Information and screencaps on this page were made by me.
Based on the long-running and extremely popular shounen manga series by Eiichiro Oda, the One Piece anime began airing in Japan way back in October of 1999. Unfortunately, it wasn't released in the US until September of 2004, when it began airing on 4Kids TV and later Cartoon Network's Miguzi and Toonami. But even more unfortunate was that it ended up being licensed by 4Kids, a company infamous for making terribly edited and rewritten English dubs of anime. I had already watched around 40 episodes of the dub before I got my new computer and was able to start downloading the fansubs. I had heard that the dub was bad, but I had no idea how bad it was and how much better the Japanese version is until I started watching the fansubs. Although 4Kids' dub of Pokemon isn't too bad, their dubs of other anime like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Mew Mew Power are frowned upon by most fans, and sadly, One Piece received some of the worst edits of any dubbed anime. How bad, you'd like to know? Read on to find out...
Note: If you've only seen the One Piece dub and are curious to know about its edits and rewrites, then I hope you find this page informative. However it does contain spoilers for episodes that haven't been released in the US yet, so keep that in mind.
Here are some general edits that are present throughout all the episodes...
This is probably the most well known edit...in the original version of One Piece, Sanji is a chain smoker. In the English dub, his cigarette is changed to a lollipop.
Ever wonder why Captain Chaser always has some weird smoke around him and why he moves his mouth in a funny way? Well in the original version, his name is Captain Smoker and he's always smoking two large cigars(the smoke around him is from the cigars.) In the dub, the cigars are edited out, although the smoke around him is left in and his mouth still moves as if the cigars were there.
The Marines in One Piece are called the Navy in the English dub. Their guns are usually edited to look less menacing(and more like super-soakers or cork guns.)
In the original version, Chopper's voice doesn't change when he transforms to his large human form. For some reason, 4Kids felt they had to give him a low, gruff voice for his human form.
I wouldn't call One Piece an extremely gory and violent show, but some episodes do have scenes of intense blood and violence. I think One Piece is the only 4Kids show that originally had this amount of violence so, as is the 4Kids way, they did their best to edit out as much of it as they could. Although they edit out nearly every speck of blood, they do leave most of the fighting scenes in(which is more than can be said for their dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!, in which every scene of physical contact is edited out, even if it's just a little slap or push.) But I guess they have to leave most of the fighting in One Piece in or else the episodes wouldn't make sense. But of course a lot of it is edited too, so just to give you an idea of the amount of violence/blood that's in certain future episodes, here are some pretty nasty scenes from the Alabaster arc which will probably be edited in the dub...
Luffy has some pretty harsh battles with Baroque Works Boss Crocodile(Mr. 0.) Being stabbed with Crocodile's poisonous hook and having the water drained from his body from Crocodile's sand attacks...I don't think 4Kids will like that...
Zoro gets a bit sliced up to say the least, when battling Mr. 1...
...but he still looks bloody cool.
Crocodile does not treat Vivi's father, King Cobra of Alabaster, very nicely(Also, I think his name is changed in the dub...)
The entire Alabaster arc deals with the ongoing war between the Royal and Rebel armies which Crocodile and Baroque Works had secretly manipulated. If 4Kids won't even allow any character to say words like "die" or "kill," I don't know just how much of the violence of war and fighting they will allow in these episodes...
A childhood friend of Vivi's, Kohza is the leader of the Rebel Army. While trying to stop the war, he's shot by a Baroque Works soldier(but he does survive.)
Towards the end of the Alabaster arc, Pel, one of Vivi's loyal palace guards(who ate a cursed fruit and can turn into a falcon), sacrifices himself in order to remove a bomb from a clock tower that Crocodile had planted. He flies it up to the sky and away from the city. Although he's caught in its explosion, we see that he survives in the end(if 4Kids won't even acknowledge guns, how will they work with this?)
Also towards the end, Crocodile turns on Robin! 0_0 But Luffy ends up saving her and she joins the Straw Hat crew.
And lastly, all the music in dubbed One Piece is changed. The original version has a great variety of opening and ending songs by various J-pop artists, but all we get in the dub is that awful "One Piece rap." And of course, like all anime on TV that's marketed as "kids' shows," background music is added to nearly all silent scenes in the episodes(apparently 4Kids is paranoid that kids will lose interest in a show if there's no music or dialogue at any one time...)
It's one thing to edit out a few questionable scenes, but skipping entire episodes and splicing episodes together has to be the worst form of editing a dubbed anime can get. The amount of episodes in the One Piece dub that are either skipped or spliced together is just plain insulting. Just to give you an idea...
Dub Episode 11: The War at the Shore, which was in the middle of the Captain Kuro arc, was spliced together with the original episode 12, so the Kuro arc ended up being 8 episodes long in the dub instead of 9. That might not seem like a big deal, but that's just the beginning...
The Arlong arc, which was originally 14 episodes long, was spliced into just 9 episodes by 4Kids!
Before the episode where Luffy's crew arrive in Rougue Town, there were 2 episodes featuring Buggy. They were skipped entirely in the dub.
Luffy and the gang were originally in Rougue Town for 7 episodes. However, these episodes were spliced into just 4 in the dub. Among the edits was an episode where Usopp meets another good sharpshooter who also new his father.
Things just go from bad to worse here. After the Rogue Town episodes, there's a 7 episode long story arc in which Luffy and the others join a little girl named Apis in helping an old "sennenryuu" dragon("sennenryuu" means "thousand year dragon") called Ryuuji find his way back to the hidden dragon's nest. Along the way, they have to battle another guy with a cursed fruit ability, Erik, who wants to use the dragon's bones to make an elixer of eternal life. My only guess as to why 4Kids skipped these episodes is either because they were in a big hurry to get to the more "action-packed" episodes, or they found some of the content in this arc objectional, such as the part where Ryuuji is shot down by Marines.
After the sennenryuu arc, when Luffy and the gang are finally on their way to the Grand Line, there were another 2 episodes involving a whale named Laboon who had befriended a group of pirates and was loyally waiting for their return. In the dub, small parts of these episodes were spliced with others, but everything involving Laboon was totally edited out.
These episodes also included a funny old man who lived inside Laboon, and he's also the one who gave them the Log Pose and showed them how to use it.
Also, originally we first see Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday hiding inside Laboon, and the reason the crew decide to go to Misty/Whiskey Peak is because, after losing their Log Pose, Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday trick Luffy and the crew into taking them there. In the dub, Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday are edited out and don't come until later.
These episodes also include The Unluckies, who are responsible for punishing Baroque Works members who fail in their mission. Here, they drop a bomb on Mr. 9 and Miss Wednesday as punishment for losing their Log Pose. They appear again later, in the Little Garden arc which was also skipped, so I guess we won't be seeing them in the dub.
Rather than showing these 2 Laboon episodes and the 7 sennenryuu episodes, 4Kids made their episode 44: Fantastic Voyage, a mish-mash splicing of 3 episodes from the Apis and Laboon episodes, and used their amazing editing skills to digitally remove Apis and Laboon! They then jumped ahead to the Misty Peak episodes.
Of course, the change from Whiskey Peak to Misty Peak in the dub speaks for itself. There was a ton of rewrites to remove any references to alcohol, and there were also a lot of edits of the part where the gang "party down" at the bar. It's quite obvious that it's beer that they're drinking, not juice(and you can bet it was a drinking contest they had.) You can be assured that all other references to alcohol are changed in the dub.
After the crew leave Misty/Whiskey Peak, there are 2 side-story episodes featuring Coby and Captain Morgon's son Helmepp as they struggle to become Marines. These episodes were skipped as well.
After the 2 skipped Coby episodes, 4Kids skips yet another story arc, the Little Garden arc, which lasted 8 episodes. In it, the crew land on a prehistoric island called Little Garden which is inhabited by dinosaurs and the like, and they meet two jovial giants named Dorry and Brogy who have a long lasting rivalry with each other. They've been battling with each other for 100 years while they wait for their Log Pose to reset so they can return to their homeland. The Little Garden arc is important because it introduces more about Baroque Works and its members, like Mr. 3 and Mr. 5. Below I've listed all the important parts that occurred, and I'd like to see how 4Kids manages to get around the fact that these episodes were skipped...
Explosions master Mr. 5, who is impervious to gunpowder and explosive attacks, and Miss Valentine, who can change her weight and make herself as heavy or as light as she wants, both appear in these episodes.
Candle-man Mr. 3, who can make hot wax come from his body, gives the crew some trouble. Here he traps Zoro, Nami, and Vivi on a giant candle structure. Although he's eventually defeated by the end of the Little Garden arc, he appears again in the Alabastar episodes(and gets punished severly by the Boss, Crocodile/Mr. 0.) I don't know how 4Kids will write him in later on(or maybe they'll just edit him out altogether.)
Mr. 3's partner, Miss Goldenweek, also appears in these episodes. She uses her paint to control Luffy(for example, yellow paint makes him laugh uncontrollably, and red paint makes all his attacks go only toward the paint spot.)
My guess as to why the Little Garden arc was skipped was probably because of the samurai-like battle between the two giants. Probably the part where Baroque Works spikes Dorry's ale to that it exploded in his body after he drank it, was a little much for 4Kids...
While exploring Little Garden, Sanji stumbles upon a Baroque Works secret base. Disguising himself as Mr. 3, he manages to talk to their Boss Crocodile/Mr. 0 through the Dial Mushi and learn more about Baroque Works. Again, this will be important later on and 4Kids might have trouble working around it.
In the original version, the reason Nami got sick was because she got a bug bite while in Little Garden. In the dub, they changed it so that she got "Grand Line Fever."
After skipping the 2 Coby episodes and 8 Little Garden episodes, 4Kids jumped right from the Misty Peak episodes to the Drum Island arc where Chopper is introduced. But from what I've heard, this arc didn't receive as much editing and splicing as the others(of course it has the usual stuff like removing blood and toning down the violence.)
Aww, poor Chopper. I guess 4Kids doesn't want us to think that animated characters bleed too.
I only listed the major edits here. Nearly every episode of dubbed One Piece suffers from a ton of dialogue changes and other minor scene cuts and censoring that would be too tedious to list. If you're interested in reading very detailed episode-to-episode comparisons, check out this great site: One Piece Episode Comparisons. From episode 1 to the beginning of the Alabaster episodes, 4Kids skipped or spliced a total of 33 episodes!(the first Alabaster episode in the the original version is episode 92...in the dub, it's only episode 59!) But this is probably about as far as I'm going to go with the edit list. I don't plan on watching anymore dubbed One Piece so the only way I may add more to this page is if I hear about new major edits from other sources. Hopefully, now that One Piece is only being shown on the more lenient Toonami, new episodes might not receive as much editing. But the edits I've listed here should give you a pretty good idea of the kind of edits, both reasonable and unreasonable, that you can expect from most future episodes of dubbed One Piece. My suggestion? If you've only watched dubbed One Piece and you find the above edits irritating, then by all means download fansubs and see how great the show can really be. Kaizoku Fansubs has an enormous selection of fansubbed One Piece episodes, movies, TV specials, and even soundtracks, so I strongly recommend checking them out! =) One Piece has been one of the most popular anime in Japan for years(which is obvious from its 270+ number of episodes) and even though the US doesn't give it the respect it deserves, hopefully more fans will become aware of its terrible editing and turn toward the original(and "real") Japanese version ^^
The Alabaster arc lasts for 37 episodes(there's a good chance 4Kids will splice and edit it to make it shorter.) Then there's a few filler episodes, and then the next long story arc starts, the Skypiea arc(which is about 51 episodes long.)
New villain for the Skipea episodes is Enel, who poses as "God" in Spypiea, a land located up in the clouds. There's much talk about God and such in these episodes, so that will probably be changed in the dub...
Like Alabaster, the Skipea episodes deal with a war going on between the Shandra(people who originally lived in what is now Enel's "holy island") and Enel's warriors. Just how will 4Kids deal with these and other future episodes of One Piece? Only time will tell...
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