I’ve talked about it may many times before, in posts like this and this, but I want to say it again:
Saying that the anime of One Piece is bad is different from saying the manga of One Piece is bad.
The manga of One Piece is made by basically 1 guy. A single guy thinks up the plot, designs the characters, writes the dialogue, sketches and draws the entire chapter, makes the color spreads, and more. A single guy does that, and creates 18 whole pages of it every week. Yes, the man does have assistants, In the vol. 52 SBS, Oda told us that what his assistants do is draw the backgrounds, which is very important. However, Oda still draws everything that moves himself: “I draw 100% of anything "living or moving”, including mob scenes, animals, smoke, clouds, seas, etc.“ The man gets 4 hours of sleep a night. The man gets 4 hours of sleep a night because he spends so much time working on a creation that he genuinely enjoys putting his heart and energy into. I may not always be happy with every single thing Oda does within his manga, but the love he has for his own creation and his readers and the sheer amount of work he puts into it is unquestionable. You cannot insult the manga without insulting Oda, because virtually every thing about it is something he created himself.
But the anime is different. The anime isn’t made by 1 person. A whole group of people animate it each week. A different group of people do the voice acting. Different people do the music. No one writes the plot, except for the parts they change away from the manga. No one has to design the characters (Oda even designs many of the filler characters FOR THEM). No one has to write the dialogue from scratch. But what the animators and voice actors and musicians all have in common is that the work damn hard to do the best job they can. They’re not responsible for the flaws the anime has. When the animation is bad, it’s because the people who ruin Toei don’t give the animation department the money to hire enough animators to do a good job in just one week. The decision to cut out the ending theme was made so that they would only need to pay for the opening theme. The long opening, the same monologue at the start of each episode, and the recap material is all there to eat up time so that fewer new things will have to be made each week and fewer people will have to be paid. The slow pacing is done so that they won’t have to develop filler arcs or take any breaks. NONE of these things are the fault of the people who actually put the work into creating the anime. These are limitations put on them by people whose only concern is producing One Piece as cheaply as possible to make as much money as possible. The executives who make these decisions, who reap the profits of the anime, are the ones we’re insulting when we insult the anime. And really, I find it difficult to have much sympathy for them.
The anime does not do justice to the manga. Not at all (except for the voice acting). So I have absolutely no reservations about encouraging people to ditch the anime and read the manga. I care about the experience that fans of the series receive, which can differ vastly between the anime and manga. I don’t care about defending the anime’s low quality production because a handful of executives want to make money.