So I wrote a short essay at work for them:
One Piece Essay
One Piece, a manga created by author Eiichiro Oda, is about many things but has a big focus on a small group of pirates on their adventure throughout the sea in a fictional world. What makes One Piece an amazing manga is the way Oda is able to narrate a story where the reader will be able to understand that there is in fact a huge world in one piece. Not only that, but many characters get spotlight chapters where we the reader can see what’s happening to them instead of just focusing one main focal point i.e. the main character. In One Piece, there is no main character. Sure the goofy light-hearted captain gets the most spotlight of any character, but the real main character is the story itself. Unlike many other manga, One Piece is able to narrate stories from across this fictional world instead of just following the main group in simplified straightforward transitions. Telling the story like this through one chapter a week can cause a few problems however. Readers may find it too slow or boring, but the reward for taking the time to understand each chapter results in discovering a world with a lot of depth.
Many readers may find reading One Piece on a weekly basis boring. This may result in a wrong evaluation of the overall manga. For example, in the current arc “Punk Hazard”, there is one chapter where we see a young girl running away with poisonous candy to protect her friends. The next chapter would change the setting to a different room where a corrupt vice admiral takes one of the main characters. The chapter after that would show a different fight happening somewhere else. The next chapter may go back to the young girl running. Many complaints would be that the story is dragging and the same thing may be happening through a string of chapters. As a result the whole story is misunderstood as a result. What they fail to see is that all these events are most likely happening concurrently and the author is clearly trying to tell his story in the most descriptive way possible.
What makes One Piece such a great manga and one of the most popular, especially in the pioneering land of manga, is that it is able to tell a story with depth. Sure we can get a story where main character “A” fights main bad guy “A” and we just get a chapter of each fight for every other main character, but then there’d be sacrifice of overall story depth which separates One Piece from other manga. The problem may lie in the fact that we live in faster society. Many things are available to read or watch instantaneously. The problem could also be related to different cultures. Here in America we are exposed to faster paced action. People want to see things happen quick and badass fights without worrying about plot of depth. These reasons and many others should not bring the value of One Piece in any way.
I'd like to get your opinion on this short essay that I quickly wrote and let me know if I made my points clearly. Keep in mind that I haven't written much in a couple years so I'm a little rusty.
Also these friends of mine like one piece and read the whole thing up to about the war arc. At this point they think each chapter has been boring and openly complain about the "slow-paced" story. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I didn't think that it should have degraded their opinion of One Piece as a whole story.
TL;DR My friends complained about One Piece so I nerd raged at them and wrote an essay at work.