One Piece Encyclopedia

One Piece (Manga)

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One Piece
Volume 1
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Original run: July 19, 1997 – Ongoing
Volumes: 77 (797 Chapters)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, Tragedy
For other uses of this name, see One Piece (Disambiguation).

ONE PIECE (ワンピース Wan Pīsu?) is a pirate adventure manga written and drawn by Eiichiro Oda, created in July 1997. The manga is known to employ colorful and creative motifs that are taken from classic mythology, politics and musical aspects. It is also mixed with pirate lore and shonen formula.

One Piece is divided into two halves: Sea of Survival: Super Rookies Saga (サバイバルの海 超新星編 Sabaibaru no Umi: Chōshinsei-hen?), and The Final Sea: The New World Saga (最後の海 新世界編 Saigo no Umi: Shinsekai-hen?).[1]


Eiichiro Oda was inspired by Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump at a young age. As a child he was inspired by Vikings and he aspired to become a manga artist. Later, he created Pandaman for Yudetamago's Kinnikuman. In 1992, Oda at the age of 17, submitted the manga called Wanted!. This got him notice to join the staff, at the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, where he became an assistant under several established manga writers including Shinobu Kaitani, Masaya Tokuhiro and finally Nobuhiro Watsuki.

Oda had interest in making a pirate manga both from his obsession with vikings as a young man and inspired by various pirate events including the discovery of the pirate ship of Edward Teach (known by his pirate name of Blackbeard). He wrote two separate one-shots in the mid-1990s, both of which were called "Romance Dawn". The stories introduced Monkey D. Luffy, a straw-hat wearing boy who set out to sea to become a legendary pirate. Several concepts of the eventual serialization appeared in these stories, including Luffy's inspiration for being a pirate and a mysterious power he gained from eating a special fruit that turned his body into rubber (a prototype for the Devil Fruit).

In August 1997, Oda took many of his "Romance Dawn" ideas and started using them in a weekly serial under the title "One Piece". It was first serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump, the weekly shonen magazine owned by Shueisha. The series quickly caught on and became popular from the initial chapters on, establishing itself as one of the premiere manga series in the magazine.

Originally, Oda wanted his series to run for 5 years (meaning One Piece could have ended in 2002), but he went longer than expected and has no idea how many more years his story will be. However, it should be noted that Oda has stated that the end of Chapter 597 marks the end of the first half of One Piece. Oda has already planned the ending for One Piece. Despite how long it will take him to complete it, he will end One Piece the way he planned from the start.[2][3]


The current story takes place 800 years after the Great Kingdom fall and the World Government takes over the world stage, 22 years after Gol D. Roger the Pirate King was executed and inspires the Golden Pirate Age. After his death, countless of Pirates sets out to find his greatest treasure One Piece. Initially the story begins before the Battle of Marineford. A boy name Monkey D. Luffy from East Blue who was aged seven was inspired by the pirate Shanks who turns out to be the Cabin Boy of Gol D. Roger and during this time he accidentally ate the Gomu Gomu no Mi. He yarns to become a Pirate King and ten years later he sets out from Foosha Village and spent his adventures gathering his crews and face many trials in his path.


At the time of its release, the dot-eyed style of artwork seen in anime like Dragon Ball was becoming less popular and manga and anime seemed to be moving over for the more popular big-eyes style of drawing, made famous by shows like Sailor Moon. Eiichiro Oda was fully aware of the change of art style and was worried early on in its run that his style would put off people from reading his manga. As time progressed and One Piece's popularity grew, Oda was able to relax the style more, resulting in One Piece's drawing style becoming much more loose and kinetic.

As well as its unusual art style, the style of weird drawn characters had been another worry of Oda. Another problem at the time of early production was that the Bishie was becoming a popular form of manga character depiction and "ugly" or "weird" characters manga were becoming significantly harder to sell. However, these character designs have since become one of One Piece's selling points, allowing more eccentric characters to be drawn.

Evolution of the Series

Throughout the seventeen years of its run, One Piece does the world-building style; introducing strange races, giving each island its personal cultures, creating the history and mythologies of the world. It was known to focus more on the story rather than typical Shonen fighting.

The story changed through the series, for example in the East Blue Saga, Luffy would travel from one island to another, fighting pirates and/or Marines, gathering crew members in progress. This formula of fighting pirates/Marines on each island changed when the Straw Hat Pirates reached Loguetown when they face both sides. By the time they reach the Grand Line they would face one large enemy. During the Alabasta Saga, the Baroque Works organization is the antagonist, then during the Sky Island Saga, it's Enel and his God's Warrior militia, during the Water 7 Saga, it's the CP9. During the Summit War Saga they would face many sides.

The story arc was based on the islands that the Straw Hat Pirates would visit. When grouping the story arcs, there are usually a few smaller arcs grouped together with one major arc. During the East Blue Saga, all arcs were small, but starting with the Alabasta Saga, there were usually a number of small arcs following up to one major arc. For example: Reverse Mountain, Whiskey Peak, Little Garden, Drum Island, Jaya, and Longring Longland are small arcs while Alabasta, Skypiea, and Water 7/Enies Lobby are major arcs. This pattern disappeared during the Summit War Saga, however, as Thriller Bark was 48 chapters long while subsequent arcs were much shorter. Starting with Fishman Island each arc has been long.

Starting at the beginning, the Straw Hat Pirates would trek from island to island in a straightforward pattern without getting backtracked, forced to get off-course or shattered. It's not until Water 7 that they were forced to leave Water 7 to Enies Lobby to rescue a crewmember and backtracked to Water 7. By the time they reached Sabaody, they were scattered across the Grand Line; with two leaving the Grand Line, with few backtracking.

The tone of the series at start was lighthearted, simple and comedic during the East Blue Saga, Alabasta Saga and Sky Island Saga but during Water 7 Arc, the series was becoming serious, complex and dark but still retains the lighthearted and comedic nature. The series became rougher and wilder by Sabaody Archipelago Arc and by the Post-War Arc, it became more dramatic.

There have been changes in the cast. First it was the ship, Going Merry, who was destroyed at the end of the Enies Lobby Arc. But it was during the Marineford Arc that the series was facing a big change; Whitebeard and Ace died. During the Post-War Arc, Sengoku and Garp step down from the Marines while Sakazuki would later replace him as Fleet Admiral.

The end of the Whitebeard War also shows the world of One Piece changing, similar to how life changes in the real world after wars. As the balance of the Great Powers is disrupted by the loss of one of the Yonko (Whitebeard), the seas he ruled over are soon overrun with pirates trying to gain control. Blackbeard would eventually take Whitebeard's place as the new Yonko.

One Piece has since evolved to become more than a simple pirating tale. Throughout the years of its serialization, One Piece has taken vastly differing directions in its story line. One Piece also has been noted to include many themes such as what treasure is, the meaning of justice, and the concept of chasing one's dreams.

Cultural Links

Subject Matter

Many real world items were the primary focus on certain characters and arcs.

  • Censorship - Primarily the focus of the Ohara storyline, including Nico Robin.
  • Drug Addiction - Portrayed in the form of children having been tragically fed with addictive drugs, the victims' behavior shows how dangerous a substance like this can be. Also protrayed in the Fishman Island Arc, with Hody Jones and his crew.
  • Eugenics - Ace, Luffy, and Robin were targets for discrimination due to their parents and Montblanc Cricket due his ancestor. Another example is the fact that the World Nobles act superior to others due to their heritage.
  • Genocide - Ohara was an island in the West Blue whos entire population was eradicated (aside from Nico Robin) on the orders of the Gorosei. A Buster Call was declared on the island in order to end the perceived threat posed by the archaeologists and historians of Ohara, for the crime of studying and pursuing the truth behind the Void Century. To make certain that none of the "Demons of Ohara" could survive, people who had no affiliation to the scholars were killed as well. In the North Blue, the island of Flevance also had its people exterminated to prevent the spread of Amber Lead Syndrome (despite the World Government having knowledge that the disease was non-contagious and only affected the island's inhabitants). As was the case in Ohara, the entire population (aside from Trafalgar Law and Flevance royalty) were killed to end this perceived threat.
  • Justice - Seen throughout the series, but primarily focused on during the Water 7 Arc, Enies Lobby Arc, and Summit War Saga.
  • Pursuing One's Dreams - Focused on throughout the series, particularly with the Straw Hat Pirates, however the Jaya Arc in particular brought this most in the open.
  • Racism - During the Arlong Park Arc, the conflict between the fishmen and humans was a subject of the story line, this later was expanded as newer tribes and cultures were introduced in the series with the main focus being the Sabaody Archipelago Arc and the Fishman Island Arc.
  • Slavery - The Arlong Park Arc and the Sabaody Archipelago Arc are both known examples of slavery.
  • Status Divide - It is focused on with the Straw Hat Pirates' status as pirates, the World Government's status as "world leaders", the Marines' status as "protectors of the world", and the World Nobles as well as nobles thinking they have a higher status than everyone else.
  • War - Focused on during the Alabasta Saga, Skypiea Arc and the Whitebeard War Saga.
  • War Profiteering - Donquixote Doflamingo taking advantage of the instability he caused for nearby peaceful nations after usurping King Riku, profiting from the weapons he provides them during their wars. His subordinate, Caesar Clown also provides weapons of mass destruction to warring nations.


The real world mythology seems to have played a great role in inspiring Oda to create One Piece. The same can be said for various other well known stories, books, and other known myths:



One Piece has the highest total manga sales within Japan, and is currently Weekly Shōnen Jump's most acclaimed and all-time best-selling title. The manga is the first to increase the sales of Weekly Shōnen Jump in eleven years. As of volume 65, the series has sold over 260,000,000 copies domestically and is the fastest manga to reach sales of 100,000,000.[5]

  • 2008: One Piece was the best selling manga in Japan with 5,956,540 volumes sold. Volume 49 with 1,544,000 copies was in fourth place, Volume 50 with 1,678,208 copies hold the first place and Volume 51 with 1,646,978 copies was in second place.[6][7]
  • 2009: One Piece was the best selling manga series in Japan with 14,721,241 volumes sold. Volume 53 hold the first place with 2,057,528 copies sold, volumes 54, 52, and 55 place second, third and fourth respectively with 1,963,696, 1,952,551, and 1,810,410 copies sold respectively.[8][9]
  • 2010: Volume 59 holds a manga initial circulation record in Japan with 3.2 million copies.[10] The volume set a new record for the first-week sales by selling 1,852,541 copies.[11][12]
  • 2010: The first half One Piece was the best selling manga in Japan with 15,220,095 copies sold approximately. Volume 57 was in first place and Vol. 56 in the second with 2,305,594 and 2,276,013 copies sold respectively.[13][14]
  • 2011: One Piece was the best selling manga in Japan with 37,996,373 copies sold. Volume 61 was the best selling volume in Japan with 3,382,588 copies sold.
  • 2012: One Piece was again the top selling manga in Japan, selling an estimated 23,464,866 copies. Volume 65 sold the most, with 3,336,992 copies sold.
  • 2013: The New York Times runs an ad by the publisher Shueisha, thanking One Piece fans as they celebrate the record breaking 300 million copies that are in print.[15]
  • 2015: One Piece is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as having "the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author", with 322,866,00 copies printed and circulated, from December 1997 till December 2014.

In response to the Oricon survey question about which manga people would want to see in live action movie, One Piece takes second place behind Slam Dunk.[16] Another survey asked 6,000 participants the question "Which manga do you think is the most entertaining?" One Piece took first place with Dragon Ball taking second.[17]

The popularity is of such proportion that it has been used in a number of cross-promotional, merchandising, and other advertisements in that regard.

Men's non-no
Luffy on the Jan 2010 cover of Japan's leading men's fashion magazine, "Men's Non-No." The only manga character to have ever done so.[18]
One Piece H.I.S. Travel Agency
H.I.S. travel agency summer and World Cup promotion.[19][20]
One Piece Schick Razors
Schick razors.[21]
Coca cola world cup
Coca Cola FIFA World Cup promotion.
Yomiuri Giants
Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome.[22]
One Piece NYT Ad
Celebrating over 300 million individual copies sold in a 2013 edition of the New York Times


  • The original plan Oda set out for One Piece was for it to last for five years (meaning it originally would have ended in 2002).
  • The title "One Piece" has a secret meaning that only Oda knows.
  • Each week, Oda works on the story for three days then on the drawings for three more days.[23]

Related pages



  1. One Piece Ten Exhibition.
  2. SBS One Piece MangaVol. 42, Oda mentions the original expected time run for the series.
  3. One Piece Questions & Answers, an interview with Eiichiro Oda.
  4. SBS One Piece MangaVol. 62.
  5. ComiPress — Shōnen Magazine Circulation Drops Below 2,000,000
  6. Oricon Top 50 manga Volumes for 2008 [2007-12-24 ~ 2008-11-16] (Japanese).
  7. Oricon Top 10 manga for 2008 [2007-12-24 ~ 2008-11-16] (Japanese).
  8. Oricon Top 10 manga for 2009 [2008-11-17 ~ 2009-11-22] (Japanese)
  9. Oricon Top 50 manga Volumes for 2009 [2008-11-17 ~ 2009-11-22] (Japanese)
  10. ANN: One Piece #59 Manga Gets Record 3.2-Million Print Run
  11. One Piece 59 Sells 1.85 Million to Set 1st-Week Record
  12. Oricon News- 『ONE PIECE』最新59巻、歴代最高の初週実売185.3万部
  13. Oricon Top 50 manga Volumes for first half of 2010 [2009-12-07 ~ 2010-05-31 (Japanese). ANN Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Volume: 1st Half of 2010
  14. Oricon Top 10 manga for first half of 2010 [2009-12-07 ~ 2010-05-31 (Japanese).
  16. Oricon life (Japanese)
  17. (Japanese)
  18. [1]
  19. [2]
  20. [3]
  21. [4]
  22. [5]
  23. [6] — One Piece Interview With Eiichiro Oda.

Site Navigation

[v · e · ?]
Series Information
Production: Manga (Chapters  •  Digitally Colored Manga)
Anime (Episodes
  •  Movies  •  Home Video Releases  •  Eyecatchers  •  End Cards)
People: Eiichiro Oda  •  One Piece Voice Actors
Miscellaneous: Merchandise  •  Fansub
Dubs: Odex (Voice Actors)  •  4Kids Entertainment (Voice Actors  •  Episodes and DVDs)  •  FUNimation Entertainment (Voice Actors  •  Episodes and DVDs)
Translations: VIZ Media
Related Companies: Toei Animation  •  Weekly Shonen Jump  •  Madman Entertainment  •  Manga Entertainment
[v · e · ?]
Plot of One Piece
Sea of Survival: Super Rookies Saga
East Blue: Romance Dawn  •  Orange Town  •  Syrup Village  •  Baratie  •  Arlong Park  •  Loguetown
Mini-Arcs: Buggy's Crew: After the Battle!  •  Diary of Coby-Meppo
Alabasta: Reverse Mountain  •  Whiskey Peak  •  Little Garden  •  Drum  •  Alabasta
Mini-Arcs: Jango's Dance Paradise  •  Hatchan's Sea-Floor Stroll
Sky Island: Jaya  •  Skypiea
Mini-Arcs: Wapol's Omnivorous Hurrah  •  Ace's Great Blackbeard Search
Water 7: Long Ring Long Land  •  Water 7  •  Enies Lobby  •  Post-Enies Lobby
Mini-Arcs: Gedatsu's Accidental Blue-Sea Life  •  Miss Goldenweek's "Operation: Meet Baroque Works"
Where They Are Now
  •  Enel's Great Space Operations
Thriller Bark: Thriller Bark
Mini-Arcs: Where They Are Now
Summit War: Sabaody Archipelago  •  Amazon Lily  •  Impel Down  •  Marineford  •  Postwar
Mini-Arcs: CP9's Independent Report  •  Straw Hat's Separation Serial
Other Canon: Monsters  •  Chapter 0
The Final Sea: The New World Saga
Fishman: Return to Sabaody  •  Fishman Island
Mini-Arcs: From the Decks of the World
Alliance: Punk Hazard  •  Dressrosa
Mini-Arcs: Caribou's Kehihihihi in the New World  •  Solo Journey of Jinbe, Knight of the Sea
Filler Arcs: Warship Island  •  Post-Alabasta  •  Goat Island  •  Ruluka  •  G-8  •  Ocean's Dream  •  Foxy's Return  •  Lovely Land  •  Spa Island  •  Little East Blue  •  Z's Ambition  •  Caesar Retrieval
Movies: One Piece: The Movie  •  Clockwork Island Adventure  •  Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals  •  Dead End Adventure  •  The Cursed Holy Sword  •  Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island  •  The Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle  •  Episode of Alabasta: The Desert Princess and the Pirates  •  Episode of Chopper Plus: Bloom in Winter, Miracle Sakura  •  One Piece Film: Strong World  •  One Piece 3D: Straw Hat Chase  •  One Piece Film: Z  •  One Piece Film (2016)
Featurettes and Specials: Adventure in the Ocean's Navel  •  Jango's Dance Carnival  •  Dream Soccer King  •  Take Aim! The Pirate Baseball King  •  Open Upon the Great Sea! A Father's Huge, HUGE Dream!  •  Protect! The Last Great Performance  •  The Detective Memoirs of Chief Straw Hat Luffy  •  Mugiwara Theater  •  Episode of Nami  •  Episode of Luffy  •  Episode of Merry  •  3D2Y  •  Episode of Sabo
OVAs: Defeat Him! The Pirate Ganzack  •  Romance Dawn Story  •  One Piece Film Strong World: Episode 0
Other Related Stories
Omake: Report Time  •  Obahan Time  •  Jingi-nai Time  •  Chopper Man  •  Monster Time  •  Space Time  •  Red-Hair of Class 3 - Sea Time  •  Marchen Time  •  Family Time  •  Ed Sullivan Show  •  Detective Loomes  •  Circus Time  •  RPG Time  •  4-Panel Strips  •  Orchestra of the Sea
Crossovers: Cross Epoch  •  One Piece x Toriko Crossover
One Shots: Romance Dawn  •  God's Gift for the Future  •  Ikki Yako  •  Monsters  •  Wanted!

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