One Piece: How Many Episodes Are There & Where Should New Fans Really Begin?

Because Eiichiro Oda's legendary anime "One Piece" has been running for more than two decades, starting the series can be an incredibly daunting task for most viewers. The series itself centers around the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, Captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, and his efforts to find the mythical treasure known as the "One Piece" and stake his claim as King of the Pirates.

Thus far, Luffy's journey to find the One Piece has stretched out across a staggering 1,071 episodes, which (at an average of 23 minutes per episode) would bring us close to 410 hours worth of content. If you add all 15 "One Piece" movies to this total you're left with roughly 432 hours, equivalent to 18 days of nonstop viewing. With such an incredible amount of content to consume, new fans of "One Piece" might be wondering where they ought to begin the series — and whether or not it's even worth watching the show at all.

As many loyal "One Piece" fans across the internet will tell you, new viewers really ought to start watching at the very beginning; Episode 1, "I'm Luffy! The Man Who Will Become the Pirate King!" Starting from the very beginning will allow you to watch the Straw Hat Pirates grow from fledgling adventurers to rebellious heroes of the high seas. You'll experience the entire story in the order it was meant to be watched, and you'll be introduced gradually to all of the vibrant characters that populate Oda's magnum opus.

How to catch up on One Piece quickly and easily

While the best option for starting "One Piece" is to simply start at the beginning, there are a few tricks that new fans can use to sidestep the show's long runtime. One possible solution is to start reading the "One Piece" manga since most viewers will be able to soar through Eiichiro Oda's comic panels faster than the show presents those events.

Fans who begin with the manga can then switch over to the "One Piece" anime at any point they choose, though admittedly, this solution forces you to miss out on the colorful animation style and electric fight scenes that help make the anime so popular. A more prudent solution would be to follow one of the many fan-assembled anime filler lists across the internet, which denote which episodes are actually required viewing and which episodes have no impact on the story. This will help you skip dozens of episodes and save hours of viewing time, though you will still have to commit a hefty chunk of time to catch up.

Finally, fans could simply begin at one of the more "recent" arcs like the Dressrosa or Wano arcs, both of which are still incredibly long but which will save you several hundred episodes of viewing. New viewers can then use one of the many fan-made recap videos online to catch up to whatever arc they feel like starting at, or even read the summaries of each arc on the One Piece Wiki.