One Piece

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Name: One Piece (ワンピース wanpiisu)
Abbreviation(s): OP
Creator: ODA Eiichiro (尾田 栄一郎) ♂
Date(s): August 1997 - present
Medium: Manga, anime
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: Shounen JUMP's Official Manga Site (J), Shonen JUMP's Official Manga Site (E), Toei's Official Anime Site (J), FUNimation's Official Anime Site (E)
Wallpaper One piece by Tol82 (2013)
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One Piece is a long-running shounen manga series created by Oda Eiichiro (Odacchi to his fans) that is serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump. The story chronicles the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy who gained a rubber-like body after eating a cursed fruit as a young child, and his quest to find the One Piece and become the Pirate King. Along his journey, he fights many villains, makes new friends, and finds his nakama, most of whom join his crew, the Strawhat Pirates.

The manga was adapted into an anime by Toei Animation in 1999. The anime currently airs on Fuji TV and has since become the studio's signature series.[1] Ten animated feature films have also been made. In Japan, One Piece is currently the #1 bestselling manga series of all time.[2]

Both the manga and anime have been licensed officially in various countries. In North America, Viz Media has held the English-language rights since 2002. North American rights for the anime were originally licensed by 4Kids Entertainment in 2004, but they were acquired by FUNimation in 2007. FUNimation would later expand the license to world English-language rights.


The manhwa "Vanilla Ice" refers to "One Piece."

One Piece is known as one of Weekly Shounen Jump's Big 3 manga in English-language fandom, with the other two titles currently being Naruto and Bleach. One Piece's massive popularity in Japan, however, isn't reflected in English-language fandom, though it is well-known internationally.

See also One Piece Fandom Glossary.

English-language fandom

One Piece's English-language fandom is scattered across many internet venues. The bulk of it concentrates around Arlong Park, a fan site dedicated to One Piece, and its popular associated forums where many discussions about the series take place. Accurate spoilers for new chapter releases are often posted on the Arlong Park forums first, which then spread to other forums and sites. The fandom also has a presence on Livejournal, but its size and activity is far smaller than that of Naruto or Bleach.

While the manga and anime each have official English translations, they are both scanlated and fansubbed by various groups. Scanlations of new chapters are made available online shortly after their serialized release in Japan. In addition, many fans prefer watching fansubs over the official version due to a longstanding grudge against FUNimation. (needs a ref that will not call anonymous down upon our heads)

A genderswapped version of the protagonist, Luffy, is popular in fanfiction. Known uniformly throughout the fandom as Luffyko, this trope originates from an April Fools prank organized by the Arlong Park fan site in 2009. During the Impel Down storyline, the character of Emporio Ivankov was introduced. Ivankov's special abilities revolve around hormone injection and among them was a hormone that could switch a person's gender. Based on this, the organizers created a pre-spoiler release of manga chapter 538 featuring a female Luffy. The joke spoilers managed to infiltrate all of the One Piece fandoms except for the Japanese-language fandom, which immediately recognized the fake. The Chinese-language fandom was the first group to debunk the joke release. As part of the prank, the Arlong Park forums took bets from its members regarding the release, with the contents of their signature at stake. Those who correctly bet that the prank release was a fake were congratulated in their signatures. Those who believed the prank release was real were chastised in their signatures for not being able to recognize Oda's signature art style.[3]

Japanese-language fandom

A One Piece "takeover" campaign on the Yamanote line to celebrate OP's 200,000,000th sale.[4]

In Japan, the manga is considered a phenomenon. In February 2011, the Japanese TV channel NHK conducted a survey among people who read One Piece. According to the results, 88% of the adult population reads the manga frequently.[5] Many popular icons such as singer Amuro Namie are known fans of the series:

"I love 'ONE PIECE' as a comic and as an anime, I even read it when on tour." [6]

In late 2010, it was announced that One Piece's protagonist, Luffy, would be hijacking all of the magazines published by Shueisha, also the publisher of Weekly Shounen Jump, during February 2011. It was a promotion to celebrate the manga having 200 million copies in print.[7] As part of the promotion, each magazine would come with a special One Piece-themed collectible such as socks, arm warmers, and toothbrush holders. This resulted in many fans buying magazines that spanned a wide range of target demographics for the themed content and special item.[8] Along with the magazine takeover, the campaign also transformed the busy Yamanote train line in Tokyo into the Gomunote line (lit. Rubber Hand line). Train cars and stations were plastered with artwork from the series, and during its two-week duration, many fans made special trips to ride the line in order to see the various themed carriages, nine in total for each member of the Straw Hat Pirates.[9]

At the end of 2010, Fuji TV launched the first official restaurant inspired by One Piece. Located at its Ginza Meza Marche complex in Tokyo, the restaurant was open from mid-December until May 2011. In addition to being decorated like the interior of the first Strawhat pirate ship, Going Merry, it featured a menu that included several dishes from the manga.[10] Many fans made special trips to visit the restaurant even though the process involved making reservations for a limited amount of seating.[11] During the summer of 2011, Universal Studios Japan opened a special Sanji's Pirate Restaurant, in honor of the character and featuring a menu consisting of Sanji's signature dishes.[12] One of the highlights for visiting fans was the chance to see appearances by their favorite characters.[13]

Oda's illustrations of the genderswapped Strawhat Pirates from SBS 56 [14]

One Piece has a large presence on Pixiv. Among fan artists, it is a common convention to celebrate characters' birthdays by posting specially dedicated fan art on the date. This is the area where there is the most crossover between Japanese-language fandom and English-language fandom as many English fans use Pixiv to browse new fanart, which is then reposted on microblogging sites such as Tumblr.

Salad, or genderswapping the characters, is also a popular trope in fanworks. The trope's name derives from an illustration Oda drew in an SBS, as the Q&A sections in One Piece are called, from volume 56. A fan had asked Oda to draw genderswapped versions of the Strawhat Pirates and he complied. Accompanying each sketch was a tagline with the character's signature catch phrase or identifier but taken to the opposite gender's stereotypical extreme. For example, the canonically male Luffy loves to eat meat so Oda drew a female Luffy saying, "I'll eat salad and become the Pirate King!"[14]

As a result of having a semi-official example, fanart of the genderswapped Strawhat Pirates are virtually uniform across the fandom in terms of character design. In addition, the fandom has expanded to include genderswapped versions of other characters from the manga. Characters such as: Luffy's older brother, Portgas D. Ace; former Shichibukai Crocodile; and Pirate Empress Boa Hancock are popular choices.

Spanish-language fandom

One Piece has an active Spanish-language fandom. For example, the fan site Pirateking is regularly updated with spoilers, raws, scanlations and fansubs. It also has a thriving associated forum of over 24,000 members.

The Spanish-language section at is also regularly updated with new stories.[15]

Oda and Fan Interaction

In volume 4 of the tankoubon, One Piece launched SBS, short for Shitsumon o Boshū Suru (lit. I'm Taking Questions), a question and answer column where Oda Eiichiro answers questions from his fans. Due to the nature of One Piece, the questions range from silly to serious. In turn, Oda's responses are sometimes jokes and other times interesting facts about the story and characters.

In volume 43, Oda fielded a question from the French-language fandom:

D: Oda-sama, we send you a letter and the feelings of all of France! I write you this message as the representative of a French fansite of over 1,000 members! We hope to show you, and especially the fans in Japan, that there are One Piece fans in other countries around the world!!! Question: Oda-sensei, do you have a good french bread?? I am French, so I need a yummy french bread to beegin the SBS!! And lastly, (May the will of D be with you!!)
O: Ahem. The SBS has finally reached international status. I appreciate that you took the trouble to send them all the way to the office in Japan. And this question, which you sent across borders and around the world... IS THE BEST YOU COULD COME UP WITH?! Plus, the answer is, I DON'T HAVE ANY FRENCH BREAD. Though I'd like to have some authentic french bread someday. So now that I've answered your question, the French edition is about 10 volumes behind, which means you'll get to read this translated in 2 years. I hope you're still fans by then! Thank you!! [16]

A recurring element of the SBS segments involves fans proposing birthdays for characters, usually based on Japanese number puns or other jokes, such as Usopp's birthday being April 1 (April Fool's Day) due to his tendency to lie and exaggerate. Oda is known to proclaim just about any birthday fans submit as canon so long as a reason is given, so many of One Piece's expansive cast have canonical birthdays that are often celebrated by fans.


Only a few canonical couples have appeared in the manga thus far, and the ones that have either occurred in the past before the main storyline (such as Gol D. Roger/Portgas D. Rouge and Kozuki Oden/Amatsuki Toki), or are pairings between side characters (such as Kin'emon/Otsuru). Because Oda has stated he has no plans to include romance in the canon storyline of One Piece, shipping is an activity based on fan speculation and enjoyment. Due to the large cast of characters, this results in a wide variety of combinations. Slash pairings are more common than their het and yuri counterparts, possibly because of the imbalanced ratio between male characters to female.

Some fans have stated that they are unable to ship the protagonist, Luffy, with other characters due to viewing him as asexual. Other fans joke that Luffy's OTP is Luffy/Adventure with Luffy/Food being a close runner-up.

Zoro/Sanji, often noted by the portmanteau of ZoSan, is the most popular slash pairing and is in fact the most popular pairing in general. The second most popular is Lawlu, the ship between Luffy and friend and ally Trafalgar Law- it's somewhat common to see people ship both Zosan and Lawlu, since the two ships don't overlap. Other slash pairings between members of the Strawhat Pirates include the popular Zoro/Luffy (ZoLu) and the less common Sanji/Usopp (Usosan or Sansopp). Other popular slash pairings involving Luffy are the pseudo-incest pairing of Ace/Luffy and the antagonistic pairing of Crocodile/Luffy, although the latter is more commonly seen in Japanese fandom. Both are very controversial in English fandom.

There are also many ships found among the supporting and side cast. Ace is often paired with his antagonist, Smoker, or with his fellow nakama, Marco. Within the Japanese fandom, the ships of Doflamingo/Crocodile and Kidd/Law are also very popular, and both have begun to cross over into English fandom as well.

The het ships seem to be more evenly split than their slash counterparts, though none are overwhelmingly popular. Luffy/Nami (LuNa) and Luffy/Boa are the main het ships involving Luffy. The latter pairing tends to be a controversial option among fans due to the significant age difference even though Boa Hancock canonically has a crush on Luffy. Among the other members of the Strawhat Crew, Nami is paired either with Zoro (ZoNa) or Sanji (SaNa). Robin is very often paired with Franky (Frobin) and they appear as a background or secondary couple in many works. In Japanese fandom, the pairing of Zoro/Perona is gaining popularity. Roronoa Zoro/Nico Robin is also moderately well-represented among the het ships. Saboala, the ship between side characters Sabo and Koala, is rather popular.

The yuri ships are small and few and mostly involve Nami: Nami/Vivi and Nami/Robin.

Nakamashipping is the name for the ship that involves shipping the entire crew of the Strawhat Pirates together. However, the tag Nakamaship on AO3 doesn't refer to this; rather it is used to tag works that feature the found family dynamic of the Strawhats.

4Kids Localization Controversy

In 2004, 4Kids Entertainment gained the rights to produce an English-language version of One Piece. Fan reaction to the announcement was highly negative.[17] The dubbed version began airing later that year on Fox, and its reception was poor. The series was heavily edited for content and length due to depictions of alcohol, guns, and cigarettes. For example, the cigarettes commonly smoked by Sanji were altered to look like lollipops. Even more controversial was the choice to change the skin color of a black pirate to a tan/white color.[18] Many fans believe the 4Kids localization destroyed any chances of One Piece gaining as much popularity as Naruto or Bleach in the English-language market, and it indeed persisted as a stain on the anime's perception in the west.

In 2010, the Anime News Network interviewed Mark Kirk, the Vice President of Digital Media for 4Kids. During the interview, Kirk revealed that One Piece had been acquired as part of a package deal with other anime and the company had watched few, if any, of the series before acquiring it. When they realized how ill-suited it was for their target demographic, they attempted to edit it into a more kid-friendly show.[19]



  1. ^ FUNimation Entertainment, Toei Animation, Shueisha and Fuji Television Announce Online Return of One Piece!, (Access May 21, 2011)
  2. ^ One Piece series holds "Dome Tour" in Osaka, Tokyo, (Accessed May 21, 2011)
  3. ^ April Fools 2009 (Accessed May 22, 2011)
  4. ^ All Aboard The One Piece Train (Accessed May 20, 2011)
  5. ^ The Popularity of One Piece Among Adults, (Accessed May 21, 2011)
  6. ^ Amuro Namie to open for "ONE PIECE" with song, "Fight Together" (Accessed May 21, 2011)
  7. ^ One Piece 'Hijacks' All Shueisha Magazines in February (Accessed May 21, 2011)
  8. ^ Arlong Park forum thread about One Piece hijack (Accessed May 21, 2011)
  9. ^ Animanga in the News: 2/17/11 (Accessed May 21, 2011)
  10. ^ One Piece Anime's Official Restaurant Open Until May (Accessed June 6, 2011)
  11. ^ One Piece Restaurant!-Ginza, Tokyo (Accessed June 6, 2011)
  12. ^ "Sanji's Pirate Restaurant" to open at Universal Studios Japan (Accessed November 14, 2011)
  13. ^ Inside the One Piece Restaurant! (Accessed November 14, 2011)
  14. ^ a b SBS Volume 56 (Accessed May 22, 2011)
  15. ^ Spanish-language stories from the One Piece section (994 stories as of May 24, 2011)
  16. ^ Volume 43 SBS (Accessed May 26, 2011)
  17. ^ OMG LITTLE KIDS WILL GET INTO MY SHOW!!!!111 (Accessed May 22, 2011)
  18. ^ White Pirates, Black Pirates? (Accessed May 22, 2011)
  19. ^ Kirk Up Your Ears (Accessed May 22, 2011)