The manga spawned a media franchise, having been adapted into an original video animation (OVA) produced by Production I.G in 1998, and an anime series produced by Toei Animation, which began broadcasting in Japan in 1999. Additionally, Toei has developed thirteen animated feature films, one OVA and thirteen television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising and media, such as a trading card game and numerous video games. The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by Viz Media and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. The anime series was licensed by 4Kids Entertainment for an English-language release in North America in 2004, before the license was dropped and subsequently acquired by Funimation in 2007.
Toei Animation produces an anime television series based on the One Piece manga. The series, which premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on October 20, 1999, has aired more than 800 episodes, and has been exported to various countries around the world. Two cross-over episodes with the anime adaptation of Toriko were aired. The first of these, which was also the first episode of Toriko, aired on April 3, 2011. A second special, which also crossed over with Dragon Ball Z, aired on April 7, 2013.
On June 8, 2004, 4Kids Entertainment acquired the license for distribution of One Piece in North America. 4Kids contracted Viz Media to handle home video distribution. 4Kids’ in-house musicians wrote a new background score and theme song nicknamed “Pirate Rap”. 4Kids’ dub mandated edits for content and length, which reduced the first 143 episodes into 104. Initially, 4Kids originally created an English version of the first opening theme, “We Are!” It premiered in the United States on September 18, 2004, in first-run syndication on the Fox network as part of the weekend programming block Fox Box, and later aired on Cartoon Network on their weekday afternoon programming block Toonami in April 2005. Production was halted in 2006 after episode 143/104. Viz also ceased its home video release of the series after volume 11. On July 22, 2010, an interview with Anime News Network and Mark Kirk, senior vice-president of digital media for 4Kids Entertainment, revealed that 4Kids acquired One Piece as part of a package deal with other anime, and that the company did not screen the series before licensing it. However, once 4Kids realized One Piece was not appropriate for their intended demographic, the company decided to edit it into a more child-oriented series until they had an opportunity to legally drop the license. Kirk said the experience of producing One Piece “ruined the company’s reputation”. Since then, 4Kids established a stricter set of guidelines, checks, and balances to determine which anime the company acquires.
On April 13, 2007, Funimation licensed the series and started production on an English-language release of One Piece. In an interview with voice actor Christopher Sabat, he stated that Funimation had been interested in acquiring One Piece from the very beginning, and produced a “test episode,” in which Sabat portrayed the character of Helmeppo and Eric Vale played the part of the main character, Monkey D. Luffy. (They would later go on to provide the English voices for Roronoa Zoro and Sanji, respectively.) After resuming production of the renewed English dub, which featured less censorship because of fewer restrictions on cable programming, Funimation released its first uncut, bilingual DVD box set containing 13 episodes on May 27, 2008. Similarly sized sets followed with fourteen sets released. The Funimation-dubbed episodes premiered on Cartoon Network on September 29, 2007 and aired until its removal on March 22, 2008. On October 28, 2011, Funimation posted a press release on their official website confirming the acquisition of episodes 206–263, and the aspect ratio, beginning with episode 207, would be changed to the 16:9 widescreen format. On May 18, 2013, the uncut series began airing on Adult Swim’s revived Toonami late-night programming block from episode 207 onward. One Piece was removed from the Toonami block after March 18, 2017.
In May 2009, Funimation, Toei Animation, Shueisha, and Fuji Television announced they would simulcast stream the series within an hour of the weekly Japanese broadcast at no charge. Originally scheduled to begin on May 30, 2009, with episode 403, a lack of security resulted in a leak of the episode, and Funimation delayed the offer until episode 415 on August 29, 2009.
On February 12, 2013, it was announced that Manga Entertainment would start releasing the Funimation dub of One Piece in the United Kingdom in a DVD box set format. Crunchyroll began simulcasting the series on November 2, 2013, for the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America.
The anime adaptations have also been very well-received. The first episode of the anime adaptation earned a viewer ratings percentage of 12.4, behind Pokémon and ahead of Ojamajo Doremi. As of 2017, One Piece is among the top 10 anime in viewer ratings every week in Japan. On several occasions the One Piece anime has topped Japan’s DVD sales.
In a review of the second DVD release of 4Kids Entertainment’s dub, Todd Douglass, Jr. of DVD Talk called its adaptation a “shabby treatment” resulting in an “arguably less enjoyable rendition”. Douglass said that the 4Kids original opening was “a crappy rap song” and that the removal of whole scenes leaves a “feeling that something is missing”. He later went on to say that “Fans of the ‘real’ One Piece will want to skip picking […] up [4Kids Entertainment’s One Piece DVDs] until an uncut release is announced”, and also stated that “kids may get into this version because it’s what they have seen on TV”. Margaret Veira of activeAnime praised the TV series’ “great” animation, stating that “It gives life and stays true to the style and characters of the manga.” She notes the fight scenes in particular have “a lot of energy to them”. Patrick King of Animefringe comments that the art style of One Piece is “very distinctive and fresh”.
In a review of the first Funimation DVD release for Mania Entertainment, Bryce Coulter comments that One Piece is “not your typical pirate adventure” and that mixed with “the right amount of random fun along with a shonen style storyline” it becomes “an appealing and fun romp”. In a review of Funimation’s second DVD release for Mania Entertainment, Bryce Coulter comments that “You can tell that they are giving One Piece the attention that was neglected by 4Kids” and that “One Piece is a great tale of high-seas fun that will leave you wanting more!”
In Indonesia, Global TV was reprimanded by the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) for airing the anime television series. Nina Armando, member of the KPI and a lecturer at the University of Indonesia, said the show should not be aired at times when children are likely to watch.
In the United States, where it is available on the Hulu streaming platform, One Piece was 2018’s most binge-watched television show in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.
The first opening of the One Piece anime television series, “We Are!”, won the Animation Kobe Theme Song Award of the year 2000. In February 2001, One Piece placed 9th among anime television series in Japan. In 2001, the readers of Animage, a popular Japanese anime magazine, voted the anime television series in 5th place of The Readers’ Picks for the Anime that should be remembered in the 21st Century. In June 2002, Animage readers voted One Piece to be the 16th best new anime of the year 2001, and gave it another 16th place in 2004 in the category Favorite Anime Series. In a 2005 web poll by Japanese television network TV Asahi One Piece was voted 6th most popular animated TV series. Before the poll, Asahi TV broadcast another list based on a nationwide survey in which One Piece placed 4th among teenagers. In 2006, it was elected 32nd of the Top 100 Japanese anime by TV Asahi and 21st by its viewers. Funimation’s first DVD release of the series “One Piece: Season 1 First Voyage” was nominated for the Fifth Annual TV DVD Awards.