“One piece”, the manga phenomenon

Wearing straw hats, like the hero of One Piece, they lined up in front of a large Parisian store last week, the day before the release of the last volume of this manga. In more than 300 bookstores in France, Glénat, its lucky French publisher, had offered the exceptional sale of the 102nd volume of the colorful odyssey of young Luffy and his endearing crew on imaginary seas. Booksellers hadn’t seen this since Harry Potter.

It’s that One Piece is a Guinness World Records regular. In August, the best-selling manga in the world had exceeded half a billion copies, including 32 million in France, far ahead Asterix (385 million copies). Its anime series adaptation surpassed 1,000 episodes and its latest feature-length version topped the box office the week of release, grossing over 500,000 admissions.

How to explain such a success? Created twenty-five years ago by Eiichiro Oda, 46, the saga tells the adventures of Luffy, a cheerful boy who wants to become the greatest pirate of all time by unearthing a fabulous treasure, the famous ” one-piece “. Its advantage? His body has become elastic since he swallowed a magic fruit, which, on the other hand, makes him unable to swim… Helped by strong-willed companions, Luffy faces the most formidable pirates.

Friendship, effort and victory

For gender experts, One Piece owes part of its success to Shonen Jump, the most famous manga magazine that still prints a million copies every week. The values ​​conveyed by this magazine, friendship, effort and victory, are also at the heart of the saga.

As in many mangas, the characters can first oppose each other as ferocious enemies and then become supportive friends in the battles to be fought. Through discipline and training, they succeed, together, in defeating ever stronger adversaries. A way to highlight the culture of Japanese martial arts, which thus inspires rules of life for millions of young people around the world.


Our opinion

With a few constants, humor and good words in mind, the saga has evolved over the years, its graphic universe being more and more successful, its plots ever more fleshed out, new characters appearing, new worlds imaginaries unfolding. The positive values ​​carried by One Piece contrasts, however, with stereotypical representations of male and female characters.