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Best Anime Series Like One Piece

by Tanya M.
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One Piece is quite a unique anime. In my view, it’s absolutely unique. Of course, you can disagree with me and say that there is a whole array of anime about the teams of adventurers who constantly get into trouble and try to reach some abstract goal, which is a key mover of a plot. But the devil is in the details.
What makes One Piece different is that it doesn’t “forget” anything. The story keeps practically all the characters (except a few personages) from one arc to another which means that the world in the anime becomes only richer.

On the whole, the anime is a standard shonen coming out once a week, almost without fillers as it keeps step with the manga which is abound in information. A good thing is that the fillers fit in well with the whole narration and do not offend the eye. Also, we can see them only in 4-5 episodes, which is a plus.
If you read the manga, the anime will seem dragged-out for you since lots of moments are made longer to take the running time. Anyway, it’s quite good.

Contents

First anime like One Piece is Fairy Tail

# 1.1

Information about Fairy Tail Anime Series

Original run: 2009 – present

Seasons:

1st season: 1-175 episodes

2nd season: 176-277 episodes

+ 9 OVAs

# 1.2

Fairy Tail Plot

There is magic everywhere in the mystical land of Fiore. Magicians band together in guilds and take on paying assignments for non-magic wielders. Lucy Heartfilia is a young sorcerer who wants to become a full-fledges wizard by joining the coolest guild, Fairy Tail. One day she meets Natsu Dragneel and his partner Happy who are in search of Natsu’s foster father, the dragon Igneel.

After being saved by Natsu from an unscrupulous wizard, Lucy finds out that he is a member of Fairy Tail and invites her to join them. Together with other members of the guild, they battle the forces of evil, help those in need, meet new friends, and have the adventure of a lifetime.

# 1.3

My Opinion about Fairy Tail

The anime will be good for those who want to relax the mind. The light and dynamic narration spiced with great humor, OVAs, and (sometimes) semi-fillers will surround you with the atmosphere of magic. There is a number of clichés that are standard for a shonen. They won’t be too annoying if you get yourself ready to see something you’ve already seen somewhere else.

Nevertheless, a coherent representation of the story, some charismatic characters, and excellent artwork will make you forget about the real world for some time. The series focuses on ecchi, although it doesn’t belong to this genre completely.

One Piece and Fairy Tail are similar in the spirit of adventure.

# 1.4

What are the similiraties between Fairy Tail and One Piece

Сriteria Similarity
Story The protagonist is trying to reach some distant, semi-real final goal during the whole series.
Fascination of story Mainly depends on characters in the arcs. In both anime, an arc can win or lose depending on the protagonists being in control. The similarity is as like as two peas.
Artwork Very similar considering the fact that Hiro Mashima (the author of Fairy Tail) was Eiichiro Oda’s (the author of One Piece) assistant.
Atmosphere As for the spirit of adventure, sometimes Fairy Tail even surpasses One Piece. The main characters’ wild disorderliness and audacity is what the two anime have in common.
Characters Lots of protagonists bear a resemblance, which is typical for this genre.
Drama Minimal similarity.
Logic and Balance Minimal similarity.
Action Many abilities are similar because of the genre.
Narrative Organization Any new arc is a new adventure having weak connection with the previous one.
Humor Both series are abound in humor.
# 1.5

What are the differences between One Piece and Fairy Tail?

Сriteria Dissimilarity
Story In Fairy Tail, the ultimate goal is much vaguer since the locations in One Piece are quite final and in Fairy Tail they can be created endlessly. The concept of the world in Fairy Tail is much weaker than one in One Piece.
Fascination of story In One Piece, many personages can just stand as pieces of furniture from one arc to another. In Fairy Tail it happens extremely rarely.
Artwork Almost all the characters in Fairy Tail are “humane”. There are very few caricature monsters as opposed to One Piece.
Atmosphere You can eventually get tired of Fairy Tail since every new arc is similar to the previous one.
Characters In One Piece, practically all the antagonists are endowed with great charisma. Besides, the antagonists have already won and can easily tyrannize people. In Fairy Tail, all the antagonists are clichéd and have clichéd goals.
Drama One Piece is more dramatic than Fairy Tail.
Logic and Balance There is logic and balance in One Piece but in Fairy Tail there isn’t.
Action In One Piece, the fights are more interesting but shorter and more rushed than in Fairy Tail.
Narrative Organization The plot in Fairy Tail is more or less predictable.
Humor It’s different. There are funny moments in both series but in Fairy Tail humor is mainly based on obscenity and shock.
# 1.6

Illustrations from Fairy Tail Anime Series

Second anime like One Piece is Toriko

# 2.1

Information about Toriko Anime Series

Original run: April 3, 2011 – March 30, 2014

Number of episodes: 147

+ an animated 3D film short, a feature-length film and two special editions

# 2.2

Toriko Plot

Toriko is one of the most skilled Gourmet Hunters in the world. He seeks for rare ingredients and animals to achieve his dream to find the most valuable foods and create an ultimate dinner course. Toriko is accompanied by a shy chef, Komatsu, who wants to improve his culinary skills and follows him to find rare ingredients. But there is an organization that intends to take control of the world’s entire food supply…

# 2.3

My Opinion about Toriko

Toriko is for those who are hungry. It’s a well-wrought shonen which is about a team of friends who take over the world and get into trouble at the same time. There isn’t such a chaos as in One Piece but it’s quite interesting to watch how the characters work to improve themselves and to follow their adventures. Compared to One Piece, Toriko seems to be not so eventful but also not so dragged-out.
The series is ongoing but the main thing is that the original manga is finished, so it’s good for those who don’t like endless stories.

# 2.4

What are the similiraties between Toriko and One Piece

Сriteria Similarity
Story Harks back to the past times, which is a mover of the plot.
Fascination of story It’s really interesting to watch the characters’ adventures in the middle of the series but not in the beginning or the end. Although One Piece isn’t finished yet, the mugiwaras have already made me depressed.
Artwork No similarities at all.
Atmosphere The spirit of adventure, the characters’ audacity, and getting knowledge of the world step by step – all these things bear strong resemblance in both series. The world is divided into a “common” world and a “rough and dangerous” one. Moreover, the author does his best to involve viewers into the laws of the world.
Characters Many character types are similar as in any other shonen.
Drama There are really powerful moments touching to the heart. The flashbacks are well-thought-out.
Logic and Balance Quite similar and remain the same during the series. It’s good that the author doesn’t break the balance of abilities.
Action The fights are interesting and spectacular. In both series, it often happens that many fights are shown at the same time.
Narrative Organization Very similar, in my view. The conception is following: an arc – a mini-arc delivering information about the world and balance – a new arc.
Humor Quite similar good humor.
# 2.5

What are the differences between One Piece and Toriko?

Сriteria Dissimilarity
Story The actions and final goals are very different. In Toriko, every new arc is logically connected with the previous one.
Fascination of story One way or another, in Toriko the characters get together into a crowd and they get into the most interesting adventures. In One Piece, the best arcs are usually with minimum characters.
Artwork Very different. In Toriko, the artwork reminds of Fist of the North Star and close to Dragon Ball.
Atmosphere While watching Toriko, you don’t feel the “massiveness”. It seems like we’re watching a global showdown of two gangs at the school stadium but not a conflict of the world forces that can entail death of every living thing.
Characters In Toriko, the level of muscularity is high. The series is full of cool personages.
Drama One Piece is more dramatic than Toriko. At first, you really empathize with the characters but later on their drama becomes too monotonous.
Logic and Balance Far more directions of the development of the characters’ skills.
Action The scale of actions in Toriko eventually becomes higher, which is repellent for me. In fact, we got numbers showing us that everything is massive and powerful but it doesn’t feel like this. In One Piece, the scale of actions is quite impressive since everything is kept within the bounds of the island. In Toriko, the author made a stab at the global scale but didn’t manage to show that.
Narrative Organization One Piece is more chaotic than Toriko.
Humor In One Piece, there aren’t such episodes that are entirely humorous without counting the fillers.
# 2.6

Illustrations from Toriko Anime Series

Third anime like One Piece is Dragon Ball

# 3.1

Information about Dragon Ball Anime Series

Original run: 1986 – present

Seasons:

  1. 153 episodes. 1986 – 1989
  2. 291 episodes. 1989 – 1996
  3. 64 episodes. 1996 – 1997
  4. 97 episodes. 2009 – 2011
  5. Over 84 episodes. 2015 – present

+ a great number of full-length films, OVAs, spin-offs, and special editions.

# 3.2

Dragon Ball Plot

Son Goku is a monkey-tailed boy who lives in the backwoods and practices martial arts. His grandfather dies leaving him a magical Dragon ball that has another six “brothers” waiting to join together to grant a user one wish. Goku meets a girl named Bulma whom he joins to find all the Dragon balls. It’s the start of their thrilling adventures.

# 3.3

My Opinion about Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball is for those who want to see how everything began. It’s a father of the shonen genre, a trendsetter of the “power measurement” among the characters and lots of mems.
The artwork is quite old-school. If you’re looking for something like One Piece, such artwork must be familiar, so you won’t be surprised or disappointed.

# 3.4

What are the similiraties between Dragon Ball and One Piece

Сriteria Similarity
Story Duration. The series are huge in volume, packed with endless adventures.
Fascination of story The common thing is that you have to wait. WAIT until something really cool begins.
Artwork Both series are impossible to confuse with anything else.
Atmosphere The spirit of adventure! Besides, the protagonists’ motivations are similar – to help the ones in need (and not only in need). The main characters bring freedom and democracy in every arc.
Characters There are very similar types and this is not surprising since Dragon Ball is the father of shonen. The protagonist is practically the same.
Drama There is drama in both series. On the whole, it’s good if you haven’t been sated of course.
Logic and Balance Honestly, it’s very hard to say if there is any balance in Dragon Ball.
Action Plenty of cool and crazy action.
Narrative Organization Chaos.
Humor Since Oda is inspired by Dragon Ball, the similarity is in many details and humor is among them.
# 3.5

What are the differences between One Piece and Dragon Ball?

Сriteria Dissimilarity
Story The stories are similar in terms of a common style, i.e. “an arc – an adventure”. There are also children and grandchildren. There are only several main characters and each of them has their own adventures.
Fascination of story In One Piece, every time it's different, as I see it: “a good arc – a bad arc”. There were times when I dropped it for a year. In Dragon Ball, everything is even.
Artwork Extremely different. In Dragon Ball, it’s old-school.
Atmosphere The locations are quite boring.
Characters The antagonists in Dragon Ball don’t remain in memory.
Drama One Piece brings out emotions. Dragon Ball fulfills another task.
Logic and Balance No balance in Dragon Ball.
Action As in Toriko (more correctly, in Toriko it’s the same thing as in Dragon Ball), the scale of actions eventually gets higher. One Piece in its turn has its boundaries.
Narrative Organization Dragon Ball must have been finished earlier than it actually did. To earn more money, the author had to pass off a planned, well-thought final as just a simple ending of another massive arc and a completion of another story line. In One Piece, we don’t see such a problem. Or maybe not yet…
Humor Nothing to say.
# 3.6

Illustrations from Dragon Ball Anime Series

Fourth anime like One Piece is The Seven Deadly Sins

# 4.1

Information about The Seven Deadly Sins Anime Series

Original run: October 5, 2014 – present

The first season: 24 episodes

+ two OVAs

The series comes out as a complete season, which has become popular in Japan.

# 4.2

The Seven Deadly Sins Plot

The Seven Deadly Sins once were the strongest order of knights in the region of Britannia. Ten years before, a great unhappiness had fallen on the capital of the Liones Kingdom: the Great Holy Knight was killed, and the Sins were framed for murdering him. Everybody believed that the Sins were traitors and villains. After having been charged with attempted coup, they were disbanded, and the Holy Knights took their place. A few days before the present story starts, the Holy Knights stage a coup and put the royal family in the dungeon. Elizabeth, the third princess of the Liones Kingdom, escapes from the Holy Knights in the hope that she will find the Sins and they will help to take back the kingdom.

# 4.3

My Opinion about The Seven Deadly Sins

It’s a great plus that the series comes out as a whole season (as Fullmetal Alchemist or Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic) that’s why there are so few fillers and the quality level is always high. You won’t get the feeling that the episodes are dragged-out.

I recommend it to all the fans of the legends of King Arthur. Yet, the series will take fancy of those who are tired of the cliché “in the beginning a protagonist and his team are weak, then they become stronger”. In The Seven Deadly Sins, the main characters are very strong since the beginning of the story. The difference is in that the part of their strength is taken away and that is the basis of the whole intrigue.

The world in the series is well-thought-out. Of course, in One Piece this part is weaker but it’s a new manga. Anyway, The Seven Deadly Sins is worth watching, you won’t be disappointed.

# 4.4

What are the similiraties between The Seven Deadly Sins and One Piece

Сriteria Similarity
Story The characters always get together and go somewhere. Another similarity (which I liked) is that all the members of the “party” have their own unique goals and they try to reach them despite everything.
Fascination of story I like it very much that the characters do not forget about social relationship. During the adventures, the “party” is shown really living, social nucleus with its inner relations, history and interactions. And you are imbued with this atmosphere.
Artwork I don’t see any similarities in the artwork but it delights the eye on the whole.
Atmosphere Very similar. The characters argue with each other, support each other, and team up against the whole world. In addition, everything is turned upside down as in One Piece (like pirates are bad but not completely).
Characters Lots of similar personages in terms of their behavior and motivation. However, the protagonists and antagonists are extremely different.
Drama There are some similarities but they can be considered as minuses I think.
Logic and Balance The balance is OK up to now. We’ll see what happens next. In One Piece, the balance is weaker.
Action There is no excessive pathos in both series, which makes the action scenes more digestible.
Narrative Organization The main similarity is in unpredictability. Not always but you will be surprised.
Humor Another kind of humor.
# 4.5

What are the differences between One Piece and The Seven Deadly Sins?

Сriteria Dissimilarity
Story As opposed to One Piece, in the world of the Sins all the events happened long time ago and now the anime tells us what exactly happened. Besides, the protagonists mainly face the consequences trying to avoid new problems. In One Piece, the characters look for problems like mad.
Fascination of story The most important difference is that in The Seven Deadly Sins the characters act as a team during the fights and in the “time of piece”. They split very rarely. In One Piece, the team has been divided into several parts and some members are forgotten for a long time.
Artwork Very different.
Atmosphere The richness of the world in The Seven Deadly Sins is not as high as in One Piece.
Characters As opposed to One Piece, there are many love relationships that play an important role in the whole series.
Drama In The Seven Deadly Sins, all the dramatic moments can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Logic and Balance All the way, it’s difficult to understand what levels the main characters are at. Clever trick.
Action By contrast with One Piece, the team battles are really great.
Narrative Organization The most interesting part is flashbacks. In One Piece, good flashbacks are rare and they are usually full of whimpering. In The Seven Deadly Sins, flashbacks always contain lots of information.
Humor Humor is mainly based on the intersexual communication but without obscenity.
# 4.6

Illustrations from The Seven Deadly Sins Anime Series

Fifth anime like One Piece is Shaman King

# 5.1

Information about Shaman King Anime Series

Original run: 4 July, 2001 – 25 September, 2002

Number of episodes: 64

Shaman King was directed by Seiji Mizushima and co-produced by TV Tokyo and Xebec. The series was aired from 4 July, 2001, to 25 September, 2002. On May 15, 2003, 4Kids Entertainment obtained distribution rights to Shaman King. On August 30, 2003, Fox Box began broadcasting the series in the US.

It is necessary to notice that the original series and the adapted one are extremely different in terms of censoring. In Fox version, you won’t see any guro and dissected corpses, which spoils the whole impression.

# 5.2

Shaman King Plot

Yoh Asakura is a 13-year-old shaman and a medium between the worlds of the living and the dead. He takes part in the Shaman Tournament to compete for the chance to become the Shaman King and the wielder of the Great Spirit allowing its owner to reshape the world. In the process, Yoh faces rivals and meet new friends: Ryu, Tao Ren, Horohoro, Faus VIII, Lyserg Diethel, and Joco McDonnell.

# 5.3

My Opinion about Shaman King

First of all, I’d like to note that it’s better to read the manga before watching the series since the stories are very different and the “shaman’s world” is quite detailed and atmospheric. If you don’t want to read the manga, choose the original anime to watch not the adapted one. Like the Japanese audience, we love guro as well.

Second, I would say that Shaman King is a light anime and standard for its category. It’s a classic shonen for the next generation. It doesn’t conceal any deep meaning and doesn’t focus on the main characters’ friendship and dreams. Compared to the big ongoings, Shaman King remained of the same level as it was at the beginning. Nevertheless, the story isn’t dragged out and is quite digestible.

# 5.4

What are the similiraties between Shaman King and One Piece

Сriteria Similarity
Story The story begins with the main character meeting a strong swordsman who cannot move a foot and a little boy whom he saves. On the whole, everything happens eventually: dreams-goals-intention to become a king. In the process, the main character acquires a team, which strikes the eye as a similarity.
Fascination of story The personages’ stories (their problems and goals) are introduced step-by-step.
Artwork On the whole, there aren’t any similarities except the characters of various sizes and lots of queer personages.
Atmosphere The spirit of “shamanism” and the spirit of “piracy” are distorted in both series compared to what the audience may expect.
Characters Here is a strong similarity in the fact that every important character acts in the story till the end even if they’ve already lost.
Drama Practically no similarities.
Logic and Balance The balance is not bad but the focus is turned a little towards another direction, so the author doesn’t go into detail. On the whole, the balance is neither bad nor good. It stays at the basic level.
Action No scenes that drag. There aren’t such long fights (taking 10 episodes) as in Naruto.
Narrative Organization If we compress every arc in One Piece into 1-2 episodes for each one, we’ll get Shaman King.
Humor There may be similarities in “shock” moments.
# 5.5

What are the differences between One Piece and Shaman King?

Сriteria Dissimilarity
Story The protagonist’s main goal is not vague and abstract but it’s a real task. The character makes every effort to reach his goal doing everything step-by-step. In addition, the plot in Shaman King is too linear.
Fascination of story More similarities with Dragon Ball. In One Piece, the protagonists spread joy on a country scale, whereas in Shaman King the justice is spread in the local places with the local personages.
Artwork Very different. In Shaman King, a character is a little boy (or even not a boy) looking like a little girl, or a bishonen.
Atmosphere In Shaman King, you don’t feel the atmosphere – you just see another wizard boys and girls. If we change the word “shaman” into anything else, everything will be the same. There are few attributes although the artifacts from the world of spirits have some meaning.
Characters In One Piece, the characters are more serious and grown-up as I see them. The characters’ inner world is shown to the full. Drama is also important.
Drama There isn’t any drama in Shaman King at all! There is the world of rhinos and rainbow ponies where even so-called “difficult childhood” is nothing special.
Logic and Balance As I’ve already mentioned, the balance is neither bad nor good but without any deviations.
Action Sometimes, it’s boring and monotone, compared to One Piece. It lacks the intensity of emotions and intrigue so you always know that the good ones will win.
Narrative Organization Poor representation of the world. For example, the audience of Fullmetal Alchemist was captured with the action taking place at the level of the whole countries. In Shaman King, there is a set of mini-quests taking place in mediocre locations.
Humor Very different.
# 5.6

Illustrations from Shaman King Anime Series

Obviously, it’s impossible to find two (or more) completely similar anime series. The whole point is that a good anime (or manga) should be original. If a piece stands out against the rest of the titles, it will be retained in people’s memory and it doesn’t matter whether the impression is positive or negative. The main thing is that it’s special and we haven’t seen anything like that before. Of course, there are certain patterns of the genre but it’s still better when, while watching the series, you don’t think every time “I’ve seen this already here and there”.

I’ve represented several titles for those who love One Piece and want something similar and who hate spending their time for ongoings, waiting and going mad because every new episode is dragged-out. Nevertheless, you may try to search for something new and even completely different and not to stick to one and the same type of anime.

Do you know any anime series similar to One Piece? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section.

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