One Piece: Why the Anime Is Slow and Has a 'Poor' Narrative Pacing

One Piece: Why the Anime Is Slow and Has a ‘Poor’ Narrative Pacing

One Piece: Why the Anime Is So Slow and Has a ‘Poor’ Narrative Rhythm

The One Piece anime has been in its golden age for months, with production quality rivaling popular shows like “Demon Slayer” and “Jujutsu Kaisen.” However, despite its impressive production, the anime still faces criticism for its slow narrative pace.

The Slow Pace of One Piece: A Necessary Evil?

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One Piece: Why the Anime Is Slow and Has a 'Poor' Narrative Pacing 1

Fan complaints about the anime’s slow pace led to the creation of the ‘One Pace’ project, which aimed to remove all filler and unnecessary scenes from the Toei Animation adaptation, leaving a more direct and faithful adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s manga. While the idea might seem appealing, it’s essential to understand that the same pace criticized in “One Piece” is what allows the series to be the global giant it is today.

Why Is the One Piece Anime So Slow?

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The answer is simple: without the current pacing, the One Piece anime would have caught up to the manga long ago. This would be terrible news for a show of its caliber. To illustrate why, let’s look at some other anime that suffered after catching up to their manga counterparts:

  • Boruto: Despite its criticism, Boruto is consistently one of Japan’s most-read manga and was among the most-watched anime during its broadcast. So why is the anime currently on hold? Because it dangerously approached the manga’s content.
  • Black Clover: Although not as popular as other modern shonen like My Hero Academia or Jujutsu Kaisen, Black Clover still boasts a massive following. Its anime started weak but eventually won over millions worldwide. Its current state? On hold after catching up to the manga.
  • Dragon Ball Super: The latest iteration of Akira Toriyama’s work began poorly but eventually delivered a conclusion to the Tournament of Power that many consider on par with Dragon Ball’s best moments. Its current status? Frozen, as producing the anime without extensive manga content to adapt is unfeasible.

Is There No Solution for One Piece and Its Anime?

Honestly, there isn’t one. Toei Animation has been handling the adaptation correctly for years, and while I’m critical of their treatment of “Dragon Ball,” the slow pace of “One Piece” is necessary. Fans complain about the narrative pace, but they would lose their minds if the anime had to stop to let the manga progress.

One Piece: The Perfect Example of Not Having It All

Toei Animation doesn’t ‘stretch’ One Piece unnecessarily, as there’s no other option to keep the world’s biggest anime and the best-selling manga of all time active constantly. The only viable alternative would be to turn One Piece into a seasonally-aired show, but I’m unsure if the series and its viewers are ready for that.


While I understand the criticism of One Piece’s pace, I believe it’s essential to consider the nature of the product we’re dealing with. Criticizing Toei Animation’s adaptation is easy, but little effort is made to understand the challenges they face. Imagine if the One Piece anime had 2, 3, or 4 years without content, like other franchises mentioned. The slow pace might be a necessary evil for the show’s continued success.