Sorry if this has been brought up before but I've been wondering: Is it me or do the 5 first straw hats look older now? I've been a huge One Piece fan for years but the time line has always confused me. How many years have gone by since the beginning of the plot? Or is it one of those series where the characters start off one age an never get older like The Simpsons or something? I remember reading on one of the cover flaps that Oda was a fan of some cult japanese cartoon that was like that also, does that mean he's following that tradition and time doesn't exist in the One Piece universe? But then again they do look older don't they?
In short I am one confused geek. Any thoughts?