On YouTube, ‘One Piece’ fans follow their guides in search of the treasure

“We meet today for the complete and detailed analysis of chapter 1.050 of One Piece.” As usual, YouTubers Kamalthero and Kytaro enthusiastically welcome those who watch their videos. Dressed in their kimonos, they encourage the fans manga One Piece to analyze the work with them:If you think you missed important details and want to have the best experience with us One Piece possible, you have come to the right place!»

With their 647,000 subscribers, the two brothers of the Mont Corvo chain can be proud of having the first French-speaking community dedicated to Japanese comics sold over 500 million copies in the world. They even believe that they hold the record for the world’s largest traffic for a YouTube channel dedicated to One Piece.

“In all humility, it is not us, but the French who allow this success. They are such a fan of Japanese culturenotes Kamalthero. And then, we saw during the “Pixel War” [une bataille durant laquelle des internautes ont collectivement créé des dessins à partir de pixels sur Reddit, ndlr] on how, on the internet, the French can be very involved and very generous.”

After the “Naruto” wave, the “One Piece” hurricane

The duo is far from alone in having embarked on the hunt for “One Piece”, the mysterious treasure sought by all the pirates of the eponymous manga. At least five other French YouTube channels devoted to the course of the Pirate Luffy and its crew exceed 100,000 subscribers.

According Gojinumber 3 (more than 300,000 subscribers), this craze really started around 2015, before gaining momentum the following year. “Previously, chains Youtube on the subject were not common, except on the English-speaking side of the platform, which already had a community of viewers quite importanthe rewinds. Some already accumulated several hundred thousand views at that time! These hundreds of thousands of views, Goji also reaches them today with each publication.

“The Dok”, from the chain ONE-PIECE-PASSION-TV, is also part of this circle of more than 100,000 subscribers. This discrepancy with the English-speaking community, he attributes it to a parallel success: “In France, we were delayed at the start, because we had to wait for the wave naruto pass.” This forty-year-old readily describes himself as one of the oldest in the gameboth in age and in its debut on the video platform, dating back to 2015.

With a little bitterness, he remembers that when he moved from Canada to France in 2016, he saw different channels rise very quickly, when he suffered from less publication. “There was a form of rivalryhe admits. When I saw the success of others, I tried to attack them a little. Now I care a lot less about how many views I can rack up.”

Intersecting communities

The Mont Corvo duo recently sparked a heated debate over a ranking of manga’s most powerful characters. “Sometimes some come looking for the little beast, but we don’t mindpromises Kytaro. We prefer to talk about One Piece.” But if sometimes, small spades are launched, each YouTuber actually shares part of his community with the other content creators on One Piece.

“I think all of our subscribers are basically the samegauge MushYouTuber also followed by more than 100,000 people on the platform. It is likely that if you look at the statistics, most of my subscribers also follow Mont Corvo. Goji nuance however: “We have both a community of our own, while having each of the subscribers in common. Because even if we all deal with the same subject, we do not necessarily do it in the same way.

The infernal pace of Eiichirō Oda, the author of the manga, allows YouTubers to also produce regular content.

ONE-PIECE-PASSION-TV’s Dok is the only one who thinks they have a more singular community. Older, the YouTubeur does not have the same codes as his juniors. He therefore believes that he appeals to completely different fans than other content creators, such as “50-year-olds who rediscover a “dad” side” his home. A niche that allowed him to have a community large enough to live from his passion.

Profession: “guide” for fans

Living thanks to his favorite work is also what Goji and the two brothers from Mont Corvo experience. Mush, which launched in 2018 – later than its colleagues – has not yet reached this stage. And it’s a choice: “I could probably also live off it if I put more ads and more product placements”he thinks.

“I’m still a work-study student, which is also one of the reasons why I don’t have time to make videos review [d’analyse, ndlr] on the chapters that come outcontinues Mush. But it’s also because I consider that those made by other YouTubers are already great. I don’t really see what more I could bring, so I prefer to dwell on the details of the work. He thus decided to focus on different types of videos, such as “top” formats around the universe One Piece.

The infernal pace of Eiichirō Oda, the manga authorallows YouTubers to also produce regular content, mainly reviews of the last chapters. Their tight releases – one chapter per week or every two weeks – indeed give videographers content to analyze and dissect on a regular basis.

“It is the soap opera of many peoplesays Kamalthero enthusiastically. The role of video creators is to make the link between all the actions of this very extensive story. Modestly, we are a bit of a guide for the fans. One Piece is so complex that readers sometimes feel the need to be reminded of things, to have a better understanding of the work. These “guides” are all the more necessary since the references are numerous within Eiichirō Oda’s series and since the first volume of his manga came out twenty-five years ago.

The search for a mysterious treasure

The work of YouTubers is not only based on the decryptions of the last published chapters, on the creation of “top” or character rankings, but also on the search for the theory that will manage to explain what “One Piece” is. .

For more than two decades, the thousands of manga pirates have been searching, like the hero Luffy, to find out what is hidden behind this treasure – from the first pages, the pirate king encourages his compatriots to go in search of it. “This mystery, like many others, explains the notoriety of the mangaassures Mush. There are still many unanswered questions. Just the name of the work! We are not always sure of what “One Piece” really is.”

So, between YouTubers, it’s the race for the best theory. “Imagine tens or even hundreds of thousands of people brainstorming each week to uncover all the secrets of One Piece, pose Goji. Now try to do the same, praying that your ideas have not already been presented by someone several months before you… It’s quickly a real obstacle course to come up with something 100% original. With each new data in the manganew theories emerge – and many of the assumptions end up being disavowed.

If theories flourish so much, it is because Eiichirō Oda is a specialist in foreshadowing: small clues are sown throughout his drawings and sometimes find an explanation five years later. But Goji believes that the effectiveness of aficionados in deciphering them still represents a risk for the mangaka: “He knows he has to be careful because his community picks up on all the details. His love for the foreshadowing and others teasing concealed can quickly turn against him in view of the scale that has taken One Piece on Internet and on YouTube in recent years.”

This meticulous work of Oda earned him enormous admiration from manga enthusiasts. and his work “always surprises” the Doc. “But I think I have a slightly more critical view than other colleagues despite everything.he tempers, because I believe that everything is not always calculated. If each detail should not be considered as a clue, the slightest number randomly placed in a box is very quickly dissected by hundreds of YouTubers. This is perhaps where all the magic of One Piece: embarking his community on this immense treasure hunt – a treasure whose readers, like the characters, still do not know with certainty either the form or the content.