This show is unique because not only is it similar to animes, but it is also very different. Its similar to shows like DBZ and Naruto, in that it has lots of characters and hundreds of episodes, with story arcs that span 20-30 episodes each. That already tells you it has lots of action. But it is also different from those shows in the type stories that are told. Its about pirates! And NOT ninjas! That's a complete 180 for Japan . The basic building blocks of the stories are eastern myths, the types of stories you may have heard or read in books when you were little. Like giants and witches and mermaids. But full of action and other supernatural elements as well. And when you think about some of the more complex stories, the scale of this show is truly epic.
Of course most of this is undercut by main character Luffy. His power: he stretches. Like Mr. Fantastic. That's right. Stretches. That was major loss of points for me. I mean stretchiness has to be up there with the un-coolest powers of all time. But if you can put that aside, for a while, you will be taken in the by the variety of characters and intense stories. Oh, did I mention it was funny? This has to be one of the funniest animes I've seen.
The music is nothing special, but provides a good ambience for what we see on screen. After the first 140 episodes or so, it starts to slow down and get some filler, but I have hope that it will pick up again. Its not yet completed its run, and is still going! Another thing you may notice is that at times it seems a little educational, and appears to be kid-friendly. Except for the tonne of violence. The stories can be a bit cliche and predictable at times, but COMPLETELY unexpected at others.
Definitely something worth checking out if you don't have other awesome shows lined up. Its tought to fine good anime in the year 2008.
Annoying Character: Nami.
Bottom Line: "One of the better animes still on the air."