One Piece (Japanese: ワンピース Hepburn: Wan Pīsu?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha‘s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 19, 1997, with the chapters collected into seventy-seven tankōbon volumes to date. One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man whose body gains the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. With his diverse crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy explores the ocean in search of the world’s ultimate treasure known as “One Piece” in order to become the next Pirate King.
The manga has been adapted into an original video animation (OVA) produced by Production I.G in 1998, and an anime series produced by Toei Animation, which began broadcasting in Japan in 1999 and has aired over 693 episodes to date. Additionally, Toei has developed thirteen animated feature films, two OVAs, and five television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising such as a trading card game, and a large number of video games. The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. The anime series was licensed by 4Kids Entertainment for an English-language release in North America, before the license was dropped and subsequently acquired by Funimation in 2007.
One Piece has received widespread critical acclaim, primarily for its art, characterization and humor. Several volumes of the manga have broken publishing records, including highest initial print run of any book in Japan. The series has over 380 million volumes in circulation worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series in history.
The world of One Piece is populated by humans and numerous other races, including mermen and mermaids, “fishmen” (a race of fish/human hybrid), and giants. It is covered by two vast oceans, which are divided by a massive mountain range called the Red Line (赤い土の大陸（レッドライン） Reddo Rain?). The Grand Line (偉大なる航路（グランドライン） Gurando Rain), a sea that runs perpendicular to the Red Line, further divides them into four seas: North Blue (北の海（ノースブルー） Nōsu Burū), East Blue (東の海（イーストブルー） Īsuto Burū), West Blue (西の海（ウェストブルー） Uesuto Burū) and South Blue (南の海（サウスブルー） Sausu Burū). Surrounding the Grand Line are two regions called Calm Belts (凪の帯（カームベルト） kāmu beruto), similar to the Horse latitudes, which experience almost no wind and ocean currents and are breeding ground for the huge sea creatures called neptunians (海王類 kaiōrui, lit. “sea kings”). Because of this, the calm belts are very effective barriers for those trying to enter the Grand Line. While marine ships, using sea-prism stone (海楼石 kairōseki) to mask their presence, can simply pass through, most have to use the canal system of Reverse Mountain (リヴァース・マウンテン Rivāsu Maunten), a mountain at the first intersection of the Grand Line and the Red Line. Sea water from each of the four seas runs up that mountain and merges at the top to flow down a fifth canal and into the first half of the Grand Line. The second half of the Grand Line, beyond the second intersection with the Red Line, is also known as the New World (新世界 Shin Sekai).
The currents and weather on the Grand Line’s open sea are extremely unpredictable, whereas in the vicinity of islands the climate is stable. The magnetic fields within the Grand Line cause normal compasses to not work there, making it even harder to navigate; a special compass called a Log Pose (記録指針（ログポース） Rogu Pōsu?) must be used. The Log Pose works by locking on to one island’s magnetic field and then locking on to another island’s magnetic field. The time for it to set depends on the island. This process can be bypassed by obtaining an Eternal Pose (永久指針（エターナルポース） Etānaru Pōsu), a Log Pose variation that is permanently set to a specific island and never changes.
The world of One Piece includes anachronisms, such as the Transponder Snails (電伝虫 Den-Den Mushi?), snail-like animals that can be attached to electric equipment and function as rotary phones, fax machines, surveillance cameras, and similar devices. Dials (貝（ダイアル） daiaru), the shells of certain sky-dwelling animals, can be used to store kinetic energy, wind, sound, images, heat, and the like and have various applications.
A Devil Fruit (悪魔の実 Akuma no Mi) is a type of fruit which, when eaten, confers a power on the consumer. There are three categories of Devil Fruits; Zoan (動物系（ゾオン） Zoon) fruits allow the user to fully and partially transform into a specific animal; as well as real-life animals, some Zoan fruits allow the user to transform into mythical creatures. Logia (自然系（ロギア） Rogia) fruits give control over and allow the user “to change their living body structure into the powers of nature”. Paramecia (超人系（パラミシア） Paramishia) is a category for fruits that give the user superhuman abilities. They are said to be incarnations of the Sea Devil himself, and as a result, Devil Fruit users cannot swim in sea water, as “they are hated by the sea”. Sea-prism stone also has this effect. When even partially submerged in sea water, they lose all of their strength and coordination, although some abilities remain, such as Luffy still being able to stretch after being totally submerged. “Moving” water, such as rain or waves, does not have this effect. When a Devil Fruit user dies, the powers will be reincarnated into a new Devil Fruit. Devil Fruit powers can be in a stage called “Awakened”, where the user can turn anything around them, besides their own bodies, into what their Devil Fruit power is.
Haki (覇気?, lit. “Ambition”) is a latent ability every living being in the world of One Piece possesses, though it is quiescent in most. There are three varieties of Haki: Color of Observation (見聞色の覇気 Kenbunshoku no Haki) allows to sense the presence of other beings and predict their movement. Color of Armament (武装色の覇気 Busōshoku no Haki) allows one to envelop body parts and even inanimate forms with a force akin to an invisible armor that possesses defensive and offensive properties, also allowing one to inflict harm upon Devil Fruit users. The rare Color of the Conquering King (覇王色の覇気 Haōshoku no Haki) enables one to intimidate or render beings of weak determination unconscious. Haki is shown that when it’s used too much, it will stop working for certain periods of time.
The series begins with the execution of Gol D. Roger, a man known as the King of the Pirates (海賊王 Kaizokuō?). Just before his death, Roger announces that his treasure, the One Piece (ひとつなぎの大秘宝 (ワンピース) Wan Pīsu?), will be available to anyone who finds it, beginning the Great Pirate Era (大海賊時代 Daikaizokujidai?). As a result, countless pirates set out to the Grand Line to look for the treasure.
Twenty-two years have passed since Roger’s execution, and Monkey D. Luffy, a young man inspired by his childhood idol and powerful pirate “Red Haired” Shanks, sets off on a journey from the East Blue sea to find the One Piece and proclaim himself as the King of the Pirates. In an effort to organize his own crew, the Straw Hat Pirates (麦わら海賊団篇 Mugiwara Kaizoku-dan?), Luffy rescues and befriends a swordsman named Roronoa Zoro, and they head off in search of the One Piece. They are joined by Nami, a navigator and thief; Usopp, a sniper and a liar; and Sanji, a womanizing chef; in their journey, they acquire a ship named the Going Merry and engage in confrontations with pirates including Buggy the Clown, Captain Kuro and Don Krieg. Later, Luffy encounters Arlong, a fishman and member of the former Sun Pirates who thinks that fishmen are superior to humans. After Luffy defeats Arlong, Nami officially joins Luffy’s crew and the Navy places a bounty on Luffy’s head. Luffy, then meets Captain Smoker, a Navy captain who can turn into smoke. He briefly captures Luffy, but Luffy is saved by his father, Monkey D. Dragon. After making their way through the Grand Line, the group meets Nefeltari Vivi, a princess who wants to help save her country, the Alabasta Kingdom, from the crime syndicate Baroque Works. They later befriend the doctor and anthropomorphized reindeer Tony Tony Chopper while in Drum Island.
The Straw Hat Pirates arrive in Alabasta, leading to battles with Baroque Works and their leader, Sir Crocodile. Luffy finally defeats Crocodile and liberates Alabasta. Soon after, Nico Robin, an archaeologist formerly employed by Baroque Works, joins Luffy’s crew. They soon encounter Blackbeard, the alias of Marshall D. Teech, who also aspires to become the King of the Pirates. After traveling to the floating island of Skypiea, the crew gets involved in a war between the Skypieans and the Shandorians, leading to a confrontation against the island’s ruler, Eneru, who has the power of lightning. Luffy defeats Eneru to save Skypiea and end the war. The crew soon meets the navy admiral Aokiji, who reveals that Robin was involved in searching for Poneglyphs, which are stones with markings left by an ancient civilization to reveal the missing 100 years of history that the World Government had erased. The group goes to Water 7, where they battle the cyborg shipwright Franky and are informed that the Going Merry is damaged beyond repair, leading to Usopp’s temporary departure from the Straw Hat Pirates. However, Cipher Pol No. 9, the World Government‘s intelligence agency, captures Robin and Franky for information regarding the Poneglyphs and the ancient weapons that may come from them. Franky liberates himself from the government after burning his blueprints for one of the weapons and teams up with the Straw Hat Pirates to declare war on the government, resulting in battles between CP9 and its members. The final long battle with CP9 ends when the crew saves Robin. To replace the sunken Going Merry, Franky constructs a new ship, the Thousand Sunny, for the Straw Hats and officially joins the crew. Soon after, the crew helps a musician skeleton named Brook, who was revived after eating a Devil Fruit, find his shadow aboard the gigantic pirate ship Thriller Bark, which has been stolen by Gecko Moriah. After defeating Moriah, Brook joins Luffy’s crew.
After arriving at Saboady Archipelago, the crew prepares to sail to the New World, the second half of Grand Line. While there, they befriend Silvers Rayleigh, the vice captain of Roger’s pirate crew who they ask to coat their ship so they can travel underwater. The crew eventually gets separated during a battle with Bartholomew Kuma, a huge cyborg under the control of the Navy, at the Sabaody Archipelago; Luffy is transported to the all-female island Amazon Lily. Having learned that his adoptive older brother and the son of Gol D. Roger, Portgas D. Ace, has been detained at the government prison Impel Down, Luffy traverses there and liberates several of its prisoners, including the fish man Jimbei and some former enemies. However, Luffy soon learns that Ace is at Marineford to be executed at Navy headquarters. As Luffy arrives, war breaks out between the Navy and a group of pirates led by the legendary pirate Edward Newgate, also known by the alias Whitebeard. In the ensuing chaos, Whitebeard and Ace are killed. At Rayleigh’s request, Luffy has his crewmates undergo rigorous training regimens, some under the tutelage of prominent figures.
Two years later, the crew regroups at Sabaody Archipelago and journeys to Fishman Island to enter the New World. During this time, a group of fishman pirates appear, seeking supremacy against humans, and hold a coup d’état to decide the fate of the island. However, after Nami forgives Jimbei for releasing Arlong into the East Blue, the Straw Hats defeat the fishmen pirates, saving the island. The Straw Hats leave Fishman Island and finally reach the New World, though not before starting a feud with Charlotte “Big Mom” Linlin, one of the “Four Emperors”, the strongest pirates in the New World. Entering the half-burning and half-freezing island Punk Hazard, the crew encounters an old acquaintance and a recently appointed Warlord, Trafalgar Law, and they form an alliance to take down Kaido, another of the Four Emperors. The alliance is drawn into a fierce battle against Caesar Clown, the scientist responsible for the destruction of Punk Hazard four years earlier. After Caesar’s defeat, the alliance travels to Dressrosa, a kingdom ruled by Donquixote Doflamingo in an attempt to destroy the Smile factory as the next phase to defeat one of the Four Emperors, Kaido. In Dressrosa, Luffy competes in a competition to receive the Flame-Flame Fruit, formerly used by Ace; however, their childhood friend and adoptive brother, Sabo, arrives and assumes Luffy’s place in the competition to earn the Flame-Flame Fuit as Luffy leaves to rescue his friends.
While working as an assistant to Nobuhiro Watsuki, Oda began writing One Piece in 1996. From there, it started as two one-shot stories entitled Romance Dawn—which would later be used as the title for One Piece’s first chapter and volume. They both featured the character of Luffy, and included elements that would later appear in the main series. The first of these short stories was published in August 1996 in Akamaru Jump and later in One Piece Red. The second was published in the 41st issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1996 and reprinted in 1998 in Oda’s short story collection, Wanted!.
Oda revealed that he originally planned One Piece to last five years, and that he had already planned out the ending, but he found himself enjoying the story too much to and now does not yet intend to end the series. Oda stated that the ending will be what he had decided on from the beginning and is committed to seeing it through.
When creating a Devil Fruit, Oda thinks of something that would fulfill a human desire; he added that he does not see why he would draw a Devil Fruit unless the fruit’s appearance would entice one to eat it. The names of many special attacks and other concepts in the manga consist of a form of punning, in which phrases written in kanji are paired with an idiosyncratic reading. The names of Luffy, Sanji, Chopper, Robin, and Franky’s techniques are often mixed with other languages, and the names of a number of Zoro’s sword techniques are designed as jokes; some of them look fearsome when read by sight but sound like kinds of food when read aloud—for example, Zoro’s signature move is Onigiri, which is rendered as demon’s cut but may also mean rice ball). Eisaku Inoue, the animation director, has said that the creators did not use these kanji readings in the anime since they “might have cut down the laughs by about half.” Nevertheless, Konosuke Uda, the director, said that he believes that the creators “made the anime pretty close to the manga.”
Oda was “sensitive” about how his work would be translated. The English version of the One Piece manga in many instances uses one onomatopoeia for multiple onomatopoeia used in the Japanese version. For instance, “saaa” (the sound of light rain, close to a mist) and “zaaa” (the sound of pouring rain) are both translated as “fshhhhhhh.” Unlike other manga artists, Oda draws everything that moves himself to create a consistent look while leaving his staff to draw the backgrounds based on sketches drawn by Oda.
When a reader asked Oda who Nami is in love with, Oda answered that there will not likely be any references to romance, in which Oda believes the intended demographic is not interested.
Written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, One Piece has been serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 19, 1997. The chapters have been collected into tankōbon volumes by Shueisha since December 24, 1997. In total, there are 790 chapters and 78 tankōbon volumes. The spinoff series One Piece Party (ワンピースパーティー Wan Pīsu Pātī?), written by Ei Andō in a super deformed art syle, began serialization in the January 2015 issue of Saikyō Jump.
The One Piece manga was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media, who published it chapterwise in the manga anthology Shonen Jump, since the magazine’s launch in November 2002, and in bound volumes since June 2003. In 2009, Viz announced the release of five volumes per month during the first half of 2010 to catch up with the serialization in Japan. Following the discontinuation of the print Shonen Jump, Viz began releasing One Piece chapterwise in its digital successor Weekly Shonen Jump on January 30, 2012. In the United Kingdom, the volumes were published by Gollancz Manga, starting March 2006, until Viz Media took it over after the fourteenth volume. In Australia and New Zealand, the English volumes have been distributed by Madman Entertainment since November 10, 2008. In Poland, Japonica Polonica Fantastica is publishing the manga – twenty six volumes were released.
Festival films and original video animation
One Piece: Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack! was produced by Production I.G for the 1998 Jump Super Anime Tour and was directed by Gorō Taniguchi. It is 29 minutes in length and features character designs by Hisashi Kagawa. Luffy, Nami, and Zoro are attacked by a sea monster that destroys their boat and separates them. Luffy is found on an island beach, where he saves a little girl, Medaka, from two pirates. All the villagers, including Medaka’s father, have been abducted by Ganzack and his crew and forced into labor. After hearing that Ganzack also stole all the food, Luffy and Zoro rush out to get it back. As they fight the pirates, one of them kidnaps Medaka. A fight starts between Luffy and Ganzack, ending in Luffy’s capture. Meanwhile, Zoro is forced to give up after a threat is made to kill all of the villagers. The people from the village rise up against Ganzack, and while the islanders and pirates fight, Nami unlocks the three captives. Ganzack defeats the rebellion and reveals his armored battleship. The Straw Hat Pirates are forced to fight Ganzack once more and prevent him from destroying the island.
A second film, One Piece: Romance Dawn Story, was produced by Toei Animation in July 2008 for the Jump Super Anime Tour. It is 34 minutes in length and based on the first version of Romance Dawn, but includes the Straw Hat Pirates up to Brook and their second ship, the Thousand Sunny. In search for food for his crew, Luffy arrives at a port town, defeating a pirate named Crescent Moon Gally on the way. He meets a girl named Silk in town, who was abandoned by attacking pirates as a baby and raised by the mayor, which has caused her to value the town as her “treasure”. The villagers mistake Luffy for Gally and capture him just as the real Gally returns. Gally throws Luffy in the water and plans to destroy the town, but Silk saves him and Luffy pursues Gally. His crew arrives to help him, and with their help, he recovers the treasure for the town, acquires food, and destroys Gally’s ship. It was later released as a triple feature DVD with Dragon Ball: Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!! and Tegami Bachi: Light and Blue Night, that was available only though a mail-in offer exclusive to Japanese residents.
The One Piece Film Strong World: Episode 0 original video animation adapts the manga’s special “Chapter 0”, which shows how things were before and after the death of Roger. It received a limited release of three thousand DVDs as a collaboration with the House Foods brand.
Toei Animation produces an anime television adaptation based on the One Piece manga. The series, which premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on October 20, 1999, has aired more than 685 episodes, and has been exported to various countries around the world. Two cross-over episodes with the anime adaptation of Toriko were aired. The first of these, which was also the first episode of Toriko, aired on April 3, 2011. A second special, which also crossed over with Dragon Ball Z, aired on April 7, 2013.
The first English language adaptation of the anime was done by Odex who licensed the first 104 episodes in Singapore, which were split between two seasons. Due to combined low VCD sales television ratings, attempts to continue the dub and a DVD collection were both canceled, and most voice actors were replaced for the second season.
On June 8, 2004, 4Kids Entertainment acquired the license for distribution of One Piece in North America. 4Kids collaborated with Viz Media to distribute the series for home video release. This dub was heavily edited for content, as well as length; the first 143 episodes were licensed, but the removal and shortening of episodes had reduced the length to 104. Such edits included changing the appearance of guns, replacing Sanji’s cigarettes with lollipops, and story edits pertaining to violence and mentioning of death. 4Kids originally created an English version of the original opening theme; however, the music was replaced with an alternate score composed by their in-house musicians. The series premiered in the United States on September 18, 2004 on the Fox network as part of the Fox Box block, and later aired on Cartoon Network in the Toonami block in April 2005. On December 6, 2006, 4Kids released a statement confirming that it canceled the project. On July 22, 2010, an interview between Anime News Network and Mark Kirk, the Vice President of Digital Media for 4Kids Entertainment, revealed that 4Kids acquired One Piece as part of a package deal with other anime, and that the company did not previously screen the series before licensing it. However, once 4Kids realized One Piece was not appropriate for their intended demographic, the company decided to edit it into a more child-oriented series until they had an opportunity to legally drop the license. Kirk said the experience on producing One Piece “ruined the company’s reputation.” Since then, 4Kids established a more strict set of guidelines, checks, and balances to determine which anime the company acquires.
On April 13, 2007, Funimation acquired the license for distribution and started production on an English-language release of One Piece. In an interview with voice actor Christopher Sabat, Sabat stated that Funimation had been interested in acquiring One Piece from the very beginning, and produced a “test episode,” in which Sabat portrayed the character of Helmeppo and Eric Vale played the part of the main character, Monkey D. Luffy (they would later go on to provide the English voices for Roronoa Zoro and Sanji, respectively). After producing a new English voice dub, which featured minimal edits compared to the 4Kids dub, the company released its first unedited, bilingual DVD box set, containing 13 episodes, on May 27, 2008. Similarly sized sets followed with fourteen sets released. The Funimation dubbed episodes premiered on Cartoon Network on September 29, 2007 and aired until its removal on March 22, 2008. The remainder of Funimation’s dubbed episodes continued to be aired on Australia’s Cartoon Network, and then shifted into reruns before being replaced by Total Drama Island. On October 28, 2011, Funimation posted a press release on their official website, confirming the acquisition of episodes 206–263 and the aspect ratio, beginning with episode 207 onwards, will be changed to the 16:9 widescreen format. On May 18, 2013, the uncut series began airing on Adult Swim‘s revived Toonami block from episode 207 onwards.
Funimation, Toei Animation, Shueisha, and Fuji Television announced in May 2009 that they would simulcast stream the series within an hour of the weekly Japanese broadcast for free. Originally scheduled to begin on May 30, 2009 with episode 403, a lack of security resulted in a leak of the episode and Funimation delayed the offer until episode 415 on August 29, 2009.
On February 7, 2013, Manga Entertainment announced that it will start releasing the Funimation dub of One Piece in the United Kingdom in 4 disc collection format, starting on May 27, 2013. Crunchyroll began simulcasting the series on November 2, 2013 for the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America. They started backlogging prior episodes with 25–30 episodes per week starting on March 1, 2014.
Thirteen animated theatrical films based on the One Piece anime series have been released by Toei. The films are traditionally released during the Japanese school spring break since 2000. The films feature self-contained, completely original plots or alternate retellings of story arcs with animation of higher quality than what the weekly anime allows for. Funimation has licensed the eighth, tenth, and twelfth films for release in North America.
The One Piece franchise has been adapted into multiple video games published by subsidiaries of Bandai and later as part of Bandai Namco Entertainment. The games have been released on a variety of video game and handheld consoles. The series features various genres, mostly role-playing games—the predominant type in the series’ early years—and fighting games, such as the titles of the Grand Battle! meta-series.
The series debuted in Japan on July 19, 2000 with From TV Animation – One Piece: Become the Pirate King!. Over thirty games have been made based on the franchise to date. Additionally, One Piece characters and settings have appeared in various Shonen Jump crossover games, such as Battle Stadium D.O.N, Jump Super Stars, Jump Ultimate Stars and J-Stars Victory VS.
Myriad soundtracks were released to the anime, films and games. The music for the One Piece anime series and most of its films were directed by Kohei Tanaka and Shiro Hamaguchi. Various theme songs and character songs were released on a total of 49 singles. Most of the songs are also featured on six compilation albums and on 16 soundtrack CDs.
The One Piece anime series uses 37 pieces of theme music; eighteen opening themes and nineteen ending themes. Since episode 279, the ending themes were omitted and the opening themes, starting from episode 326 onwards, were extended by 40 seconds. The 4Kids English adaptation uses an alternate score as well as its own opening theme. For the first 206 episodes of Funimation’s English-language release of the series, various voice actors dubbed the opening and ending themes, before using the Japanese versions for episodes 207 onwards.
A series of light novels was published based on the first festival film, certain episodes of the anime TV series, and all but the first feature film. They featured artwork by Oda and are written by Tatsuya Hamasaki. The first of these novels, One Piece: Defeat The Pirate Ganzak! was released on June 3, 1999. One Piece: Logue Town Chapter followed on July 17, 2000 as an adaptation of the anime TV series’s Logue Town story arc. The first feature film to be adapted was Clockwork Island Adventure on March 19, 2001. On December 25, 2001, brought the second and so far last light novel adaptation of an anime TV series arc in One Piece: Thousand-year Dragon Legend. The adaptation of Chopper’s Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals was released on March 22, 2002, and that of Dead End Adventure on March 10, 2003. Curse of the Sacred Sword followed on March 22, 2004, and Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island on March 14, 2005. The light novel of The Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle was released on March 6, 2006 and that of The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta on March 7, 2007. The newest novel adapts Episodes of Chopper Plus: Bloom in the Winter, Miracle Cherry Blossom and was released on February 25, 2008.
Art and guidebooks
Five art books and five guidebooks for the One Piece series have been released. The first art book, One Piece: Color Walk 1, released June 2001, has also been released in English by Viz Media on November 8, 2005. The second art book, One Piece: Color Walk 2, was released on November 4, 2003, the third, One Piece: Color Walk 3 – Lion, was released January 5, 2006, and the fourth art book, subtitled Eagle, was released on March 4, 2010. The fifth art book, subtitled Shark, was released on December 3, 2010. The first guidebook One Piece: Red – Grand Characters was released on March 2, 2002. the second, One Piece: Blue – Grand Data File, followed on August 2, 2002. The third guidebook, One Piece: Yellow – Grand Elements, was released on April 4, 2007, and the fourth, One Piece: Green – Secret Pieces, followed on November 4, 2010. An anime guidebook, One Piece: Rainbow!, was released on May 1, 2007 and covers the first eight years of the TV anime.
Other One Piece media include a trading card game by Bandai named One Piece CCG and a drama CD centering around the character of Nefertari Vivi released by Avex Trax on December 26, 2002. A Hello Kitty-inspired Chopper was used for several pieces of merchandise as a collaboration between One Piece and Hello Kitty. A kabuki play inspired by One Piece will run at Tokyo’s Shinbashi Enbujō throughout October and November 2015.
One Piece is the best-selling manga series in history; it sold 100 million collected tankōbon volumes by February 2005, over 200 million by February 2011, and had over 380 million volumes in circulation worldwide by 2015. According to Oricon, One Piece has been the best-selling manga series every year since 2008 when the company began its chart. Due to promotions for the Strong World film, all 56 volumes of the manga released at the time charted on Oricon’s list of the top 200 manga for the week of December 7–13, 2009.
Additionally, individual volumes of One Piece have broken publishing and sales records in Japan. Volume 56 received the highest initial print run of any manga, 2.85 million copies, in 2009. Volume 57’s print of 3 million in 2010 was the highest first print for any book in Japan, not just manga. A record that was broken several times by subsequent volumes and currently held by 67’s 4.05 million initial printing in 2012. Volume 60 was the first book to sell over two million copies in its opening week on Oricon book rankings, and later became the first book to sell over three million copies since the chart started in 2008.
One Piece has also sold well in North America, charting on Publishers Weekly‘s list of bestselling comics for April/May 2007 and numerous times on The New York Times Manga Best Seller list. On ICv2’s list of “Top 25 Manga Properties Fall 2008” for North America, which is compiled by interviews with retailers and distributors, Nielsen BookScan‘s Top 20 Lists of graphic novels, and ICv2’s own analysis of information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, One Piece came in 15th place. It rose to second place on their “Top 25 Manga Properties—Q3 2010”.
Allen Divers of Anime News Network comments that the art style One Piece requires “time to get used to” with its “very simple” artwork and its designs, which appear “very cartoonish” at first. He also notes that the influence of Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball) shines through in Oda’s style of writing with its “huge epic battles punctuated by a lot of humor” and that, in One Piece, he creates a “rich tale” without focusing too much on plot. Rebecca Silverman of the same site stated that one of the series’ strengths is to “blend action, humor, and heavy fare together” and praised the art, but stated that the panels could get too crowded. Active Anime describes the artwork in One Piece as “wonderfully quirky and full of expression”. Splashcomics comments that Oda’s “pleasantly bright and dynamic” (German: “angenehm hell und dynamisch”) art style suits the story’s “funny and exciting” (German: “witzigen und … spannenden”) atmosphere.
EX Media lauds Oda’s art for its “crispy” monochrome pictures, “great use of subtle shade changes” on color pages, “sometimes exquisite” use of angles, and for its consistency. Shaenon K. Garrity, who at some point edited the series for English Shonen Jump, said that, while doing so, her amazement over Oda’s craft grew increasingly. She states that “he has a natural, playful mastery of the often restrictive weekly-manga format”, notes that “interesting things [are] going on deep in the narrative structure”, and recommends “sticking through to the later volumes to see just how crazy and Peter Max-y the art gets.” Mania Entertainment writer Jarred Pine comments that “One Piece is a fun adventure story, with an ensemble cast that is continuing to develop, with great action and character drama.” He praised Oda’s artwork as “imaginative and creative” and comments that “Oda’s imagination just oozes all of the panels”. He also comments that “Oda’s panel work […] features a lot of interesting perspectives and direction, especially during the explosive action sequences which are always a blast”, though he complains that the panels can sometimes get “a little chaotic”.
In a review of the second DVD release of 4Kids Entertainment’s dub, Todd Douglass, Jr. of DVD Talk called its adaptation a “shabby treatment” resulting in an “arguably less enjoyable rendition”. Douglass said that the 4Kids original opening was “a crappy rap song” and that the removal of whole scenes leaves a “feeling that something is missing”. He later went on to say that “Fans of the ‘real’ One Piece will want to skip picking […] up [4Kids Entertainment’s One Piece DVDs] until an uncut release is announced”, and also stated that “kids may get into this version because it’s what they have seen on TV.” Margaret Veira of Active Anime praised the TV series’ “great” animation, stating that “It gives life and stays true to the style and characters of the manga.” and noting the fight scenes in particular as having “a lot of energy to them”. Patrick King of Animefringe comments that the art style of One Piece is “very distinctive and fresh”. In a review of the first Funimation DVD release for Mania Entertainment, Bryce Coulter comments that One Piece is “not your typical pirate adventure” and that mixed with “the right amount of random fun along with a shonen style storyline” it becomes “an appealing and fun romp”. In a review of Funimation’s second DVD release for Mania Entertainment, Bryce Coulter comments that “You can tell that they are giving One Piece the attention that was neglected by 4Kids” and that “One Piece is a great tale of high-seas fun that will leave you wanting more!”
In Indonesia, Global TV was reprimanded by the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) for airing the anime TV series. Nina Armando, member of the KPI and lecturer at the University of Indonesia, said the show should not be aired at times when children are likely to watch.