One Piece: Chuck Jones of Anime


Speaking of characters as well, Eiichiro Oda is actually keeping to some rules just like how Chuck Jones stuck to strict rules when he made Looney Tunes. Yes, I’ll now compare One Piece’s author to one of the most influential cartoonist and animator of all time.

I made the comparison though not by my own awesome deductive powers. Nope, I learned of Chuck Jones from Youtube. Every Scene a Painting is a channel that discusses films, and his analysis is always so fascinating as it comes from the perspective of an editor. In the video above, he discusses Chuck Jones. More importantly, he discusses the discipline or the challenges and restrictions Chuck has put on himself to keep creating great cartoons. The rules of Chuck Jones’ world are always on effect. Bugs Bunny never picks a fight, the Coyote must never catch the Road Runner, and even the character expressions are restricted. All of these rules are set to produce a consistent product. Well, would you believe a mangaka has set the same discipline in his manga that is twenty years running? Yes, Luffy and the straw hat pirates are also very restricted characters to make them engaging.

Luffy never attacks unless he is retaliating. It’s a very common shounen trope though, since the heroes must never be the villain. Sure, but the rest of the cast has some fascinating restrictions too. Zoro never dodges an attack. He defends them with his sword, often to his detriment. As we all know, Sanji never uses his hands so his fights are often mid-air battles with the enemy. Usopp is weak, but he never runs away. He always makes sure he interacts with the bad guys, even if he will lose a fight. I think one of the most fascinating rules of Eiichiro is that he never kills a character. Fights end with one of the combatants passing out. This makes sense, because if a character dies, it’s all the more compelling and world ending in its scale. I’ve never seen them die personally, but I know Whitebeard and Portgas D Ace as compelling One Piece characters. This is Eiichiro’s discipline, and I think this is why One Piece is such a successful franchise.

Eiichiro also follows Chuck Jones’ sage advice in the later parts of the video. He takes inspiration from real life and from books. Now, ok, I can’t prove Eiichiro takes inspiration from books. I know he does, but I can’t prove it. You people know more about One Piece than me, so provide some cool trivia in the comments below. As for real life inspirations, I believe One Piece has plenty of that. I swear there is a Freddy Mercury in Enies Lobby. Spandam also sports the Mankind mask, and it’s actually pretty freaking cool. I feel like a lot of characters in Enies Lobby are actually inspired by Popeye, so that’s cool. Franky gets stronger because cola, Blueno looks the Bluto (named like him too), and I read a long forum arguing which characters look like Olive Oyl, lol. Whatever the case, Eichiiro Oda is an artist that evolved through time, and his growth parallels Chuck Jones’ growth as an artist. He may not know Chuck Jones or the stuff mentioned in the video, but I truly believe they share the same passion and spirit for drawing and animation.

10 thoughts on “One Piece: Chuck Jones of Anime

  1. I’ve only seen a few episodes of One Piece, but that observation is interesting. I guess restrictions are important so that the character won’t fall out of… character. (Can’t think of any other term. Hahaha!) But J wonder, don’t these restrictions also create the danger of the character being flat and bland?

  2. Great review! You have brought out some interesting points. I always wonder if the Coyote will eventually catch the Road Runner, but you inform that it must never catch hehe..

  3. I’ve never watched/read one piece, but this is very fascinating 😀 I really like the idea of characters being bonded by rules. It seems like it would make characters more easily understood 😀
    Also, I love your Looney Tunes comparison. It was awesome 😀

  4. Well now, if our rubber hero first drew blood, will he still be considered as the hero? Since he is the hero, he is imbued with the cliches found in most shonen manga which is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing since he is not a whinny bastard- (Dang! what is with me being all nasty here? I need some peppermint. Peppermint!) *ahem!* What I meant he is the personification that is all courageous, good, adventurous, and a figure any growing kid needs to be a great… a great… person in the future (I was supposed to say policeman because we need more Luffys in the Philippines because most of them are “adventurous” and are easy to provoke on using their “you know what” on hapless citizens); and also a curse since its a cliche and if Luffy and company would just be outside their comfort zone, then they will have more character in their personality.

    AND yes, I love watching Looney Tunes directed by Chuck Jones. This is where the comedy is still good and the characters are still alive even hit by a shot gun, which may result into some unusual deformities.

  5. I love anime and manga. I have now started one piece and i am just in love with it. No anime series can reach the standard of one piece. By the way you have nicely reviewed it. More over you can sort out One Piece filler list and canon episodes here.
    Regards Harry.

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