‘One Piece’ Celebrates 1000 Episodes

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courtesy of AP Images

Visitors pose with cut-out comic characters, created by Japanese manga artist Eiichiro Oda, displayed at an exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. The exhibition showcase the work of Oda who is best known for his manga series “Once Piece.”

Simon McKean, Life Editor

One thousand episodes. 

That’s 22,000 minutes, 366 hours or more than 15 days, give or take.

Yet some devoted “One Piece” fans have gone just that far to keep up to date with the classic anime. On Nov. 20, the 1,000th episode finally aired to fanfare around the globe.

The series, originally intended for younger boys, was created by Eiichiro Oda in 1997 and began airing in 1999. It’s 22 years later and the series has garnered a following of about 6 million on Facebook and has sold over 1 million copies of each of the 100 manga volumes, according to Mainichi, a Japanese newspaper.

It’s little wonder that such a followed series would receive press for the milestone, but what few expected was the amount of buildup around the anticipated event.

According to The Guardian, before the planned release in 80 countries, a number of installments were made both in the U.S. and Japan to build up hype. One such advert in Tokyo featured a giant banner of the main character, Monkey D. Luffy.

The anime also received a new key animation, or intro song, to accompany the significant episode.

Though it might seem like the story is probably coming to a close, now is as good a time as ever to jump into the fandom, according to senior Hunter Stoehmer.

“I got two of my friends to start ‘One Piece’ recently and they both are really enjoying it. I’d say if you are into anime or even just action-adventure shows that you should give ‘One Piece’ a shot.”

The action-packed series follows the escapades of Luffy as he aspires to become the pirate king and find the fabled “One Piece” a treasure of mythic proportion. Yet, behind this seemingly innocuous face lies a rich world full of political turmoil and laced with Oda’s personal philosophy.

According to junior Izzy O’Day, “One Piece” has become one of the main shōnen (meaning boy’s) anime primarily because of its depth.

“The animation is literally one of a kind,” O’Day said. “I don’t know how a show can go on that long and still be one of the big three anime, but from what I know people really enjoy the characters.”

And with over 1,100 characters according to Hypebeast, the show has plenty for everyone to love.

But for those daunted by the sheer size of the show, there may be a way to ease into the diverse world of “One Piece” coming soon.

Netflix has recently released the main cast for a new live-action adaptation of the storyline, featuring Inaki Godoy (Luffy), Arata Makenyu (Roronoa Zoro) and Emily Rudd (Nami) according to Nefilx’s Twitter. As of yet, there is no confirmed release date, but Stroehmer is already anticipating the rendition.

“Personally I’m excited to see how they will incorporate the charm of One Piece into a live-action [series],” Stroehmer said. “With animation, it’s a lot easier to portray a character doing something that a regular human wouldn’t be able to.”

That said, O’Day thinks there is something special about the style of anime and manga, something that might not translate into live-action.

O’Day said the animation can be “awesome and stunning, with bright colors” and brawls that “leave you in awe,” and the characters are easier to form connections with than live-action.

“There’s also the fact that it’s just another universe to escape to and lose yourself in.”