The hit manga series “One Piece” celebrates its 25th anniversary


A treasure-hunting pirate manga series that captivated millions of fans around the world celebrates its 25th anniversary as the latest chapter in the hit saga reveals its secrets.

The last installment of A play starts on July 25 in Japanese Manga Weekly Shounen jumpreleased by Shueisha, after a month-long hiatus.

The series has racked up over 100 volumes and broken sales records since the first installment was released in 1997.

The story revolves around the hero Luffy, who hunts for the coveted “One Piece” treasure alongside other pirates.

Author Eiichiro Oda, 47, has landed a Guinness World Record for publishing the most copies of the same comic book series by a single author – with 490 million copies produced.

Its success has made the 25th anniversary of its creation a planetary event, from the United States to France, the second market for manga and Japanese animation.

The 100th volume in the series was released last year in France with 250,000 copies, a number that rivals the works that have won the prestigious Goncourt Prize for Literature.

“I will start showing all the secrets of this world that I have hidden,” Oda said in a handwritten message posted on Twitter. “It will be fun. Please fasten your seatbelt!”

Chedli Ben Hassine, a content creator specializing in pop culture, told AFP A play became “not only one of the greatest manga series in the world, but one of the greatest cultural works, in any sector”.

FILE – This July 14, 2020, photo shows ‘One Piece’ manga character Monkey D. Luffy among imaginary creatures on the facade of the Buddhist temple Wat Pariwat in Bangkok.

“What makes this manga so special is above all the plot,” said Ryuji Kochi, president for Europe, Middle East and Africa of Toei Animation, the Japanese company that has been producing the series since. 1999.

The A play The universe includes cultural and geographical references that give it a universal dimension, including ancient Egypt, Venice and medieval Japan.

Endearing characters and modern themes of rampant industrialization, racism, slavery, and geopolitical intrigue add to the series’ appeal.

“By offering totally different worlds, the author never bores the reader,” Benoit Huot, manga manager at Glenat editions, told AFP. “You have a fresco, an epic, which lasts extremely long and which cannot be said to go around in circles.”

Although the final of A play promises a lot of twists, the series hasn’t reached a wider audience beyond Japanese comic fans like the global hits star wars and Harry Potter.


FILE – “Tattoo stockings” featuring the Japanese manga character One Piece are displayed at the Tokyo International Gift Fair on September 4, 2013.

Japanese culture is far from equaling the influence of Western creations backed by a large market and the soft power that a cultural machine like Hollywood can produce on an industrial scale, economist Julien Pillot told AFP.

The producers hope for the upcoming release of a Netflix series adapted from the A play will help it break into new territory, bringing the story to the global streaming platform’s more than 200 million subscribers.

Pillot said Hollywood has always struggled to adapt manga series for the big screen, including the aesthetic and commercial flop that was adapting dragonball.

“If Netflix has managed to create a very high quality product that captures the unique spirit of A playthat would be a good start,” he added.


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