Today I went to Bell, a shopping center in Fukui City, to see an exhibition of One Piece called Hello, One Piece. The exhibition was also held abroad in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and China.
One Piece is a Japanese manga series, and it’s about the adventures of the boy Luffy and his friends in Luffy’s quest to become the next Pirate King.
One Piece is well known not only in Japan, but also around the world. I’m studying English conversation with Filipino people, and they know more about One Piece than I do.
About 60 people, children and adults alike, went to see the exhibition. About 100 illustrations were on display, and more than half were in color.
When I went into the exhibition hall, I first found some panels explaining One Piece. The next explanation was about Luffy, the hero. You could see illustrations that highlighted Luffy’s charm. I was taken by an illustration of Luffy crying, “I’m weak!”
Luffy’s not a perfect man, and he needs friends. It’s said that his friendships are one of the most attractive aspects of the manga.
Next I looked at some color illustrations. Visitors to the exhibition could take pictures, and a lot of people were doing so. Looking at the colorful illustrations was great. The author said that children like colorful things, so he tries to use a lot of color.
There was a small boy who was talking to his father and pointing to an illustration. I was curious and went closer to the boy. He was looking at an illustration of Luffy and his friends as children. He said, “The child Luffy looks like the boy Luffy.”
You could also see a recreation of the creator’s desk. I thought that it was unusual to see such a lot of colored pens.
In the center of the hall, a documentary video was being played. Oda, the author, draws an illustration and talks through his thoughts on One Piece:
“I try to draw like I’m the characters themselves, so I don’t think about things like how my pen is moving.”
“One Piece is about pirates and their adventures on different islands, so my hope is that readers can enjoy the story of going from island to island as if they were riding theme park attractions.”
Lastly there was a place where people were able to experience virtual reality. This was my first experience of VR. I paid the fee, sat down on a chair, and put on some goggles and headphones. I saw the word “start,” and a few seconds later the demonstration started. About 10 One Piece characters were drawn one by one in time with rhythmical music. They appeared in various places, and to see them I had to tilt my head up, down, left, and right, and sometimes look behind myself. I’d known that VR provides a 360-degree view, but I hadn’t known that the imagines have depth. Whenever a character appeared near me, I was surprised. I realized that VR is different from TV in that you have to move around to see the images.
A lot of people around the world love One Piece. It’s a good thing that they can talk about it together and become friends that way.