The Speakeasy: A Reverse Thieves Podcast – Drink #003

Anime 3000 presents: The Speakeasy

The Speakeasy is an ongoing conversation between the two of us about themes, trends, and concepts present in anime and manga and along side that sometimes there will be a critical analysis of fandom. If you were ever curious about our conversations that are the genesis of our posts then this will be utterly enlightening. If you never wondered about that, hopefully you will still enjoy the show!

Drink #003: Coconut Monkey, Can you feel the One Piece love?
I will mercifully refrain from singing modified lyrics to one of Elton John’s contributions to the Lion King soundtrack and merely ask in written form why is there not as much love for One Piece in the U.S. (and most of the English speaking fandom) as there is in Japan. How does the number one shonen franchise in Japan become a third tier property here? We will be looking at One Piece’s popularity in Japan, why it is so good, and what we think is holding it back. Let go on a voyage to find the answers to . . . One Piece!
(Listen) (Show Notes)

And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:

Coconut Monkey
*1 oz. white rum
*1 oz. apricot brandy
*3/4 oz. coconut cream
*1 1/2 oz. pineapple juice

Shake and strain into a double-cocktail glass filled with crushed ice.

4 thoughts on “The Speakeasy: A Reverse Thieves Podcast – Drink #003

  1. Lothos says:

    I think one possible road block to One Piece’s popularity in the US is that it’s simply so long and has been running for quite a bit longer than Bleach/Naruto.

    One Piece – manga ’97 with 57 vol, anime ’99 with 441 eps, English adaptation started in ’04

    Naruto – manga ’99 with 50 vol, anime ’02 with 371 eps, English adaptation started in ’05

    Bleach – manga ’01 with 43 vol, anime ’04 with 261 eps, English adaptation started in ’06

    Looking at the anime, which is where I think we’re going to more often see whether a series really catches on with rabid fandom compared to just the manga, we have 3-5 years of age difference looking at the Japanese release, less of a difference with the English release. The unwashed masses tend to latch on to what’s new, and it can be imposing to come in at the middle of a show; even one you’re interested in, it can be daunting to find out there are 400+ eps and ten years worth of stuff before what you saw.

    Also, as you guys mentioned, the 4Kids dub was pretty…not good. One Piece disappeared from American TV whereas Bleach/Naruto keep running. You know what they say about first impressions ;) If people’s only real exposure to the series was a sub-par presentation and then it essentially vanished from public display, it’s not likely that a series will rebound from that to topple other popular franchises which didn’t have the same lack luster start.

  2. SDShamshel says:

    Having watched a few episodes of the 4Kids One Piece dub, I felt that the problem with their adaptation was a lot deeper than simply censoring the violence. As I watched the episodes, something about the timing felt very “off,” like as if someone were trying to deliver a punchline very poorly. It may had to do with the background music (4Kids replaced all of it), the timing of the music, or perhaps the voice acting not feeling appropriate, but overall the result was that the show felt incredibly sterile, and again, not just in terms of removing violence. It was like all of the weight of the show had been removed.

    As for the reason why people would prefer the art of Bleach and Naruto over One Piece, it all comes down to thinking the characters look “stupid.” At least, that’s the word they’ll choose, but what they really mean is that the One Piece designs aren’t acceptably realistic enough. When you look at Naruto or Ichigo, there’s a sense that this is how tall a human boy of this age should be, that his limbs are this long, that he has these muscles. In One Piece, while you have someone like Zoro who is pretty realistic looking, he seems more the exception than the rule.

    It’s like, if you’re talking about sexy characters, it’s the difference between Boa Hancock and Matsumoto Rangiku.

  3. Vampt Vo says:

    Enjoyed the episode. I’m a huge fan of the One Piece manga, but I simply can no longer keep up with it. The art style in the anime gets on my nerves, so that’s not going to happen. That said, even though I love the manga to death and own 13 volumes of it, my limited budget and distaste for scanlations make my reading all of One Piece nothing more than a pipe dream.

    In fact, I remember picking up volume 14 of Viz’s release of the One Piece manga at AnimeNEXT about two years ago and thinking, “Well, I could buy this volume, but One Piece isn’t even over in Japan yet. When am I ever going to stop shelling out the money for this series?” So I put it down there and I’ve been clean ever since. Maybe that makes me a bad otaku or something. Maybe I don’t care.

    Also, the One Piece rap is a fantastic song, no matter what the haters say.

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