One Piece: The record of the mega-popular manga series explained

By Eleonora Pilastro
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Superstar manga author Eiichiro Oda (Japan) needs no introduction, and his masterpiece One Piece has made history by breaking the record for most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.

The record, first verified in 2015, was confirmed again in 2022 after the series reached 500 million copies printed worldwide.

Following the adventures of the Straw Hat Crew and its captain Monkey D. Luffy, the manga was first serialised in Japan by the widely popular magazine Weekly Shonen Jump (Shueisha). 

The series began in December 1997 and is ongoing to this day, with Oda declaring that the last One Piece chapter can be expected to be published in 2025.

Needless to say, the manga has received several (equally popular) adaptations: from an anime series to the highly successful 2023 Netflix live-action, passing through animated movies and a card game.

Becoming a staple of Japanese pop culture, the adventures of the Straw Hat Crew take place across the Grand Line: a fictional and perilous ocean route that wraps the entire world and hides, somewhere, the One Piece - Gol D. Roger’s ultimate, allegedly unfindable treasure.

Will Luffy’s crew be the one to find the treasure? That remains to be seen, with the series still far from reaching its ending.

Through many adventures and releasing a total of 103 tankobon volumes as of September 2022, the manga has accumulated an incredibly loyal following of adults and young readers alike. 

Printing a whopping total of 516.6 million copies between December 1997 and September 2022, the series has gone on to sell an incredible 320,866,000 units, with a substantial 77 volumes of the comic book released over that period.

 Jump editor-in-chief Yoshihisa Heishi received the Guinness World Records certificate on behalf of Oda.

"I am happy that One Piece has become famous worldwide," he said during the celebration, as reported by Japan Times.

Luffy wearing his signature hat and proudly holding an official Guinness World Records certificate also made an appearance on the Shonen Jump cover in June 2015. 

Notably, the weekly publication Shonen Jump is also the best-selling manga magazine EVER, amassing roughly 7.5 billion copies (and counting) since it launched in 1968.

luffy with red shirt and his crew

However, even though the Grand Line might be a fictional place, there might be a real-life version of Gol D. Roger’s treasure… or, at least, something outstandingly similar in worth for One Piece fans worldwide! 

One Piece superfan Lam Siu Fung (from Hong Kong, China) owns a staggering collection of memorabilia inspired by the franchise. 

After a decade of collecting everything and anything related to Oda’s creation, Lam has gathered an incredible total of 20,125 pieces of One Piece merchandise. 

Such an assemblage, in January 2023, broke the record for the largest collection of One Piece memorabilia.

Lam Siu Fung dressed as Luffy

Among several other precious memorabilia, Lam also owns three very special straw hats: they might not belong to Luffy, but they are personally signed by the legendary mangaka who created the series. 

Needless to say, they are Lam’s go-to when he’s cosplaying the infamous Straw Hat pirate!

As far as animation goes, the most in-demand anime TV show is Studio Mappa’s Shingeki no Kyujin, also known with the English title Attack on Titan. 

Based on the manga of the same name created by Hajime Isayama, the series premiered on 7 April 2013 and so far counts four seasons (Seasons 1-3 curated by Wit Studio, with Season 4 passing on the baton to Mappa).

Overall, the 2022–23 instalment of Attack on Titan (the last season, split into four parts with the final one set to be released in early November 2023) broke the record as the most popular anime TV show ever.

One Piece movie poster

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