10 reasons why One Piece was the best of Shonen Jump’s Big 3

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“One Piece” has been the subject of debate among manga fans, especially when compared to “Naruto” and “Bleach”, two other major Shonen Jump titles. These discussions revolve around which of these manga is superior. In 2024, the answer seems to be clearly leaning towards “One Piece”. The series, still ongoing, stands out not only for its longevity, but also for its unquestionable quality and depth.

Created by Eiichiro Oda, the “One Piece” saga follows Luffy and his journey to become the pirate king. Over time, the story evolved from a simple adventure into a complex and engaging plot. The Straw Hat Pirates, initially a ragtag crew, have become central figures in a vast and intricate world. The current arc, Egghead Island, is a perfect example of this evolution. It not only answers questions that have persisted for decades, but also develops the characters in a satisfactory way, something that is a differentiator when compared to “Naruto” and “Bleach”.

10. Quantity that Enhances Quality

The first notable aspect of “One Piece” is its length: more than 1100 chapters, considerably surpassing “Naruto” with its 700 chapters and “Bleach” with 686. This quantity is not just a number, but a reflection of Oda’s skill in weave a rich and continuous narrative. Each chapter of “One Piece” contributes to the construction of an interconnected world, where events do not occur in isolation. The series’ extensive length allows for a deeper immersion into the story, giving fans a broader universe to explore and love. This aspect makes “One Piece” distinct, as its long journey is not just about quantity, but about how each part of this vast narrative enriches the whole.

9. Remarkable Emotional Moments in One Piece

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“One Piece” stands out for its emotional power, surpassing “Naruto” and “Bleach” in this regard. While each of these manga has its harrowing moments, “One Piece” features an intensity and frequency of emotional scenes that are unmatched. The first chapters, where Eiichiro Oda was improving his technique, may not have been so impactful, but as the series evolved, moments like Robin’s in Enies Lobby and Kuma’s story gained extraordinary prominence. These scenes are not only some of the best moments within the “Big 3” of Shonen manga, but they are also among the most memorable in the entire genre. The series continues to add more of these emotional moments with each new arc, solidifying its position as a leader in this regard.

8. Surprising Twists in One Piece

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Even after 25 years, “One Piece” maintains its ability to surprise fans. An iconic example is the revelation of Luffy’s Devil Fruit as the Mythical Zoan Fruit of the Sun God Nika, a moment that completely reshaped fans’ understanding of the series. This twist is just one of many that the series has featured over the years. “Naruto” and “Bleach” also had their notable twists, but none reach the level of surprise and innovation seen in “One Piece”. “One Piece’s” ability to continue surprising its readers, despite fans’ meticulous analysis of every detail, is a testament to its exceptional storytelling.

7. Unforgettable Secondary Characters in One Piece

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“One Piece” excels in the construction of secondary characters, offering a depth rarely seen in “Naruto” or “Bleach”. A notable example is Señor Pink from the Dressrosa arc. Initially a minor and seemingly trivial character, his later development reveals surprising emotional depth and complexity. While not all of the secondary characters receive extensive development, many of them have a presence and depth that make them more real and impactful than main characters in other series. This level of detail helps create a world in “One Piece” that feels alive and believable, an essential feature for a manga that delves so deeply into its geopolitics and narrative.

6. Captivating Mysteries in One Piece

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“One Piece” captivates its fans with intricate mysteries that remain unsolved even after more than 1000 chapters. Fundamental questions, like the nature of “One Piece” itself or the enigma surrounding the villain Im and the Void Century, have kept fans engaged in theorizing and speculating for decades. While “Naruto” and “Bleach” also featured mysteries, they don’t reach the complexity and appeal of the “One Piece” mysteries, which are one of the series’ main draws.

5. Exceptional Main Cast in One Piece

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The Straw Hats, the central group of “One Piece”, stand out as the best main cast among the manga’s “Big Three”. Compared to “Naruto” and “Bleach”, where secondary characters may have less relevance over time, the Straw Hats remain essential in “One Piece”. Each crew member has a detailed backstory and dreams of their own, contributing significantly to the narrative. The dynamics and interactions between them are always captivating, marking “One Piece” for the strength of its main cast.

4. Comprehensive and Epic Storyline of One Piece

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“One Piece” surpasses “Naruto” and “Bleach” in terms of overarching plot. Luffy’s quest to find the “One Piece” and become king of the pirates is a constant goal, but the ramifications of that quest have expanded in surprising ways. The story evolved to include themes such as the fight against the World Government and the threat of pirates like Blackbeard. This expansion of the plot makes each arc feel like a part of a larger battle, keeping the focus on Luffy’s epic journey. The expectation among fans is that the end of the series could culminate in a great war, which demonstrates the magnitude of the narrative of “One Piece”.

3. Luffy: The Best Protagonist of the Big 3

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Among the protagonists of “Naruto”, “Bleach” and “One Piece”, Luffy stands out as the most captivating. His simplicity, instead of being a limitation, highlights his charisma and makes him an unforgettable character. Luffy embodies freedom, both in his unique abilities and his uncomplicated personality. His unpredictable behavior and ability to act freely drive the plot in exciting ways. Even though Naruto and Ichigo are strong characters in their own right, they can’t match Luffy’s uniqueness and appeal.

2. Superior Theme Exploration in One Piece

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“One Piece” stands out in the way it integrates and explores its central themes. The series is a meditation on the struggle between freedom and control, symbolized by the World Government and characters like Blackbeard. Luffy and his crew navigate this spectrum, dealing with complex issues in each arc. Themes such as overcoming trauma and the dangers of discrimination are skillfully woven into the narrative, creating a rich, multi-faceted storyline. Although “Naruto” and “Bleach” also cover important themes, “One Piece”’s approach is more intricate and satisfying.

1. Exceptional World Building in One Piece

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The world-building in “One Piece” is unparalleled compared to “Naruto” and “Bleach”. Each new island and setting introduced is intricately detailed and unique, from the futuristic Egghead Island to the traditional samurai land of Wano. Not only are these locations visually stunning, but they also have significant importance in the broader plot, contributing to the richness of the story. The world of “One Piece” is a vital aspect of the series, enriching both the narrative and the experience of readers, consolidating its position as the best among Shonen Jump’s “Big Three”.

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