though Titan kind of beat me to it, the vast majority of the whole East Blue arc consists of dialogue with jokes thrown in. Luffy's "fight" with Alvida consists of her yelling at him, then he punches her in the face. Shoot, the whole Alvida arc is more about Coby and his problems than setting up some epic battle with Luffy. Same goes with a lot of the early fights, Buggy is mostly a jokey battle, Kuro has a lot of "KIDS RUNNING THROUGH FOREST" intercut throughout, finally settling on Baratie before the whole "everybody in the team picks someone to fight and we focus on each battle as it happens" thing that OP loves to use. And if you compare it to a lot of other shonen shows, it lacks "action", ie something to quickly draw your attention to whats going on.

I use DBZ as the perennial example, in that in the first fight with Raditz, ki blasts and explosions and supersonic punches are thrown. That kind of stuff piques your interest. In OP, a lot of the early mini-arcs are dialogue heavy, or don't have enough flash to make it interesting. Alabasta is where OP honestly picks up steam and starts being a really great show to watch (or read). You could go back to the whole Baratie arc since that is where things kind of fully reach what OP will eventually become, but all the arcs before hand don't have that draw, and by the time it gets to the GOOD stuff, a lot of fans will have dropped it by then. Hence OP's inability to really catch on over here.
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ochimusha



Joined: 14 Aug 2011
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:16 am Reply with quote
Hey guys, Greg from the OPP here.

Thanks for giving us this opportunity ANN!

Great to see the feedback here, particularly from non-OPP fans.

Quote:
Or how you have people, like Robin for example, who can lay waste to entire fleets (when they're not even in their teens) yet can't manage situations or villains they should be able to handle handily--things like that.


Actually, you might find that that's not exactly how it happened if you read her flashback. As is often the case, the legend preceedes reality.

Quote:
After hearing this podcast, I may need to see if my local library system has the FUNimation DVD releases and check them out to give One Piece another chance.


Amazing. We can't ask for anything more! Thank you!

Quote:
Is their opening theme Down With OPP?


No, but it should be.

Quote:
And yeah.. the stuff the characters survive borders on insulting sometimes. Pell is one of the worst offenders. I'm sorry, but that scene where he pops up at the end of Alabasta and says 'Hey guys, I'm okay, don't make a grave for me' was just really... awful.


I'm in agreement but it does help to read the author's justification for such scenes. Whether actually having an explanation helps or not is entirely up to your discretion but it fits under the author's 'rules' for his stories, it's not simply random.

Regardless, I agree but Pell isn't all that difficult to swallow compared to some of the rage-inducing things he pulls with nameless background characters.
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