Catching Up With The Big Three

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Manga

The war is on! It’s pretty rare to hear of someone who loves anime and manga not to hear about these three manga. In Japan, they’re known as the Big Three: One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach.

After finishing up with Bleach and Naruto this week, I feel very content in having the stories up-to-date in my head, yet sad that I can’t read chapters in bulk anymore. It’s probably a good thing because the next day, I usually have red eyes from staring at the screen so much. (O_O) Now there will always be people who prefer one over the other two. Me? I actually like all three! (^_^)

Thinking about starting these massive chapterific manga? Welcome to the stat comparison!

Naruto

This is actually the first of the three that I watched (not read). My friend had the first 125 episodes on some DVDs. Yay for bulk watching! I was a faithful watcher, probably watched until the 60th episode of the Shippuden arc. After that, I couldn’t take filler anymore, so I caught up with the manga. Hahaha. In this manga, you follow the young troublemaker Naruto, who has a huge dream of leading the village he lives in as “Hokage.”  At first it starts of with the characters becoming ninjas and going on ninja missions, preventing wars, and fighting along the way. There are a lot of plot elements including revenge, finding the “way of the ninja,” being driven to despair, and friendship. A pretty intense friendship, I should add. What’s cool is that everyone has some sort of unique power or move, so the fights aren’t boring.

# of Chapters: 511 (as of 09/23/2010)

Unworldly Element: Ninja techniques

Read if you like: ninjas, ninja moves, kids who want to follow their dreams, ninja fights, mythology, elements (like water, earth, fire), guys in midriffs, a really questioning relationship between two guys

One Piece

Out of all three, One Piece has to be my favorite. Why? All the characters are so awesome, and it’s freakin hilarious. While the other two get really serious, One Piece keeps the humor almost every chapter. Everyone’s so random too, they’re not all ninjas or shinigami. I keep wanting to read more and more! In this one, you follow atheyoung pirate Monkey D. Luffy with dreams of crossing the Grand Line and becoming “King of the Pirates.” (Sound familiar yet?) He eats the Gomu-Gomu fruit, which makes him a rubbery man. He can pretty much stretch anything. Hehe! Weakness? Not being able to swim! Sucks fir a pirate!! On the way, he gathers a bunch of people for his pirate crew and all of them are seriously awesome and funny in their own way. What’s cool is that everyone has a reason for joining his crew so you get a lot of character development. I just love how Luffy is stupid and won’t take no for an answer. Haha. It’s the longest out of the three.

# of Chapters: 597 (as of 09/23/2010)

Unworldly element: Devil Fruits which give random powers

Read if you like:  pirates, people gaining powers by eating devil fruits, variety of fighting moves, friendship, character development, unique cosplay ideas, adventures, cute reindeer, rubber and stretching

Bleach

I began watching this one, then turning it over to the manga. The filler was also unbearable. No idea why it’s called Bleach, but it became super popular. In this manga, you follow the young hothead Ichigo who gains the powers of a shinigami (Death God). He uses them to send ghosts back to Soul Society, or heaven. But the plot becomes much, much deeper than that. How? You kind of have to read it. It plays between humor and seriousness where character relationships are funny and fights are deadly serious. You get so many fights between characters that it’s freakin crazy! And the artwork in the fights are extraordinary! Even though mostly everyone uses swords, every sort of weapon or enemy has two or three different forms so the fights get more intense as the battle enrages.

# of Chapters: 421 (as of 09/23/2010)

Unworldly element: Shinigami powers.

Read if you like: wondering what happens beyond death, sword fights, fights in general, rescue missions, talking stuffed animals, big-breasted chicks (Oh yeah, there are a LOT)

[Spoiler]
Well, now I’m beginning to notice a trend between the three. Characters always like to get stronger. Naruto did the two year thing. Now One Piece? Bleach is pretty much an ongoing “getting stronger” manga, in which Ichigo somehow masters every skill 100x faster than normal.
And I think it’s kind of cool how everything’s getting tied to the beginning now. Each of these manga rely heavily on backstory to explain a current situation or relationship. It’s mostly to show how and why characters turn out the way they did. How the hell do the writers imagine a plot 400 chapters later and tie it to the beginning?? I love Naruto’s and One Piece’s history. Bleach totally just mindf***ed me. LOL

Do you have a particular favorite? Comment below!

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