The adventures of the straw hat pirate Luffy have fascinated the whole world for more than twenty years: with volume 100 just released, the animated series celebrated its 1000th episode. Switzerland is no exception to the phenomenon: every second comic sold is a manga.
“It’s a miracle,” admits Ryuji Kochi, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa of Toei Animation, the Japanese company that has been producing the animated series “One Piece” since 1999. “At the beginning, it was not easy. to have a broadcast on television or to have fans, “he told AFP. “But we persisted, and it wasn’t until thirteen years of airing that ‘One Piece’ became a phenomenon.”Volume 100 of the manga “One Piece”. [Glénat]
Since the publication of volume 1 in 1997 in Japan, the hunt for the One Piece, a treasure coveted by all pirates and first and foremost Luffy, hero of the series, has held hundreds of millions of fans around the world in suspense and multiplied records. With 490 million copies of the manga sold, the author and designer of the work Eiichiro Oda was awarded a “Guinness World Record” in the category “highest number of copies of the same comic published by only one author “.
Switzerland is no exception to the One Piece tidal wave
So the winning recipe is: a pirate story with camaraderie, betrayal, jokes, epic fights and one goal, the ultimate One Piece treasure. For Adnan, Swiss fan of the series, the bar of the hundred published volumes is symbolic. “In terms of the script, it’s one of the greatest key moments of the whole work. Reaching this climax in volume 100, it’s magnificent,” he told RTS.
In Switzerland too, “One Piece” and manga in general are enjoying significant commercial success. In bookstores, Luffy and his companions are far from being the only ones to be successful. Guillaume Colié, bookseller specializing in comics at Payot Genève, confirms: “‘Demon Slayer’ was the phenomenon of 2020. The series has broken all records in Japan, even those of ‘One Piece’. The other popular series at the moment are ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ and the absolute classic, ‘Naruto’. “
This unprecedented success has forced the bookseller to expand its space dedicated to Japanese series. “We are living in the golden age of manga. Today, every second comic sold is a manga. Since manga is much cheaper, it’s about 30% of sales. But there is a few years back, it was 10% of the figure for 20% of the comics sold. The department doubled in volume. “
Effect of confinement or just a fad? One thing is certain, the manga is installed in our customs, with “One Piece” as leader.
TV subject: Gilles de Diesbach and Jon Bjorgvinsson
Web adaptation: ms with afp