What is it about ?
One Piece takes place in a world of pirates, in which there is only one elongated continent called “Red Line” that connects the two poles of the world. This strip of land crosses, an ocean that is just as elongated, the famous “Route of all Perils”, or “Grand Line”. These two natural elements divide the world into 4 smaller oceans called North Blue, East Blue, West Blue and South Blue.
The oceans and the many small islands of One Piece‘s world are the scene of naval battles between the Navy and the 4 Emperors, as well as treasure hunts and attacks on the inhabitants.
Certain characters have very strange powers thanks to mysterious “Devil Fruits”. The unique abilities that can be obtained include the ability to control one’s environment or body, (“Paramecia” fruits, ex: slowing down / accelerating time, controlling body weight), transforming into an animal (“Zoan” fruits, ex: leopard, jackal, etc.) or an element (“Logia” fruits, ex: transforming your body into smoke).
On the other hand, as soon as you bite into the Devil Fruit, you lose the ability to swim, your body becoming a weighted anvil as soon as it touches the water.
22 years ago, the Pirate Lord called Gold Roger was arrested and executed. Before dying he confessed to having hidden his immense treasure somewhere on the Route of All Perils. The first person to find it would be able to stake claim it and would gain the title Pirate Lord.
This legendary treasure is called the One Piece.
What’s the story?
One day, young Luffy decides to leave his native island in the East Blue Ocean to go on an adventure, find One Piece and become the next Pirate King. Indeed, he dreams of following in the footsteps of pirate captain Shanks Le Roux who once saved him from a sea monster before bequeathing him his precious and signature straw hat.
However, Luffy cannot navigate the seas and cannot swim, because he has eaten the Devil Fruit “Gum Gum” making his body elastic.
Miraculously landing on an island close to his own, Luffy must try to recruit his first crew member …
The release of One Piece began in 1997 and continues to this day. As of April 2021, 98 volumes are published in Japan.
In an interview, Eiichiro Oda estimated that he would finish his work by around 2023. As the 100th volume approaches, it looks like the current Wao Country arc is the penultimate arc of the manga!
The different arcs
East Blue: Departure for the adventure and first recruits = Volumes 1 to 12
Arabasta: Traveling from Drum to Arabasta= Volumes 12 to 24
Skypiea: The Celestial Isles and the Thunder God = Volumes 24 to 32
Water Seven: Holidays in Venice before attacking the World Government = Volumes 32 to 46
Thriller Bark Arc: A Dark Pause in the Shadows = Volumes 46-50
Summit War Arc: Separations, Encounters and Historical War = Volumes 50 to 61
Fish-Man Island Arc: Reunion and scuba diving = Volumes 61 to 66
Dressrosa Arc: Emperor’s Revolution and Attack = Volumes 66-80
Four Emperors Arc: Zo, Tougato, Wa and combat! = Volumes 80 to current
Success in Japan and around the world
In Japan, One Piece keeps breaking records (best-selling work in the history of Japan, manga that most quickly exceeded two million copies sold, etc.).
It’s not until the last two years that we’ve seen One Piece leave the very top of the best-selling podium in Japan, falling behind Demon Slayer and Kingdom.
One Piece is the world’s best-selling manga with over 480 million copies sold
In Canada, it is first in the top 10 most popular Viz Media manga (according to MyAnimeList).
The characters (spoiler up to volume 17)
Straw Hat Pirates (entering DressRosa arc)
Monkey D Luffy, Captain, resilient and skilled fighter who wishes to become Pirate Lord. Bounty: 100 million Berry (One Piece universe currency)
Zoro Roronoa, swordsman, first recruit . He promised his friend Kuina that he would become the best swordsman in the world. Premium: 60 million Berry
Nami, sailor, professional thief who tries to pay off a terrible Fishman pirate captain before being helped by Luffy. She dreams of making a complete map of the world.
Usopp, a carpenter and sniper / gunner, an outstanding storyteller who lies to embellish his stories. He lives a real adventure with the arrival of Luffy on his island. He aspires to become a proud pirate adventurer of the seas.
Sanji, cook on the restaurant-boat Baratie and expert in fighting with the feet (to preserve his cook’s hands), he is urged by his former chef to discover All Blue, the legendary sea where all the varieties of fish from all oceans.
Tony Tony Chopper, physician. It is a blue nosed reindeer that ate the “Hito Hito” Fruit, allowing it to transform into a humanoid and speak. He wants to be able one day to cure all the diseases that exist in the world.
Going Merry, ship given to Usopp after he saved Kaya in Syrup Village.
Shanks, Captain and role model for Luffy. He instills in the young boy his desire to become a pirate after saving him. This episode will have cost him his left arm and he makes Luffy promise to become a strong and proud pirate before their next meeting.
Buggy the Clown, cruel East Blue pirate capable of splitting into several parts, and making them fly thanks to the powers of the Fruit “Bara Bara”.
Eiichirō Oda was born on January 1, 1975 and dreamed of becoming a manga artist from an early age. At 17 he received the honors of the 44th Tezuka Awards for Wanted !
He is the assistant to many well-known authors like Nobuhiro Watsuki (Kenshin the Wanderer) or other future big names like Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King).
He will then publish the excellent Monsters as well as what will be the basis of the future universe of One Piece: Romance Dawn.
In 2004, he married Inaba Chiaki, who played Nami during the Jump Festa.
In 2018, he donated 800 million yen (a nod to Luffy’s bonuses) to his birthplace, Kumamoto, for reconstruction following the 2016 earthquake. A bronze statue of Luffy was inaugurated there in his honor.
Since the anime’s inception in 1999, one episode has aired per week in Japan until 2020, when Toei Animation takes a short hiatus due to the pandemic. In total, 20 seasons, more than 950 episodes and 4 OVAs so far. One Piece is also adapted into 14 films.
A live-action adaptation is scheduled for release in 2021 on Netflix!
We can embody the Straw Hat gang in around 40 video games ranging from the Japanese WonderSwan to the Switch, including the Playstation 1, 2, 3 and 4, the GameBoy and GameCube or even the Xbox One.
Countless One Piece merch items have been created, since the universe is so vast. If you’re looking for particular merch, you can assume it exists.
Why we recommend One Piece
While Master Oda has created a classic, a legitimate descendant of a Dragon Ball, it should be noted that the manga is approaching volume 100 and is still being written. The well-balanced humor combined with the emotion infused into the past of its characters will bring us to tears more than once. Adding this to the zany atmosphere of Oda, in a world of pirates that is not so common to find in manga, One Piece can be suitable for all types of new readers from around 10 years old, such as older people who want to finally read this monument of the shônen genre. Even after several full re-readings, we always find new details and we love looking for Pandaman hidden in the crowd and plunging back into the deep end of privateers and buccaneers.
Find our selection of One Piece manga and merch here!
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