Fan Art Feature: One Piece

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Funimation One Piece by symonxCelebrate One Piece and its lasting impact on the anime genre with a brand new Fan Art Feature! View beautiful artwork from the community and read an exclusive interview with the team behind the longstanding series, One Piece.

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The adventure never ends for Monkey D. Luffy and his band of pirate friends as they explore the world in search of the legendary One Piece treasure. One Piece has captured the hearts of fans across the globe with its unique brand of exciting action, upbeat characters, and exploits on the high seas. One Piece has become a worldwide phenomenon, expanding beyond its original manga form to television, video games, card games, and even feature length theatrical films.

This eclectic group is lead by Luffy, a young man who dreams of becoming the Pirate King. After eating a magical Devil Fruit, Luffy found himself with the power to stretch like rubber, but at the cost of being unable to swim in sea water (which is something of a problem for a pirate). Setting sail on their ship, Thousand Sunny — which features a lawn, a swing, and even a slide — Luffy and his friends chase the horizon, seeking adventure on the high seas and racking up bounties on their heads in their pursuit of the ultimate treasure: The One Piece.

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This isn't your typical pirate story. One Piece is characterized by good-hearted pirates, dramatic action scenes, and powerful storytelling that balances humor and emotion which combines to create the epic character arcs the series has become known for. The Straw Hat Pirates feature a large and diverse cast including: navigator Nami, the cat burglar who originally intended to rob Luffy and his crew; the sword wielding bounty hunter turned pirate, Roronoa Zoro; and the cotton candy loving anthropomorphic reindeer, Tony Tony Chopper, who is often mistaken for the crew's pet.

From the DeviantArt Community

One Piece Season 9, Voyage 4Own It Now On DVD

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We got to sit down with Mike McFarland, Automated Dialog Replacement (ADR) Director for the English dub of One Piece and voice of Buggy the Clown, the red nosed, knife-loving pirate, to talk about the challenges of translation, localization, and voice acting in the exciting world of One Piece.

What's the most fun and the most difficult part of working on One Piece?

I would say it's fun and difficult to work with the leads. They're absolutely wonderful actors and they all have great grasps of what their character should do, should sound like, and how they would react in any situation. I guess the difficult part would be to keep them all interested and informed of what the storyline is doing and what their character is doing. It never feels like, "This is me doing the same old thing I've been doing for ten, twelve years, and I can phone it in."

I don't ever want anyone to phone it in. I want each new experience to be just like anyone else having a new experience every day. You might be going to your job, you might be doing the same sorts of things over and over again, but every little bit of something is going to make that new day's experience a new experience. So, if we're on the twelve thousandth version of "huh," it still needs to be a "huh" for that particular moment.

The other difficult aspect is also a fun aspect: continuous casting. Because every time we sail to a new area and have a new arc, I have anywhere from about eight to twenty big roles to find the right voice actors for. I have to decide — do I take an established voice actor who may or may not have already even been in the show before and try to get them to do something different with their voice, because I know that the talent is there, and I know that I can work with them, and I have a good work rapport with them? Or do I go out and find new talented people who are trained as actors and performers that just may not have done ADR work before?

Do I find someone from the existing pool of people who have really only been doing bit parts or smaller things for us? Is their voice and experience situated to where I can put them in one of these bigger roles and have them stand side by side with these lead actors who not only have been working on One Piece for eleven, twelve years now, but were also working as actors before that? Are they going to be able to vocally stand side by side with them and sound like we're all making the same story without them being the weak link in the chain?

Have you faced any challenges localizing and bringing One Piece to an audience beyond Japan?

Well, luckily we have two big factors helping us out with that. One is Toei Animation has a big list of what they would like things to be called. There are some instances when we can keep it in its original Japanese terminology and format, while other things they really want us to call it "this". So that is a nice, helpful list that takes some of the decision making process out of our hands, so we can concentrate more on the quality of the dub and the acting and whatever else without having to go through each time a new proper noun shows up or some sort of terminology to have to make the call.

The other is the head writer for this particular show, Clint Bickham, is not only a huge One Piece fan who's been reading the manga for quite some time, but he's also actually fairly fluent in Japanese, both spoken and in print. So he understands where the jokes are, what all is happening, what the fan base clicks onto, what we should fight to keep, and what we should fight to change because he's been a fan of the series for quite some time, with or without even being in the industry.

There are some vocal tics on the dub end of things we have to approach and address, and make sure that they don't get lost or get brushed aside. Sometimes I can read through manga and say, "Well, that's what it says on the page, but that certainly doesn't sound like what the voice is doing," and I have to come up with some sort of middle ground or make a decision and go from there. It's not necessarily a Toei directive of, "We certainly want things this way or we don't want things this way." It's something that, on the dub end of things, we have to address and make sure that it doesn't get brushed aside. If, for instance, there's a character who always talks about himself in third person, "Mike is talking to you on the phone right now. Mike has a drink. Mike always enjoys doing these sorts of things," we don't want to lose that sort of speech pattern and that approach to that character, because that's part of who that character is.

Anime requires a lot of emotional intensity from voice actors, how do you coax that out of an actor?

It depends on each actor. I mean, some people are all about it, and some people have to be coaxed into it a little bit. Stephanie Young, who plays Robin, has a beautiful, wonderful voice and does a beautiful job of singing as well. Because of that, she doesn't always want to scream bloody, crazy murder and destroy her poor little voice. So, at the end of the... I guess midway through the "Water 7 and Enies Lobby" arc, her character shouts, "I want to live!!!" We had a long discussion beforehand about how important that scene was and how much of a big change it was to how Robin viewed the world and saw her friends and their place in her life. It was a nice, emotional lead up to getting her to scream bloody murder for her character, probably much louder than she would ever scream for anything in her own real life.

You're in a unique position of being an anime fan, a voice actor, and an ADR director. How do all of these different roles impact your thoughts on dubs versus subs?

As far as dubbed versus subbed goes, myself as a fan...I have a long history of acting and directing. I studied it in college, I've been acting off and on since I was in elementary school, it's part of my degree. I have been working outside of the industry in commercial work and film work and television work and radio work and all sorts of things for a long long time, and was finally able to integrate anime into that and voice acting in the late 90s. I think that there are a lot of really skilled, talented people involved in the anime dubbing world. There are people like Luci Christian, who plays Nami, who has a Masters in theater and has worked for Robert Rodriguez and has done a lot of things. There are people like Jason Douglas who, along with playing Beerus in Dragon Ball, has a few One Piece characters and he's on The Walking Dead.

We have a lot of really talented people behind the microphone working on making the dub sound as true to the original story concept, and coming off of the manga pages, as what the Japanese release was. I think it's all going to boil down to super strong preference and whatever it is you happened to have heard first. You just sort of get married to that and, if you have a strong opinion of the first thing that you heard, it's really going to have a strong outcome on whether or not you ever want to listen to it in a different language.

Some people have a preference; some people think either way is fine. Some people think that having both ways allows them to enjoy something a second time through with an interesting viewpoint to it, kind of like someone who reads the book and then goes to see the movie, so they can see a different version of media. But as far as, like, what goes into it and the process and all sorts of things, there are different approaches. But we have high levels of professionalism on both ends of the spectrum for that. We're hiring pros and we're doing the best that we can, and I think that the list of things that we've been able to accomplish is pretty long and we have some really nice work that we've done.

Do you have anything you'd like to say to One Piece fans?

I guess just please know that there are tons of One Piece fans in this building, and we all love the show, and want it to turn out as best as it can for everyone who's listening for it in the dub. A lot of time and effort goes into everything that we do and there's lots of quality control down the pipe, from the Japanese licensers and creators all the way to the Soldier Number 9017 who goes, "They went that-a-way!" We want everything to be top notch all the way down the pipe, and we hope that you guys enjoy it in whatever language and whatever capacity that you'd like to watch it in.

One PieceSeason 9, Voyage 4Own It Now On DVD

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  • Which character do you identify with most and why?
  • How has anime impacted your life?
  • Do you prefer your anime subtitled or dubbed? Why?
Answer in the comments below.

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Kortrex's avatar
One Piece chapter 786 - Gomu Gomu No Culverin! by Kortrex   One Piece chapter 784 - Gear Fourth by Kortrex   One Piece chapter 415  - Playtime is over by Kortrex
Here are some of mine. 
fakeno's avatar
1) I identify a lot with Zoro: I am a serious person in general, but once you meet me I have nice humor sense (?), also I am kind of skeptical, very determined, a bit stubborn and very loyal with my friends in general. 
2) It has become one of my fav mangas of all time.
3) Depends, here in Mexico the dubs where kinda of good, but they had a lot of censorship and weird things (4kids fault). But talking of the American Funmination dubs, I like both subs and dubs, but in general I prefer to read the manga over the anime.
wetblue123's avatar
this is legitimately the coolest thing ever, but wtf is logan.
I want to wield a sword with my face.
NaveahFlananagan's avatar
Its moments like these that I wish I had seen one piece QwQ
ZoWilli21's avatar
Roronoa Zorro because he's always calm and strong and lets his actions do the talking and we both love swords. Anime has kept me out of trouble and led me to try drawing as a anime and is my favorite genere of television. I prefer my anime subbed because the voice acting is a lot better and match the characters a lot more than in dubbed.
Slenka's avatar
read the fine print before contributing, basically your art becomes the intellectual property of DA and they can do whatever they want with it and you will not be compensated
bironicheroine's avatar
Hi, Slenka!

Actually, this is a common misconception about how DeviantArt obtains usage rights. In reality, for a fan art feature like this one, we compensate artists and get their permission to use their art in this journal and to promote this journal only. 
When creating our contests and promotions, we always keep in mind the rights of our artists and ensure that artists retain all rights to their work outside of the promotion.

All the best,
Slenka's avatar
yeah that is bullshit, nice try as exposure is not compensation
bironicheroine's avatar
To reiterate, we financially compensate every artist whose art we use in journals. We pay artists any time we acquire usage rights. 

Slenka's avatar
don't believe a word you say
bironicheroine's avatar
You're welcome to contact any deviant involved. :)
Marie-Angele's avatar
I still didn't get the compensation from the featuring. It's been several months now. Oo
I've sent you an email several weeks ago and didn't get a reply from you.
Maybe did you send the money to the wrong paypal adress?

bironicheroine's avatar
I'm so sorry to hear that! I am looking into it and have sent you an email to confirm your payment information. 
ariattee's avatar
1. Monkey D. Luffy. My second introduction into anime community was One Piece, when my friend decided to share with me in 2010. I started to learn more about the anime and I just love Luffy's enthusiastic and determination for anyone he feels he wants to. Most of all are his friends and their combination as a group of pirate. Very unique.

2. Become weird doesn't mean you are not worth it. I always felt like I'm not worthy of a person since I didn't get that much friends and I don't really know how to appopriately socialize with people and feeling the heat of stares from others as I don't very much talk to them and rather being alone and wonders. After the anime showcase, every episodes had taught me very cool things for being a different person. Especially from the Straw Hat Crew or Mugiwara Crew :')

3. Subtitled.I don't hate dubbed but I feel like the original voice of the characters, where they were originated from are better at showing their characteristic plus I really like the voice actor of Luffy, Mayumi Tanaka herself. (laugh) Really suits Luffy so well.
Quiryuz's avatar
1: I identify me with Chopper and a few specific characteristics from Brook. Ah, I never thought about it before.
2: Even if I entered in all this "world" with video games, I recognize that anime changed some things, but it wasn't a very important "impact", I say, it is pretty normal.
3: Subtitled, original Japanese voices, original opening and the security of knowing that words aren't censured at all... Uhm... I guess I had more reasons... 
Squabasaurus's avatar
1. I guess I identify with Luffy the most. I have a goal for my life in my mind, but other than that, there's not much going for me besides food and sleep lol.

2. Anime is part of the reason I got into drawing. Between that and video games, my artwork wouldn't be what it is today without it.

3. Subbed. All the way. Not to disrespect dubbers, but I find a lot of the time the voice acting to be a bit cringey and forced.
Angelcake1012's avatar
1. Luffy! he's determined and all and i am not up to the task to to more descriptive words XD

2.wellll, my first anime was future diary so gore, then harem the slice of life...i has had an overwehlming roll out onto anime XD. then i came upon one piece, and i LOVED how it went, it stood out from the rest ive seen so far since it was like  the 20th anime ive seen. and finally HOW it impacted my life wasnt exactly ALOT but some things changed with my personality XD

3. dubbed. at first, i wasnt used to multi tasking yet so i watched dubbed since i can follow along easier, but now....i just like dubbed because thats what im used too for this anime!
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