“One Piece”, the number 1 manga phenomenon in book sales – Les Inrocks

The release of the 100th volume unleashes passions and places Eiichirō Oda’s series at the top of sales.

On December 8, 2021, comic bookstores received the same phone call (or almost) several times. At the end of the line, a youthful voice asked them: “Hello, you would have the One Piece collector ?

For fans of the Eiichirō Oda series, it was both a day of celebration and a day of stress, since the 100e take from One Piece with, for the fastest, a limited edition collector’s version, slipped into a faux leather case.

A week later, the French publishing house Glénat announced that this volume 100 (all versions combined) had sold 131,270 copies in just three days, placing it directly in first place in sales in all categories.

The manga of all records

Since its creation in 1997, this manga king never ceases to align the records – it has its entry in the Guinness Book to be the series signed by a single author the most printed in the world (480 million copies!). It has become one of the most profitable modern franchises, since it gave rise to an anime adaptation produced by the legendary studio Toei Animation, around thirty video games and a number of derivative products, including a cookbook or novels.

And One Piece now represents a mini-empire in the entertainment world, this success is based solely on the storytelling talents of Eiichirō Oda, who has captivated the world’s youth with a frame naturally expandable to infinity. That he had the idea for this series during his childhood before making it a reality as an adult explains the ingredients of his saga in more than a thousand chapters.

Action and humor

First, he invested a romantic universe which, since reading Treasure Island by Stevenson, is a perfect springboard for adventure: the world of pirates. Exploring the territory of One Piece merges with the progression of its flagship character, Monkey D. Luffy, captain of the boat The Straw Hat, endowed with the power of elasticity and gone in search of the mythical treasure which gives its name to the series.

But, around Luffy, Eiichirō Oda has succeeded in building an impressive gallery of characters (sixty are listed in the first pages of number 100) which further favors the possibility of identification of the readership. Finally, the Japanese author approaching fifty masters an addictive cocktail mixing fantasy and a lot of humor, his trademark. Behind the fight scenes and the gags, he also covered up serious subjects such as racism or slavery. This opens the way for several levels of reading and also allows the readership to One Piece to grow old with the series.

Advice to neophytes who would like to tackle this monument: this volume 100 and its gigantic confrontation between heroes, allies and enemies, is not the best gateway. Yes, despite the titanic task that this represents, it is better to start One Piece with its volume 1. Moreover, since last week, 11,843 copies of this inaugural volume have also been sold in France.

One Piece 100 by Eiichiro Oda (Glénat), 208 p., € 6.90 (single edition), € 10.75 (collector’s edition), translation from Japanese by Djamel Rabahi and Julien Favereau.