One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (2023)

The anime industry is one built on compromise. While it is capable of accomplishing much more unimaginable things than other media, its arduous production process and scheduling demand that more than a few sacrifices have to be made. That is no different for some of Japan's most successful manga series, such as the biggest one of all time, One Piece.

RELATED:10 Ways One Piece Has Changed Since Day One

The Shonen giant has seen massive success between its manga and anime, but they didn't share the same path to the top. The anime has had to make several changes to the material in its attempts to both stretch time and make the material more widely accessible. This list will be breaking down a few creative choices that made the material worse and a few that actually made things better.

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10 Worse: How Zeff Lost His Leg

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (1)

Anime fans got a very different version of the long told story between Sanji and "Red Foot" Zeff. In the anime, Zeff lost his leg when he swam to the ocean depths to save Sanji but had to cut it off when it got trapped in some chains. While a noble sign of sacrifice, it's got nothing on the original version.

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In the manga, Zeff was actually able to save Sanji unharmed. However, after getting stuck on the rock, he let Sanji take all the food. When hunger got to him, he'd actually eat his own leg. It's a much more visceral look at sacrifice and a much grimmer reason as to why Sanji never wants to waste food.

(Video) One Piece censorship comparison

9 Better: Helmeppo's Gun

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (2)

While the One Piece anime alone is already pretty censored, there's no beating its early syndication in the U.S.. Back then, 4Kids already had a pretty good idea of what Western kids wanted given their success with Pokémon, so they thought they could give One Piece the same treatment. It was magical.

Characters had entirely different accents, tons of content was cut, and Sanji smoked a lollipop. However, there is one scene that anime fans to this day use to symbolize all of 4Kids' shame, and it is the infamous censored scene wherethey took away Helmeppo's gun and replaced it with a mechanical,hammer thing.

8 Worse: Omitting How Luffy Got His Scar

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (3)

While the Western censorship cut out plenty of important material, its regular version isn't too far off. Over the years, Toei has simply made a few odd omissions that have kept anime fans from seeing the whole picture. One such omission is how Luffy got his iconic scar. While everyone knows how he got his hat, many were left wondering how he received the wound under his eye.

That wound would actually appear after Luffy took a knife and tried to create a scar like Shanks'. It's an early sign of his stupidity and obsessive admiration of Shanks, and its fortunately been amended.

7 Better: Omitting Gorey Scenes

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (4)
(Video) Animes That Are Not For Beginners😭☹️👎🙅🏻‍♂️#anime#naruto#onepiece#bleach#aot#shorts#viral

While omitting scenes like how Luffy got his scar or Zeff eating his own leg might take away certain meaning from the series, more often than not, removing gorey scenes simply means cutting down on some of the series' fat. Despite being as colorful and cheerful as fans have made it seem, One Piece is actually an incredibly violent and bloody series that revels in blood.

This includes scenes likeSanji getting stabbed in the back by Absalom, Bartolomeo cutting off someone's tongue, or half of Whitebeard's face getting melted off. None of these really added much more meaning to the information on screen andmost fans don't even miss them when Toei sneaks them off the screen.

6 Worse: RemovingLaw's Middle Finger Scenes

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (5)

While some censorship can be seen as tasteful adaptations of the original material, some just seem overly-corrected, especially considering how some cultural standards have loosened over the years.

When the anime first brought the Supernovas to the slave shop, Trafalgar Law simply greeted Eustass Kid with a sly look. However, he had much more attitude in the manga, in which, he actually gives Kid the middle finger. Since then, Toei has never given Law's middle finger a chance.

5 Better: Giving Usopp The Daddy Masterson Fight

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (6)
(Video) Why One Piece is Garbage (ft The Masked Man)

While filler may be the bane to a lot of otaku eyes, it can often provide a much needed breath of fresh air before or after a heavy arc and even help expand on the stories of some underutilized characters. That was exactly the case for the Straw Hats' adventures on Loguetown, particularly when Usopp found his iconic goggles.

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While the manga itself never gave Usopp's fancy scopes much meaning, the anime had the aspiring sniper compete for it against one of the toughest bounty hunters on the seven seas, Daddy Masterson. Not only did this help build Usopp's legitimacy, but it also peeked a little into the early days of Usopp's father, Yassop.

4 Worse: Having Luffy Agree To A Second Davy Back Fight

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (7)

Some filler episodes are new material that try to bring some original content to the series. Others are extended versions of the anime that try to explore new opportunities that the anime couldn't. The Long Ring Island Arc is the worst version of the latter. Millions of One Piece fans were annoyed to find that Straw Hats were spending a few more weeks with the Foxy Pirates.

To do so, the anime had Luffy do a very uncharacteristic thing and had the boy bet his entire crew for a second time. The first time around, it was kind of understandable given that the Foxy Pirates were tricking him. As for the second time, as they say, shame on him.

3 Better: Changing "Okama Kempo" To "Ballerina Style"

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (8)
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As stated earlier, some censorship can often come off as an over-correction given looser standards in culture. However, culture doesn't always drop its guard.

As the recent years have shown, society has sometimes tightened its belt to help create a more inclusive environment for more marginalized groups. One Piece has one such moment, where the anime changed Mr. 2's offensive fighting style from "Okama Kempo" ("Okama" being a derogatory term for Japan's gay and trans community) to "Ballerina Style."

2 Worse: Prolonging One-Shot Hits

The anime industry sometimes has a hard time getting material from the manga. For an ongoing series, an anime can sometimes catch up to the manga, meaning that new material for the animators is either too thin or just nonexistent. When that happens, studios either create filler or do a little cinematic trick called "padding," in which the anime obviously and gratuitously stretches a scene.

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This has meant the long screaming scenes in Dragon Ball, the annoying pauses in Shojo anime, or the constant close ups for a suspenseful scene. In One Piece, this has meant sacrificing a little bit of power from some of the coolest moves. One-shots are supposed to be when a character manages to defeat an opponent in one, quick move; but with padding, scenes like Luffy defeating Caesar Clown or Donquixote Doflamingo make it look like Luffy is struggling. One-shots here essentially become one hour.

1 Better: Whitebeard'sFlag

One Piece: 5 Things The Anime Changed From The Manga For The Better (& 5 Things For The Worse) (9)

Cultural differences are often hard to keep up with in the anime industry. While it's easy for different ADR companies to make changes to the script, the actual animation could be a harder process. That's why Toei saved some people a lot of time, when it decided just not to animate Whitebeard's manji.

Though it is a religious symbol in many Asian cultures, it just looks like the Nazi swastika to other people. The anime was the first to change the symbol to the cross that fans know today, and it would later become adapted into the manga.

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