A letter to all my uncultured friends

A little over 10 years ago, HBO released this little series called Game of Thrones. It was pretty big and was hailed as maybe the greatest television series of all time. Shortly thereafter, it seemed like everybody was flocking to read the original source material, as more often that not the book is better than the movie (tv show in this situation). Of course this isn’t the first time that this has happened. I’m sure Harry Potter did a number on the book sales after the movies came out as well. People loved what they saw onscreen and they wanted more. They wanted more writing, more lore, more insights into their favourite characters. All things that can’t be explored through the medium of a live action production. Well, my uncultured friends – what if I told you that there is another work of printed fiction that is arguably the same, if not better – than HP and GoT? What if I told you that this series is based on a comic book? A series that has been in serialization as long as those series and sells just as well? If you can’t tell by now, I’m clearly talking about One Piece.

If you know me, you know I love One Piece. I’ve been reading/watching One Piece since I was in 7 years old and I’m currently 27 . . . soooooo it’s been a long time. It’s currently still in serialization as a comic and after it’s mammoth sized run, Netflix has finally released their highly anticipated 8 episode live action adaptation. An adaptation which has been praised by fans as a good anime adaptation, which is rare because live action adaptations have an incredibly low rate of success. I think my main point of this article though is that you should not only watch the live action One Piece but you should actually pick up the source material as it’s definitely the best story that I’ve ever read from a perspective of world building and lore.

This series means the world to me and I know it’s all anecdotal but it’s a story that has shaken my life and millions around the world. I remember traveling to Europe last year and seeing locals where One Piece merch. You see professional athletes from around the world show off their One Piece inspired celebrations and rituals as an ode to this wonderful series as well. It’s a story unlike any other and dare I say it, it’s better than 95% of the fiction that you already watch and enjoy so give it a chance. I can say that because most of you guys have bad taste. I know this because I’ve seen what gets you guys excited via social media. Yes I’m being hyperbolic but that’s just how strongly I feel towards it. I have literally cried reading/watching this series. Sometimes I will explain to friends why I love this series so much and I can feel the tears welling up. I know I’m emotional, I can’t help it.

It’s a story about a young man and what he would do to be happy. It’s a story about how happiness isn’t something that you keep to yourself, rather something you share with others. Happiness is only amplified by others. It’s a series about turning your dreams into goals and that if you are earnest, honest, and curious – with the right people around you, things will be OK. Yes, it’s about the story not the destination. It’s about realizing that the destination was never the goal because the goal can always change as you mature and learn, but what is most important is that you stay consistent on your values. It’s not a lesson for only kids but one for people of all different backgrounds in life. That’s what One Piece is. I love One Piece, the world loves One Piece, and you will too if you give it a chance.

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