With well over 700 episodes and counting, any true fan will tell you that One Piece is more than just an anime: it’s a way of life. When Oda writes a story, he takes it so much deeper by incorporating themes and metaphors that beautifully reflect the real world. For this reason, One Piece has taught me more about life than any textbook ever could. These are just 12 of the countless life lessons one can learn from One Piece.
1.Never Give up on your dreams
From Naruto Uzimaki to Eren Yeager, the trope of most anime protagonists is their amazing ability keep their optimism and hold on to their dreams despite moments of immense difficulty. Luffy is certainly no exception to this with a will surpassing that of a god, and best of all he never doubts himself for a second.
2. You don’t always have to win to be a hero
If anime has taught me anything, it’s that “even if trying is the best you can do, if you try your best you can never feel ashamed.” I can’t even think of how many times characters in this show have given it all they’ve got, even when they knew they didn’t stand a chance.
3. Friends and Family are the most important thing in life
Luffy always talks about how nothing will stand between him and his dream, but we all know he would lay his life on the line and give it away for his nakama.
4. The ones with the saddest back stories always make the best characters
Every back-story in One Piece is draped in tragedy and heart break, but much like in life, we know that these are the things that shape our beliefs and make us who we are; our past is a motivator for the present. Although I’m not so sure this was a good thing in Doflamigo’s case.
5. Don’t judge a book by its cover
Every character has their absurdities, I mean Luffy is a complete buffoon, but when shit goes down he is a force to be reckoned with. Never underestimate people and the things they are cable of.
6. Sometimes your enemies can become your greatest allies or even your dearest friends
Nami swaan, Robin Chwaan, Franky, Bon Clay and even Crocodile, one episode will have you hating a person and then loving them the next. It teaches us a valuable lesson about judgment and how sometimes a little understanding can dramatically alter perception.
7. You can’t bring back what is lost, only focus on what you have
This one is a quote straight from the great and wise Jinbe, but it has been taught time and time again throughout One Piece – just think about when we lost the Merry.
8. You never know how much you can take until you have to
Just when you think someone is down for the count, they always push a little further and in the end come out OK. Sometimes life can get the better of you, but it’s important to keep on keeping on, you’re more resilient than you think.
9. Japanese humor is totally perverted (and I love it)
If you watch any anime, prepare yourself for an abundance of boobies, butts and jokes about being a perv… “excuse me, may I see your panties?”
10. Everything sounds better in Japanese (or any language other than English for that matter)
I studied Spanish once… I retained nothing. But, after watching One Piece religiously, Japanese has become my native tongue (I wish).
11. Discrimination is never OK
It is because of discrimination, Fisher Tiger met his unfortunate end. But despite all of the hardships humans viciously forced upon him, he still knew that they weren’t all bad and ultimately tried not to hate them. He knew that hate only fuels hate and died trying to end the cycle.
12. There’s nothing wrong with being who you are
Ivankov exists as a living testament that everyone should be free to live comfortably in their own skin. Whether that’s male, female or anything in between, short or tall, blonde or purple, straight or gay: be confident in yourself. Wear what you want, act how you want, and just be true to yourself. That’s the Okama Way!