At first, I bought the first volume of the Shonen Jump manga release when I was in Holiday in the States, last year around August or so. I was stuck in the airport in Atlanta, Georgia, for about seven hours to wait for a flight back into Manchester, England… and I was pretty annoyed about it, too.
So, I ended up taking some of the manga I bought out of my bag, and I read the first volume in English, but I wasn't really concentrating so hard, so I put it back. I think I hung out in the smoking room for about two hours, and I had a copy of Shonen Jump with random Yu-Gi-Oh! characters on the front, it also had a part of One Piece inside, the section in which Iron Fist Fullbody shoots a cannonball at the boat, and ending where Sanji kicks his ass, and is holding his bleeding body up by the face, with that whited-out eye look on Fullbody, too.
I thought, wow.. this is good. I even liked the English version, as there was a line that was something like, "Hooray! Saved by Lime Juice!" in which Zorro's old bounty partners, Johnny and Yosaku.. I could be wrong, had boarded the boat.
Inbetween the time I was waiting, and the time it took to fly home, I read the first volume five or so times, and thought it was great fun. I particularly liked how the artwork was crazy… wide eyes, huge mouths.. the reactions to certain things, including Luffy calling Alvida a fat old hag, and Captain Morgan's face when his statue is broken had me in stitches. One Piece tends to show about a hundred random thugs with severely shocked looks on their faces, and the boss standing somewhere nearby. At least, this volume did.. and at first, I sort of considered it something similar to the original Dragonball, crossed with Hokuto No Ken. But, a lot more accessible to children.
Afterwards, I saw about thirty episodes of the animÃ this year, HK Subbed... so, a lot of it was confusing, but I found it all pretty good. It was faithful to the manga I'd read months before, and had most of the comedy done in an excellent fashion. The appearance of Buggy the Clown literally blew me away, because it was so out of control and insane. And somehow, nostalgic.
I literally felt like someone had custom made this show for me, which was pretty touching.
So, I ended up getting two GC games, and thinking Smoker was Zorro's Dad. I literally exclaimed, "OMG, that's Zorro's Dad!" when I first saw Smoker.
Of course, now I've seen some more of the animÃ, and I get filled in here a lot, I know that Smoker is actually probably not Zorro's Dad, but he looks a lot like him, when you think about it.