Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originating as a Japanese manga by Eiichiro Oda in 1999, the half-hour anime series One Piece was a rousing swashbuckler revolving around the exploits of youthful seafarer Monkey D. Luffy. Inspired by his childhood idol "Red-Haired" Shanks, Luffy aspired to become King of the Pirates (nice pirates, of course). After accidentally digesting the demonic Gum Gum Fruit, Luffy was endowed with the power to stretch his arms, legs and neck in the fantastic tradition of the American comic-book protagonist Plastic Man. Utilizing this unique talent, Luffy set sail with a fearless male-and-female pirate band, on a quest for the fabulous fortune of the late pirate king Gold Roger, not mention the elusive and priceless artifact (or is it a location?) known only One Piece. Meanwhile, various scurvy knaves endeavored to track down Luffy, hoping to collect the "100 Million Berries" bounty on his head. Calling themselves the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy's crew included wily female thief Nami (who only stole from other pirates), musical swordsman Roronoa Zolo, ace sharpshooter Usopp, resourceful cook Sanji, and Tony-Tony Chopper, the latter the "cute and fuzzy" animal mascot so common to Anime. Foremost of the villains were Captain "Axe-Hand" Morgan (and yes, he had an axe for a hand), Morgan's pantywaist son Hellmeppo, the malevolent Buggy the Clown, the duplicitous Don Kreig (he'd even kill his own crew to get ahead), and the huge, witchlike Alvida In the United States, One Piece debuted as part of the Fox network's Saturday-moring "4Kids" manifest on September 18, 2004.