Two years older ONE PIECE characters

one piece updated Two years older ONE PIECE characters

Attention, continuity-obsessed readers of 70 year-old franchises — THIS is how you handle growth and change. Click on the image for the full spoiler of the new, two years older cast of ONE PIECE — the best-selling comic in the world — and check out Topless Robot for a character-by-character analysis.

Comments

  1. Yup! Naruto did the time jump about 4 years ago and Dragonball was doing them 10+ years before that.

  2. Synsidar says:

    I see continuity not as a drawback to writing stories but as an element that forces a writer to work a bit on a story and benefits the reader.

    If someone wants to create a crossword puzzle, he can use software to create one in a matter of seconds. Some puzzle magazines consist entirely of computer-generated puzzles. If he wants to create a good puzzle, with a high number of seven- and eight-letter words, a theme, and words with hard consonants, he works on the puzzle, often for hours. The resulting puzzle can be sold to the New York Times and other prestigious outlets; nobody is paid for the computer-generated ones.

    I’d compare a writer who violates continuity for no reason other than that it interferes with the plot he wants to use to someone selling a computer-generated crossword puzzle.

    SRS

  3. Mikael says:

    “Attention, continuity-obsessed readers of 70 year-old franchises — THIS is how you handle growth and change.”

    Because seeing something that has 598 Chapters is supposed to entice me? I don’t see the difference. Sure seems like One Piece has just as much continuity to some degree.

  4. J. K. Simon says:

    “Attention, continuity-obsessed readers of 70 year-old franchises — THIS is how you handle growth and change.”

    How in the heck does a time jump and a handful of costume changes/modifications add up to some brilliant example of how to manage growth and change — or be touted as groundbreaking in any way whatsoever?

    If you are seriously arguing that this constitutes some sort of brilliant new storytelling paradigm, somebody better page Keith Giffen and the Bierbaums. They did *the same exact thing*, but more than 20 years ago — and to one of those hoary ‘old franchises’ that all the kewl kidz here love to trash!

    Or maybe a mangaka as talented and successful as Oda isn’t in need of trumped up accolades and we could opt to criticize mainstream comics on legitimate grounds instead?

  5. I think the point is more like, One Piece has managed ongoing continuity for some 13 years without splitting timelines, creating alternate universes, killing off/resurrecting characters so often it becomes an industry in-joke, and generally maintaining relevance with its audience by following the rules of its own world without shoehorning ridiculous some ridiculous character-altering nonsense to create some sort of shallow “appeal” to push sales.

    It helps that it all comes from one team, and they’re going to be the ONLY team to ever work on one piece. When the team stops making the comic, One Piece ends, and *gasp*, somebody has to think of something new to fill its place.

  6. Charles Knight says:

    “It helps that it all comes from one team, and they’re going to be the ONLY team to ever work on one piece. When the team stops making the comic, One Piece ends, and *gasp*, somebody has to think of something new to fill its place.”

    So you aren’t actually comparing like with like and it’s completely meaningless to try and do so.

  7. The fact that One Piece and the Spandex Universe Of Your Choice are unlike each other is kinda what makes it worth bothering to compare them. Comparing “like with like” (e.g. Marvel vs. DC) just shows you two examples of continuity-based storytelling done wrong.

  8. Charles Knight says:

    “The fact that One Piece and the Spandex Universe Of Your Choice are unlike each other is kinda what makes it worth bothering to compare them.”

    Which means that you are saying “these two different things are different” and then… well then what?

  9. Synsidar says:

    Comparing the Big Two’s superhero comics to stories in other formats is useful because doing so shows how their policies severely restrict the content.

    In a close-ended novel, it’s common to jump ahead years. The reader sees the lead character starting out in some career, then, years later, the reader sees him as a success, or a star, and reads about the problems success has brought him. Did he have to compromise himself? Did he make enemies? Adjust to parents or siblings dying? Gain and lose lovers? Etc., etc.

    One thing that’s really hurt Marvel’s series is the lack of a timeline. Decades ago, a writer could have days or weeks pass during a storyline or between issues in a series. Now, the heroes just seem to go from one encounter to the next. “Dark Reign” — how long did that last? Two weeks? A month? Two months? I have no idea, but the length of time that the heroes spent on the run, watching villains impersonate them, should have weighed on them, affected their moods and strategies.

    Practically any novel has the lead do day-to-day stuff that makes him a believable character, but the Marvel heroes don’t do that. Peter Parker, were one to flesh out his character, could take an interest in photography as art, study classic photographers, attend exhibits, and so on. How would Spider-Man fans react, however well that material was handled? Would they be interested in artistic photography, or would they say, “Damn it! Get rid of that crap! If I wanted to read about photography, I’d get a book about it!”

    Practically any comparison between novels and superhero serials leads to the conclusion that the superhero’s serialized stories are worse because of the lack of content and details. The only advantage the serial offers a reader is that he can see the character next month in a story and, perhaps, enjoy some of what he does and says.

    SRS

  10. Chris Hero says:

    One Piece is awesome. It’s not as continuity heavy as you’d think, either. I’ve jumped in and out of the narrative several times with no problem.

  11. “Which means that you are saying “these two different things are different” and then… well then what”

    huh? last time I checked they’re both comics, except one is top selling and popular all over the world and the others are struggling sales even within it’s niche market in its own country, whose denizens might not even care (and drive said sales) if there wasn’t countless multi-million dollars films based on them coming out each year.

  12. J. K. Simon says:

    “I think the point is more like, One Piece has managed ongoing continuity for some 13 years without splitting timelines, creating alternate universes, killing off/resurrecting characters so often it becomes an industry in-joke, and generally maintaining relevance with its audience by following the rules of its own world without shoehorning ridiculous some ridiculous character-altering nonsense to create some sort of shallow “appeal” to push sales.”

    And it has been able to so so because:

    1)It doesn’t exist in a shared universe. One Piece can jump forward two years without compromising, say, Yotsuba’s continuity.

    2)It’s set in a wholly fictional world, so Oda an co. don’t have to worry about if/how they are going to reference real world events, stay relevant/contemporary, or some curmudgeon on the internet badgering them for some sort of cohesive timeline that can explain how Ben Grimm can have fought in the Korean War and still be in this 30s.

    3)And, as you’ve noted, OP is the product of a single creative team. Now, I’m all about trying new stuff, but are you seriously trying to argue that, since Bob Kane and Bill Finger aren’t available, nobody has any business writing Batman stories anymore? And do you think that Stan Lee’s take on Daredevil was superior to Frank Miller’s? Because *that’s* where the ‘one creative team to rule them all’ argument inevitably leads.

    Measuring One Piece against a DC/Marvel comic isn’t even a case of comparing apples to oranges — it’s more like comparing an apple to a jet fighter. Try harder, haters.

  13. Pantsless Pete says:

    The lesson we should perhaps take here is that servicing a corporate owned IP is going to inevitably stagnate and prevent any really meaningful story growth since said IP is forever required to remain at it’s status quo in order to retain it’s ability to be monetised.

    This an issue that One Piece or to get past the reflexive aging nerd manga hate….Walking Dead don’t suffer from.

  14. ‘Which means that you are saying “these two different things are different” and then… well then what?’

    Look at how they’re different, obviously.

  15. “3)And, as you’ve noted, OP is the product of a single creative team. Now, I’m all about trying new stuff, but are you seriously trying to argue that, since Bob Kane and Bill Finger aren’t available, nobody has any business writing Batman stories anymore? And do you think that Stan Lee’s take on Daredevil was superior to Frank Miller’s? Because *that’s* where the ‘one creative team to rule them all’ argument inevitably leads”

    to a certain extent I guess I seriously am trying to argue that. If people could keep these things together over those 50 years we wouldn’t have the continuity problems and general lameness used to try and fix/shoehorn solutions for said problems to begin with.

    Like you said though, it’s extremely hard to KEEP it together with so many different writer/artist teams over the years for the same character(s)/universe. BUT, it’s also very confusing for a mainstream audience($$$) to decipher when coming into it. If somebody who wants to read comics comes to me and says, “I tried reading Spider-man, I hated it!” and I say “Oh, that’s because you read the crappy Spiderman. You need to read THIS Spiderman by (artist, writer). Their initial reaction is going to be something like, “Well, what the hell? It’s all Spiderman, isn’t it?!”

    Bond movies have the same problems (an example of huge, convoluted , disjointed continuity over 50 years in another medium), If someone coming into it says ” Well, I saw Die Another Day and thought it was the dumbest two some hours of my life,” I, as the respecting fan whose invested years into has to begrudgingly say “Well, it IS unfortunately conjecture Bond, but see, you saw the crappy one…”

  16. *considered Bond, not conjecture… lousy apple and it’s word replacers *grumble*

    Another similar franchise that has similar problems is the Lupin the 3rd manga/anime (and that’s even from Japan, my supposed holy land of storytelling!) Again, running since the 60s, many many different teams, it was very hard for me to get into it ( not so long ago, I might add) as a newbie. However, the great thing Lupin has going for it, even over decades, is that the character types are so simple, their motivations remain clear and relatively unchanged since their inception, and the stories are mostly self contained. It doesn’t NEED to be refrencing anything in its gigantic past history to secure a motivation for story or character elements.

    I guess the point is to maintain relevance for a character/universe over so many years and to appeal to as many people as possible, it would seem (to me) that you just gotta keep things simple. (This is not hating, this is attempting analysis for something I want to like and be successful, really!)

  17. J. K. Simon says:

    Coming back to this conversation at this late date is serious internet fail, but there are a few last things I’d like to address:

    “‘Which means that you are saying “these two different things are different” and then… well then what?’

    Look at how they’re different, obviously.”

    I don’t think there’s a lot to be gained from that discussion — which was my main beef with the article, quite honestly. If the article had read ‘One Piece is moving forward two years, and doing it in a really cool and clever way with neat updated character designs!’, I would have actually agreed with it wholeheartedly — it was the totally unnecessary dig at mainstream comics (“…THIS is how you manage growth and change) that I found ridiculous.

    I like auteur-driven creator owned work *and* corporate controlled IP shared universe material in equal measure — but I happen to think they are so structurally and functionally different that asserting that a workable solution in one realm can be transposed wholesale to the other is really very foolish. You couldn’t relaunch most DCU/Marvel titles the way One Piece is being relaunched, and to say otherwise is, IMHO, both intellectually dishonest and sadly illustrative of the reflexive anti-mainstream bias common to much of the comics blogosphere.

  18. wah good
    nice
    straw hat crew

  19. It’s amazing, their time skip changes were unexpected. They are amazing. Oda is amazing, and One Piece is the most amazing manga. And for those who didn’t like it, just shut hell up!

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