Why can’t Oda, the master storyteller and plot artist of One Piece write good female characters?
Eiichiro Oda is one of my favorite mangaka of all time and the proclaimed writer of the epic over 900 chapter-long, continuing manga, One Piece, the current top-selling manga. He continually astounds readers with his beautifully interwoven story arcs, character development, and unique artistic style and yet one aspect of his work persistently falls short of the mark — his writing and designing of female characters.
Oda has displayed an immense array of designing abilities, drawing influence from artistic and regional styles from all over the world and yet all of his female characters have the same face and body shape. Vivi, Nami, Robin, Rebecca, Shirahoshi, etc. All of these unique characters would look the same if you gave them the same hair and eyes, something that would not work for the male characters who display many different kinds of eye shapes, hair styles, body types, nose shapes, etc.
In terms of writing as well, even characters who are supposedly "strong" like Rebecca (a freaking gladiator), are swept up and saved by male heroes. Oda doesn’t seem to like to give his female characters proper adversaries to fight, a necessary component to completing a character arc in the world of One Piece – all plots lead to a final showdown of some sort. And yet the female characters only face off against other villainous female characters of the same caliber (Nami vs Kalifa/Miss Doublefinger) whereas Luffy and Zoro are always given stronger and better challenges.
Oda doesn’t seem to respect a woman’s ability to battle a man on equal footing; its a logic that doesn’t seem to exist in the narrative. Throughout the series Oda betrays a serious awareness of historical and political issues regarding human injustice, inequality, authoritarianism, colonialism, etc. And yet why is it that he utterly fails in turning this critical eye to gender?
"Oda doesn’t seem to respect a woman’s ability to battle a man on equal footing"Because it doesn't really exist. It can happen, given some circumstantial factors, but overall its a fallacy created by the more moden concept of equality. Of course the concept itself is righteous and necesary, as both men and women should be respected equally and given the same opportunities. But like with many other things, this causes a large part of the masses to confuse and misunderstand some aspects.And before this possibly devolves into me getting called sexist (because it tends to be the "easy rebuttal" button for some people), for pointing this out, lets clarify one thing: I AM a woman, but that doesn't make me blind to some very obvious facts that a lot of people seem to be intent on forcibly denying no matter how clear they are.Men and women are equals, but they're not "the same". We are fundamentally different in many aspects, which includes the physical one, and no amount of self-righteous denial will change this. It has been proved time and time again that in all disciplines involving physical strength and speed, even the top female athletes tend to fall far behind their male counterparts. The same can be said from women in military combat positions, who always get outperformed by men in similar circumstances (meaning, with similar amounts of experience and training). This is an undeniable fact.Oda doesn't often put female characters fighting on par with male characters, because in the real world that IS how it works 99% of the time. Of course a woman with extensive fitness and combat training can beat a man with much less of both, which gets represented in scenes like Kalifa steamrolling through countless strong male fighters from the Galley-La company, but the point is, when both men and women have a similar level of preparation, the intrinsic physical advantage men hold over women comes to play in full force, greatly tilting the balance in their favour.Again, it has nothing to do with sexism, but with being realistic.
– CarmenDia11 months ago
Generally the purpose of Anime is for Entertaintment. However it can be viewed negatively as well. As most generic anime would include things like Harem, hentai (where women can be viewed as objectified), violence, etc.
But there are those animes that actually do give good life lessons and touch on subjects are a social problem.i.e one piece touches on racism in episode 568 when jinbei did a blood transplant there is also things like you cant be on top alone (nakama) as we live in an interrelated world to be successful we need people who are smart around us as we alone cannot do everything by ourselves.
What are other anime that has good life lessons that should be highlighted to address the negativity about anime?
The fact that a small minority of anime series enter Western culture, has had a significant impact on the culture's judgment of the art form. Of the many animes (great and bad) that Japan has produced, only a handful ever get either dubbed or subbed for Western audiences, and of those handful, even fewer can any traction to become mainstream cable shows.
The difference between Eastern culture in filmography and Western culture in a general sense also makes it hard to bridge the gap between ignorance and appreciation. The negativity about anime is surrounded by the exposure of the internet to the extremities of some absurd animes, which have become the scapegoats for many Western societies. – Gliese436B2 years ago
An interesting topic suggestion indeed and perhaps it's about time we in the West 'grew up' when it comes to stereotypical views about anime. As for your request for examples of anime that '...has good life lessons that should be highlighted...' I would propose the excellent 'Mousou Dairinin (English title: Paranoia Agent)' from 2004. The one and only series devised by the one and only; and sorely missed, late Satoshi Kon. An superb example of social paranoia and social responsibility. Funny and dramatic in turn and well worth viewing. – Amyus2 years ago
The World Government in One Piece is considered the primary antagonist of the series. Monkey D. Luffy is proud to proclaim that he wants to become the Pirate King and we applaud him as he tries. We consider pirates to be the heroes. Why? One Piece has managed to confuse the idea of justice and who delivers it. Is the World Government too harsh? Are they corrupt? Who are true wielders of justice? Have the lines between who is or isn’t just been blurred too much to declare who’s good? Why do we believe that the world government are the bad guy and are we right when we do so?
I like the angle you're approaching the narrative in One Piece. There is a lot of room to talk about a lot of things here. Like , we as the readers view Luffy and his crew as the heroes, the protagonists fighting against the Navy and other Pirates as antagonists. But time and time again, the main characters, often Luffy, proclaim that they aren't heroes. They're pirates. But time and time again he and his crew do heroic things. They have saved countries from civil war, stopped arms dealers, and trashed the laboratories of people doing experiments on children. If he was a Marine these acts would have him lauded as a hero, but since he's a pirate we are conflicted and unsure what to call him.
He also often clashes with the Marines, who in our experiences are the bad guys trying to stop Luffy from advancing forward and doing basically whatever he feels like. But when you examine the way marines are spoken of and treated outside of the pirates perspective they are often well respected and their presence is a comfort to common people.
Now there are exceptions on both sides of the coin, the Blackbeard pirates on the one hand and the CP9 on the other. To understand what this means for our heroes, we need to look at the motivations of the characters to do what they do. Akianu the leader of the Marines is driven by his desire to uphold the law, he has a twisted sense of what justice is and enforces it with an iron fist. On the other hand most pirates want to be Pirate King, meaning they want to find One Piece, Roger's treasure.
We have met multiple pirates with different reasons for wanting this. Buggy wants money, Crocodile wants power, Donflamingo wanted revenge, and Luffy wants freedom. He wants to be able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. He wants to be Pirate King because that is the most free person in the world.
Luckily for most people who encounter him, what Luffy wants is to eat, sleep, eat and sleep, and help his Nakama (friends). Almost all of the heroic things he's done is because of his sense of morals. Whether a Nakama asked him to help them or someone did something that pissed him off, all of the good things he wanted to do were simply because he felt he was free to stop them.
Regardless of if they were Marines, Pirates, or the Shichibukai. He has stood up to them all because he wanted to. We gravitate towards Luffy for the same reason that the characters in the manga/anime do. He is capable of doing what he wants and often what he wants to do is what we want him to do. – joncarlos3rd4 years ago
One Piece is a manga that started in 1997 and is still ongoing today. Despite its humour, there have been sad moments that made readers/viewers cry. For the fan that has watched all the episodes or anime, explain the 5 saddest moments in One Piece and explain how this event affected the story or character.
Totally agree, and I would put scene where they had to leave Going Merry as one of the saddest moment too. Thinking that Luffy and Ussop have a big fight and Ussop decided to leave the crew with wounded body really make me sad. The Ohara and episodes are really sad seeing that the world is trying to erase the truth of the history just to hide their sins. No wonder Robin is having lot of hard time during her childhood. The Fisher Tiger episodes really makes us think deeply about racism, especially when he tells his crew not to tell the villagers how he died just because he want the future generation can choose and figure themselves whether human can be a good or bad thing for them. – RoseF2 years ago