One Piece has been around for quite a number of episodes, and the voice actors all have a clear favorite arcs, none of which surprise me - Wano Country, Water 7, and Skypiea.
When it comes to anime of all kinds, there are plenty that fit the bill as some of the best out there. You could consider classics like Pokémon and its various anime series, or even Sailor Moon. Alternatively, you might relate to newer releases like Attack on Titan or even the intense Chainsaw Man.
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However, no other anime has left its mark on the world quite like One Piece. The series, spanning an impressive 1000+ episodes, has been on the air since the 1990s and continues to gain popularity. For context, One Piece holds the record as the best-selling manga of all time, and its anime episode count rivals that of The Simpsons.
To celebrate the release of more episodes of the English Dub of One Piece on Crunchyroll, the talented voice actors took part in an interview with Cinemablend. They were posed a simple question: after voicing characters like Luffy, Nami, Sanji, and Usopp for so long, what was their favorite arc?
Two of them, Colleen Clinkenbeard and Luci Christian – who respectively lend their voices to the main character Luffy and the loveable Nami – both concurred that the Wano Country arc stands out as the best. Clinkenbeard mentioned that for a while, her favorites were Whole Cake Island and Thriller Bark. However, Wano Country eventually took the top spot:
I love Wano. I think Luci and I are gonna say the same thing. It was Thriller Bark for a long time, and then Whole Cake happened. And then Wano happened... and it's like every episode looks like a movie. It's beautiful, and beyond just being beautiful, there are a lot of moments that are payoffs from a long time ago. And so there's a lot of, like, ‘I'm getting chills all over the place,’ and you know, a moment will happen, I'll be like, ‘Oh, I need to write that down so I remember to talk about that.’ It’s just such a lovely arc and it’s so well done.
Luci Christian swiftly agreed and echoed Colleen’s sentiment that Wano Country ranks among the best. She also noted that she relished the opportunity to engage in a lengthy arc within Wano Country, as such a chance hadn't arisen since taking on the roles. She added that Wano was one of those stories that genuinely "hooks" fans onto One Piece:
I mean, what Colleen said? Yes, and selfishly, I will say, because we've told this story before, but when we first started this show, we were in Skypiea, because we were taking over the Dub. There was a broadcast schedule we had to keep up with, and we were in Skypiea, so we didn't go back and start with Luffy in a barrel, meeting Nami in the town, getting Zoro, and all of that stuff – we didn't do that until we had already been on the show for a year or two. So our whole long arc was a great surprise, and like ‘Oh, my gosh!’ And I think that for a lot of people, that is an arc that really hooks people into the show.
When Eric Vale, who voices Sanji, was asked the same question, he shared that the Skypiea arc held a special place in his heart. It reminded him of the beginning of his journey voicing Sanji:
It reminds me of beginning this whole journey. So, to me, that was the most special for me. There are things that I've recorded since then that I've enjoyed more, but that one's sort of like the big Hallmark card.
Sonny Strait, the voice behind Usopp, also had his own favorite – the Water 7 arc. For him, this arc was particularly cherished because it marked a point where Usopp began to be taken seriously. He referenced a tearful scene from an earlier part of the interview during this arc that showcased Usopp's emotional depth, along with several other pivotal moments for the character:
For me, I’d have to go back to Water 7, because that's when we saw they started taking him seriously, you know, and like the crying scene I talked about, but also his battle with Luffy and the Sniper King, or Soge King. There were just so many fun arcs there…and then from then on, he just rocked it. You know, I just love that character from then on.
In any case, it's not surprising that two out of the four agree that the Wano Country arc ranks as the best among all. Wano Country has been unfolding for a while, marked by several pivotal moments throughout the series, with much more yet to come. And now with the Netflix live-action One Piece release, it’s the best time to check it out.
If you're not up-to-date with the English Dub of One Piece, you can catch it on Crunchyroll now and immerse yourself in the magic of Wano Country – or take a nostalgic trip back in time to experience Water 7 or Skypiea.