We are going to talk about One Piece manga, one of the popular manga written by Eiichiro Oda. I bet you guys know about One Piece or at least has ever heard about it. This manga was so popular not only in Japan but also in other countries. Since its first serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997, it has been made into tankoubon (a stand-alone edition) and was sold million copies worldwide.
For the record, its first printing for volume 57 was 3 million in 2010 and became the highest first print for any book in Japan. One Piece series has also won several awards and nominations such as winning the Grand Prize in 41st Japan Cartoonist Association Award. It was also recorded in Guinness World Record for ‘the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author’ with over 320 million copies printed worldwide until December 2014.
So, are you interested to read One Piece now? Hold that thought. Let’s talk about the storyline first. One Piece tells the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a young boy from a port city who wants to become a pirate. He often hangs out with ‘Red Haired’ Shanks, a pirate captain, and the crew and therefore interested in becoming a pirate just like Shanks. He pestered Shanks to bring him along on their trip but Shanks declined. One day, Luffy ate the devil fruit called the rubber fruit (gomu-gomu fruit) and his body became rubber-like. He can stretch his arm and leg (and practically every part of his body) but he can’t swim due to the curse of the devil fruit.
Local bandits were interested in Luffy and kidnapped him. Somehow, they lost interest in him and throw him into the sea. Shanks lost his left arm in order to save Luffy from the giant fish. Luffy finally understood why Shanks didn’t want to bring him along. The ocean is a dangerous place for a kid like him. But he still wants to become a pirate captain. Luffy was greatly influenced by Shanks. Before parting ways, Shanks give his hat to Luffy and told him to return the hat to him when Luffy has become a great pirate. The hat would become Luffy’s significant feature and made him known as the straw-hat Luffy.
One Piece follows the journey and adventure of Monkey D. Luffy. He wants to become a Pirate King and found the treasure hidden by Gold Roger, a great pirate that has been executed years ago. This world’s ultimate treasure was also known as ‘One Piece’ and anyone who found it would be acknowledged as the Pirate King.
Luffy started by finding his own crew and ship before exploring the Grand Line to search for One Piece. Luffy met a swordsman, Roronoa Zoro and then joined by Nami (a navigator and thief), Usopp (a sniper and liar), Vinsmoke Sanji (a womanizing chef). They acquire a ship called Going Merry and met another crew member, Tony Chopper (a doctor who is also a reindeer), Nico Robin (an archaeologist), Franky (a cyborg shipwright), and Brook (a skeletal musician and swordsman). Together, they encounter other pirates, bounty hunters, criminal organizations, and various friends and foes along their journey to pursue their dreams. So, do you want to be a pirate captain like Luffy? You can read One Piece manga on Viz or shonen jump if you want to know more about their journey and adventures.