julie-fish said: over the past year or two i've been realizing how flawed one piece is and how things have been needing to change, but have just been getting more upsetting. one piece is my favorite thing in the entire world and i love it so much, even though it's good to acknowledge the flaws in the things you love it's so hard bc there are so many. how do you keep liking it with such an intensity when it keeps letting you down time after time? (just asking bc it's getting harder for me to love the new stuff)
Oh man, it definitely feels like a juggling act sometimes. I’ve had a whole lot of problems with some recurring issues in One Piece and my frustration with the new chapters some weeks is almost palpable. Still, I love the series and it is hard to reconcile everything sometimes.
I guess it comes down to the fact that I do still enjoy reading the new chapters most weeks. I love the characters, things are fun, I’m curious about tons of things, and more. I’ve had major issues with a number of things in Dressrosa, but despite them this arc I’ve also spent an entire day smiling because of the big reveal that Bartolomeo is a giant fanbody, I flipped out when I saw Law get shot, I cried over Kyros and Rebecca’s past together, and I cried even harder when I saw that Koala had become a Revolutionary. In some ways One Piece has become an experience in extremes for me—extreme positivity for the things done right and done well, and extreme frustration for the things he messes up completely.
Another huge thing is what a good job Oda does of giving us stuff to look forward too. Getting to Elbaf, finding out the reasons behind Kuma sacrificing his mind, meeting Vegapunk, the truth of the Void Century, what the Will of D. is, and a huge list of other things—there is undeniably a whole damn lot to look forward to in this series that I am very much invested in and motivates me a great deal to keep reading. With how curious and eager I am about this stuff, I have a hard time imagining that I might not read OP all the way to the finish.
It’s not just about the work itself though. I think my experience with the fandom has done a lot for me. One of the things that I appreciate about the OP fandom on tumblr is how many people are willing to admit and address the flaws in the series. Sure, there are a whole lot of people who want to dismiss anyone who criticizes the series or Oda himself, but I’ve still found so many people who are ready and willing to discuss the flaws this series has and don’t feel the need to shut down any mummer of discontent in the fandom with the series. I’ve heard horror stories from other fandoms about this subject—tsunamis of hate for any criticism at all. And while our fandom is far from perfect, there are so many people who share concerns and are responded to positively when they question the series. I think that’s something that’s helped me stay engaged with this fandom and the series itself. I have been able to voice my frustrations and disappointments when they arise and talk about them, explain them to other people, and work my way through them. It is sometimes frustrating how resistant many people are to acknowledging any flaws in the series, but at the very least the part of the fandom that I occupy—the people I follow and many of the people who follow me—does a good job of addressing things as they arise. There’s pressure on people in fandoms to praise the series and the author unconditionally, but seriously that doesn’t do anyone any good. Dismissing people’s negative feelings and attacking people for not unconditionally loving something you like only makes a fandom poisonous and drives people away. Thankfully that has not been my experience here.
Artists and writers are also really helpful on this front—people who redraw characters with more diverse body types, draw girls with muscles and scars, people who come up with alternative events for things that explore characters in deeper, far less problematic ways (something done most often with Sanji). The amount of people I’ve seen draw Hancock with her early design face tattoo, and the amount of people I’ve seen draw Nami with the scars that she originally had that Oda stopped drawing, is absolutely amazing and has helped give me a lot of enjoyment and energy.
All and all, this is something that each person needs to decide individually. Does the disappointment or frustration you get from a series outweigh your enjoyment of it? Then maybe it’s best to stop reading. There is no reason why you have to continue to like things you loved in the past—regardless of whether that’s because they changed or because you changed. Maybe just leave it alone for a few months or years and then marathon it all at once, rather than being in a position to dwell on it each week something frustrating happens.
This. So damn guuuud!
People, you should really read the Mangastream translations. I think they’re the best and most accurate by a long shot now that Batoto haven’t translated in a while.
Does anyone know if Mangastream’s going to release their chapters today? :c I’m having a crisis here people!