Unless you have lived in a cave for the past decade, it’s impossible that you haven’t heard of One Piece! The series, almost being 25 years old, represents more than 1000 chapters, 1000 characters evolving in a rich and diverse universe, 100 fruits of the devil, 900 episodes, and 470 million copies sold in the world! One Piece is above all the story between a mangaka, Eiichiro Oda, and a hero, Monkey D. Luffy, who were able to put together one of the most famous literary odysseys. In addition to its impressive achievements, One Piece stands out mainly for its story with a rich narrative. Together, let’s dive into the One Piece universe.
Be careful, the following may spoil the story if you are not up to date with the series. So, go catch up, One Piece is not waiting (laughs)!
A Story Full of Lies: The Unbelievable Power of Usopp.
Before we begin, it is important to know what foreshadowing is, since the series offers us a lot of hints throughout the narrative.
As a powerful narrative tool, and probably Eiichiro Oda’s favorite, foreshadowing is used to suggest what comes next in the story through small warning signs, clues in the drawing, or anecdotes.
In One Piece, Usopp’s character allows Oda to skillfully introduce his foreshadowing techniques. Allow me to explain how:
Usopp’s name originates from the word “uso” – lie, has a nose like Pinocchio’s, and was born on April 1. Usopp is therefore a character in connection with lying. Having lost his mother since childhood and left behind by his father, Usopp resorts to lies to attract the attention of the people of his village to overcome his loneliness. This mischief will take on a whole new meaning when he tells his sick friend Kaya fake stories at her window since she is cloistered at her home. Our big-hearted liar brings her a breath of freedom through his stories.
At that time, Usopp tells the story of The Giant Goldfish Adventure, in which the fish is so big that someone could mistake its dropping for islands. This famous fish makes an appearance in later chapters when the crew leaves Little Garden, the Giants’ Island of Dorry and Brogy. In the same story, Usopp mentioned that he donated this fish to the Kingdom of the Elves, referring here to the Kingdom of the Tontattas, which will be discovered 700 chapters later!
During the Alabasta arc, Usopp brags to Vivi that his head is priced at 30 million Berry. Although it sounds a lie, what a surprise to find, several arcs later (Ennies Lobbies), that our liar’s first bounty is indeed 30 million Berry! We can also read on Usopp’s swim shorts on one of the author’s illustrations: Lie turns into reality. Intriguing, right?
The interesting thing about foreshadowing in One Piece is that all of Usopp’s lies are likely to come true. The liar becomes a prophet in favor of the truth to come. There are plenty of lies like these and I leave you the pleasure of going to find them.
The mystery of the man in the top hat.
If you’ve read the manga, you know that Luffy’s brother Ace was introduced in Drum and then in Alabasta. But did you know that his other brother Sabo appeared long before all that? In Loguetown, in chapters 99 and 100, a man in black with a top hat can be seen at the bottom of the scaffold, witnessing Baggy’s future non-execution of Luffy. This man is Sabo.
During this chapter released in 1999, we already had proof, without knowing it, that Sabo had survived his accident. It was about ten years later, during chapter 588 that we officially learned that he had escaped death and had been taken in by the revolutionary army, more particularly by Monkey D. Dragon, Luffy’s father.
Another element confirms the presence of Sabo in Loguetown during the same chapter. Remember, Luffy is finally captured by Smoker and then saved by his father. It is certain that accompanying Dragon, Sabo is indeed present in Loguetown but, suffering from amnesia, does not recognize Luffy. Several more chapters later, during the Dressora arc. Sabo and Luffy will offer a moving reunion.
A last one for the road?
When Luffy learns that there are fish-men on East Blue, he makes a beautiful drawing showing how he thinks they look like. This drawing could have been trivial and forgotten. And yet! Eiichiro Oda does not forget anything! Several chapters (and several years) later, we find the same man-fish imagined by Luffy in a very small box. Coincidence? Absolutely not (laughs)!
The mysteries still to be elucidated:
Despite its almost 25 years of publication, One Piece has succeeded in weaving an incredible web of mystery around the story. Even as the work progresses and heads towards its end, there is still a lot of unanswered questions:
- What is the story behind devil’s fruits?
- What does Doflamingo know about Mary Geoise?
- Who is Vegapunk, this mysterious genius? What are ancient weapons used for?
- Where is all blue?
- What happened in the missing century? And why is the government trying to cover it up so bad, going so far as to kill innocent people?
- What is behind the Voice of Everything?
- Where is the last Polyneglyph Road?
- What does D’s will mean?
- Who are the cool brother yetis who appeared in front of Franky and Usopp? And why do they look like they’re wearing a straw hat?
- Who is joy boy?
And especially question we all ask: what is One Piece?
The list goes on and on and yet, according to its author, the manga would end somewhere in the next 5 years.
All the richness of the work derives from this control of the narration. Eiichiro Oda manages to keep us wanting more. Even after 25 years of telling stories, the author keeps most of the secrets in his pocket. One Piece has an incredible plot masterfully sculpted by Oda’s lynx eye. Nothing is forgotten and nothing is left to chance. The author knows the whole arc of his story by heart and his goal is to offer us an extraordinary journey. Eiichiro Oda spoke on the subject a few years ago during an interview: he would go so far as to modify its ending if a fan were to discover it! One Piece is the tangible proof of devotion, an absolute and unilateral abnegation of an author towards his work. But it is also the burning fervor of a dreamer whose mission is to bring his readers into a world unique in its kind. This is the essence of One Piece.
Read One Piece because it is an incredible work that will make your dream colorful. And don’t forget: One Piece is life!!!