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Religion & Morality in One Piece

Discussion in 'One Piece General' started by Kia, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Kia

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    This was brought up in another thread so I thought I’d give those interested the opportunity to discuss. In One Piece, religion and morality are broached in various ways. In theory, the Celestial Dragons are the gods of the world and should be worshipped as such. However, we are also shown a few other religious figures such as Mother Carmel whose affiliation before she goes to selvage is unstated and the religious rites of the Giants themselves involve the worship of a deity that is clearly not the Celestial Dragons and the celebration of Winter Solstice. The citizens of Skypeia worship Eneru as a god and the Sky Knight before him. The Shandorans worshipped Nola’s ancestors when they were on Jaya.

    With the various religions, what stands out is the overriding message of right and wrong that comes through via the actions of the characters. Oda doesn’t seem to shy away from showing fault in a belief system if it’s causing harm to people. So I’d say that the series is more moral than religious even though there are religions present and some are shown in a good light.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Admiral Ryokugyu

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    We've also seen a nun during Law's flashback in Dressrosa arc.

    Also those guys who were worshipping Satan when Brook suddenly appeared.

    xD i'm sorry but i'll quote Oda once again ( i know i do this a lot, bear with me ).

    Oda in his latest interview ( the one you asked me about earlier ) said that he " never uses his manga to send messages ". So i guess he only portrays religions because he wants his manga to include so many different things.

    You know what, i also read somewhere that Oda said he went to the shrine before drawing Thriller Bark arc because he doesn't wanna joke with the life and death stuff. ( that arc has zombies and dead people resurrected ) XD
     
  3. Kia

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    There’s also the stuff that I was saying in the thread that inspired this, about how the OP universe/luck/karma is on Luffy’s side and helps him tremendously in his journey. Conversely, we’ve seen karma work the opposite way for many putting negative energy out there. That, to me, also speaks of spiritual or moral underpinnings.

    Yes, I saw that in the interview. He also said that the readers should gave their own reactions/responses. But as people, none of us are without biases and perspectives so even if he isn’t overtly or consciously putting messages into the manga, the biases that he has are covertly and subconsciously being passed on. And that’s what I wanted to discuss, not what is definite and concrete but possible interpretations and extrapolations.

    Also, no need to apologize for citing sources, especially the author of the work. ^_^
     
  4. Admiral Ryokugyu

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    Exactly. Moreover, we can't trust Oda when he says " i don't put messages in my manga ". There is no proof that he said the truth, because as a manga author, he wants the readers to understand his hidden messages by themselves. But as you said, " the biases that he has are covertly and subconsciously being passed on ". I agree.
     
  5. Kia

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    Right. So that being said, what are some of the messages or morals that have been seen by some of us? If any.
     
  6. Robin-Senpai Is The Best

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    Blood relations are bullshit.
     
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  7. Kia

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    Right, I see that! Or nurture over nature to take that even further out. It’s who you are not what you are that determines your worth. And you can choose your family. All of those are related, I think.
     
  8. Seiryu

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    That's just him being politically correct, which he has to be in our over-critical society. He has all the right intentions, but can't say what he is doing.

    He is even more subtle with his references to Asian religions. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure I recognized Shinto shrines/offerings sporadically. I would also assume Kuina's funeral was something traditional for Shinto practices.

    Oda is probably best for his constant emphasis of personal morals driving action. He keeps things very black/white (the lone exception being Pudding, but he made the change to have her pretty much bipolar with each matching the good/evil sides of her).

    Most commoners appear to be moral people, but are trapped in an evil world. I'm curious to see if Oda does anything when the liberation finally occurs. Is he going to have people openly celebrate universally? Will people fear the Pirate King overthrowing the Government? Either way, Oda already showed Morgan taking a liking to Luffy, so that's not a problem once a positive story is published.
     
  9. Kia

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    Pudding would be considered closer to multiple personality disorder or a dissociative discorder, I’d say, but yes I see your point there. Although, Ace’s personal morals got him killed. If he hadn’t felt the need to rise to Akainu’s baiting, they would have kept escaping, Luffy likely wouldn’t have collapsed where he did and made himself an easy target needing to be saved. They could have possibly made it to others before Luffy’s energy ran out and then Ace wouldn’t have had to sacrifice himself to save him. Everyone focuses on the died for his brother part but the control your rage part is important as well as far as messages go.

    I think he tries to make the general populace moral but at the same time shows the dangers of being sheeple blindly led by government and press to believe everything you’ve told. Because of this tendency that’s been displayed, yes Morgans/the media/spreading the truth would play a critical role in combating fear and gaining support for any type of reform to come. The good karma coming back on him of having the support of the WG kingdoms the PK has aided will be beneficial as well, methinks.
     
  10. Seiryu

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    But that's the beauty of the depth of character development. Ace has always been a hothead. Oda probably worked his way backwards when deciding on the fruit to give to Ace but he had to be something fire/heat related for this key scene in the plot. At least the one thing that's guaranteed is that the protagonists will always have a good reason for what they do even if it is a mistake. Not fearing failure or ordeals is something too many people lack (to be excessively stereotypical).
     
  11. Kia

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    ‘A‘ole e ‘ōlelo mai ana ke ahi ua ana ia. Fire will never say that it’s had enough. It’s equally important as a fiery/passionate person to learn how to direct your flames and know that they can consume you and everyone and everything around you if you’re not careful. Emotions like rage need to be invoked with caution. That’s a lesson as well.

    Not denying your point but it doesn’t make mine any less valid either. Not saying his sacrifice for his brother out of love isn’t meaningful or anything but letting rage get the best of you when you’ve been hotheaded your whole life and should have learned better (yes speaking from experience as one with a fiery nature and temper that has needed tempering), well, it’s a hard lesson. I’m not saying fear failure but learn self-control.
     
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  12. Kia

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    Alright, I’m going to start with the basic premise of good and bad here. The presumption is that our protagonists are good people because they are the protagonists. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Take Nami, she’s a thief. Yes, we get her backstory and learn why she steals. However, she no longer needs the money for that reason but she’s still money obsessed to the point of it being a key facet of her character and inspiring violence. She’s underhanded, conniving, and manipulative She was willing to betray the trust of the citizens of Skypeia in order to steal their gold, not knowing that they would’ve given it to them willingly. Such is her lust for wealth and material things. Has it been written such that we comprehend its source? Sure but does that make it “good”? No. Thus there are bad things in the good characters.Take Luffy, for instance. In many ways, he’s still that lost little boy who got dropped off at Dadan’s cabin in the mountains. His fear of being alone causes him to selfishly cling to anything that he wants and push those desires into others, consequences be damned. Oh it manifests in beautiful nakama-ship but let’s break it down from another perspective, shall we? Robin was a ruthless assassin—sure we found out later how and why she became that way—who happened to help him out. But she was still obviously a high-ranking killing machine with a questionable moral compass and loyalties. Luffy unilaterally decided that she was a good person, not only saving her life (which is one thing) but also had her join the crew. How many lives were lost due to that decision? (That doesn’t even begin to touch upon Robin herself as a character in terms of morality. I mean, there’s her assassin times, her behaviour to survive before that and then her willingness to endanger the entire world for a few people. Is that good? I’d say she’s grey at best.) Before taking that (being the events of Enies Lobby/Water 7) into account, how much risk did he put his crew and the world in by doing so just because she helped him? Does that excuse all the deaths for which she’s been responsible? Does he even care? I’d say not a whit just like he only acted in Syrup Village because of Usopp, he’s selfish and moves based on his whims. He wanted to save Usopp. Otherwise, he’d’ve let the villagers fend for themselves.
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    Usopp knows it (as I’m sure do the others) and he warns Law about it when they form the alliance.
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    Hell, he was raised by mountain bandits, hung out in a bar and idolized a pirate. His sense of right and wrong is conflicted. He sees no issues with taking whatever he wants, especially food. The only problems he has is when his own world is impacted. He’s selfishly selfless. He upends the world by managing to befriend so many people and creatures but that doesn’t make him automatically good. That’s why he says himself at Fishman Island when questioned about whether they’re friends or foes that the citizens themselves should decide.
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    He’s self aware enough to know that’s he’s going to do whatever he wants and people will react how they will. He’s doing it for himself and his feelings/motivations. So even the lead character himself is quite grey, I’d say. Is there an overarching sense that he’s better than the antagonists? For the most part we’re supposed to get that impression and there’s the reasons that I’ve given in my posts on the debate thread about how One Piece is a love story. We do see how helping others is beneficial and actions have consequences both for good and ill. If you look at it another way, the qualities that remain are his selfless disregard of consequences for himself and his passionate defense and protection of anyone he considers tomodachi or nakama. That being said, there exist antagonists like Doflamingo who may be a despicable bastard but he values his executives as if they were his family. Considering he killed his father, that might not be saying much but it’s what he’s got and he’s serious about it.
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    .

    Also, since you were specifically speaking of allies, let us examine Bartolomeo. He has a reputation of being cruel and violent. His introduction states that he roasted pirates and broadcast the footage as well as bombed innocent civilians.
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    That doesn’t scream “good” to me. Sure he’s protective of his crew mates and super loyal to Luffy but that doesn’t counteract the other stuff. Dagama, the tactician from Prodence Kingdom is a conniving, backstabbing schemer who believes that the ends justify the means and yet he becomes an ally. He was willing to betray his allies during the coliseum match yet he became an ally during the fight against Doflamingo. That’s some clear cut shades of grey right there—blatant disregard for the black and white standards of you ask me since betrayal of comrades is one of Luffy’s (and therefore the series’) highest taboos.

    If we were only talking about allies, I would maybe argue that there was a shift once they entered the New World to show how it’s a much bigger world and people have to grow, develop and change accordingly. However, I’ve seen shades of nuance and interpretation available in the characters from the beginning, if you look at them a certain way. So I don’t know that I want to necessarily take that tack. Instead, I think that the idea is that we’re supposed to be thinking critically about what morality really is, what shapes it, and how people come to their views on it. I think that we are to attempt to suss out the nuances of good and evil, just and unjust amongst the shades by grappling with the complexities and recognizing that there isn’t always, if ever, a single truth. That one person’s justice is another person’s oppression. One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s rebel leader. Learning that good and bad can exist simultaneously and that one doesn’t preclude the other is a valuable life lesson in and of itself that I believe this story does an excellent job of conveying. That’s my, relatively brief, take on it at any rate. Please excuse typos, etc. I’ve proofed it but, as always, Twas done on my phone so it’s difficult to catch them all. ^_^
     
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  13. KKG

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    It's like follow your opinion.
    Each characters will have their vision of justice.
    Akainu for example is Pirates are evil,kill every pirate on sight and evil will be eliminated.
    Luffy follows his heart as we have seen,he will try to help people.
    Fujitora and Aokiji will look at people's actions before they see them as evil or good.
    WB was a man who called his crew members sons and he will protect them with his life.
    Shanks,Mihawk and Rayleigh are men who want to help,protect and invest in the new generation.
    Religion has nothing to do with it and moral is not absolute,just a personal point of view.
     
  14. Jawahib

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    Can't believe I'm just seeing this thread now, cos this stuff is right up my alley.

    Religion isn't really something I'd associate with the One Piece world. Rather, religions from our world seem to make cameos in the OP universe rather than define any aspect of it. There are no religious events or figures of significance that we are aware of. There are no fleshed out belief systems we are aware of. Yet for some reason we have seen 2 nuns in Christian-like attire (one of them explicitly praying to a singular God), several references to "God" and "gods" despite there being no established in-universe historical basis for these concepts, and without the history it becomes a very murky philosophical point about the human inclination to believe in a higher power and how that plays a role in the One Piece world.

    Religion ultimately comes down to what people believe, and in terms of higher powers/spirituality/afterlife concepts, we just don't see that among the common-folk in the One Piece world. For the most part people are just trying to survive and don't really care about any of that stuff. There are some exceptions of course (Shandia and Giants off the top of my head), but they seem to lean more towards tradition as opposed to an actual belief system. No one seems to actually believe that the Celestial Dragons are gods, they just treat them as so because they understand the consequences if they don't.

    Similar story with Enel, but he was just the embodiment of the concept of an indifferent God who'd smite all the naysayers, so that comes a little closer, but based off the fact that the people recognised Gan Fall and understood "god" was simply the title of the human ruler of Skypeia, there would be an acknowledgement that Enel was ultimately human as well.

    The closest I think we've come to a fully established belief system is the Shandia tribe, who had a pagan-like religion that is also heavily centred on the presence of ancestral spirits. We can't know the exact premise for their pagan beliefs but based off their reaction to Noland curing the tree disease with medicine as opposed to the priest's demand that they sacrifice the daughter, it doesn't seem like there was any historical basis. My guess is that it was a very "god of the gaps" style approach where they ascribed everything they couldn't understand to the presence and work of gods in the world around them, which meant that as their knowledge increased the need for their gods decreased until ultimately Calgara ordered them to dismantle that aspect of their religion entirely. The result was that they continued in a belief of ancestral spirits (I get the impression Oda kept this part in so as to not offend any Native Americans who today practice and believe in these things) which persisted to the day the Straw Hats rocked up, and beyond.

    So my conclusion for the religion part is to take it as Oda spicing up the world with ideas as opposed to constructing fleshed out systems and cultures to support the religions featured in One Piece. None of the core cast have any religiously-based motivations which to me is a clear message that he doesn't want to fully explore the theme of religion throughout the series (Shandia would be sufficient to tick that box). Rather, the core cast is all centred around different ideologies (ideas like justice, freedom, order, and power), and those are the concepts explored in much more detail that One Piece handles extremely well, and serves as a very convenient segue into morality.

    So what morals are promoted in One Piece, and which ones are discredited? Well, it's really all the usual stuff with a tad of nuance here and there. Empathy, kindness, compassion, love, family kinship, selflessness, self-sacrifice and friendship are the kinds of things shown in a positive light (since good things happen to characters who have these virtues because of their loyalty to them), whereas greed, cruelty, heartlessness, duplicitousness, selfishness, emotional detachment and hatred are the kinds of things that are shunned (by making bad things happen to the characters who embody these traits). At face value it's not particularly complicated, and you won't find much by way of content - especially content marketable to children - that differs from this.

    Of course you find plenty of nuance in One Piece that makes its exploration of morality very well done in my opinion. There are conflicted characters and characters that find themselves in positions where they have to compromise their values in all sorts of places, but Oda usually makes sure that these characters still fall on either the good or bad side of the scale. There aren't many characters who can't point to and definitively say whether they're a good or bad guy.
    Some of my favourite characters in terms of moral complexity in One Piece are easily Kuzan, Sengoku, Garp, Smoker and Robin - and it's no coincidence that most of them are Marines. Marines represent the front lines of moral conflict in the One Piece world since they're the only ones who are inherently beneficial to the communities in the One Piece world in terms of infrastructure and protection of civilians, as well as the fact that they rely on "good" morals to encourage recruits while being rotten and corrupt at the core.
    I doubt that full character analyses will aid much to the discussion since we'll all likely agree with most of them, but yeah it is interesting to think about.

    The last thing I want to talk about though is this interesting point:
    I agree 100% with this, and the fact that Oda seems to have no larger agenda in the story makes the subconscious elements of religion and morality so much more interesting. We see them as he sees them with (we assume) little distortion on his part. And the overall vibe I get regarding Oda's worldviews based on One piece is heavy atheistic views that espouse non-religiously sourced or motivated "good" qualities in people. Religion comes across as more like a source of comfort or tradition in those that follow them, and morality is placed far higher. The idea of be good people for the sake of being good people as it were, rather than to appease some god. It seems that to Oda, evil is the result of misguided intentions (when people do evil things because they believe it's for some greater cause), or greed (people who just wanna get rich/comfortable at the expense of anything and anyone).

    I'll read just a tad bit more into it for funsies.
    I can also extract the idea that it's the corrupt manipulating the devout in the world out of what we see in One Piece, rather than the other way around. That is to say, people who serve their own interests are the ones who control the people who believe in the ideas/causes they fight for by selling those ideas to them. Stuff like Enel, masquerading as a god for his personal benefit by selling the idea that he's omniscient and all-powerful - and the same for the Celestial Dragons. And the evil escalates when they manage to convert someone who's inclined to do grand evil in service to their ideas. People like the World Government taking advantage of Akainu's worldviews by selling the idea of "justice" to him and letting him run with it, as opposed to the other way around. Perhaps this means that to Oda corruption is the greater threat in our world, and the greater evil.

    I think if I read any more into it I'll just end up into something so obscure that it probably exists more inside my own head than reflects anything on Oda's side :P
    Still though, I think this kind of analysis is extremely interesting, so thanks for putting the thread up!
     
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  15. Pacquiao8

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    Religion in OP seems to be more of a culture and tradition than being a faith belief system. Though it's not being portrayed as religion per se.
     
  16. Kia

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    #16 Kia, Feb 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
    Thanks and you’re welcome. I’m glad that you’re enjoying the thread. Better late than never. ^_^
    So I actually would state that the Giants of Elbaf had a well developed system that was pagan, specifically Heathen, in nature as the worshipping of a sun deity, observance of Yule etc are all very consistent with such beliefs. Furthermore, as has been mentioned, it does seem that they are Nordic in nature specifically (religiously it would seem that they follow Asatru). Their cultural practices seem to convey belief in Valhalla and all that it entails—as evinced by the focus on a good death in battle.

    As for the Shandians, I’d say that they were intended to emulate the Mayans or Aztecs specifically rather than a more crurrent group. But yes, keeping the bits in was to ensure that the descendants of indigenous peoples do not feel their presence denied.
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    Yes, I wanted to bring up some of the Marines as well in terms of their status and would’ve added Fujitora and even Tashigi to that list of ones to discuss. I wouldn’t say that they’re bad even though they’re antagonists. Which is my point. And is what I think that you’re getting at with your statements about what the role of the Marines should be. Complexity abounds in this fascinating world and I truly appreciate that. As a consumer, it makes the story better for me and increases my investment by leaps and bounds. Even when I’m in “brain dead escape mode” I can really get absorbed into it and that’s the mark of a good story for me.
    So I’m good with your read on things other than this particular point. I wouldn’t say that the point of view is heavily atheistic at all. I’d say it’s at most agnostic. The difference between these two is that the former is heavily anti-religion and the existence of deity. Whereas the latter is indifferent to whether or not there is a deity but simply does not conform to such beliefs for themselves. But it’s probably actually more along the lines of being influenced by a mixture of Shintō, Taoist, Buddhist and Confucianist worldviews on morality and behaviours. That’s the read that I’m getting from what little that I know of those religions and what I’ve gleaned from the story (it’s not far off from what you’ve expressed, mind you). ^_^

    Edit: The others that I wanted to talk about but didn't were Bege, Law and even Germa. I can go into them if you guys want me to do so.
     
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  17. Jawahib

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    WHOOPS thats 2x mistakes from me cos despite all my hours in Civ 5 I totally forgot about the Aztecs and Mayans (think it's more Aztec cos of the human sacrifice tings), and I honesly couldn't remember how much religion we saw on Elbaf and didn't do my research so that came out a bit misinformed. The reason I said Native American was because I associate that with ancestral beliefs due to the movie Brother Bear which I saw as a kid (and actually was the origin of that "stop telling everyone I'm dead" meme).
    Sorry I don't think it came out how I meant it to. When I said "heavy atheistic views" I meant to say that if someone asked me to guess Oda's personal religious belief based on what we've seen in One Piecs, assuming that as you said earlier he doesnt really have an agenda and is thus projecting his actual views into the story, that the reading I get swings more in the direction of atheist than any other worldview.

    He shows respect to the other religions in a sort of box-ticking way, but none rise above their own native cultures in the OP world. I don't see the insight of someone who holds non atheistic belief present in how the religious aspects are explored in the story. Not that the ideas aren't fleshed out, it just seems that they're lacking that potentially unique perspective.

    I completely agree that the story/world in OP is influenced by the Eastern Asian elements you listed, just not that they reflect Oda's actual views.
     
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  18. Kia

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    IIRC from anthropology of Meso and Latin America, both Mayan and Aztec cultures had human sacrifice and gold. Thus my references to both cultures. Of course that was like 20 years ago in university so I could be a bit rusty. ^_^ Thanks for the info on Brother Bear and the meme btw. I haven’t seen it but I recall wanting to do so, I think. It just matches my perspective on my religious beliefs really well so I liked it. ^_^

    Right but as I said about differences between agnosticism and atheism, I don’t see the views of someone who believes staunchly that there is no such thing as deity or anything beyond the physical plane. The very fact that any religious or spiritual boxes were ticked (or that Haki exists at all) shows that the author is open to the possibilities of there being more to this world than that which is accepted by and acceptable to atheists. At least as far as I see it. As for the religions rising above their own unique cultures, why would they? I’m not saying that Oda believes in them in particular, simply that he doesn’t completely deny the possibilities of spirituality as an atheist would. I don’t know if I’m explaining this properly so I’m going to stop trying and let you ask for clarification where/if needed. ^_^
     
  19. Anjo

    An alcohol dependent being, born at a young age
    Busoshoku Haki Kenbunshoku Haki
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    One of the things I like about One Piece is the complexity of its characters not just on their physical attributes and powers/abilities but also on their morals, motives, and views. Oda doesn't just create a character just for the sake of being evil. Characters always experience crossroads at some point. And they have to choose a path whether they go to the good or evil side.
    Big Mom was a kindhearted girl who cannot control her strength and her actions of compassion in the past usually ended up harming others instead of helping them. This lead to her being abandoned and sold by the people he deemed as family. And this ultimately led to her path of cruelty with the aid of Streusen.
    As said by others, the Marines is the poster boy for grey areas of morality. Yes, they seem to promote justice. But upon reading the series, we learn how different Akainu's justice is to Kuzan's. Even Coby, Fujitora, Garp, Tashigi and Smoker has their own self-conflicts that they have to conquer in order for them to come up with the most rational decisions, at least, in their own view, without compromising their role as law-enforcers.

    The usual banter that I hear from non One Piece fans is the relatively slow or total lack (in their own view) of character development of One Piece characters. Luffy is still a childish, voracious, naive simpleton; Nami is still obsessed with money; Usopp is still a coward; etc etc. And somehow they are correct.

    But I always refute them that you can never fully appreciate One Piece character development unless you finish a whole arc, at least. Oda's pacing is notoriously slow. That's a universally accepted fact. And this reflects on the main characters' development. What's unique about One Piece though is how the side characters are given equal or at times greater importance in terms of their development. You see, almost after every arc we see side characters like Katakuri, Pudding, the Shandians and Skypieans, etc. do almost a 180 degree turn from their previous beliefs. Even public perception is given significant attention and is made sure to change at the end of every arc like how the legend of Noland is proven to be true or how the people of Dressrosa came to realize the horrors that befell them under Doflamingo's reign.

    Of course, we do get some major development in the Strawhats at specific times like Usopp in Alabasta, Robin at Enies Lobby, Luffy and Sanji at Whole Cake but this came in after a few hundreds chapter. And some casual fans can't wait that long.

    Simply put, Oda's main characters are not the centerpiece of the One Piece story. Instead, he chooses to make the One Piece World as the overall focal point of the whole story. He's merely using the Strawhats as a steady rock who's thrown into the ocean that is the One Piece world thus creating ripples and one day will lead to a world that is benificial to all.
     
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  20. Jawahib

    Both Exotic and Professor
    Busoshoku Haki YouTube Team
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    I'm a bit more cynical than that. Just from the way I see it the religious aspects comes across as someone using them as creative stimulus rather than attempting to acknowledge or present the actual belief system in any meaningful way. Like "ooh Asura's a neat idea, let's give it to Zoro", or "hey I hear that Catholic nuns run a lot of orphanages, so let's make a nun run Big Mom's". When I see stuff like that I'm just like "yeah he doesn't actually care too much about the source material and just wants to use them as references in the story", which is fine btw because he has no need to do that if he doesn't think it'll add to the story, but doesn't indicate to me the kind of care an agnostic might take who wanted to give some of these ideas a fair go. Obviously it comes across as a bit dismissive when I use them as my only examples, but stuff like that does really stand out to me to the extent it overshadows the more elaborate stuff from Shandia.

    This question baffles me. The premise of religion is that people who follow the religion think they have the answers to all the big questions. They are then, irrespective of culture, usually inclined to try and convince other people of these answers as well. The moment the first person from outside a culture believes it, the religion has risen above its own culture. What stopped e.g. a Skypeian going up to Wyper and saying "Hey I've often felt the presence of my ancestors throughout my life and would like to follow your religion"? That's all it'd take. Unless there was some reason in the religion itself that meant only Shandians would become ancestral spirits, but that'd make them a poor example for me to have used as opposed to evidence that religions are somehow restricted to a culture. This thinking was the premise of evangelical Christianity - "spreading the good news" - which led to a huge shift some 1700 years ago in the Roman Empire.
    So to directly answer the question, religions will rise above their own unique cultures because people outside the culture believe in the tenets of that religion.
     

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