Not very many people heard about it at first. But when they did hear it, their mouths fell open in shock. Were they dreaming? No, they were perfectly conscious. They looked at the new reveal in shock. HOW THE HECK could this happen? The internet was abuzz at what was probably the most unexpected plot twist in all of One Piece. And it was just a single piece of text. People accepted that it was real, but they struggled to read it. This wasn't in a manga chapter, by the way. It was in the newspaper.
MANGA ARTIST EIICHIRO ODA DEAD OF HEART ATTACK AT 40
It certainly didn't make the front page (except in Japan), but it was still major news across the world. Perhaps no one really knew how many people's lives had been affected by Oda until his passing.
Of course, the place that was most abuzz was the internet. Especially One Piece fan sites, which of course included the One Piece wiki. In the span of 24 hours, more threads and blogs were created than in the past three months combined. From simple spam where people went full shit over the turn of events, to thoughtful discussions over the factors that led to Oda's death, you could not read all of this (at least not without going into hysterics). Yet the topic that was most discussed, which everyone was most curious about, was what was going to happen to One Piece. Would it resume with the assistants or another manga artist? Some hoped it would, although it was generally agreed that it would be of lesser quality. Or would it simply remain at a cliffhanger and eventually fade away, leaving the rest of the story up to the fans' hopes?
One week later, a grand funeral was held in Japan. Record crowds, many of whom lived thousands of miles away, came just to get a glimpse of his coffin being led to the graveyard. When the funeral procession emerged from the hall, the masses stood stark silent, still finding it difficult to accept that their idol was truly dead. However, after about a minute, a single voice rang out. It carried a tune which was known by all present.
Binkusu no sake wo, todoke ni yuku yo
Umikaze kimakase namimakase
Shio no mukou de, yuuhi mo sawagu
Sora nya wa wo kaku, tori no uta...
Soon, the entire crowd was singing that song, the song that defined why they were there. It was a solemn dirge, yet also a song to bring them hope.
The day after, Shonen Jump revealed Oda's will, in regards to what it said about One Piece. Since he was not as far into the story as he wanted to be, Oda wished for no one to continue One Piece. Some fans were happy, but many became extremely depressed. It wasn't fair that they would be unable to see One Piece come to a fitting conclusion.
However, Shonen Jump had another announcement. Several years ago, Oda had written something in case he met his end unexpectedly, like had happened now. Codenamed "Chapter 10,000," Shonen Jump released it as a single complete issue. Contained in it was the ending that Oda had always pictured, though he had never wished for people to know about it so soon. Millions of manga fans across the world saw as Luffy defeated Blackbeard and reached Raftel, claiming the One Piece and the title of Pirate King. Zoro defeated Shiliew, the man who defeated Mihawk, and claimed the title of Greatest Swordsman in the World. It was then not too long before every Straw Hat realized their dream. Then came the final war against the World Government, with every force Luffy had allied with joining him in the ultimate revolution. Finally, after the balance of the World was thrown into chaos due to the revival of the Ancient Weapons, Luffy brought down Sakazuki and Dragon and Sabo brought down the Gorosei, thereby routing the World Government. Fans then saw as Luffy retired from piracy in Foosha Village, as a new government was formed. Finally, twenty years later, Luffy is on the brink of death. He then gave his Straw Hat to a young boy who for years incessantly hounded him, telling him to set off on an adventure and become the third pirate king.
As they turned the final page, fans still felt holes in their hearts, but still had the comfort of knowing how it would all turn out. Not every plot point was explained in full, but they could not complain. Satisfied, they turned toward new up-and-coming manga, while still holding a special place in their hearts for One Piece.
Toei was still at work, dragging out Dressrosa as far as it could go, which certainly irked some fans. For five years, they then created a dozen fillers to continue the story, although many fans eventually grew tired and stopped watching the anime. Finally, Shonen Jump ended its contract with Toei, and after they did a 30-piece series for the final chapter, the One Piece anime came to a close.
One Piece forum sites, including the wiki, continued to operate as normal. With no more updates to make, the users instead turned to refining the content they had. Discussions and blogs still permeated the air, with most people discussing how satisfactory the ending was, what Toei was doing wrong, and making fanfiction for what happened in between the gap, as well as the adventures of the boy who received the Straw Hat. But eventually, interest began to wane. People moved on, either to other manga or to their real lives. The One Piece wiki slowly lost editors, until finally hardly anyone came. Except for vandals, that is. Despite the efforts of a few remaining admins, they could not win, and eventually decided to forsake the project they had worked so hard on. They had other things to do. Mostly vandalism continued on the wiki for several years, but eventually even the vandals lost interest. With no one contributing anymore, the Wikia staff deleted the One Piece wiki during a round of cleanup.
While this is certainly extreme, the reality is that this could actually happen. With that being said, what would you do if Oda were to die before completing One Piece?