Manga Monday- One Piece

Manga Monday- One Piece

 

One Piece is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since July 22, 1997, and has been collected into 92 tankōbon volumes. The story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy whose body gained the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. With his crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy explores the Grand Line in search of the world’s ultimate treasure known as “One Piece” in order to become the next Pirate King. One Piece has received praise for its storytelling, art, characterization, and humor. Several volumes of the manga have broken publishing records, including the highest initial print run of any book in Japan. The official website for Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece manga announced that the manga has set a Guinness World Record for “the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author”. As of March 2019, the manga has sold over 450 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series in history. It became the best-selling manga for the eleventh consecutive year in 2018. One Piece is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, estimated to have generated over $20 billion in total franchise revenue, from the manga, anime, films, games and merchandise.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, One Piece has been serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 22, 1997. The chapters have been collected into tankōbon volumes by Shueisha since December 24, 1997. In total, there are 938 chapters and 92 tankōbon volumes. Oda teamed up with Akira Toriyama to create a single crossover of One Piece and Toriyama’s Dragon Ball. Entitled Cross Epoch, the one-shot was published in the December 25, 2006, issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump and the April 2011 issue of the English Shonen Jump. Oda collaborated with Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, author of Toriko, for a crossover one-shot of their series titled Taste of the Devil Fruit, which ran in the April 4, 2011, issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump. The spinoff series One Piece Party, written by Ei Andō in a super deformed art style, 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 via chapters in the manga anthology Shonen Jump, since the magazine’s launch in November 2002, and in bound volumes since June 30, 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 in 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, Glénat in France, Panini Comics in Mexico, LARP Editores and later by Ivrea in Argentina, Planeta de Libros in Spain, and Edizioni Star Comics in Italy.

The One Piece manga was a finalist for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize three times in a row from 2000 to 2002, with the highest number of fan nominations in the first two years. The German translation of its 44th volume won the Sondermann audience award in the international manga category, a yearly comic award given in seven categories by the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Frankfurter Rundschau, Spiegel Online and Comicforum, at the Fair’s Comics Centre in 2005. In a 2008 poll by Oricon, Japanese teenagers voted it the most interesting manga. The manga was nominated for Favorite Manga Series in Nickelodeon Magazines 2009 Comics Awards. In 2012, One Piece won the 41st Japan Cartoonists Association Award Grand Prize, alongside Kimuchi Yokoyama’s Nekodarake Nice. Da Vinci magazine named One Piece number three on their list of 2013’s top manga, which was voted on 4,619 professional book reviewers, bookstore employees, and Da Vinci readers. On June 15, 2015, it was announced that Eiichiro Oda and One Piece had set the Guinness World Record for “The most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author” with 320,866,000 copies printed worldwide as of December 2014.

Reception

Manga

One Piece is the best-selling manga series in history; it sold 100 million collected tankōbon volumes by February 2005, and over 200 million by February 2011, before selling over 365 million copies sold in Japan and 440 million copies worldwide as of May 2018. According to Oricon, One Piece has been the best-selling manga series every year since 2008 when the company began its manga chart, and it became the best-selling manga for the tenth consecutive year in 2017. 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. Up until February 2012, One Piece had grossed at least ¥112,126,800,000 ($1,404,220,000) in manga tankōbon sales revenue.

Additionally, individual volumes of One Piece have broken publishing and sales records in Japan. In 2009, Volume 56 had the highest initial print run of any manga: 2.85 million copies. Volume 57’s print run of 3 million copies in 2010 was the highest first print for any book of any subject in Japan—a record that was broken several times by subsequent volumes and currently held by Volume 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 began in 2008.

One Piece has also sold well in North America, charting on Publishers Weeklys list of bestselling comics for April/May 2007 and numerous times on The New York Times Manga Best Seller list. On ICv2s 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 ICv2s 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 list.

Life-size reproductions of the main characters’ two pirate ships: the Going Merry (left) and the Thousand Sunny (right)

Allen Divers of Anime News Network comments in 2003 that the art style One Piece employs “initially seems very cartoonish with much of the character designs showing more North American influence than that from its Japanese origins”. Adding that the “artwork and settings come across as timeless in their presentation”. 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 “manages to share a rich tale without getting bogged down by overly complicated plots”. 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 for easy reading. The website active Anime describes the artwork in One Piece as “wonderfully quirky and full of expression”. Splashcomics comments that Oda’s “pleasantly bright and dynamic”art style suits the story’s “funny and exciting” 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 steadily. 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 notes 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”.

 

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