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Out of these five manga/anime, which one had the most interesting world, conceptually? (NOT about execution, but concept)

Which is the most conceptually interesting?

  • Dragon Ball's dragon world

    Votes: 48 10.3%
  • Naruto's ninja world

    Votes: 82 17.6%
  • Bleach's focus on the afterlife and spirituality

    Votes: 87 18.7%
  • One Piece's high seas

    Votes: 238 51.1%
  • Fairy Tail's world of wizards

    Votes: 11 2.4%

  • Total voters
    466

SolVanderlyn

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,995
I know there's plenty of other shows out there, but these were the major five I watched in my youth and the ones I have the most attachment to. Except for Fairy Tail, which I'm watching right now. But it came out back then, so it counts.

Dragon Ball's world started out as one inspired by Chinese mythology and Journey to the West, with the key "hook" for the story being the seven dragon balls that can grant any wish - but it slowly evolved into a spacefaring adventure. Mysticism, adventure, space travel, the afterlife, and even multiverses are what categorize this world - along with the constant pursuit for power.

Naruto's world of ninjas is a bit more brutal, where much of the world seems to revolve around war or conflict and training people for that conflict from a very young age. It has different elemental countries, and a hidden ninja village for each country. Espionage, sabotage, Japanese mythology, elemental mastery, and magical eyes categorize this world.

Bleach takes place in Japan, technically, although most of it takes place in some form of the afterlife, whether it be Soul Society (Heaven, sort of) or Hueco Mundo (Mexican Hell). This world is all about spirits, souls, hierarchical villains, and magical talking swords. No, really, swords are 70% of the show.

One Piece has four oceans divided by one major continent. Pirates and Marines fight each other on the high seas and cursed fruits give people supernatural powers. Maritime themes and imagery, water, weird powers, themed islands and a pervading sense of whimsy are what make the One Piece world its own.

Fairy Tail is all about magic and wizards and dragons, and is inspired by traditional fantasy settings. Mages form guilds, and each guild has a specialty. There are ancient legends and powerful dragons and even parallel universes.

Which one do you think is the most conceptually appealing world, on paper? This isn't about execution. One Piece would likely win by a landslide if it was. Imagine you were hearing about these worlds for the first time.
 
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Sandfox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,290
One Piece and it's not even close.

I was going to say Fairy Tail was up their conceptually, but your description made me realize how basic/generic that is.
 

bluexy

Freelance Games Journalist
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
3,089
One Piece's ability to continue to add incredible new places and ideas island by island, without getting overburdened by the places it's visited in the past, is so awesome.
 

Rushersauce

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,044
Conceptually I'd go with Bleach. All that wasted potential, geez... Imagine if Kubo actually had talent as a writer, it would have been amazing what he could have done.
Ichigo going to other religions/regions soul societies would have been great.
 

andymcc

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,892
Columbus, OH
One Piece easily. It also helps it is the best developed too of all of the above too. I have my gripes about action and fights in One Piece, but the world building is second to none in manga.
 

Frecklestein

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,781
Bleach. Kubo has amazing designs, fantastic concepts, but has no fucking clue what to do with any of it. Hire him as a designer and a ideas guy, but get them fed to someone who can expand and actually do something with it.
 

Wood Man

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,375
It's One Piece. Sooo many damn characters and history. And most of it is still a mystery.

I love Dragon Ball but most of it was made up as it went along.
 

Laser Man

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,467
I never really think much about the world and how it might be working in an anime/manga, but I do in One Piece. There is high potential for something special that brings it all together in the end, doesn't have to go that route but it's possible.
 
Oct 26, 2017
15,397
The lines between concept and execution tend to blur in these discussions. For example, is the Void Century part of One Piece's "concept" or is it another piece of the "lore" i.e. its execution?

Just conceptually, something like Naruto obviously has more potential because you can seamlessly combine action and mystery but of course we only ever got glimpses of what it could be...
 

Solid

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,374
Right now, 11/9/2019, I gotta go with Naruto...


...but One Piece is going places. I think that once the true history of One Piece's world is unveiled, it may come out comfortably ahead.
 

Sesha

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,916
One Piece, easy. Naruto second.

In terms of execution, it's still OP, then DB > Naruto > Fairy Tail > Bleach

OP despite its bizarre geography and everything being separated by massive oceans, still somehow has a world that feels way more connected, alive and full of mystery than any of the others.
 

Tygre

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,707
Chesire, UK
Which one do you think is the most conceptually appealing world, on paper?
Sorry OP, nobody is going to answer your question, they are instead going to answer a variety of other questions like "Which one was best?" or "Which one was your favourite?"

People are terrible, for a bunch of very good and very understandable reasons, at separating conception from execution.

90+% of your experience is going to be down to execution, so recognising the value of conception is simply unimportant the vast majority of the time.


The correct answer is of course Bleach. What a waste.
 

Lynx_7

Member
Oct 25, 2017
866
Well, even if you were to compare them conceptually, Oda actually set up his world in a way that is both easy to understand and expand in a structured way. The only way the others can compete is if we really go at it from a macro scale, in which case I might say DBZ or Bleach. DBZ could essentially be OP at a cosmic scale, allowing you to tell any kind of story you want to: inter-planetary adventures, universe-wide conflicts, time travel, multiple different dimensions, etc. It's incredibly versatile and only held back by DB's ridiculous power scaling and lack of desire to actually do some world(universe) building. If you did, it could be a mini-DC/Marvel universe of its own.

Bleach could be interesting because you can approach some really esotheric concepts, places and themes with the whole "spiritual world" concept, but that's only if you go waaaaay beyond what Bleach actually bothered to stablish, at which point you're just working outside its confines.
 

icyflamez96

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,173
I don't know too much about One Peice, but I don't see myself as being particularly drawn to pirate stuff. Also the fact that you eat fruit to gain new powers has always seemed a bit eh to me in comparison to a magic system like Naruto's. I mean honestly now that I think about it, I could like the world/locations/environemnts/history of OP better, but Naruto having the goat magic system that it does would probably keep it elevated.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,737
Bleach is the most conceptually interesting to me, the interplay between the physical and spirit world, the different factions and all. One Piece and Naruto are strong seconds.
 
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Big One

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,583
I don't know too much about One Peice, but I don't see myself as being particularly drawn to pirate stuff. Also the fact that you eat fruit to gain new powers has always seemed a bit eh to me in comparison to a magic system like Naruto's. I mean honestly now that I think about it, I could like the world/locations/environemnts/history of OP better, but Naruto having the goat magic system that it does would probably keep it elevated.
One Piece quite literally is about everything, not just piracy. That's why people love it so much. Its world is massive though that isnt even the only appeal of it.
 

Cantaim

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,731
Djinn is right Usopp x Robin FTW
Conceptually I think it's a tie between Bleach and One Piece for me. One Piece because at the minimum because it involves heavy use of water and transportation and has a very isolated world that would always be interesting to explore. Bleach because it's got the fun of having multiple worlds overlap each other. So you never know which one is gonna stir some shit that will mess with the others.
 

Primethius

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,642
Conceptually and execution wise I'd give it to One Piece.

Oda's world is at the point where he could throw nearly anything in it and it would work. That makes it, both from a concept and execution point of view, more interesting than the others which are more limited.
 

JealousKenny

Member
Jul 17, 2018
1,179
Well the thing I like about the world of One Piece is that it literally involves everyone. In Naruto the average person has nothing to do with the ninja villages. That world exists outside of normal everyday life. Same thing with bleach. The average person can live their entire life and know nothing of Shinigami. In One Piece everyone knows about pirates, devil fruits, celestial dragons, etc... You could be an average Joe walking in the park, find a devil fruit, and now you can turn into a griffin or shoot laser beams.
 

Hoa

Member
Jun 6, 2018
980
Sorry OP, nobody is going to answer your question, they are instead going to answer a variety of other questions like "Which one was best?" or "Which one was your favourite?"

People are terrible, for a bunch of very good and very understandable reasons, at separating conception from execution.

90+% of your experience is going to be down to execution, so recognising the value of conception is simply unimportant the vast majority of the time.


The correct answer is of course Bleach. What a waste.
You can't assume people are only voting on execution just because the best executed concept is winning. I like Dragon Ball the most out of all five but I voted for One Piece since it felt like the majority of the world and its inhabitants were supernatural rather than there being supernatural people or supernatural elements within a normal world.

Fairy Tail is a very close second. Basically read it for awhile because of those same reasons. Bleach 3rd, Naruto 4th, Dragon Ball last surprisingly 😂

If we go beyond these 5, I think Tower Of God's short description peaked my curiosity the quickest:

What do you desire? Money and wealth? Honor and pride? Authority and power? Revenge? Or something that transcends them all? Whatever you desire—it's here.
 
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The Silver

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,165
Bleach, if I didn't know anything about them except a summary of the world I'd immediately gravitate towards Bleach the most.
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,064
Haven't read Fairy Tale, so I can't say with regards to that. Otherwise it's One Piece, which has most of the things that make Dragon Ball and Naruto interesting settings and then some.
 

Principate

Member
Oct 31, 2017
6,853
Controversial, but I’m going to say Bleach
Truth be told I never found bleach's world particularly compelling or interesting, it's just too well trodden as far as overall concept goes and there really isn't very much to it conceptually. Beyond the general supernatural monsters and infighting within the shinigami's there ain't a great deal innate to the world. The author's creatively is greatly needed to flesh out a concept like that and that's clearly where Kubo struggled a lot.
 

Hoa

Member
Jun 6, 2018
980
Truth be told I never found bleach's world particularly compelling or interesting, it's just too well trodden as far as overall concept goes and there really isn't very much to it conceptually. Beyond the general supernatural monsters and infighting within the shinigami's there ain't a great deal innate to the world. The author's creatively is greatly needed to flesh out a concept like that and that's clearly where Kubo struggled a lot.
Yea when I first heard of Bleach I thought it'd be like Yu Yu Hakusho with swords.
 

jph139

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,665
Massachusetts
Naruto has an interesting pitch - the villages, the sort of "timeless" quality with its technology level, the pseudo-magic of chakra. It's probably Naruto or One Piece, which has all the unique islands, climates, the political structure, it's just ripe for interesting conflicts. But Naruto's world appeals to me more than the manga itself.

Like I love Dragon Ball but the universe is essentially filler. It's just a playground for whatever Toriyama felt like including - without him it doesn't really stand up on its own.
 

CrazyDude

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,005
I also chose Bleach.

While One Piece uses its setting to great effect, the world of the dead and the idea of an entire Soul Society just appeals to me more.
Same, I feel like most people are probably voting based on what series they like better. I think one piece is great and is the best of the bunch, but I think that if someone came up to me and pitch "a story about pirates on the sea going after a treasure and the main character is rubber man" it doesn't come off as interesting on a conceptual level for me.
 

ninnanuam

Member
Nov 24, 2017
687
Based just on concept? Its Bleach, the idea of an afterlife and potential heavens and hells (or anything really, you can do whatever you want) is pretty limitless.

You could also have interesting characters who's job is to separate people from the material world and guide people to their final destinations and keep the world safe for malicious entities.

Bleach wastes its entire setting.
 

Mewshuji

Member
Nov 11, 2017
3,532
Conceptually? Naruto, no question, but Bleach and DB are neat too.

Hot take, but "the high seas" is such an incredibly boring setting for a longer work. That Oda can make it a manga and world so interesting is a testament to his skill. Obviously if we're talking execution, then yeah, fair, One Piece definitely wins. But based on just those descriptions and concepts? It's pretty boring and awfully common.

Fairy Tale is just any old D&D setting that doesn't restrict magic, really. So I guess it's kinda tied with OP.
 

Principate

Member
Oct 31, 2017
6,853
Same, I feel like most people are probably voting based on what series they like better. I think one piece is great and is the best of the bunch, but I think that if someone came up to me and pitch "a story about pirates on the sea going after a treasure and the main character is rubber man" it doesn't come off as interesting on a conceptual level for me.
Pirate story's based around this concept minus the rubber kid have been extremely popular for a long time (which is where Oda large portion of his influences from), so popular that it's been ingrained heavily into western pop culture. Largely because like star trek having new destinations to explore with a close knit family like dynamic upon a vessel going from place to place is a very natural way to progress a narrative into pretty much anything.
 

Vengeance

Member
Jan 11, 2018
2,399
Dragon Ball. It's not confined to a single planet. There's Earth, space, various other planets, an entire multiverse, the afterlife, hell, etc. There's so much potential in DB that it is by far the most interesting to me.
 

Huggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
814
Haven't read any Bleach or Fairy Tale, and I never really got that far into Naruto, One Piece kinda wins by default lol. I love the world of One Piece though, so many interesting characters and locations.
 

Lotus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
48,606
Setting aside the easy vote for One Piece, my 2nd choice would be Naruto for sure.

I love ninjas, and having several countries/regions of them with their own distinct identities and such sounds really dope on paper. Like how the Village of the Mist for example is infamous for its reputation as the "Bloody Mist" for example. Then it's all packaged in a world where child soldiers are this socially accepted thing, where even if you want to handwave how problematic that is, on a base level everyone's a cool ninja. If Naruto went all in on fleshing out these locations and their lore, it could've been something truly special. Oh well.

After those two, it's Dragon Ball, then Bleach, and then in last place is Fairy Tail. Dragon Ball has enough fantastical elements going on that I'd be interested, also the hook of the Dragon Balls is a pretty strong one. Bleach is alright, but I kind of have a bias against anything set in the real world. On paper, mentioning that it's blended in with this hierarchical afterlife wouldn't mean that much to me tbh. But I still put it above Fairy Tail, because even though it's a fantasy world, the concept just sounds super generic. The only thing that would maybe speak to me is the guild aspect.

Naruto having the goat magic system that it does would probably keep it elevated.
The only thing I'd consider a GOAT system is Nen really. Chakra started off coherent enough, but then it just got increasingly convoluted as time went on.

I don't know too much about One Peice
You gotta fix that

I don't see myself as being particularly drawn to pirate stuff
Well honestly, despite it being a big part of the series, One Piece has never really been the kind of thing where it goes hardcore on the pirate stuff, where you actually have to have some interest in pirates to get the most out of it. It's extremely accessible in that it has a setup where you organically go from island to island, because the whole point is exploring the world. Then the locations themselves become increasingly varied and outlandish the further you delve into the series.