So I’ve been trying to put my finger on why it is I’ve suddenly been much more interested in One Piece then Fairy Tail. As I’ve said before Fairy Tail is the first major manga I read and I love it, but recently I’ve failed to get into the story arcs and have found it hard to get motivated to care.
I think, 479 chapters in, I’ve figured out a little bit of what makes it better to me.
I love Fairy Tail because I love magic and fantasy and Fairy Tail has it in buckets. It also has a family feel, the only family I’ve ever really been close too is a family I made online, and was more about friends then anything else.
So when I started reading/watching One Piece it was those kind of elements that made me interested. The strong family feeling of the crew and the Epic feel to it left me speechless.
Both Oda Eiichiro and Hiro Mashima have created worlds that mean a lot to me and both their series are great. Don’t think this is anything to do with hating on one or the other as I love them both still.
For me recently Fairy Tail has become more about faux romances and playing to the readers. I liked Fairy Tail in the beginning because it always felt like it was more important to be friends then anything else. I never saw any “relationships” other then that of friendship, the only romance I saw was that between Erza and Jellal which is a whole different story and borne out of something completely different.
As it is now I feel that all the fan couples are getting these big moments that make fandom go wild.
Now there are obviously couples I wouldn’t mind getting together and such but I just like that it was about friends.
That is something that so far One Piece has got right. I have NO strong feelings about any character being romantically linked to any other and the crew really are just there for each other.
I love that about it. I know I’m not fully caught up yet and it’ll be a point I’ll need to talk about again sometime down the line, but right now even when new characters come and fans jump on the ship the actual manga is quite empty of the fan pandering romantic moments.
For example when I started looking at One Piece blogs on Tumblr there were a lot of ZoroxRobin blogs. The moments they’ve always told me about them when I’ve gotten to them in the manga series have never come off more then a crew mate looking out for a crew mate, after all Zoro is protective of all of the crew, they are all protective of all the crew. If anything there is one giant bromance that encompasses them and everyone they meet! I mean (I’ll talk about it more later) the moment I found out Brook was one of the crew members that left Laboon behind I gasped… I WAS READING A MANGA AND I GASPED IT WAS SO EMOTIONAL! I cried afterwards, yeah I’m not too big to admit that I cried. And that is because it is a romance I can believe in. Romance doesn’t have to be sexual and neither do relationships.
It doesn’t wind me up as much as Fairy Tail does in other words.
I am a giant Gray fan, I love the character but I felt his death in the last arc would have really meant something. His revival and now his story with Zero and Juvia is cringe worthy. I’m not a shipper of anyone really (other then damn good friendship! What is wrong with that?!) and GrayxJuvia is one thing I hate. Not because I dislike the characters but because Juvia’s obsession with Gray was a running gag that was funny until it became too painful for Juvia and the fact that it started to feel like Gray is being forced into caring about Juvia which is not what I want for that character.
It has made the last arc unbearable.
I don’t see that become a problem in One Piece.
The biggest thing though is probably Luffy v Natsu.
Again I love both characters, in fact in both series I find it hard to dislike anyone! I love all of them and that is why I get so passionate about it all!
For me Natsu seems to always have to be the solution. No one else looks as strong as Natsu, no one looks as important as Natsu, even now Natsu is important (up until what I’ve read) because Igneel was “inside” him and came out to help them even though all the Dragon Slayers had the same feeling. If since I stopped reading (not down to not wanting to read but time constraints) the other Dragons have appeared it is still too late! If not then it just proves my point.
I don’t mind Natsu being the leader but sometimes it makes me angry that other people an’t have their time in the sun.
Now I’m not saying that One Piece is too different on that score but for me it is the way it is done.
On plenty of occasions both Sanji and Zoro have been shown to be as strong, stronger or at least having a better pain management then Luffy. Most of the time Luffy would fail at the first hurdle if he didn’t have someone else there (getting lost, getting sidetracked etc.) Not only are all his crew given things to do that are equally as important as what Luffy is doing Luffy insists that his whole crew are as equally important. And it isn’t just the crew! People surrounding the crew get their moment as well.
Yeah Luffy usually ends up the one to defeat the “boss” but not after some really hefty work by the other guys.
One Piece also has no worries of making Nami and Robin important!
And yes that is a swipe at Lucy who I am fed up of being made to look useless, even when we are supposed to see how brave she is she is usually being made to look weak. I love Lucy and sometimes it really pisses me off that she is made to look so pathetic. Sometimes she’s only there to be a joke character because she has breasts and its funny to rip her clothes to pieces.
Nami and Robin (and of course Vivi) are all strong, they are all able to fight to save what they care about, they aren’t just there to be the butt of the joke. They are actually kick ass women.
Yeah of course Fairy Tail balances out by having the rest of the Guild (Erza and Mira just for a start) but it grinds my gears that Lucy never really shines. She’s there for the emotional moments, to cheer on the ever more powerful, yet not that powerful, Natsu, she’s the soul and voice of the group but she always needs someone to save her.
In One Piece it feels different. Yeah Luffy saved everyone but the people he saved then get to help and Nami gets a big say on her own destiny. I mean I really dislike Nami a lot at times, recently I have loved her though, but she’s always been strong willed and even Luffy listened to her when she didn’t really want their help. He ignored her in the end because she’s his friend and he didn’t want her hurt but he never forced himself on her because she was never a damsel in distress (no matter what our lovely Sanji might want to think!)
I mean I’m nearly at the end of the Thriller Bark arc now and so far the three “weak” characters have held up a lot better then the “monsters” have, they’ve been important to the plot, they’ve defeated bad guys and they are still (kind of) standing.
Luffy is only winning right now because he’s stuffed full of 100 shadows, OK in a minute they will go and he’ll be fine again but he PERSONALLY hasn’t been shown to be stronger then his crew who have fought Oz quite convincingly for ages now. He is beating Oz now because he has the 100 Shadows, and Zoro is only down because of a failed plan to make Oz swallow salt.
And taking away from that personally I believe Luffy SHOULD be stronger then the rest of the Monsters. He’s a Devil Fruit user so whether or not its only rubber powers he’s still got a special power! Zoro is just a swordsman, Sanji just a kicking chef…. Of course you then have Robin and Chopper who both have Devil Fruit powers too but Zoro and Sanji are just… Well… Monsters! But they are never made to look weaker then Luffy, they just tend to wipe out most of the underlings (some who are Devil Fruit users and just as over powered as their masters) and leave the path clear for Luffy, after all he is their captain.
It is only small things that make me currently enjoy One Piece more then Fairy Tail. Then again I’m not fully up to date with One Piece so it still has enough time to let me down on these points. I guess I love the adventure and the never give up attitude of the Crew. I love that they accept anyone and everything around them. I love the different personalities and how they work together for the same goals.
I still love Fairy Tail. I just thought I’d share my thoughts on it!