If this blog isn’t supposed to be a platform for me to stop worrying about writing and share the things I love, then I don’t know why it’s there in the first place.
Nostalgia is something I’ve found myself at odds with for many years now, and have only started to coming to terms with more kindly recently. That is to say, I am embracing the stuff I enjoyed when I was younger as opposed to believing most of what I watched was a crapload waste of time (which is probably still true, but I’m choosing to look on the brighter side here, so cut me some slack, okay?).
And as a long-time fan of One Piece, it is only right that I remember the start of my wondrous journey with the Straw Hat crew in their many, many exciting (hilarious, heartwarming, tear jerking – the whole lot) adventures through the pirate song that snatched hold of my child’s mind way back before I switched over to the manga, and even further still before I started watching the show in its original Japanese audio:
Yes, I (unironically) enjoyed the 4Kids song of that atrocious dub. No, I’m not particularly fond of this version of One Piece to say the least, and am none too happy about the changes made to the characters, story, and everything in-between (lollipops replacing
cigarettes and water pistols replacing guns LOLOLOL “let’s fail at deculture” LOLOLOL). In my eyes, what 4Kids did to One Piece is comparable to what Harmony Gold did to Macross (Robotech) – okay, maybe not that bad, but it’s still hardly what I’d call a faithful and/or respectful translation of the source material.
For a long time I had this knee-jerk revulsion and hatred for this bastardization of what I hold dear as my all time and forever favourite
anime manga series. My reasons for which, only came to be once I found out about the other versions of the anime out there, and the changes that were made in translating the show. Thus once I fell ill nearing the end of my final years in school, I took that time (about two weeks mostly spent lying on the couch, unable to swallow food properly for most of it) to marathon what I had already seen about five or six times by then (East Blue up to and past Arlong Arc) all the way to Skypiea.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable and invigorating experience, and made for an especially delightful distraction from my bedridden state. And it was only after this that any time I was reminded of the One Piece 4Kids gave me, I couldn’t help but feel bitter about it.
But remarkably I find myself far less begrudging of it than I had been previously when I set sail from the LOL-so-awful dub to far in a way more preferable Japanese adaptation of the work and then years later to the even grander, much finer (and arguably superior) work of the manga itself. Call me a sentimentalist, but I think it’s because this was my first viewing experience of One Piece that makes me look back on with more tenderness than hate. If I’m being honest, I’ve forgotten most things about it (apart from the above mentioned).
Whatever host of complaints I once had for this botched job of a translation – (yes, I know it was intentional because it was “targeted for kids”, but considering all the elements that make up One Piece – namely that the “good guys” are Pirates and that a lot of the characters are supposed to be morally grey and/or do questionable things (and it’s also super violent), decisions made to codify the show in poorly thought-out oversimplified moral propaganda for its targeted audience was never going to make sense from the ground up), I am able to remember a kind of love for it that is unashamed to admit I still really enjoy its catchy as shit OP.
The dub 4Kids had
Was pretty bad,
But I have to admit
This song was my shit.
– Ray Ray (from the comments on the video)