One Piece (ワンピース Wan Pīsu) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 19, 1997; the individual chapters are being published in tankōbonvolumes by Shueisha, with the first released on December 24, 1997, and the 76th volume released as of December 2014. One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man whose body gains the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit, and his diverse crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy explores the ocean in search of the world’s ultimate treasure known as “One Piece” in order to become the next Pirate King.
The chapters have been adapted into an original video animation (OVA) produced by Production I.G in 1998, and ananime series produced by Toei Animation, which began broadcasting in Japan in 1999. Since then, the still continuing series has aired over 678 episodes. Additionally, Toei has developed thirteen animated feature films, two OVA’s, and five television specials. Several companies have developed various types of merchandising such as a trading card game, and a large number of video games. The manga series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, in the United Kingdom by Gollancz Manga, and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. The entire anime series was first licensed by 4Kids, which due to poor reception, shifted in 2007 to Funimation for an English-language release in North America.
One Piece has received widespread critical acclaim, primarily for its art, characterization, humor and story. Several volumes of the manga have broken publishing records, including highest initial print run of any book in Japan and the first book to sell over three million copies in Oricon history. As of 2013, the series had over 345 million volumes in circulation worldwide, making it the best-selling manga series in history.
The series begins with the execution of Gol D. Roger, a man known as the King of the Pirates (海賊王 Kaizokuō?). Just before his death, Roger announces that his treasure, the One Piece (ひとつなぎの大秘宝 (ワンピース) Wan Pīsu?), will be available to anyone who finds it, causing the Great Pirate Era (大海賊時代 Dai Kaizoku Jidai?) to begin. As a result, countless pirates set out to the Grand Line to look for the treasure.
Twenty-two years have passed since Roger’s execution, and Monkey D. Luffy, a young man inspired by his childhood idol and powerful pirate Red Haired Shanks, sets off on a journey from the East Blue Sea to find the One Piece and become King of the Pirates. In an effort to organize his own crew, the Straw Hat Pirates (麦わら海賊団篇 Mugiwara Kaizoku-dan?), Luffy befriends a swordsman named Roronoa Zoro and they sail off to find the One Piece. They soon meet Nami, a navigator and thief; Usopp, a sniper and a liar; and Sanji, a womanizing chef; leading to confrontations with Buggy the Clown, Captain Kuro and Don Krieg. Later, Luffy encounters Arlong, a fishman and member of the former Sun Pirates who thinks that fishmen are superior to humans. After Luffy defeats Arlong, Nami officially joins Luffy’s crew and the Navy places a bounty on Luffy’s head. Luffy then meets Captain Smoker, a navy captain that can turn into smoke. He briefly captures Luffy, but Luffy is saved by his father Monkey D. Dragon. After making their way through the Grand Line, the group meets Nefeltari Vivi, a princess who wants to help save her country, the Alabasta Kingdom, from the crime syndicate Baroque Works. They later befriend the doctor and anthropomorphized reindeer Tony Tony Chopper while in Drum Island.
The Straw Hat Pirates make their way to Alabasta, leading to battles with Baroque Works and their leader, Sir Crocodile. Luffy eventually defeats Crocodile and liberates Alabasta. Soon after, Nico Robin, an archaeologist and former member of Baroque Works joins Luffy’s crew. They soon meet Blackbeard, whose dream is also to become Pirate King. After going up to the floating island of Skypiea, the crew gets involved in a war between the Skypieans and the Shandorians, leading to a confrontation against the island’s ruler Eneru, who has the power of lightning. Luffy defeats Eneru to save Skypiea and end the war. The crew soon meets the navy admiral Aokiji, who reveals that Robin was involved in searching for Poneglyphs, which are stones with markings left by an ancient civilization to reveal the missing 100 years of history that the World Government had erased. The group goes to Water 7, confronting the cyborg shipwright Franky and find that their ship, Going Merry, has sailed for the last time and must be dismantled leading to Usopp’s temporary departure from the Straw Hats. However, Cipher Pol No. 9, theWorld Government‘s intelligence agency captures Robin and Franky for information regarding the Poneglyphs and the ancient weapons that may come from them. Franky breaks free from the government after burning his blueprints for one of the weapons and teams up with the Straw Hat Pirates to declare war on the government, resulting in battles between CP9 and its minions. The final long battle with CP9 ends when the crew saves Robin. Franky builds a new ship, the Thousand Sunny, for the Straw Hats and officially joins the crew. Soon after, the crew helps a musician skeleton named Brook find his shadow in Thriller Bark, which has been stolen by Gecko Moriah. After defeating Moriah, Brook joins Luffy’s crew.
After arriving at Saboady Archipelago, the crew prepares to sail to the New World, the second half of Grand Line. While there, they befriend Silvers Rayleigh, a former member of Roger’s pirate crew who they ask to coat their ship so they can travel underwater. The crew eventually gets separated during a battle with Bartholomew Kuma, a huge cyborg under the control of the Navy, at the Sabaody Archipelago, with Luffy being sent to the all-female island Amazon Lily. Having learned that his older brother and the son of Gol D. Roger, Portgas D. Ace has been detained at the government prison Impel Down, Luffy goes there and liberates several people from the prison, including the fishman Jimbei and some old enemies. Luffy soon learns that Ace is at Marineford to be executed at Navy headquarters. However, war breaks out between the Navy and a group of pirates led by the legendary pirate, Whitebeard. In the ensuing chaos, Whitebeard and Ace are killed. At Rayleigh’s request, Luffy has the Straw Hats undergo rigorous training regimens, some under the tutelage of prominent figures.
Two years later, the crew regroups at Sabaody Archipelago and journeys to Fishman Island to enter the New World. During this time, a group of fishman pirates appear, seeking supremacy against humans, and hold a coup d’état to decide the fate of the island. However, after Nami forgives Jimbei for releasing Arlong into the East Blue, the Straw Hats defeat the fishmen pirates, saving the island. The Straw Hats leave Fishman Island and finally reach the New World, but not before starting a feud with Big Mom, one of the “Four Emperors”, the strongest pirates in the New World. Entering the half-burning and half-freezing island, Punk Hazard, the crew encounters an old friend and one of the new Warlords, Trafalgar Law, and they form an alliance to take down the Four Emperors in the New World. The alliance is drawn into a fierce battle against Caesar Clown, the scientist responsible for the destruction of Punk Hazard four years earlier. After Caesar’s defeat, the alliance goes to Dressrosa, a kingdom ruled by Donquixote Doflamingo in an attempt to destroy the Smile factory as the next phase to defeat one of the Four Emperors, Kaido. In Dressora Luffy competes in a competition to gain Ace’s devil fruit but his childhood friend and brother Sabo arrives and wins the competition after Luffy leaves the competition to rescue his friends.